LEXINGTON, Ky. – The High Point Rockers and the Lexington Legends engaged in one of the strangest games in the brief history of the Rockers franchise on Wednesday afternoon at Wild Health Field. In the end, the Rockers came away with a 25-9 win with no less than 19 records set or tied.
For those in a hurry, here’s what you need to know:
- The Rockers overcame an early 5-2 deficit with a pair of eight-run innings in the third and eighth
- Third baseman Michael Russell hit for the cycle, the first Rocker to ever do-so
- The Rockers set a record by hitting three home runs in one inning
- The Rockers twice had players hit back-to-back home runs
And on the other hand, the Rockers set records for the most walks issued in a game with 15 and provided Lexington with three runs via bases-loaded walks and another on a passed ball.
And all of this in a modest four-hour game that will go down as the longest game in club history.
Things started off well for High Point with Russell opening the game with a lead-off double in the top of the first. That was followed by a Logan Morrison RBI double and a Jerry Downs RBI single to give High Point a 2-0 lead after the first half inning.
But High Point starter Austin Glorius opened the bottom of the first by throwing 14 consecutive pitches outside of the strike zone and walking the bases loaded. After striking out Isaias Tejeda, Glorius was able to get Manuel Geraldo to bounce into a force out, scoring one run, but that was all the Legends could tally.
The Rockers went down in order in the second before Lexington struck four times in the second. Glorius allowed a lead-off double to Montrell Marshall then issued two more walks to load the bases. A third walk to Boog Powell forced in one run. After a mound visit, Glorius walked Phillip Ervin to force home another run and give Lexington a 3-2 lead. Kyle Mott came on in relief and allowed a run on a passed ball and another run on a bases-loaded walk. At the end of two, the Legends led 5-2.
The Rockers retaliated by scoring eight runs in the top of the third. The newly-acquired Cesar Trejo drove in High Point’s first run with a sacrifice fly. Tyler Ladendorf hit a three-run home and Jay Gonzalez made it back-to-back homers with a solo shot. After a walk to Giovanny Alfonzo and a walk to Mike Gulino, Russell blasted a three-run homer. High Point led 10-8 after three innings.
The Legends plated a run in the sixth to pull within a single run at 10-9 when Pete Yorgen singled to score Rusber Estrada.
High Point then threw up another eight-spot in the top of the seventh. Henry Owens replaced Brett Schneider on the mound for Lexington and hit the first two batters he faced in Downs and Ladendorf. A sac bunt by Gonzales moved the runners up a base. A walk to Gulino loaded the bases before Alfonzo singled home two runs for a 12-9 lead. Russell reached on a fielding error by Lexington third baseman Cesar Cuevas with Gulino coming home to make it 13-9. Ben Aklinski’s sac fly and an RBI single by Logan Morrison made it a 15-9 game. Zander Wiel then poked a two-run homer to left and Downs followed with a blast to right for an 18-9 Rockers lead.
Bryce Hensley pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings for High Point and the Rockers added another six runs in the top of the ninth. Pitcher Jonathon Crawford pinch hit and walked before Yorgen, the catcher turned pitcher, induced fly ball outs from Downs and Ladendorf. Gonzalez singled, Gulino doubled home a run and Alfonzo walked. Russell then singled to drive in a run before Aklinski hit a grand slam for a 25-9 lead.
Joe Johnson pitched the ninth inning for the Rockers and while he walked two, High Point turned a double play to keep the Legends from scoring any more runs.
After Russell’s game-starting double, he singled and homered in the third inning, singled in the sixth, reached on an error in the seventh, and achieved the cycle with a triple in the eighth. He added another single in the ninth as he finished the day with a club record six hits and six runs scored.
Russell on the day was 6-for-7 with a double, triple, home run and four RBI. Aklinski was 2-for-3 with a double, homer and team-high five RBI. Ladendorf was 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI while Downs was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a homer and Gonzalez was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and a homer.
The Rockers improved to 41-38 overall and 2-11 in the second half.
High Point and Lexington will play the final game of this three-game series on Thursday at 6:35 p.m. at Wild Health Field.
TEAM RECORDS SET:
Most runs, game: 25
Most runs, game, both teams: 34
Most home runs, inning: 3
Most home runs, game: 6
Most RBI, game: 22
Most extra base hits, game: 11
Most total bases, game: 45
Highest slugging percentage, game: .978
Largest margin of victory, game: 16
Longest game (time): 4:06
Highest OPS, game: 1.496
Most walks issued, inning: 6
Most walks issued, game: 15
TEAM RECORDS TIED:
Most RBI, inning; 8
Most total bases, inning: 15
Most consecutive home runs: 2
INDIVIDUAL RECORDS SET
Most at-bats, game: 7, Michael Russell, Logan Morrison
Most runs scored, game: 6, Michael Russell
INDIVIDUAL RECORDS TIED
Most extra base hits, game: 3, Michael Russell