HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers defeated the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs 6-3, in game two of a three game series at Truist Point on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 2,240. Matt Solter (W, 2-1) had an incredible outing on the mound tonight. Solter retired the first 11 men he faced, threw only 77 pitches and was able to shut out the Blue Crabs for seven innings. He gave up five hits, and one walk, while striking out three.
The Rockers posted their 30th win of the season at the earliest point in club history. The Rockers are now 30-15, having reached the 30-win mark in their 45th game. The previous best had been 30 wins in 53 games. The Rockers remain 1.5 games behind South Division leading Gastonia which defeated Staten Island on Saturday night to move to 31-13.
Neil Uskali (L, 1-2), a former Rocker, was the starting pitcher for the Blue Crabs. He gave up five runs on seven hits with one strikeout in his five innings of work.
The Rockers jumped out with a 1-0 lead in the first. Shed Long, Jr. reached with a lead-off walk and stole second base to move into scoring position. Zander Wiel then hit a line drive single to center to score Long, Jr.
D.J. Burt doubled to left field and moved to third on a wild pitch. Michael Russell sent an RBI double to center to score Burt and put the Rockers up 2-0 at the bottom of the third.
High Point continued to execute offensively to score three more runs in the fifth. The first run of the inning was scored by a Dai-Kang Yang double, a John Daly bunt single and an RBI single from Long. Jr. Daly was able to score the second run of the inning off a passed ball that also resulted in a Ryan Grotjohn walk. Grotjohn stole second base, his tenth of the season, followed by a Wiel RBI double to put the Rockers up 5-0.
Southern Maryland scored its first run of the game in the top of the seventh. Braxton Lee hit a triple to center and was followed up by a single from K.C. Hobson to make the score 5-1.
The Rockers pushed across another run in the seventh off Blue Crabs reliever Josh Martin. Russell cranked a double to center field and was moved to third by a groundout from Grotjohn. Russell then scored on a wild pitch by Martin to extend the Rockers lead to 6-1.
A.J. Cole came in to pitch for the Rockers in the eighth. The Blue Crabs were able to score a run off him with a solo home run from Isaias Quiroz.
In their last at-bat, the Blue Crabs scored once in the ninth. Hobson hit a ground-rule double to center field and was followed by Alex Crosby’s single up the middle to make the score 6-3.
High Point and Southern Maryland will conclude the series on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. at Truist Point for a special Father’s Day game. The game will be available on FloBaseball.com and also on the Mixlr app. There will be a father-son post-game catch on the field and kids can run the bases with their dad.