HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers banged out 15 hits and cruised to their fifth straight victory with a 12-2 win over York on Sunday afternoon at Truist Point.
The win puts the Rockers at 65-55 overall and 26-28 in the second half of the Atlantic League season. With Kentucky’s win over Gastonia and Lancaster’s victory over Southern Maryland on Sunday, the Rockers will maintain a half-game lead on the Barnstormers in the Wild Card race and a 2.5-game lead on Kentucky.
The Rockers were led by Michael Russell, Michael Martinez and Jerry Downs who each had three hits. Downs had three RBI on a sac fly and a two-run double while adding a pair of singles. Martinez drove in a run with a solo homer leading off the Rockers’ six-run second inning while Russell reached on three singles. Zander Wiel knocked in a pair of runs on infield groundouts in each of the first two innings.
Craig Stem (W, 6-6) went five innings and allowed just four hits and two runs while striking out three. The win was the 12th of Stem’s career with the Rockers, giving him the franchise record for career wins. Stem had previously tied the club mark of 11 set by Tommy Lawrence in 2021.
Junior Rincon pitched the sixth inning for the Rockers, Gabriel Castellanos hurled the seventh and eighth and Joe Johnson finished up by throwing the ninth. None of the relievers allowed a run.
York’s two runs came in the third when J.C. Encarnacion knocked a two-run homer, his 13th of the year.
The Rockers will enjoy an off-day on Labor Day and then continue the current homestand by hosting Gastonia on Tuesday, September 6 at 6:35 p.m. at Truist Point.
NOTES: Stem’s 12 wins is one more than Tommy Lawrence (2021) won for the club record for career wins. Stem won one game with the Rockers in 2019, five games in 2021 and six games in 2022.
With three strikeouts on Sunday, Stem pushed his club record for career strikeouts to 198.
Rockers have now won five straight game and will prepare to host Gastonia in a mid-week series starting on Tuesday, Sept. 6.