• High Point clinched the weekend series at Winthrop with a 17-2 win over the Eagles on Friday night.
• The 17 runs scored by the Panthers are the most in a game this season.
• Sophomore Chris Clare went 3-5 with three RBI and two runs scored in the win.
Rock Hill, S.C. – The High Point University baseball team scored 11 runs in the sixth inning and a season-high 17 runs overall in a 17-2 win at Winthrop on Friday night in Rock Hill, S.C. The Panthers clinched the series over Winthrop with the win.
“This team has shown that it can really be special,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “When we are clicking on all cylinders, pitching, playing defense and playing offensive baseball like we did today we are hard to deal with. We have a chance to do something special, getting a sweep on the road, so our guys have to remain hungry and get ready to do that tomorrow.”
Sophomore Cas Silber got the start on the mound for HPU and improved to 3-1 on the season with the win. Silber pitched five shutout innings and allowed just two hits while striking out seven.
Josh Strong took the loss for Winthrop and dropped to 3-3 on the season. Strong pitched five innings and allowed six runs, two earned, on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
The Panthers improve to 16-13 overall and 6-2 in the Big South with the win. HPU has clinched its fifth-straight weekend series with the win over the Eagles. Winthrop drops to 19-12 overall and 2-6 in conference play.
High Point got on the board first with a run in the second inning on an RBI single by sophomore Chris Clare. Freshman Carson Jackson doubled to lead off the inning and moved to third on a failed pick off before scoring on the Clare single.
The Panthers doubled the lead in the fifth when freshman Hunter Lee hit an RBI double off the wall in right to put HPU ahead by a 2-0 margin. Senior Tony Fortier-Bensen scored on the play after earning a two-out walk and advancing to second on a wild pitch.
High Point exploded for 11 runs in the sixth to go ahead by a score of 13-0. The Panthers had six hits and took advantage of three Winthrop errors in the frame. Fortier-Bensen had the big hit in the inning with a two-run home run to left, his first of the season. Clare had two RBI on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch and an RBI single and both sophomore Josh Greene and Jackson picked up one RBI in the inning.
Sophomore Brenden Rivera pinch-hit to lead off the seventh and hit his first home run of the season to put High Point in front, 14-0. Rivera turned on a 1-0 pitch and hit a deep shot over the wall in right for the solo home run. HPU added three more runs on a bases-loaded walk by Fortier-Bensen and a two-run single by senior Josh Spano.
Winthrop scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth on a two-run home run by Babe Thomas to make the final score 17-2.
The 17 runs scored by HPU is a new single-game season high for the Panthers. The previous season high was 15 runs scored against Davidson on March 24. The HPU Div. I single-game record for runs scored in 25, which was last done at North Carolina A&T last season.
Clare finished 3-5 at the plate with three RBI and two runs scored while Angelis went 4-6 with two runs scored and Jackson finished 3-4 with one RBI and three runs scored. Fortier-Bensen tied Clare for the team high in RBI with three to go along with two runs scored.
High Point will try and complete its first weekend sweep of the season when it faces Winthrop in the third and final game on Saturday, April 4. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.