GASTONIA, N.C. – The High Point Rockers’ offense slept through most of the first innings in dropping a 10-5 decision to Gastonia at CaroMont Health Park on Thursday night.
The Rockers managed just three hits through the first six innings and fell behind Gastonia 10-1 before rallying for four runs in the eighth. But in the end, it was Gastonia that earned the win and moved one-half game in front of High Point in the Atlantic League’s South Division second half race. The Honey Hunters are now 7-3 in the second half while the Rockers are 7-4.
Beau Taylor, Ben Aklinski and Brian Parreira each had a pair of hits for the Rockers with Aklinski driving in a pair of runs.
Gastonia was able to touch High Point starter Mitch Atkins (L, 0-1) for seven hits and six runs as he made his second start of the season after a long rehab period following an arm injury. Atkins did not issue a walk and struck out four while hitting one batter.
The Honey Hunters scored once in the second on a Luis Curbelo sac fly. But it was the five-run third inning that put the Rockers behind 6-0. Kevin Santa drilled an RBI single and Scott Manea contributed a two-run single before David Washington slammed a two-run homer.
The Rockers were able to score on a Parreira sac fly in the fourth and the score remained 6-1 until the seventh. Gastonia added four more runs off reliever Joe Johnson, using a two-run single by Pedro Gonzalez, and RBI singles from Washington and Curbelo.
The Rockers bats woke up in the top of the eighth. Aklinski drove home a pair of runs on a single and Daikan Yoh added an RBI single. Michael Martinez grounded out to force in a run and cut Gastonia’s lead to 10-5.
High Point will open a six-game homestand on Friday, July 21 when the Rockers entertain the Long Island Ducks. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. and it will be Agriculture Night at Truist Point with postgame fireworks.