WALDORF, Md. – The High Point Rockers won their third straight game as Michael Russell collected four hits and scored four runs and Jerry Downs and Cesar Trejo each drove in a pair of runs in a 12-10 win over Southern Maryland at Regency Furniture Stadium on Saturday night.
The Rockers scored once in the first inning without making contact with the ball. Southern Maryland starter Adrian Cook walked Russell to start the inning. After Ben Aklinski was called out on strikes, Cook walked Downs before striking out Zander Wiel. Another walk to Quincy Latimore loaded the bases before Logan Morrison drew an RBI walk that scored Russell.
In the second, Cook walked Mike Gulino with one out and Russell’s double to center brought home High Point’s second run of the night. Aklinski then singled to move Russell to third before he scored on a groundout by Jerry Downs.
High Point extended its lead to 6-0 in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Ladendorf, an RBI double by Alfonzo and a pair of Blue Crab errors that allowed Alfonzo to score from second.
In the bottom of the third, Southern Maryland’s Braxton Lee homered off High Point starter Sam Burton, scoring Michael Baca and Michael Wielansky to pull the ‘Crabs within three at 6-3. In the fourth, Michael Falsetti homered with two men on to tie the game at 6-6. Southern Maryland took an 8-6 lead with a pair of runs in the fifth off High Point reliever Nathan Bates (W, 1-0) coming on a Lee RBI double and an RBI ground out by Jared Walker.
The Rockers went back on top in the sixth when Jerry Downs singled to score Michael Russell and Cesar Trejo delivered a two-run double.
The Rockers scored twice in the top of the eighth for a 12-8 lead when Gulino walked to lead things off and moved to second on a single by Russell. Aklinski drew a walk from Southern Maryland reliever Patrick Baker to load the bases. Gulino scored on a passed ball before Wiel singled to plate Russell. Wiel then stole second and another passed ball allowed Aklinski to score.
Southern Maryland tallied twice in the ninth off High Point closer Ryan Dull. Matt Hibbert’s double scored two and pulled the Blue Crabs to within a pair of runs at 12-10 but Dull induced a fly ball to center from pinch-hitter Mat Latos and Aklinski made a diving catch to end the game.
Dalton Geekie (L, 1-2) allowed three runs in the sixth and was tagged with the loss for Southern Maryland.
Burton went four innings and allowed six runs on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Bates allowed two runs on two hits in his one inning of work. Cam Cotter worked a scoreless sixth and Bryce Hensley did the save in the seventh.
High Point and Southern Maryland will play the final game of the three-game series on Sunday at 2 pm at Regency Furniture Stadium.