LEXINGTON, Ky. – High Point’s Daikan Yoh reached base five times, scoring twice, and Joe Johnson had his best offensive day as a Rocker as High Point swept the weekend series from Lexington with an 8-3 win on Sunday afternoon at Counter Clocks Field.
The Rockers improved to a league-best 47-24 on the season by winning their fourth straight game. They are in first place in the Atlantic League’s South Division at 6-2 in the second half of the season.
With the Rockers holding a narrow 4-3 lead in the ninth, Yoh reached base on a walk, his third walk of the game. He then raced to third on a single by Brian Parreira before Emmanuel Tapia lined a double off the center field wall, scoring both Yoh and Parreira for a 6-3 advantage. Johnson, the former High Point Panther, then blasted his first homer as a Rocker, scoring Tapia ahead of him and giving High Point a comfortable 8-3 margin.
The Rockers’ Ryan Dull allowed a hit and a walk in the bottom of the ninth but was aided by a 3-6-3 double play turned by Tapia and Shed Long, Jr.
Johnson, who has been starting in left field in recent games, drove in three runs and scored once. Yoh finished 2-for-2 with a homer and three walks while Tapia slammed a pair of doubles.
Lexington starter Merandy Gonzalez struggled with his control right from the first inning. After coaxing ground outs from Long, Jr. and D.J. Burt to start the contest, Gonzalez threw 12 straight pitches out of the strike zone to walk the bases loaded with Zander Wiel, Yoh and Ben Aklinski. Gonzalez then hit Parreira with a 1-0 pitch to force in the first run of the game before getting Michael Martinez to strike out and end the inning.
Lexington knotted the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first on a solo homer by Brandt Broussard, his first of the year. Broussard continued to swing a hot bat, doubling home two runs in the second to give the Counter Clocks a 3-1 lead.
Yoh hit a solo homer to straightaway center field in the third to pull the Rockers to within one at 3-2. High Point tied the game in the fourth when Martinez walked, moved to second on a disengagement violation by Gonzalez, stole third and then scored on a groundout by Johnson.
The Rockers forged a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth when Tapia led off the inning with a ground-rule double to right-center. John Daly was the designated pinch-runner and took Tapia’s place at second. A Johnson ground out moved Daly to third and he then scored the go-ahead run on a sac fly by D.J. Burt.
Lexington’s J.C. Encarnacion reached third with one out in the bottom of the eighth with the ‘Clocks trailing by one but Bryce Hensley (W, 5-1) fanned Mitch Ghelfi and Cam Bedrosian came on to strikeout Jesus Tavarez to quell the threat.
All four of the Rockers’ runs in the eighth and ninth innings came off reliever Joey Steele (L, 0-2). The Counter Clocks walked 12 High Point hitters on the day with Gonzalez contributing seven free passes.
The Rockers will enjoy an off-day on Monday, July 17, before returning to action on Tuesday when they start a three-game series at Gastonia. First pitch on Tuesday from CaroMont Health Park is set for 6:35 p.m.