CPL: Mustangs take nightcap, 4-1
Half an hour after gutting out a victory over Martinsville in the first game of a doubleheader, High Point-Thomasville showed very little signs of life in a disappointing 4-1 setback.
Managing only three hits, the HiToms were lethargic in the late-night meeting that did not start until after 9:30 p.m.
Things could have been completely different had the HiToms taken advantage of its serious threat in the third inning of the scoreless game.
Glen Batson was hit by a pitch to start the frame, with singles by Nick Dini and Cody Brittain following to load the bases. Bradley Morton was issued a walk, driving in Batson from third with nobody out. The top of the lineup was up for High Point-Thomasville and a huge inning was right at their fingertips. But nothing went right for the remainder of the inning, as two men flew out and another struck out, leaving valuable runs sitting on the bases.
Adding to the frustration was the Mustangs putting up two runs the next half inning. Three consecutive singles were all it took for the visitors to snatch a 2-1 advantage.
“That has been the reason why we've lost games,” said skipper Austin Love. “It's a big momentum having the bases loaded and only giving up one, especially after only giving up one run on a walk. I thought we swung at some balls out of the zone and took some pitches that we should have driven. We have to do more in those instances to get runs in.”
Other than the small hiccup in the third inning, Martinsville pitcher Mark Petrizzi (2-2) was solid in his complete-game effort. He gave up only three hits and struck out eight.
In the fifth, he got some added runs to play with. The big swing came from Gavin Stupienski, who drove a ball deep to left field for a double that scored both Eric Lowe and Christopher Fornaci.
With another loss to Martinsville coming Thursday evening, Love continues to challenge his team in hopes they will get things turned around. They are well off the pace in the first half pennant race, but he believes they are close to putting the right players in the right positions to make a second half run.
“We are getting close to the end of the first half, so we are starting to learn who is winning a job and who is going to play every day,” he said. “We are really starting to fill in our lineup. As we start the second half, I think with everyone being in a set role will help us win games.”
Notes: Eric Sharff (1-1) took his first loss of the year … Stupienski had two hits to pace the Mustangs … The HiToms visit Forest City today at 7 p.m.