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Rockers Pound 3 Homers, Quell Revolution 7-3

By Steve Shutt, 09/30/21, 9:45PM EDT


Stem allows just 3 runs in earning 5th win

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Stephen Cardullo, Michael Martinez and Jerry Downs each homered and starter Craig Stem went seven innings and allowed just three runs while striking out seven as the High Point Rockers beat the York Revolution 7-3 on Thursday night at Truist Point.

The win assures that the Rockers will maintain their three-game lead over Southern Maryland in the Atlantic League’s race for a wild card playoff berth.  High Point faces perhaps its most critical home series of the season as it hosts Southern Maryland in a three-game series starting Friday night.

Michael Russell and Michael Martinez each had three hits for the Rockers who pounded out 10 hits in taking two of three games from the Revolution in the three-game series.

“This is playoff baseball for us,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe.  “This is a big three-game series coming up and we can use all the help we can get from our fans this weekend.”

York staked itself to a 1-0 lead when Carlos Franco hit a solo homer off Stem (5-10) leading off the second inning.

               High Point tied the game in the second when Jared Mitchell walked, moved to third on an errant pickoff throw to first by York Starter Duke von Schamann (5-9), then scored on a double by Jay Gonzalez.

               Downs put the Rockers up 3-1 in the third when he blasted his 21st home run of the season, scoring Martinez who had singled to open the inning.  In the process, Downs set the High Point franchise record with his 78th RBI of the season.

               The Revolution pulled within a run at 3-2 in the fifth when Josue Herrera singled and scored on a double by James Harris.

               Cardullo got the run back in the bottom of the fifth when he launched his 20th homer of the year, a solo shot, over the wall in left field.

               The Rockers added a pair of runs in the sixth to take a 6-2 lead.  Russell lined a two-out single and scored on a homer by right by Martinez.

               High Point extended its lead to 7-2 in the seventh when Cardullo and Quincy Latimore each walked.  York pitcher Israel Cruz attempted a pickoff at second base that caromed into the outfield, moving each runner up a base.  Newcomer Quincy Nieporte then flew out to left and Cardullo scored on the sacrifice fly.

               In the top of the eighth, Stem allowed a pair of singles before exiting for reliever Johnathon Crawford.  After a walk loaded the bases, Franco grounded back to Crawford who was able to get an out at first with a run scoring to make it a 7-3 game.  Crawford then struck out the next two hitters to escape the inning without further damage.

               Crawford, who pitched the eighth inning and Jameson McGrane, who pitched the ninth, combined to retire four of the final six outs via strikeouts.

               The Rockers begin their final regular season homestand of the 2021 season on Friday against Southern Maryland.  First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. at Truist Point.