HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point’s Mickey Jannis bparreecame the first nine-game winner in the Atlantic League this season and the Rockers reached the 50 win milestone faster than any other club in franchise history with a 10-3 win over Long Island on Sunday afternoon at Truist Point. The Rockers took the series two games to one and in the process became the first ALPB team with 50 wins this season.
Jannis, a knuckleballer, went six innings and struck out six while scattering six hits. He improved to 9-3 on the season as the High Point offense supported him with 14 hits and took advantage of three Long Island errors.
The Rockers reached their 50th win faster than any other team in club history. At 50-27, the Rockers needed just 77 games to reach the half century mark. The next fastest club was the 2021 team that needed 90 games (50-40) to get to the record. In addition, the Rockers moved back into first place in the Atlantic League’s South Division at 9-5, a half-game in front of Gastonia at 8-5.
High Point scored twice in the first inning off Long Island starter Robert Stock (L, 5-2) who was coming off a no-hitter in his last outing. Shed Long, Jr. led off with a double followed by a walk to D.J. Burt. After Long took third on a wild pitch, Long Island catcher Joe DeCarlo threw to second to try and catch a stealing Burt but the throw sailed past second and into the outfield, allowing Long, Jr. to score and moving Burt to third. Ben Aklinski’s ground out to second brought home the Rockers’ second run of the inning.
The Rockers added a single run in the second on an infield hit by Michael Martinez and an RBI single from Burt. Long Island cut the deficit to 3-1 with a run in the top of the third on a triple by former Rocker Trent Taylor and an RBI single from Boog Powell.
High Point extended its advantage to 6-1 in the third inning when Ryan Grotjohn singled home Beau Taylor and Michael Russell delivered a two-run single.
Long Island scored twice in the fourth on a walk to Alex Dickerson, a single by Brian Goodwin and a two-run double from Trent Taylor. But that would be all the runs the Ducks could muster.
Stock departed after five innings, having allowed 13 hits and all 10 runs while walking two and striking out three.
High Point added a run in the fourth when Burt reached on an error and scored on a double by Daikan Yoh. The Rockers went out in front 10-3 with three runs in the fifth. Brian Parreira hit an RBI double, Burt brought home a run with an infield ground out and Aklinski knocked in a run with a triple.
“It’s great to win the series from Long Island and last night’s win was important but today we came out and really swung the bats and Mickey did a nice job,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe. “The bullpen was awesome and anytime you play at home and have a chance to take a series from Long Island, that’s awesome.”
High Point’s Neil Ramirez, who came off the injured list this weekend after not having pitched since May 12, retired all six batters in the seventh and eighth innings, logging a pair of strikeouts. Cam Bedrosian fanned all three hitters he faced in the ninth to seal the win.
“We’ve got a really hot ball club coming in here in Lancaster so it will be good to get (Monday) off and then get ready for that series,” said Keefe.
Long, Jr. led the Rockers with four hits while Burt finished with three runs scored. Burt, Aklinski and Russell each finished with a pair of RBI. Long Island was led by Taylor and Powell who each had a pair of hits.
The Rockers will have an off-day on Monday before resuming their homestand on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. against the Lancaster Barnstormers. The game will be streamed live on FLO Baseball and will also be available on the Mixlr app.