HIGH POINT, N.C. – While Truist Point wasn’t scheduled for a fireworks show on Wednesday, the Rockers offense went ahead and put one on, blasting the Long Island Ducks 11-5.
The Rockers put up three crooked number innings, scoring four times in the first, three in the fifth and three more in the sixth. Tyler Ladendorf and Johnny Field each hit a home run and drove in four runs in the game while the Rockers collected 16 total hits including nine extra base hits.
Four of High Point’s first five batters combined to hit for the cycle as the Rockers put up four runs in the first. Michael Russell led off the first with a triple that was followed by a two-run homer from Ben Aklinski. Zander Wiel then beat out an infield single before Quincy Latimore flew out to left. Tyler Ladendorf’s double into the left field corner completed the cycle and then set the table for a sac fly by Michael Martinez and an RBI double by Johnny Field to complete the inning but not the scoring.
High Point added a run in the third when Ladendorf walked, went to third on a single by Martinez and scored on a single to right by Johnny Field.
High Point put up a pair of three spots in both the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Field drove home two runs with a double while Ladendorf added an RBI double. In the sixth, Ladendorf collected his third of four extra base hits on the night with a three-run homer.
Andrew Church, a former pitcher in the Mets system who was tutored by Frank Viola during their time in AAA Las Vegas, was signed by the Rockers on Wednesday and earned his first start. He went 5.1 innings and held the Ducks to just four hits while striking out two. But Church shut out Long Island through the first five innings as the Rockers built an 8-0 lead. Relievers Bryce Hensley, Tanner Duncan and John Hayes completed the night.
With the Rockers ahead 8-0, the Ducks scored three times in the sixth. Church gave up a lead-off walk to Vladimir Frias and a single to Dustin Woodcock. Johnni Turbo knocked a two-run triple and scored on an RBI single by L.J. Mazzilli.
Long Island rallied for two runs in the ninth on a solo homer by Sam Travis and an RBI single from Deven Marrero.
Church improved to 1-0 while Long Island Bennett Parry (0-1) took the loss after pitching the first inning and then leaving with an injury.
The Rockers and Ducks will conclude their three-game series on Thursday at 6:35 p.m. at Truist Point. It will be Thirsty Thursday and will feature $1 beers and, for Cinco de Mayo, a special $2 on Coronas.