Ryan’s ninth-inning blast pushes Lancers to series win

Published 10:00 am Thursday, April 14, 2022

Longwood beat High Point 3-2 after Gregory Ryan’s go-ahead ninth inning solo home run to keep the Lancers best start to conference play since joining the Big South in 2012.

“That was a great weekend of baseball by both teams,” said head coach Chad Oxendine following his sides third straight Big South series win. “Both teams played well and made great plays. Our guys continued to fight!”

Longwood (15-18, 7-2) got on the board first in every game this series, and that trend continued in the top half of the second. Jack Schnell led the inning off with a single to center field and after Keondre Shelton followed up with a single up the middle himself. Michael Dolberry would then double to left center to bring home Schnell and Shelton to give the Lancers the two-run lead.

High Point (11-21, 6-6) were resilient all weekend and responded in the home half of the second to bring the game to within one. Blake Sutton started the inning with a double to left field and would later steal third. Miggy Echazarreta grounded out to short, but Sutton was able to get home and get the Panthers on the board.

The Panthers would tie the game in the bottom of the sixth. Adam Stuart singled to start the inning and Peyton Carr hit a single himself to give High Point runners on the corners. A Javon Fields single saw the tying run come home as not much separated these two teams all weekend.

Longwood had been the victim of dramatic losses as of late, and Gregory Ryan decided it was time for the ball to roll our way in the ninth. With two outs, and a full-count Ryan ripped a home run that cleared the left field fence to give Longwood a one run lead.

Andrew Melnyk started on the mound for Longwood and pitched six innings. The southpaw surrendered two runs on seven hits and struck out two. Dominick D’Ercole (1-2) finished the game off and allowed just two hits and no runs while striking out three on the way to his first victory of the season.

Sam Garcia started for High Point and pitched seven innings of two run baseball and gave up five hits, one walk and struck out four. Everett Vaughan (1-2) finished the game and was on the mound for the ninth inning home run, and picked up his second loss of the season.