Batson powers HiToms past Florence

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Glen Batson drove in three runs and Jordan Simons delivered scoreless relief out of the bullpen as the High Point-Thomasville HiToms defeated the Florence RedWolves 6-4.

Florence (13-8) got on the board early as Brandon Rawe stroked a RBI single to left in the bottom of the first. One inning later, Conor Sullivan cranked a solo homer to left field – just Florence’s second long ball of the year – to give the RedWolves a 2-0 lead.

The HiToms (9-10) responded in the top of the third as Spencer Mahoney (jr., Valparaiso) ripped a RBI single to left field. They threatened for more damage with the bases loaded and two outs, but Florence starting pitcher Wales Toney struck out the next batter to escape the threat. The RedWolves added insult to injury in the bottom half when Jordan Gore notched an infield RBI single. Then with runners at the corners, HiToms starting pitcher Matthew Milburn (so., Wofford) threw a wild pitch scoring the runner from third and extending the RedWolves’ lead 4-1.

High Point-Thomasville refused to go quietly though. After the HiToms loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the fourth, Josh Ingram (jr., Central Oklahoma) and Des Roberts (rs jr., UNC-Charlotte) drew back-to-back RBI walks bringing the deficit to one. Then in the top of the fifth inning, Austin Crutcher (jr., Bellarmine) ripped a double down the left field line and then scored on Glen Batson’s (rs fr., Clemson) bloop RBI single.

Batson, however, was nowhere near finished. With a runner at first and two out in the top of the seventh, he hit a long two-run shot to left field to give the HiToms the lead for good, 6-4.

In relief, Jordan Simons (so., Louisville, 1-1) notched the win throwing five innings of shutout baseball and allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out two. Right-hander Blake Smith (jr., Morehead State) got the final out of the eight and pitched a scoreless ninth to notch his second save of the year.

The HiToms look to continue their winning ways as they host the Columbia Blowfish at Finch Field Friday. First pitch is at 7:00 p.m.

The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 18th season in 2014, the CPL features 14 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL gives college players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. The CPL has had over 1,200 alumni drafted and 68 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum - Russell Wilson - won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at
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