HPU Baseball Homers Four Times in 13-9 Setback to Elon

• High Point tied a season-high with four home runs, including a pair from senior Carson Jackson in his first two at-bats.
• Jackson and senior Austen Zente, who also homered, are now tied for the team lead with five home runs a piece.
• Senior Hunter Lee’s hitting streak reached 20 games with another multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team racked up four home runs on Tuesday night at Williard Stadium, but came up short in a 13-9 loss to visiting Elon. The four round-trippers matched a season-best for the Panthers.

“Offensively, we were outstanding tonight,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “We have a bunch of experienced players that are locked in (at the plate) and performing at a really high level. So that’s great. On the flip side. we’re absolutely terrible on the mound in mid-week games right now. We don’t even give ourselves a chance to be competitive. We’re supposed to be better than this on the mound. I’ll take responsibility for it, but there are some guys who need to step up and get something done.”

High Point (14-14) came to bat down 4-0 after the top of the first inning, but immediately cut into the deficit when senior Hunter Lee clocked an RBI single to right that extended his hitting streak to 20 games. Senior Carson Jackson followed on the next pitch with a titanic two-run homer to left to bring HPU within 4-3.

Elon (17-12) quickly responded with four more runs in the top of the second to move ahead 8-3. The Panthers, though, continued to chip away with the long ball as Jackson blasted a three-run homer on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the third inning to cut the lead to 8-6. The two-tater game was the second of Jackson’s career and the first for a Panther in 2018. It increased his season total to five and his career total to 20, as he became just the fifth player in the DI era to accomplish the feat. Jackson also tied a career high with five RBI.

In the fifth, senior Austen Zente smoked a solo home run for his fifth round-tripper of the year, bringing HPU to within 8-7. The long ball was Zente’s second hit of the day in addition to his third run scored. He moved into a tie with Jackson with five home runs on the campaign.

HPU was unable to tie the game despite scoring a run in the sixth on a homer from senior Blake Schunk that made it 10-8, and a run-scoring wild pitch in the seventh that sliced the lead to 11-9. High Point had the tying runs in scoring position with one down in the seventh, but back-to-back strikeouts ended the threat. Elon scored twice in the eighth to regain a four-run lead they would not relinquish.

Sophomore Muhammed Eid pitched well out of the Panther bullpen, tossing a career-high 5.0 innings in relief of senior Jordan Sergent (1-2), who allowed six runs (four earned) in one-plus inning. Eid gave up four runs on seven hits, but strung together three straight scoreless innings at one point to keep the Panthers in the game.

High Point returns to Big South action this weekend with a road trip to Charleston Southern. The series begins on Friday at 6 p.m. before continuing on Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.