HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers, after being held to just a single run in each of the last two games, broke out the bats on Wednesday and pounded 15 hits and four home runs in setting down So. Maryland 12-1 at Truist Point.
The Rockers improved to 25-11 and remain a half-game behind Gastonia (25-10) in the Atlantic League’s South Division. The Honey Hunters dropped a 13-1 decision at Charleston on Wednesday night.
Catcher Beau Taylor blasted High Point’s first grand slam of the year during a five-run fourth inning. His round-tripper was accompanied by a two-run shot by Zander Wiel in the first, another two-run homer from John Nogowski in the third and a solo homer by Michael Martinez leading off the fifth.
Third baseman Michael Russell had four hits and three runs scored, crossing the plate on both the Wiel and Nogowski homers. Wiel finished with three hits and four RBI.
Five High Point pitchers held So. Maryland to seven hits on the night. Starter Ryan Weiss (W, 1-0) made his Rockers debut and went five innings while allowing four hits and one run with one walk and two strikeouts. Cam Bedrosian, Jameson McGrane, Austin Ross, and Kyle Halbohn each threw shutout innings for High Point.
The Rockers tagged Blue Crabs starter Jared Burch (L, 3-3) with eight hits and four runs in his three innings of work. On offense, So. Maryland received a pair of hits each from Ryan Haug and Michael Baca.
High Point scored a pair of runs in the first to take a 2-0 lead. Russell beat out a grounder to third for an infield hit. After stealing second he trotted home on Wiel’s ninth homer of the year, a 412-foot blast to left field.
Nogowski joined the long ball brigade in the third, following Russell’s double with a two-run shot of his own that put the Rockers in front 4-0.
Cam Williamson led off the High Point fifth with a single and Shed Long, Jr. drew a walk from reliever Connor Gleeson before Russell singled off the wall in left. Wiel reached on a fielder’s choice as Williamson scored. A walk to Ben Aklinski re-loaded the bases before Taylor hit his grand slam to right to put the Rockers up 9-1. In the fifth, the Rockers added a run on a sac fly by Nogowski and an RBI single from Wiel.
The Blue Crabs tallied their only run in the third off Weiss when Haug singled and moved to third on a double by Jack Sundberg. Philip Caulfield’s ground out to third brought Haug in to score.
High Point and So. Maryland will conclude their three-game series on Thursday at 6:35 p.m. at Truist Point. The Rockers will send Kyle Barraclough (0-0, 1.13 ERA) to the mound to face the Blue Crabs’ LHP Mitch Lambson (6-0, 2.30 ERA). It will be Thirsty Thursday at Truist Point with $2 specials on select drinks. The game will be streamed live on FloSports and MixLR will carry the Rockers’ audio broadcast of the game.