HIGH POINT, N.C. - High Point scored five runs in the fourth and seven in the fifth and held off a late rally by No. 16 East Carolina and walked away with a 13-12 win Wednesday night at Williard Stadium. With the win the Panthers improve to 12-4, while the Pirates drop to 9-7.
Trailing 13-11 heading into the ninth inning, the Pirates loaded the bases with no outs before Mikel Rodenberg recorded his fifth save of the season allowing just one run, despite three walks and a hit batter. Jared Avchen reached base to start the frame after being hit before back-to-back walks to Trent Whitehead and Cam Freeman loaded the bases for Dustin Harrington, who was 3-for-5 at the plate. Rodenberg struck out Harrington for the first out and Kyle Roller drew another bases loaded walk to push across Daniel Warzon, closing the gap to one, 13-12.
John Wooten, who recorded a career-best four hits, reached on a fielder’s choice after hitting a slow comebacker to Rodenberg who flipped the ball to catcher Kyle Mahoney forcing Whitehead out at the plate. Corey Thompson stepped into the box with the bases still loaded and was called out on a check swing by first base umpire Darren Spagnardi to end the game.
Al Yevoli (1-1) picked up his first win going 1.2 innings where he allowed one run (earned) on three hits with two strikeouts. Starter Zach Haile lasted 3.1 innings giving up six runs on seven hits with a walk and strikeout before being lifted for Yevoli. The Panthers used three pitchers to get to Rodenberg in the ninth who surrendered five runs on six hits with two walks.
Mike Wright (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing five runs on five hits in one inning of relief. Zach Woods went 3.2 frames allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits with seven strikeouts before Wright extinguished the fire in the fourth inning, which saw the Panthers push across five runs to knot the game at six. ECU also used three pitchers (2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R) to get to closer Seth Simmons (0.2 IP, 2 Ks).
High Point took a 13-7 lead after five innings thanks to home runs by Murray White IV and Nate Roberts, who went for a combined 5-for-10 with six RBI and four runs scored.
Zach Wright’s two-run homer put the Pirates up 2-0 in the second and Wooten drove in the third run with an RBI single to right center pushing ECU’s lead to 3-0.
Roberts put the Panthers on the scoreboard in the third with his fifth home run of the season, a solo shot down the right field line, pulling within two, 3-1.
ECU responded with three runs in the fourth which was highlighted by Devin Harris’ two-run bomb down the left field line pushing the Pirates lead to 6-1. Wright singled to left to start the frame then came home on Harris’ second homer of the season. Chris Gosik followed Harris’ hit with his second career hit, a single up the middle, then stole second and moved to third on Cam Freeman’s ground out to second before scoring on a Yevoli wild pitch.
The Pirates will be back in action Friday, March 19 when they play host to Monmouth with a 6 p.m. (EDT) first pitch scheduled.