HPU men’s lacrosse, baseball notch wins
Graduate student Stevie Kirkup scored five goals to lead the High Point University men’s lacrosse team to a 9-8 win over VMI on Saturday afternoon at Vert Stadium. Up by five to start the third quarter, the Panthers held off a late Keydet run.
“We knew this was going to be a tough game but the guys kept playing hard and got the win,” said HPU head coach Jon Torpey. “Conference games are going to be tough every time, we just need to stay after it and play hard for 60 minutes.”
High Point improved to 5-2 overall and 2-0 in Atlantic Sun play with the victory. VMI fell to 1-6 and 0-1 in the A-Sun. It was the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
The Panthers outshot VMI 16-8 in the first quarter, including two off the post to begin the game, but VMI’s Dan Bull scored the first goal and it was tied 1-1 after 15 minutes. The Panthers broke it open with five unanswered goals in the second quarter, including two by Kirkup. Matt Thistle scored one goal and assisted on four during the 6-0 run that gave the Panthers a 6-1 lead at halftime.
VMI’s run began early in the second half as Mickey Hofmeister scored with 13:02 on the clock and Bull scored with 10:52 remaining. Hofmeister set up Brad Biondello for a goal with 5:03 left in the first half to make it a 7-5 game. Sophomore Zach Price scored in the closing seconds of the third quarter, giving HPU a three-goal cushion going into the final frame.
VMI got within one, stealing momentum in the fourth quarter. Dale Mattice scored with 11:48 left. Mitch Wilson won the ensuing faceoff and went down the field to score just 10 seconds later.
HPU goalie Austin Geisler made nine saves.
High Point’s five-game homestand continues Saturday when the Panthers host UMBC at noon at Vert Stadium.
PANTHER BASEBALL POUNDS BOWLING GREEN
HIGH POINT — The High Point University baseball team scored nine runs in the first three innings on its way to an 11-2 win over Bowling Green on Saturday night at Williard Stadium. Senior Kyle Brandenburg went 3 for 5 with three RBIs and two runs scored in the win.
“It’s great to start this series off with a good win,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “Bowling Green came out very aggressively in the first few innings, but we were able to answer what they were doing offensively. John McGillicuddy settled in and pitched well and our bullpen was tremendous once again. I was very excited about the sustained offensive approach we showed throughout the game. Hopefully we can do that for 18 innings tomorrow.”
Junior John McGillicuddy earned his first win in a Panther uniform, improving to 1-1 on the mound in four starts. McGillicuddy pitched six innings and allowed two earned runs on two hits and three walks while striking out three. Junior Jordan Skavinsky and freshman Sean Barry pitched the final three innings and combined to allow just two walks while striking out five.
Cody Apthorpe took the loss for Bowling Green, dropping to 1-2 on the season. Apthorpe pitched 2-2/3 innings and allowed nine runs, four earned, on six hits and two walks while striking out one.
High Point improves to 9-5 on the season with the win over the Falcons. HPU is 9-2 in its last 11 games after opening the season by losing three-straight at Mercer. Bowling Green moves to 2-8 on the season with the loss.
Bowling Green took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first with a sacrifice fly by T.J. Losby but the Panthers came right back with three runs in the bottom of the second to go ahead 3-1. Junior Tony Fortier-Bensen had the big hit of the inning with a two-run single to put HPU ahead. Junior Cody Manzella and freshman Chris Clare reached to leadoff the frame and came around to score on a single down the line by Fortier-Bensen. The HPU shortstop moved to second on a throwing error then scored on a double to the right-center gap by senior Kyle Brandenburg.
High Point took control of the game one inning later with six runs to go ahead 9-1. The Panthers loaded the bases and scored two runs on an RBI single by Manzella and a hit-by-pitch by Clare. Brandenburg and freshman Josh Greene then each drove in two with RBI singles to put HPU up eight.
After Bowling Green scored its second run of the game with an RBI single by Logan Walker in the top of the fifth, High Point picked up two more runs in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 11-2. Brandenburg led off the inning with a single over the second base bag and came around to score when Greene tripled into the right field corner. Spano then drove in Greene and reached on a throwing error by the BGSU shortstop.
Greene finished the game hitting 3-5 with three RBI and a run scored. He leads the team this season with 11 RBI in 11 games played. Manzella and Clare both finished 2-4 at the plate with one RBI and two runs scored.
Saturday’s win marks the fourth-straight game, and fifth game overall, that the Panthers have allowed five or fewer hits. High Point has now held opponents to fewer than 10 hits in all but one game this season and leads the Big South with a .195 opponents’ batting average on the season.
HPU and Bowling Green will conclude their three-game series on Sunday with a doubleheader at Williard Stadium. The first game is set to begin at 1 p.m.
HPU WOMEN’S LACROSSE HEADS TO OHIO STATE
The High Point University women’s lacrosse team takes on Ohio State on the road on Monday at 3 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio. The Panthers are looking to pick up a second-straight win after beating UMBC 16-6 on Wednesday.
Monday’s game wraps up a four-game road trip for the Panthers who are 2-2 on the season following Wednesday’s win. HPU had 11 different goal scorers against UMBC including a pair of goals by Allie Foard, Emily Meier, Alec Perry, Stephanie Pazulski and Emilie Pugliese.
Senior attacker Mackenzie Carroll also scored and had an assist in the game, which pushed her season points total to a team-leading 11. Her assist in the first half against the Retrievers was Carroll’s 192nd point of her career, surpassing Grace Gaeng’s HPU record of 191 from 2011-13. Carroll has now scored a goal in every game this season.
Junior Julia Burns has started all four contests for HPU in the cage. Burns made five saves against UMBC and now has 28 on the year to go with a 9.39 goals-against average.
Ohio State is 3-3 overall on the year with a perfect mark at home while going 0-3 on the road. The Buckeyes will open conference play tomorrow, Sunday, March 9 against Northwestern before hosting the Panthers on Monday.
OSU picked up a 12-11 win last time out against Louisville. Ohio State is now averaging 12.17 goals per game and have outscored opponents 73-53 this season. Junior midfielder Mary Kate Facchina leads the team with 12 goals scored while junior Jackie Cifarelli has team-high 19 assists and 24 points.
The Panthers and Buckeyes met last season with OSU prevailing 15-10 following a eight unanswered goals by Ohio State. Perry and Kendyl Gardner both recorded a hat trick in last year’s game.