HIGH POINT, N.C. – A night after the High Point Rockers bullpen pitched a gem, on Sunday it was Rockers starter Tommy Lawrence giving the bullpen a night off. Lawrence threw eight innings, limited the Long Island Ducks to just seven hits and gave High Point its second straight win with a 9-1 victory in front of 2,630 at Truist Point.
Lawrence struck out six and did not walk a single batter in improving his record on the year to 6-2. He won his third consecutive start and threw a franchise-record 113 pitches including 83 strikes.
Michael Martinez and Jerry Downs each had four hits as part of High Point’s 18-hit attack. Johnny Field, Giovanny Alfonzo, Jay Gonzales and Jared Mitchell each had two hits. The Rockers had at least one hit in each of the first seven innings
Downs has been perhaps the most potent offensive player in professional baseball in August. Since last Sunday, Downs has hit .552 (16 for 29) with nine runs scored, four doubles, five home runs and 16 RBI. On Sunday, he collected four hits and four RBI including a two doubles.
High Point scored a pair of runs in the first, using four hits and two Ducks’ errors. Martinez singled and stole second but an error on Ducks’ shortstop Ryan Jackson allowed Martinez to continue to third. Downs singled to score Martinez to give the Rockers a 1-0 lead. Stuart Levy then lined a crisp single to center as Downs was running on the pitch and was able to score all the way from first for a 2-0 advantage.
The Rockers added two more runs in the fourth when Alfonzo and Gonzalez led off the inning with back to back doubles. Mitchell then singled to score Gonzalez to give High Point a 4-0 advantage.
In the sixth, Martinez reached on an infield single and scored on a double by Downs to stake the Rockers to a 5-0 lead.
High Point added four more runs in the eighth to take a 9-0 lead. Field knocked in a run with a single and Mitchell drove in a pair with a double down the left field line.
Lawrence left the game with nobody out in the ninth after giving up a single to Johnni Turbo and an RBI triple by Breland Almadova.
Logan Bender, most recently a member of NC State’s College World Series team, made his professional debut and struck out two in pitching the final inning.
The Rockers will enjoy an off-day on Monday before starting a three-game series with the Lexington Legends at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday at Truist Point.