The High Point-Thomasville HiToms (1-2) placed the tying run on second base in the top of the 9th, but fell just short of completing a four-run comeback, losing to the Florence RedWolves (1-1) 5-3 on the road.
After a three-hour weather delay that pushed the start of the game back to 9:57, Florence racked up hits and opened an early 4-0 lead with two runs in the bottom of the first and one each in the second and fourth.
The HiToms scraped out just three hits and one run against RedWolves starter Khristopher Kuhn, the lone run coming in the sixth inning. Lee University's Jordan Howard reached on a single before stealing second and advancing around the remainder of the diamond on ground balls.
Florence got the run right back in the bottom of the frame against reliever Will Hicks. That would prove to be the only blemish on an otherwise stellar relief outing from the Greensboro College product, as he fired in three innings and struck out five, including all three batters in the bottom of the eighth.
Hicks received some help from the HiTom bats in the top of the seventh. His collegiate teammate Cameron Peters swatted his second hit of the game to drive in Dillon Bowman. Peters advanced to third and was driven in on an infield hit by Howard, his third tally of the night.
HPT kept the pressure on in the top of the ninth. An error allowed Bowman to reach base - he advanced to second on another Peters base hit. A fielder's choice put Bowman at third and Bryce Butler at first base, who advanced to second after Howard struck out swinging to represent the tying run.
Unfortunately, the rally would end there as closer Brett Herlong got pinch-hitter Manny Lopez to strike out looking to end the game.
Three players combined to tally all eight hits for the HiToms.
Jordan Howard: 3-5, RBI, R, SB
Cameron Peters: 3-4, RBI, R
Myles Christian: 2-4
The HiToms return to historic Finch Field to face West Division foe Forest City at 4:00 in their first meeting of the season. The Owls (2-1) have scored double-digit runs in back-to-back victories.