HPU baseball rolls to 15-5 win over UNCG in series finale

• High Point earned its first win of the season with a 15-5 victory over UNCG Sunday.
• Freshman JJ Woodard went 2-3 with four RBI and two runs scored for HPU.
• The Panthers received 16 free passes with 13 walks and three hit batters.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team exploded for 15 runs in a 15-5 win over UNCG on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Williard Stadium. Freshman JJ Woodard had a team-best four RBI in his first career start for the Panthers.

High Point (1-2) scored six runs in the second inning and six runs in the sixth against UNCG (2-1) to earn its first win of the season.

“This win came down to finally getting a good enough performance on the mound to give ourselves a chance to be competitive,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “In the first two games this weekend we found ourselves down six runs in the first three innings and it is hard to compete in that situation. We got a competitive performance from Joe Goodman and a six-spot in the second inning definitely helped. It allowed us to relax and play our version of the game.”

Senior Tyler Britton got the win for High Point on the mound after giving up two runs, one earned, on five hits with four strikeouts in four innings of relief. Redshirt-senior Joe Goodman got the start and pitched four innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and three walks with one strikeout.

Matt Frisbee took the loss in his first collegiate start for UNCG. The right-hander lasted just 1-2/3 innings and gave up six earned runs on four hits and three walks with one strikeout.

The Spartans scored the first run of the day with a bases-loaded walk by Andrew Moritz, but High Point came right back in the bottom of the frame as the Panther offense finally broke through with six runs in the inning. Junior Nick Capra tied the game with an RBI groundout to first, scoring senior Dominic Fazio. Woodard followed and drove in both junior Luke Parker and sophomore Carson Jackson with an RBI single, his first collegiate hit.

A single by junior Hunter Lee and a wild pitch put runners at second and third for junior Chris Clare who cleared the bases with a double down the line in left. Junior Josh Greene then connected for his first hit of the season with an RBI single to bring home Clare.

A fourth-inning home run by UNCG’s Dillon Stewart pulled the Spartans within four at 6-2 before a three-run inning by the Panthers pushed the HPU advantage to 9-2. Capra and Woodard hit back-to-back RBI singles and Lee drove in the third run with a sacrifice fly.

High Point continued to add to its lead just one inning later scoring six runs to go up 15-2. The Purple and White took advantage of UNCG’s lack of control on the mound, scoring all six runs on just two hits. The first run was scored on a textbook bases-loaded squeeze bunt by Parker to score junior Drew Fopeano. An error on a ground ball by Capra scored the second run and forced a UNCG pitching change. The first four batters after the change earned RBI as Woodard and Clare were hit by pitches and Lee and Greene earned bases-loaded walks.

UNCG managed to score twice in the eighth and once in the ninth to bring the final score to 15-5.

Woodard finished 2-3 at the plate with four RBI and two runs scored in his first collegiate start. Jackson also finished with multiple hits, going 2-5 with two runs scored. The Panthers got 16 free passes in the game on 13 walks and three hit batters. Clare, Greene, Zente and Parker all drew two walks in the contest with Zente and Clare also being hit by a pitch.

Stewart continued his impressive series against High Point, going 3-4 with a home run, one RBI and three runs scored for UNCG.

The Panthers continue their current home stand on Tuesday, Feb. 23, when the team welcomes North Carolina Central to Williard Stadium. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.