Panthers post 7-4 win over Eagles
“I was really pleased with the way we played defensively tonight,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “We had some chances to make some plays and finished the night playing errorless baseball. Offensively we got in a little bit of a better rhythm and John Maloney did a great job slamming the door in the later innings. It is nice to get a win and hopefully this puts us on a nice roll heading towards Virginia Tech and the weekend.”
North Carolina Central took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Eric Kimber. HPU came right back with two runs in the top of the third to jump ahead 2-1. Senior Scott Glover worked a walk to leadoff the frame and came around to score on an RBI double by senior Willie Medina. The shortstop later scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Josh Spano.
A sacrifice fly by the Eagles’ Troy Morrow tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the third, but HPU retook the lead in the top of the fourth with an RBI single by Glover. Sophomore Cody Manzella reached on a one-out double down the left-field line and moved to third on a groundout. Glover drove in the run with a chopper just past the mound for an infield single.
Central answered with a sacrifice fly by Christian Triplett in the fourth and an RBI single in the fifth by Morrow to take a 4-3 lead after five innings of play.
High Point scored three times in the top of the sixth inning to go ahead 6-4. The big hit for the Panthers was an RBI double by McDermott to drive in two runs. Singles by Manzella, graduate student Adam Barry and junior Kyle Brandenburg loaded the bases with one out for the Panthers. A force out at third on a hard grounder off the bat of Medina scored Manzella to tie the game ahead of the McDermott double.
Sophomore Spencer Angelis added a run the following inning with his first home run of the season. Angelis took a 3-1 pitch the opposite way over the right-field fence to put the Panthers ahead 7-4.
Sophomore Will Resnik earned his first win of the season after retiring the only batter he faced to end the fifth inning. Junior John Maloney pitched the final four innings to earn his third save. Maloney allowed just two hits over his four innings while striking out a career-high seven, including three-straight in the seventh inning.
Terry McNabb suffered the loss for NC Central. McNabb pitched 5-2/3 innings and allowed six runs on 11 hits and one walk. He did not record a strikeout in the game.
All but one HPU starter recorded a hit in the win as High Point finished the game with 13 hits. Angelis, Manzella and Brandenburg each had two hits for the Panthers. Medina finished with two RBI and two runs scored on the night.
High Point improves to 24-24 on the season with the win. North Carolina Central falls to 25-26 with the loss.
High Point continues its midweek slate on Wednesday, when the team travels to Blacksburg, Va., to face No. 22 Virginia Tech. Senior Ryan Retz will start on the mound for HPU. First pitch is set for 5:30 p.m.