HPU Baseball Loses Pitchers’ Dual At USF, 2-1

• High Point fell to South Florida by a score of 2-1 in a Friday night pitchers’ dual at USF Baseball Stadium.
• Sophomore Chris Clare went 2-3 at the plate and scored HPU’s only run.
• Senior Conor Lourey stuck out six in 2-1/3 scoreless innings of relief.

TAMPA, Fla. – The High Point University baseball team dropped a pitchers’ dual to South Florida by a score of 2-1 on Friday night in Tampa, Fla. Sophomore Chris Clare recorded two hits and scored HPU’s only run on the night.

“This is the kind of game you expect on a Friday night,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “We had our opportunities to score against their starter and couldn’t hit the ball in play when we had runners on third with less than two outs. If you don’t take advantage of opportunities you aren’t going to win the close games and we don’t have anyone stepping up.”

Senior right-hander John McGillicuddy took the loss for High Point after giving up two earned runs in 5-2/3 innings of work. McGillicuddy gave up five hits and five walks while striking out two. The loss drops McGillicuddy to 0-3 on the season, one more loss than he suffered in all of 2014.

Jimmy Herget pitched six scoreless innings to earn the win for USF. Herget allowed just four hits and two walks while striking out four. Tommy Peterson struck out the side in a scoreless ninth to earn the save for the Bulls.

The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning when South Florida’s Kevin Merrell hit a bases-loaded double to put the Bulls ahead, 2-0. USF loaded the bases with a hit batter, a single and walk before Merrell hit the two-run double.

HPU got a run back in the next half inning when Clare came in to score on a wild pitch. The sophomore singled and advanced to second on an error then moved to third on a groundout before scoring on the wild pitch.

Clare was the only High Point batter to record multiple hits, going 2-3 at the plate with one run scored.

The Panthers shutdown the South Florida offense late in the game thanks to a strong relief appearance by senior Conor Lourey. The right-hander struck out six of the seven batters he faced in 2-1/3 scoreless innings of work.

High Point drops to 1-5 with the loss, its third by two or less runs this season. South Florida moves to 5-3-1 with the win.

HPU and South Florida meet again in the second game of their three-game weekend series on Saturday, Feb. 28. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.