NCCU Baseball Bats Around In The Ninth To Beat High Point

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HIGH POINT, N.C. – North Carolina Central University was tied 5-5 with High Point going into the ninth inning, but the Eagles batted around and scored six runs to pull away for an 11-5 win at Willard Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

NCCU (4-4) was able to get runners into scoring position multiple times in the early frames, but HPU (4-4) was able to keep the Eagles off the board.  The Panthers scored first in the bottom of the second after a double and an error, and took a 2-0 lead.

Once again, the middle innings were crucial for the Eagles as they scored five unanswered runs from the fifth to the seventh innings to take a 5-2 lead, and the go-ahead hit came from Andrew Valichka (Pedricktown, N.J.) on an RBI double in the sixth.

The Panthers came back with three unanswered runs of their own, started by a two-RBI triple from Jordan Sergent (Chesapeake, Va.) in the bottom of the seventh.  HPU used another error to its advantage to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth, and that tied the game going to the final frame.

The Eagles rose to the challenge as they sent 11 batters to the plate in the ninth and scored six runs on seven hits to strike the decisive blow of the contest.  Corey Joyce (Lexington, N.C.) knocked a double to start the inning, but that was the only extra-base hit in the frame.  NCCU scored in four consecutive plate appearances, with one RBI coming on a bases-loaded walk to Carter Williams (Brown Summit, N.C.) and Joyce picked up the final hit of the stretch with a two-RBI single.

Joyce went 4-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored for the Eagles, and Valichka was another strong bat as he was 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.  Landon Fraley (Albemarle, N.C.) tossed six full frames for the Eagles and racked up six strikeouts with just one walk.

The Eagles return to the Durham Athletic Park on Saturday, March 4 for a doubleheader with NJIT to begin a three-game weekend set.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and admission is free.

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