High Point University Baseball Drops Series with Sunday Loss

Site: High Point, N.C. (Williard Stadium)
Score: Towson 4, High Point 3
Records: TU 2-4, HPU 5-3
W: Kody Reeser (1-0), L: Garrett Letchworth (0-1), S: Jake Pecilunas (1)
Next HPU Event: Tuesday, Feb. 25 — vs. North Carolina Central (Williard Stadium, High Point, N.C.), 4 p.m.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team dropped the weekend series with Towson University after a 4-3 loss to the Tigers on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 23). Junior Travis Holt recorded his team-leading fourth multi-hit game of the season and sophomore Evan Bergman drove in the Panthers’ first two runs and scored the third.

“It’s a shame to lose the series the way we did, but it’s the same old story,” head coach Craig Cozart said after the game. “We gave up three runs in the fifth and it started with a leadoff walk. There was a two-out walk and we didn’t get an out on a bunt. It’s just fundamental baseball and we’re not playing fundamentally sound right now. Offensively, we’re pretty soft at the plate. We have a decision to make and we’ll see how the guys react.”

Towson threatened in the first inning, loading the bases with two outs. Senior starter Joe Johnson wasn’t fazed and neutralized the threat with his second strikeout of the inning to leave them loaded and get the offense up to bat. Johnson followed that up with a 1-2-3 inning in the second, racking up his third and fourth strikeouts of the game.

Johnson got a lead to work with in the third inning when the Panthers broke through and scored all three of their runs. Brady Pearre walked to start the inning and moved to third on a single from Holt to put runners on the corners. Bergman brought both runners home with a double down the left-field line to break the scoreless tie. Bergman came around to score two batters later when Sam Zayicek singled to the gap in right to plate the sophomore and give HPU a 3-0 lead.

Johnson had another 1-2-3 inning in the fourth with two more strikeouts, but it would be the last inning he completed. A lead-off walk and pair of sacrifice bunts, one that reached on a fielder’s choice, put runners on second and third with one out. Johnson got the Tigers’ three-hitter to popup to second but a single to the gap in left-center scored both runners. Johnson issued his third walk of the game to the next batter and then left for the dugout after fanning six in 4.2 innings of work.

Garrett Letchworth came in to relieve Johnson and gave up the game-tying run on a single to right before picking up a strikeout for the third out. The visitors took the lead in the sixth using small ball once again. The leadoff batter reached on an error and took second on a sacrifice bunt before scoring when a single got through the right side of the infield. High Point’s bats couldn’t get anything going in the late innings of the game in an effort to tie, only picking up two hits and three total baserunners, with only one making it to second, in the final four innings for the 4-3 loss.

The Panthers are back in action on Tuesday (Feb. 25) when North Carolina Central comes to Williard Stadium for a rematch of last week’s game, with first pitch slated for 4 p.m.