HPU Baseball Drops 3-1 Decision To Ball State

• High Point dropped to 1-2 on the season with a 3-1 loss to Ball State in Aiken, S.C.
• Senior Cody Manzella tripled and scored the only run of the game for the Panthers.
• Senior John McGillicuddy took the loss despite allowing just three runs on five hits in six innings of work.

AIKEN, S.C. – The High Point University baseball team fell to Ball State by a score of 3-1 on Friday afternoon in Aiken, S.C. Senior Cody Manzella tripled and scored the only run of the day for HPU.

“We are having trouble getting out of the box offensively right now,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “We are very slow to get engaged in the game from an offensive standpoint. John McGillicuddy pitched his butt off today and gave us a chance to win the game at the end. We played our type of game today, we just couldn’t stack hits together. Their guy on the mound today was tremendous.”

Manzella finished 1-2 at the plate with a walk and a run scored. Sophomore Josh Greene also reached twice for the Panthers, going 1-3 with a walk.

Alex Call led the Cardinals at the plate, going 2-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Call played a role in all three runs with an RBI triple and a run scored in the first and a solo home run in the third.

Senior John McGillicuddy pitched well but took the loss on the mound, dropping to 0-2 on the season. McGillicuddy pitched six innings and allowed three earned runs on five hits while striking out three.

Scott Baker earned the win for Ball State after allowing just one earned run in 7-2/3 innings of work. Baker allowed six hits and two walks while striking out five to improve to 1-1 in 2015. B.J. Butler pitched the final 1-1/3 innings and struck out three to earn the save for BSU.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first innings after stringing together three one-out hits. Elbert Devaire singled and came around to score on the Call triple. Call then scored on an RBI single by Jarett Rindfleisch to put Ball State up by two.

Call added to the lead in the third with a home run, his first of the season. The right fielder turned on a 3-2 pitch and hit it over the wall in left field to put the Cardinals ahead by a 3-0 margin.

The score remained 3-0 until the top of the eighth when Manzella led off the frame with a triple off the base of the wall in centerfield. The senior scored on the next pitch when Baker bounced a wild pitch past the Ball State catcher, allowing Manzella to sprint home.

The Panthers got the tying run to the plate in both the eighth and ninth innings, but were unable to push across another run. Senior Spencer Angelis grounded out to third with a man on first for the final out in the eighth and both senior Tony Fortier-Bensen and sophomore Brenden Rivera struck out in the ninth after Greene reached with a one-out single.

High Point falls to 1-2 on the season with the loss. The win was the first of the season for Ball State who improves to 1-2 in 2015.

The Panthers and Cardinals will return to action at Roberto Hernandez Stadium in Aiken, S.C., on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 10 a.m. The game is part of a baseball tripleheader and will be followed by a game between HPU and Elon and then a game between Elon and Ball State.