HIGH POINT, N.C. – One Southern Maryland error in the first inning opened the floodgates leading to 10 High Point runs on Sunday as the Rockers went on to defeat the Blue Crabs 14-2 in front of a crowd of 2,161 on Father’s Day at Truist Point.
So. Maryland pitcher Willie Rios walked Michael Russell to open the bottom of the first. Rios then had High Point’s Shed Long, Jr. ground into a double play. Two batters, two outs. The Rockers’ Zander Wiel then lifted a high fly ball straight up from home plate that catcher Isaias Quiroz could not corral as the ball landed in fair territory. That error then led to High Point getting seven base hits and two walks as they scored 10 unearned runs on So. Maryland. Wiel made up for the pop-up by hitting a three-run homer in his second at-bat of the first inning.
“We all know baseball is a crazy game but it’s still amazing what one mistake can do,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe. “Not just in the game but it changed the series.
“One guy got a hit and led to another guy getting a hit,” said Keefe. “Then Beau Taylor steps up, we’re only up one, he drives in two and that opened it up. Sometimes just the smallest things can make the biggest difference.”
The victory gave the Rockers a 2-1 series lead as they improved to 31-15 on the season. Gastonia remains 1.5 games in front in the Atlantic League’s South Division as the Honey Hunters defeated Staten Island 5-1 to improve to 32-13.
Both starting pitchers got the decision tonight. High Point pitcher Ryan Weiss (W, 2-0) pitched six innings, giving up two runs, seven hits while striking out nine. Rios (L, 0-2), gave up 10 runs, all unearned, on seven hits and three walks in his one inning pitched.
The Blue Crabs plated a run in the second. Alex Crosby reached base with a double to right field and moved to third on a groundout by Jose Rosario. Crosby scored the Blue Crabs first run on a wild pitch from Weiss.
Southern Maryland made the score 10-2 in the third. Jack Sundberg reached on a single then scored on Crosby’s single to center field.
The Rockers pushed two more runs across in the sixth. Aklinski and Taylor got on with back-to-back singles. Ryan Grotjohn then hit a two-run double to make the score 12-2.
In the seventh, Montrel Marshall reached on single to right field, his second hit of the game. Russell singled to put two aboard before Long, Jr. doubled. Russell then scored on a wild pitch from Jacob Gilliland to give the Rockers 14 runs in the end of seven innings.
High Point will have Monday off and then will start a three-game series against Lexington on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m at Truist Point. The game will be available on FloBaseball.com and also on the Mixlr app.
NOTES: High Point’s 10 runs in the first marked the most runs in a single inning by the Rockers… RHP Kyle Barraclough had his contract purchased by the Boston Red Sox on Sunday and he is expected to report to the AAA Worcester, Mass. Club… Ryan Weiss tied the team season-high with nine strikeouts. Ben Braymer and Mickey Jannis have each had nine strikeout games in 2023.