HPU Baseball Panthers Pounce Early, Often in 12-2 Victory

• High Point pounded out 12 runs on 16 hits to cruise to a 12-2 victory over Dayton in the series opener Friday.
• Both junior Conner Dunbar and senior Jordan Sergent collected four-hit days, leading a group of five Panthers that posted multi-hit games.
• Due to forecasted inclement weather on Sunday, the teams will now wrap up the series with a doubleheader on Saturday with first pitch in game one scheduled for 12 p.m.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team scored in its first five at-bats and coasted to a 12-2 victory over Dayton in the series opener on Friday night at Williard Stadium. HPU’s 16 hits were the most in a game since Apr. 2, 2017.

“Today was a tremendous offensive performance up and down the lineup,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “We had a great approach and great confidence at the plate and it was the way we wanted to start the weekend.

“Daczkowski settled in nicely for us and got us deep in the game and we played really solid defense. Doubleheaders are difficult, but we’ll see what we can do with it tomorrow.”

After Dayton (1-3) struck for an early run in the top of the first, High Point (2-3) countered with 12 consecutive runs over their first five at-bats. Redshirt-junior Daniel Millwee got the parade started with a two-run homer in the last of the first to push the Panthers ahead 2-1.

An inning later, senior Jordan Sergent doubled and was promptly driven in by senior Carson Jackson’s two-bagger down the left field line. Jackson would come around to score on a stolen base and throwing error, growing the advantage to 4-1. A two-out error extended the frame for senior Hunter Lee, who singled to right-center to give HPU a 5-1 edge.

The duo teamed up again in the third inning with Sergent singling and scoring on a carbon copy double from Jackson into the left field corner. Jackson, who led the team in doubles a year ago, went 2-for-4 with his first two doubles of the year, a run scored and two RBI.

Leading 6-1, HPU pushed across two more tallies in the top of the fourth on a fielder’s choice and pick off error. The Panthers completed their onslaught with four runs in the last of the fifth over four consecutive at-bats. With two on and one down, junior Conner Dunbar singled to left to make it 7-1. Millwee followed with an RBI double off the right-center field wall before Lee drove in a run on a groundout. Senior Blake Schunk capped the outburst with a two-out RBI knock to right, putting High Point on top 12-1.

Five different Panthers recorded multi-hit games, led by Dunbar (4-for-5, 4 R, RBI) and Sergent (4-5, 3 R), who became the first pair of HPU hitters to collect four hits in a game since Feb. 13, 2015 (Carson Jackson and Tony Fortier-Benson). Both players set new career highs for hits and runs scored in a single game.

Millwee, fresh off a four RBI day on Wednesday, was 2-for-3 with a double, home run, three runs scored and three RBI. Schunk added three hits and an RBI while Jackson drove home a pair, as did Lee.

Meanwhile, HPU sophomore starter Drew Daczkowski cruised through five innings to earn his first win of the campaign. After allowing the lead-off man to reach on a double, Daczkowski (1-1) retired 14 of the next 15 hitters and 15 of his final 17 faced overall. The righthander gave up just a run on two hits in five frames, striking out six against just one walk. Junior Matt Hodges tossed three scoreless and hitless frames with three K’s out of the bullpen and freshman Caleb Williams struck out the side in the ninth in his career debut.

Dayton starter Austin Cline (1-1) was roughed up for eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits in 3.0 innings of work.

With forecasted inclement weather on Sunday, the team’s will now play a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon to wrap up the series. First pitch in game one is scheduled for 12 p.m. with game two following 45 minutes after the conclusion of game one.