HPU Baseball Panthers Double Up Buckeyes, 8-4

• High Point picked up its second comeback win of the weekend – and fifth of the season – in an 8-4 win over Ohio State.
• Senior Carson Jackson and freshman Travis Holt collected three hits apiece, combining to 6-for-8 with three runs scored and an RBI.
• Junior Andrew Gottfried earned his first win of the campaign with five solid innings – striking out six.

CONWAY, S.C. – The High Point University baseball team continued its strong play at the Environmental Staffing Chanticleer Classic – defeating Ohio State, 8-4, on Saturday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium. The win was HPU’s fifth comeback triumph of the year and second in as many days.

The Panthers (7-7) scored in five of their final six at-bats to rally past the Buckeyes (8-5) and make a winner of junior Andrew Gottfried, who held the Buckeyes in check for five innings on the bump.

“It started out tough, but our offense came up with a ton of big hits to get us rolling,” Gottfried said. “I didn’t start out great, but Coach Cozart and I talked between innings and we got it going on and I was able to finish strong. (Rion) Murrah was able to come in and eliminate scoring opportunities and Grey (Lyttle) was able to close it out.

“This was a really good team win. We’re being greedy right now. It’s great what we’ve done so far (this weekend), but the only thing that matters now is the next game. We really just want to win as many ballgames as we can right now.”

Ohio State scored a run in each of its first two at-bats to grab a 2-0 lead, but Gottfried (1-2) settled down to last five frames. The righthander struck out the last five hitters he faced, including punching out the side in the fifth. Overall, Gottfried allowed just two runs on five hits in five innings striking out six.

HPU got its offense in gear, tying the game in the fourth with a pair of runs. Senior Blake Schunk doubled home senior Hunter Lee for the first run, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on an RBI grounder off the bat of freshman Tanner Wells. An inning later, the Panthers took the lead for good with a two-out RBI single from senior Carson Jackson. The knock was part of a big day for Jackson, who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.

High Point added another tally in the sixth on a one-out solo blast from sophomore Joe Johnson to right-center. Johnson’s first home run of the year was part of a two-RBI day for the outfielder, who now has two career dingers.

Ohio State got a run back in the home half of the sixth, but gifted the Panthers two runs when a two-out throwing error scored Jackson and Lee to make it 6-3 HPU. Again, the Buckeyes rallied in the last of the seventh getting a run on a two-out single, but senior Rion Murrah got a fly out with two on to keep the Purple & White ahead 6-4.

The Panthers put the game away with a ninth-inning rally, scoring twice. With two on and one down, Lee chopped an RBI double down the right field line and was followed two batters later by Johnson, who drove home the eighth run of the game on a fielder’s choice.

Sophomore Grey Lyttle struck out a pair in the ninth to earn his second career save, tossing 1.2 scoreless frames.

High Point pounded out 12 hits in the contest, led by Jackson and freshman Travis Holt, who had three hits each. Lee finished the day going 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, and an RBI.

HPU wraps up the Environmental Staffing Chanticleer Classic with a battle against No. 21 Coastal Carolina on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.