HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team picked up an 8-0 shutout victory over inter-triad rival Elon University in midweek action Tuesday night at Williard Stadium. HPU had 10 hits in the game including three by senior Willie Medina in the leadoff spot.
“We had zeros in the all the right places tonight,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “We kept them off the board offensively and posted a zero for us in the errors column. We had a couple big innings and put up double-digit hits for the game. Willie Medina did a great job setting the table and guys are driving him in. Ryan Retz gave us five good innings tonight and our bullpen was special again. I am proud of the way the guys are playing right now. It was an enjoyable night. “
High Point scored four runs in the second and three more in the seventh to earn its biggest win over Elon in the HPU Div. I era. The Panthers only other shutout over the Phoenix came in 2011 when they picked up a 3-0 win on the road.
HPU took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Medina was driven in on a single by sophomore Spencer Angelis. Medina legged out an infield single to lead off the game for HPU and advanced to second on a hit-and-run groundout before coming around to score on the hit by Angelis.
The Panthers took advantage of four Elon errors in the second inning to extend their lead to 5-0. Freshman Sly Edwards worked a one-out walk and scored the first run of the inning on an infield single by sophomore Dane McDermott.
Sophomore Cody Manzella, McDermott and junior Kyle Brandenburg all followed Edwards and scored for HPU in the inning on plays that ended in errors by the Phoenix. Manzella doubled and scored on a grounder to first by Brandenburg who was safe on an error by the first baseman. McDermott then scored on a suicide squeeze by Medina who was also ruled save after the first baseman muffed the throw. Brandenburg scored the final run of the inning on Elon’s fourth error, crossing the plate on a misplayed grounder by the Phoenix second baseman.
The score remained 5-0 until the seventh when High Point added three runs to push its lead to 8-0. Medina led off the inning with a single, took third on an error during a sacrifice bunt from senior Devin Bujnovsky and scored on a single by sophomore Josh Spano. Bujnovsky then scored on a single by senior Ryan Retz and Spano scored on a bases-loaded walk by redshirt-senior Sean Wilson.
Medina finished 3-4 in the game with one RBI and two runs scored. Eight different High Point batters recorded an RBI in the game including both Spano and Retz who also had two hits.
Retz started on the mound for the Panthers and earned his third win of the season after pitching five innings of shutout baseball. Retz gave up five hits and a walk in his five innings of work while striking out two.
The High Point bullpen combined to throw four scoreless innings in relief, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out eight. Redshirt-junior Malcolm Clapsaddle pitched two innings and recorded five strikeouts. He was followed by sophomore Will Resnik, redshirt-junior Jaime Schultz and sophomore Joe Goodman.
David Whitehead was charged with the loss for the Phoenix. Whitehead started and pitched 6-1/3 innings, giving up six runs, four earned, on eight hits and two walks while striking out four.
High Point moves back over .500 with the win at 13-12 overall. Elon falls to 14-10 for the season with the loss.
HPU will hit the road this weekend to play three games at William & Mary beginning on Friday, March 29. The Panthers will face the Tribe at 7 p.m., on Friday, 4 p.m., on Saturday and 1 p.m., on Sunday. High Point is currently 1-0 against teams from the CAA, having beaten George Mason, 8-6, in Charleston, S.C>, in the first weekend of the season.