High Point Panthers give Clemson Tigers a run for their money, as Greensboro Grimsley grad Gus Hughes for HPU, threw a “Whale of a Game”!!!!!(No Blues for Hughes, he was thinking all ‘Purple Panthers’)

Panthers Fall to Tigers
from www.highpointpanthers.com

CLEMSON, S.C. – The High Point University baseball team fell to the Clemson Tigers, 4-3, on Friday night in the NCAA Clemson Regional.

Site: Doug Kingsmore Stadium
Score: High Point 3, Clemson 4
Records: High Point (34-26), Clemson (42-14)

Gus Hughes(Grimsley High School) took the ball for the first game of the Clemson regional. He pitched a great game as he shoved seven full innings, allowing three runs, on eight hits, striking out seven batters. Only two of the three runs were earned runs.
(We still remember Gus Hughes, back when he was the starting right fielder for the Grimsley Whirlies as a high school freshman, and then he came on to pitch for the Whirlies, first as a spot reliever, then as their #1 starter…Gus began his college baseball career at Charlotte, then moved over to Gaston Community College, before locking it down with the High Point University Purple Panthers.)

The Panthers went down in order to start the game off in the top of the first. Hughes got into a bit of trouble as the Tigers took their first at-bats. Two hits by pitches to put runners on first and second. The side was retired after Cael Chatham fielded a grounder and got the runner at second.

HPU got nothing going in the second at the plate as Hughes put up his second zero after facing the middle of the Clemson order.

After the Tigers sent the Panthers down again, they scored their first run in the bottom of the third off an RBI single through the right side.

Through three in Clemson, the Tigers led 1-0.

Konni Durschlag led off the fourth reaching first base on an error by the first basemen. A passed ball advanced him to second with Chatham at the plate. Chatham then smoked one over the right fielder’s head to score Durschlag from second to tie the game at one. Adam Stuart singled to left to put runners on the corners with one out. HPU took a one run lead as Charlie Klingler beat out an infield single to allow Chatham to score.

The Tigers tied it back up at two in the bottom of the fourth on a SAC bunt back to Hughes on the mound. Hughes tried to glove flip it to Eric Grintz but the throw got away from Hughes as the tying run scored.

Brayden Simpson led off the top of the fifth with a sliding double as he poked one that fell in shallow right field. Simpson advanced to third as Patrick Matthews laid down a perfect bunt to move him over. Chatham struck out swinging to retire the Panthers in the fifth.

Hughes got himself out of the fifth as he left one runner on first base. A lineout to Durschlag in center retired the side.

The top of the sixth started as Peyton Carr hit one off the end of the bat up the middle for a single. Carr found himself standing on third after Stuart sent one through the right side just out of reach for the second basemen with no outs. Klingler grounded into a 4-6 fielder’s choice as Carr scored the go-ahead Panther run. High Point took a 3-2 lead before Miggy Echazarreta flied out to right to retire the side.

Quickly in the bottom of the sixth, Clemson put runners on second and third off a throwing error and a double to left field. The Tigers tied it at three with an RBI single up the middle. The Panthers escaped limiting the damage to one run as Hughes recorded a strikeout and got the final out to ground out to third.

The Panthers and the Tigers were tied at three through six innings.

Hughes started the bottom of the seventh with over 100 pitches as he struck out the first two batters he faced all looking. After surrendering a walk, Hughes got the last man swinging at a dirt ball to retire the side.

Chatham started the eighth for HPU with a single through the left side. Nothing else came in favor of HPU as they were sent down.

Adam Grintz took the ball out of the bullpen in the eighth inning for HPU. Grintz retired the side after surrendering one walk. The Panthers headed to the plate in the top of the ninth tied at three.

Grintz led off the top of the ninth drawing a walk. Echazarreta advanced Grintz to second on a sacrifice bunt. Simpson then flied out to right field as Grintz tagged up and stood on third with two outs. Matthews flew out to center field to end the inning.

The Tigers swung at the first pitch as it was drilled down the right field line for a leadoff double. An intentional walk put two runners on first and second with no outs. Grintz went after the batter at the plate and struck him out swinging for the first out. A hard hit ball to right field scored the winning run for Clemson as they won, 4-3.

Up Next: High Point will face Vanderbilt University in an elimination game TODAY at noon.

Gus Hughes baseball background at HPU and at Grimsley:(This season at HPU, Gus goes (6-4)…16 Games/16 Starts…102 2/3 Innings…41 BBs/111 Ks.)
2023: Started all 14 games played … 6-5 record with a 4.98 ERA … striking out 90 batters in 81.1 innings pitched … tallied 15 strikeouts in a seven inning stint allowing three hits, three runs and three walks in a big win against Lafayette (3/5) … tossed a one run outing in seven innings pitched at Radford (4/7) … third in opposing batting average (.239) … fourth in innings pitched (81.1) … fourth in strikeouts (90) in the Big South.

PRIOR TO HPU: played at Gaston Community College and UNC Charlotte … Went 8-1 for Gaston in 2022 striking out 92 batters over 62.1 innings … logged 10 innings over 14 appearances for UNC Charlotte in 2021.

HIGH SCHOOL: Played at nearby Grimsley High School in Greensboro as a four-year varsity contributor with 44 appearances, 10 starts, with six wins over 118.2 innings of work … struck out 189 in those 44 appearances limiting opponents to a .183 average … also posted a .275 career average at the plate… earned all-conference in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

PERSONAL: Born May 1st, 2002… son of Dave and Jo … has two sisters, Olivia and Maddy.

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