HPU Baseball: Pair Of Two-Run Homers Not Enough At Radford

RADFORD, Va. – High Point University baseball clinches a No. 6 seed in the 2019 Big South Conference Tournament in Fayetteville after falling to Radford 10-4 this Saturday. The Panthers’ four runs came off the bats of Brady Pearre and Joe Johnson, who each had a two-run homer in the series finale.

After neither team was able to go ahead in the opening inning, the home team was the first to crack the scoreless tie, plating runs in the second on a double down the left field line and in the third on a bases loaded walk.

Freshman Brady Pearre continued to have a good weekend in the opening frames with the Radford pitching staff choosing to pitch around the outfielder, resulting in a pair of four-pitch walks in his first two plate appearances. Following a one-out double from senior Conner Dunbar in the fifth, the first-year got into a 1-1 count before launching his second home run of the last two days over the left field wall. Pearre finished the weekend with five RBI in total after driving in a career-high three runs on Friday, going 5-for-11 (.455) over the weekend against the Highlanders.

With things knotted at two apiece, the home side surged for six runs in the bottom half of the sixth, collecting their runs off of five hits, a pair of walks and a Panther defensive error.

HPU cut their opponent’s lead to four during the ensuing frame, with Johnson collecting his fourth dinger of 2019 on a two-out, two-run shot to right field. The junior’s bomb scored teammate Travis Holt from first, who reached with the second of his three knocks on the afternoon, finishing the series 7-for-13 (.538) at the plate.

The Panthers continued to get on base through the final six outs of the contest, but stranded four runners in that span, for a total of 10 on the day. The hosting Highlanders were able to add another two runs in the bottom half of the eighth on a walk and two knocks, as the final read 10-4 in favor of the home team.

High Point’s loss in the regular season finale clinches a No. 6 seed for the team in the upcoming Big South Conference Tournament to be held in Fayetteville. They will face off with the UNC Asheville Bulldogs in round one this Tuesday, having beaten the side in 20 of their last 22 matchups.

>> With Pearre, Holt and Johnson making up the top-third of the lineup on Saturday, the trio combined for six of their team’s 11 hits in the series finale, along with all four RBI
>> Freshmen Sam Zayicek and AJ Holcomb went 2-for-5 and 1-for-4 respectively, with the former doubling to center in the eighth
>> Holcomb finishes this weekend’s series hitting 4-for-12 (.333) while scoring a pair and driving in two on his home run in game one

The Panthers will participate in a Big South Championship Tournament single-game elimination this Tuesday, playing No. 9 seed UNC Asheville in Fayetteville at 4 PM on ESPN3. The Panthers swept the Bulldogs in their previous meeting in April, outscoring UNCA by a total of 30-9 over the course of that weekend.