HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers pounded out 12 hits and won their fifth straight game with a 6-3 win over Charleston on Friday night in front of 2,426 fans at Truist Point.
High Point starting pitcher Brady Lail was outstanding, going seven innings and holding the Dirty Birds to three hits while striking out nine and not allowing a walk. The Rockers’ offense was led by Jerry Downs, Quincy Latimore and Chris Proctor who all produced two hits apiece. Latimore and Ben Aklinski each drove in a pair of runs.
“Brady had three pitches going tonight, he was consistently down in the zone and he threw strikes all night long,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe. “It was fun to watch.”
The Rockers took an early 2-0 lead when Johnny Field and Michael Russell started the first inning with back-to-back singles. Quincy Latimore then lined an RBI single to left that drove home Field while Zander Wiel grounded out to short, bringing Rusell home with the second run of the inning.
In the second, the Rockers’ Tyler Ladendorf led off with a line drive single to left then moved to third on a single by catcher Chris Proctor. Jay Gonzalez bounced into a 6-4-3 double play but Ladendorf was able to score to put High Point ahead 3-0.
Charleston got one run back in the fifth when Connor Justus blasted a solo homer to left, his first homer of the year.
High Point added three more runs in the fifth when they loaded the bases with one out. Latimore flew out to the fence in left for a sacrifice fly that scored one run before Aklinski doubled off the wall in left to score two more.
Lail, who has spent parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues with the White Sox and Mariners, was dominant throughout his seven innings. He struck out two in the first, fourth and fifth innings and struck out the side in the third. Besides the homer to Justus, Lail was touched for a two-out triple in the first by Juan Petez and an infield single by Yovan Gonzalez in the fifth.
The Dirty Birds scored twice in the ninth off reliever Chasen Bradford. Charleston managed a pair of singles before Bradford walked former Rocker Miles Williams to load the bases. Justus lashed a two-out double to drive in both runs and account for the 6-3 final score.
High Point and Charleston will play the second game of their three-game set on Saturday night at 6:35 at Truist Point. The Rockers will send RHP Neil Uskali (1-0, 1.80 ERA) against Charleston righy Jose Mesa, Jr. (1-0, 0.00)