HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers scored their first-ever home sweep of the Long Island Ducks, taking game three of the series by a final of 5-3 on Thursday night at Truist Point.
Zander Wiel hit a two-run homer for the Rockers in the first and Johnny Field hit a three-run homer in the sixth to account for all of High Point’s scoring.
The win gives the Rockers a 10-3 mark after completing a 13-game homestand to start the season. It is the best start ever by the Rockers in their three-year existence.
“You couldn’t hope for anything better than a 10-3 start,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe. “Plus we’ve won nine out of ten. We know we play a lot of games at home early so it’s great to get out to a good start. It’s good to know that we can win games at home because this team was built for this ballpark. And if our pitchers keep throwing the ball like that, we’re going to win a lot of games.”
For the third straight game, the Rockers tallied multiple runs in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Jerry Downs lined a double to the wall in right field and then Wiel delivered a home run to left that put the Rockers ahead 2-0. For Wiel, it marked his fourth home run in the last four games and his sixth homer of the season.
Long Island took its first lead of the series in the fourth inning when they scored three times, two of the runs being unearned. Joe DeCarlo’s two-run single brought home Rusney Castillo and Dustin Woodcock after Castillo had reached base on an error.
High Point regained the lead in the sixth when Field hit his three-run shot, his second of the season, into Blessing Park in left field. The Rockers led 5-3.
High Point starter Brady Lail (2-1) limited the Ducks to five hits in his six innings of work. Adam Choplick, Ryan Dull and Chasen Bradford closed out the game for the Rockers with each throwing one inning. Bradford earned his third save of the year by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
The Rockers, who led the Atlantic League in fielding entering the game, uncharacteristically made three errors behind Lail tonight leading to two unearned runs.
“Brady was outstanding tonight and we made a few errors behind him,” said Keefe. “But Brady probably needed to grind it out a little bit because we’ve been playing such good defense. But we put those behind us and won the game.”
The Rockers will make their first road trip of the year starting on Friday when they visit the York Revolution. Game times are set for 6:30 Friday and Saturday night at 2:00 on Sunday.
“This trip will be a little different,” said Keefe. “We have played every game, even our exhibition game on turf. Now we’ll be on grass and we’ll have to take a few extra ground balls beforehand.”
NOTES: With the win, the Rockers improve to 10-3 on the season, their best 13-game start in franchise history. High Point was 6-7 in their inaugural season in 2019 and 8-5 last year.
This also marks the fewest games needed to reach 10 victories. In ’19, High Point earned its 10th win in game 18 (10-8) and last year, it was game number 20 (10-10).