HPU Baseball Clinches Series Over Radford With 10-6 Win

RADFORD, Va. – The High Point University baseball team rattled off four runs in the seventh inning to pick up a 10-6 win over Radford on Saturday afternoon in Radford, Va. The win clinches the series for the Panthers who have won each of the first two games.

The Panthers outhit Radford 18-7 in the game. Sophomore Stephen Wytiaz led HPU on the day, going 3-4 at the plate with a career-high five RBI. Senior Willie Medina went 3-6 with an RBI and a run scored while senior Ryan Retz went 3-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Sophomores Josh Spano and Spencer Angelis also had strong days at the plate as Spano went 2-5 with an RBI and two runs scored and Angelis went 3-5 with three runs scored.

“This was a great win for us today,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “It was a tight ballgame early but we were able to pull away in the late innings. Offensively we are really doing a great job right now. Stephen Wytiaz had a career game and it couldn’t have come at a better time. We played clean defense and did a great job offensively. We are happy that we were able to win the series now we have to figure out a way to get the sweep to put ourselves in a good position within the conference.”

Junior John Maloney earned the win for HPU after pitching 3-2.3 innings in relief and allowing just one unearned run. Maloney allowed just two hits and no walks while striking out one.

Mitchell MacKeith took the loss for the Highlanders. MacKeith pitched 1-1/3 innings and allowed four runs on four hits and a walk.

High Point improves to 17-19 overall and 5-6 in the Big South with the win over Radford which falls to 20-13 overall and 7-4 in conference play.

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Medina led off the game with a single and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Spano. Medina moved to second on a swinging bunt by sophomore Dane McDermott and stole third ahead of the Spano fly ball.

Radford scored once in the bottom of the first and twice in the bottom of second to take a 3-1 lead. The Panthers retook the lead in the top of the third on a three-run double by Wytiaz. High Point loaded the bases with a single by Angelis, a fielder’s choice off the bat of graduate student Adam Barry and a walk by sophomore Cody Manzella. Wytiaz then hit a stand-up double to the left center gap to clear the bases.

The Panthers pushed their lead to two at 5-3, with an RBI single by Barry in the top of the fifth. Spano hit a single up the middle and moved around to third on an Angelis walk and a Retz groundout before scoring on a single up the middle by Barry.

Radford came back to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth inning with two runs to make the score 5-5. The Highlanders got an RBI groundout from Alexander Lee and scored the second run on a double steal with two outs.

The game remained tied at 5-5 until the top of the seventh inning when HPU sent 10 batters to the plate and rattled off four runs to go up 9-5. The Panthers started the inning with three-straight singles off the bats of Spano, Angelis and Retz to score the go-ahead run.

After an intentional walk to freshman Dominic Fazio loaded the bases, Wytiaz came through again with two outs, hitting a single to left to score both Angelis and Retz. Medina followed with a single back up the middle to drive in Fazio for the fourth and final run of the frame.

High Point tacked on another run in the top of the eighth when Angelis led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch before coming around to score on an RBI single by Retz.

Radford would not go quietly in the ninth, scoring one run and putting two more men on base with one out, but Maloney pitched out of the jam with a flyout to right and a strikeout looking of Lee to secure the 10-6 win.

Redshirt-junior Jaime Schultz started the game for High Point and pitched into the sixth inning before giving way to Maloney. Schultz pitched 5-1/3 innings and allowed five runs on five hits and eight walks while striking out four.

Radford starter Michael Boyle pitched five innings and allowed five runs, two earned, on eight hits and two walks before leaving with a no-decision.

High Point will go for its second weekend sweep of the season on Sunday, April 13, when the Panthers face Radford at 2 p.m., in the third and final game of the series. Redshirt-junior Malcolm Clapsaddle is slated to start for HPU.