High Point Panthers Walk-Off to Eliminate Vanderbilt: First NCAA Regional Win in Program History

HPU Panthers Walk-Off to Eliminate Vanderbilt
First NCAA Regional Win in Program History
from www.https://highpointpanthers.com/

CLEMSON, S.C. – The High Point University baseball team walked it off against the Vanderbilt Commodores to win, 10-9, on Saturday afternoon in the Clemson Regional. This is the first NCAA Regional win and second SEC victory in program history.

Site: Doug Kingsmore Stadium
Score: High Point 10, Vanderbilt 9
Records: High Point (35-26), Vanderbilt (38-23)

Head Coach Joey Hammond: “Incredible game for our program, and for these young men. We didn’t blink at any point in time. It’s who we are and its what we have been doing all year. We are not surprised by it. I could not be more proud of these guys on how we have been working. I’m just so proud of them.”

Brett Wozniak took the ball for the second game of the Clemson Regional for HPU. Wozniak shoved five full innings, allowing four runs, on five hits.

Vandy struck first as two runners got on base off a leadoff single and a base on balls. A double steal and then a fielding error scored the first Commodore run.

Konni Durschlag led off with a hard sit single up the middle as Cael Chatham put a perfect bunt down the third base line to put two runners on with no outs. Peyton Carr was sent down on strikes after a pitch clock violation, then Adam Stuart grounded into a double play to retire the side.

Wozniak settled in and went after Vandy to retire the side in order while recording one strikeout. Vandy had an inning of their own as they sent the Panthers down 1-2-3 and turning a double play to end the second frame.

Nothing came across in the top of the third for Vandy after Charlie Klingler threw a hose to second to get the runner after he hit one off the wall. High Point was retired in the third after Brayden Simpson reached on a fielding error.

Vandy extended their lead in the top of the fourth as Colin Barczi hit a two-run home run to left center. A double to right field scored the fourth Commodore run as the runner crossed the plate from second.

The Panther bats went quite through four innings as the Commodores tallied another run-on back-to-back hits to make it a 5-0 game in the top of the fifth.

No hits in the bottom of the fifth for HPU brought Matt Little to relieve Wozniak in the sixth inning. Little retired Vandy in order with two groundouts and a lineout to second.

With two runners on base in the bottom of the sixth, Cael Chatham scored Patrick Matthews from second as Durschlag went first to third. Carr followed with a single through the right side to score Durschlag and put two runners on. It was now a 5-2 ball game. Adam Stuart then rocketed HPU’s first homer this weekend over the center field wall to tie the game at five in the bottom of the sixth.

Little took care of business again as Vandy was sent down with a zero on the board. Miggy Echazarreta started the bottom of the seventh with a rope to right field for a sliding double. Simpson was then drilled with the pitch to put two runners on with no outs. Another hit by pitch put Matthews on base to load the bases for the top of the order. Durschlag drove a strike to left center to bring home two more runners to grab a 7-5 lead. Stuart was credited with two more RBI’s has he drilled one up the middle to bring home two as the Panthers extended their lead to 9-5.

Vandy tallied a run in the top of the eighth with bases loaded as a fielding error scored the runner to cut the Panther lead to three. The Commodores plated two more runs on a single through the left side and then tied the game at nine with a single to left field. Christian Baker relieved Little with two outs and runners on the corners. Baker got his guy striking him out to leave two runners on.

In the bottom of the eighth, Matthews advanced to second on a wild throw to first base on a little dribbler in front of the plate. Frank Kelly pinch ran for Matthews. On a wild pitch to Durschlag, Kelly swiped third base. Durschlag walked to put runners on the corner with one out. Durschag stole second with ease to eliminate the double play and put two runners in scoring position. Vandy recorded two strikeouts to stop the Panther bats in the bottom half of the eighth inning.

Baker got into a tad bit of trouble but was able to hunker down and get his guys to retire the side to bring the Panther bats to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with a tie game.

Stuart led off the bottom of the ninth advancing to second on an errant throw by the shortstop. Klingler advanced Stuart to third base as he grounded out to second. Grintz drew a walk to bring up Echazarreta with one out and runners on the corners. Echazarreta worked his way to a full count and then drove a fastball that fell down the right field line to walk it off for the Panthers as Stuart scored the winning run. Baker was credited with the win as he improved his record to 2-0.

HPU won its first NCAA Regional game in program history as they eliminated Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon.

Up Next: High Point will face the loser of Clemson vs. Coastal Carolina at noon tomorrow.

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