Despite two home runs by Flames third baseman Sammy Taormina, the No. 5 seed High Point Panthers defeated the No. 4 seed Liberty Flames, 8-3, in Game 4 of the 2015 Big South Baseball Championship at John Henry Moss Stadium.
Taormina hit a solo home run in the sixth and a two-run home run in the eighth to bring his home run total to three on the year. The third baseman drove in three runs and scored twice.
High Point pitcher Andre Scrubb held the Flames to five hits in the contest in pitching his first complete game of the season.
Liberty falls to 33-22 on the year and will play No. 8 seed Longwood in Game 6, an elimination game, 45 minutes after an elimination contest between No. 6 seed Campbell and No. 7 seed Charleston Southern at 9:30 a.m.
High Point, 28-24 overall, advances to play No. 1 seed Radford in Game 8, the last contest of the day, tomorrow.
In the top of the seventh, a city wide power outage caused the lights to go out at Moss Stadium, causing a 20-minute delay.
High Point, the visitors on the scoreboard, jumped out to 2-0 in the first. With a runner on second and two out, Panthers Big South All-Conference first team center fielder Josh Greene belted his seventh home run of the year to give High Point a two-run advantage.
In the bottom of the second, Liberty right fielder Will Shepherd opened the inning with a double into the left-center field gap. Two batters later, left fielder Nick Paxton was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners with two outs. But, High Point's Scrubb retired the next batter to end the inning.
High Point upped their lead with a run in the fourth. Greene doubled and designated hitter Spencer Angelis singled to lead off the inning. First baseman Carson Jackson followed with a RBI sacrifice fly for a 3-0 advantage.
In their next at bat, the Panthers added another run in fifth. With one out, left fielder Brady Williamson singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later, catcher Josh Spano dropped a run-scoring single into right field, plating a runner for a 4-0 lead.
The Flames got on the scoreboard in the sixth. With two out, Taormina hit a solo home run for a 4-1 High Point advantage.
In the top of the seventh, the Panthers answered with a home run. With one out, Williamson hit his first home run of the year for a 5-1 lead. After a Liberty pitching change, the lights went out forcing a delay.
High Point pushed across three more runs in the top of the eighth for an 8-1 lead. After Shepherd walked, Taormina connected for his second home run of the contest for what proved to be the final score of 8-3.
Liberty starting pitcher Matt Pennington falls to 3-2 on the year, losing for his first time in four starts. The senior left-hander gave up five runs on 11 hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out two batters and walked none.
Scrubb moves to 6-1 on the season. The right-hander went the distance, allowing three runs on five hits over the full nine innings. The sophomore struck out a career-high nine batters and walked two batters, while his teammates gave him support with 14 hits.