HIGH POINT-THOMASVILLE, N.C. - The Coastal Plain League HiToms persevered through unprecedented times to clinch and win the 2020 Mid-Atlantic Division crown.
2020's title is the first division title for the Hometown HiToms since 2018, and the organization's seventh division title in the modern CPL era. (No 2020 playoffs.)
HPT finished a shortened regular season, which started July 1 under Phase 2, 20-7 overall and unbeaten in non-league action all under new leadership.
"This group was a privilege to coach," first-year head coach Mickey Williard said. "Looking at our roster, anyone could see that we had a plethora of talent coming in, but what I got to watch every day was all these guys come together to create a special culture."
Speaking of talent, a total of 16 ACC student-athletes suited up at Historic Finch Field this season. In fact, four HiToms found themselves ranked in D1 Baseball's Top 150 Prospects, No. 21 Zach Gelof (Virginia), No. 28 Ryan Cusick (Wake Forest), No. 32 Ethan Murray (Duke) and No. 119 Michael Turconi (Wake Forest).
"Every day at the park they worked on their craft, competed and developed life long friendships with their teammates," Williard said.
High Point-Thomasville was dominant at home all season long boasting a 15-2 record. Despite a shortened campaign, Williard's squad flipped a 52 percent home winning percentage from a season ago to that 88 percent.
Home dominance with MLB scouts gracing Finch Field led to impressive stat lines on both sides of the ball, individual and team, as HPT led the CPL in both slugging percentage (.494) and in ERA (3.10), including four shutout victories.
11 times the HiToms plated double-digit runs in a regular-season affair and recorded 13 instances of double-digit hits in a game. Against Catawba Valley, HPT scored a season-high of 8 runs in a single frame and pushed across a season-high of 21 runs versus Statesville.
In 50 contests during the summer of 2019, HPT accumulated 48 home runs. This season, the HiToms blasted a total of 31 in only 27 games with 10 multiple home run contests.
A large part of the offensive prowess came was sparked by Hogan Windish (UNCG), Luke Spiva (Catawba) and Turconi (Wake Forest).
Windish led the league in batting average with a season average of .462 to go along with a 21-game hit streak. He also held the top spot on the CPL's RBI leaderboard with 37 and tied for third in total home runs (6).
Spiva finished the summer ranked third in the CPL in batting average with a .397.
Turconi scored the most runs on the squad throughout the season (31) and produced two walk-off base knocks. The Demon Deacon was also 3rd in the league in RBIs with 27.
On the mound, Cusick (Wake Forest) fanned 40 opposing batters in 23.2 innings of work to rank first in the league in total strikeouts on the summer. KJ Wells Jr. (Louisburg) finished second in the CPL with four saves out of the pen.
Avery Cain (King University) was credited with the CPL's second-best win total on the bump leading the HiToms with a perfect 3-0 record.
With 3029 revolutions per minute, Will Schomberg (Davidson) recorded the league's highest spin rate for a breaking ball this season, according to TrackMan Baseball.
"They wouldn't let me finish this quote any other way than to say the TomCats are hot, and the championship is ours," Williard said. "Super proud of all their hard work."