THOMASVILLE — A tough stretch of games for the High Point-Thomasville HiToms had the team on the cut line for the Coastal Plain League playoffs at press time Wednesday as they battled to stay ahead of the Lexington County Blowfish in the league standings.
In dropping a 16-4 contest to the Wilson Tobs this week, HiToms head coach Scott Davis said the team continues to face difficulties in warding off injuries to keep players on the field and on the right side of the win-loss column.
“We’re struggling right now; let’s just tell it like it is,” Davis said. “We’ve got guys hurt. We’ve got guys out of position, trying to put the best offense we can on the field. I think we looked out there tonight and we had two guys in their normal positions. This is the nature of the beast at this time of the year. We’re trying to keep everybody here and healthy as long as we can to make a run.”
Matt Corder hit a 2-run homer for one of the few highlights of Wednesday night for the HiToms, but it was mostly an uphill fight after five first-inning runs from Wilson proved insurmountable.
Dylan Scaranda got things started for the Tobs with a 2-run blast in just the second at-bat of the game. Riley Jepson followed suit with a 3-run bomb later in the inning, as the first five batters all reached base.
Bad news grew worse for the HiToms as Wilson got into their bullpen, with Luke Davis and Maddux Holshouser having to eat significant innings even in a seven-inning game shortened by the mercy rule. The bullpen had to throw six innings, which could prove damaging to the efforts of a team attempting to make the postseason.
“There’s always concern because we’ve lost so many arms,” Davis said of an injury-truncated pitching staff. “We don’t have a lot of guys ready. … Hopefully we’ll swing the bats and we’ll be able to piece it together down the stretch. We just have to do what we have to do, piece it together and try to finish as good as we can.”
With six regular-season games left, the HiToms head to McNair Field tonight for the third contest with Forest City over the span of two days. As they try to fend off the Blowfish for a berth in the CPL playoffs, HPT will match up with the Owls once more after today, play three straight in three days against Martinsville and have one remaining contest with Asheboro.
“If the season would have finished today before this game, we would have made the playoffs,” Davis said Wednesday. “I told the guys, let’s just grind it out tomorrow. We didn’t even talk about the game [against Wilson]. It’s another game tomorrow. Let’s just go after it, and you never know what somebody else is going to do.
“We’re trying to fight to the end and make the playoffs.”
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.