CPL: HiToms pick up crucial road win
In the hunt for the final playoff spot in the West Division of the Coastal Plain League standings, High Point-Thomasville took care of one of their closest competitors Wednesday.
The HiToms went into McCrary Park, taking a 5-1 win back to the Chair City with them to keep in contention as the season is in its final week. Cody Brittain drove in all five runs, highlighted by a second-inning grand slam. On the hill, Chase Cunningham went the distance, earning his first win of the season while striking out six.
High Point-Thomasville has now won eight of their last 10 outings.
“They have really turned it up here lately,” said HiToms head coach Austin Love. “We finally have guys in the right spots.”
A two-out rally was needed in the second inning for the Tommies to do some real damage. Austin Crutcher had led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Two consecutive outs followed, but a single by Glenn Batson and walk to Colby Keene loaded the bases. That set the table for Brittain, who lofted a high fly ball to the giant wall in left field. It had just enough to leave the yard, bouncing off the top of the wall and over for a grand slam.
“I was just seeing the ball well tonight and came up in a pressure situation with men on base and it went good,” said the outfielder from USC Upstate. “I was struggling first half of the year and now I am seeing the ball a lot better and putting it in play.”
Asheboro's only run came in the third off of Cunningham. Connor Justus doubled, took third on a wild pitch and scurried home on a grounder to the shortstop.
The HiToms had to wait until the sixth inning to get it back. Up 4-1, Brittain helped tack on some insurance, driving home Des Roberts with a single.
“He has done a complete 180,” said Love of Brittain. “He was striking out a lot first half of the season and you can tell the work he is putting in now.”
Cunningham finished it off with some great defense behind him. Facing only four over the minimum, Cunningham put in his best performance of the season in a huge head-to-head matchup. Asheboro had just four hits.
Roberts and Brittain finished with two hits each for the 25-26, 13-10 HiToms. Justus had two of the four Copperhead hits. Matthew Gorst (2-4) was saddled with the loss lasting six innings with five earned runs.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.