BOONE, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team took an early 4-0 lead on the road against Appalachian State but was unable to hold on, dropping a 6-4 decision to the Mountaineers on Wednesday afternoon in Boone, N.C. Sophomore Spencer Angelis was 3-4 with two RBI to lead the Panthers.
“This is obviously a very disappointing loss,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “The first third of the game we were outstanding and Retz pitched a great game. It comes down to simple things, we couldn’t produce runs in the middle innings and our bullpen was ineffective. We left them in the game and they took advantage of it.”
Senior Ryan Retz lasted six innings in his first start of the season on the mound. The right hander pitched well, allowing just one unearned run on three hits and four walks while striking out three.
High Point scored one run in both the first and second innings to take an early 2-0 lead. Senior Willie Medina led off the game with a double off the left field wall and was followed by senior Devin Bujnovsky who hit a single up the middle to plate the first run of the game. In the second, back-to-back doubles by senior Sean Wilson and Angelis pushed the HPU lead to 2-0. Wilson opened the frame with a ball up the left field line and was driven in by a double off the right field wall by Angelis. The catcher fouled off seven pitches in his at-bat before connecting for the RBI.
The Panthers added two more runs in the top of the third inning to double their lead to 4-0 as sophomore Josh Spano scored on an error by the ASU third baseman and Retz was driven in on Angelis’ second double of the day. Freshman Sly Edwards drove in the first run of the inning with a hot shot to third base which hit off the fielder’s glove and rolled into left, scoring Spano from second. Angelis later hit a double down the left field line to drive in Retz from third, making the score 4-0.
Appalachian State pulled one run back in the bottom of the third without a hit, scoring on a fielder’s choice by first baseman Alex Leach, and then tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the seventh. The Mountaineers scored with a triple by Leach, a sacrifice fly by Will Callaway and a double by Josh Zumbrook.
The Mountaineers took the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning on a bloop double by Leach. ASU put runners at first and third for Leach who hit a high ball into shallow left field. Wilson charged and dove, but could not make the catch as two runs scored to put Appalachian State ahead 6-4.
Schultz took the loss for High Point after pitching 1-1/3 innings and allowing two earned runs on two hits while striking out one.
Rob Marcello got the win for Appalachian State with a scoreless eighth inning out of the bullpen. Chad Farmer struggled in his first start of the season, lasting just three innings and allowing four runs, two earned on six hits and a walk.
High Point will open Big South play this weekend when the team travels to Clinton, S.C., to take on the Blue Hose of Clinton, S.C. The three-game series will begin with a game at 2 p.m., on Friday, March 1.