Late rally lifts HPU baseball to 5-4 win over Wright State

• High Point scored two runs in the eighth inning to come-from-behind for a 5-4 win over Wright State
• Freshman Conner Dunbar drove in the winning run with a pinch-hit single.
• Freshman Cooper Jeffers got the start and allowed just one run in six innings while striking out seven.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to grab a 5-4 win over Wright State on Tuesday at Williard Stadium. Freshman Conner Dunbar drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out, bases-loaded single.

“Tonight was a really good win where we got to utilize the depth of our roster,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “We got great contributions off the bench from players like Drew Fopeano and Conner Dunbar and Cooper Jeffers was absolutely special in his first career start. It was neat to see guys contribute. This was a quality win for us, especially in the midweek now we need to get ready for another game tomorrow.”

The Panthers trailed 4-3 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth when senior Dominic Fazio drew a walk to start the HPU rally. Back-to-back singles by sophomore Carson Jackson and junior Drew Fopeano drove in pinch runner Brock Hammit to tie the game. Junior Luke Parker then followed with High Point’s third-straight single to load the bases for Dunbar, who hit a pinch-hit single up the middle to bring home Jackson for the winning run.

Wright State put the go-ahead run on with back-to-back walks against junior Peter Ripke in the ninth, but the right-hander got out of the jam with a pop-up to second and a grounder to short to secure the win for High Point.

Ripke pitched the final two innings and allowed one unearned run on one hit and four walks with two strikeouts to pick up his first win of the season. Freshman Cooper Jeffers turned in a masterful outing in his first collegiate start, pitching six scoreless innings and allowing one earned run on two hits while striking out seven.

Jack Van Horn gave up two earned runs on four hits and a walk in 1/3 of an inning to take the loss for Wright State. Raider starter Trevor Swaney pitched six innings and gave up three earned runs on five hits with two strikeouts.

The win was High Point’s third-straight and it improves the Panthers’ record to 4-3 on the season. Wright State drops to 5-3 on the season with the loss, its third straight.

High Point took the first lead of the game, scoring three runs in the third. Sophomore Spencer Brown hit a one-out single and stole second before scoring the first run of the game on an RBI single by junior Chris Clare. Junior Josh Greene then drove in Clare with an RBI double and scored when Fazio followed with an RBI single.

Wright State got a run back in the fourth with an RBI single by Ryan Fucci then tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh on an RBI double by Daniel Arthur.

The Raiders pulled in front in the top of the eighth inning on a bases-loaded by John Brodner. WSU had loaded the bases on an error, a single by Mitch Roman and an intentional walk to Gabe Snyder.

Fazio and Parker recorded multiple hits for the Panthers as Fazio finished 2-3 with an RBI and Parker went 2-4. Both Clare and Greene notched an RBI and a run scored for HPU in the win.

High Point and Wright State will meet for the second game of their two-game midweek series on Wednesday, March 2, at Williard Stadium. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.