Around the League

Atlantic League Results, Wednesday, September 7, 2022

High Point 5, Lancaster 1
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Michael Martinez is used to September baseball. The seven-year Major League veteran was a key part of Cleveland’s run to the 2016 World Series. So when Martinez stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in a 1-1 game for the High Point Rockers on Wednesday night, he certainly didn’t wilt under the pressure.

Instead, the Rockers’ second-year second baseman hit a 2-0 pitch from Lancaster reliever Brandyn Sittinger over the fence in right field for a walk-off grand slam, the second of the season from the Rockers. The slam gave High Point a 5-1 victory in a hard-fought, old school game during a time when the Rockers are scraping for every win while trying to grab a berth in the Atlantic League playoffs.

“I just wanted to put the ball in play,” said Martinez following the blast and the ensuing water cooler celebration. “The infield was in and I had a chance. It was a 2-0 pitch and I was looking fastball.”

The thrilling finish belied what had been a very old fashioned contest. Great pitching, few hits, fewer runs, and a pair of starting pitchers who each went seven or more innings.

High Point knuckleballer Mickey Jannis, another Major League veteran, had the Barnstormers chasing the elusive knuckler to the tune of seven strikeouts in 7.2 innings. He allowed just five hits and the lone run he yielded came in the second inning when Ariel Sandoval doubled and scored on a single by Anderson Feliz.

Likewise, Lancaster’s Oscar De La Cruz was nearly unhittable, striking out nine in his seven innings of work, giving up just three hits. De La Cruz was perfect through three and didn’t allow a hit until Martinez beat out an infield chopper to start the fifth. After Jay Gonzalez sacrificed Martinez to second, Giovanny Alfonzo laced a double over the head of rightfielder Jacob Barfield, scoring Martinez and knotting the game at 1-1.

De La Cruz departed after the seventh and Gray Fenter threw a scoreless eighth for the Barnstormers. Jannis exited with two outs in the eighth with runners at first and second and Ryan Dull came on to retire Andretty Cordero and end the inning. Dull allowed a double in the top of the ninth but struck out three to keep the game tied going to the bottom of the ninth.

Zander Wiel walked on a 3-2 pitch from reliever Brandyn Sittinger to open the ninth and Quincy Latimore doubled down the leftfield line to put runners at second and third. The Barnstormers elected to intentionally walk Logan Morrison and brought in Chris Proctor from rightfield to set up a five-man infield.  That’s when Martinez unloaded on Sittinger’s 2-0 fastball.

The win puts the Rockers at 66-56 overall on the year and a half-game in front of Lancaster (65-56) in the Atlantic League Wild Card race.

With the series square at one game apiece, the Rockers and Barnstormers will meet for the final time in the regular season on Thursday at 6:35 p.m. at Truist Point. High Point will send Liam O’Sullivan (3-5, 7.17 ERA) to the mound to face Erik Manoah, Jr. (3-2, 4.16). It will be Thirsty Thursday with $1 beer specials and also Pink at the Point with the Rockers wearing special jerseys that will be auctioned off following the game with the proceeds going to fight breast cancer.

 

Staten Island 1, Southern Maryland 0 (Game 1)
Southern Maryland 2, Staten Island 0 (Game 2)

(9/7/2022, Staten Island, NY) The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs lost game one of the doubleheader with the Staten Island FerryHawks 1-0 on Wednesday afternoon.   

 Alsis Herrera (L, 1-3) and Anthony Rodriguez  (W, 5-8) both had tremendous starts, with neither pitcher surrendering an earned run. Herrera surrendered four hits and no walks, while Rodriguez allowed two hits, one walk, and one hit batsman. 

 The lone run of game one was scored in the second inning. With a runner on first and two outs, Andres Noriega hit a ground ball to the third baseman, Alex Crosby, who threw wide at first base.  With runners on first and second, Christopher Cespedes knocked a base hit up the middle, scoring Ricardo Cespedes, to give the FerryHawks a 1-0 lead. 

 The Blue Crabs had only two baserunners after the first inning.  In the final six innings, the Blue Crabs did not have a runner in scoring position. 

 In game two, Alex Merithew (W, 7-3) shined for the Blue Crabs, pitching five innings, allowing three hits while striking out five.  Meanwhile, Francisco Carrillo (L, 1-6) pitched four and one-third innings, allowing one run in the loss. 

 In the top of the third, the Blue Crabs started the scoring. Ryan Haug was hit by a pitch.  Ian Yetsko bunted back to the mound, but Carillo threw it into center field, moving Haug from second to third. The next batter, Jack Sundberg, hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Haug to give the Blue Crabs a 1-0 lead. 

 In the fifth, the Blue Crabs doubled their lead.  Ian Yetsko hit a leadoff double down the third base line, advancing to third on a long flyout from Sundberg.  Michael Wielansky then singled to right, scoring Yetsko, giving the Blue Crabs a 2-0 lead. 

 Merithew exited the game after five innings, allowing three hits, no runs, and no walks while striking out four.  The Blue Crabs turned to Mat Latos (Sv, 25) in the seventh inning. Latos notched a couple of strikeouts in the save. 

The Blue Crabs return for the rubber match of the series tomorrow at 6:35 pm.

 

Gastonia 6, Kentucky 3

The Gastonia Honey Hunters used a three run eighth inning to break a 3-3 deadlock, winning 6-3 Wednesday afternoon at Wild Health Field against the Wild Health Genomes.

Alex Sanabia took the ball for Gastonia, searching for his seventh win of the season. His opposition was former Honey Hunters´ pitcher Alexis Candelario.

Neither club was able to get on the board in the first two innings, as both pitchers resisted the opposition from crossing home plate.

In the third, Wild Health(62-59,27-28) would open the frame with a trio of hits, ultimately scoring twice to take a 2-0 lead.

In the fourth, Gastonia leveled the contest at 2-2, as Luis Castro and Luis Roman went back-to-back with pull shots to left and right fields. The homer for Castro was his 11th of the year, while Roman hit his 15th of the season.

In the sixth inning, Gastonia(81-41,36-20) went on top as Jake Skole doubled to lead off the frame, followed by Reece Hampton´s sac fly to score Skole, giving the Honey Hunters a 3-2 advantage.

Wild Health answered abruptly in the bottom half of inning six, as Moises Sierra hit his seventh home run of the year off Alex Sanabia, who finished the day tossing six innings, scattering eight hits while allowing two earned runs.

The homer would prevent Sanabia from earning the win, as the right-hander would depart the contest in the midst of the 3-3 stalemate.

Tim Naughton was ultra-effective in the seventh, tossing a scoreless inning that included two strikeouts. The opened the door for Naughton to earn his first Honey Hunters win as Gastonia came to bat in the eighth inning.

With Jack Weinberger on in relief, Stuart Levy was hit by a pitch and reached second on a single to right center field by Herlis Rodriguez. Three batters later, Joseph Rosa bounced an infield single to the right side of second, forcing an errant throw from Wild Health second baseman  Olmo Rosario. The single plated Levy, while the errant throw scored Rodriguez and moved Rosa to third.

Emmanuel Tapia laced a single to left-center, scoring Rosa to give Gastonia a lead they would not surrender.

As Sam Bordner pitched a stellar eighth, he would hand the ball over to Jesus Balaguer in the ninth. Balaguer was seeking to take the ALPB´s saves lead with his 25th conversion of 2022.

Balaguer would get the save, allowing two safeties in the ninth, but not surrendering any runs to the Genomes.

  The Gastonia win over the Genomes pushes their magic number to three games from clinching the South Division´s second half title.

Thursday, Ian McKinney gets the ball for Gastonia, as he will face off against Elih Villanueva. beginning at 6:35pm. The Honey Hunters pregame show will air at 6:20pm on am1450 WGNC and 101.1fm. A streaming audio option is available at www.gohoneyhunters.com.

Lexington 7, Charleston 2 (Game 1)
Lexington 3, Charleston 1 (Game 2)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Lexington swept a doubleheader at Charleston’s Appalachian Power Park, winning the opener 7-2 and taking the nightcap 3-1.

Lexington’s Isaias Tejeda and Manuel Geraldo each had three hits in the opener while Brandon Phillips and Geraldo each collected two RBI. Miles Williams homered for Charleston.

Jose Santamaria (W, 3-1) went five innings for the Legends and allowed three hits while striking out five. Charleston’s Denson Hull (L, 3-10) struck out eight in six innings but allowed all seven runs.

In the nightcap, Lexington’s Tillman Pugh drove in two runs with a single and a solo homer in the 3-1 win. Williams provided Charleston’s lone run with a fourth inning sacrifice fly.

Ean Walden (W, 1-3) claimed the win with five innings of work, allowing four hits and one run. Aneuris Rosario earned his fourth save of the year. Ruben Garcia (L, 0-1) went four innings and allowed five hits and three runs.

York 6, Long Island 3 (Game 1)
Long Island 8, York 3 (Game 2)

(September 7, 2022 – York, Pa.): The York Revolution finally ended a six-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory but lost the feel for the strike zone in an 8-3 nightcap loss, splitting a doubleheader with the Long Island Ducks on Wednesday evening at PeoplesBank Park.

 Long Island struck first in the opener, mounting a two-out rally in the top of the third against Revs starter Ben Herrick. Alejandro De Aza knocked an RBI double down the right field line and Deibinson Romero plated him on an RBI single, giving the Ducks an early 2-0 cushion.

 Troy Stokes Jr. did not wait long to answer leading off the bottom of the third with a solo homer to left center, his 14th of the season. After Telvin Nash recorded a two-out single, Nellie Rodriguez made Ducks starter Joe Iorio pay, blasting a no doubt two-run homer to left center field, putting York ahead 3-2 on his 21st of the year.

 After Nash once again reached with two outs on a walk in the fifth, Rodriguez came to the plate and launched one to deep left center field, this time a three-run blast to make it 6-2. It was Rodriguez’ third multi-homer game of his Revs career, all of which have come at PeoplesBank Park this season, while his five RBI matched his Revs career best for the fourth time (third this season) and brought his season total to 74.

 The Ducks chased Herrick in the sixth after a single to right from Carlos Castro put runners on the corners with one out. After a fielder’s choice plated a run for the Ducks, Revs reliever Roniel Raudes struck out pinch hitter Dustin Woodcock swinging to end the inning with a 6-3 score.

 Despite allowing a leadoff double to Vladimir Frias to start the seventh, Jim Fuller retired the next three he faced, including striking out De Aza to end the game and lock down his 18th save of the year, snapping the Revs’ season high-tying six-game losing skid, one short of matching a club record.

 Herrick (1-3) earned his first Atlantic League win, allowing just three hits and three runs in 5.1 innings while overcoming five free passes.

 The Ducks once again struck first in game two, this time leading off the second as Woodcock launched a solo homer to right field. After an error and a walk, Phil Caulfield knocked in another with an RBI single to left, making it 2-0 Long Island. 

 Making his Revs debut, York starter Austin Mora walked two batters on eight consecutive balls in the third, the second of which came with the bases loaded to Matt Chamberlain, forcing home a run to make it 3-0.

 After Mora was lifted in the fourth inning, Carlos Ventura walked two more with the bases loaded, increasing the Ducks’ lead to 5-0. 

 Tzu Wei Lin hit his first home run with the Ducks in the fifth, a solo homer off reliever Nick Green that bounced off the top of the Arch Nemesis and over to make it 6-0.

 The Revs finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. It started with four straight one-out singles against Ducks starter Scott Harkin as Connor Lien and Magglio Ordonez Jr. set the table for RBI singles from Stokes Jr. and Elmer Reyes. JC Encarnacion drove in Stokes Jr. with a pinch-hit sac fly to left, making it 6-3. After a walk to Rodriguez, his 104th of the season (one shy of matching Telvin Nash’s Atlantic League record), Harkin got Melky Mesa to line out to right field to end the frame, though the Revs were suddenly back in it.

 The Ducks plated an insurance run against Franklin Van Gurp in the top of the sixth thanks to an RBI single from Chamberlain, extending their lead to 7-3. 

 Another bases-loaded walk to Woodcock plated another run for Long Island in the seventh, marking a sixth straight inning with a run scored and an 8-3 lead heading to the Revs’ last at-bats.

 Jose Jose struck out the side in order, closing it out for Long Island as the Ducks earned the doubleheader split.

 Josh Norwood will make his first PeoplesBank Park start for York on Thursday as the Revs look to split the four-game series beginning at 6:30 p.m.  It is Discover Hanover Night and a Throwback Thursday (90s) with tickets on sale at YorkRevolution.com, (717) 801-HITS, and in-person at the Shipley Energy Ticket Office.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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