Big Innings Lift High Point Baseball over UNCG, 14-4

• High Point scored 13 of its runs in three innings, reaching double figures for the seventh time this year and falling one short of a season-high in runs.
• Senior Hunter Lee pushed his hitting streak to 24 games with a two-hit night, driving in three and scoring twice.
• Sophomore Muhammed Eid earned the win on the mound, holding the potent Spartan offense to two runs in five innings pitched.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – A patient approach at the plate proved dividends for the High Point University baseball team in a 14-4 rout of UNCG on Tuesday night at Williard Stadium. The Panthers tied a season-high with 10 walks, seven of which came around to score.

“I’m proud that Muhammed Eid went out in the mid-week and gave us a quality start,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “That’s probably the best mid-week start we’ve had this season, and Jordan Sergent came in and finished it, which was tremendous.

“When we gave up two (runs) in the first and answered back with three, I think that sent the message that we weren’t going to roll over. Then you put up five in the second and that puts you in a good position. Plus, our defense continues to play tremendously. That part of our game, which we talked about before the year, is really showing up.”

High Point (18-14) matched its season-high with its fourth straight triumph and put things away early. UNCG (24-8) scored twice in the top of the first on a two-out, two-run double, but the Panthers were able to immediately respond due to some erratic pitching.

Two walks and a stolen base put runners on the corners for senior Hunter Lee, who lifted a sac fly to center to make it 2-1. The Panthers ultimately loaded the bases with two outs on another walk and a hit batter before sophomore Joe Johnson was plunked to force in a run. HPU would add a run on a passed ball to take a 3-2 lead without the aid of a hit.

A similar story came out of the second as the first three batters reached on a hit by pitch and two walks. Lee quickly took advantage by smoking a two-run double to right-center to grow HPU’s lead to 5-1. The hit extended his hitting streak to 24 games in a contest in which he ultimately collected two hits, scored twice, and drove in three.

The damage wasn’t done, though, as freshman Travis Holt laid down an RBI bunt single, sophomore Joe Johnson reached on an RBI infield single, and freshman Travis Wells brought home a run on a sac fly to push the advantage to 8-2 after two frames.

After the tough first frame, sophomore Muhammed Eid settled down and pitched his way into his first win of the season. Eid (1-0) tied his career long with five innings pitched, scattering six hits in the process. The righthander struck out two, walked three, and utilized a double play and some timely strikeouts to keep the nation’s No. 3 ranked offense at bay.

High Point posted its second five-run frame of the day in the home half of the fifth to erase any doubt. Senior Austen Zente, who scored three times in the game, drove in a run with a single to right field to increase the lead to 9-2. A one-out walk loaded the bases for senior Carson Jackson, who unloaded them with a three-run double to the gap in left-center. He would score two batters later on Holt’s second RBI single of the game to make it 13-2.

The Panthers added a run in the last of the eighth on a monster solo blast from Wells, who tallied the first multi-RBI game of his career while notching his second career home run. The long ball was HPU’s league-leading 35th of the campaign. Wells was one of four Panthers to post multi-hit games, including Lee, Holt and senior Spencer Brown. Lee and Jackson drove in three each, while Holt, Johnson, and Wells each brought in two.

UNCG would get two runs in the top of the ninth against senior Jordan Sergent, who was otherwise splendid on the hill. In his first relief outing of the year, the southpaw yielded two runs (one earned) in four innings while striking out one to earn his first save of the campaign.

Winners of four in a row, the Panthers aim to keep the streak alive when they travel to Boiling Springs, N.C. for a three-game Big South series with Gardner-Webb this weekend. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6 p.m. with 2 p.m. starts on both Saturday and Sunday.