Johnson complete game gem lifts HPU baseball to 5-2 win over UNC Asheville

Posted by Press Release on April 14, 2017 at 6:25 am under College | Comments are off for this article

• High Point opened the weekend with a 5-2 win over UNC Asheville at home, the Panthers’ eighth win in 10 games.
• Senior Jeremy Johnson threw a complete game, the first for HPU since 2015, allowing two runs, one earned on just four hits and two walks.
• Senior Josh Greene finished 2-5 with two RBI and hit his fifth home run of the season.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Senior Jeremy Johnson turned in High Point University baseball’s first complete game in two seasons as the Panthers opened the weekend with a 5-2 win over UNC Asheville on Thursday night at Williard Stadium.

Johnson went the full nine innings in his first collegiate start and allowed just two runs, one earned, on four hits and two walks while striking out five. The left-hander’s previous career high for innings pitched came earlier this season when Johnson went 5-1/3 innings out of the pen against Army. It is the first HPU complete game singe former Panther Conor Lourey went the distance against Longwood on May 21, 2015 in the Big South Baseball Championships. Johnson improves to 2-1 on the season with the win.

‘This was a heck of a ballgame and a fantastic pitching performance by Jeremy Johnson,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “With Andrew Gottfried not being able to go, I decided to put the ball in the hands of our senior and he was special. He knows what his strengths are and he pitched to them tonight. Catcher Spencer Brown has worked with Jeremy for three years and they were flawless tonight. Runs didn’t come easy tonight but you have to win baseball games with pitching and defense sometimes and that is what we did tonight.”

Derek Smith took the loss for UNC Asheville in his first start of the season, dropping to 0-2. Smith pitched three innings and allowed three earned runs on two hits and four walks.

The win is the Panthers’ eighth in the past 10 games and it improves their record to 18-15 overall and 6-7 in the Big South. UNC Asheville drops to 13-20 overall and 4-6 in the conference with the loss.

High Point surrendered a run on a passed ball in the top of the first, but evened the score in the bottom of the frame with a suicide squeeze by junior Blake Schunk to bring home Zente.

Two innings later, senior Josh Greene put the Panthers in front with his fifth home run of the season. Greene came to the plate following a leadoff walk by redshirt-senior Tim Mansfield and hit the first pitch down the line in right for a two-run shot.

Up by a run in the seventh, the Purple and White added two insurance runs to push the lead to three at 5-2. Schunk walked to leadoff the inning and scored on a wild pitch then sophomore Conner Dunbar drove in junior Spencer Brown with an RBI single.

Greene finished 2-5 at the plate for the day with a home run, two RBI and a run scored for HPU. Junior Jordan Sergent also recorded multiple hits, going 2-4 in the contest. Schunk saw his 12-game hitting streak come to an end but the High Point third baseman still reached base three times and finished with both an RBI and a run scored.

High Point and UNC Asheville continue their three-game series on Friday, April 14, at Williard Stadium. The Panthers will try and clinch their third-straight Big South series with a win over Asheville. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., and will be broadcast on ESPN3.

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