Results from Atlantic League's 24th Birthday Night
High Point 3, Staten Island 2
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Ben Aklinski lined a base hit to the wall in centerfield with one out in the bottom of the ninth to provide the High Point Rockers with a 3-2 walk-off win over the Staten Island FerryHawks in front of a crowd of 2,319 at Truist Point.
Aklinski’s long single brought home Mike Gulino who had walked to lead off the bottom of the ninth with the game tied at 2-2.
“That game was a battle,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe. “That ball (Aklinski hit) was smoked. As a team, we’re just having a lot of fun right now.”
The game was tied at two going into the bottom of the ninth when the FerryHawks tapped Joe Kuzie to start the inning. After the walk to Gulino, Giovanny Alfonzo flew out to right before Johnny Field drew a four-pitch walk to put runners on first and second. Aklinski fouled off six pitches during the 10-pitch at-bat before ending the game with his shot to the outfield.
After the Rockers scored twice in the first, the game turned into a pitcher’s duel between Staten Island starter Julio Teheran and Rockers starter Jheyson Manzueta. Both pitchers commanded the plate. Teheran allowed just six hits over his six innings and struck out eight Rockers. Manzueta scattered seven hits and struck out four in his seven innings of work.
The Rockers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Logan Morrison drew a walk and moved to second on a single by Quincy Latimore. Zander Wiel then tripled to right-center, scoring Morrison and Latimore for the Rockers’ first two runs of the game.
The FerryHawks tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the seventh. Yunior Santana reached base on a fielder’s choice before John Nester homered to left-center.
“Teheran made only two mistakes all night and we were able to take advantage of them,” said Keefe. “Other than that, he pitched his game. Jheyson made only one mistake and you don’t leave a fastball to Nester over the plate.”
High Point and Staten Island will play game two of the three-game series on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. at Truist Point.
York 2, Lexington 1
(May 20, 2022 – York, Pa.): Jorge Martinez dazzled through seven shutout innings as the York Revolution edged the Lexington Legends, 2-1 on Friday night at PeoplesBank Park.
York welcomed the defending league champions for their only visit this season, and despite a torrential downpour during the afternoon, the game went on time under pleasant evening conditions as the Revs were able to pick up a huge win for their third straight series opening victory.
The star of the show was Martinez. After a gem last weekend against Lancaster, he shut down Lexington for seven scoreless innings becoming the first Revs starter this season with double digit strikeouts, and the first to reach 11 since Ross Detwiler in 2018. Martinez (2-2) yielded just four hits without a walk.
The Revs were held quiet by opposing starter J.J. Hoover through the first four innings, but finally forced some trouble in the fifth, walking three times against Hoover, the third being Nellie Rodriguez for a league-leading 25th time. That scored Lenin Rodriguez who was plunked to start the inning.
Two innings later, the Revs strung together three straight hits to start the inning against reliever Jalen Miller, starting with a leadoff Elmer Reyes double. After a passed ball advanced Reyes to third, with the infield in, Melky Mesa poked a single up the middle to score Reyes on his 22nd RBI of the season extending the lead to 2-0.
Adrian Almeida relieved Martinez in the eighth, striking out two in another scoreless outing. For Almeida, it was his 10th consecutive scoreless appearance.
Jim Fuller entered with a 2-0 lead in the ninth looking for his fourth save of the season. The lefty closer was greeted by Courtney Hawkins who launched his league-leading 11th home run over the Arch Nemesis to cut the lead to 2-1. After the next two batters reached, Lexington attempted a sacrifice bunt with Blake Swihart at the plate, but it was popped up and caught by a sliding Lenin Rodriguez from his catching position. On the next pitch, Fuller induced a tailor-made double play to second base to end the ballgame. For Fuller, it was Revs career save number 33, tying him with Rommie Lewis for second in team history.
The Revs will look for the series win on Saturday night when Nick Travieso takes the hill, squaring off with Daniel Corcino at 6:30 p.m. It is Salute to Military Service and Jersey Auction presented by Community Progress Council. Tickets are on sale at YorkRevolution.com, (717) 801-HITS, and in-person at the Shipley Energy Ticket Office.
Notes: Martinez’ 11 strike outs are the most by any Atlantic League pitcher in a game this season. It ties the fourth-most in a game in team history, two off the record, and marks the 10th time a Revs pitcher has struck out at least 11. It is just the sixth time that a Revs pitcher has fanned 11 without issuing a walk as Martinez becomes the fifth pitcher in franchise history to do so, joining Ryan Baerlocher (twice in 2007), Chris Cody (2013), Jay Gause (2017), and Detwiler (2018).
Lancaster 16, Kentucky 10
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Lancaster Barnstormers established a new franchise record with ten doubles on Friday evening in a 16-10 series opening win against the newly-minted Wild Health Genomes at Wild Health Field in Lexington, Kentucky.
Lancaster’s victory was its third straight, improving the club record to 11-14 and moving them to within one-half game of Long Island for second in the North.
Jake Hoover led the way with three of the doubles on a 4-for-5 night. Colton Shaver also collected four of the Barnstormers 21 hits, including Lancaster’s only two homers. The catcher drove in five. Overall, seven different hitters were responsible for at least one two-base hit. One who did not contribute a double was left fielder BJ Boyd, who still added three singles and three RBI.
The ‘Stormers broke out to a 10-0 lead over the first half of the night. Two ground balls and an RBI single by Hoover produced the first three runs. Shaver made it 5-0 with a two-run homer off Dustin Beggs (1-3) in the third. Boyd singled home two more, and Shaver added an RBI double in the fourth as the lead grew to 8-0. Devon Torrence doubled Anderson Feliz, who had also doubled, in the fifth for a 9-0 edge, and Boyd extended the lead to 10-0 with his third single.
Cameron Gann (2-2) tossed a one-hit shutout through the first four innings before the generous air currents finally got to him. The right-hander allowed two singles to open the bottom of the fifth before picking up two outs. Demetrius Moorer roped a double, the first of five for the Genomes, off the right field wall to score two. Luke Becker hit a sinking liner to center that jumped over the head of LeDarious Clark for a two-run, inside-the-park homer. Jimmy Paredes lined a shot over the wall in right to pull his club within five.
Shaver added a two-run blast in the sixth. Clark tripled and scored on a ground out to stretch the lead back to eight, but a three-run homer by Cleuluis Rondon in the bottom of the inning narrowed the gap back to five.
Kelly Dugan lined a two-run single to center, and Melvin Mercedes added an RBI double in the ninth for the Barnstormers.
Donald Goodson worked the final three innings for the save. He, too, was bitten by the doubles bug, allowing four to his last seven batters as the Genomes picked up a pair of runs.
Dominic DiSabatino (1-2) will pitch for the Barnstormers on Saturday against player-coach Elih Villanueva, a former Lancaster pitcher. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:30.
NOTES: Clark doubled in the second to extend his hitting streak to 13 games…Hoover is batting .400 (14-35) in his last 11 games…Mercedes reached base three more times and has now been on 42 times in his last 21 games…Dugan has nine RBI in six games since returning from an illness and 26 RBI in his last 15 contests.
Southern Maryland 13, Long Island 2
(Waldorf, MD, May 20, 2022) The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs responded after their loss to Gastonia on Thursday night. Daryl Thompson (W, 3-1) retired the first nine Long Island Ducks' batters of the game, as he ultimately pitched six innings on just 69 pitches. The Blue Crabs bats hit throughout the evening, as Southern Maryland secured a 13-2 win.
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs’ bats clicked immediately off of Long Island's starter, Akeel Morris (L, 0-2). Jack Sundberg doubled to lead off the game, and Raul Shah followed it up with a walk. Sundberg later came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Jared Walker, giving Southern Maryland a 1-0 lead. David Harris then launched his sixth homer of the season over the Mini Monster, scoring Shah and putting the Blue Crabs ahead 3-0.
In the second inning, the scoring continued. After Ryan Haug was hit by a pitch, Jack Sundberg reached on a bunt single. Raul Shah then poked a short line drive into center field, past the diving reach of Rusney Castillo. Once Castillo reached the ball, Haug and Sundberg scored, giving the Blue Crabs a 5-0 lead.
Long Island picked up their first baserunners and their only two runs in the fourth inning, while Southern Maryland kept scoring in the fifth. Braxton Lee picked up an RBI on a fielder’s choice ground out to shortstop, Deven Marrero. In the sixth, David Harris roped a line drive into right field, scoring Jared Walker, and extending the lead to 7-2.
Long Island’s pitching struggled in the seventh. The Ducks’ pitchers offered a pair of free passes with the bases loaded, giving the Blue Crabs a 9-2 lead. Jared Walker also picked up his second sacrifice fly of the game, extending the Blue Crabs’ lead to 10-2. Later in the inning, David Harris blasted a double to deep center field, scoring Jack Sundberg and Raul Shah, putting Southern Maryland ahead 12-2.
Southern Maryland added their final run in the eighth inning on yet another sacrifice fly. Michael Baca hit a line drive to right field, bringing in Braxton Lee from third base to give the Blue Crabs a 13-2 lead.
After six effective innings from Thompson, the Blue Crabs’ bullpen stayed strong. Bradley Roney pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, picking up two strikeouts, while Geekie held the Ducks without a run in the eighth. Merithew closed the door in the ninth inning, striking out one and retiring the Ducks in order.
The Blue Crabs move to 21-4 on the season with the win and lead the Ducks by 9.5 games in the division. The Blue Crabs return to Regency Furniture Stadium tomorrow at 6:35 for game two with the Long Island Ducks.
Gastonia 12, Charleston 10
GASTONIA, N.C. - The Gastonia Honey Hunters withstood two seven run deficits to take down Charleston 12-10 on Friday night in front of a record crowd of 2,862.
Charleston owned leads of 7-2 and 9-4 in the early going, as the Dirty Birds broke out with a five-run third against starting pitcher Reilly Hovis. The offensive exploits chased Hovis from the game, forcing manager Goose Gozzo to work his lineup creatively, due to the lost designated hitter.
Gozzo utilized a double-switch with Miguel Hernandez, bringing on Zach Jarrett to play left field. The move for Jarrett slotted him into the four-spot in the Honey Hunter's order, where the outfielder from Hickory paid immediate dividends.
In the bottom of the third, Joseph Rosa launched his seventh home run of the season that got the Gastonia engine revving. Two batters later, Zach Jarrett hit his first of two homers to left field to trim the lead to 7-4.
In the fourth inning, down 9-4, Jake Skole hit his third homer of the week to narrow the gap to 9-5. Stuart Levy made it back-to-back homers with his first clout of the year to deep left center field to cut the lead to 9-6. Gastonia tacked on another run in the frame to make it a 9-7 game.
After Charleston countered with a single tally in the sixth, Luis Roman cleared the bases with a three-run double to get the Honey Hunters even at 10.
Sam Bordner entered the fray in the seventh looking to keep Gastonia close. After giving up a lead off in the seventh, he would go on to retire the next five batters, including a pick off of Anfernee Seymour to quash any thoughts of a Charleston rally.
In the eighth, Rosa led off with a single to center, his third scratch of the game. Following a Luis Castro sacrifice bunt, Jarrett would play hero, launching a 3-1 pitch high and deep over the left field wall to complete the comeback for the Honey Hunters.
Jarrett´s blast was the third straight multi-homer game for a Gastonia hitter, as Skole managed the feat on Wednesday, followed by Castro on Thursday.
The game marked the second consecutive night the Honey Hunters have scored 12+ runs in a game.
Jesus Balaguer came in to seal the win for Gastonia (18-7), picking up his second save. Joe Testa took the loss for Charleston(12-14), moving to 0-3 on the year.
The two clubs meet again tomorrow as Deck McGuire gets the ball for Gastonia against Stephen Chamblee. Game time is set for 6:15 pm as gates open at 5:30.
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