STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The High Point Rockers ran their winning streak to a franchise-record 10 straight games on Sunday with a doubleheader sweep of Staten Island, winning the opening game 6-4 and taking the nightcap 5-1 at SIUH Community Park.
High Point had posted an eight-game winning streak in 2021. The Rockers are now 25-10 on the season and have opened a two-game lead over Gastonia for first place in the Atlantic League South Division.
In Sunday’s opening game, Staten Island righty Jordan Simpson held the Rockers in check, retiring each of the first 12 batters he faced. Quincy Latimore poked a single to left to lead-off the fifth inning, igniting a three-run rally. Michael Martinez followed Latimore’s single with a single of his own before Jay Gonzalez singled to score Latimore with the game’s first run. After Chris Proctor drew a walk to load the bases, Michael Russell’s single to left scored both Gonzalez and Martinez to put the Rockers ahead 3-0.
Staten Island mounted its own rally in the sixth inning, scoring four times and chasing starter Andrew Church from the game. Joseph Monge hit a two-run double, Bryan Gonzalez knocked an RBI single and Angel Aguilar hit a sac fly to put the FerryHawks ahead 4-3.
But just like in every previous High Point-Staten Island game, the Rockers won the game in their last at-bat, scoring three times in the seventh and final inning. Johnny Field led off with a home run off reliever Jose Velez and after a walk to Gonzales and a Proctor single, Giovanny Alfonzo singled to score one and Russell came through with his second RBI single of the game.
Ryan Dull (2-0) came on in the sixth in relief of Church and earned the win while Chasen Bradford pitched a perfect seventh inning to record his fifth save.
In the nightcap, the Rockers sent rookie righthander Michael Gutierrez (1-0) to the mound in his professional debut. The former Felician University pitcher went five innings and held the ‘Hawks to four hits and one run while walking two and striking out two. Kyle Mott pitched the final two innings and did not allow a hit.
Logan Morrison homered with one out in the second to give the Rockers a 1-0 lead. Staten Island tied the game in the bottom of the frame when Kacy Clemens doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Mariel Bautista.
The Rockers took the lead for good in the fourth on consecutive singles by Jerry Downs and Latimore and RBI singles from Morrison and Martinez. High Point added another pair of runs in the fifth when Latimore knocked in both Russell and Ben Aklinski who had each singled.
The Rockers will meet the FerryHawks for the final time this season with a single game on Monday at 1 o’clock at SIUH Community Park.