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High Point Crowned Big South Champions First Time in Program History


The Panthers of High Point University win the Big South Baseball Championship.

HIGH POINT – The High Point University baseball team won its first Big South title in program history as they defeated USC Upstate, 6-0, on Saturday afternoon to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

Head Coach Joey Hammond said, “This is a huge step for our program and for our guys most importantly. I think everybody recognized the levity to be able to do something for the first time in the history of the program is special. It says a lot about our players, especially the guys that stuck around and had to deal with some tough times, and to come out on top is fantastic. We are rooted in work and guided by our faith. We talked about this happening 177 days ago when we finished our fall. I’m just so proud of them to execute and deal with adversity and battle all the way to the champi onship.”

The southpaw, Brett Wozniak started the Big South Championship game for the Panthers. He was electric through seven innings as he kept the Spartans off the scoreboard only allowing four hits. Wozniak earned the win and improved his record to 8-2.

Wozniak cruised through the first inning of work as he fielded a come backer and threw it to Adam Stuart at second to turn a 1-6-3 double play to retire the side.

Cael Chatham opened the scoring for HPU as he sent a high fly ball over the center field wall to kick things off for the Panthers. Peyton Carr followed with a hard hit double as it one hopped the right field wall. High Point jumped out to an early, 1-0 lead.

Another scoreless inning on the mound for Wozniak as he stranded an Upstate runner on second.

The Panthers scored two more runs in the second inning as Patrick Matthews earned an RBI with runners on second and third. As the order flipped to the top, Konni Durschlag ripped one to right field to score Miggy Echazarreta to make it a 3-0 game.

Once again, Wozniak was dealing on the mound as he put up another zero on the Upstate side as he surrendered two fly outs and a line out.

HPU was shut down in the third inning as Upstate found a way to silence the bats.

Through three innings, HPU led 3-0.

The fourth zero was put up on the board for Upstate as Wozniak worked his way through the heart of the Spartan lineup.

Matthews earned another RBI in the fourth inning as he put one down the right field line to score Brayden Simpson from second.

A 1-2-3 inning in the fifth as Wozniak sent them down in order with three ground outs. High Point was also sent down in order in the bottom half.

After a lead off walk in the top of the sixth, Wozniak was able to get the next three batters with help from a double play. The Spartans stranded a runner at third.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Panthers plated two more runs to extend their lead to six. Simpson tallied another RBI as he singled to left field scoring Eric Grintz from second. The second run was earned as Durschlag hit a dribbler down the third base line as he beat it out and Simpson scored the sixth run for the Panthers.

Wozniak put up his seventh shutout inning after getting a fly out to deep left field to strand yet another runner on the bases.

The Panthers had two runners on before surrendering the last out in the seventh.

Adam Grintz came in out of the bullpen in the top of the eighth. Grintz came out firing as he sent down the first two batters on strikes. The final out was a fly out to Echazarreta in right field to retire the Spartans.

High Point went down in order in the bottom of the eighth as Grint took the mound to try and close it out in the ninth. With a little bit of trouble after recording the first two outs, Hammond brought in Chatham to get the final out. Chatham did just that as the final out was recorded on a fly out to right field.

The High Point Panthers are the 2024 Big South Conference Tournament Champions. This is the first time in program history that baseball has won the title and the fifth time in Big South history that the championship game was a shutout.

Eric Grintz was tabbed with tournament MVP as Brayden Simpson, Brett Wozniak and Konni Durschlag were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Final score: High Point 6, USC Upstate 0

Records: High Point (34-25), USC Upstate (36-24)

Up Next: The Panthers will be heading to the NCAA Tournament.