HPU Baseball Opens Series Against Presbyterian College With 5-1 Win

• High Point earned a 5-1 win against Presbyterian College in the series opener on Friday night.
• Senior John McGillicuddy pitched 8-1/3 innings and allowed just one unearned run while striking out seven.
• The Panthers stole a season-high eight bases with freshman Carson Jackson stealing a career-high three.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Senior John McGillicuddy allowed just one unearned run in 8-1/3 innings of work as the High Point University baseball team took the first game of its weekend series against Presbyterian College by a score of 5-1 on Friday night at Williard Stadium.

“I thought we played some really good offense in the first three innings,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “We stole bases, had good dirtball reads and got some big hits. I was proud of the way we maximized our opportunities. John McGillicuddy did the rest. He was a warrior tonight.”

McGillicuddy improved to 5-3 on the season after giving up one unearned run on nine hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in a season-long 8-1/3 innings pitched. The right-hander has not lost a game since Feb. 27 and has earned a win in five of his past seven starts. His ERA has dropped from 6.28 to 2.47 over that time.

Redshirt-junior Joe Goodman pitched the final two-thirds of an inning and recorded one strikeout to earn his third save of the season for HPU.

David Sauer took the loss for the Blue Hose, dropping to 4-4 on the season. Sauer lasted just 2-2/3 innings and allowed five earned runs on six hits and three walks while recording just one strikeout.

High Point moves to .500 on the season at 18-18 with the win. The Panthers improve to 7-6 in Big South play and are now 4-1 in conference-series openers. Presbyterian College drops to 22-16 overall and 4-9 in the Big South with the loss.

The Panthers got on the board with two runs in the second inning to take an early 2-0 lead. Freshman Carson Jackson singled and senior Dane McDermott walked to give HPU two on with no outs. Both runners came around to score on back-to-back RBI groundouts by sophomore Chris Clare and senior Tony Fortier-Bensen.

High Point extended its lead to 5-0 with three runs in the following inning. HPU loaded the bases on singles by seniors Josh Spano and Spencer Angelis and a walk by sophomore Josh Greene. A fielder’s choice on a grounder by Jackson scored Spano for the first run before an RBI single by McDermott plated both Jackson and Greene.

Presbyterian College’s only run came in the fifth when the Blue Hose loaded the bases with no outs on two errors and a bunt single. A sacrifice fly by Billy Motroni scored the runner at third, but McGillicuddy worked out of the jam with a strikeout.

The Panthers created havoc on the base paths all night, stealing a season-high eight bases in the contest. Jackson stole three and McDermott swiped two while Greene, Clare and freshman Hunter Lee all finished with one steal. The eight steals by High Point falls just two shy of the HPU Div. I single-game record of 10 which the Panthers did against Charleston Southern in 2012.

Spano was the only HPU hitter to record multiple hits on the night, going 2-4 with a run scored. Jackson finished 1-4 with an RBI and two runs scored and McDermott finished 1-3 with a walk, two RBI and a run scored.

High Point and Presbyterian College will wrap up their weekend series with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 18, at Williard Stadium. The first game will begin at 1 p.m., with the second following approximately 30 minutes following its conclusion.