HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers defeated the Charleston Dirty Birds 7-1 on Wednesday night at Truist Point, giving the Rockers the best overall record in the Atlantic League at 27-9. High Point had entered the game tied with Southern Maryland for the top mark but the Rockers’ win coupled with the Blue Crabs’ loss to York leaves the Rockers all alone at the top, at least for the time being.
High Point’s win, coupled with Gastonia’s 10-9 loss to Long Island, gives the Rockers a three-game lead in the tight South Division.
Colt Webb, a recent graduate of the University of Charleston in West Virginia, made his first professional start as a Rocker on Wednesday and responded brilliantly. Webb tossed six innings, allowed just four hits and a run, struck out three and exited the game with a career record of 1-0.
“I was nervous, a little jittery at the start but I tried not to show it,” said Webb who won 28 games as a collegian. “I didn’t think I’d be competing in baseball after college. I wasn’t sure what to expect but these guys have been awesome. They’ve taken me in and it’s been great.”
Webb had pitched an inning in relief last week during High Point’s visit to Charleston but Wednesday’s game marked his first professional start.
“I think this is the most control I’ve ever had,” said Webb who did not issue a walk over his six innings. “But when you’re got (former Major Leaguers) Michael Martinez and Logan Morrison playing behind you, I’ve got a lot of trust in those guys.”
Unlike Tuesday’s 18-3 Rocker win, runs were at a premium on Wednesday. The lone run that Webb (1-0) allowed came in the third inning and put the Dirty Birds up 1-0. Scott Kelly led off the inning with a single, moved to second on a single by Angel Garced and scored on an infield ground out by Anfernee Seymour.
High Point tied the game in the third when Quincy Latimore hit a sacrifice fly to score Michael Russell who had singled to start the frame. The Rockers took a 2-1 lead in the fourth as Johnny Field walked, moved to second on a wild pitch by Charleston starter Jordan Stephens (1-3), stole third and scored on a single to center by Giovanny Alfonzo.
The Rockers opened up the margin with a three-run seventh inning to take a 5-1 lead. After loading the bases, the Rockers scored without the benefit of a base hit, using a wild pitch, a balk and a sacrifice fly to tally their three runs. High Point’s final two runs came in the eighth on doubles by Russell and Downs and an infield single by Latimore.
“Signing (Webb) was a no-brainer,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe. “He had great college numbers. We gave him an opportunity and he took full advantage of it. He threw his fastball for strikes and he has a really good splitter.”
High Point and Charleston will play the final game of the three-game series on Thursday, June 2 with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Truist Point.
NOTES: High Point and Southern Maryland entered the game tied for the best record in the Atlantic League at 26-9 . . . Southern Maryland dropped a 6-4 decision at York . . . The Rockers win extended their modest six home winning streak to seven games which dates back to an 8-4 loss to Lexington on May 17 . . Quincy Latimore has scored a run in eight straight games, the longest-active streak in the league . . . Ben Aklinski continues to lead the league with 14 doubles and 22 extra base hits . . . Webb went 28-14 as a collegiate pitching including a 9-2 mark in 2022 . . . He helped the University of Charleston to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional title game . . . He earned National Pitcher of the Week honors after tossing a no-hitter against Davis & Elkins in April 2022 . . . Webb was a first team All-Mountain East Conference selection in 2021 and ’22.
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