Liberty, High Point, Coastal, VMI, CSU and Presbyterian Win Friday


A two-out bases loaded infield single by Justin Sizemore in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Liberty Flames a 5-4 win over the Campbell Fighting Camels, Friday night in a Big South Conference contest at Worthington Stadium.

With the score knotted 4-4, shortstop Zack Haley singled back through the middle of the infield with one out and advanced all the way to third base after an errant throw on a pickoff play.  Following a pitching change by the Camels, left fielder Ian Parmley walked and was allowed to move to second by Campbell.  Campbell reliever Matt Marksberry was able to induce Liberty center fielder Andy Smith to hit a grounder which the Camels used to throw out Haley at the plate for the second out.

Second baseman Bryan Aanderud was intentionally walked to load the bases for Sizemore, who bounced a high chopper behind the pitcher's mound for an infield hit, scoring Parmley for the 5-4 victory.

Liberty improves to 6-1 in Big South play and 26-7 overall.  Campbell falls to 5-2 in conference action and 25-6 overall.  The meeting between two of the nation's winningest teams was the first for the programs since 1994.

The Camels and the Flames both plated two runs in the game's opening inning.  Left fielder Jimmy Brenneman led off the contest with a single and moved to second on a bunt by center fielder Ben McQuown.  Second baseman Michael Felton followed with a RBI single for a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, first baseman Nick Ray singled to score Felton for a 2-0 advantage.

Liberty answered in the bottom in the inning.  Parmley singled and Smith walked to open the Flames' first.  Aanderud followed with an opposite field single to right field to plate Parmley with the first Liberty run of the frame.  Sizemore then lifted a sacrifice fly to produce Smith from third base, tying the game at 2-2.

Liberty pushed across a run in the third.  Parmley singled back through the middle of the infield with one out and moved to second on a ground out by Smith.  The next batter Aanderud singled to score Parmley for a 3-2 edge.

In the top of the fifth, Campbell tied the game for the second time.  With one out, Felton and designated hitter Jake Kirkland walked.  Two batters later, Ray singled sharply to right field to plate Felton, knotting the contest at 3-3.

Liberty's Alex Close gave the Flames the advantage again during the sixth.  The first baseman blasted the first pitch of the home half of the inning over the center field wall for his fourth home run of the year and a 4-3 lead.

Campbell evened the game again in the seventh.  McQuown reached on an infield single and Felton walked to lead off the frame.  Two batters later, third baseman David Olsen grounded a one-out single through the right side, tying the game at 4-4.

After a leadoff double by Parmley in the bottom of seventh, Camel reliever Ryan Mattes stranded the Liberty left fielder by retiring the next three Flames to keep the score deadlocked.

Liberty reliever Patrick Bankemper moves to 3-2 on the year following the victory.  The right-hander retired both batters he faced in the ninth inning.

Mattes drops to 3-1 on the season.  He allowed one run on two hits over 2 2/3 innings of relief.  He struck out four batters and walked none.

The Flames collected nine hits.  Parmley led all hitters in the game with four hits.  It was his second four-hit contest of the season.  The Camels had 11 hits.  Ray recorded three hits and drove in two runs for the visitors.

Campbell and Liberty will meet again tomorrow in a doubleheader to conclude their three-game series.  Game one is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., and both games will be televised on the Flames Sports Network and ESPN3.

The High Point University baseball team set an HPU Division I single-game record with 17 strikeouts on its way to a 4-2 win over Radford in the first game of a three-game series against the Highlanders on Friday night at Williard Stadium.

Ryan Retz went 5-1/3 innings to improve to 5-2 on the season.  The junior allowed just two runs, one earned, on six hits and tied his career high with eight strikeouts.  It is the second-straight week that Retz has picked up eight punch outs in a game.  Retz has won three straight starts, all over Big South opponents.

Freshman Joe Goodman went 3-1/3 innings without allowing a run to get the hold while redshirt-sophomore Jaime Schultz picked up the final four outs for his sixth save of the season.  Schultz is now tied with Dennis Olley for eighth in the HPU record book with six saves in a season.  Olley recorded six saves in 1972.

Goodman struck out six Highlander batters on the night while Schultz added three strikeouts including the record-breaking K on the final at-bat of the game.  Goodman tied his career high for strikeouts which he set on March 9 against Manhattan.

The Panthers' 17 strikeouts broke their previous record of 16 which was set by HPU in a 13-inning game on May 21, 2010 against Charleston Southern.

Senior Sal Pezzino went 3-4 from the plate with an RBI while junior Sean Wilson went 1-3 and scored two runs.

With the win, HPU improves to 21-12 overall and 6-1 in the Big South.  The Panthers have won four straight league games.  Radford falls to 15-14 overall and 4-3 in Conference play.

RBI singles by Pezzino in the first and freshman Dane McDermott in the second staked the Panthers to an early 2-0 lead as Retz cruised through the first three innings of the game, striking out four-straight batters and not allowing a hit.

Retz worked out of bases-loaded jams in the fourth and fifth innings, using a sacrifice fly and strikeout in the fourth and a double play in the fifth to limit the damage to a single Highlander run.

The Panthers got the run back in the bottom of the fifth when junior Willie Medina led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a failed pick-off attempt by Radford's Eddie Butler.  Medina moved to third on a fly ball to the warning track by Pezzino and came home on a hard groundout to second by Retz.

Radford picked up a run in the top of the sixth on an RBI single by Hunter Higgerson and loaded the bases with one out for the third-straight inning before Goodman came in and got out of the jam with a strikeout and a shallow popup to right field to maintain the 3-2 lead.

High Point picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning when Wilson was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and came around to score when RU's Jeff Kemp picked up a throwing error on an infield single by Pezzino.

Butler took the loss for Radford, dropping to 2-3 on the season.  He tossed eight innings for his first complete game of the season.  Butler gave up four runs, two earned, on seven hits.  He walked three and struck out five in the game.

High Point and Radford will return to Williard Stadium for a twin bill on Saturday, April 7.  The first pitch of game one will begin at 1 p.m.

Eight Chanticleers had at least one hit and five drove in one run each to lead #28 Coastal Carolina (19-9, 3-1) to a 5-2 win at Gardner-Webb (16-15, 2-5) Friday night.

Tyler Herb, who was Coastal's Friday-night starter the first four weeks of the season, assumed the role again Friday as Josh Conway was not 100 percent.  Herb returned to his early-season form as well, getting the win and improving to 5-2.  The sophomore struck out seven over five innings, allowing five hits and two runs with just one walk.

The pitching effort was key early as Coastal left six runners on base through three innings.

After leaving the bases loaded in the first inning, Coastal got on the scoreboard in the second.  Brian Pruett reached on a one-out single and moved to third on a Jacob May single down the right field line.  Justin Creel laid down a safety squeeze bunt, but beat out the play at first for an RBI single.

The Bulldogs answered back to tie the game at 1-1 in the home half of the second inning. Aaron McFarland reached on a fielder's choice and took second on a wild pitch.  Brad Collins brought McFarland home with a single up the middle.

Coastal quickly regained the lead in the top of the third.  Tucker Frawley, after having a foul ball dropped to stay alive at the plate, doubled down the left field line and took third on Ted Blackman's deep fly out to center.  Chris Suseck had an impressive at bat to score Frawley.  With two strikes, the freshman choked up and made just enough contact to place a single over the third baseman's head for a 2-1 CCU lead.

The Chants used another good piece of two-strike hitting in the fifth as Alex Buccilli launched a 2-2 pitch over the right field fence for his third home run of the season, putting the Chants up 3-1.

Gardner-Webb trimmed its deficit to one, 3-2, in the fifth.  Zeke Blanton singled and took second on a sacrifice bunt.  He would later steal third and an error allowed him to score on the play.

Coastal regained a two-run lead in the seventh.  Buccilli drew a two-out walk and Daniel Bowman followed with a triple to right-center field.  The Bulldogs threatened in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with two out before Austin Kerr induced a ground ball to end the inning.

Blackman and the Chants manufactured a run in the eighth to go up 5-2.  The junior drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a sac bunt.  Blackman would steal third for his team-leading 10th theft of the season before Pruett lined an RBI single to left field for his second hit of the evening.  May would also walk and steal a base, giving him 10 stolen bases as well, but would be stranded.

Aaron Burke, who ranks second in the NCAA in ERA, pitched the final two innings to earn his fifth save.  He allowed one hit, retiring six of the seven batters he faced.

Bulldog starting pitcher Matt Fraudin (1-3) was saddled with the loss, allowing eight hits and four runs (three earned) over seven complete.

Coastal Carolina and Gardner-Webb will complete the weekend set with a doubleheader Saturday.  The first game is set for 1 pm with game two starting approximately 45 minutes after the completion of game one.

For the second Friday in a row, Charleston Southern (11-20, 3-4) used a ninth inning rally en route to a victory, this time defeating UNC Asheville (14-16, 4-6) 6-1 on their home turf.

Charleston Southern got on the board early when sophomore Alex Tomasovich hit his first career home run over the left center field wall to give CSU an early 1-0 lead. 

Ryan Gunther would put the Bucs on his back for much of the ball game.  Gunther held the Bulldogs at bay for 7 2/3 innings.  He allowed eight hits while striking out four.  His lone run would be an unearned run that would tie the game in the bottom of the eighth.

The bottom of the eighth would prove to be a very unusual baseball inning.  With one out, Asheville leadoff man Thomas Bess singled up the middle.  He then took off for second but a great throw from Buc catcher Drew Woodall had him out at second until it was dropped by Tomasovich when he applied the tag.  Bess would move to third on a ground out for the second out, but Bess appeared to be walking off the field as if it was the third out, when CSU first baseman Harrison Wilkins spotted him and took off after him.  A throw to third had Buccaneer third baseman John Faircloth chasing him to the plate in a rundown before throwing home to Woodall in attempt to get the out.  Bess would collide with Woodall, however, who dropped the ball during the collision, allowing Bess to score and tie the game at one.

Charleston Southern would use that as momentum though as the Bucs put up quite a fight offensively in the ninth inning.  Woodall would start the inning with a single just inside the third base bag and then have Ben Qualkinbush come on to pinch run for him.  Wilkins followed with a perfectly placed bunt past the pitcher for a base hit.  Another bunt from leadoff man Bobby Ison would be bobbled by Bulldog starter Dean Roland (4-3) to load the bases.  Junior Jaren Sustar would come thru in the clutch for the Bucs as he promptly laced a single to centerfield that would score Qualkinbush, however Wilkins was gunned down at the plate on the play trying to score.  Sustar and Ison both moved up 90 feet on the throw to give the Bucs second and third with just one out.

Trailing 2-1, the Bulldogs would go to the bullpen and call on Ethan Steible.  Faircloth greeted Steible as he lined a shot past the diving first baseman for a double that would plate Sustar and Ison and give the Bucs a 4-1 lead.  Faircloth would cross home plate for CSU's fifth and final run when designated hitter Walt Quattlebaum doubled down the left field line.

Zach Hagaman (3-2) picked up the win for the Bucs in relief. He came on to get the final out in the eighth inning for the Bucs.  Corey Deighan worked a perfect ninth inning in a non-save situation for Charleston Southern.

The Buccaneers collected eight hits on the afternoon, paced by Faircloth's 2-for-4 performance in which he had two RBI and scored a run.

The two teams will complete the series tomorrow, due to the Easter holiday, with a doubleheader that is set for 11:30 a.m.

Trailing 4-0, the VMI Keydets scored five times in both the fifth and eighth innings, pulling away for a 10-4 win over the Winthrop Eagles in Big South baseball action Friday at Gray-Minor Stadium.

After VMI (11-18, 4-6 Big South) had gotten just one runner to second base through the first four innings, Nick Dwyer singled to lead off the fifth against WU (9-22, 2-5) starter Matt Pierpont (3-5).  Cameron Walter then followed with a double to very short left field, bringing up Drew Bryan for the game's most bizarre play.

Bryan hit a high chopper, just over the reach of a backpedaling Winthrop third baseman and into foul territory in short left field.  The third base umpire appeared to signal that the ball was foul, slowing the pace of the defense, but both VMI runners advanced a base during the course of the play.  As the ball was tossed back in, the umpire signaled that the ball had been fair, allowing Dwyer's run to count and VMI to cut the deficit to 4-1.

The play appeared to unsettle Pierpont, as after an infield out, Rob Dickinson roped a double off the right-center field wall, scoring Walter.  George Piccirilli followed with a three-run home run to left field, giving VMI the 5-4 lead, an edge the Keydets would not relinquish.

They would break it open in the eighth with five additional runs in the eighth, making a winner of VMI starter Coby Cowgill (5-1).  Cowgill was charged with four runs on nine hits over 7 1/3 frames, but allowed just three hits after the fourth inning, squelching any hopes of a Winthrop comeback.  John Garrett pitched 1 2/3 hitless innings, picking up his fifth save, while Pierpont was charged with the loss, surrendering 10 runs (nine earned) over 7 1/3 innings of work.

The Eagles got on the board first Friday, as Patrick Gamblin doubled with one out in the second.  Chas Crane followed with a bloop single to center, and Jace Whitley drove home Gamblin with a single to left, putting WU up 1-0.  A wild pitch advanced both runners, and with the infield back, Leighton Daniels grounded out to Bryan, plating Crane to make it a 2-0 game.

That margin grew to 4-0 in the fourth, as with two on, Crane doubled to deep center field over the head of Dickinson, scoring two runners in the process.  A sacrifice bunt moved Crane over to third base, but Daniels then hit a slow roller in front of the mound.  Crane broke on contact, but Cowgill charged the ball aggressively and flipped to catcher Matt Winn.  The tag was in time for the out, and Cowgill struck out the next hitter, Tyler Donovan, to end the inning without further damage.

The Keydets had two runners on with one out in the fourth, but Donovan picked Jacob Morley off first base for the second out, and the rally went for naught.  Cowgill, however, retired the side in order in the fifth, setting the stage for the Keydet comeback.

After the VMI fifth, the teams combined for just one hit over the next two innings, until the Eagles threatened in the eighth. With one out, TJ Olesczuk hit a slow roller down the third base line, about 25 feet from home plate, for an infield hit.  Matt Lobacz followed with a single to right, and Garrett was summoned out of the bullpen.  Gamblin flied out, but a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position for Crane.  The third baseman hit a hard liner to right field, but Morley made the catch to retire the side, and preserve the one-run lead.

The Keydets blew the game open in the eighth.  Piccirilli reached on an error, a ball hit under the glove of Crane at third base, to start the frame.  He then moved to third on a wild pitch, and two batters later, scored on a double by Chase Worthington.  Dwyer then singled home two runs, and Walter wrapped up the scoring with a line drive home run to left, giving VMI its final margin, 10-4.

In victory, five Keydets had two hits apiece, including Piccirilli and Walter.  Gamblin led Winthrop's offensive effort with a 3 for 4 performance.

VMI baseball will return to action Saturday, concluding its Big South series with Winthrop with a scheduled doubleheader at Gray-Minor Stadium.  First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

The Presbyterian College baseball team split a Friday doubleheader against UNC Greensboro on the road, losing the first game in a 7-6 extra-inning heartbreaker before soundly taking a second game victory, 5-2.

PC ends the day at 13-19, while UNC Greensboro sees its record move to 16-13

Andrew Williams went 4-for-5 in the opening game while Kenny Bryant drove in four RBI in PC's 5-2 win.

The Blue Hose and Spartans meet for a rubber match on Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Blue Hose bounced back from a loss earlier in the day by scoring first and securing a lead en route to a 5-2 win.

PC outhit the Spartans 12-7 and received a solid effort from starting righthander Chandler Knox, who allowed only one run and five hits over six innings of work.  Five Blue Hose also picked up two hits in the contest.

Chad Sanders earned his first career save with three innings of two-hit, one-run relief.

A leadoff walk helped put PC on the board in the third.  Williams took four straight balls and took third on a Billy Motroni single.  After a Motroni steal, Bryant smacked a full-count pitch to center field for a two-run triple.  The play gave PC a 2-0 lead it would not relinquish.

Lloyd Enzor homered in the sixth to cut the PC lead in half, but the Blue Hose prevented more possible damage by turning a double play that cleared the bases before the Spartan's solo shot.

The Blue Hose tagged Greensboro for three runs in the seventh, using three hits and an error.  Brad Zebedis drove in Jay Lizanich on a single through the left side before Bryant doubled to left center to add a pair of runs. PC led, 5-1.

Greensboro manufactured a run in the eighth thanks to a leadoff walk and a Zach Leach single.  Another PC double play kept the scoring at one run as Sanders nailed down the save in the ninth and helped PC seal the win, 5-2.

In the day's first game, the Blue Hose took a 6-2 lead in the sixth only to see the Spartans engineer a late rally to force extra innings and steal the game in the 10th.

The Blue Hose received a two-run, seven-inning performance from Bud Jeter and a 4-for-5 game at the plate from Williams.

Greensboro used three hits to plate a run in the second before PC returned the favor on an RBI single from Williams in the top of the third.

Each team scored in the fourth, beginning with a full-count RBI single from Robby Swab.  The Spartans manufactured a run via sacrifice bunt and a fielder's choice to set up a single from Bobby Martin.  The two sides headed into the fifth inning in a 2-2 tie.

The Blue Hose exploded for four runs in the sixth.  Lizanich opened the scoring on an RBI single up the middle to plate Bryant and put runners on second and third.  Williams delivered again, smacking the first pitch he saw to right field for an RBI single.  Motroni followed with a two-out single that brought around Lizanich and Tony Micklon and gave the Blue Hose a 6-2 advantage.

The Spartans took three runs back in the seventh.  Michael Ricchi entered the contest and Greensboro used two singles and a fielder's choice to score once.  Kris Richards then hit a two-run home run to left that pulled the home side within one, 6-5.

Greensboro made its move in the bottom of the ninth against closer Gabe Grammer.  Leadoff batter Trevor Edwards lifted a home run to right to tie the game and force extra innings, 6-6.

Grammer picked up two flyouts in the 10th to put the 11th inning within reach, but an infield throwing error allowed the Spartans to score the winning run and end the game, 7-6.