HPU Baseball Loses To Radford On Walk-Off Home Run, 6-5

• High Point fell to Radford in the nightcap of Friday’s doubleheader, 6-5, on a walk-off home run by the Highlanders’ Shane Johnsonbaugh.
• The Panthers tied the game in the top of the ninth inning on an RBI double by senior Dane McDermott.
• Senior Michael Hennessey pitched well for High Point, going six innings in relief and allowing one run on three hits with five strikeouts.

RADFORD, Va. – The High Point University baseball team dropped the second game of Friday’s doubleheader at Radford by a score of 6-5 when the Highlander’s Shane Johnsonbaugh hit a two-out walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth in Radford, Va.

“When you have the bat beat out of your hands with the bases loaded you lose games against good teams,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “When you leave 12 guys on base you lose games against good teams. Someone needs to step up in a big situation and hit a ball through the gap. Instead of us hoping we have to believe.”

High Point trailed, 5-4, entering the ninth inning but battled back to tie the game with a run in the top of the frame on an RBI double by senior Dane McDermott. Sophomore Josh Greene hit a one-out double to the wall in left and came around to score on the two-out double down the line in left. Sophomore Andre Scrubb got two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth before Johnsonbaugh turned on a 2-1 pitch and sent a high shot over the wall in right to give RU the win.

Scrubb fell to 3-1 after giving up the walk-off home run in the ninth.

Ryan Meisinger blew the save in the top of the ninth for Radford but earned the win to improve to 3-0 on the season. The Meisinger gave up a run on two hits with one strikeout in his one inning of work.

The Panthers drop to 21-20 overall and 9-8 in the Big South after being swept in Friday’s doubleheader. Radford improves to 28-13 overall and 14-3 in the Big South.

High Point got on the board in the top of the first inning as freshman Hunter Lee led off the game with a double down the line in left and scored on an RBI single by senior Josh Spano.

The Highlanders answered back with a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 1-1. Josh Gardiner led off the inning with a double and came home on an RBI single by Patrick Marshall.

Radford took advantage of High Point mistakes to score three runs in the third and take a 4-1 lead. RU loaded the bases with a hit batter, a walk and a throwing error by senior Spencer Angelis. A bases-loaded walk drove in the first run of the frame and forced Silber from the game. The Highlanders then scored two more runs off reliever Michael Hennessey with a sacrifice fly by Hunter Higgerson and a second bases-loaded walk.

High Point battled back to tie the game at 4-4, scoring twice in the sixth and one in the seventh. Angelis scored the first run for HPU in the sixth when he came home on a dropped popup off the bat of McDermott. Freshman Carson Jackson then scored on an RBI groundout by sophomore Chris Clare. In the following inning, the Panthers loaded the bases and scored the tying run when Spano came home on a wild pitch.

Radford took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning on a leadoff home run by Higgerson. The RU third baseman delivered a 1-2 pitch from Hennessey over the wall in left to put the Highlanders up by a run.

High Point outhit Radford, 11-7, but stranded 12 base runners in the game. Lee Spano, Angelis and Greene all finished with two hits in the loss for HPU with Spano adding an RBI and a run scored.

Hennessey pitched well out of the pen for the Panthers, lasting six innings and giving up just one earned run on three hits and two walks while striking out five.

The Panthers and Highlanders wrap up their three-game series on Saturday, April 25, at 12 p.m., in Radford, Va. High Point will try and avoid its second series sweep of the season.