HIGH POINT, N.C. – Long Island’s Kyle Lobstein allowed the High Point Rockers just four hits and struck nine over eight innings of work as the Ducks took the series opener from the Rockers 8-2 on Friday night in front of a crowd of 2,672 at Truist Point.
The Rockers did not advance a runner to second base until the ninth inning when Lobstein had departed for reliever Kevin Quackenbush. Trailing 8-0, the Rockers scored twice in the ninth, on an RBI single from Daikan Yoh and another from Ben Aklinski.
“Lobstein was outstanding,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe. “He kept the ball down in the zone all day and he was ahead of everybody in the count. To be honest, that’s the best start we’ve run into in the last month, month and a half. We ran into a buzzsaw tonight but it was good to see us get a couple of runs late and get the bats ready for tomorrow.”
Scoreless through the first three innings, the Ducks took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth when rightfielder Alex Dickerson drew a lead-off walk from High Point starter Ryan Weiss. Brian Goodwin then belted a two-run homer to right to give Long Island a 2-0 lead.
Long Island’s lead grew to 4-0 after five innings when Dickerson slapped a two-run double. Three more runs in the sixth, including RBI singles from Jonathan Guzman and Boog Powell, put the Ducks on top 7-0.
In the eighth, Guzman doubled, moved to third, and scored on a groundout by Powell to complete the Ducks scoring.
The Rockers are now 7-5 in the second half of the Atlantic League season and 48-27 overall on the season.
Game two of the series is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Truist Point on Saturday. The Rockers will send lefty Justin Nicolino (2-0, 4.50 ERA) to the mound to face the Ducks’ Joe Iorio (3-5, 6.97). The gae will be streamed live on FLO Baseball and also available on the Mixlr app.