HiToms salvage split in doubleheader:Daniel Frey on the CPL Trail

HiToms salvage split in doubleheader
from Daniel Frey with HPT HiToms

High Point-Thomasville, N.C.– The High Point Thomasville HiToms (30-25) split an unconventional doubleheader on Sunday night against the Martinsville Mustangs (24-28) but are forced to wait for their postseason fate.

The first order of business on Sunday was to finish a suspended game back on July 8 versus the Mustangs in the bottom of the fourth and the HiToms trailing 2-1.

Daniel McCrary came in on the mound in the top of the fifth inning technically relieving Brandon Lewis (1-1) who started the game nearly a month ago. The only additional scoring for Martinsville came in the top of the sixth inning on a solo homer by Spencer Holcomb.

Down 3-1 in the top of the eighth with two outs, Mike Warren was summoned out of the bullpen and after a walk worked out of a bases loaded jam. In the bottom half of the eighth is when the HiToms plated another run on a fielder’s choice off of the bat of Zac Almond.

Martinsville stuck with their original starter of the game Cameron Alldred (3-3) who in total tossed a solid eight innings and Carter Varga scooped up the save in the bottom of the ninth. That didn’t happen without some fireworks though as the lead off batter David Fry was ejected and ruled out of game two due to an argument with the home plate umpire.

The Mustangs completed the earlier suspended game with a 3-2 win. Since Lewis started the game and the HiToms never took the lead, he is saddled with the loss although Lewis is no longer on the team.

The HiToms bats were ready in game two when Almond set the tone with a grand slam to the deepest part of Finch Field dead center field. Just like that, the HiToms were in control 4-0.

Danny Sullivan tacked on an RBI single to left center in the bottom of the third as the HiToms cruised ahead 5-0 thanks in part of Steven Bower (3-4) on the mound.

Bower’s big trouble early on was in the top of the fourth with runners at the corners but HPT spun a 4-6-3 double play to retire the side.

Three Mustang errors and a pair of run-scoring doubles by David Sheaffer and Carson Jackson highlighted a four-run bottom of the sixth to put the HiToms ahead 10-0.

The shutout was not meant to be when Tyler Heinrichs pulled an RBI double to left field to get Martinsville on the board in the top of the seventh. In the scheduled seven-inning contest, Bower shined and went the distance while striking out nine Mustang hitters.

On the other side, Andrew Towns (5-4) was roughed up from the start on the mound. The HiToms rolled over the Mustangs in game two 10-1.

With the regular season over and done with the HiToms play the waiting game. Since champions of both the first and second half are rewarded an automatic spot to the playoffs although the HiToms have the third best overall record in the West Divison, the Florence RedWolves could slip in. For the HiToms to clinch a berth to the 2016 CPL playoffs, Florence needs to lose tomorrow at Gastonia or Forest City needs to defeat Asheboro so the Owls who have already clinch a home playoff game can take the West outright. If Florence is victorious tomorrow and Forest City loses then the HiToms would miss the playoffs in 2016.