HPU Baseball Panthers Drop Series at Radford

Site: Radford, Va. (Sherman Carter Memorial Stadium)
Score: Radford 4, High Point 3
W: Alex Perkins (2-1), L: Grey Lyttle (4-4)
Records: RAD 18-15 (12-11 Big South), HPU 12-19 (10-14 Big South)
Next HPU Event: Tuesday, April 27 — vs. UNCG (Williard Stadium, High Point, N.C.), 6 p.m.

RADFORD, Va. – The High Point University baseball team dropped the decisive game of a three-game set at Radford University with a 4-3 loss Sunday afternoon (April 25).

High Point only mustered six hits in the game, just the second game in the last eight that the Purple and White have failed to put double digits in the hit column. Blake Sutton was the only Panther with multiple hits in the contest, picking up a career-high three hits in four at bats and scoring a run.

Grey Lyttle got the start after throwing 115 pitches in a no decision on Tuesday and went five innings on Sunday, allowing three runs on nine hits with a pair of walks and four strikeouts. David Keith relieved him to start the sixth and threw the final three innings, giving up one unearned run on one hit with two walks.

It was a steady stream of one-run innings for the Highlanders over the first few innings as the hosts held a 3-2 lead after three. Radford got on the board early in the first and doubled its lead in the second before HPU responded and tied it up in the third. Cameron Irvine singled through the left side of the infield for High Point’s first hit of the game to lead off the inning and advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. Travis Holt was up next and doubled down the line in left to score Irvine. Holt moved to third on a groundout to first from Joe Johnson and came home to tie the game when Peyton Carr had an RBI-groundout to third.

Radford was able to take the lead back in the bottom of the inning with some small ball as a pair of bunt singles and a hit to left loaded the bases, setting up a sacrifice fly. The Highlanders looked like they might add to the lead when they hit a screamer towards third but Justin Ebert was able to make a great diving stop to keep the ball in the infield and limit the hit to a single, loading the bases once again. The threat was neutralized in the next at bat as Lyttle was able to induce a fly ball into foul territory in right that Brady Pearre came down with to leave them loaded.

It remained a one-run game until the sixth inning but each team had scoring opportunities in the fourth and fifth innings. High Point had two runners on with two outs in the fourth before a grounder to short ended the inning and had a similar situation in the fifth before Carr was thrown out to end the inning trying to take third on a wild pitch. Radford went down in order in the fourth but had runners on the corners in the fifth before Lyttle induced a fly ball in foul territory to right for his final out of the game after picking up two strikeouts in the inning.

The Highlanders added to their lead in the sixth, starting with a one-out walk and then a steal. The next batter hit one up the middle that turned into a fielding error that allowed the runner from second to score. That batter made it all the way to third in the inning, but a groundout to second left him there to get into the seventh.

HPU immediately got the run back in the next half-inning when leadoff batter Sutton made his way home. He started the inning off with a single up the middle and moved into scoring position when Irvine drew a walk after going down in the count 0-2. Holt pushed both runners ahead a base with a sac bunt and Johnson brought Sutton home with a shallow sac fly to center that was caught by the second baseman. Carr drew his second walk in a row and then Cole Singsank watched four pitches miss the zone for another to load the bases but a strikeout left them loaded and kept the tying run off the board.

Radford looked like it might add to the lead in the eighth after some more small ball put a pair of runners in scoring position with one out. The next batter sent one into center and Johnson got under it and prepared for the throw home. He delivered a rope that pulled Sutton slightly up the third-base line but Sutton caught the ball and put an excellent tag on the runner as he was going by to keep it a one-run game heading into the ninth. Unfortunately, the Panthers couldn’t get anything going in the final inning and went down in order to give the Highlanders the series.

High Point returns home for its first and only scheduled home game in the month of April on Tuesday (April 27) when Triad-foe UNCG visits Williard Stadium at 6 p.m. The Spartans took two of three from the Purple and White earlier in the season, with all three games played at Truist Point in downtown High Point.