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Rockers Move Into First Place with Win over Gastonia

By Steve Shutt, 08/26/21, 10:15PM EDT

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High Point blasts team record 5 home runs

GASTONIA, N.C. – The High Point Rockers moved into first place in the Atlantic League’s South Division with a 10-9 win over Gastonia on Thursday night at CaroMont Health Park.  The Rockers are 13-7 in the second half with a one game lead over Gastonia.  High Point’s 44 wins since the start of the season are the most of any of the eight teams in the Atlantic League.

The Rockers jumped out to a 9-0 lead after four innings before Gastonia started to nibble back.  When the Honey Hunters scored four times in the eighth, the Rockers found themselves with just a 10-8 lead.  Kyle Halbohn came on to pitch the ninth and allowed three hits and a run before retiring Gastonia to earn his ninth save of the year.

High Point hit a franchise-record five home runs in the game including three-run homers from Giovanny Alfonzo and James McOwen, a two-run homer by Johnny Field, and solo homers from J.R. DiSarcina and Adam Taylor.

Taylor finished the game with three hits as did McOwen.  McOwen and Alfonzo led the Rockers with three RBI apiece.

High Point continued its recent hot streak with the bat and scored five times in the second inning.  Taylor singled and Randy Norris walked to put runners on first and second.  McOwen grounded to the second baseman who retired Norris at second.  Alfonzo then hit his first homer as a Rocker, staking High Point to a 3-0 lead.  Following a DiSarcina single, Field hit his seventh homer of the year to put the Rockers up 5-0.

The Rockers added three runs in the third when Stephen Cardullo walked and Taylor singled before McOwen hit his sixth homer of the year for an 8-0 advantage.

DiSarcina would add a solo homer, his fifth of the year, in the fourth as High Point went ahead 9-0.

Gastonia tallied a single run in the fifth on a homer by Reece Hampton and two runs in the sixth on a Jason Rogers two-run homer.

Taylor’s solo homer in the seventh gave the Rockers a 10-3 lead.

Gastonia made it a 10-4 game in the seventh, using a single and an infield throwing error to score once.

The Honey Hunters tallied four times in the eighth to pull within two runs at 10-8.  Josh Sale, the Atlantic League’s home run leader, hit his 26th of the season, a three-run shot.

High Point starting pitcher Tommy Lawrence (9-2) pitched into the eighth and allowed nine hits and seven runs.  John Hayes pitched the Rockers through the rest of the eighth and Halbohn came on in the ninth.

Halbohn retired the first two batters he faced then allowed three straight singles and a run before getting Ryan Cordell to fly out to center and secure the Rockers win.  Halbohn earned his ninth save of the season.

The Rockers return home on Friday to start a six-game homestand.  High Point will host the Long Island Ducks at 7:05 p.m. Friday at Truist Point.