HPU BASEBALL: Jackson, Lee Go Yard in Setback at UNC

• Senior Hunter Lee extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a titanic solo blast in the top of the seventh inning.
• Senior Carson Jackson unloaded on a two-run homer to dead center field for his third home run in the last eight games.
• Freshman Jacob Kates continued his strong year on the mound, retiring all six batters he faced in relief.

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Seniors Carson Jackson and Hunter Lee connected on home runs to keep their recent hot streaks afloat, but the High Point University baseball team fell short at UNCG, 12-6, on Tuesday night at UNCG Baseball Stadium.

“We have some guys really struggling on the mound right now,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “It’s making it hard for us to be competitive in the mid-week games and then it’s taxing us on the weekends. We’ll get some things figured out on the mound and once we get the pitching calmed down, we’ll be back to playing our version of baseball.”

Lee came to the plate for his fourth at-bat of the night in the top of the seventh and cranked a no-doubt solo missile to right field that ricocheted off the parking garage across the street from the stadium. Lee’s second dinger in the last three games pushed his hitting streak to 16 games, one off his career high. In the ninth, senior Carson Jackson blasted a no-doubt laser to the left of the batter’s eye in center field for a two-run homer, his third home run in the last eight games.

High Point (12-12) gained an early lead in the top of the first via a two-out RBI single from redshirt-junior Daniel Millwee. It was one of two hits for Millwee, who was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate with a walk before being lifted for a pinch runner.

UNCG (17-6), owners of the second-best team batting average in the NCAA entering Tuesday, responded immediately with four runs in the first and scored nine runs total over its first four at-bats to grow a 9-2 advantage.

Senior Jordan Sergent provided a two-out RBI single in the top of the third for the Panthers while HPU drew a run closer in the sixth on a double play. UNCG responded to Lee’s homer with three runs in its final two at-bats to grow its lead to 12-4. Jackson’s homer provided the final margin.

Redshirt-sophomore Harrison Smith (0-3) made his first career start for HPU, but didn’t make it out of the third inning after allowing seven runs on eight hits in 2.2 frames. Freshman Jacob Kates shined in relief, retiring all six batters he faced with a pair of punchouts.

High Point returns home for a three-game conference series with Big South co-leader Winthrop this weekend. The set starts on Thursday at 6 p.m., continues on Friday at 6 p.m. and wraps up Saturday at 1 p.m.