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Rockers Win Fifth Straight, Drop Legends 4-1

By Steve Shutt, 08/17/21, 10:00PM EDT

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Blakeney doubles, scores as High Point victorious

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers tied their longest winning streak of the year, winning their fifth consecutive game on Tuesday night with a 4-1 victory over the Lexington Legends at Truist Point.

The Rockers collected 11 base hits for the second straight game with Johnny Field, Michael Martinez and Stephen Cardullo each getting a pair of hits.

Mitch Atkins started the game and retired the Legends in the first, allowing just one hit.  But his arm stiffened and Neil Uskali came on to pitch for High Point in the second.  By that time, the Rockers had built a 2-0 lead.  Field led off the game with a single, moved to second on a groundout by Martinez and scored on a single by Jerry Downs.  Downs moved to third when Cardullo was hit by a pitch and Stuart Levy walked to load the bases.  Jay Gonzalez then flew out to left and Downs scored on the sacrifice fly.

In the second, the Rockers took a 3-0 lead when Uskali led off the inning with a walk and would come around to score on a single by Cardullo.

Tillman Pugh homered to lead off the fifth for the Legends, bringing the score to 3-1 and notching the lone run for Lexington.

The Rockers added an insurance run in the sixth when pinch-hitter Nate Blakeney doubled down the left field line and scored on an identical double by Martinez.  Blakeney’s run put the Rockers up 4-1.

“I can’t say enough good things about Nate,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe.  “He outworks everybody and it was great to give him an opportunity tonight.  He jumped all over that first pitch and that four run was critical for us tonight.”

The Rockers sent six different pitchers to the mound on Tuesday with Uskali (1-0) getting the win and Kyle Halbohn earned his fifth save of the year by retiring the Legends in order in the ninth.

“We had to piece things together with the pitching,” said Keefe.  “Mitch had a little tightness in his arm and we didn’t want to take a chance on him hurting it.  We’ve got a lot of good arms in the bullpen and they did the job tonight.”

High Point and Lexington will continue in their three-game series Wednesday with a special afternoon game starting at 12:05 p.m.