HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers dropped an 8-6 decision to West Virginia on Sunday in front of a crowd of 1,984 at Truist Point.
The Rockers continue to fight for a spot in the Atlantic League playoffs. High Point holds a three-game lead over Southern Maryland in the race for the wild card spot.
West Virginia used a four-run inning in the fifth to break a 3-3 tie and go on to the victory on Sunday. Olmo Rosario hit a grand slam off High Point starter Jheyson Manzueta (0-1) to propel the power to the win. West Virginia starter Joe Testa (5-3) got the win by striking out six and allowing six hits in his five innings of work.
High Point was held to six hits by six Power pitchers. Jerry Downs hit a double in the fifth inning that marked the last Rocker hit of the game.
High Point’s first two batters in the bottom of the first inning scored to give the Rockers an early 2-0 lead. Johnny Field smacked the first pitch into right center for a double and Michael Russell was hit by a pitch. Downs drew a walk from Testa to load the bases. Stephen Cardullo was hit by a pitch to bring home Field and Quincy Latimore hit a sacrifice fly to center to plate Russell.
West Virginia scored an unearned run in the second on a double from Dario Pizzano and a sac fly by Fransisco Arcia. The Power added two more unearned runs in the third on a single by Scott Kelly and a double by Alberto Callaspo.
The Rockers tied the game at 3-3 when Downs led off the third inning with a solo homer, his 20th of the season.
The Power went up 7-3 in the fifth inning on a grand slam by Rosario off High Point starter Manzueta who was acquired this week and was making his first appearance as a Rocker.
West Virginia added a run in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Nate Easley and Scott Kelly to go up 8-3.
The Rockers cut the deficit to 8-6 with three runs in the sixth without the benefit of a hit. Reliever Dakota Freese got the first out of the inning then walked four straight batters to force in a run and a second run scored on a wild pitch. Stephen Cardullo delivered a sacrifice fly for the third run of the inning. But the Rockers would get no closer the rest of the way.
The Rockers will have the day off on Monday and then will begin their final six-game home stretch of the season. High Point will host the York Revolution on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at Truist Point.