HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team completed its sweep of UNC Asheville with a 9-2 win over the Bulldogs in the second game of the doubleheader between the two teams on Saturday afternoon at Williard Stadium.
“I am proud of this team and especially these seniors,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “To finish out the regular season with a sweep here at home is tremendous. This has been arguably the best regular season we have had here at the Div. I level. We did what we needed to do this weekend to get ourselves prepared for the Big South Championship. I like where we are at and think we are poised to make a great run at it.”
With the win over the Bulldogs, High Point finishes with 2014 regular season with a 31-20 overall record and a 17-9 record in Big South play. The 31 wins by the Panthers match the HPU Div. I single-season record for overall wins while their 17-9 conference mark sets new Div. I program records for both total wins and winning percentage.
UNC Asheville finishes the season with a 13-40 overall record and 4-22 mark in conference play with the loss to the Panthers.
Graduate student Jon Carlson pitched four innings out of the bullpen to earn the win, improving to 2-2 on the season. Carlson allowed one run on two hits and a walk while striking out two. HPU starter Andre Scrubb pitched four innings and allowed one run on four hits and four walks while striking out two.
Asheville starter Brian Connolly took the loss for the Bulldogs, dropping to 2-4 on the season. Connolly pitched four innings and allowed three runs, two earned on six hits and two walks.
High Point got on the board first, scoring two runs in the second to take an early 2-0 lead. Freshman Zach Vandergrift walked to leadoff the inning and moved to third on a passed ball and a sacrifice bunt before scoring on an RBI double from junior Tony Fortier-Bensen. Freshman Chris Clare then followed with an RBI single to score Fortier-Bensen from second.
Kyle Towles got a run back for Asheville in the following inning, leading off the frame with a solo home run just inside the foul pole in left.
The Panthers pushed their lead back to two in the fifth, scoring a run on an RBI double by junior Spencer Angelis to go ahead 3-1. Junior Dane McDermott reached on an error to leadoff the inning and took second on a bunt single by freshman Josh Greene before scoring on the Angelis double.
High Point broke the game open in the seventh, scoring five runs to go up 8-1. Clare led off the inning with a double and scored the first run of the frame on an error by the Bulldog pitcher during a sacrifice bunt attempt by junior Dane McDermott. Greene and redshirt-junior Blake Hutton each drove in a run with RBI singles and senior Kyle Brandenburg picked up two RBI with a bases-loaded double to the wall in right-center.
The two teams traded runs in the eighth as Asheville scored once in the top of the frame on an RBI single by Tommy Houmard and the Panthers responded in the bottom of the frame with an RBI single by sophomore Dominic Fazio to make the final score 9-2.
Greene, Angelis, Brandenburg and Clare all finished with two hits in the win. Seven different HPU players drove in a run, led by Brandenburg who finished with a game-high two RBI. McDermott, Greene and Vandergrift tied for the team lead in runs scored with two each.
Towles had two hits including his solo home run for UNC Asheville. Houmard also finished with two hits and recorded the only other RBI for Asheville in the game.
High Point clinched the No. 4 seed in the 2014 Big South Championship with the sweep of Asheville. The Panthers will open the conference tournament against No. 5 seed Radford on Tuesday, May 20, in Rock Hill, S.C. High Point dropped two of three games against Radford earlier this season at Williard Stadium.