HPU Falls in First Game of Doubleheader, 5-1
• After recording 12 strikeouts on Friday, HPU’s pitchers struck out 15 Dukes on Sunday afternoon.
• Junior Conner Dunbar collected his first multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-3 with a pair of walks and an RBI
• Sophomore Grey Lyttle struck out five hitters in 2.1 innings of relief.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – James Madison hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning to open a lead they would never relinquish as the High Point University baseball team dropped the middle game of the three-game series, 5-1, on Sunday afternoon at Williard Stadium.
With two down in the first, the Dukes’ (2-0) Adam Sisk and Conor Hartigan launched consecutive pitches out to left field for solo homers and a 2-0 lead. High Point (0-2) starter Andrew Gottfried would settle down after the dingers, yielding just one hit in the remainder of his outing. Gottfried (0-1) tossed 4.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and a pair of walks. The righthander struck out seven as Panther pitching racked up 15 strikeouts on the afternoon.
HPU cut the deficit in half in the last of the fifth on an RBI single from sophomore Conner Dunbar, driving in pinch-runner freshman Jacob Winger. The Panthers once again struggled with runners in scoring position on the afternoon as a whole, though, going 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and leaving 10 runners on base.
JMU added single tallies in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings to pull away for the victory. Daniel Goggin earned the victory for the Dukes, allowing a run on four hits in five innings. Goggin (1-0) struck out three and walked two.
Sophomore reliever Grey Lyttle tossed 2.1 innings out of the bullpen for High Point, striking out five, one shy of a career high. Dunbar led the Panthers offense with his ninth career mutli-hit game, going 2-for-3 with two walks and an RBI.
Zente Collects Three Hits in 4-3 Setback to JMU
• Senior Austen Zente finished a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and two RBI on his first home run of the season
• Junior Cooper Jeffers and Senior Rion Murrah combined to toss three scoreless, hitless innings of relief
• The Panthers return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 21 when they travel to Greensboro, N.C. to take on North Carolina A&T at 4 p.m.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Senior Austen Zente collected three hits, including his first home run of the season, but it was not enough as the High Point University baseball team dropped the series finale to James Madison, 4-3, on Sunday afternoon at Williard Stadium.
“I have to give JMU a lot of credit for what they did this weekend, but we have to take a hard look at ourselves,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “We are a veteran club and we failed to get things done when it mattered most. This series handed us a gut check right out of the gates this season and I expect this team to respond in a profound way. We have a long way to go.”
Zente led off the bottom of the first with a double, roped a single to left in the third and belted a two-run shot in the last of the fifth for his three hits on the day. The three-hit outing tied his career high while the dinger marked his 14th career home run, second-most among current position players.
The home run in the last of the fifth gave HPU (0-3) its first lead of the series at 2-1. JMU (3-0) had struck first in the top of the fourth on a single, walk, sacrifice bunt, and sacrifice fly.
The lead was short-lived, though, as the Dukes responded with a pair of home runs in the top of the sixth, including a go-ahead two-run shot from Harry Brown. Michael Morgan followed two batters later with a solo homer to put JMU ahead 4-2.
From there, High Point’s combination of junior Cooper Jeffers and senior Rion Murrah retired nine of the final 10 hitters faced with three strikeouts. Redshirt-sophomore Harrison Smith (0-1) was dealt the loss for HPU, giving up three runs on two hits and two walks in 2.2 innings. Senior Jordan Sergent started for the Panthers, lasting 3.1 frames while allowing a run on two hits with a pair of punchouts.
HPU took advantage of a pair of James Madison errors in the last of the seventh to get back to within a run. Senior Hunter Lee reached on a fielding error, stole second, moved to third on a throwing error and ultimately scored on a sac fly from Sergent.
Lee led off the bottom of the ninth with a double to right and moved to third on a ground out, but was stranded there as the tying run.
Nick Stewart (1-0) picked up the victory for the Dukes, giving up two runs on two hits with four stirkeouts and a pair of walks in 4.2 innings of relief. Nate Robertson earned the save with a scoreless ninth inning.
HPU hits the road for the first time this season when they travel to Greensboro, N.C. to take on North Carolina A&T on Wednesday, Feb. 21. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.