• High Point evened its series against UNC Asheville with a 9-6 win on Senior Night.
• Senior Conor Lourey struck out a career high 10 in six innings to improve to 3-1 on the season.
• Sophomore Peter Ripke went 2-4 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored for HPU.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Senior Conor Lourey celebrated Senior Day by striking a career-high 10 batters as the High Point University baseball team evened its weekend series against UNC Asheville with a 9-6 win on Saturday night at Williard Stadium.
“I am glad we were able to get a win on Senior Day,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “The pregame ceremony was special. I am glad we came out and scored runs in bunches early because we figured out a way to give up runs late again. At least we are in position to win the series and that is the most important thing this weekend.”
Lourey allowed just two earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out 10 in six innings of work. The right-hander bested his previous career-high of nine strikeouts, which he did in relief against VMI last season. Lourey improves to 3-1 with his second win in as many weeks.
Redshirt-junior Joe Goodman pitched a perfect ninth with one strikeout to earn his team-high fifth save of the season.
Jordan Fulbright took the loss for UNC Asheville, dropping to 5-2 for the season. gave up four earned runs in 3-1/3 innings of work. Fulbright gave up six hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
The Panthers move back over .500 on the season at 24-23 with the win and also improve to 11-9 in Big South action. UNC Asheville drops to 21-29 overall and 5-15 in conference play.
High Point struck first for two runs in the bottom of the first. After the Panthers loaded the bases, freshman Carson Jackson drew a walk and senior Tony Fortier-Bensen hit into a fielder’s choice to drive in two runs.
Asheville got a run back in the top of the fourth on Hunter Bryant’s 12th home run of the season. The Bulldog first baseman hit a deep shot over the wall in left-center to make the score 2-1.
The Panthers answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the inning to extend its lead to 4-1. Senior Cody Manzella led off the inning with a single and came around to score from first on a double to the gap by sophomore Peter Ripke. After a single by senior Dane McDermott put runners on the corners, senior Brady Williamson hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Ripke.
Bryant struck again for UNC Asheville in the sixth, hitting an RBI double to score Tommy Houmard and pull the Bulldogs within two at 4-2.
High Point broke the game open with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to go ahead by a 9-2 margin. The Panthers sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning and got RBI hits by Fortier-Bensen, Ripke and senior Josh Spano as well as a sacrifice fly by sophomore Josh Greene.
UNC Asheville scored four runs in the eighth inning sandwiched around a 33-minute rain delay to pull back within three of HPU at 9-6. Kyle Carruthers drove in the first run with an RBI double just before the delay and Derek Smith, Eric Connally and Pete Guy had back-to-back-to-back RBI singles after play resumed.
Ripke finished 2-4 at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored in his first start as a position player at High Point. Spano went 3-5 with two RBI and two runs scored and Fortier-Bensen finished 2-5 with two RBI.
High Point and Asheville wrap up their weekend series on Sunday, May 10, at 1 p.m., when they meet in the rubber game of the three-game set in Williard Stadium.