HPU Baseball Panthers Drop Doubleheader in Season Finale

Site: Buies Creek, N.C. (Jim Perry Stadium)
Records: CU 33-14 (28-9 Big South), HPU 14-31 (12-25 Big South)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team ended its season with a pair of losses to Campbell University in a doubleheader on Friday (May 21).

The Fighting Camels took the first game 5-8 before completing the sweep with a 7-4 win in the nightcap. Six different Panthers had a pair of hits over the two games as the Purple and White totaled 16 on the day as a team, with eight in each.

Game One Score: Campbell 8, High Point 5
W: Ty Cummings (1-2), L: Teddy Merritt (1-2), S: Kevin Westlake (3)

For the second game in a row, Campbell started the scoring in the first inning. The Fighting Camels took advantage of a High Point error on the first pitch of the game and brought around two runs in the frame. HPU immediately answered in the second when Tyler Leach singled to bring home Travis Holt. Holt ripped a one-out double down the line in left for the Panthers’ first hit of the day and moved up to third on a groundout to the right side. That brought up Leach, who sent one up the middle that was stopped by the diving Campbell shortstop, but his throw from the seat of his pants was too late to get Leach at first for the RBI infield single.

Campbell tacked on one more in the fourth inning after a pair of Panther errors to make it 3-1 for the hosts, with all three runs unearned. Once again, High Point answered in the next inning and brought around three runs to take the lead. Leach started the inning off by ripping a double past the diving third baseman and then moved up to third when Joe Johnson legged out an infield single on a chopper to first.

The Purple and White loaded the bases one batter later when Peyton Carr drew a walk and Leach and Johnson came home in the next at bat on a double from Cole Singsank to tie it up. Brady Pearre was the next batter up and scored Carr with a grounder to short to give the Panthers the lead, 4-3. The lead didn’t last for long as Campbell responded with two in the bottom of the inning with a trio of hits to hold a 5-4 advantage after five innings.

Campbell scored one more in the sixth inning and High Point responded again with one of its own in the seventh. Johnson and Carr each skied balls into the outfield that the Campbell defenders couldn’t come up with, putting two runners in scoring position to start the inning. Singsank was up next and bounced one to second to bring home Johnson and put Carr 90 feet away from home but that’s as far as Carr, representing the tying run, got.

That was it for the High Point offense in the first game as the Panthers didn’t get another baserunner in the game. Campbell added to its lead before the game was done and scored two in the eighth, both unearned, for the 8-5 win.

Game Two Score: Campbell 7, High Point 4
W: Brendan Wright (2-1), L: David Keith (1-3), S: Aaron Rund (1)

The Fighting Camels opened the scoring in the second game as well, bringing a run across in the second and third innings for an early 2-0 lead. It took over 20 minutes for the first plate appearance of the fourth inning to be completed after the home plate umpired was injured during Carr’s trip to the plate and forced the stoppage. When play resumed Carr drew a walk and sparked a pair of runs from the Panthers to tie the game up.

Blake Sutton stepped in with one out and ripped a double past the first baseman to put himself and Carr in scoring position. Cameron Irvine was up next and drew a walk to load the bases, as did Justin Ebert to bring home Carr. A popup in foul territory to the first baseman put two outs on the board but a pitch that skipped off the turf and got to the backstop allowed Sutton to scamper home to level the game at two.

Campbell retook the lead in the fifth inning after putting up three, including two from a home run. HPU answered with two in the sixth before the Fighting Camels countered with two of their own in the bottom of the inning. Irvine and Ebert both singled to start the inning for the Panthers, putting runners on the corners. The bases were then loaded when Sam Zayicek was hit by a pitch, bringing up Johnson.

Johnson grounded one to the shortstop who flipped it to second for the force and sent the relay to first to try and end the inning. Johnson just barely beat the throw, which was confirmed by a replay review, to keep the inning alive and bring home Irvine. Adam Stuart followed and dropped one into shallow left field to plate Ebert and make it 5-4 before Campbell scored two in the bottom of the inning to regain the three-run lead.

That was all the offense either team had the rest of the way as High Point managed two hits in the final three innings and Dawson Place retired all eight batters he faced in that same span in the 7-4 decision for Campbell.