HIGH POINT-THOMASVILLE – The HPT Locos hang on to win 8-7 over the Statesville Owls late Wednesday night to improve to 4-1 on the summer.
Statesville’s four-run, ninth-inning rally came up just short as the tying run on third was left stranded. HPT catcher Gabe Rentas threw out a stealing Owl in a first and third situation to seal the deal.
With the win, HPT’s winning streak now improves to four. The Locos plated three runs in the fifth, one in the sixth and one in the seventh to help secure a commanding 8-3 lead heading into the final frame.
Ellis Stokes and Bennett Nooe took advantage of a Statesville error on a Nick O’Der at-bat to score two of the three fifth-inning runs for the Locos. Larry McMillian drove in the other lone run that frame to give HPT a 6-3 lead through five complete.
Statesville matched the Locos’ early offensive front by tying the game up at three apiece off a 3-run homer in the top of the fourth.
Ellis Stokes, Matt Kemp, Alex Jordan, McMillian, Nick O’Der and Josh Kent each recorded hits tonight. Nooe, Jordan and McMillian each scored multiple times.
Tyler Smith (Averett) was credited with the win. He surrendered three runs on six hits and struck out seven in six innings (6.0) of work.
Ethan Blanchard (Navy) came in relief and struck out every batter he faced, tallying six strikeouts during the defensive seventh and eighth for HPT. Between Smith and Blanchard, they fanned a total of 14 Owl hitters tonight.
Charlie Edwards earned the save coming in to secure the last two final outs.
The Locos are back in action tomorrow night against a CPL opponent, the Martinsville Mustangs. First pitch from Hooker Field up in Martinsville, Virginia is set for 7 p.m.
The Locos, coached by Noah Anderson and Pella Stokes, are an independent affiliate of the High Point-Thomasville HiToms from the Coastal Plain League and are dedicated to the development of collegiate baseball players. As a wood-bat summer baseball team, the Locos (under normal conditions) consist of students-athletes from the Carolinas and Virginia that play a schedule versus clubs from the Coastal Plain League, Carolina Virginia League and the Piedmont area semi-pro squads.
Be sure to follow along with the official HPT Locos Twitter account (@hptlocos) throughout the season for game and score updates.
Courtesy of Shane Harvell
HPT Sports Information and Media Relations Intern