HIGH POINT — Playing for the first time in a week thanks to a first-round playoff bye, High Point Christian’s baseball team started a bit slowly Friday.
Once the Cougars put everything together, they put Raleigh St. David’s away.
With the score tied 2-2, HPCA methodically scored six runs in the third and added four in the fourth for a 12-2 win in the second round of the NCISAA 3A baseball playoffs at Oak View Baptist Church.
“We came out of the gate a little slow,” High Point Christian coach Corey Gesell said. “Having a first-round bye, I wasn’t excited about that. I’d rather get on the field and stay in our routine. We were going to intrasquad on Tuesday to stay in routine but the rains came and we weren’t able to play and get some live at-bats. So it took us awhile to get going today, but I’m happy for our guys.”
HPCA broke the game open with advantageous play and timely hits.
Bryson King started the fourth by lifting a popup to the left of the pitcher’s mound that dropped between three fielders. Sam Sapp immediately doubled into the gap in right to score King and HPCA rolled from there, sending 11 batters to the plate.
Sapp scored and Mitch Adams, who had walked, went to third on Cole Philbin’s groundout. Adams scored when Luke Homol hit a grounder to short that wasn’t fielded. After Coise Pagano reached on an infield hit, Homol scored on Eli Crump’s sacrifice fly. Noah Hill then laced a single to center that scored Pagano, and King singled and scored Hill, putting HPCA up 8-2.
The lead was still six when Hill laced a leadoff single in the fifth. Carter Bass followed with a run-scoring single, and pitch hitter Jake Dunlap delivered an RBI single to right. With one out, Adams doubled, putting runners on second and third. That set the stage for Cole Philbin’s run-scoring sacrifice fly and Homol’s RBI single that increased the lead to 10 and brought the end of the game because of a mercy rule.
“We got some hits to get guys on,” Gessell said. “We hit some balls deep and got some sac flys to score some runs. It was just an overall team effort.”
HP Christian, now 19-4, advances to host Concord Academy in a semifinal game on Tuesday. St. David’s ends the season 2-9.
St. David’s scored both of its runs in the first against Cougar starter Eli Crump. A single, walk and hit batter loaded the bases. Another single brought in the Warriors’ first run and a sacrifice fly pushed the second one across.
Crump and Sam Sapp then combined to hold St. David’s in check over the next four innings as the Warriors failed to get a runner past second. Crump pitched through the third and picked up the win, allowing the two runs with three hits and four strikeouts.
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