HPU Baseball Rallies Late For 6-5 Win at Elon

*** Elon Report Below ***

• Redshirt-junior Daniel Millwee provided the game-winning two-run single in the top of the ninth inning to push HPU to a 6-5 comeback win.
• High Point picked up its seventh win this year when tied or trailing after six innings, three of which have come in the ninth inning or later.
• Freshman Tanner Wells recorded his second career three-hit game while driving in a career-best three runs.

ELON, N.C. – A two-run single from redshirt-junior Daniel Millwee in the top of the ninth inning broke open a 4-4 tie and lifted the High Point University baseball team to a come-from-behind 6-5 triumph over Elon on Tuesday night at Latham Park. HPU has now won its last three mid-week contests.

“It’s nice for our seniors to be able to walk off the field the last time at Elon with a win,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “Elon is always a quality team so this is a good win. Tanner Wells was huge in the middle of the order for us and Muhammed Eid was tremendous keeping us in position to win with six innings in the mid-week. We played errorless baseball and our bullpen was pretty darn good with Nick Niarchos getting it done at the end.”

High Point (25-20) had to overcome a 4-3 deficit after six frames to win the game and ended up earning its seventh win this year when tied or trailing after six innings. After the Phoenix had taken the one-run advantage in the last of the sixth, HPU immediately came back with a two-out, two-strike RBI single from freshman Tanner Wells in the top of the seventh that scored senior Hunter Lee from second to even the game.

After a scoreless eighth, freshman Travis Holt reached on an error to lead off the ninth and raced to third on Wells’ third hit of the night, a one-out double to right-center. With the infield drawn in, Millwee was able to sneak a 2-2 pitch back up the middle to score both runners and put High Point ahead 6-4. Elon (28-21) did not go quietly as junior Nick Niarchos had to battle to earn his first career save. With a run home and runners at first and second with one away, Niarchos buckled down to induce a 4-6-3 double play to finish off the game.

The Panthers started quick, plating three runs in the first inning with two outs. Wells provided the first of his two two-strike, two-out knocks with a two-run double to get the scoring started. He scored two batters later on an RBI single from senior Carson Jackson to put HPU ahead 3-0.

Wells posted his second career three-hit game, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and a career-high three RBI. Millwee reached base four times while providing the game-winning knock. He finished 2-for-3 with a pair of walks and his team-leading ninth go-ahead RBI on the year.

Sophomore Muhammed Eid got the start for High Point and retired the first six hitters he faced before allowing the first three batters to reach in the third inning. A sac fly got Elon on the board before the Phoenix tied the game at three with a two-out, two-run single from Ryne Ogren.

The game remained tied until Elon went ahead on an RBI single in the sixth inning. Nearing the 100-pitch mark, Eid limited the damage by getting a sac bunt and consecutive groundouts to strand a pair of runners. The sophomore allowed four runs on five hits in a career-best six innings while settling for a no-decision.

Freshman Jacob Kates worked in and out of trouble in the seventh inning and gave way to junior Cooper Jeffers (2-0) who tossed a scoreless eighth inning to wind up with the victory.

“Jacob Kates came in in a tough situation and wiggled out of a jam for us,” Cozart said. “Cooper Jeffers looked very solid and Nick Niarchos closing out the game when he hasn’t been asked to do that all year was pretty nice.”

High Point continues its eight-game road trip this weekend with a three-game conference series at UNC Asheville. First pitch is on Friday at 6 p.m. with a 3 p.m. start on Saturday and 1 p.m. start on Sunday.

Elon Sets Program Season Strikeout Record in Loss to High Point

ELON, N.C. – With six strikeouts in Tuesday’s 6-5 setback to the visiting High Point Panthers, the Elon University baseball team established a new single-season program record for strikeouts.

Box Score | Play-by-Play

The Phoenix moved past the strikeout record of 491 set a year ago and now has 496 on the year. Sean Byrnesrecorded Elon’s first three K’s of the night to set the record.

Elon (28-21) got a pair of hits and two RBI from Ryne Ogren, who is now just three shy of 200 for his career. Tyler Stanleyscored two of the five Phoenix runs on the night.

Brandon Justice (0-2) took the loss after giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits in 2.1 innings. He struck out two. Byrnes threw 5.1 scoreless innings in relief and allowed just two hits.

For High Point (25-20), Tanner Wells was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI, while Daniel Milwee drove in two during a two-hit night.

Cooper Jeffers (2-0) earned the win after tossing one scoreless inning in relief. Nick Niarchos garnered his first save after allowing one run on two hits in the ninth.

How It Happened: High Point jumped on top 3-0 in the first inning. Austen Zente led off the game with a double to the gap in right and the Panthers would get runners on the corners with two outs before Wells doubled home two with a shot to right-center. He later scored on a Carson Jackson single.

The Phoenix squared things up at three in the last of the third. Josh Broughton led off with a single and stole second before a walk and bunt single loaded the bases. Zach Evers lifted a sacrifice fly to right to plate the first Elon run of the game. With two outs and runners at second and third, Ogren singled through the left side to knot the contest.

Elon moved in front by a 4-3 margin in the last of the sixth as Matt Oldham singled home Ogren who had been hit by a pitch to open the inning.

The Panthers evened it back up in the seventh, scoring Wells two-out single.

In the ninth, a dropped pop up allowed High Point’s leadoff hitter to reach. Wells’ one-out double put a pair in scoring position for Millwee who sent a 2-2 pitch up the middle and through the drawn in Phoenix infield to drive home both runs.

Elon tried to rally in the last of the ninth. Stanley was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Garrett Stonehouse single through the right side. The winning run would reach when Ogren followed with a single, but the Panthers snuffed out the rally by getting a 4-6-3 double play to end the game and earn a split of the season series.

Notes: The road team has won the last four games in the series… Elon is now 126-87 against High Point.

On Deck: The Phoenix will remain at home for another important conference series this weekend as Elon will host Towson. The series will open with a 6 p.m. first pitch on Friday, May 11.