LEXINGTON, Ky. – The High Point Rockers moved one step closer to clinching an Atlantic League playoff spot with a 14-2 win over the Kentucky Wild Health Genomes on Saturday night at Wild Health Field.
The Rockers have a magic number of one to eliminate the Genomes from Wild Card contention. The Rockers still need Gastonia to clinch the second half South Division title in order to necessitate the entry of a Wild Card team into the playoffs. First half champions Gastonia and Southern Maryland have already clinched playoff berths. Lancaster leads Southern Maryland by three games in the second half North Division. Gastonia’s magic number to win the South is one and if the Honey Hunters win either game of their home doubleheader with Lexington on Sunday, the Honey Hunters would repeat as South Champion.
The Rockers moved to within one game of a playoff berth with another raucous offensive performance on Saturday night. The Rockers hit five homers and collected 17 base hits. Jerry Downs and Quincy Latimore started the scoring with RBI singles in the first and the Rockers were never challenged after that.
High Point added four runs in the third on a pair of two-run homers from Roldani Baldwin and Giovanny Alfonzo. The Rockers scored four more in the fourth on RBI singles by Latimore and Tyler Ladendorf and a two-run double from Baldwin. Ben Aklinski would add a two-run blast in the seventh before Ladendorf and Baldwin each hit solo shots in the eighth.
Craig Stem (W, 7-6) started and went six innings and struck out four. And while he allowed 10 hits, Stem held the Genomes to just two runs in earning his 13th career win as a Rocker. Joe Johnson tossed two scoreless innings in relief while Cam Cotter held the Genomes scoreless in the ninth.
Baldwin finished the game with three hits, a double and two homers and five RBI. Aklinski, Latimore, Alonzo and Ladendorf each had a pair of RBI. Latimore finished with four hits including a pair of doubles.
High Point is now 69-56 on the season and crossed the .500 mark for the second half at 30-29.
Rockers finish the series at Kentucky on Sunday at 2:05 before returning home for a three-game series with Gastonia starting on Tuesday night at Truist Point.