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Power Hands Rockers 6-2 Setback

By High Point Rockers, 09/12/21, 8:15PM EDT

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West Virginia scores 4 in ninth for win

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The West Virginia Power scored four times in the ninth inning to break a 2-2 tie and post a 6-2 win over the High Point Rockers on Sunday night at Truist Point.

The West Virginia win leaves the Rockers with a one game lead in the Atlantic League’s South Division in the battle for second half supremacy.  High Point is 22-13 in the second half and West Virginia is 21-14.

The game was tied 2-2 entering the top of the ninth.  With reliever Ryan Dull (0-1) on the mound for High Point, Olmo Rosario grounded to second but Michael Martinez mishandled the ball for an error.  Jimmy Paredes followed with a double in the right-center gap to score Rosario from first and give the Power a 3-2 lead.  Edwin Espinal followed with a single and then Fransisco Arcia delivered an RBI single, scoring Paredes to put West Virginia up 4-2.  Nate Easley grounded into a force out at second that that brought home Espinal and put the Power on top 5-2.  Teodoro Martinez then blooped a single to center off reliever Ryan Chaffee to plate Arcia and give the Power a 6-2 lead.

Both of the starting pitchers battled through the first seven innings.  High Point’s Tommy Lawrence went 7.2 innings and allowed six hits and two runs while striking out four.  West Virginia starter Arik Sikula went seven innings and gave up five hits while striking out three and walking two.

“Both starters went head to head, it was a great ballgame,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe.  “And Ryan (Dull) made good pitches, we just didn’t handle one and that opened things up. But this staff has been making the pitches, we’ve been making the plays on defense and we’ve been getting timely hitting.”

The two clubs traded runs in the fourth inning. Lawrence allowed a lead-off double to Teodoro Martinez then retired the next nine hitters before yielding a double to Alberto Callaspo leading off the fourth. Espinal followed Callaspo’s double with a two-bagger of his own to bring home West Virginia’s first run of the game.

In the Rockers half of the fourth, Michael Russell led off with a double into the left field corner and scored on a single by Michael Martinez.

High Point took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth following a Johnny Field single with two outs.  Russell perfectly executed a hit and run, poking the ball to right behind Field who was on his way to second.  Field motored all the way home, sliding in under the throw.

West Virginia tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the sixth when Alberto Callaspo hammered a home run to right, his sixth round-tripper of the year.

West Virginia reliever Junior Rincon (3-2) was credited with the win after pitching the eighth inning and allowing one hit and one walk while striking out one.

The win kept Keefe from achieving his 900th all-time victory.  Keefe will remain at 899 when the Rockers resume the West Virginia series in Charleston on Tuesday.

The Rockers will have Monday off before heading to West Virginia on Tuesday.  The four-game series will start with a doubleheader on Tuesday, September 14, at 5:05 p.m. at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston.