GREENSBORO, N.C. – Redshirt senior Dillon Stewart led a powerful offensive attack against the High Point Panthers Tuesday night. The Spartans scored in six different innings to earn a decisive 12-6 win over High Point. Stewart connected on his team-leading sixth home run of the season and drove in a season-high four runs while going 2-for-4. The Spartans improve to 17-6 on the season, while High Point falls to 12-12.
“Today was a good day.” Head coach Link Jarrett said, “That’s a good win against a good team. Offensively we did enough early to extend our lead. I thought out at bats early were really good. Middle part of the game our at bats weren’t as good. High Point ran a couple guys out that gave us some problems, but we were still able to tack on some runs later.”
“(Jake) Mayhew gave us enough to get into the game.” Jarrett continued, “(Easton) was really, really good for us tonight. An extended outing, one of his longer outings and he commanded the ball well, mixed his pitches effectively and commanded both sides of the plate. He did a very nice job. (Trey) Kissack got in there, (Jake) Lewis was able to pitch and help us. It was good to get Jeremiah (Triplett) in the game. He’s got some velocity and some stuff and to see him continue to try to fine tune his game is something that’s important to do in these games. (Ryan) Clinch didn’t have a lot to show in the box score, but he works his tail off behind the plate. That was a good team win.”
Jake Mayhew got the start on the mound. The redshirt sophomore tossed 2.2 innings, allowing three hits, two runs; one earned, walked two and tied a career-high four strikeouts before giving way to Easton Welch. Welch entered with two runners on and two outs, getting a ground out to end the threat. Welch tossed a total of 2.1 innings, tying a career-high, without allowing a hit, walking two and striking out two hitters and earned his second win of the season.
Trey Kissack returned to the hill Tuesday night. The sophomore tossed 2.0 innings, allowed two hits, two earned runs, a walk and a struck out a hitter. Jake Lewis was next out of the bullpen, tossing a scoreless eighth inning allowing just one hit. Jeremiah Triplett worked the ninth, allowing a hit, two earned runs and walked a pair.
At the plate, five Spartans had multi-hit efforts. Stewart, Jake Kusz and Andrew Moritz each drove in multiple runs at four, three and two, respectively. Kusz added a 2-for-3 performance, legging out his first career infield hit and a double down the left field line. Moritz went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, a double and hit his second triple of the season, 15th in his career. Caleb Webster and Josh Madole each added multi-hit efforts. Austin Embler extended his hitting streak to 21-games with a solo home run to lead off the game.
High Point struck first in the top of the first inning. Austin Zente reached on a walk and advanced on a Travis Holt fielder’s choice. The throw on the play at second got away moving Zente to third base. After two strikeouts, High Point got the hit it needed from Daniel Millwee, a single down the left field line to score the first run of the game.
The Panther lead didn’t last long as UNCG used the long ball to take the lead. Embler led the game off with a solo blast to right center to tie it up. It’s the second time in his career he’s led off the game with a home run. Webster followed with a single and came around to score on a home run to left field from Stewart. The Spartans tacked on another run after Cesar Trejo drew a walk and stole second. Tripp Shelton sent a chopper over the head of the High Point first baseman that allowed Trejo to score and give the Spartans the 4-1 advantage.
UNCG added a run in the bottom of the second after Madole doubled and came around to score on a Moritz double.
High Point cut into the lead with a run in the top of the next frame. A lead off hit batter put one on before a Jordan Sergent single drove in the run to cut the lead to 5-2.
UNCG added to its lead the next two innings. Kusz drove in two runs on his first double of the season in the third. Webster led off with a single and came around to score on a triple from Moritz. Moritz scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 9-2 after four innings.
High Point cut into the lead in the sixth and seventh frames. After having runners on the corners with no outs, Conner Dunbar hit into the 5-4-3 double play, allowing a runner to score in the sixth. Hunter Lee continued to cut into the lead with a solo homer to right field. Spartans led 9-4 after seven innings.
UNCG extended the lead back out to six in the seventh. After Shelton reached on a walk, Madole and Shelton executed a hit and run to put runners on the corners for Kusz. Kusz couldn’t lay down the squeeze bunt on a 1-1 count, but connected on a 2-2 pitch to deep center field to bring in Shelton and extend the lead to 10-4. UNCG added two more runs in the eighth after Stewart singled to left with two on.
High Point cut into the lead with a two-run homer in the ninth, but could come no closer as UNCG earned the win.
The Spartans are back in action Thursday night as they host the Georgetown Hoyas 6 p.m.