HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team lost to UNC Asheville, 11-8, on Senior Day, Saturday in the final game of the Big South Conference series at Williard Stadium. Junior Willie Medina went 4-5 with two RBI in the loss.
“This was a really tough weekend,” said head coach Craig Cozart. “Everything is a struggle for this team right now. But we showed fight and we were able to put up runs late in the game today. Unfortunately, we couldn’t hold them back from scoring as well. We have to build on the momentum we created offensively in the late innings and play our best brand of baseball for the next two weeks.”
High Point scored two runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth but couldn’t overcome an early eight-run deficit. Junior Jacob Newberry took the loss, dropping to 3-5 this season. He allowed six runs on eight hits in 3-1/3 innings. Newberry walked two and struck out three.
Brian Connolly earned the win for Asheville. He allowed three runs on eight hits in five innings to improve to 5-3 this season. Elliot Criss tossed a perfect ninth inning for his second save of the season.
HPU falls to 23-24 for the season with an 8-10 mark in league play. UNC Asheville stands at 22-23 and 11-10 in the Big South.
Asheville led 8-0 after the top of the fifth inning. Medina got HPU on the board in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run double to leftfield. Ryne Rush added a run with an RBI groundout to make it an 8-3 game.
Each team put up two runs in the seventh inning. Josh Spano had an RBI single and Devin Bujnovsky scored on an error by the Bulldogs’ first baseman Todd Joyner.
Another Asheville run in the top of the eighth extended the lead to 11-5. The Panthers put up three runs in the eighth but couldn’t come all the way back. Rush had a two-run double and Mike Miedzianowski singled up the middle to drive home a run.
Medina’s four hits were a career high. Rush went 2-3 with two runs scored and three RBI and Sean Wilson was 2-4 with two runs scored.
High Point will play at Virginia on Wednesday at 6 p.m. before heading to Liberty for a Big South weekend series.