High Point-Thomasville took game one of its doubleheader against Forest City at Finch Field Tuesday night, beating the Owls 5-3, before dropping game two against their West division foe 13-7.
The HiToms used two strong pitching performances from Clemson's Evan Estridge and Lee's Logan Workman to anchor the game one victory - Estridge started the game and threw four innings, allowing just one earned run. Workman followed to finish the final three innings without allowing an earned run.
High Point-Thomasville fired the opening shot after Dallas Baptist's Blayne Jones scored North Carolina's Angel Zarate on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first to take an early lead against Forest City. The Owls responded with a two-run double in the 3rd inning to take the lead 2-1.
The HiToms regained the lead in the 4th inning after Charlotte's Jacob Whitley reached first on an throwing error by Forest City third baseman Garrett Blaylock - the error allowed Southern Miss' Danny Lynch and Southeastern Louisiana's Nick Ray to score, giving the HiToms a 3-2 advantage.
Forest City tied it up at 3 with an RBI single in the top of the 5th - but were unable to get anything more despite loading the bases with no outs. HPT turned a double play on a line drive to UNCW's Kip Brandenburg at first base to help get Workman out of the jam.
In the bottom of the inning, High Point-Thomasville took the lead for good after drawing back-to-back bases-loaded walks from Lynch and Ray to make the score 5-3.
Game two started with Forest City tallying an early unearned run to take a 1-0 lead through the top of the first, but High Point-Thomasville responded quickly. Zarate smoked his second of three doubles on the evening to lead off the bottom of the inning before Middle Tennessee's Myles Christian lined a home run inside the right-field foul pole to give HPT a 2-1 lead. The home run was Christian's fifth of the season and 23rd of his Coastal Plain League career, tying former HiTom Richard Jones for the most career home runs in CPL history.
High Point-Thomasville added to the lead in the 2nd on Zarate's third double of the night, which scored Lynch and Chowan's Jared Fry to make it 4-1.
Forest City responded in a big way with an eight-run 3rd inning to take a 9-4 lead that the Owls would never relinquish. Matt Reed's team would stretch the lead to 11-4 after the top of the 4th inning. The HiToms clawed back into the game on another Zarate big blow, this time his first home run of the 2019 season, which scored three runs to make it 11-7.
But two more Owl runs in the 6th inning put the game out of reach and preserved a doubleheader split for the visitors.
Zarate finished game two with three hits - two doubles and a home run - and five RBIs.
The HiToms travel to Gastonia to face the Grizzlies at noon tomorrow - listen live beginning at 11:50 a.m. right here on hitoms.com!
HPT hosts another doubleheader Thursday night beginning at 6:00 p.m. as the Asheboro Copperheads come to town. Gates open at 5:00 p.m.