HIGH POINT, N.C. – The Lancaster Barnstormers scored seven times in the seventh inning to erase a 6-2 deficit and went on to post an 11-6 win over the High Point Rockers in Game 2 of the Atlantic League Championship Series on Wednesday at Truist Point.
The loss puts the Rockers at a 2-0 deficit in the best of five series. After a travel day on Thursday, High Point will play at Lancaster on Friday night at 6:30. The series will continue with games on Saturday and Sunday if needed.
The Rockers were leading 6-2 after the sixth, thanks to back-to-back homers by Tyler Ladendorf and Michael Martinez in the fourths and three consecutive RBI singles in the sixth.
But the roof fell in on the Rockers in the seventh. Liam O’Sullivan had entered the game in the second inning after High Point starter Mitch Atkins left in the second with the Rockers leading 1-0. O’Sullivan let an inherited runner score as Lancaster tied the game at 1-1. But O’Sullivan kept the Barnstormers scoreless through the third and fourth innings and allowed a run in the fifth when Melvin Mercedes led off with a triple. Andretty Cordero’s grounder to short brought home Mercedes as Lancaster took a 2-1 lead.
Ladendorf and Martinez hit back-to-back homers in the fourth as High Point went back on top 3-2. That lead grew to 6-2 after a three-run sixth. Lancaster starter Nile Ball issued back-to-back walks before Logan Moore punched a single to score Martinez. Michael Russell’s single brought home the second run of the inning and Ben Aklinski’s single gave High Point a 6-2 lead.
But the Rockers would not score another run and managed just two hits over the final 3.2 innings.
O’Sullivan allowed a single and a walk in the seventh before being relieved by Seth Frankoff who yielded consecutive singles and a walk before Bryce Hensley came on. Hensley allowed five hits in one-third of an inning before Rockers manager Jamie Keefe went back to the bullpen for Junior Rincon who was able to record the final out of the inning. When the damage was done, the Rockers had allowed seven hits on eight runs and trailed 9-6.
Lancaster added two more runs in the eighth to extend the lead to 11-6.
Hensley took the loss for the Rockers while Donald Goodson earned the win with a pair of strikeouts in two-thirds of an inning.
Giovanny Alfonzo had three hits to lead the Rockers while Aklinski, Russell, Ladendorf and Martinez all had two hits.
Shawon Dunston and Chris Proctor each had three hits and two RBI for the Barnstormers. Andretty Cordero added a pair of hits and two RBI.