HPU Baseball Panthers Set Record Marks, Pound Asheville 14-3

• High Point tied a school record with eight doubles, collecting 10 extra-base hits en route to tying a season-high with 17 hits in the game
• Senior Carson Jackson broke the school’s record for doubles in a career with his 53rd two-bagger.
• The Panthers scored in seven of their first eight at-bats, plating multiple runs three times.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – A six-run first inning set the tone for the High Point University baseball team as they scored in seven of their first eight at-bats in a 14-3 rout of UNC Asheville on Saturday afternoon at Greenwood Field. HPU won its sixth conference series of the year and will look for the sweep on Sunday.

“Today was a complete ballgame,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “Up and down the lineup offensively, we were tremendous. It shouldn’t go overlooked how good we were defensively. There were a lot of really good plays and our pitchers filled up the strike zone.

“This was a great way to take the series and we’re in a good position to sweep tomorrow. Hopefully we get the result.”

The Panthers’ (27-20, 15-8) victory clinched at least a .500 record for the sixth consecutive season. Prior to the current stretch, HPU had only one such season in the Division I era.

HPU’s offense was a consistent force all afternoon, tying a season-high with 17 hits while matching a school record with eight doubles in the game. Two of the doubles came in succession in a six-run first inning for the Panthers. After two walks to lead off the game, senior Hunter Lee doubled to plate the first run before freshman Tanner Wells doubled to right-center to drive in two.

Wells would come around to score on a stolen base and a throwing error to make it 4-0. A pair of two-out walks extended the inning for junior Conner Dunbar, who roasted a two-run triple to right-center for a 6-0 advantage.

In the second, an RBI double from senior Carson Jackson drove in Wells and broke the all-time school record with 53 doubles in his career. An inning later, Lee collected his second RBI two-bagger of the game to score senior Austen Zente for an 8-0 cushion.

The Panthers were retired in order in the fourth inning, but came back to score in four straight innings. In the fifth, freshman Travis Holt knocked his fourth double of the season down the right field line to score senior Jordan Sergent before coming home on an RBI single from Lee to make it 10-0.

After a three-run homer for Asheville (12-35, 7-16) in the bottom of the fifth cut the lead to seven at 10-3, the Panthers promptly responded with two runs in the sixth. Sergent brought home the first run with a sacrifice fly and was followed by Dunbar, who tied the school record with HPU’s eighth double of the game. Zente then reached on an RBI infield single to inflate the lead to 12-3.

An RBI single from Jackson in the seventh restored the 10-run advantage and Zente padded the lead to 14-3 with a solo homer in the top of the eighth for his 12th long ball of the year.

Six different Panthers had multi-hit games while all nine starters recorded at least one hit. Lee (3-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI) and Sergent (3-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI) contributed three this each while Zente (2-for-4, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI), Wells (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI), Jackson (2-for-6, 2B, 2 RBI), and Dunbar (2-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI) posted two-hit affairs.

On the mound, sophomore Joe Johnson posted a workmanlike outing for his third straight triumph. Johnson (4-0) allowed the three-run homer, but limited the Bulldogs to just four hits overall in five innings of work. Redshirt-junior Jonny Vizcaino and freshman Jacob Winger gave up just one hit combined in four scoreless innings to finish out the contest.

High Point will go for its second conference series sweep of the season on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.