HPU baseball defeats No. 6 Winthrop, 6-2

• High Point advanced in the Big South Baseball Championship with a 6-2 win over No. 6 Winthrop on Wednesday.
• Senior Dominic Fazio gave HPU an early lead with a three-run home run in the first and finished 2-3 with a walk, three RBI and two runs scored.
• The Panthers advance to face the loser of the game between No. 3 Longwood and No. 7 Liberty on Thursday.

LEXINGTON, S.C. – The High Point University baseball team remained alive in the 2016 Big South Baseball Championship with a win over No. 6 Winthrop on Wednesday morning in Lexington, S.C.

“Obviously our guys came out with a good mentality today and it is great to get this win,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “Dominic Fazio had a big three-run home run to get us on the board early and that allowed us to relax and play a little. Andre Scrubb did a great job on the mound and Jeremy Johnson did a great job to get out of a bases-loaded jam. We did a good job up and down the lineup and you always feel better when you get the win.”

Junior Andre Scrubb pitched 6-1/3 innings and allowed two earned runs to improve to 8-6 on the season. The right-hander allowed seven hits and five walks and struck out four in the contest.

Thad Harris lasted just two-plus innings on the mound for Winthrop and allowed four earned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out three to finish the season at 6-6.

The second-seeded Panthers improve to 32-23 overall on the season and are one win shy of tying the program Div. I record for wins in a season. Winthrop ends the 2016 season with a 28-27 record.

After the Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI groundout by Anthony Paulsen, High Point answered back with three runs in the bottom of the frame on senior Dominic Fazio’s fifth home run of the season. The third baseman fouled off a couple full-count pitches before hitting a three-run shot over the short wall in left.

Winthrop scored its second run in the second inning on an RBI single by Tyler Asbil to close to within 3-2 before High Point pushed the lead to three, 5-2,, with two runs in the bottom of the following inning. Sophomore Austen Zente led off the bottom of the third with a solo home run, his third of the season, and sophomore Hunter Lee hit a two-out RBI single to extend the HPU advantage.

The final Panther run in the contest came on a strange play in the fifth when Winthrop committed two errors, allowing Lee to score from first base. Redshirt-sophomore Zach Vandergrift hit a slow roller with two outs and the throw to first from Kyle Edwards was off the mark. Vandergrift then tried to take second where Brandon Fite bobbled the throw. Lee scored on the play to extend the High Point lead to 6-2.

Winthrop had the tying run at the plate with one out in the seventh when the Eagles loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a groundball single. Junior Jeremy Johnson came out of the pen to eliminate the threat with a strike out of Paulsen and a hotshot back to the mound by Roger Gonzalez.

Fazio finished the game 2-3 at the plate with a walk, a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. Zente, Lee and sophomore Carson Jackson all finished with two hits with both Lee and Zente recording an RBI and a run scored.

High Point moves on in the Big South Baseball Championship and will next face the loser of the game between No. 3 Longwood and No. 7 Liberty on Thursday, May 26, at 3 p.m., in Lexington, S.C.