HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point’s Quincy Latimore lined a broken-bat single to left field with two outs in the tenth inning to give the Rockers a 5-4 win over the Lancaster Barnstormers on Tuesday night at Truist Point.
The inning started with Ben Aklinski on second after he had struck out to end the ninth. With Scott Shuman on the mound for Lancaster, hitting 96 MPH on his fastball, Johnny Field flew out to right before Michael Russell drew a walk. Shuman struck out Jerry Downs on three pitches for the second out. Latimore battled Shuman to a 1-2 count before lining the ball to left in front of Anderson Feliz. The speedy Aklinski scored from second without a throw.
“Q just battled,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe. “Shuman threw the heck out of the ball. But Q got a ball up in the zone and when you put the bat on the ball, good things happen.”
Chasen Bradford (1-0) earned the win for the Rockers as he set down the Barnstormers in order in the top of the 10th. Shuman (0-1) took the loss for Lancaster.
High Point starter Jheyson Manzueta, making his first start of the season, went 5.1 innings and allowed just four hits and one run while striking out six but came away with no decision. He left the game with a 3-1 lead.
“Manzueta was outstanding tonight,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe. “We had a little hiccup in the middle with the bullpen but the back end tightened up and helped us get the win.”
The hiccup was a rare sub-par performance from reliever Ryan Dull. Lancaster got to Dull for three runs in the eighth to erase a 3-1 deficit and take a 4-3 lead. After a lead-off walk to Trace Loehr, Dull gave up a single to Feliz to put runners at first and third. Colton Shaver then singled to drive in Loehr before Kelly Dugan doubled to score Feliz. Mark Zagunis grounded out to third to plate Shaver and give the ‘Stormers their first lead of the night.
The Rockers had taken a 1-0 lead with a run in the bottom of the first. Field started with a single and moved to second when it was misplayed in left by Feliz. A Downs single moved Field to third from where he scored on an infield ground out by Latimore.
The Rockers added two more in the second. After a lead-off walk to Zander Wiel, Mike Gulino drew a walk to put runners on first and second. But Gulino was picked off when an apparent wild pitch bounced back to Lancaster pitcher Cameron Gann who was able to retire Gulino at third. Aklinski then doubled to score Wiel and Field followed with another double to plate Aklinski.
The Barnstormers got on the board for the first time in the sixth when Feliz singled and moved to second when Shaver was hit by a pitch. Keefe removed Manzueta and went with Joe Johnson. Johnson walked Dugan to load the bases before Zagunis lifted a fly ball to center that brought Feliz into score.
The win leaves the Rockers at 3-2 for the season while Lancaster falls to 1-4.
The Rockers will continue their week-long homestand, hosting Lancaster again on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Truist Point.