RADFORD, Va. – The High Point University baseball team scored six runs in the top of the 10th inning to break a 5-5 tie and pick up an 11-5 win over Radford on Friday night in Radford. Va. Senior Willie Medina went 3-4 on the night with an RBI and two runs scored.
“It was great to start this weekend off with a win on the road,” head coach Craig Coazrt said. “This is our third extra inning game in our last four and those are learning experiences for our guys. When we got into the 10th inning our guys were relaxed. We got really nice offensive contributions up and down the lineup tonight. Jacob Newberry did a nice job digging in after a couple rough innings early and got us deep into the game.”
Eleven batters came to the plate for High Point in the 10th inning. Sophomore Spencer Angelis reached on an error by the RU first baseman to lead off the frame. Senior Ryan Retz followed and hit a swinging bunt for an infield single, sliding into first ahead of the throw. Angelis came around to score when graduate student Adam Barry laid down a sacrifice bunt and the Highlander third baseman committed a throwing error trying to get his HPU counterpart at first.
After the Highlanders walked sophomore Cody Manzella to load the bases with no outs, High Point rattled off five more runs to build a six-run lead. Medina, freshman Brett Gemmell, sophomore Stephen Wytiaz and sophomore Josh Spano all had RBIs in the inning for HPU and a balk by RU pitcher Oliver Powers scored sophomore Dane McDermott.
Sophomore Joe Goodman struck out the side in the bottom of the 10th to pick up his second win of the season. Goodman pitched 2-1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen and allowed just two hits while striking out five.
Daniel Bridgeman was charged with the loss for Radford after allowing six runs, one earned on four hits and two walks in 1-1/3 innings of work.
The win over Radford was HPU’s third game in its last four to go to extra innings. The Panthers are now 2-3 in extra inning games this season.
High Point improves to 16-19 overall and 4-6 in the Big South with the win. Radford drops to 20-12 overall and 7-3 in the Big South with the loss.
The Panthers opened the scoring in the third inning with an RBI triple by Medina. McDermott got HPU’s first hit of the game with a two-out single to right and Medina followed with a line drive to center which skipped past the diving RU center fielder. The ball rolled to the wall allowing McDermott to score and Medina to slide into third.
Radford came back in the bottom of the third with three runs to take a 3-1 lead. The big shot for the Highlanders came in the form of a two-out, two-run home run off the bat of Jeff Kemp.
Manzella got a run back for the Panthers in the top of the next inning with an RBI double to make the score 3-2. An error on a groundball by Angelis and an infield single by Barry put two runners on with two outs in the top of the fourth for Manzella who hit a hard groundball over the third base bag and into the left field corner.
After Radford re-extended its lead to two in the bottom of the fourth on an error by Barry, the Panthers came right back with a run in the fifth to make the score 4-3. McDermott led off the inning with a double to the right field corner and moved to third on a single over the second base bag by Medina. Senior Devin Bujnovsky then hit a sacrifice bunt, scoring McDermott from third.
High Point tied the game one inning later as Retz scored on an RBI groundout by Manzella. Retz led off the frame with a single that hit off RU pitcher Tyler Costello and advanced to third on a groundout by Barry and a passed ball before coming home on the Manzella groundout.
Barry put High Point back in front in the top of the eighth inning with a sacrifice fly to drive in Angelis from third after the catcher had reached on a stand-up double to left and moved to third on a single by Retz. Radford then tied the game once again in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI single by Shane Johnsonbaugh.
Newberry started the game for High Point and lasted 7-2/3 innings and giving up five runs, four earned on nine hits and a walk. The senior finished with nine strikeouts in the game, one shy of his career high.
Medina was one of two batters with three hits in the game along with Retz who went 3-6 with two runs scored. McDermott went 2-5 in the win and scored a team-high three runs. HPU outhit the Highlanders 15-11 on the night.
High Point and Radford will meet once again at the Radford Baseball Stadium for the second game of their three-game weekend series on Saturday, April 13, at 4 p.m. The Panthers will attempt to clinch their second Big South series of the season and their first conference road series with a win over RU.