Charleston 7, High Point 6 (10)
CHARLESTON, W.Va. –Zander Wiel drove in all six runs for the High Point Rockers on Friday night but the Charleston Dirty Birds broke a 6-6 tie with a run in the bottom of the 10th to score a 7-6 win at Appalachian Power Park.
Wiel hit a grand slam in third inning, drove in a run with a sac fly in the seventh and then gave High point a 6-5 lead with a solo homer with two outs in the top of the ninth. Wiel’s six RBI were one shy of the franchise record of seven.
High Point is now 29-21 on the season and in second place in the Atlantic League South Division. Gastonia defeated Lexington 6-1 on Friday to improve to 35-15 and now hold a six-game lead over the Rockers.
Charleston scored three runs in the first off starter Neil Uskali. Nick Heath led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a two-base fielder’s choice by Connor Justus. Nick Longhi brought home Heath with a sacrifice fly before Alfredo Gonzalez drew a walk. Both runners moved up on stolen bases before Yovan Gonzalez delivered a two-run single. The Dirty Birds added a run in the second on a Corey Bird triple and a Heath sac fly.
The Rockers knotted the game in the third. Jay Gonzalez and Tyler Ladendorft singled and Jerry Downs drew a walk to load the bases. Wiel then hit the Rockers’ first grand slam of the year to left center to tie the game at 4-4. It was Wiel’s team-leading 10th home run of the year.
High Point took a 5-4 lead in top of the seventh when Ben Aklinski doubled and moved to third on a fly out by Johnny Field. Wiel then picked up his fifth RBI of the game when he hit a sac fly to right.
Alfredo Gonzalez hit a solo homer off Ryan Dull in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at 5-5. It was the first home run allowed by Dull this season.
Wiel blasted his second homer of the night and 11th of the year in the top of the ninth to give High Point a 6-5 lead. But the Dirty Birds tied the game at 6-6 when Engel Beltre singled to score Anfernee Seymour with the tying run.
High Point was held scoreless in the top of the 10th by Charleston reliever Max Tannenbaum (W, 1-2). In the bottom of the 10th, with a runner starting the inning at second base, Justus singled to center to plate Bird with the winning run.
High Point and Charleston will play a doubleheader on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Appalachian Power Park.
Southern Maryland 4, Lancaster 3 (10)
(Waldorf, MD, June 17, 2022) The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs hosted the Lancaster Barnstormers for the first of a three-game set on Friday evening. The Stormers got on top early while the Crabs bats were quiet for a vast majority of the game, but came through when it mattered most, coming back in the ninth inning to tie the game before Joe DeLuca hit a walk-off single in the tenth, winning 4-3.
Despite entering Friday’s contest winless in six tries against the Blue Crabs, the Barnstormers looked like they were going to finally crack the Crabs. Daryl Thompson got the start for Southern Maryland, and the hometown hero tossed a complete game. One of his few mishaps occurred in the third inning, when the Barnstormers bats came alive. Melvin Mercedes began the scoring with a single up the middle allowing Jake Hoover to score. After a throwing error allowed Mercedes to advance into scoring position, Andretty Cordero kept it going, lacing a liner to left field, scoring Mercedes.
The Stormers took a 2-0 lead into the top of the sixth inning, and cushioned their lead. Trayvon Robinson came up clutch for the visitors, singling on a line drive to center field, allowing Cordero to score. Despite the trio of runs allowed, Thompson allowed just eight hits in nine innings pitched, while fanning five.
Southern Maryland scratched a run across in their half of the seventh inning, when Michael Wielansky doubled Ryan Haug home, but heading into the ninth inning the Crabs chances looked bleak, with Lancaster leading 3-1. The bottom of the ninth began with a Braxton Lee single and a Ryan Haug walk, and just as they have all season, Southern Maryland staged an unbelievable comeback. After Michael Baca bunted the runners into scoring position, Jack Sundberg went down on strikes. For the third time in four games, the Crabs were down to their final out, trailing at home. It was Michael Wielansky who played hero on Friday night, doubling home a pair of runs to tie the game 3-3. After Endrys Briceno worked out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the tenth, the Crabs struck magic once more.
With a runner on second base and no outs, Joe DeLuca ripped a single up the middle, scoring Alex Crosby. It was DeLuca’s second walk-off in the team’s last four games. Southern Maryland trimmed their magic number to four with the win, knocking on the door of a playoff birth.
Southern Maryland will look to keep it going on Saturday night when Denson Hull takes the mound in game two. The 39-12 Blue Crabs will face off against Oscar De La Cruz in the 6:35 PM contest, with fireworks to follow.
Long Island 4, Kentucky 0
(Central Islip, N.Y., June 17, 2022) – The Long Island Ducks shut out the Wild Health Genomes 4-0 on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series at Fairfield Properties Ballpark.
The Ducks struck first with a three-run fourth inning against Genomes starter Elih Villanueva. RBI singles by Alejandro De Aza and Deibinson Romero, along with an RBI double by Sam Travis, did the damage. It stayed that way until the bottom of the seventh when the Ducks pushed across their fourth run on a bases loaded walk by De Aza.
That was plenty for Ducks starter Scott Harkin (4-4) to earn the win. The righty tossed six scoreless innings, allowing five hits and a walk while striking out seven. Villanueva (3-5) took the loss, conceding four runs on eight hits and a walk over six and two-thirds innings with 10 strikeouts. Tyler Webb tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out one, to end the ballgame.
Travis led the Flock offensively with two hits, an RBI and a run scored. De Aza added a hit, two RBIs, a run and a walk.
The Ducks and Genomes continue their three-game set on Saturday night. Game time is slated for 6:35 p.m., with the Fairfield Properties Ballpark gates opening at 5:35 (5:20 for full season ticket holders).
Gastonia 6, Lexington 1
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Gastonia Honey Hunters used a five-run seventh inning to surge past the Lexington Legends 6-1 on Friday night at Wild Health Field.
Jerry Keel and Keyvious Sampson faced off in a matchup that had the makings for what could have easily been a very tight affair. Both pitchers were crisp in the early going and elusive in the middle frames.
Both pitchers were able to work through trouble midway through the contest, with Sampson completing six innings. Keel would need some help from Euclides Leyer to push a scoreless stalemate into the latter innings.
In the seventh, Luis Roman ripped a pitch to center field off reliever Winston Lavendier to get the inning started. After a Reece Hampton popout to second, Zach Jarrett was brought on to pinch-hit for Jake Skole and was walked to put the go-ahead run in scoring position.
After a pop up by Jaylen Smith to short, Stuart Levy hit a soft liner, forcing Manuel Geraldo deep into the hole at short. Geraldo's throw was strong and on time to get Levy. However, Isaias Tejeda was not able to make the catch on top of the bag, extending the inning.
Herlis Rodriguez worked for a walk to break the deadlock, scoring Luis Roman.
Jack Reinheimer would follow with a single to center that skirted past Boog Powell, clearing the bases. Reinheimer was credited with two RBI, as Rodriguez scored on a misplay by catcher Blake Swihart, making the score 4-0.
Luis Castro slashed a single through the left side of the infield, scoring Reinheimer, making it a 5-0 game.
Brandon Phillips drove in a run with his second hit of the night, scoring Phillip Ervin to get Lexington(17-30) on the board, trailing 5-1.
Luis Roman completed the scoring with a single to left, plating Joseph Rosa in the ninth, upping the lead to 6-1 for Gastonia(35-15).
Quintin Torres-Costa finished the contest with a perfect ninth inning to pick up the 35th win of the year for the South Division leaders.
Euclides Leyer earned the win in relief for Gastonia, going to 2-0 on the season. Lavendier took the loss for Lexington, falling to 3-4 in 2022.
The win for Gastonia, as well as a High Point loss against Charleston, gives the Honey Hunters a six-game lead over the Rockers with 16 games remaining in the first half of the Atlantic League´s South Division.
The Honey Hunters continue the three-game series tomorrow, as Reilly Hovis goes against JJ Hoover. First pitch is set for 6:35
York 3, Staten Island 2
(June 17, 2022 – Staten Island, NY): Melky Mesa threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning as the York Revolution completed a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Staten Island FerryHawks on Friday evening at Staten Island University Hospital Northwell Health Community Park.
The Revs used the long ball to build their lead as Nellie Rodriguez lined an opposite field solo shot inside the right field foul pole in the top of the fourth, and JC Encarnacion hammered a two-run blast to left in the top of the fifth inning for a 3-0 lead. York only managed two additional hits, both infield hits, the rest of the night.
Revs starter Eduardo Rivera (4-1) fired six shutout innings to earn the win. The righty struck out four and worked around five hits along with three walks, all in the fourth inning, retiring Joseph Monge on a double play grounder to Carlos Franco at third base, escaping his biggest jam of the night.
The FerryHawks scored two runs in the seventh on a Bryan Gonzalez RBI single to left-center and a two-out bases loaded walk to Mariel Bautista, but reliever Isaac Sanchez retired Alfredo Reyes on a fly out to center as the FerryHawks left the bases loaded for the second time.
Nick Howard struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth and Jim Fuller earned his ninth save with help from his defense in the ninth. After Bautista extended the game by legging out an infield single to put two aboard, Reyes lined a base hit into left, but Mesa came up firing a strike to the plate with catcher Lenin Rodriguez making a great pick and tag of Dilson Herrera attempting to score, finishing the white-knuckle victory.
Notes: The win is Mark Mason’s 572nd as Revolution manager, tying former Bridgeport skipper Willie Upshaw for fourth on the Atlantic League’s all-time list. York improves to 6-4 on its current road trip with two games remaining. Fuller’s save is the 38th of his Revs career, one shy of matching Mike DeMark’s franchise record. Mesa’s outfield assist is his fourth this season and 25th of his Revs career, third-most in franchise history behind only Scott Grimes (32) and James Shanks (29). The Revs set a new club record by homering in a 16th consecutive game, totaling 31 long balls on that stretch to take the league lead with 61 home runs on the season; the streak bests the previous record of 15 consecutive games with a home run set in July, 2019. Revs righty Jorge Martinez faces Nick Carrell in Saturday’s contest at 6 p.m.
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