Eighth-Inning High Point Rally Costs Keydets in 6-2 Loss
Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com
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LEXINGTON, Va. – The High Point Panthers scored five runs in the eighth inning against the VMI Keydet bullpen, overcoming a 2-1 deficit and six workmanlike innings from Campbell Henkel to take the opening game of this week’s series between the clubs, 6-2. The contest was the completion of Thursday’s suspended game, which had been stopped due to inclement weather in the sixth inning.

With the Keydets (20-33, 6-16 BSC) leading 2-1, Willie Medina walked to lead off the eighth inning against Andrew Woods. One out later, Andrew Montague came out of the bullpen and he was greeted by a Ryan Retz two-run home run, giving High Point (27-27, 13-9 BSC) a 3-2 lead. The next batter reached on an error, which led to three further unearned runs in the frame, including a two-run triple by Kyle Brandenburg that accounted for the final margin, 6-2.

Sean Townsley picked up the victory on the hill with 3 2/3 innings of relief, as he moved to 5-2 on the year despite walking five Keydets. Montague (0-1) took the loss, as he was charged with three runs, one earned, while not retiring a hitter in the decisive eighth inning. The eighth inning made a strong start by Henkel go for naught, as the junior had allowed just one run over six innings and left with a 2-1 lead. High Point starter Jacob Newberry also got no decision after allowing just an unearned run over five innings. 

In Friday’s action, the Keydets took a 1-0 lead on a Brandon Angus RBI single in the first, scoring Jordan Tarsovich. High Point answered in the fourth with a RBI single by Adam Barry, and VMI put two on with one out in the sixth before inclement rolled into Lexington. The game resumed at 3 p.m. Friday, and just two batters into the resumption, Ray Lopez singled home a run to give the Keydets a 2-1 lead. Matt Winn followed with a walk and Rob Dickinson pinch-hit, but Townsley induced a pop-up to shortstop to end the inning.

Woods relieved Henkel to start the seventh and worked around an error in pitching a scoreless inning, while the Keydets could not take advantage of a leadoff walk in the bottom half. That set the stage for High Point to bat around in the decisive eighth, and despite putting two on with two out in the ninth, VMI could not score again.

Offensively, Dickinson went 0 for 2, dropping his average to .400 on the year. Lopez led VMI by going 3 for 5 with a run driven in.