HiToms roll past Gastonia

Jun. 28, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

The High Point-Thomasville HiToms seem to have their good days and their bad days. Fortunately, Friday was one of their good days.

The HiToms, who’d lost three of four coming in, had their fourth-best offensive output of the season and got solid pitching from Brody Koerner as they rolled past the Gastonia Grizzlies 10-2 at Finch Field.

“We’ve started focusing more on quality at-bats,” manager Austin Love said, “and I think we had a very high percentage of that through the first five innings. We just really attacked balls in the zone. And Brody, even through the rain, pitched pretty well. ...

“It was really good, with all the struggles we’ve had the last couple nights. But, I let the guys know: ‘Hey, this one’s over with. You’ve got to bring the same approach tomorrow.’ We can feel good about this one while we eat dinner, but we’ve got to get some rest and try to score eight runs again tomorrow.”

Weston Wilson, a product of Wesleyan Christian and a rising sophomore at Clemson, went 3 for 4 with four RBIs for High Point-Thomasville (12-14). Jared Allen was 2 for 5 with a double, home run and three RBIs, and Josh Ingram was 2 for 5 with a double, home run and two RBIs.

It scored twice in the first and twice in the third before breaking out with five runs in the fifth. Ingram hit a solo home run, Wilson singled in a run, Allen hit a two-run home run, and Austin Crutcher scored on an error to lead 9-0 and grab full control of the game.

“Once the team starts hitting, everyone starts clicking,” said Wilson, who also had RBI singles in the first and eighth and an RBI groundout in the third. “You could see it was contagious. One base hit kept leading to another and we scored some runs.”

“It was huge,” he said of the five-run fifth. “Not that it finalized it, but helped us with confidence throughout the rest of game.”

Koerner (1-1) got the win in seven innings pitched. He allowed two runs, both in the seventh with the game well in hand, on four hits while striking out four Grizzlies (17-9). Patrick Upchurch and Laetten Galbraith each pitched well in an inning of relief.

High Point-Thomasville posted its fourth-highest run total this season with 10 runs and tied its third-highest hit total with 13. But it has had similar good games this year and then struggled. So, the HiToms are looking to better sustain their good play.

They play Saturday at Forest City before a day off Sunday. They return to Finch Field on Monday against Fayetteville.

“I told the guys we played great most of this game,” Love said, “but champions sustain that greatness. It’s really on them to be motivated and me to motivate them and the rest of our coaching staff to help them really want to be great and have the will to outperform the other team.”