HPU Baseball Drops First Round Contest to No. 6 Gardner-Webb, 8-2

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The High Point University baseball team fell to No. 6 Gardner-Webb by a score of 8-2 in the first round of the Big South Championship on Tuesday afternoon in Lynchburg, Va. Sophomore Spencer Angelis went 1-3 with two runs scored for HPU in the loss.

“Gardner-Webb really took the fight to us today,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “I didn’t think Clapsaddle was that bad today but they made some good swings on some decent pitches and got some momentum going. We were absolutely hapless at the plate and just couldn’t get engaged in the game. When you don’t engage in the game and are just trying to hold back the other team’s momentum it makes it difficult to win.”

Gardner-Webb grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning after loading the bases with no outs on back-to-back singles and a walk against HPU starter Malcolm Clapsaddle. A single by Scott Johnson drove in the first GWU run and a suicide squeeze by Ryan Hodge scored the second.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs’ lead grew to 3-0 with a solo home run by Brad Collins in the sixth and to 5-0 in the seventh on a two-run single by Scott Coleman.

High Point pulled a run back in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI groundout by sophomore Cody Manzella. The Panthers put the first two runners on in the inning with a walk by Angelis and a single by sophomore Josh Spano. A bunt by graduate student Adam Barry advanced the runners to second and third for Manzella who scored Angelis with a hard grounder to short.

Gardner-Webb added three runs, two unearned, in the top of the ninth to go ahead 8-1. High Point scored once in the ninth on an infield single by Manzella to drive in Angelis, making the final score 8-2.

Clapsaddle took the loss for High Point after allowing five runs in 6-2/3 innings. The redshirt-junior gave up eight hits and three walks while striking out five.

Matt Fraudin picked up the win for the Runnin’ Bulldogs. Fraudin pitched seven innings and allowed one run on two hits and four walks while striking out two.

Spano was the only HPU player to finish with multiple hits, going 2-4 for the Panthers. Manzella went 1-3 with two RBI on the day.

The loss drops High Point to 29-28 overall on the season while Gardner-Webb improves to 29-25-1.

High Point will now face No. 7 Longwood in an elimination game on Wednesday, May 22 at 9:30 a.m., in Lynchburg, Va. The Lancers fell to No. 2 Coastal Carolina, 6-1, in the opening game of the tournament. HPU dropped two of three games to the Lancers during the regular season.