Legion tournament: HiToms put it together, run rule Wilson
By Adam Houston
SALISBURY — Dealing with the prospect of elimination from the state American Legion baseball tournament, High Point clicked in every way possible on Sunday, defeating Wilson, 13-3, in eight innings. On a hot, sunny afternoon, it was a great way to bounce back from Saturday’s one-run loss to Hope Mills.
“I think the whole team was feeling it,” Ryan Caveness said. “Yesterday, that kind of left a bitter taste in our mouths. Coming over here after that loss yesterday, knowing if we lose, it could be over. So I think we came over here ready to play today.”
Right fielder Jake Moebius ended the game in the bottom of the eighth with a high-flying, two-run home run to left field.
Caveness and Moebius combined for three home runs, six RBIs, six runs scored and eight hits. First baseman Evan Edwards chimed in with a three-hit day from the leadoff spot, while second baseman Colin Lipke, like Moebius, had four RBIs.
“This is what this team is capable of, if we go out there and swing the sticks early,” HiToms head coach Rob Shore said. “We had the lineup set for about two weeks, and today we changed it up a little bit and it worked out. We had guys batting in different positions than what they were used to, and it came up in big positions for them to do some damage, and they did.”
The HiToms play at 1 p.m. Monday against the loser of the Rowan County vs. Hope Mills matchup.
High Point pitcher Justin Olczak (8-0) went the distance while giving up just three hits with a pair of walks and a pair of strikeouts.
“I learned from each batter and was able to make pretty good pitches when they came up,” Olczak said. “I was able to learn from their swings and from what they were doing in the box.”
Olczak made just one mistake on the mound. With the HiToms leading 6-0 — thanks in part to a two-run homer in the third by Caveness — in the top of the fifth, Dwanya Williams-Sutton turned on an inside pitch and sent it to the trees behind the left field fence. It was his second homer in as many days.
“That was a curveball,” Olczak said. “Honestly, it was probably a ball length inside, But that dude, I heard he’s a good player, and he just dropped his hands and he hit it a long way. Props to him.”
Wilson starting pitcher Jeff Hazer was tagged with the loss. He was pulled with no outs in the fourth inning after giving up a single and a walk. High Point got him for six runs on eight hits and a walk.
The HiToms pulled away in the seventh and eighth innings. Moebius lined a two-run homer just to the to the right of the flag poles to make it 9-3. Lipke then hit a two-run single for an 11-3 lead and make the 10-run mercy rule a possibility.
Moebius took care of that in the bottom of the eighth inning. Caveness led off the inning against relief pitcher Jarrett Mobley with a single, his fourth hit of the day, before Moebius ended the game with his blast.
Wilson 000 030 00 — 3 3 0
High Point 013 201 42 — 13 16 1
WP — Olczak. LP — Haser. S — None. HR — Willson: Williams-Sutton; High Point: Moebius 2, Caveness.