HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team fell at home to Ohio University by a score of 10-7 in midweek action on Tuesday afternoon at Williard Stadium. The Panthers pulled within one twice in the later innings, but were unable to take the lead.
“The game of baseball can really humble you and that is what we are going through,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “We just didn’t pitch well enough to win the game today. We scrapped offensively and got what we needed as far as runs. We need some guys to step up on the mound and it isn’t happening right now. We are a talented team but there is a difference between talent and playing good baseball which we are just not doing.”
HPU jumped on Ohio starting pitcher Jake Miller in the first inning, scoring two runs to take an early 2-0 lead. Senior Willie Medina walked, moved to third on a single by senior Devin Bujnovsky and scored on a one-out RBI single by freshman Brett Gemmell. After a pitching change, senior Ryan Retz hit a single to plate Bujnovsky.
The Bobcats responded to the early HPU runs with a run in the second and two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to take a 5-2 lead. Ohio’s Tyler Wells scored three of the five runs, scoring on a wild pitch in the second and on RBI singles in the fourth and fifth. Jake Madsen and Taylor Emody also scored for the Bobcats.
The Panthers scored two runs in the bottom of the second to close to within one at 5-4 when a bases-loaded ground ball by freshman Sly Edwards led to an error by the Ohio shortstop. Edwards came to bat with one out and the bases loaded and hit a hard grounder to second. The Bobcats got the force at second, but the throw to first to complete the double play sailed wide of the bag. Retz and sophomore Spencer Angelis both came around to score on the play.
Ohio pushed its lead to four with three runs in the top of the seventh, making the score 8-4. High Point came right back with three runs of its own in the bottom of the frame to close back within one at 8-7. Back-to-back walks by Bujnovsky and Spano followed by a pinch-hit single from redshirt-senior Sean Wilson loaded the bases with one out. After a sacrifice fly by Retz scored one run, Angelis came up and hit a single through the left side of the infield to drive in two.
Unfortunately that would be as close as the Panthers would get as Ohio added two runs in the top of the ninth inning on a home run by Dan Schmidt and a sacrifice fly by Wells to seal the game.
The loss drops High Point’s record on the season to 5-7. Ohio improves to 2-7 on its season-opening 10-game southern road trip.
Retz had a strong game at the plate for HPU, going 2-4 with two RBI and a runs scored. Angelis also had two RBI and a run scored while going 1-3 from the plate. Spano pushed his hitting streak to a team-best 11-straight games with a single in the third-inning.
Redshirt-junior Malcolm Clapsaddle made his first start of the season and went 3-1/3 innings. The right hander took the loss after giving up three runs, one earned, on five hits and a walk. He is now 1-2 on the season.
Sean Kennedy got the win for Ohio in relief of Miller who last just 1/3 of an inning. Kennedy pitched 4-1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and striking out five.
High Point and Ohio will return to Williard Stadium on Wednesday, March 6, for the second and final game of their midweek series. First pitch in the game is scheduled for 4 p.m.