GASTONIA, N.C. – The High Point Rockers will look to rebound on Wednesday after dropping Game One of the Atlantic League South Division Championship series by a score of 12-1 on Tuesday night at Gastonia’s CaroMont Health Park. Five Gastonia pitchers held the Rockers to just five hits in the contest.
The best-of-five series will continue Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. as the Rockers will send RHP Craig Stem (7-6, 4.01) to the mound against Gastonia RHP Alex Sanabia (7-5, 3.88).
The Honey Hunters were paced by Herlis Rodriguez who had four hits including a grand slam, and Jack Reinheimer who collected three hits.
Gastonia took a 1-0 lead in the second when Luis Castro hit a solo homer to left to give the Honey Hunters the early lead. The Rockers tied the game on a Jerry Downs solo homer to right off starter John Anderson in the top of the fourth. After Quincy Latimore flew out to the wall in right, Anderson walked Logan Morrison and hit Zander Wiel in the front foot with a pitch to put runners on first and second. Ben Aklinski slapped a single to left but Reece Hampton threw Morrison out at the plate as he tried to score from second.
In the fifth, Gastonia scored six times to take a 7-1 lead. Hampton drew a lead-off walk from Jannis and Reinheimer singled to put runners on the corners. After Reinheimer stole second, Joseph Rosa singled to center to plate Hampton. Following a mound visit from pitching coach Frank Viola, Jannis fanned Zach Jarrett but Jake Skole countered with an RBI single. Castro drew a walk to load the bases and Rodriguez then hit a grand slam to right to give the Honey Hunters a 7-1 advantage.
Skole hit a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh off High Point reliever Seth Frankoff to increase the margin to 8-1. That lead extended to 10-1 when Zach Jarrett hit a two-run homer off Liam O’Sullivan in the bottom of the eighth and then to 12-1 following a two-run single by Cole Freeman, also in the eighth.
Jannis went five innings and allowed eight hits and seven runs while walking four and striking out two. O’Sullivan allowed four hits and four runs in his lone inning of work.
Anderson held the Rockers to just three hits in his five innings of work while walking one and fanning five. Four Gastonia relievers each threw a shutout inning, giving up just two hits over the final four innings.
Notes: Game 2 will be played Wednesday night at 6:15 p.m. at CaroMont Health Park while Game 3 will be at Truist Point on Friday at 6:35 p.m.