HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team fell to No. 1-seed Coastal Carolina, 4-3, in the Big South Championship semifinals on Friday afternoon at Williard Stadium. Freshman Spencer Angelis went 3-4 in the game with three doubles for the Panthers.
“This team had no quit in them,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “We had some really tough stretches this season, but we fought through and had a great tournament run. Against a team that is used to winning championships you have to take advantage of opportunities and we didn’t do enough of that today. We have most of this team coming back next year and the experiences from the last four days will pay huge dividends down the road.”
Junior Jacob Newberry took the loss for High Point, pitching an eight-inning complete game and allowing four earned runs on nine hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
Aaron Burke got the win out of the bullpen, pitching 4-1/3 innings of shutout ball. Burke allowed five hits and struck out two to get his 10th win of the season. CCU starter Austin Wallace went just 4-2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs on five hits and a walk.
Angelis doubled in each his first three at bats for the Panthers, hitting one down each foul line and one to the wall in left center. Freshman Ryne Rush finished the game hitting 2-5 while fellow freshman Josh Spano went 1-4 with an RBI.
High Point finishes its season with a 28-31 record. Coastal Carolina improves to 40-17 on the season and will play No. 3-seed Liberty in the Big South Championship Game on Saturday at 4 p.m. This is the third time in Cozart’s four seasons that the Panthers have won two games in the Big South Tournament.
The Chanticleers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run double by Rich Witten and increased its lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Alex Buccilli.
High Point’s offense got going in the top of the fourth as Angelis led off with a double down the left field line and Spano followed with a deep double off the left-center wall. Angelis held up on the hit and was only able to reach third, but came in to score on a Wilson groundout. Spano then scored on the next pitch as CCU’s Tucker Frawley let the ball get by him for a passed ball.
The Panthers tied the game in the fifth when Angelis’ second double drove in freshman Dane McDermott. McDermott reached on a one-out single and came all the way around to score on Angelis’ double off the left-center wall.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the sixth when Coastal scored the eventual game-winning run with an RBI single by Tripp Martin. Buccilli led off the frame with a walk before eventually scoring from third on the Martin hit.
HPU was able to get runners into scoring position in both the seventh and ninth inning but was unable to find the game-tying run.