HIGH POINT, N.C. – Senior Ryan Retz pitched a complete-game three hitter to lead the High Point University baseball team to a 4-1 win over Ohio University on Wednesday night at Williard Stadium. The right hander allowed just a single unearned run while picking up his first win of the season.
“It was nice to see us get some runs on the board early today,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “Spano has been tremendous for us but tonight was about Ryan Retz. What a great performance by a senior and a veteran. That was the kind of leadership we needed to break out of this funk. Hopefully we can build on this and put a nice run together.”
The complete game by Retz was the senior’s third at HPU. His last complete game came last season against Presbyterian College. Retz scattered three hits and four walks over his nine innings of work while striking out five Bobcat batters including the final hitter of the game. The right hander appeared to grow stronger as the game went on, allowing no hits in the final four innings. Retz improves to 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA on the season.
High Point got on the board early with two runs in the bottom of the first inning highlighted by a towering home run by sophomore Josh Spano. After HPU’s first two batters got out Spano came to the plate and took an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall for his first collegiate home run. The hit also extended his hit streak to a team-high 12.
Following the home run, the Panthers tacked on another run with three-straight singles culminating in an RBI single by graduate student Adam Barry. The third baseman hit a hard grounder between the Ohio third baseman and shortstop to drive in freshman Dominic Fazio.
Senior Willie Medina added a third run for High Point in the second inning, taking advantage of several mistakes by the Ohio battery to come around and score without a hit. Medina walked with two outs, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.
Ohio scored its only run of the game on a sacrifice fly by Jake Madsen after a two-base error by Retz on a pickoff attempt. High Point answered right back in the bottom of the frame, scoring on an RBI triple by Blake Hutton to push the lead back to three. After a Spano walk, Hutton hit a long fly ball that seemed destined for the Panthers’ Den. The Ohio centerfielder got his glove on the ball to keep it in the park but did could not make the catch, allowing Hutton to reach third standing up.
Retz allowed only four Ohio base runners in his final four innings of work to preserve the three-run lead and pick up the win.
Marck Paliotto got the start for Ohio but lasted only one inning. The left hander took the loss after allowing two earned runs on four hits in his one inning of work.
Spano finished 2-2 at the plate with two walks. The catcher had one RBI and two runs scored in the contest.
The win improves High Point’s record on the season to 6-7. Ohio falls to 2-8 to start the season.
HPU returns to the road this weekend, travelling to New Orleans, La., to play a three-game weekend series against Tulane University. The three-game series will mark the first meeting between the two teams in High Point’s Div. I era.