• High Point dropped its opening game of the 2017 Big South Baseball Championship by a score of 6-3 on Thursday night.
• Sophomore Matt Hodges struck out a career-high 10 in six innings of work out of the bullpen.
• The Panthers will face No. 8-seeded Campbell in an elimination game on Friday, May 27.
LEXINGTON, S.C. – Sophomore Matt Hodges struck out a career-high 10 batters in six innings of relief but the High Point University baseball team was unable to overcome an early deficit against Radford, falling in the opening round of the Big South Tournament by a score of 6-3 on Thursday night in Lexington, S.C.
Hodges entered the game in the fourth inning and allowed just two unearned runs on two hits while striking out 10. The left-hander set a new HPU Div. I record for strikeouts in a relief appearance and fell three shy of tying the overall HPU Div. I record for strikeouts in a game.
Sophomore Andrew Gottfried started for the Panthers and allowed four runs, two earned, on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts in three innings. He dropsto 4-3 on the season with the loss.
Big South Pitcher of the Year Zack Ridgely earned the win for the Highlanders. Ridgely allowed two runs, one earned on three hits and two walks while striking out five in 5-1/3 innings. Kyle Zurak pitched the final 3-2/3 innings and struck out five to earn his ninth save of the season.
The loss drops High Point to 29-22 overall on the season while the Highlanders improve to 24-30.
Radford scored two runs in the first to take an early lead but the Panthers got a run back in the following inning when junior Blake Schunk scored on an error to halve the Highlander advantage. Schunk reached with a leadoff single and scored when a chopper down the line off the bat of junior Hunter Lee got past the RU first baseman and into the outfield.
The Highlanders extended their lead with two runs in the third on RBI singles from Spencer Horowitz and Matt Roth to go up 4-1.
High Point pulled to within one in the sixth with two runs in the frame to make the score 4-3. Junior Carson Jackson and senior Josh Greene drew back-to-back walks and came around to score on a passed ball and an RBI groundout from Schunk.
Radford answered the Panthers with two runs in the next half inning to push the lead back to three at 6-3. Jonathan Gonzalez and Horwitz both had RBI singles in the frame for the Highlanders.
High Point will face No. 8-seed Campbell in an elimination game on Friday in Lexington, S.C. The Panthers and Camels will meet in the third game of the day, which is scheduled to begin at approximately 4:30 p.m.