HIGH POINT, N.C. – The Staten Island Ferry Hawks scored eight runs in the first two innings and went on to post a 14-4 win over the High Point Rockers on Wednesday night at Truist Point.
The Rockers spotted the Ferry Hawks four runs in the top of the first. Staten Island lead-off hitter Ricardo Cespedes reached on an infield single off High Point starter Mitch Atkins (L, 1-2). After stealing second, Cespedes scored on an Angel Aguilar homer to left for a 2-0 lead. After Atkins fanned Yoshi Tsutsugo for the first out, Chris Brito singled and scored on a double by Luis Castro for the third run of the inning. Castro would score on a wild pitch to complete the 4-0 start.
The Rockers answered back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Ferry Hawks starter Ofelky Peralta (W, 1-4) walked D.J. Burt and Ben Aklinski. After retiring Shed Long, Jr. and Quincy Latimore, Peralta loaded the bases with a walk to Beau Taylor. Zander Wiel then blasted a line drive off the wall in left, scoring all three runners and pulling the Rockers to within 4-3.
Staten Island added four more runs in the second off High Point reliever Joe Johnson. A lead-off double by Noah Fisher was followed by an RBI triple from Aguilar. After Johnson hit Brito with a pitch to put two aboard, Castro blasted a three-run homer as Staten Island went up 8-3.
High Point’s Bryce Hensley came on and put the Ferry Hawks down in order in the third but allowed two more runs in the fourth and three in the fifth when Roldani Baldwin hit a solo homer and Noah Fisher added a two-run shot. The Ferry Hawks led 13-3 after five innings and added one more run in the seventh on a Baldwin double and an RBI single ground out by Noah Fisher.
High Point’s final run came in the bottom of the ninth when Ryan Grotjohn was hit by a pitch and scored on a pinch-double by Daikan Yoh.
Shed Long, Jr. led the Rockers with three hits while Zander Wiel had a pair of safeties. Staten Island’s Aguilar came up a double shy of hitting for the cycle, collecting a homer, triple and single while Castro had a homer and a double. Each had four RBI in the game.
The Rockers are now 57-32 overall and 16-10 in the second half of the Atlantic League season. High Point holds a one-game lead over Gastonia for first place in the second half.
The third and final game of the series is slated for a 6:35 p.m. start on Thursday at Truist Point. The game will be streamed live on FLO Baseball and also available on the Mixlr app.
NOTES: D.J. Burt reached base for the 44th consecutive game, the second-longest streak by an Atlantic League player since 2019. Only York’s Carlos Franco, who reached base in 50 consecutive games last year, has a longer streak.