FREDERICK, Md. – The High Point Rockers exploded for a franchise record 14 runs in the ninth inning en route to a 22-2 win over the Spire City Ghost Hounds on Saturday night at Nymeo Field.
The Rockers held a comfortable 8-2 lead going into the top of the ninth inning and then blew up for a club record 14 runs. The 14 runs came on nine hits and one Ghost Hound error. Every Rocker in the line-up scored at least once in the ninth with five players scoring twice. Ben Aklinski had five RBI in the inning, on a run-scoring single his first time through and on a grand slam on his second at-bat of the inning. Daikan Yoh, Brian Parreira, and D.J. Burt each had a double in the ninth.
The Rockers had multiple big innings, scoring four runs in the fifth and three in the eighth before the ninth inning gala.
Spire City had taken a 1-0 lead in the first when Jose Marmolejos hit his 18th homer of the year off High Point starter Justin Nicolino (W, 4-0). Quincy Latimore tied the game in the third with the first of his two home runs. The Rockers had a four-run outburst in the fifth, tallying on a Beau Taylor RBI single and a Zander Wiel three-run homer.
The Ghost Hounds narrowed the deficit to 5-2 in the sixth an a run-scoring hit by Osvaldo Abreu.
Latimore’s second homer, with D.J. Burt and Shed Long, Jr. aboard, gave High Point a n 8-2 lead after eight innings.
Spire City starter Zac Rosscup took the loss, going five innings and allowing seven hits and four walks on six strikeouts while allowing High Point’s first five runs.
Sam Selman, Jameson McGrane and Jeremy Rhoades each threw a scoreless inning in relief of Nicolino.
With the win, the Rockers improve to 11-7 in the second half and 52-29 overall.
The series continues on Sunday with game two of the three-game set slated for a 1 p.m. start on Sunday at Nymeo Field.
NOTES: The Rockers set season highs with 22 runs scored, 21 hits, 22 RBI and 37 total bases… The Rockers hit .429 as a team (21-for-49), tying for their second-highest average of the season… Justin Nicolino has now won four of his five starts this season and has gone at least five innings in each start… The 22 runs scored rank as the second-most in club history behind 25 runs scored at Lexington on 7/20/22… The nine hits in an inning stands as a new club mark… The 21 hits tie for the second-most in club history.