Site: Chapel Hill, N.C. (Boshamer Stadium)
Score: #13 North Carolina 14, High Point 0
Records: UNC 5-0, HPU 4-1
W: Nik Pry (1-0), L: Dawson Place (0-1)
Next HPU Event: Friday, Feb. 21 — vs. Towson (High Point, N.C.), 4 p.m.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team suffered its first loss of the season with a 14-0 defeat at the hands of No. 13-ranked University of North Carolina on Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 19).
North Carolina opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the first inning. A hit batter and a single started things off for the Tar Heels and both runners advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. Freshman Dawson Place recorded his first strikeout for the second out of the inning but two errors on the same play brought both runners around to score.
Place settled down in the second inning, retiring the side in order with some help from his defense. Sam Zayicek made a sliding grab in center for the first out of the inning and Brady Pearre tracked down a ball at full speed into foul territory to end the inning, with Place’s second strikeout of the game sandwiched in between.
High Point threatened in the top of the third, getting its first two base runners on with back-to-back hits. Cole Singsank singled up the middle for the Panthers’ first hit of the ballgame, just past the diving second baseman. Brian Rall followed that up with a single to center field, putting runners on first and second with one out.
Both runners advanced into scoring position on a passed ball but could not come around to score. Brady Pearre flied out to left and Singsank broke for the plate to try and score on the sacrifice. UNC’s left fielder threw a dart right to the plate that was in time to get Singsank on the double play and keep the Panthers off the board through three.
UNC doubled its lead in the third, scoring two more runs to lead 4-0 heading into the fourth. The first two batters reached on a single and a hit batter, ending Place’s day on the mound. Chris Apecechea came on to relieve the freshman and picked up one strikeout, but not before both baserunners scored, first on another single and then on a sacrifice fly to left.
Apecechea only pitched the third, making way for freshman Jimmy Curley to make his collegiate debut in the fourth. Curley picked up two quick outs and then hit the third batter he faced, but the runner was thrown out trying to steal second by Rall to end the inning.
The Panthers threatened again in the fifth, getting their first two runners of the inning on with a single from Justin Ebert and Singsank drawing a walk. Adam Stuart laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third, but once again HPU couldn’t capitalize, with a strikeout and a groundout to third ending the inning with another zero on the board for the Purple and White.
Carolina took advantage of High Point’s inability to capitalize in the fifth, scoring five runs in the bottom half of the inning. Four walks and a single in a span of six batters plated four runs and another single got the fifth across in the inning for the Tar Heels before a groundout to second ended the inning. UNC kept the offense going in the middle innings, tacking on two more in the sixth and three in the seventh, complete with a two-run homer to left for the final runs of the game.
HPU is back in action at home this weekend (Feb. 21-23), welcoming Towson for a three-game series starting Friday (Feb. 21) at 4 p.m.