HPU baseball opens season with 11-0 win over NJIT

• High Point won its first season opener since 2012 with an 11-0 victory over NJIT in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday.
• Four different HPU players had multiple hits including both redshirt-senior Tim Mansfield and junior Carson Jackson who both hit home runs.
• Sophomore Andrew Gottfried pitched five scoreless innings and allowed just one hit to pick up his first win of the season.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – An eight-run third inning lifted the High Point University baseball team to a season-opening 11-0 win over NJIT in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Williard Stadium.

“That was a tremendous first ballgame,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “Tim Mansfield set the tone for us with his first career home run and Carson Jackson followed that up with a home run of his own. It was a terrific offensive performance all the way around and we played very well defensively. This is a great way to start the season and I am looking forward to watching our guys duplicate this effort.”

Four different HPU players had multiple hits, including redshirt-senior Tim Mansfield and junior Carson Jackson who both went yard in the contest. Mansfield finished 2-4 with two RBI and two runs scored while Jackson finished 3-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Junior Austen Zente went 2-4 with two RBI while junior Jordan Sergent was 2-3 with two doubles and two runs scored.

Sophomore Andrew Gottfried threw five shutout innings, allowing just one hit and two walks to start the season at 1-0. Junior Austin Heinz pitched the final four innings and allowed just five hits and a walk while striking out three to earn the save.

Johnny Malatesta started for NJIT but lasted just 2-1/3 innings. The right-hander allowed 10 earned runs on 10 hits and two walks while striking out three.

The win by High Point is just its sixth season-opening win in the Div. I era and its first since 2012 when the team beat Army at Williard Stadium.

The Panthers did not wait long to get on the board, scoring two runs in the first on Mansfield’s first collegiate home run. Sergent got the first hit of the season for the Purple & White with a double into the gap. Mansfield then turned on the first pitch he saw and deposited it over the wall in right for the two-run shot.

In the third, High Point scored eight runs to extend the lead to 10-0. Sergent got his second double of the game and came around to score on a wild pitch for the first run of the frame. After Mansfield and junior Zack Gray hit back-to-back singles, junior Jackson launched his first home run of the season with a shot to left-center.

The Panthers loaded the bases on singles from juniors Hunter Lee and Ryan Mason and a walk by junior Spencer Brown before a walk by sophomore Conner Dunbar and a double by Zente drove all three runners home. Sergent then drove in the final run with a sacrifice fly that scored Dunbar.

High Point added an extra run in the sixth on an RBI double by freshman Cody Oerther, his first collegiate hit.

Every member of the HPU starting lineup recorded a hit and either a run of an RBI in the season-opening win.

High Point and NJIT are back in action in the second game at Williard Stadium. The two teams conclude the three-game series on Sunday, Feb. 19, at 1 p.m.