Rockers and Honey Hunters Split Double Dip
GASTONIA, N.C. - High Point and Gastonia split an Atlantic League doubleheader on Wednesday at CaroMont Heal Park. The Rockers took the opener in dramatic fashion by a 2-1 score. Gastonia claimed the nightcap 7-5.
High Point catcher Mike Gulino reached base on a strikeout and wild pitch in the seventh inning and would come around to score the winning run as the Rockers won the first game of a doubleheader from Gastonia on Wednesday night.
The Rockers and Honey Hunters went to the seventh inning tied 1-1. High Point's run came on a solo homer by Stephen Cardullo, his eighth of the year, in the top of the first. High Point maintained that 1-0 advantage until Gastonia's Jake Skole knotted the game with a solo shot, his 14th of the season, in the bottom of the fifth.
Gulino swung and missed at strike three with one out in the seventh and reached first ahead of the throw from catcher Jesus Sucre. Giovanny Alfonzo then hit a ground-rule double to center to put runners on second and third. Johnny Field flew out to center, scoring Gulino on the sacrifice fly.
Reliever Preston Gainey allowed one base runner with one out in the seventh. The game ended in a spectacular fashion as Sucre flew out to deep center field with Field making a running catch. Mike Osinski, the Gastonia runner at first, anticipated the ball would fall in for a hit and was in the vicinity of second base. Field's throw to the infield was relayed to first by Alfonzo to double off Osinski and secure the win for the Rockers.
Starter Tommy Lawrence allowed just two hits over six innings while walking two and striking out two as his record improved to 4-2. Gainey earned his seventh save of the season. Gastonia reliever Donnie Hart took the loss.
High Point scored once in the top of the first when Michael Russell reached on a fielder's choice and was followed by a walk to Stephen Cardullo. Russell stole third with Cardullo taking second but Russell was injured on the play and replaced by J.R. DiSarcina. Jerry Downs grounded out to first with DiSarcina scoring to give the Rockers a 1-0 lead.
Gastonia scored a single run in the second on an RBI single by Ermindo Escobar and added a run in the third on an RBI ground out by Jason Rogers. Gastonia took a 4-1 lead on a two-run double by Boog Powell in the fourth.
High Point tied the game at 4-4 in the fifth with three runs coming on a bases loaded walk to Jerry Downs and a two-run double by Jared Mitchell.
The Honey Hunters scored three in the bottom of the sixth to take a 7-4 lead. Gastonia loaded the bases on a hit batter and a pair of walks off reliever Ryan Chaffee. Sucre then cleared the bases with a double.
The Rockers utilized their bullpen with Joey Hennessey making the start and going two innings followed by single innings from Brian Clark, Nefi Ogando, John Johnson and Chaffee.
DiSarcina led off the seventh with a solo homer, his third of the year, but Gastonia's Kaleb Earls then retired the Rockers in order to earn the save.
Chaffee took the loss for High Point and evened his record at 1-1.
Alfonzo went hitless in the night cap, snapping his consecutive game hitting streak at 13 games.
High Point and Gastonia will conclude their three-game series on Thursday at 6:50 p.m. at CaroMont Health Park.
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