Radford Baseball has historic start

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Carrie Birkett

Cbirkett@Radford.Edu

The Radford baseball team is on a record nine game winning streak and they also have the best start in the Big South in school history at 8-1. After sweeping Gardner-Webb last weekend RU took sole custody of the Big South lead. The eight game win streak is also the best in school history.

When you go back and look at the post game interviews, Coach Joe Raccuia has been crediting his pitchers for the starts and saves they have been giving the team to stay on top. “We got another great start that led to another win. We continue to get quality starts and to have a Sunday starter who can continue to give you six or seven innings and turn it over to your closer is a recipe for success” Raccuia said after the Highlanders beat Gardner-Webb Sunday.

Mitchell MacKeith started for the Highlanders on Sunday and pitched for eight innings and allowing six hits and two runs. MacKeith is now 4-2 on the season. Ryan Meisinger, who is the Highlanders go to closer, earned his seventh save with one inning pitched and two struck out.

Saturday’s game featured Dylan Nelson on the mound who also pitched for seven innings before handing the reigns over to Tyler Swarmer and the reliever Kyle Palmer who got the save.

In the opening games of the series this year Coach Raccuia has been starting his ace Michael Boyle, who is 5-2 on the season. He pitched eight innings and allowed three hits in the opening game of the series. Boyle struck out ten and gave up just one run, which was a solo home run. Meisinger again came in and closed the win for the Highlanders. Coach Raccuia said “Boyle did a great job and Meisinger shut the door like we are used to seeing” after the win. Boyle is up to 54 strikeouts on the year.

Meisinger has been lights out for the Highlanders this season. He has 31 strikeouts in fourteen games and 18.1 innings pitched. He has allowed just 13 hits and 5 runs.

The Highlanders midweek starter, Zack Ridgely earned his first career win last Tuesday against William & Mary pitching 6 innings allowing one run on three hits, no walks and six strikeouts.

Coach Raccuia had nothing but praise for the young pitcher following the game “It all starts with pitching and Ridgely did a tremendous job giving us six really good innings. He gave us another quality start and you are seeing the results of that with our five-game win streak.”

Ridgely was all smiles following the game, saying the win felt great and he went out there and did his thing.

The Highlanders have one of the better pitching staffs that they have had in a while and also the versatility to change it up midweek to give other relievers the chance to go in and give it their all to win the game.

After Monday night’s win against New River Valley foe Virginia Tech the Highlanders are on a school record nine game winning streak.

The Highs head to Lexington to battle VMI, while they return to Radford Stadium on Friday for a three game series against Winthrop.