HPU Baseball Panthers take series from Mercer with 3-1 win on Sunday

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Junior Jacob Newberry allowed one run in 7-1/3 innings to lead the High Point University baseball team to a 3-1 victory over Mercer in the final game of the weekend series. High Point improves to 8-5 with the series win.

“This was a great way to win the series,” said head coach Craig Cozart. “We had to play our best baseball to beat Mercer because they are a very good team. Our pitching showed up in the final two games and Newberry was special today. Joe Goodman came in and slammed the door when it seemed like Mercer was rallying late in the game. Defensively, we were solid all weekend and the outfielders took away quite a few hits.”

Newberry shut down Mercer’s potent lineup, keeping the Bears from scoring until the eighth inning. The right hander gave up one run on six hits with four strikeouts for his first win of the season. He gave up a solo home run to Mercer centerfielder Derrick Workman in the seventh inning.

Mercer threatened to put runs on the board in the fifth inning, getting two runners on with only one out. Newberry got out of the jam with a double play off the bat of leftfielder Nate Moorehouse. The Bears stranded two more in the sixth inning when Newberry got designated hitter Nick Backlund to fly out on the first pitch of the at bat.

“I felt really good on the mound today,” Newberry said. “My sinker was working and I was able to keep the ball down. That home run was tough but it looked like a routine fly ball off the bat. The wind was blowing out and helped it.”

Freshman Joe Goodman relieved Newberry in the eighth inning, closing out the game for his first career save. Goodman went 1-2/3 innings without allowing a hit. He recorded one strikeout.

Junior Willie Medina went 2-4 with a run scored and one RBI to lead the Panthers offense. He had a bunt single and a stolen base in the fourth inning and came in to score on an RBI-single from junior Devin Bujnovsky.

Medina picked up an RBI in the fifth inning with a base hit to left center that scored Dane McDermott. McDermott reached on a fielder’s choice to second base that allowed Andrew Bartlett to score HPU’s second run of the game. McDermott bounced a ball to Mercer second baseman D.J. Johnson and Bartlett broke for home. Bartlett was called safe and McDermott advanced to second when Johnson threw the ball past his catcher.

Ryan Retz singled in the sixth inning to extend his hit streak to 11 games. He also had a walk in the game.

The Panthers host Richmond for a pair of midweek games at Williard Stadium. HPU will play the Spiders on Tuesday and Wednesday with both games starting at 4 p.m.