HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers swept a doubleheader from the Lancaster Barnstormers on Thursday night at Truist Point. The Rockers won the opening game 6-3 and followed with an 11-5 win in the nightcap.
West Virginia ALSO swept a doubleheader from Gastonia to maintain a half-game lead on the Rockers in the Atlantic League South Division second half race. High Point is 27-17 in the second half while West Virginia is 28-17.
The Rockers rapped 16 hits between the two games and struck out 22 batters including a season-high 14 in the second game.
The Rockers took a quick 1-0 lead in the opener when Johnny Field led off the bottom of the first by hitting the first pitch he was thrown out to dead center field, his 13th home run of the season.
Stephen Cardullo and Michael Martinez each drove in a run during a two-run third inning that put the Rockers up 3-0. High Point went up 6-0 in the fourth when Field tripled with two men on to drive them both in. Field then scored on a single by Jerry Downs.
Lancaster got on the scoreboard in the fifth on a walk to Blake Alllemand and an RBI double by Anderson de la Rosa. The Barnstormers added two more runs in the sixth on a two-run single by pinch-hitter Devon Torrance.
High Point starter Cooper Casad went 5.1 innings and struck out six in earning his seventh win of the season. Kyle Halbohn pitched a scoreless seventh to record 11th save of the year.
Field had three runs scored and three hits to lead the Rockers.
Stephen Cardullo blasted a two-run homer, his 17th of the year, in the bottom of the first to give High Point a 2-0 lead.
The Rockers put up six runs in the second inning to go up 8-0. Jared Mitchell led off the inning with a solo homer. Michael Russell brought home a run with a sacrifice fly, Stephen Cardullo drew a bases loaded walk, Michael Martinez hit a two-run single and Mitchell added an RBI single in his second at-bat of the inning.
Lancaster got on the scoreboard in the third when Cleuluis Rondon walked and Melvin Mercedes homered to right field. The Barnstormers would add three more runs to cut High Point’s advantage to 8-5.
In the third, Russell reached on a bunt single and would come around to score on an RBI single by Quincy Latimore.
High Point starter Tyler Garkow went 2.1 innings, retiring seven batters, all on strikeouts. He struck out six in a row between the first and second innings to set a franchise record. Garkow was 6-9 pitching for Sioux Falls in the American Association this season before the Rockers signed him on Sept. 15. But Garkow ran into trouble in the third, yielding four runs before departing.
High Point will continue its homestand and will host West Virginia on Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Truist Point.