Big South Baseball Teams Post Five Wins Wednesday

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HIGH POINT 10, EAST CAROLINA 2
The High Point University baseball team cruised to a 10-2 win over East Carolina in front of a Williard Stadium-record crowd of 890 fans on Wednesday night. Junior Jared Avidon pitched seven solid innings to earn his first win of the season and Willie Medina, Ryan Retz, Ryne Rush and Mike Miedzianowski all had multiple hits in the game.

HPU scored in every inning but the fifth, putting up 10 runs on 12 hits in the game. High Point put the leadoff runner on base in six innings and all six of them came around to score. Four Panthers had multi-hit games led by Miedzianowski who went 3-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.

Avidon went seven innings in his longest start of the season. He gave up two runs, one earned, on five hits while walking one and striking out five. He retired eight in a row after a one-out single in the second inning and didn't allow another hit until the seventh. Avidon improves to 1-1 this season.

High Point scored three runs in the second inning to take a 4-2 lead and never looked back. Rush and Josh Spano led off the second with walks. Rush scored on ECU's second error of the inning and Miedzianowski doubled to score Spano. Miedzianowski scored on a sacrifice fly by Sean Wilson.

Miedzianowski's double was the end of the day for East Carolina starter Austin Chrismon. The sophomore allowed four runs on one hit with three walks in one inning of work. Chrismon dropped to 0-2 with the loss. The Pirates used nine pitchers in the game. Jake Walsh relieved Chrismon and went the longest of any ECU pitcher, throwing three innings. He allowed three runs on five hits.

Rush picked up two RBI with a single up the middle in the third inning and Medina drove in a run in the fourth with his first triple of the season. Dane McDermott led off the sixth with a single, stole two bases and scored on a pass ball. In the seventh inning Retz led off with a single and was driven home by Miedzianowski.
Devin Bujnovsky extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the fifth inning.

Rush finished the day 2-2 with two walks and two RBI and Retz went 2-5 with two runs scored and one RBI. Medina was 2-4, scoring one run and driving in one.

Jordan Foster and Will Resnik combined to keep the Pirates off the board in the eighth inning and Jaime Schultz closed the game. Schultz loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter in the ninth but struck out pinch hitter Chris Gosick to end the game.

High Point improves its record to 14-9 heading in to Big South play this weekend. The Panthers head to Charleston Southern for a weekend series with the Buccaneers. All three games begin at 2 p.m.

CAMPBELL 12, COPPIN STATE 0
David Olson posted a three-hit afternoon for the Camels as Campbell handled Coppin State 12-0 in Wednesday's final tune-up for Big South Conference play. The victory is the 15th consecutive win for the baseball program, the longest winning streak in team history.

Jimmy Brenneman ignited things early for the hosts, drawing a walk to begin the game, advancing to second on a sac bunt, stealing third base and then taking home on an error by the catcher. Brenneman's run to give Campbell an early 1-0 advantage was his first of three during the game, giving him a team-high 34 runs scored this season.

Kyle Holmstrom opened the second inning with a leadoff double, and he was driven home on an RBI double from Brenneman. After Brenneman came around to score on a two-base error, the Camels had gained a 3-0 lead after two complete innings.

Freshman left-hander Curtis Linthicum (1-0) cruised in the first start of his collegiate career, tossing four innings of one-hit baseball, striking out three batters while walking just one. Hector Cedano entered in the fifth inning and allowed one hit over his two innings of relief work.

Campbell pushed five runs across in the third inning, receiving RBI base hits from Holmstrom, Ben McQuown and Michael Felton. Felton finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored to improve his batting average to a league-best .484 through 23 games.

The Camels added four more runs in the fifth, as Felton, Bryce Grady contributed RBI singles. David Olson added an RBI double, completing his 3-for-4 day while recording one RBI and one run scored.

Matt Marksberry took the mound for the Camels in the seventh inning and struck out the side, posting his 11th strikeout in 7.1 innings of work this season.

Paul Hawk (0-4) took the loss for Coppin State, surrendering five hits and six runs (four earned) in 2.1 innings of work. The Eagles drop to 0-18 on the season. Campbell improves to 20-3 and will travel to Rock Hill, S.C. for the opening conference series this weekend against Winthrop, returning to the league it was a member of from 1983-1994. First pitch on Friday night is scheduled for 6 p.m.

GARDNER-WEBB 6, USC UPSTATE 5 (10)
Adam McFarland dropped in an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning Wednesday night, scoring Alex Newman from first to give Gardner-Webb a 6-5 win over USC Upstate.

Gardner-Webb (14-8) took a 5-4 lead in the sixth when Zeke Blanton roped a two-run single to right with two outs and the bases loaded, capping a three-run inning. That lead stood until the top of the ninth, when USC Upstate (16-4) took advantage of a throwing error to plate the tying run.

Austin Liput roped a one-out double to left center to start that rally for the Spartans, and scored when Brody Greer's grounder to third was thrown away at first base. Gardner-Webb closer Adam Izokovic pressed on despite the miscue, getting a diving stab of a line drive by Dusty Quattlebaum to end the inning with the game still tied.

The Runnin' Bulldogs got the potential winning run on board via an error in the bottom of the ninth, but could not break through. The Spartans drew a walk and collected a single to get two men on board in the top of the 10th, but Izokovic worked out of the jam to give Gardner-Webb its chance at the win in the bottom half.

Quattlebaum ripped a single to left center with one out, but was erased at second on a fielder's choice ground ball from the speedy Newman - who hustled down the line to avoid a double play. McFarland then put barrel to ball on an 0-1 pitch, and the ball dropped just in front of a deeply-positioned outfield, allowing Newman to race around from first to easily beat the throw home.

Quattlebaum gave Gardner-Webb an early 2-0 lead, hammering a pitch over the fence in right field in the bottom of the first inning for his fifth home run of the year. That two-out blast scored Benji Jackson, who walked to lead off the inning.

The 'Dogs did not score again unti the sixth, as USC Upstate plated single runs in the second and fourth - and two runs in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead. In the sixth, Gardner-Webb got a leadoff single from Scott Coleman and an RBI single from Brad Collins to trim the lead to 4-3.

A pair of walks loaded the bases for the Runnin' Bulldogs, and Blanton took a 2-2 pitch the other way into right for his first two RBI of the season to give GWU its 5-4 lead.

Izokovic (2-0) picked up the win, working 2.1 innings and allowing just one unearned run on two hits with a strikeout. Mitch Warner (1.0 IP) and Jeff Howell (0.2 IP) posted scoreless outings in relief of starter Andrew Barnett, who pitched 6.0 solid innings with four runs allowed on six hits. The sophomore righty fanned five and did not issue a walk.

Quattlebaum (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI), Coleman (2-for-3, run) and Collins (2-for-4, RBI) paced Gardner-Webb's 10-hit effort at the plate. Blanton and Quattlebaum each had two runs batted in.

Jordan Rusk (0-1) was tagged with the mound loss for Upstate, which saw  a four-game win streak come to an end. Starter David Palladino - a 13th-round pick in last June's Major League Draft - worked 5.2 innings, scattered seven hits and allowed five runs (five strikeouts). Chris Knauff, Chad Sobotka and Andrew Wyant each worked scoreless innings for the Spartans in relief.

USC Upstate collected nine hits, with Lipt (2-for-5, 2B, 2 runs) leading the way.

Gardner-Webb will turn its attention to Big South play this weekend, hitting the road to face the league's hottest team at Liberty (20-3). The Flames are riding a four-game win streak heading into Friday's opener. First pitch is set for 6 pm ET at Worthington Stadium.

LIBERTY 12, OLD DOMINION 6
The Liberty Flames led from start to finish, defeating the Old Dominion Monarchs, 12-6, Wednesday afternoon at Worthington Stadium.

Designated hitter Tyler Cox drove in a season-high five runs in the contest. It is the second time this season the junior has had five RBIs in a game. Cox drove in two runs in the first inning and three more in the second with his team-leading fourth home run of the year.  A season-high for the junior, the designated hitter also drove in five runs in Liberty's 12-3 win over Towson on Feb. 18 at Riley Park in Charleston, S.C.

Liberty improves to 21-3 on the year, as the Flames have won five straight contests.  Old Dominion falls to 8-12.

Liberty, which is 17-0 when scoring first, jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the game's opening inning.  Left fielder Ian Parmley and center fielder Andy Smith opened the frame with back-to-back singles and scored on a one-out single by Cox.  Two batters later, catcher Trey Wimmer lined a two-out double down the left field line to score the designated hitter.

The Flames added three more in the second inning, courtesy of Cox. Shortstop Zack Haley started the frame with a double and second baseman Bryan Aanderud walked, before the junior's blast over the left-center field wall gave Liberty a 6-0 lead.

In the fourth, Liberty tacked on two more runs.  Haley stole home for the first run of the inning, while Parmley plated the second run when Monarch center fielder Kenneth Belgrave mishandled a double by Aanderud.

Old Dominion pushed a run across in the top of the fifth.  Right fielder Ben Verlander singled with one out and later scored on a throwing error by Haley.

In the bottom of the inning, the Flames extended their advantage to 12-1, with more four runs. Parmley plated two runs with a double and Smith added a tally with a sacrifice fly.  Aanderud followed with a RBI single.

The Monarchs sliced into the Liberty lead in the top of the sixth, scoring five runs.  After scoring a run on a single by third baseman Ben Frazier, Old Dominion benefitted from a Flames error with two outs, leading to four additional runs. Shelton drew a walk with the bases loaded to force in a run, followed by a bases-loaded infield single by outfielder Josh Eldridge to make it, 12-4, Liberty. Left fielder Drew Coker and shortstop Josh Wright were then hit by pitches with the bases loaded, adding two more runs, trimming the Flames lead to 12-6.

Liberty relievers Patrick Bankemper and Jared Lyons restored order over the final 2 2/3 innings, as the Flames closed out the win.

Liberty right-hander Carson Herndon moves to 2-0 on the year.  On a staff day for both teams, Herndon did not allow a run over the first three innings, striking out two batters and walking two.

Old Dominion starter Conner Overton drops to 0-2. He was roughed up for six runs on eight hits over three innings. He struck out one batter and walked one.

Liberty had 15 hits in the contest. Aanderud led all batters in the game with three hits.  It is the sixth game this year in which the junior has collected three or more hits. Old Dominion recorded seven hits in the game, with no player having more than one.

Liberty will host the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs this weekend for a three-game Big South series.  The series gets underway, Friday at 7 p.m. with the first night game of the season at Worthington Stadium.

UNC ASHEVILLE 3, WESTERN CAROLINA 1 (12)
Patrick Koontz's pinch-hit three run homer in the bottom of the 12th inning gave UNC Asheville a dramatic 3-1 victory over Western Carolina Wednesday night at McCormick Field.

The Bulldogs (12-10) won for the fifth time in the last six games, despite being down to their last out and final strike in the 12th inning.

Asheville trailed 1-0 after Cody Jones hit a solo home run in the top of the 12th to break a scoreless tie off Bulldog reliever Justin Hunt (1-0). Western Carolina fell to 15-6 on the season.

In the bottom of the 12th, reliever Jon Nadale quickly got the first two outs of the inning before facing freshman Hunter Bryant. Nadale got ahead 0-2 before Bryant fouled off two pitches.  The rookie first baseman then singled to right-field to keep the inning alive.

Cody Buch then hit a slow grounder to first baseman Tyler White who couldn't come up with ball. Buch reached first on an error.

Bulldog coach Tom Smith sent up Koontz to hit for Andrew Kirkland. The senior worked the count to 2-1 before hitting a long home run over the right-field wall to give Asheville its second extra inning win of the year and third straight victory over WCU.

Both teams squandered opportunities throughout the game. Asheville left 15 men on base, while the Catamounts left seven on base and had two runners thrown out trying to steal and one trying to reach third on a hit.

Asheville used 10 pitchers in the game and nine of them kept the powerful Catamounts off the scoreboard until Jones' solo homer in the 12th.

Western Carolina used seven pitchers, including four in the seventh inning.

Eli Miller, Thomas Bess and Bryant had two hits for the Bulldogs. Julian Ridings and Bradley Strong had three hits for the Catamounts.

UNC Asheville begins an eight-game road swing on Friday when the Bulldogs travel to Big South for Radford to start a three-game series at 6:30 p.m.

VIRGINIA 12, VMI 3
The Virginia Cavaliers scored eight times in the third inning and went on to defeat the VMI Keydets, 12-3, in non-conference baseball action Wednesday at Davenport Field.

With the game tied, 2-2, the first 10 batters reached for Virginia (12-8-1) in the third. The Cavaliers were aided by a VMI (6-14) error, but all eight runs in the inning were earned. The home team would tack on two runs in the fifth, and a Cameron Walter ninth-inning home run, the first of his career, would cap the scoring.

Adam Lopez (0-1), making just his second start in a return from elbow surgery, took the loss as he pitched into the third inning. Lopez allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits, striking out three. Barrett O'Neill (2-0) was the winner for UVA, allowing two runs over five frames.

Virginia jumped ahead in the first, as Chris Taylor led off with a double to left. Lopez then induced a grounder to second, but the ball got away from the second baseman for an error, the first of six errors charged to VMI Wednesday. After a strikeout, Mike Papi singled home a run and two batters later, Nate Irving drew a bases-loaded walk to put the Cavaliers up, 2-0.

The Keydets put together a rally in the third, as Matt Winn led off with a single and Gary LeClair followed with a double, putting runners at second and third with nobody out. Two outs later, Jacob Morley singled up the middle with two strikes, scoring both runners and tying the game, 2-2.

Virginia broke the game open in the third. All told in the inning, there were eight runs, seven hits, one VMI error, a hit batter and two errors, and when the frame was completed, the home team led, 10-2.

UVA then added two in the fifth, thanks to an RBI single by Jared King and a sacrifice fly for Irving, putting the Cavaliers up 12-2. Both teams would empty their benches throughout the remainder of the contest, and the only run scored the rest of the way came in the ninth. Cameron Walter drove a fastball over the left-field wall for a solo home run, his first career long ball, accounting for the final margin of 12-3.

In a game that saw 22 players see the field for VMI, Morley went 2 for 5 and Winn added two hits for his second multi-hit game of the year.

VMI baseball will return to action Friday, playing host to the Presbyterian College Blue Hose at Gray-Minor Stadium. The Big South contest is set for a 5 p.m. start.

CHARLOTTE 7, WINTHROP 4
The Winthrop baseball team dropped a 7-4 decision to the Charlotte 49ers on Wednesday evening in non-conference action at Hayes Stadium.

The Eagles fall to 6-16 on the season, while the 49ers improve to 11-10 overall.

Ryan Mas (1-0) earned the win in relief tossing 4.0 scoreless innings and gave up one hit on no walks and one strikeout. Preston Johnson (0-4) took the loss surrendering two runs on three hits, one walk and three strikeouts in 2.0 innings of relief.

The Winthrop offense came out swinging in the first two innings plating four runs total, two each in the first and second, to take a 4-0 lead over Charlotte heading into the bottom of the second. The Eagles collected six hits in the two innings, including two doubles by Jason Driver and Chas Crane.

Driver led off the game with his double down the left field line and later scored on Patrick Gamblin's RBI single to center field. TJ Olesczuk also drew a bases loaded walk in the inning. Gamblin drove in his second run of the game on a single in the top of the second, and Matt Lobacz added an RBI single to left field.

Mas came on in relief in the second for the 49ers and gave up his lone hit in the third inning on a leadoff single by Patrick McLendon. He then sat down the next 10 batters as Charlotte would take a 7-4 lead highlighted by a four-run bottom of the second inning. The 49ers' second inning was led by a two RBI single to right field by Tony Montalbano, while Ross Steedley and Shane Basen recorded an RBI each in the inning.

Charlotte's two-run fourth inning saw JJ Elseser post an RBI single along with Justin Seager's RBI single to left field, and the lone run in the bottom of the sixth came on Basen's RBI single to center field.

Driver, Crane and Gamblin collected two hits each for the Eagles, while Gamblin drove in a team-high two RBI. Corbin Shive posted a team-best 3-for-4 performance at the plate for the 49ers, while Basen and Montalbano recorded two RBI each in the contest,

Winthrop will open Big South Conference play on Friday, Mar. 23 against the Campbell Camels at The Winthrop Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

KENNESAW STATE 8, PRESBYTERIAN 4
The Presbyterian College baseball team out-hit the visiting Kennesaw State Owls on Wednesday afternoon but came up short in runs, falling by an 8-4 margin.

PC moves to 9-14 on the year while Kennesaw State improves to 12-9.

Kenny Bryant went 3-for-4 and Gabe Grammer went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Robby Swab drove in a team-high two runs.

Colton Cross picked up the win for the Owls in relief.

Buck Mosteller, Tim Corbin and Grammer each pitched one inning of hitless ball for the Blue Hose.

Brad Zebedis kept KSU off of the scoreboard in the first by catching Aaron Dobbs trying to steal second, but the Owls struck in the top of the second on an Andy Chriscaden home run and led, 1-0.

Kennesaw State posted three runs in the third, using three walks and a two-run Chriscaden double to go ahead by four, 4-0.

The Blue Hose scored their first run in the bottom of the fifth. Swab drew a leadoff walk and Billy Motroni moved the Blue Hose over by singling through the left side. Grammer then came through at the plate, smacking a single back up the middle to bring Swab around and cut the Owls' lead to three, 4-1.

The sixth inning saw both teams click on offense. Kennesaw State began the frame by using four hits to post four runs, thanks in part to Peyton Hart's two-run RBI and a Will Howard sacrifice fly.

PC answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Zebedis led off the inning and drew a walk, setting the table for a Bryant single through the right side. With two on and nobody out, Nate Chong ripped an RBI double to left center to score Bryant. Swab then ripped a double to left center that plated two and cut the Owls' lead in half, 8-4.

The Blue Hose could not close the gap down the stretch but received strong pitching and quality defense. Andrew Williams registered four straight putouts at second base, including a slick turn-and-throw to nab an Owl at first.

PC returns to Big South Conference play on Friday with a three-game weekend series at VMI. The first pitch on Friday is slated for 5 p.m.

COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON AT CHARLESTON SOUTHERN, CANCELLED
Wednesday's baseball game against the College of Charleston has been cancelled due to inclement weather.  A makeup date has not been announced at this time.  The Buccaneers will host High Point in their Big South Conference opening series this weekend, starting at 2 p.m. on Friday at CSU Ballpark.