HiToms fall to Martinsville in extra innings
Starting pitcher Preston Johnson struck out nine batters in six innings, but it wasn't enough to sustain the High Point-Thomasville HiToms as they fell in 10 innings to the Martinsville Mustangs 2-1 on Thursday.
In this pitchers duel, the Mustangs (10-15) grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth when Max Beermann stroked a RBI single to left field. Martinsville's Willie Sligh held High Point-Thomasville (11-14) at bay until Austin Crutcher clocked a solo homer to right field in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game.
In the top of the tenth, with Sligh still pitching for Martinsville, the HiToms had two runners on with nobody out. The Mustangs' Billy Nixon (2-1) came on in relief though and retired the next three batters he faced. The Mustangs won it in the bottom of the 10th when Nick Rotola scored from third on a wild pitch from the HiToms' Blake Smith (1-3).
Johnson went six innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits and two walks while striking out nine. Mustangs starter Sligh went the regulation nine innings, allowing one run on seven hits and walked two with five punchouts.
The HiToms return home to Finch Field on Friday to host the Gastonia Grizzlies. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.