WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team fell to Wake Forest by a score of 15-6 on Wednesday night in Winston-Salem, N.C. Senior Willie Medina went 1-3 and scored two runs for the Panthers in the contest.
“We came out ready to play today but our performance on the mound brought that to a screeching halt,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “When you walk guys and aren’t competitive on the mound it hampers your team when it comes to energy. That is what we did tonight and we got what we deserved based on how we pitched.”
High Point took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning as two HPU runners scored on a single by senior Ryan Retz. Medina led off the game with a double down the left field line and sophomore Dane McDermott singled to center moving Medina to third. Retz came up with two outs and hit a single to right to score Medina. An error by the Demon Deacons’ right fielder allowed McDermott to come around from first and score.
Wake Forest came back in the bottom of the inning with five runs of its own to take a 5-3 lead. The Demon Deacons scored the first two runs on a bases loaded walk and a sacrifice fly before a three-run home run by Jack Carey cleared the bases.
The score difference remained three in the second inning as both teams pushed a run across in the frame, making the score 6-3. Junior Kyle Brandenburg got HPU on the board in the top of the inning with a sacrifice fly to score graduate student Adam Barry and Wake Forest got an RBI single from Charlie Morgan in the bottom of the second.
After Wake Forest scored three times in the fourth and twice in the fifth to take an 11-3 lead, the Panthers chipped into WFU advantage with two runs in the top of the seventh. Medina was hit by a pitch to reach base and came around to score on a pinch-hit double by freshman Brett Gemmell. Sophomore Spencer Angelis followed with a single up the middle to score Gemmell making the score 11-5.
Wake Forest pushed its lead to 15-5 with a grand slam off the bat of Kevin Conway in the bottom of the seventh. High Point scored the final run of the game in the top of the eighth with an RBI double by sophomore Stephen Wytiaz to make the final score 15-6.
Retz finished 2-3 at the plate with one RBI while Barry went 2-5 with a run scored in the loss.
Redshirt-junior Michael Heller suffered the loss for High Point, falling to 1-1 on the season. Heller pitched 1-1.3 innings and allowed six runs on three hits and five walks.
The Demon Deacons’ Colin Egan earned the win on the night with 3-1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
High Point continues its four-game road trip this weekend when it travels to Virginia for a three-game weekend series at Big South foe Radford University. The series will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday.