HPU Baseball Falls Late At Radford, 7-6

• High Point dropped the first game of a Friday doubleheader at Radford by a score of 7-6.
• The Panthers gave up the lead late, surrendering four runs in the eighth inning.
• Senior Josh Spano went 3-5 with two runs scored and sophomore Josh Greene finished 2-4 with two RBI and a run scored.

RADFORD, Va. – The High Point University baseball team surrendered four runs in the eighth inning to Radford on the way to a 7-6 loss to the Highlanders in the first game of a Friday doubleheader in Radford, Va.

“This was the exact same game we played in the first game against Coastal Carolina,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “We had plenty of opportunities to extend out lead and we didn’t do it which left them a swing of the bat away from winning. Our bullpen didn’t get it done today. You aren’t going to win many games against the top teams in the league when you give up a four spot in the eighth.”

High Point led, 6-3, heading into the bottom of the eighth but RU pushed four runs across in the frame to go ahead for the first time in the contest, 7-6. The Highlanders loaded the bases against senior Will Resnik with a bunt single, an infield single and a walk. Josh Gardiner picked up his third and fourth RBI of the game with an RBI single. A wild pitch allowed the tying run to score and a sacrifice fly by Hunter Higgerson scored Gardiner for the go-ahead run.

Redshirt-junior Joe Goodman suffered his second loss of the season and dropped to 0-2 on the season after giving up one earned run on two hits and a walk in one inning of work.

Tyler Swarmer took the win for Radford and improved to 1-1. Swarmer pitched 1-2/3 scoreless innings, surrendering just one hit and one walk with one strikeout. Ryan Meisinger worked a perfect ninth to earn his 11th save of the season for RU.

High Point drops to 21-19 overall and 9-7 in the Big South with the loss. Radford improves to 27-13 overall and maintains its lead in the conference with a 13-3 record.

The Panthers jumped on Radford starter Michael Boyle early, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. Sophomore Chris Clare walked and senior Josh Spano singled to start the game and senior Spencer Angelis drove in the first run with an RBI groundout. A two-out walk by sophomore Josh Greene brought up senior Brady Williamson who drove in both Spano and Greene with an RBI double.

High Point added a run in the next inning as senior Tony Fortier-Bensen led off with a triple and scored on an RBI groundout by Clare.

Radford scored two runs in the bottom of the second and another in the fourth to pull to within one of HPU at 4-3. Gardiner drove in the first run for RU with an RBI single and the Highlanders added a second run on an error by McGillicuddy. Gardiner drove in his second run of the game in the fourth with an RBI double.

The Panthers scored two runs in the seventh to extend their lead back to three at 6-3. Spano singled and Angelis doubled for HPU and both scored on an RBI single by Greene.

High Point starter John McGillicuddy pitched 6 innings for the Panthers and gave up three runs, two earned on seven hits and three walks while striking out three.

Spano finished 3-5 at the plate with two runs scored while Josh Greene went 2-4 with a walk, two RBI and a run scored. Angelis and Fortier-Bensen also finished with multiple hits for HPU.

The second game of Friday’s doubleheader between High Point and Radford begins at 6:30 p.m. at the RU Baseball Stadium in Radford, Va.