LEXINGTON, Ky. – High Point’s Zander Wiel and Brian Parreira each homered as part of a 14-hit attack and the Rockers defeated Lexington for the second straight night 7-2 at Counter Clocks Field. Rockers centerfielder D.J. Burt reached base for the 50th consecutive game, tying what is believed to be an Atlantic League record.
The Rockers improved to 61-34 overall and 20-12 in the second half of the Atlantic League season. The Rockers took a one-game lead in the South Division over Gastonia as the Honey Hunters dropped a 2-1 decision at home to York on Wednesday night to fall to 19-13 in the second half.
After a scoreless first inning, Quincy Latimore started the second with a single to left off Lexington starter Aaron Ochsenbein (L, 7-5) and stole second. Latimore moved to third on Beau Taylor’s fly ball to center before scoring on Zander Wiel’s single to left to give the Rockers a 1-0 lead. Daikan Yoh and Emmanuel Tapia each followed with singles to load the bases. Ryan Grotjohn’s single scored both Wiel and Yoh and gave High Point a 3-0 lead after two.
Lexington tallied its first runs in the third when Mitch Ghelfi singled off Neil Ramirez (W, 2-2) and Zach Watson homered to left to make it a 3-2 game.
In the fourth, Tapia was on second via a ground rule double when Grotjohn singled him home to put the Rockers up 4-2.
A solo homer from Wiel leading off the sixth, his 22nd of the year, put the Rockers up 5-2. That lead grew to 7-2 in the seventh when Ben Aklinski singled, stole second, and scored on a homer by Brian Parreira.
Ramirez went five innings and limited the Counter Clocks to four hits while striking out one and issuing one walk. Taylor Guerrieri threw a scores sixth and Sam Selman did the same in the seventh. Jameson McGrane fanned two in shutting out the ‘Clocks in the eighth and Ryan Dull worked around a leadoff double by J.C. Encarnacion in the ninth to retire the final three batters of the game.
Grotjohn finished with a game-high three RBI along with three hits.
Thursday’s series finale will start at 6:45 p.m. at Counter Clocks Field. The game will be streamed live on FLO Baseball and also available on the Mixlr app.
NOTES: High Point’s D.J. Burt singled in the fifth inning to reach base for the 50th consecutive game… That matches the streak of York’s Carlos Franco in 2022… It is the longest streak in the Atlantic League since 2019… It is believed to be the longest streak in Atlantic League history… Wiel’s home run was the 54th of his High Point career, putting him one in front of Latimore for the franchise career record.