LEXINGTON, Va. – Redshirt-junior Jaime Schultz threw seven shutout innings as the High Point University baseball team picked up a 6-2 win over VMI on Friday night in Lexington, Va. The Panthers clinched the weekend series against the Keydets with the win.
“Jaime Schultz had a really strong performance on the mound for us tonight,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “This was his best performance of the season as he was in control from pitch one. Offensively, it was great to see us come out and get 15 hits. Ryan Retz continues to roll, Blake Hutton had a big game and the bottom of the order was just fantastic. We need to continue to build tomorrow, get the sweep and carry that momentum into the conference tournament.”
Schultz allowed just three hits and three walks over seven shutout innings of work to improve to 1-6 on the season. The right hander struck out eight batters in the game, including David Geary for the final out of the seventh. Just two base runners reached third against the redshirt-junior throughout his seven innings.
High Point scored the first run of the game in the top of the third inning with a sacrifice fly by Senior Ryan Retz. Sophomore Dane McDermott and senior Willie Medina hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning and moved up to second and third on a sacrifice bunt. Retz hit a deep fly ball to the warning track in right to score McDermott from third.
Retz picked up his second RBI of the game in the top of the fifth with an RBI single. Medina reached on an error to lead off the inning, stole second, then took third on a lineout to right. Retz then hit a bloop single to left to score the shortstop.
High Point scored two more runs in the top of the sixth to go ahead 4-0. Sophomore Cody Manzella singled with one out and scored on a single up the middle by junior Kyle Brandenburg. The third baseman then came around to score on a double by McDermott to the right-center gap.
The Panthers continued to extend its lead with two more runs in the top of the seventh, pushing the score to 6-0. Senior Devin Bujnovsky and Retz each singled to lead off the inning. Angelis hit a bunt single to third and the throw from the VMI third baseman sailed wide, allowing Bujnovsky to score. A double play by the Keydets then allowed Retz to score to put HPU ahead by six.
Five different High Point batters finished with multiple hits in the game, led by Retz who went 3-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Manzella, McDermott, graduate student Adam Barry and junior Blake Hutton each had two hits in the game. McDermott and Brandenburg each had an RBI and a run scored on the night.
VMI scored twice with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to make the final score 6-2. Brandon Angus scored on a balk by HPU pitcher Mike Krumm and Eric Mayers scored on an RBI single by Berkley Hawkins.
Reed Garrett suffered the loss for VMI after allowing four runs, three earned, in 5-2/3 innings. Garrett gave up 10 hits and a walk while striking out just one.
With the win, High Point improves to 28-27 overall on the season and moves into a tie for third in the Big South with a 14-9 conference record. VMI drops to 20-34 overall and 6-16 in the Big South with the loss.
High Point will go for a sweep of the Keydets when the two teams meet in the third and final game of the series on Saturday, May 18, at 2 p.m., in Lexington, Va. The game will be the regular-season finale for both teams. A win by High Point would secure the three seed in the upcoming Big South Tournament which would be a program best for the Panthers.