HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers pounded out 18 hits while holding Charleston to just four in taking a 16-0 win over the Dirty Birds on Tuesday night at Truist Point. Righty Neil Ramirez had a successful Rockers debut, holding Charleston to just one hit over five innings.
Michael Russell continued his hot hitting, collecting three hits including a double. Russell became the first Rocker to reach 300 career hits and tied the club record by hitting a double in his fourth consecutive game. John Nogowski had five RBI including a three-run homer in the second and an RBI double in the seventh. Seven of High Point’s nine starters had at least two hits.
The Rockers struck for three runs in the bottom of the first. Shed Long, Jr. led off the game with a double, took third on a fly out to right by Russell and scored on a ground out by Nogowski. With two outs, Charleston starter Eddie Butler walked Zander Wiel and then hit Ben Aklinski with a pitch to put a pair of runners aboard. Catcher Beau Taylor singled up the middle to plate one run before Daikan Yoh lined a single to left to bring home Aklinski and give the Rockers a 3-0 lead.
The Rockers doubled the score in the second when Long, Jr. walked with one out and Russell doubled into the left field corner before Nogowski hit a three-run homer for a 6-0 advantage.
The score remained 6-0 until the fifth when Taylor singled, moved to third on a double by shortstop Ryan Grotjohn and scored on a single by D.J. Burt.
The Dirty Birds had the sky cave in in the eighth when the Rockers scored eight runs on six hits and an error. High Point sent 13 hitters to the plate in falling one run short of the all-time single inning scoring record of nine.
Ramirez made nifty work of the Charleston line-up, facing 17 batters in his five innings of work, striking out three and walking just one. He set down the first 11 Dirty Birds he faced before allowing a single to Dawel Lugo with two outs in the fourth. Cam Cotter, Gabriel Castellanos, Jameson McGrane and Austin Ross each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
High Point will continue its homestand on Wednesday when it hosts Charleston for game two of the series. Game time is set for 6:35 p.m. at Truist Point.