HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers managed just six hits in dropping a 3-1 decision to the Kentucky Genomes Saturday night in front of 2,415 fans at Truist Point.
“Our pitching was really good,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe. “We just need better at-bats. We need to barrel up some balls. Our guys have been here less than two weeks and it’s Day Three of the season so I’m not ready to push the panic button. We just need to put the ball in play more and we’ll be fine.”
The Rockers were three-hit on Friday night and with six hits on Saturday, have just nine hits over the last 19 innings.
The Genomes jumped on Rocker starter Brady Lail for a run in the first. With one out, Demetrius Moorer reached on an error before he moved to second on a single by Riley Mahan and then scored on a single by Chris Shaw. Another single by Felix Pie loaded the bases but Cleuluis Rondon bounced into a double play to end the threat.
Lail went six innings and walked one while striking out six. After giving up three hits in the first, he held the Genomes to just two more safeties over the next five innings.
The Rockers put two runners on base in the first, third and fifth innings but were not able to capitalize on any of the opportunities.
Kentucky starter Max Povse, the former Rocker, allowed just two hits in his five innings, yielding a double to Jay Gonzalez in the third and a single to Chris Proctor in the fifth. Nate Peden, Jhonathon Ramos and Tim Peterson each threw shutout innings in relief of Povse.
The score remained 1-0 until the seventh when Kentucky’s Luke Becker reached on a passed ball that was scored as a base hit. Rockers reliever Jonathon Crawford then loaded the bases by walking Robbie Kellerman and hitting Andrew Keefer with a pitch. Anderson Miller then lifted a sacrifice fly to center that scored Becker for a 2-0 Kentucky advantage.
The Genomes added another run in the ninth when Moorer reached on an infield single, moved to third on a single by Riley Mahan and scored on Chris Shaw’s sacrifice fly.
The Rockers tallied their lone run of the game when Miles Williams hit a ground rule double with one out in the ninth, move to third on a balk by Kentucky reliever Diego Moreno, and scored on an infield single by Jay Gonzalez.
Lail (0-1) took the loss and Povse (1-0) got the win. Moreno earned his first save of the season.
The Rockers and Genomes will play the final contest of the four-game series on Sunday afternoon at 4:05 p.m. at Truist Point.