Long Island 10, Gastonia 9 (11 innings)
(Gastonia, N.C., June 1, 2022) – The Long Island Ducks defeated the Gastonia Honey Hunters 10-9 in 11 innings on Wednesday evening in the second of a three-game midweek series at CaroMont Health Park.
The Ducks took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of L.J. Mazzilli and a run-scoring base knock produced by Austin Rei against Honey Hunters starter Michael Gunn. Gastonia tied the game in the last of the first by way of an RBI triple from Joseph Rosa and a run-scoring groundout from Emmanuel Tapia versus Long Island starter Anderson DeLeon.
The Flock went back out in front 4-2 in the second thanks to a bases load walk issued to Mazzilli and an RBI single from Alejandro De Aza. The Honey Hunters would tie the game at four on a Jake Skole solo home run to the opposite-field in left and a run-scoring base knock from Emmanuel Tapia. A three-run home run by De Aza in the fourth gave the visitors a 7-4 cushion, his second such big fly in as many nights. Rusney Castillo’s two-run single gave Long Island some insurance at 9-4, but Gastonia scored five unanswered runs to tie the game at nine. Jake Zarrello’s two-out, pinch-hit RBI single to right off losing pitcher Sam Bordner (6-3) scored Castillo from second with the winning run as the Ducks came away with the triumph, making a winner out of Chris Cepeda (1-0).
DeLeon registered a no-decision, allowing four runs on seven hits (one home run) in five innings pitched, walking three and striking out four. Gunn also did not factor in the game’s final outcome, giving up seven runs on eight hits (one home run) over three innings on the mound while walking five batters.
Castillo led the offensive attack with Long Island’s first four-hit game of the season and his first multi-RBI performance of the 2022 campaign.
The Ducks and Honey Hunters conclude their three-game set on Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. at CaroMont Health Park. Fans can follow all the action on the Long Island Ducks Broadcast Network. Live streaming HD video and audio will be available via BoxCast on LIDucks.com as well as on the Ducks official Facebook page and YouTube channel. Right-hander Akeel Morris (0-4, 8.13) gets the start for the Ducks against lefty John Anderson (3-3, 2.54) for the Honey Hunters.
High Point 7, Charleston 1
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers defeated the Charleston Dirty Birds 7-1 on Wednesday night at Truist Point, giving the Rockers the best overall record in the Atlantic League at 27-9. High Point had entered the game tied with Southern Maryland for the top mark but the Rockers’ win coupled with the Blue Crabs’ loss to York leaves the Rocker all alone at the top, at least for the time being.
Colt Webb, a recent graduate of the University of Charleston in West Virginia, made his first professional start as a Rocker on Wednesday and responded brilliantly. Webb tossed six innings, allowed just four hits and a run, struck out three and exited the game with a career record of 1-0.
High Point's win, coupled with Gastonia's 10-9 loss to Long Island, gives the Rockers a three-game lead in the tight South Division.
“I was nervous, a little jittery at the start but I tried not to show it,” said Webb who won 28 games as a collegian. “I didn’t think I’d be competing in baseball after college. I wasn’t sure what to expect but these guys have been awesome. They’ve taken me in and it’s been great.”
Webb had pitched an inning in relief last week during High Point’s visit to Charleston but Wednesday’s game marked his first professional start.
“I think this is the most control I’ve ever had,” said Webb who did not issue a walk over his six innings. “But when you’re got (former Major Leaguers) Michael Martinez and Logan Morrison playing behind you, I’ve got a lot of trust in those guys.”
Unlike Tuesday’s 18-3 Rocker win, runs were at a premium on Wednesday. The lone run that Webb (1-0) allowed came in the third inning and put the Dirty Birds up 1-0. Scott Kelly led off the inning with a single, moved to second on a single by Angel Garced and scored on an infield ground out by Anfernee Seymour.
High Point tied the game in the third when Quincy Latimore hit a sacrifice fly to score Michael Russell who had singled to start the frame. The Rockers took a 2-1 lead in the fourth as Johnny Field walked, moved to second on a wild pitch by Charleston starter Jordan Stephens (1-3), stole third and scored on a single to center by Giovanny Alfonzo.
The Rockers opened up the margin with a three-run seventh inning to take a 5-1 lead. After loading the bases, the Rockers scored without the benefit of a base hit, using a wild pitch, a balk and a sacrifice fly to tally their three runs. High Point’s final two runs came in the eighth on doubles by Russell and Downs and an infield single by Latimore.
“Signing (Webb) was a no-brainer,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe. “He had great college numbers. We gave him an opportunity and he took full advantage of it. He threw his fastball for strikes and he has a really good splitter.”
High Point and Charleston will play the final game of the three-game series on Thursday, June 2 with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Truist Point.
NOTES: High Point and Southern Maryland entered the game tied for the best record in the Atlantic League at 26-9 . . . Southern Maryland dropped a 6-4 decision at York . . . The Rockers win extended their modest six home winning streak to seven games which dates back to an 8-4 loss to Lexington on May 17 . . Quincy Latimore has scored a run in eight straight games, the longest-active streak in the league . . . Ben Aklinski continues to lead the league with 14 doubles and 22 extra base hits . . . Webb went 28-14 as a collegiate pitching including a 9-2 mark in 2022 . . . He helped the University of Charleston to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional title game . . . He earned National Pitcher of the Week honors after tossing a no-hitter against Davis & Elkins in April 2022 . . . Webb was a first team All-Mountain East Conference selection in 2021 and ’22.
York 6, Southern Maryland 4
(June 1, 2022, York, PA) The York Revolution powered four home runs today in their 6-4 win over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Denson Hull (L, 1-3) struck out five batters through five and one-third innings but allowed five runs. Meanwhile, the Blue Crabs bats scored four runs early but were unable to generate the same offense later in the game.
York’s bats started hitting immediately. In the bottom of the first inning, Troy Stokes Jr, hit a leadoff opposite-field home run to put the Revs on top 1-0. The Revs continued to hit in the second inning. Carlos Franco destroyed a solo shot to straightaway center field to give the Revs a 2-0 lead. Later in the inning, The Revs added a run on a sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 3-0.
The Blue Crabs’ bats produced in the top of the third inning. The first two batters reached for Southern Maryland as Hibbert and Wielansky walked. Zach Collier then ripped a single into right field, scoring Hibbert, and advancing Wielansky to third. Two batters later, Alex Crosby drilled a three-run home run onto the picnic deck in right field, giving the Blue Crabs a 4-3 lead. From there York’s starter, Eduardo Rivera (W, 3-1) settled down, pitching six innings and allowing just four runs.
In the bottom of the third inning, Denson Hull earned back-to-back strikeouts to start the inning. After a pair of singles, Connor Lien, a former Blue Crab, drove a double to left field, tying the game at 4-4.
The game remained tied going into the sixth inning. Denson Hull induced Lenin Rodriguez into a groundout to start the inning. But the next batter, Yefri Perez, belted a solo home run over the wall in left-center field, giving the Revolution a 5-4 lead.
Dalton Geekie came on in relief of Denson Hull, pitching two and two-thirds innings. Geekie struck out three and allowed only three hits throughout his appearance. But in the bottom of the eighth inning, he surrendered a solo home run to left-center field, giving the Revs a 6-4 edge.
The Blue Crabs' offense rallied in the top of the eighth inning. After a leadoff single from Jared Walker, Alex Crosby hit an opposite-field double, advancing Walker to third with nobody out. But York’s reliever, Josh Martin came back, earning a strikeout and a double-play ball to get out of the inning unscathed. In the ninth inning, Jim Fuller (SV, 7) pitched a 1-2-3 inning, giving the Revs a 6-4 victory.
The Blue Crabs fall to 26-10 with the loss and still lead the North Division by 9.5 games. The Blue Crabs go for the series win tomorrow at 6:35 pm in the final game of the three-game set.
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