• High Point clinched its third straight 30-win campaign, accomplishing the feat for the fourth time in the last five years.
• Five Panther hurlers combined to pitch HPU’s second straight shutout, the first time HPU has ever done so against a Big South foe.
• With the victory, High Point clinched the No. 2 seed in the Big South tournament, tied for the highest seed in program history.
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Another dominant pitching effort from the High Point University baseball team led the Panthers to a 1-0 victory over Presbyterian in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Williard Stadium.
“I have to give Spener Brown, our catcher, a lot of credit because I let him call the game today on his senior day,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “He did a great job of mixing up pitches. It’s nice to get a little pitcher’s duel going and come out on the right end of it. I’m proud of the way our guys pitched and played defense. Offense is sometimes tough to come by, that’s the nature of the game.”
The win was significant in many ways for the Panthers (30-21, 18-8) as primarily, it clinched the No. 2 seed for High Point in next week’s Big South tournament, tied for the highest seed in program history. In addition, HPU secured its third straight campaign with at least 30 wins, and tied the program record for Big South wins with 18.
Five different pitchers combined to hold the Blue Hose (15-38, 8-18) at bay, started by redshirt-sophomore Harrison Smith. In three innings of work, Smith worked around three base hits and struck out three in a no-decision.
Redshirt-junior Jonny Vizcaino entered in the fourth and pulled Houdini acts in the fourth and fifth innings. Presbyterian put runners at second and third with one down in the fourth, but Vizcaino (5-2) utilized a groundout and a flyout to get out unscathed. An inning later, PC had runners at 1st and 3rd with one down before Vizcaino wiggled off the hook with a strikeout and a flyout.
HPU utilized an error to score the only run of the game in the home half of the sixth. With senior Austen Zente at first after being hit by a pitch to leadoff the frame, freshman Travis Holt hit a slow chopper to second base. The Blue Hose attempted to turn a double play, but the ball was thrown away into left field, allowing Zente to race around and score.
Vizcaino came back out for the seventh and allowed two of the first three to reach, but junior Cooper Jeffers and sophomore Garret Letchworth came out of the bullpen to get a strikeout and groundout, respectively, to keep PC off the board.
Sophomore Grey Lyttle pitched the final two frames, allowing just one hit, for his second save of the campaign. Lyttle capped off HPU’s second straight shutout, the first time the Panthers have done so in five years and the first time ever against a Big South opponent.
The Panthers and Blue Hose complete the season with game two of the doubleheader on Saturday evening.