• Junior Austin Zente paced the High Point offense going 3-for-6 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI.
• Juniors Jordan Sergent and Blake Schunk tallied two hits apiece while both drove in a run.
• High Point had opportunities, but left 15 runners on base including a bases-loaded chance in the bottom of the 10th.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team battled back and forth with Campbell all afternoon before the visitors earned an 9-7 victory in Willard Stadium on Saturday.
The Panthers (15-15, 4-7) racked up 10 hits and drew nine walks, but stranded 15 runners on the day including bases loaded opportunities in the eighth and the 10th. Meanwhile, the Camels (16-15, 5-3) used four homers to score their nine runs and even the series at a game apiece.
“This game was pretty simple,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “On the mound we couldn’t keep the ball in the ballpark and the heart of our order didn’t get it done when we had scoring chances and left 15 runners on base. That’s not going to get it done, so we have to figure out a way to win the series tomorrow.”
Leading the offense from the top, junior Austin Zente went 3-for-6 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Similarly, juniors Jordan Sergent and Blake Schunk tallied two hits and an RBI apiece.
On the mound, freshman Drew Daczkowski made the start working 4.0 innings and striking out six, but allowed four runs on two homers by Campbell’s Jeff Hahs. The first reliever, freshman Grey Lyttle, worked 2.2 innings allowing three runs.
Lastly, senior Jeremy Johnson threw 4.0 scoreless innings before allowing a two-run shot by Kyle Mehl, which proved to be the game-winner. Johnson (1-1) finished the day allowing just two hits while striking out three.
Rounding out the offensive output for HPU senior Josh Greene and junior Hunter Lee each posted a hit and an RBI as sophomore Conner Dunbar added HPU’s 10th hit.
Through the first seven innings the two teams mirrored each other. After Campbell opened the scoring with a three-run homer in the third, High Point responded with a three-run rally highlighted by Zente’s RBI double to even the score after three innings.
Then, when the Camels scored again with a solo blast in the fifth, Lee answered for HPU driving Schunk in with a single in the bottom of the inning.
The script flipped in the sixth as High Point opened up its first lead. Sergent singled to score Gray before Greene beat out a double play to allow Sergent to score. One pitch later, Greene stole second and the throw got through into center bringing Zente in from third to make it 6-3.
However, Campbell immediately answered with another three-run home run to pull even at 7-7 in the top of the seventh.
Johnson came in and got out of the seventh, then pitched three more scoreless innings. Meanwhile, the HPU offense threatened on several occasions – including a bases-loaded, one-out chance in the 10th – but couldn’t capitalize as the game advanced to the 11th.
After 4.0 innings of scoreless baseball, the Camels finally got to Johnson with a two-run homer in the top of the 11th. Senior Drew Fopeano and Dunbar each worked walks in the bottom of the frame, but HPU couldn’t capitalize falling 9-7.
The Panthers and the Camels will be back at Willard Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m. for the rubber game of the series.