FREDERICK, Md. – The High Point Rockers used a 14-hit attack including a six-run fifth inning to subdue the Spire City Ghost Hounds 10-6 on Friday night at Nymeo Field. Mickey Jannis earned the victory to improve to 11-4 on the season, tying the club record for the most wins in a season.
High Point lit up the scoreboard first as Shed Long, Jr. led off the game with a walk and moved to second on a balk. D.J. Burt then singled to right, sending Long, Jr. to third and paving the way for Ben Aklinski to drive in Long, Jr. with a sac fly. The base hit marked the 57th consecutive game in which Burt has reached base safely.
Spire City took a 3-1 lead in the second when Steven Brault homered to score Kole Cottam who had singled, and Osvaldo Abreu who was hit by a pitch from Jannis (W, 11-4).
High Point cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fourth when Ryan Grotjohn and Daikan Yoh singled. Grotjohn scored when Brian Parreira grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
In the bottom of the fourth, Abreu hit a solo homer to extend Spire City’s lead to 4-2.
The Rockers sent 10 men to the plate in the fifth and scored six times to surge ahead 8-4. Long, Jr. hit a two-run homer, Grotjohn and Parreira had RBI singles and Michael Martinez had a two-run single.
The scoring continued with two more runs in the sixth to give High Point a 10-4 lead. Aklinski reached on an error by pitcher Nate Peden just before Zander Wiel unloaded his 25th home run of the year.
Jannis (W, 11-4) left in the sixth after allowing a double to Jimmy Paredes and issuing walks to Kole Cottam and Chris Shaw. Austin Ross came in from the bullpen with the bases loaded and one out and retired Abreu on a called strike three and induced a fly ball to get out of the inning unscathed.
Jannis finished the night going 5.1 innings and allowing five hits and four runs with three walks and four strikeouts. Spire City starter Dustin Beggs (L, 3-10) was saddled with the loss, allowing 11 hits and eight runs over five innings though four of the runs were unearned.
Bryce Hensley came on in the seventh and allowed a double to Brault. Craig Dedelow singled up the middle but Burt overran the ball for an error, allowing Brault to score. Dedelow moved to third on a ground out and scored on another ground out to pull the Ghost Hounds to within 10-6. Jameson McGrane shut out the Ghost Hounds in the eighth and Ryan Dull retired the side in order in the ninth to preserve the win.
The Rockers improved to 67-35 for the full season and 26-13 in the second half. The Rockers have a half-game lead over Gastonia (26-14) in the race for the South Division second half pennant.
Game two of the series is slated for a 6:00 p.m. start Saturday at Frederick’s Nymeo Field. The game will be streamed live on FLO Baseball and also available on the Mixlr app.
NOTES: D.J. Burt reached base for the 57th consecutive game. That stands as a Rockers club record and is believed to be an Atlantic League record. The only other streak of similar length was a 50-game streak by York’s Carlos Franco in 2022… Mickey Jannis won his 11th game, tying the club record for wins in a season. Tommy Lawrence went 11-4 during the 2021 season. Jannis is one of three Atlantic League pitchers to win 11 games this year, joining Gastonia’s Zach Mort with 12 wins and York’s Nick Raquet with 11… High Point’s six-run fifth inning marked the most runs in an inning since the Rockers plated 14 runs in the ninth of a July 29 game at Spire City.