HPU baseball picks up 7-4 win at Liberty and evens series

• High Point earned a 7-4 win at Liberty to even the weekend series against the Flames at a game apiece.
• Seniors Josh Greene and Drew Fopeano both drove in two in the contest while junior Carson Jackson finished 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
• Freshman Drew Daczkowski struck out six in five innings to earn his second win of the season.

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The High Point University baseball team evened its series against Liberty with a 7-4 win over the Flames on Saturday night in Lynchburg, Va. Seniors Josh Greene and Drew Fopeano both drove in two runs in the win.

“We had to fight like crazy tonight to get this win,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “Drew Daczkowski had to pitch out of a lot of jams tonight. We played very good defense and Josh Greene and Drew Fopeano came up big in clutch situations. We got a lot of contributions from a lot of different players tonight. I am looking forward to the opportunity to come out and win the series tomorrow.”

Freshman Drew Daczkowski battled for five innings to pick up the win on the mound and improve to 2-1 on the season. The right-hander allowed three runs, one earned, on seven hits and four walks while striking out six. Junior Rion Murrah allowed just one hit in 2-1/3 scoreless innings to earn his second save of the season.

Evan Mitchell took the loss for Liberty after giving up five earned runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts on 5-2/3 innings of work.

High Point improves to 9-8 overall and 1-1 in the Big South while Liberty drops to 10-7 overall and 1-1 in conference play.

Liberty managed to score twice in the first to jump out to an early 2-0 lead but the Panthers answered right back with two runs in the fourth to knot the game at 2-2. Junior Zack Gray drove in the first run with an RBI double and the second scored on a sacrifice fly from junior Carson Jackson.

In the following inning, High Point took the lead as sophomore JJ Woodard led off the frame with a double sophomore Conner Dunbar followed suit to drive in the catcher.

After Liberty scored in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 3-3, The Panthers scored twice in the sixth. Back-to-back singles by Jackson and junior Hunter Lee with two outs put runners on the corners for Fopeano who doubled off the wall to score both.

High Point added two insurance runs in the ninth on a two-run single by Greene. The senior lined a two-out base hit to right, driving in both redshirt-junior Zach Vandergrift and Dunbar.

Jackson was the only HPU player to record multiple hits on the night, finishing 2-3 with a sac fly and a run scored.

High Point and Liberty will meet in the rubber game of their three-game weekend series on Sunday, March 19, at 2 p.m., in Lynchburg, Va. The Panthers are 1-1 in rubber games this season with a win over NJIT in the opening weekend and a loss at Stetson.