HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers pounded out 14 hits including six doubles and three home runs in beating York 11-3 Friday night in front of a crowd of 1,955 at Truist Point.
Michael Russell had a double and a homer for the Rockers as did Jerry Downs. Ben Aklinski hit two doubles and Zander Wiel blasted a solo homer, his 28th of the year which set the club record for homers in a season.
Mitch Atkins earned the win, his first since 2021, to improve to 1-0 on the season. York starter Ben Herrick fell to 0-3 with the loss.
The Rockers scored in each of the first five innings in building an 8-3 lead. Aklinski doubled home a run in the first and Wiel’s homer in the second gave the Rockers a 2-0 advantage.
York took a 3-2 lead in the third when Elmer Reyes hit a two-run double and J.C. Encarnacion added an RBI single. But that would be the end of the scoring for the Revs.
Downs hit a solo homer in the third to tie the game at 3-3 and Michael Martinez collected an RBI single later in the inning that put High Point ahead 4-3. Russell hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Giovanny Alfonzo stroked a two-run double in the fifth as the lead grew to 8-3.
After being shutout in the sixth inning, the Rockers scored three times in the seventh with Aklinski collecting an RBI single and Downs adding a two-run double.
Atkins went five innings and allowed just three hits while walking two and striking out three. Herrick lasted six innings and allowed 12 hits and eight runs while walking three and striking out three.
The Rockers improve to 63-55 overall and 24-28 in the second half of the Atlantic League season. The Rockers maintain their 1.5 game lead in the ALPB Wild Card race as Kentucky also won on Friday night.
High Point and York meet again on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. at Truist Point. The Rockers will send Liam O’Sullivan to the mound to face Revs’ lefty Josh Norwood.