CPL: Roberts clutch again with sacrifice fly
After waiting more than an hour to start Wednesday's doubleheader at Finch Field, High Point-Thomasville nearly had to play extra baseball as well. Top hitter Des Roberts prevented that from happening.
A UNC Charlotte product, the left-handed hero slashed a sacrifice fly to left field that was deep enough to score Alec Paradowski from third, giving the HiToms a walk-off 4-3 victory over Martinsville, taking them one game below .500. High Point-Thomasville had dropped a heartbreaker the night before, giving up six runs in the final frame to lose at Asheboro.
Paradowski began the seventh inning with a single to left field, then promptly stole second base. Bradley Morton sacrificed him to third with a bunt, leaving the winning run 90 feet away.
Stepping in was just the guy the HiToms wanted at the plate. With a batting average above .400, Roberts lined a fly ball to left field that was about regular depth. Paradowski gave it a chance and tagged up, beating the throw home and ending the first game of the night.
“We were lucky enough to get the lead guy on and then get him over to third,” said head coach Austin Love. “We had the right guy in Des Roberts. Again, he's really been doing it for us and driving in runs. When you've got Paradowski on the bases and Morton and Roberts coming up, you can pretty much sign, seal and deliver that one.”
High Point-Thomasville began the game by having Paradowski reach on a walk and eventually scoring on Josh Ingram's RBI single to center.
In the third inning, it was Paradowski yet again causing problems for the Mustangs. His bloop single dropped just over second base with no outs. The speedy infielder swiped second, went to third on a fielder's choice, then rushed home on a passed ball.
A Martinsville run in the fourth tightened the game up at 2-1, until Pete Guy crushed a no-doubt, solo home run to get the tally back.
In the fifth, a mistake by the former Ledford catcher gave two runs back. An errant throw by Guy down to third in an attempt to get the runner out went down the third base line. That runner scored, while another raced around the sacks to score the tying run while the ball was being retrieved.
“When you are a sub.500 team and you are still trying to get over that hump, it brings negative thoughts into their mind,” said Love. “We need to avoid some of the errors that we have made.”
Neither team got a runner past first base until Paradowski's circle of the bases in the seventh.
Matt Anderson (1-1) got the complete-game win for the HiToms, striking out seven and walking only one. Paradowski finished 3-for-3 with three runs scored.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.