HPU baseball remains alive with 6-5 win over Campbell

• Junior Austen Zente hit a game-winning double in the eighth inning to put High Point in front of Campbell in a 6-5 win over the eighth seed.
• Junior Rion Murrah pitched 5-1/3 innings of scoreless relief and struck out a record 11 batters for the Panthers.
• The win secures HPU’s third 30-win season in the past four years and its fourth of the Div. I era.

LEXINGTON, S.C. – Junior Austen Zente delivered an RBI double in the eighth inning to propel the High Point University baseball team to a 6-5 win over No. 8-seed Campbell on Friday night in Lexington, S.C.

With the game tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the eighth, sophomore JJ Woodard led off the HPU half of the inning with a walk and was replaced by sophomore Andrew Gottfried on the base paths. After a groundout moved Gottfried to second, Zente drilled a shot off the wall in right to put the Panthers in front.

“This was our brand of baseball,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “We played errorless baseball and offensively we kept grounding out at bats. JJ Woodard had some big at bats, Conner Dunbar scored some big runs and Tim Mansfield had two huge RBI early. On the mound, Rion Murrah was absolutely nails. He put up nothing but zeros and earned the victory. We live to play another day.”

Junior Rion Murrah earned the win and improved to 4-0 on the season after throwing 5-1/3 scoreless innings of relief in which he allowed just two hits and two walks. One day after sophomore Matt Hodges set an HPU Div. I record with 10 strikeouts in a relief appearance, Murrah bettered it with a career-high 11 strikeouts.

Wyatt Tyson was charged with the loss for Campbell after giving up one runs on one hit and a walk with three strikeouts.

The Panthers improve to 30-22 on the season with the win. It is HPU’s fourth 30-win season in the Div. I era and the team’s third in the past four seasons. Campbell ends the 2017 campaign with a 25-32 mark.

High Point took the first lead of the day with three runs in the second to go up 3-0. The Panthers scored the first run with a perfectly-executed suicide squeeze as sophomore Conner Dunbar beat the throw home. Redshirt-senior Tim Mansfield then hit a bases-loaded single to drive in two.

Campbell answered in the next half inning with five runs to go ahead, 5-3, but HPU came right back with a run in the bottom of the inning to pull within one. Dunbar beat out a throw at first on a potential double play and moved to second on an error before scoring on an RBI single off the bat of sophomore JJ Woodard.

The Panthers tied the game in the fifth when junior Carson Jackson came home on a sacrifice fly from fellow junior Hunter Lee to knot the score of 5-5.

High Point advances on to face the loser of the game between No. 1-seed Winthrop and No. 5-seed Radford in an elimination game on Saturday, May 27, at noon in Lexington, S.C.