ROCK HILL, S.C. – High Point University baseball dropped a second straight decision to Winthrop this Saturday, losing to the Eagles on the road by a final of 7-1. The home side took an early lead for a second day in a row, holding the Panther offense to five hits on the afternoon.
“We don’t have good team foot speed and we don’t hit for very much power,” said Head Coach Craig Cozart. “So that means we have to stack together a lot of hits consecutively, and we have too many outs in our lineup right now to do that.”
After giving up a pair of runs in the first, HPU cut their opponent’s lead in half during the third inning, on a solo blast from freshman AJ Holcomb. The first-year Panther has started his team’s previous five contests, while collecting three knocks in the process. His home run on Saturday was the first of his career, sending a ball to deep left center for his third RBI of the year.
“It’s good to see Holcomb’s power show up,” said Cozart. “He had several home runs in the fall…He’s gotten some opportunities to play and he’s gotten progressively better at the plate, so it was nice to see him get his first home run today.”
The Winthrop pitching staff sprayed three Panther hits over the proceeding six innings, as the Purple & White stranded just four baserunners overall.
Starting pitcher Harrison Smith was credited with the loss in game two, surrendering three earned runs over his four innings of work. The junior righty gave up just four hits against the Eagles, on the way to striking out five batters. The HPU staff combined for nine Ks against Winthrop in all, with lefty Matt Hodges collecting three.
>> Senior Daniel Millwee improved his on base streak to 16 straight games with his walk in the fourth
>> Conner Dunbar and JJ Woodard each went 1-for-3 at the plate, with the latter collecting a knock in his last three appearances
>> Ryan Russell collected a single in the fourth, he’s had six knocks in his past four games, averaging .333 over that span