HiToms falter late in 4-3 loss vs. Asheboro

Jul. 02, 2014 @ 11:43 PM

The High Point-Thomasville HiToms would probably like this one back.

Leading by two runs heading into the late innings, they allowed three runs in the top of the eighth – all on a bases-loaded double by Kyle Hamner – in falling to the Asheboro Copperheads 4-3 on Wednesday at Finch Field to open the second half of the Coastal Plain League season.

“It’s building up to be more frustrating,” HiToms manager Austin Love said, “because we’ve pretty much out-hit and out-pitched our opponents several games and we’ve lost by one run. We’ve just got to find ways to get over the hump and win a couple of those games to change the energy and get on a roll.”

The Copperheads (1-1 second half, 13-16 overall) loaded the bases in the eighth on an error, a fielder’s choice and a walk. Then, Hamner drove a two-out double that one-hopped the wall in right, scoring all three runners ahead of the throw home.

High Point-Thomasville (0-1, 12-17) put the tying run on base in the eighth and ninth innings. But they couldn’t get a hit to drive it in. Closer Laetten Galbraith (1-1) took the loss for the HiToms, while starter Trevor Richards (4-1) got the complete-game win for Asheboro.

“Overall, I was very pleased,” Love said. “We could’ve gotten that one bunt down (in the fifth), and, hindsight being 20/20, that hurts. Besides that, Matt Anderson pitched extremely well in his last start for us.

“Laetten Galbraith, who’s our closer, I guess he got a little extra adrenaline there in that inning and left some balls up. Their DH just caught a ball in the right spot and it got by Bradley (Morton) in right. That’s just kind of how the ball’s bouncing for us right now.”

High Point-Thomasville led 2-0 in the second on an RBI double by Glenn Batson immediately followed by an RBI single by Spencer Mahoney. Then, after the Copperheads scored once in the top of the sixth, it answered in the bottom half on Austin Crutcher’s solo home run.

And again, as has been the case in many of their most frustrating losses, the HiToms got solid starting pitching – this time from Matt Anderson in seven innings – and out-hit their opponent – this time 8-3 – but ended up with a loss.

But there were also some positives moving forward, particularly in settling on a lineup that was in flux much of the first half. Alec Paradowski and Logan Taylor were both back in the lineup after missing time recently due to injuries.

“That lineup we have, we feel like that’s a really good lineup,” Love said. “One through nine, it’s built the way we want it to be. Spencer Mahoney had a couple hits, and he’s starting to get hot, especially with Weston (Wilson) leaving. That’s huge.

“AP (Paradowski) is hitting the ball extremely hard. And getting Logan Taylor back into the lineup after having a concussion last week is big-time as well. So, just being able to piece our lineup together that we believe is going to win us a lot of games is big.”

Crutcher, Mahoney and Des Roberts each had two hits to lead High Point-Thomasville, which visits Gastonia on Thursday before hosting the Grizzlies on Friday for the Fourth of July fireworks celebration. Connor Owings hit a solo home run for Asheboro.