HIGH POINT, N.C. – Junior John McGillicuddy threw a complete-game one-hitter as the High Point University baseball team opened conference play with a 3-0 win over Coastal Carolina on Friday night in Williard Stadium.
“This was really high level baseball here tonight,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “There were tremendous defensive plays on both sides but the story of the night was the special performance by John McGillicuddy. A one-hitter on an infield single is about as good as I have ever seen. I was proud of the way our offense grinded it out and found a way to score three runs against a very good pitcher. This should give us a lot of momentum heading into tomorrow.”
McGillicuddy needed just 90 pitches through nine innings to pick up his second win of the season and the first complete game of his HPU career. The only hit allowed by the junior was an infield single by Connor Owings in the first inning. McGillicuddy was dominant throughout the game, never allowing a single CCU base runner to reach second base.
The complete game by McGillicuddy is the first for the Panthers since Ryan Retz threw a complete game against Ohio on March 6, 2013. The right hander is now 2-1 on the season with a 1.46 ERA.
Junior Ben Smith took the loss for Coastal Carolina after allowing three earned runs on eight hits and two walks over six innings. The Big South’s leader in strikeouts per nine innings punched out five HPU batters in the game.
High Point improves to 11-6 overall and 1-0 in the Big South with the win. Coastal Carolina drops to 8-9 overall and 0-1 in the Big South. It is just the fourth time in 15 seasons that the Panthers have won their Big South conference opener. Coastal falls to 19-10 in Big South Conference openers with the loss, just its second in the past 16 seasons.
High Point got on the board in the bottom of the second inning with two runs to put the Panthers up 1-0. Junior Spencer Angelis led off the inning with a walk and was bunted to second by junior Cody Manzella before scoring on a double down the left field line by freshman Chris Clare. The freshman moved to third on a single by junior Dane McDermott then scored the second run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by junior Tony Fortier-Bensen.
One inning later, High Point added to its lead with a run on an RBI single by sophomore Dominic Fazio to go ahead 3-0. Freshman Josh Greene led off the inning with an infield single, his second of the game, then stole second. After a groundout moved the freshman to third, Fazio hit a single over the pulled in infield to drive in Greene.
The three runs were all McGilicuddy would need as the junior allowed just two base runners in the final six innings of action. The junior induced three-straight groundouts in the ninth to seal the complete game victory.
Greene and Fazio each recorded two hits in the game for the Panthers with Greene also scoring a run. Clare finished 1-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored.
High Point and Coastal Carolina will wrap up their weekend series with a Saturday double header at Williard Stadium beginning at 3 p.m. Senior Mike Krumm will start the first game for HPU against Coastal’s Tyler Herb.