HPU baseball pulls out 12-11 extra-inning win at Davidson

• High Point scored the game-winning run in the 10th inning to claim a 12-11 extra-inning win at Davidson on Tuesday.
• Jackson remains locked in at the plate, going 5-6 with a double, a home run and four RBI.
• The Panthers hit three more home runs in the game, giving them nine through the first four games this season.

DAVIDSON, N.C. – Junior Spencer Brown hit a two-out bases-loaded single to drive home the game-winning run in the top of the 10th inning as the High Point University baseball team picked up a 12-11 extra-inning win at Davidson on Tuesday.

High Point loaded the bases on a walk by redshirt-senior Tim Mansfield and back-to-back singles by juniors Zack Gray and Carson Jackson. Brown stepped to the plate with two outs and delivered a ground ball single between short and third to score Mansfield.

Davidson put the tying run on with a one-out walk but sophomore Matt Hodges struck out the next two batters to secure the victory for the Panthers.

“I think this team is trying to test and see how tough the coaching staff is,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “When we clean things up and play the type of baseball we are capable of we will be really good. We showed a lot of toughness and fight and had a tremendous offensive performance. We will take the win on the road no matter how we have to do it.”

Hodges pitched 1-2/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn his first win of the season. The left-hander allowed just one walk while striking out three.

Westin Whitmire took the loss for Davidson after giving up one earned run on three hits and a walk while striking out three in 1-1/3 of an inning.

Jackson continued his hot start to the season at the plate, going 5-6 with a double, a home run, four RBI and two runs scored. Juniors Austen Zente and Jordan Sergent also went yard as Zente finished 2-6 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored and Sergent finished 2-6 with one RBI and one run scored.

The win is High Point’s first at Davidson since 2002 and it improves the Purple & White’s record to 3-1 on the season. The Wildcats drop to 2-2 on the season with the loss.

The Panthers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on Jackson’s fourth home run of the season. High Point got two runners on with two outs as redshirt-senior Tim Mansfield drew a walk and Gray hit a single up the middle. Jackson then came to the plate and turned on a 1-1 pitch, sending it over the wall in left.

After Davidson tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the first, High Point once again used the long ball to go ahead in the next half inning. Sophomore JJ Woodard led off the second with a double and came around to score on a home run by Zente, his second of the season. Sergent followed the centerfielder and hit a solo shot to right to extend the HPU lead to 6-3.

The hosts got a run back in the second and another in the fourth to pull within one before HPU tacked on two runs in the fifth to go up 8-5. Jackson led off the inning with a single and junior Hunter Lee followed with a double to put two in scoring position. A groundball to short by Woodard scored Jackson and a throwing error on the play allowed Lee to come around from second.

Davidson managed to pull in front in the bottom of the fifth inning as the Wildcats took advantage of some miscues in the field by HPU to score four unearned runs, taking a 9-8 lead.

High Point retook the lead on a two-run Jackson double in the top of the eighth only to see Davidson tie the game with a run in the bottom of the eighth. In the ninth, an error by the Davidson rightfielder let senior Josh Greene score with two outs to put HPU in front 11-10, but once again Davidson answered in the bottom of the frame, sending the game to extra innings.

The 12 runs and 18 hits turned in by High Point are both season highs and the most recorded by the Panthers in a single game since scoring 13 runs on 23 hits against Longwood in the Big South Tournament last season.

High Point remains on the road this weekend as the Panthers travel to Florida for a three-game series at Stetson starting on Friday, Feb. 24. The series marks the first ever meeting between the two teams.