Melton Heating Up After being sidelined with an injury early on, Jackson Melton has returned to the Panther lineup with purpose. He's reached base at least once in each of the last 13 HPU games and recorded a hit in the last eight. Weekend Swept with Quality Starts In HPU's weekend series with Longwood, all three Panther starters recorded quality starts on the mound. Carter Sheppard (Friday) and Sam Garcia (Sunday) each finished with 7.0 innings pitched while Teddy Merritt (Saturday) recorded 6.0 innings of work. Sheppard allowed three earned runs, Garcia gave up two and Merritt rounded out the group with zero earned runs allowed. Sheppard also threw a career-high eight strikeouts. Trio of New Faces Lead HPU in Boone Three Panthers with one combined start prior to Tuesday's game at App State each found themselves in HPU's flexible lineup. Andrew Amato (1B) went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored while Cameron Irvine (RF) led HPU with three hits. Easton Laplaca (C) rounded out the group with one hit, one run scored, and a team-high three RBI. Walk-Off Winner In their third home walk-off game of the season, HPU picked up a 6-5 win over Longwood on Saturday night under the lights. Kardiac Kid Freshman Miggy Echazarreta came up with the walk-off RBI-single in the bottom of the 9th inning that gave HPU the 6-5 victory. His shot to left field was his second hit of the night after another RBI-single down the third base line. Two-Base Palooza High Point knocked four doubles against both Longwood and Appalachian State in a four-day span. In their 6-5 win on April 9th, Peyton Carr, Blake Sutton, Javon Fields, and Jackson Melton each tallied two-baggers while Sutton, Andrew Amato, Cameron Irvine, and Easton Laplaca notched doubles at App State. Fields Knocks First Homer Javon Fields hit his first home run as a Panther against UNC Greensboro on Wednesday night in Williard Stadium. Fields' long ball to left field was the lone HPU run scored in the bottom of the ninth inning. Southpaw Sam Left-handed pitcher Sam Garcia is leading HPU in ERA and has the fewest walks by Panther pitchers with a minimum 25.0 innings pitched. Garcia's 2.13 ERA and .228 opponent batting average are 3rd in the Big South as well. In Garcia's outing against Longwood, he threw a career-high 7.0 innings pitched, scattering five hits and two earned runs while striking out four batters. Vaughan Named Big South Freshman of the Week Freshman right-handed pitcher Everett Vaughan was named the Big South Freshman of the Week after his three-save performance between March 22-26. Vaughan helped the Panthers to three combined wins over UNC Greensboro and Winthrop. In 3.2 innings pitched, he struck out two batters against one walk. Seven-Hit Week Highlights Two Panthers posted seven-hit week performances in four games played against UNCG and Winthrop (March 22-27). Peyton Carr posted two hits against the Spartans before follwing up with his first three-hit performance of the season against Winthrop on Saturday, March 26th. Adam Stuart also had two-multi hit games as he recorded two hits on Saturday (March 26th) and followed up with his second four-hit game of the season on Sunday (March 27th). Home Run Tracker: Winthrop Series Five different Panthers hit home runs over the weekend in HPU's series against Winthrop. Josh Deslauriers led off the weekend with his first career two-run homer before Adam Stuart added a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth on Friday night. Peyton Carr hit a two-run shot to left field on Saturday that would give HPU the eventual winning run in the 3-2 contest. Charlie Klingler hit the first home run of his career on Sunday afternoon before Jackson Melton sent out a two-run shot to left field. Panthers Post First Conference Series Win High Point used a 2-1 weekend against Gardner-Webb as their first weekend series win over a Big South foe since April 30th-May 1st in the 2021 season when they took two wins over Winthrop.
HPU Picked Eighth in Preseason Poll High Point was tabbed eighth in the Big South preseason coaches' poll on January 27th. Campbell was the league favorite with eight first-place votes and 116 total points in the poll. Trio of Panthers Highlight D1 Baseball Big South Prospects D1 Baseball released their Big South preview including top 2022 and 2023 draft prospects. Carter Sheppard was listed as the third-highest prospect in 2022 to come out of the conference. Sheppard finished 2021 with 45 strikeouts in 48.0 innings pitched. Blake Sutton also cracked the top-20, slotted 16th. Sutton started 36 games behind the plate for the Panthers last season, hitting .282/.363/.366 and recording 237 putouts. Javon Fields rounded out High Point's top prospects at No. 30. Fields transferred to HPU from Towson, where he was the starting center fielder. He finished 2021 with a .257/.363/.384 line and had a .984 fielding percentage. Carr Top-3 Big South Prospect in 2023 In the list of 2023 draft prospects, sophomore Peyton Carr was tabbed the third-best pick from the conference. Carr finished 2021 with the second-best team batting average, hitting .304/.494/.376 for the season. Big South Tournament at Truist Point The Big South conference announced in December that the 2022 conference tournament would be held at Truist Point in High Point. HPU has not played in the conference tournament since the 2019 season, when the Panthers fell to No. 3 Winthrop in a 6-2 ballgame.
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