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 High Point Rockers

Rockers Edge Legends in Ten Innings

April 25, 2024 - Atlantic League (AtL)
High Point Rockers News Release

LEXINGTON, KY - D.J. Burt scored the winning run on a passed ball in the top of the 10th inning to help the Rockers to a 7-6 win over the Lexington Legends Tuesday night at Legends Field on Opening Night in the Atlantic League.

Burt's run wiped out memories of a club-tying six-run blown lead that nearly came back to haunt the Rockers.

High Point built a 6-0 lead through the first 5 and one-half innings behind a two-run homer from Ben Aklinski and a solo shot from Connor Owings. Trailing 6-0 in the bottom of the fifth, the Legends ralled with a ingle run in the fifth, two runs in the eighth and three in the ninth including a game-tying two-run homer from Jesus Tavarez.

With Burt as the ghost runner on second to start the 10th, Martin Figueroa lined a shot off reliever, Logan Campbell, who recovered and retired Figueroa at first while Burt moved to third. The Legends opted to intentionally walk Owings and face Zander Wiel with runners on the corners. Campbell walked Wiel to load the bases before a wild pitch to Evan Edwards went to the backstop and allowed Burt to score the go-ahead run.

Ryan Meisinger took the mound for the Rockers in the 10th and struck out the side to earn the save.

The Rockers broke the ice in the top of the second when Nick Longhi singled, moved to second on a walk to Brian Parreira and scored on a single to right by Burt.

The Rockers extended the lead to 3-0 in the fourth when Figueroa legged out an infield hit to second before Aklinski hit the first offering from Lexington starter Dustin Beggs out to left field for his first homer of the year. Owings then made it 4-0, following Aklinski's blast with one of his own.

High Point starter Peter Solomon kept the Legends hitless until Kingston Liniak doubled with two outs in the fourth. Solomon struck out the side in the first and fourth innings and finished with seven Ks. Over his four innings, Solomon allowed just one hit and one walk while fanning seven of the 13 batters he faced.

The Rockers added a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Longhi reached on a fielder's choice before Ryan Grotjohn drew a two out walk off reliever Jeff Johnson. A wild pitch put runners on second and third and was followed by a walk to Burt. Figueroa then drew an RBI walk ahead of Aklinski who singled to score Grotjohn but Burt was thrown out at the plate trying to score.

Matt Solter came on in the fifth for High Point and allowed a single to Tristian Pompey and a double to Brady Whalen. Keenan O'Brien grounded out to Burt at second as Pompey crossed the play for Lexington's first run of the game, making it a 6-1 contest before Solter was able to escape any further damage.

Solter allowed a single to Payton Robertson to lead off the sixth but then retired three in a row. The Legends went down in order in the seventh but put runners on second and third with one out in the eighth. Rockers manager Jamie Keefe went with lefty Zach Muckenhirn in relief of Solter. Matt Botcher singled to score Tavarez. In clearly the strangest play of the night, the Legends scored when Liniak singed to left, plating one run. But the Rockers caught Liniak trying to stretch the hit into a double and then were able tag out Bottcher off third for an inning-ending double play.

Muckenhirn walked Ryan January to start the ninth before Pompey doubled to put runners on second and third. The Rockers turned to Jameson McGrane who retired Whalen on a foul out to third for the first out. O'Brien made it a 6-4 game with a sac fly to right but Tavarez tied the game with a two-run homer that sent the game into extra innings tied at 6-6.

Aklinski finished with three hits and three RBI while Owings added a pair of hits. Longhi, in his first game as a Rocker, had three hits and two runs scored.

The Rockers and Legends will take the field at 10:15 a.m. on Friday for game two of the four-game season-opening series.

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