• High Point lost by a score of 5-4 in 10 innings at Stetson on Saturday.
• The contest was the third straight to go into extra innings for the Panthers.
• Junior Austen Zente went 2-4 with two extra-base hits, including a leadoff home run to start the game.
DELAND, Fla. – The High Point University baseball team fell in extra innings, 5-4, at Stetson on Saturday, Feb. 25, in DeLand, Fla. The loss evens the weekend series against the Hatters at a game apiece.
“We battled and fought today but when you walk people and put them on base for free you are creating offensive situations for the opponent,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “Nearly every run they scored was courtesy of us putting them on base for free and it really comes down to that in a close ball game. Every guy we ran out to the mound today was young so this will be a valuable experience for them going forward.”
Juniors Austen Zente and Zack Gray both recorded multiple hits in the loss as Zente went 2-4 with a home run and a double, one RBI and one run scored and Gray finished 2-4 with a double and a run scored.
Freshman Grey Lyttle took the loss for High Point, dropping to 0-1 on the season. Lyttle pitched one inning and allowed one unearned run on two walks while striking out one.
Joey Gonzalez pitched three innings of scoreless relief for Stetson to improve to 1-0 on the season. Gonzalez allowed two hits and a walk and struck out three.
The loss by High Point is the team’s first in three-straight extra-inning games and it drops the Panthers to 4-2 on the season while Stetson improves to 3-4 in 2017.
High Point jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Zente deposited the second pitch of the contest over the wall in left for his third home run of the season.
Freshman Trevor Holloway made the 1-0 lead stand up, throwing 5-2/3 innings of scoreless ball in which he allowed just two hits and three walks and struck out three.
The Panther lead remained just 1-0 until the seventh inning when HPU tacked on three runs to push its advantage to 4-0. Gray led off the frame with a single and that was followed by a double from junior Jordan Sergent. Juniors Hunter Lee and Ryan Mason hit back-to-back RBI singles to score Gray and Sergent then Lee came around to score on a wild pitch.
Stetson answered in the bottom of the frame with four runs to tie the game at 4-4. The Hatters got on the board with a two-run home run from Austin Bogart. After loading the bases, Mike Spooner hit a two-out single to drive in two, tying the game at 4-4.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the 10th inning when Stetson got back-to-back walks to start its half of the inning before an error by Lyttle on a sacrifice bunt allowed the winning run to score.
High Point and Stetson will meet in the rubber game of the three-game weekend series on Sunday, Feb. 26, in DeLand, Fla. The Panthers can move to 2-0 on the season in rubber games with a win on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.