Retz tosses complete-game gem as Panthers roar
Senior Ryan Retz pitched a complete-game three hitter to lead the High Point University baseball team to a 4-1 win over Ohio University on Wednesday night at Williard Stadium. The right hander allowed just a single unearned run while picking up his first win of the season.
“It was nice to see us get some runs on the board early today,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “Spano has been tremendous for us but tonight was about Ryan Retz. What a great performance by a senior and a veteran.”
The complete game by Retz was the senior’s third at HPU. Retz scattered three hits and four walks over his nine innings of work while striking out five Bobcat batters including the final hitter of the game. The right hander allowed no hits in the final four innings. Retz improves to 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA for the season.
High Point got on the board early with two runs in the bottom of the first inning highlighted by a towering home run by sophomore Josh Spano, his first as a collegian. Spano owns a 12-game hitting streak.
Following the home run, the Panthers tacked on another run with three straight hits, culminating in an RBI single by graduate student Adam Barry that plated Dominic Fazio.
Senior Willie Medina added a third run for High Point in the second inning, taking advantage of several mistakes by the Ohio battery to come around and score without a hit. Medina walked with two outs, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.
HPU improves to 6-7. Ohio falls to 2-8.
HPU travels to New Orleans, La., to play a three-game weekend series against Tulane University. The three-game series, which starts Friday, marks the first meeting between the teams in High Point’s Div. I era.
LOMAS’ SIX GOALS POWER HPU MEN’S LACROSSE
HIGH POINT — Freshman Dan Lomas scored six goals to lead the High Point University men’s lacrosse team to 13-10 win over Michigan on Wednesday at Vert Stadium. Sophomore Matt Thistle added three goals and three assists in the win.
“The guys worked really hard in practice this week,” said head coach Jon Torpey. “We challenged the guys to come out and work hard for 60 minutes and they did that tonight. Thistle did an excellent job dodging and quarterbacking the offense and it set Lomas up for some fantastic goals. Defensively, we forced Michigan to make a lot of mistakes in the midfield.”
Redshirt-freshman Mitchell Dupere scored one goal and added three assists for a four-point night. He also picked up four ground balls. Redshirt-freshman Adam Seal scored two goals.
Redshirt-sophomore Austin Geisler made 13 saves for the Panthers while picking up five ground balls.
Mike Hernandez led the Wolverines with four goals and Kyle Jackson added one goal and four assists. Gerald Logan made 16 saves for Michigan.
High Point improves to 2-5 with the win while Michigan drops to 0-5.
The Panthers held Michigan to 14-of-22 on clear attempts and forced the Wolverines to turn the ball over 20 times. Brendan Montrello, Harris Levine and Jeff Hale each had two caused turnovers.
Seal scored the first goal of the game, at 13:43 in the first quarter. Thistle found Seal cutting in front of the goal and the two connected for the game’s first score. Michigan scored the next two goals to take its first lead of the game. Michael Messenger tied the game, 2-2, at 9:58 in the first on a goal assisted by Dylan Bozel. The teams traded two more goals each in the opening quarter to make it a 4-4 tie.
Lomas scored the first of his six goals with 12:29 on the clock in the second quarter. The score was assisted by Thistle. Hernandez and Jackson gave Michigan a 6-5 lead with back-to-back unassisted goals.
Messenger picked up a ground ball at midfield and quickly passed it in to HPU’s offensive zone to Dupere. Dupere found Thistle in front of the net to tie the game 6-6. With 7:19 left in the second quarter. Lomas gave HPU its final lead of the night, 7-6, with 3:55 left in the second quarter.
The Panthers maintained their lead throughout the second half, outscoring the Wolverines 6-4 in the final two quarters.
Geisler made a save on a shot by Jackson with 12:56 on the clock in the third quarter. He passed the ball out to Garrett Swaim who sent a pass all the way down the field to Thistle who scored on a wide-open goal to make it an 8-6 lead.
Lomas gave HPU its biggest lead of the day, 10-7, with a goal at 11:46 in the fourth quarter. Dupere sent the ball in to Lomas right in front of the crease and Lomas scooped the ball in to the goal. Michigan cut the lead to two, 11-9, with six minutes left. Lomas scored two more goals in the final five minutes to secure the win. With 4:45 on the clock Lomas reached behind his body to collect a pass from Messenger and shot the ball one handed past Logan for a goal. His final goal of the day was unassisted.
High Point won 14-of-27 faceoffs with Piluso picking up all 14 wins. He also led the team with eight ground balls.
Messenger finished the day with one goal, one assist and three ground balls.
High Point goes back on the road on March 16 for a 1 p.m. game at UMBC.
FORMER HPU SOCCER STAR OKIOMAH SIGNS WITH CHARLOTTE EAGLES
CHARLOTTE — Former High Point University men’s soccer player Fejiro Okiomah has signed a professional contract with the Charlotte Eagles of USL-Pro. Okiomah is the fourth HPU men’s soccer player under head coach Dustin Fonder to sign a professional contract after leaving the Panthers.
“I am very proud that Fejiro was able to achieve his goal of becoming a professional soccer player,” Fonder said. “He developed an all-around game during his time at HPU, playing all over the field. He was a fantastic team leader who helped us reach new heights in his four years with the program. Fejiro is the latest player in our program to sign a professional contract and we are confident this trend will continue with future players.”
Okiomah started every game at center back for High Point and anchored a defense that allowed just 19 goals in 20 games as a senior in 2012. The Panthers recorded nine shutouts, tying the team’s Div. I single-season record. Okiomah finished the season with four points on two goals, scoring against Jacksonville and Campbell. He was named first-team All-Big South and was selected to the first-team All-South Atlantic Region by the NSCAA.
“I am really excited for this opportunity and ready to get the season started,” Okiomah said.
The Charlotte Eagles play in the USL Pro, the third tier of the American professional soccer.