HIGH POINT, N.C. – Gastonia’s Luis Castro hit a pair of home runs and drove in three in leading the Honey Hunters to a 6-4 win over High Point on Thursday night at Truist Point.
It marked the third consecutive game that Gastonia had erased an early Rockers lead and gone on to win.
The Rockers scored three times in the bottom of the first as Jay Gonzalez led off the frame with a bunt single, Logan Morrison drew a walk and Zander Wiel singled to bring Gonzalez around to score. Gastonia starter John Anderson then gave up a hard single to Jerry Downs to load the bases before issuing RBI walks to Quincy Latimore and Michael Martinez to give High Point a 3-0 lead.
Gastonia’s Luis Roman hit a solo homer leading off the second against High Point starter Craig Stem. High Point went up by four runs gain in the fifth when Michel Martinez reached on a throwing error by Roman, the Gastonia third baseman. Mike Gulino then tripled into the right-center gap to score Martinez and give High Point a 4-1 lead.
Gastonia cut it to 4-2 in the sixth when Stem walked Joseph Rosa to start the inning. He moved to third on a Zach Jarrett single and scored on Roman’s sacrifice fly.
Gastonia relievers Onas Farfan, Eucides Leyer and Quintin Torres-Costa held kept the Rockers off the board over the final four innings.
Stem ran into trouble when he allowed Luis Castro’s first homer of the night, a solo shot, to lead off the seventh. After retiring the next two hitters, Stem gave up a single to Rayder Ascanio before giving way to Bryce Hensley. Hensley allowed Rosa an RBI single to tie the game at 4-4.
In the top of the eighth, Jake Skole singled off Hensley with two outs before Castro hit his second homer of the night to lift the Honey Hunters into the lead at 6-4.
Hensley (L, 1-2) allowed 3 hits and two runs over his 1.1 innings of work. Stem went 6.2 innings and allowed eight hits and four runs while walking two and striking out four. Farfan (W, 3-2) allowed just one hit and struck out three over his two innings.
Gonzalez and Downs each had a pair of hits for the Rockers.
The loss leaves the Rockers at 0-3 to start the second half of the Atlantic League season and 39-30 overall. Gastonia improved to 47-21 and 3-0.
The next three games in the series will all be played at Gastonia’s CaroMont Health Park starting with Friday’s 6:15 p.m. start.