Gastonia, NC- The High Point Rockers didn’t let the rain ruin their parade Saturday night, taking down the Gastonia Honey Hunters 8-4.
Playing in conditions ranging from a drizzle to a steady rain beginning in the third inning and continuing to the game’s conclusion, the Rockers built an early 4-0 lead and never trailed.
In the second inning with Zander Wiel on base, Tyler Ladendorf launched a home run over the left field wall off Reilly Hovis (L, 5-5) to give High Point a 2-0 advantage early. In the third inning, with Michael Russell at second base, Wiel stepped up to the plate and delivered a deep fly ball to center field. Jake Skole caught the ball at the fence, and Russell tagged up and went to third, only to catch the Honey Hunters napping and continued home, scoring from second base on the sacrifice fly.
In the fifth inning, Jerry Downs launched a home run of his own, his fourth in the last five games, giving High Point a 4-0 advantage.
Despite the Honey Hunters 23-6, 67-27) scoring twice off Neil Uskali in the last two innings of his evening, Uskali (W, 4-3) delivered a strong performance. He exited with two outs in the sixth inning, turning in 5.2 innings of two-run ball (only one run was earned) and matching a season-high in strikeouts with five.
The Rockers would add RBI hits from Giovanny Alfonzo, Mike Gulino, and Russell before all was said and done, and Ryan Dull (S, 9) relieved Bryce Hensley in the ninth inning to earn the save.
For High Point (10-19, 49-46), the win secured at least a split of the four-game weekend series, and was their fourth win in the last six games against the Honey Hunters.
The series concludes tomorrow as the Rockers send Craig Stem (3-3, 3.49) to the mound to take on Gastonia’s Roger Bernal. In Bernal’s last start, he threw the first five innings of what became a combined no-hitter for Gastonia against Lexington. First pitch of tomorrow’s game is scheduled for 4:15 at CaroMont Health Park.
NOTES: Gastonia’s Reece Hampton stole two bases, becoming the first player in the Atlantic League to reach 50 steals in 2022…Jerry Downs recorded two hits, extending his hitting streak to 14 games.