Around the League

Southern Maryland, Gastonia Take 2-1 Series Leads

Gastonia 8, High Point 2
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Jake Skole sparked big innings with a pair of clutch extra-base hits, propelling Gunnar Kines to a six-inning quality start, earning Gastonia an 8-2 win in game three of the South Division Championship Series at Truist Point on Friday night.

Kines was making his second start against the Rockers in the course of ten days. His opposition was Mitch Atkins, who earned the win in the final regular season matchup between the two clubs.

In the first inning, Joseph Rosa got Gastonia on the board, lifting his first postseason home run of the season to right field, giving the Honey Hunters a 1-0.

In the fourth, Zach Jarrett plated Rosa for a second time, doubling to right field, upping the lead to 2-0. Jake Skole followed the Jarrett double with a deep drive to right center field that bounced just shy of the wall for a triple. A Herlis Rodriguez ground out scored Skole, making the score 4-0.

A fifth inning two-run homer by Ben Aklinski to left field got High Point on the board, but trailed Gastonia 4-2. The home run cut into the lead, but it served as a mere blip in the narrative for Gastonia, who responded with a four-run outburst in the sixth inning.

Jake Skole hit a one-out triple to left field that caromed off the right field wall, past Zander Wiel, getting the Honey Hunters in business. Skole scored on a Junior Rincon balk, pushing the lead to 5-2.

After a pair of walks by Herlis Rodriguez and Cole Freeman, Luis Castro was called to pinch-hit, driving home Rodriguez on a sacrifice fly. Rodriguez put himself in scoring position with a pair of stolen bases.

Following the sac fly, Reece Hampton and Jack Reinheimer singled home a pair of runs, pushing the lead out to 8-2.

From there, Kines pitched a scoreless sixth, handing the ball to the bullpen with the six run advantage.

Kyle Bowman, Sam Bordner and Jesus Balaguer came on to close out the game for Gastonia, putting the Honey Hunters to within one win of claiming the franchise´s first postseason series win.

Rosa, Jarrett, Skole and Alex Holderbach each had multi-hit games, leading an 11-hit attack for Gastonia.

Kines earned the win, while Atkins suffered the setback for High Point.

Game Four of the South Division Championship series continues at Truist Point on Saturday and features a matchup of High Point´s Neil Uskali versus Matt Solter who goes for Gastonia. Game Three will air at 6:20pm for the pregame show on as an audio stream.


Southern Maryland 7, Lancaster 3

(9/23/2022, Waldorf, MD) The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs got off to an early lead on Friday, holding off the Lancaster Barnstormers late in game three of the North Division Championship Series. 

 Southern Maryland got the scoring started in the second inning off of Nile Ball (L, 0-1).  After a pair of walks, Michael Baca rolled a ground ball to third, scoring Jared Walker from third to give the Blue Crabs a 1-0 lead.  In the second inning, Michael Wielansky led off the inning with a walk before Zach Collier launched a two-run home run over the wall in right, giving the Blue Crabs a 3-0 edge.  In the fourth inning, Alex Crosby crushed a solo homer over the wall in right, extending the lead to 4-0. 

In the sixth inning, with runners on the corners, Jack Sundberg bounced a single up the middle, giving the Blue Crabs a 5-0 lead.  From there, Michael Wielansky drove a single back to center field, scoring Michael Baca to give the Blue Crabs a 6-0 advantage.  With the bases loaded, Southern Maryland added an insurance run when David Harris drove in a run on a bases-loaded walk, extending the lead to 7-0. 

 Alex Merithew pitched seven terrific innings tonight.  Merithew was charged with three runs, though two of those runs crossed after he exited the game.  Merithew did not allow a hit across the first five innings and pitched the first six as shutout innings. 

 Lancaster scored one run in the seventh and added two more in the eighth to cut the deficit to 7-3.  James Dykstra entered the game in the top of the ninth with a four-run lead.  After recording the first two outs, Dykstra surrendered three consecutive hits. Endrys Briceno (Sv, 2) entered the game with the tying run at the plate.  Briceno recorded the final out on a terrific play by Michael Wielansky to secure the 7-3 win. 

 The Blue Crabs have a chance to clinch a spot in the Atlantic League Championship Series with a win tomorrow night against the Lancaster Barnstormers. Tomorrow’s game gets underway at 6:35 pm. 



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