HIGH POINT, N.C. - In an elimination game between UNC Asheville and High Point at the 2012 Big South Conference Championship the Panthers earned a 7-1 victory on Wednesday afternoon, ending the Bulldogs season with the six-run win.
"I hope it wasn't a matter of running out of gas, but I've got to give High Point a lot of credit," said Asheville skipper Tom Smith. "They hit it better, pitched it better and they deserved to win. We wished for a better tournament performance, but I've got to do a better job of getting the team ready to play."
Pitching in his final game for the Bulldogs senior Ryan Dull (5-5) was credited with the loss, allowing five runs on nine hits in three innings of work. He also finished the day with four strikeouts, moving him to 238 for his career, second all-time at UNC Asheville.
The Bulldogs drop to 25-30 on the year while HPU improves to 27-30.
Freshman Hunter Bryant was 3-for-4 at the plate for the Bulldogs, while catcher Ian Graham was 1-for-1 one with three walks. Senior shortstop Jordan Lurie scored Asheville's only run on the day, reaching home on a wild pitch in the fifth.
"A lot of players made strides for us this year and our seniors showed good leadership," added Smith. "All in all it was a pretty good year and we've got a lot to look forward to next year."
High Point's Jared Avidon went six complete innings, allowing one run on six hits with five walks and five strikeouts. He improves to 3-5 on the season with the victory.
The Panthers had five players collect two hits in the game, with Devin Bujnovsky, Ryan Retz and Josh Spano collecting two runs batted in apiece.
Retz drove in the game's first run in the top of the second when he singled to center to drive in Spano from second. HPU added another run in the top of the third, when Spano hit a single to center to rive in Dane McDermott.
With two on and two out while still in the third the Panthers' Bujnovsky tripled to right-center to push HPU's lead to 4-0. The Panthers plated one more runner in the frame to take a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the third.
Lurie scored the first run of the game for the Bulldogs, when he sprinted home from third on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth. The run by Lurie was the first run scored against Avidon in 13.2 innings.
Ryne Rush answered for the Panthers in the top of the sixth, driving in a run on the single to right. The Panthers added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, scoring on a Spano single to left. After eight and a half innings HPU led 7-1.
The Bulldogs would get two runners on in the bottom of the ninth, but could not get the rally started against the Panthers.