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Rockers Come From Behind to Subdue Honey Hunters

By Steve Shutt, 09/07/21, 10:45PM EDT

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High Point overcomes 4-0 deficit in 10-6 win

HIGH POINT, N.C. – After being one-hit for the first six innings, the High Point Rockers came alive with a pair of four-run innings to defeat the Gastonia Honey Hunters 10-6 Tuesday night at Truist Point.

The win kept the Rockers all alone in first place in the Atlantic League’s South Division.  High Point, 19-11 in the second half, has a one game lead over West Virginia at 18-12.

Gastonia starter Sam Burton kept the Rockers in check for six innings, allowing only a two-run homer to Johnny Field while the Honey Hunters built leads of 4-0 and 5-2.

But after Burton exited at the start of the seventh inning, High Point’s bats came alive, scoring four runs on two hits in the seventh and adding four runs on three hits in the eighth.

Trailing 5-2, Giovanny Alfonzo led off the bottom of the seventh with a tapper back to the mound but reliever Jhonatan German threw wide of first, allowing Alfonzo to motor all the way to third.  A walk to Stuart Levy put runners on the corners when J.R. DiSarcina singled sharply to left to score Alfonzo.  Gastonia replaced German with Joseph Kuzia after German walked Field to load the bases.  High Point countered with pinch-hitter James McOwen who grounded out to first, scoring Levy to make it 5-4.  Quincy Latimore followed with a single to left to bring home Field and DiSarcina and give High Point a 6-5 lead.

The Rockers added four more runs in the bottom of the eighth.  Latimore and Michael Martinez contributed run-scoring singles and Jerry Downs hit a two-run double.

“That error (on German) started everything,” said Latimore.  “When we start hitting, it’s contagious.  This team feeds off each other.  That is something that we do well.  You can always count on this group to fight to the end.”

High Point starter Tommy Lawrence, who had walked just two batters over his previous 32 innings, walked the first two hitters of the game, Boog Powell and Ryan Jackson.  Alexi Amarista poked a single to right to load the bases.  First baseman Jason Rogers then singled to left to score two and give Gastonia a 2-0 lead.

The Honey Hunters added two more runs in the second when with two outs, Powell singled and Jackson homered to left for a 4-0 Gastonia advantage.

High Point chipped away at the lead when Field blasted his 11th homer of the season with J.R. DiSarcina aboard to pull the Rockers to within two at 4-2.

Gastonia pushed its lead to 5-2 in the fifth when Mike Osinski doubled and would come around to score on a sacrifice fly by Mike Papi.

Jonathan Crawford (2-0) pitched the sixth and seventh innings for the Rockers, striking out four and allowing a single base runner on a walk in earning the win.

“Crawford was the difference tonight,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe.  “That’s the best he’s looked all year.  If we can stay within reach, and get to their bullpen, you’ve got a chance.  And I’ll put our bullpen up against anybody else’s bullpen.”

Burton went six innings and allowed just one hit despite walking five and striking our four.  German (0-2) took the loss after failing to retire any of the four hitters he faced in the seventh, walking two and allowing one hit.

The Rockers and Honey Hunters will meet again on Wednesday in game two of the three-game series.  First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Truist Point.

HIGH POINT, N.C. – After being one-hit for the first six innings, the High Point Rockers came alive with a pair of four run innings to defeat the Gastonia Honey Hunters 10-6 Tuesday night at Truist Point.

The win kept the Rockers all alone in first place in the Atlantic League’s South Division.  High Point, 19-11 in the second half, has a one game lead over West Virginia at 18-12.

Gastonia starter Sam Burton kept the Rockers in check for six innings, allowing only a two-run homer to Johnny Field while the Honey Hunters built leads of 4-0 and 5-2.

But after Burton exited at the start of the seventh inning, High Point’s bats came alive, scoring four runs on two hits in the seventh and adding four runs on three hits in the eighth.

Trailing 5-2, Giovanny Alfonzo led off the bottom of the seventh with a tapper back to the mound but reliever Jhonatan German threw wide of first, allowing Alfonzo to motor all the way to third.  A walk to Stuart Levy put runners on the corners when J.R. DiSarcina singled sharply to left to score Alfonzo.  Gastonia replaced German with Joseph Kuzia after German walked Field to load the bases.  High Point countered with pinch-hitter James McOwen who grounded out to first, scoring Levy to make it 5-4.  Quincy Latimore followed with a single to left to bring home Field and DiSarcina and give High Point a 6-5 lead.

The Rockers added four more runs in the bottom of the eighth.  Latimore and Michael Martinez contributed run-scoring singles and Jerry Downs hit a two-run double.

“That error (on German) started everything,” said Latimore.  “When we start hitting, it’s contagious.  This team feeds off each other.  That is something that we do well.  You can always count on this group to fight to the end.”

High Point starter Tommy Lawrence, who had walked just two batters over his previous 32 innings, walked the first two hitters of the game, Boog Powell and Ryan Jackson.  Alexi Amarista poked a single to right to load the bases.  First baseman Jason Rogers then singled to left to score two and give Gastonia a 2-0 lead.

The Honey Hunters added two more runs in the second when with two outs, Powell singled and Jackson homered to left for a 4-0 Gastonia advantage.

High Point chipped away at the lead when Field blasted his 11th homer of the season with J.R. DiSarcina aboard to pull the Rockers to within two at 4-2.

Gastonia pushed its lead to 5-2 in the fifth when Mike Osinski doubled and would come around to score on a sacrifice fly by Mike Papi.

Jonathan Crawford (2-0) pitched the sixth and seventh innings for the Rockers, striking out four and allowing a single base runner on a walk in earning the win.

“Crawford was the difference tonight,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe.  “That’s the best he’s looked all year.  If we can stay within reach, and get to their bullpen, you’ve got a chance.  And I’ll put our bullpen up against anybody else’s bullpen.”

Burton went six innings and allowed just one hit despite walking five and striking our four.  German (0-2) took the loss after failing to retire any of the four hitters he faced in the seventh, walking two and allowing one hit.

The Rockers and Honey Hunters will meet again on Wednesday in game two of the three-game series.  First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Truist Point.