GASTONIA, N.C. – The High Point Rockers set a season-high with 19 base hits and won the final game of the series from Gastonia by a final of 11-1 on Thursday night at CaroMont Health Park.
The win pulls the Rockers to within one game of the first place Honey Hunters in the Atlantic League South Division. High Point is now 37-18 on the season while Gastonia stands at 38-17. Each team has eight games remaining, including one head-to-head meeting, before the end of the first half of the Atlantic League on Friday, July 7.
High Point’s Michael Russell and Ryan Grotjohn each led the way with four hits apiece. Grotjohn and Zander Wiel accounted for three RBI each. Starting pitcher Ryan Weiss (W, 3-1) went 6.2 innings for the Rockers and allowed five hits and one run while walking two and striking out seven.
High Point started the scoring in the first inning when Dai-Kang Yang hit a two-out two-run homer to dead center, scoring Russell who had singled to reach first. In the second, Brian Parreira opened the inning with a walk and moved to second on a one-out single by Michael Martinez. Shed Long, Jr. singled to load the bases before Gastonia starter Zach Mort hit Russell with a pitch to give the Rockers a 3-0 lead. Wiel’s sac fly then gave the Rockers a 4-0 advantage.
In the third, Grotjohn started the inning with a double and moved to third on a ground out by Ben Aklinski. Parreira then singled to right to score Grotjohn for a 5-0 Rockers lead.
The Honey Hunters made it a 5-1 game in the bottom of the third on a solo homer by Braxton Davidson.
High Point put its lead back at five runs in the top of the fourth when Russell singled and Wiel unloaded a two-run homer to the 400-foot mark in center as High Point went ahead 7-1. The scoring continued with four more runs in the sixth as the Rockers took an 11-1 lead. Russell doubled and Yang singled and both scored on Grotjohn’s homer. After Ben Aklinski walked, Emmanual Tapia doubled him home with a shot that bounced off the centerfield fence.
Gastonia’s Zach Mort (L, 6-1) absorbed his first loss of the season, allowing 10 hits and seven runs with one walk and six strikeouts.
The Rockers will start a four-game series on Friday at Truist Point against the York Revolution. This weekend’s games will feature fireworks on both Friday night and Monday night with a Rockers Trucker hat giveaway on Saturday. Game time on Friday and Saturday is set for 6:35. The Rockers traditional holiday fireworks extravaganza is scheduled for Monday night at Truist Point. The live stream of all games will be available on FLO Baseball and on the Mixlr app.
NOTES: High Point’s 19 base hits broke the previous season-high of 18 set previously vs. Charleston on May 2 and So. Maryland on June 24… Zander Wiel’s home run was the 47th of his High Point career, putting him one behind Quincy Latimore who holds the franchise record with 48 career homers… Michael Russell’s four hits marked his second four-hit night of the season.