HIGH POINT, N.C. – Six unearned runs in the top of the fourth inning proved to be the difference on Tuesday night as the High Point University baseball team fell to Appalachian State by a score of 8-5 at Williard Stadium. HPU scored four times in the bottom of the ninth but was unable to complete the comeback.
“I thought that our pitchers went out on the mound and were very competitive,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “That one defensive miscue with two outs translates to six unearned runs and we just couldn’t put them out. Once we calmed down and got back to what we do offensively we started to put some runs together. Our guys didn’t quit, but that was such an emotional letdown that it took us awhile to shake it and get back to playing our version of baseball.”
Down 1-0 in the fourth inning, High Point found itself in a jam with runners on second and third and one out. Redshirt-junior Sean Townsley induced a pop out to first in foul territory for the second out and appeared to get out of the jam with a fly ball to left, but the ball was dropped allowing both runs to score. The Mountaineers then scored four more runs in the inning on four hits and a walk to go ahead 7-0.
The Panthers got on the board with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to make the score 6-1. Sophomore Dane McDermott singled to lead off the inning and stole second, giving HPU a runner in scoring position with one out. A wild pitch advanced McDermott to third and allowed him to score on a Retz ground out.
After ASU pushed its lead back to seven with a sacrifice fly by Gabe Dimock, High Point mounted a comeback attempt in the bottom of the frame with four runs. Three-straight singles by sophomore Mike Miedzianowski, redshirt-senior Sean Wilson and freshman Dominic Fazio loaded the bases with no outs. Sophomore Stephen Wytiaz hit a fly ball to left for the first out, but was followed by senior Willie Medina who hit a double to the wall in left-center, scoring two runs.
ASU pulled starter Chad Farmer for Josh Wilson, who promptly gave up a single to McDermott on his first pitch. The single scored a run and an error by the Mountaineer left fielder scored Medina from second and allowed McDermott to move all the way to third. Unfortunately the Panthers were unable to draw any closer as sophomores Josh Spano and Spencer Angelis each grounded out to end the game.
McDermott finished the game going 3-5 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored. Angelis went 2-3 on the night while Medina finished 1-5 with a team-best two RBI.
Townsley took the loss for the Panthers, dropping to 3-2 on the season. The left hander went 3-2/3 innings and allowed six runs, one earned on five hits and two walks. He also struck out three batters. Senior Jared Avidon and sophomore Will Resnik combined to throw the final 5-1/3 innings, allowing just two runs, one earned, on seven hits and a walk.
Farmer pitched a career-best 8-1/3 innings to earn his second win of the season for the Mountaineers. Farmer allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits and three walks while striking out seven.
High Point returns to Williard Stadium on Wednesday, April 17, to face off against NC Central at 6 p.m. The game is the first in a home-and-home series this season. Wednesday will mark the first-ever meeting between the two teams in HPU’s Div. I era.