After scoring just 10 runs in three Coastal Plain League games, the High Point-Thomasville HiToms (2-2) blew past that total in one afternoon Sunday, defeating the Forest City Owls (2-2) 12-4 at Finch Field.
Jacob Whitley paced HPT at the plate, going 4-for-4 with 2 RBIs. In all, the HiToms collected 13 hits, including their first CPL home run of the season, a towering blast by Middle Tennessee State's Manny Lopez over the left field wall.
The HiToms exploded for five runs in the first two innings, despite travelling home from a late night 5-3 loss in Florence Saturday. Bailey Welch, Jordan Howard, and Jacob Whitley strung together three straight singles to drive in both opening inning tallies.
Lopez then launched his solo homer with one out in the bottom of the second to extend the lead to three. He was soon followed by four HiToms who reached base on four straight pitches. Sophomore Bryce Butler and Welch singled, Howard reached on an error to score Butler, and Whitley drove in Welch with his second his of the game.
The offense went quiet until the fifth, but they were aided by the stellar start of Newberry College right-hander Evan Estridge. In his first CPL appearance of the season, Estridge allowed just two hits and one walk in four scoreless inings, while also fanning five batters.
After an aggressive approach at the plate through the first four innings, the HiToms settled into a more patient pattern in the fifth. Forest City issued four walks and a hit batter to plate Whitley and Myles Christian without a ball put in play. Welch ripped a single to change that pattern and drive in Manny Lopez, but Cameron Peters was cut down at the plate to keep the HPT lead at 8-0
Three more runs officially put this one out of reach in the following inning, thanks to RBI singles by freshman Dillon Bowman and Lopez. A bases-loaded walk by Butler gave High Point-Thomasville 11 runs before the Owls could fire a shot.
Forest City got two back on a homer run by centerfield Josh Senter, but Whitley's fourth single, a Christian double, and a Bowman sacrifice fly put the HiToms back up by 10, 12-2.
The Owls managed two more consolation runs in the ninth with the game well in hand, leaving the score at 12-4.
C Jacob Whitley: 4-4, 2 RBI, 3 R, SB
RF Manny Lopez: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
2B Bailey Welch: 3-6, RBI, 2 R
CF Jordan Howard: 1-4, 2 RBI, R, SB
RHP Evan Estridge: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 5 K, 1 BB, W
The HiToms have a day off Monday before facing the Martinsville Mustangs in back-to-back games, first on the road