The High Point University baseball team beat Missouri 13-7 on Sunday in the final game of the weekend series. Senior Sal Pezzino was 4-5 with a home run and junior Jacob Newberry won his third consecutive start.
“After a frustrating day at the plate yesterday the team came out focused today,” said head coach Craig Cozart. “The team was relentless offensively. Our ability to answer every time they scored prevented them from ever getting back in the game. Newberry gave us an outstanding season. We learned a lot about ourselves as a team this weekend and applied it in today’s game.”
The Panthers improve to 13-9 with the win, snapping Missouri’s 10-game win streak. The Tigers are now 12-6.
Newberry earned his third straight win on Sunday, going 6-1/3 innings against Missouri. He allowed four runs on two hits and tied his career high with six strikeouts. Newberry cruised through the middle innings, retiring 10 in a row from the third inning until he hit the leadoff batter in the seventh inning. Newberry is now 3-0 on the season.
Pezzino broke the game open with a three-run homer in the second inning off relief pitcher Jeff Emens. Pezzino’s second homer of the series was launched to rightfield to give High Point a 7-0 lead.
The Panthers knocked MU starter Brandon Platts out of the game in the second inning. Platts gave up five runs, four earned, on five hits with one strikeout. HPU scored the unearned run in the first inning off Platts. Sean Wilson reached on an error to lead off the game and scored on a double by Devin Bujnovsky.
High Point scored six runs in the second. Dane McDermott had an RBI double and Wilson was hit by a pitch forcing Mizzou to go to the bullpen. Emens came in to face Willie Medina who singled through the right side to drive in McDermott. Pezzino followed with the three-run blast to make it a 7-0 HPU lead.
Mizzou leftfielder Dane Opel led off the second inning with a solo homer to rightfield off Newberry. It was the first of two hits Newberry would allow in the outing. The other was an infield single in the third inning. After the infield single to third base, Newberry retired 10 in a row.
Newberry ran in to trouble in the seventh inning. He hit two batters and walked two batters, cutting HPU’s lead to 9-2. Joe Goodman came out of the bullpen with one out and the bases loaded. He walked in two runs before striking out the side to end the threat. HPU led 9-4 after seven innings.
The Panthers added four insurance runs in the eighth inning, helped by three Tiger errors. Mizzou answered with two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Blake Brown hit a solo homer for the Tigers in the ninth to make the final score 13-7.
Pezzino went 4-5 with three RBI and two runs scored in the game. He finished a triple short of the cycle. Ryne Rush and Josh Spano collected three hits each and Wilson went 2-5 with four runs scored.
The Panthers return home to Williard Stadium on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. game against Appalachian State.