HIGH POINT, N.C. – Junior Matt Armstead pitched a complete-game shutout against Manhattan on Saturday at Williard Stadium to lead the High Point University baseball team to a 5-0 win. Armstead allowed just two hits and had a career-high eight strikeouts in the win.
“Matt Armstead was awesome today,” said head coach Craig Cozart. “I am very proud of the way he pitched. But we also had a very good day offensively. We did all the right things in team at-bat situations and executed when we had opportunities. We have to take advantage of the series win and come out and get the sweep tomorrow.”
Armstead improves to 2-1 this season with the nine-inning performance. He allowed two hits while walking two batters and doubling his previous career-high with eight strikeouts on the day.
The righthander walked two of the first three batters of the game but settled in after a visit from Cozart and struck out the side to end the inning. Manhattan’s first hit didn’t come until the third inning when Anthony Vega bunted a single down the third base line. Vega was also responsible for the Jaspers’ second hit of the game, a bouncer over the head of Armstead that he beat out for a single.
It is the first complete-game shutout by a High Point pitcher since Bubba O’Donnell threw one against East Tennessee State on March 10, 2007. O’Donnell allowed five hits with nine strikeouts.
Junior Willie Medina went 3-3 with two runs scored and one RBI in the win. He drove in the final run in HPU’s three-run second inning with a single through the left side.
In the fifth inning he singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sal Pezzino. Medina stole third and the throw was too much for Manhattan third baseman Kyle Murphy to handle and Medina trotted home on the error to put HPU up 4-0.
Medina scored the final run of the game in the seventh inning. He was hit by a pitch and moved all the way to third on a perfectly executed hit and run by Pezzino. Ryan Retz drove in Medina with a sacrifice fly to leftfield.
Ryne Rush and Dane McDermott had two hits each in the game while Retz and Devin Bujnovsky each scored a run.
High Point improved to 10-7 with the win while Manhattan falls to 1-10. The Panthers will go for the sweep on Sunday at noon. Junior Jacob Newberry will pitch for HPU. The righthander is 1-0 with a win last weekend against Mercer. He brings a 2.04 ERA in to the start with 13 strikeouts in 17-2/3 innings.