HPU Baseball Rallies For A 6-2 Win In The Conclusion Of Suspended Game At VMI

LEXINGTON, Va. – The High Point University baseball team scored five runs in the eighth inning on Friday afternoon in Lexington, Va., to come from behind and win, 6-2, over VMI in the conclusion of Thursday night’s game which was suspended for weather. Senior Ryan Retz put the Panthers ahead for good with a two-run home run, his fifth of the season.

“This is a tough way to play a game, split over two days because of weather,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “The return of Ryan Retz to VMI is a good thing as he had the big blast and Adam Barry had a good game as well. It was huge for us to have that big eighth inning. We have been due for that for awhile. I was glad to see our guys take advantage of some offensive situations when they presented themselves.”

High Point scored five times in the top of the eighth inning to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 6-2 lead. Senior Willie Medina led off the inning with a walk and came in to score on Retz’s team-best fifth round tripper of the season.

Following the home run the Panthers loaded the bases when sophomore Spencer Angelis reached on an error, graduate student Adam Barry doubled and sophomore Cody Manzella walked. Freshman Brett Gemmell pinch hit and drove in the third run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to center field. Junior Kyle Brandenburg then cleared the bases with a two-out triple when his shallow fly hit off the glove of a diving VMI defender and rolled up the line, allowing both Barry and Manzella to score.

Retz finished 2-3 on the day with two RBI and two runs scored. Barry went 2-4 with an RBI and run scored. Brandenburg also finished with two hits and two RBI for the Panthers.

The game was tied 1-1 when play was delayed in the bottom of the sixth inning on Thursday night. VMI took a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the bottom of the first and the Panthers tied the game in the top of the fourth with an RBI single by Barry.

The game was delayed at 7:43 p.m., with VMI runners at first and second and one out in the sixth. The contest was delayed for 51 minutes before the suspension was announced. The suspended game was the first of the season for High Point.

VMI retook the lead when play resumed Friday afternoon with a run on an RBI single by Ray Lopez in the bottom of the sixth.

Redshirt-junior Sean Townsley earned the win for High Point with 3-2/3 innings of work out of the bullpen. Townsley allowed one run on one hit and five walks while striking out one. The left hander entered the game on Thursday night and remained in when play was restarted on Friday. Townsley improved to 5-2 on the season with the win.

Sophomore Joe Goodman got the final out of the game with two runners on in the bottom of the ninth for his fourth save of the season.

Andrew Montague took the loss after allowing the Retz home run. The right hander allowed three runs, one earned, on two hits and did not record an out.

High Point improves to 27-27 overall and 13-9 in the Big South with the win. VMI falls to 20-33 overall and 6-16 in the Big South.

High Point and VMI will play the second game of their three-game series later today at Gray-Minor Stadium in Lexington, Va., at 6 p.m. The game will be shown online at ESPN3.