HIGH POINT, N.C. – Logan Morrison hit a two-run double and rookie lefthander Jonah Scolaro tossed five innings of two-hit baseball as the High Point Rockers shutout the Long Island Ducks 3-0 on Wednesday night at Truist Point.
The win broke a club-record 10-game losing streak and leaves the Rockers with a 29-19 record. With Gastonia winning on Wednesday, the Rockers remain four games behind the South Division-leading Honey Hunters in the race for the first half Atlantic League pennant and playoff spot.
“The kid (Scolaro) came in and was lights out. He attacked the zone all night and was dominant over five innings. It doesn’t get any better than that,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe of Scolaro’s first start. “He moved the ball in and out, up and down. He kept the hitters off balance all night.”
Scolaro signed with the Rockers earlier in the day after having pitched at Florida State. The Tampa native was primarily a reliever with the Seminoles and last pitched when he drew a start in the NCAA Regional at Auburn against UCLA. His first professional start on Wednesday could not have gone much better. He went five innings, allowed just two hits, walked three at struck out four and earned his first professional win.
Scolaro was a breath of fresh air to a starting rotation that has had the contracts of its top three starter purchased by affiliated clubs or the Mexican League, and has had a fourth, Cooper Casad, on the injured list since the first month of the season.
Scolaro yielded a walk and a hit in the first inning but was able to strand both runners. The Rockers broke the ice in the bottom of the first when Jerry Downs punched a two-out single and Zander Wiel drew a walk. Logan Morrison sliced a double down the leftfield line that scored both runners and gave High Point a 2-0 lead.
Scolaro set the Ducks down in order in the second and third, recording three strikeouts. He gave up a two-out walk in the fourth but escaped unharmed. Scolaro allowed a lead-off hit in the fifth that was immediately followed by a 6-4-3 double play.
The Rockers added a run in the fourth when Morrison walked, went to third on a Michael Martinez single and scored on a sac fly to center by Johnny Field.
Bryce Hensley threw two shutout innings, setting the Ducks down in order in the sixth and allowing a scratch single in the seventh. Ryan Dull pitched a scoreless eighth and Chasen Bradford earned his seventh save of the year by retiring the Ducks in the ninth.
Scolaro was non-plussed by his first post-collegiate outing.
“It’s still the same game. I just wanted to go out set the tone and compete. Let the guys play behind me and let the defense do its job.”
Morrison and Martinez each finished the night with a pair of hits as the Rockers managed six hits on the evening while Long Island had five safeties, all singles.
The Rockers and Ducks will face-off in the third game of the series on Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. at Truist Point. High Point will send righty Craig Stem to the mound while the Ducks will counter with lefty Stephen Tarpley.
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