HIGH POINT, N.C. – Defensive mistakes sealed High Point University baseball’s fate on Saturday, as visiting Charleston Southern tied this weekend’s series on a 6-5 victory. Five of the Bucs runs would go down unearned overall as the Panthers out-hit CSU for a second straight evening, 8-7.
The Purple & White surrendered a single run in the first before coming back with a pair of their own in the bottom half. With Joe Johnson igniting a two-out rally, the junior DH delivered the first of his two knocks on the night with a single through the right side, before getting into scoring position on a stolen bag. Getting into his 10th 3-1 count of the 2019 campaign, senior Daniel Millwee rocketed a double down the right field line to score Johnson, before scoring himself, on a JJ Woodard single.
The third lead change of the night would occur in the following frame, as the Panthers gave the Bucs an extra opportunity on a fielding error. CSU went on to hang a pair of runs on a couple of two-out knocks to get back in front 3-2.
Millwee delivered his second of three runs driven in during the bottom of the third to get HPU back level. With teammate Travis Holt standing on second, the starting backstop delivered yet another RBI double to left field, as the two sides remained level all the way into the fifth.
Two more Buccaneer hits and a Panther error gave the visiting side a two-run lead, before the Panthers cut into their deficit during the bottom half of the term. Freshman Evan Bergman reached first after the Bucs’ third baseman misplayed a ball in play to open the frame, before advancing on a passed ball in the following at bat. Bergman continued to display some head’s up base running later in the inning, getting to third on fly out and crossing home plate on an RBI groundout from Johnson.
Both sides went scoreless through the sixth, before CSU tallied the eventual game-winner to make it 6-4 in the seventh. Millwee went on to tack on another run on an RBI single in inning number eight, but a shutout ninth delivered the Bucs a 6-5 final victory.
Despite delivering 5.0 frames without an earned run, starting HPU pitcher Harrison Smith took the loss on the evening, striking out five of the 24 batters he faced on the night. Garret Letchworth and Matt Hodges both provided a trio of Ks apiece as the pair struck out the side in the sixth and eighth innings respectively, while sophomore Jacob Winger held CSU scoreless for the final two outs in the top of the ninth.
>> Millwee and Holt are both on 12-game on base streaks, as the two have combined for eight hits in the first two games of this weekend’s series
>> Millwee’s three RBI were a team-high on the night, as the senior went 3-for-3 with a walk
>> Batting in the two through five spots of the lineup, Holt, Johnson, Millwee and Woodard accounted for seven of their team’s eight knocks, after delivering 12 of 14 the night previous
COMING UP NEXT
The Panthers conclude their weekend series against Charleston Southern, with a Sunday matchup scheduled for a 1 PM first pitch. Right-hander Joe Johnson is expected to take the mound for the Purple & White, matching up against lefty Cody Maw of CSU.