ROCK HILL, S.C. – The High Point University baseball team lost to Winthrop in the opening game of the Big South Conference series on Thursday. The Eagles rallied to beat HPU, 8-3, at the Winthrop Ballpark in Rock Hill, S.C. Willie Medina went 2-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
“We got off to a great start tonight but unfortunately didn’t pitch well enough in the middle innings,” said head coach Craig Cozart. “The guys know what has to be done. We have to come out tomorrow and get a win.”
High Point took an early 3-0 lead in the game. In the first inning, Willie Medina reached on a bunt single, stole second base and moved to third on a single by Dane McDermott. Medina scored the first run of the game on a wild pitch. Ryne Rush drove in the second run with a double to straight-away center field.
In the second inning Medina drove in a run with a double in the left-center field gap. Zach Tessier scored on the play after he singled to lead off the inning.
Retz retired the first seven batters of the game before Elliott Caldwell singled up the middle in the third inning. Winthrop followed with two more base hits and TJ Olesczuk was hit by a pitch to cut HPU’s lead to 3-2. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Matt Lobacz tied the game, 3-3.
Winthrop took the lead in the fourth inning, scoring two unearned runs to go up 5-3. Caldwell had an RBI double to right field. The Eagles extended their lead to 8-3 with three runs in the fifth inning off Retz.
Retz went four innings, allowing eight runs, six earned on seven hits. He had one walk and one strikeout in the game. The loss dropped him to 6-4 on the season.
Joe Goodman pitched two scoreless innings of relief with four strikeouts. Will Resnik followed with a perfect seventh inning with one strikeout. Cody Manzella and John Maloney combined for a scoreless eighth inning.
Matt Pierpont picked up the win for Winthrop. He tossed 5-2/3 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits. He walked one and struck out two.
McDermott finished the game 2-4 with a run scored and Josh Spano had a pair of hits in the game.
The Panthers are 24-29 on the season with a 9-13 record in the Big South Conference. Winthrop stands at 17-33 with a 9-12 mark in league play.
High Point and Winthrop will meet again on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Winthrop Ballpark in Rock Hill, S.C. Junior right-hander Jared Avidon will pitch for the Panthers. The Eagles will also send a junior right-hander to the mound, Eric Ruth.