HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers opened a critical series with Southern Maryland on Friday night as the Blue Crabs posted a 7-4 win in front of a crowd of 2,426 at Truist Point. The loss narrows High Point’s lead over Southern Maryland in the Atlantic League wild card race to three games.
Tommy Lawrence (10-4) started for High Point and fell behind early. Southern Maryland took a 2-0 lead in the first when Lawrence allowed a lead-off single to Matt Hibbert in the first inning before walking Rubi Silva. Zach Collier then doubled to center, scoring both runners before he was thrown out at third trying to stretch the double to a triple.
In the second, Jovan Rosa and Josh McAdams each singled to start the inning before Joe Deluca singled to score Rosa for a 3-0 Blue Crab lead.
The Rockers’ Quincy Latimore led off the bottom of the second and doubled to left-center before scoring on a Jay Gonzalez double.
Southern Maryland took a 4-1 lead in the top of the fifth when Silva hit a one-out triple and scored on a single by David Harris.
High Point cut the deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth as Gonzalez singled, stole second, moved to third on a single by Michael Russell and scored on a Michael Martinez sacrifice fly.
SoMD extended its lead to 5-2 in the top of the seventh when Alex Crosby singled to score Silva.
In the eighth, Silva added a two-run double to push the Blue Crabs’ lead to 7-2.
The Rockers cut the deficit to three in the eighth inning when Stephen Cardullo walked and Latimore followed with a two-run homer to make it a 7-4 game.
Southern Maryland’s Mat Latos came on in the ninth inning to close the game. With one out, Latos issued a walk to Gonzalez before Logan Moore singled to right to bring the tying run to the plate. But Latos induced Russell to ground back to the mound and Martinez struck out to end the game.
Daryl Thompson (14-3) earned the win for Southern Maryland and tied the Atlantic League record for career victories with 74. Silva finished the night with a double, a triple and three runs scored.
Russell, Latimore and Gonzalez each finished with two hits including a double for High Point.
High Point and Southern Maryland will continue their series on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Truist Point.