Atlantic League Results, Friday, June 2, 2023

Gastonia 3, Lexington 2

The Gastonia offense that has been so dominant recently mustered just three hits on Friday night against Lexington.

And that’s all the Honey Hunters needed, as they beat the Counter Clocks 3-2 in the first of a three-game set at CaroMont Health Park.

Gastonia was coming off a series win against High Point, the team that had the lowest pitching ERA in the Atlantic League, and was explosive at the plate.

Tuesday: 8 runs on 12 hits

Wednesday: 14 runs on 17 hits

Thursday: 7 runs on 9 hits

However, the Honey Hunters just used the trio of base hits to defeat Lexington on Friday.

Two of the three came off the bat of Carlos Franco.

The first came in the third inning, when Gastonia’s third baseman capped off a two-run frame with an RBI single.

Cole Freeman started the inning by walking.

After stealing both second and third, increasing his swiping bag total to 12 on the year, Freeman was knocked in by a Zach Jarrett single hit to right-center field.

Franco plated J.C. Escarra, who walked for the second time in as many plate appearances, on a hard grounder through the right side of the field.

Franco then hit what ended up being a game-winning home run, which was a bomb to the opposite field off Lexington starter Yeudy Garcia.

His ninth homer of the season gave Gastonia a 3-1 lead, and the final score of 3-2 made that long ball the difference.

A big reason why three hits is all it took was because of the Gastonia pitching staff.

Sal Romano got his second start for the Honey Hunters, as he started the year as a reliever and has taken up a role in the rotation after the departure of Marcus Walden (Seattle Mariners), Alex Sanabia (Mexican League) and Bryan Sammons (Detroit Tigers).

Romano was phenomenal, allowing just one run in five innings of work – a leadoff home run by Ronnie Dawson.

He got 11 ground ball outs in the 15 batters he retired.

“I was a little bit up at times, but I was able to really execute pitches when I needed to and get a lot of ground ball outs,” Romano said. “If I’m getting ground balls, that means my stuff is doing what it needs to do.”

Romano made just one other start, pitching three scoreless innings. He started his MLB career as a starter for the Cincinnati Reds before becoming a reliever over the past few years. He very much enjoys the starter role, one that he will occupy going forward with Gastonia.

“I think it’s just the routine of it,” Romano said. “My day is coming up. Pregame, and just being able to stretch out a little bit. And just realizing [that] you could be really relaxed starting. When you come out of the bullpen, you’re coming in to get important outs. It’s a different feeling.”

Romano feels good and the numbers have been showing that so far early on in his rotation role.

After going five innings of one-run ball, he handed a 2-1 lead over to Todd Van Steensel, Nick Wells, Ryan Conroy and Jaime Schultz.

The ‘pen took care of the job, giving up just one run combined – a Connor Owings run-scoring triple hit off the center-field wall in the seventh off Wells.

Van Steensel pitched a scoreless sixth, and he still hasn’t allowed a walk or run in his two outings.

Both Wells and Conroy made their Gastonia debuts, as the two relievers were activated on Thursday.

Wells was able to get out of a jam after allowing the run, and Conroy struck out three Counter Clocks in the eighth inning.

Schultz got save No. 8 on Friday, and he’s now tied with Lexington’s Garrett Schilling with the most in the league.

He allowed the tying run to reach base, but struck out Owings to end the ball game.

Gastonia improves to 22-9, while Lexington falls to 16-16 and are now 6.5 games behind the Honey Hunters in the South.

Game 2 between Gastonia and Lexington is on Saturday at 6:35 p.m.


High Point 10, Charleston 4

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point Rockers bottom of the batting order came through in a big way on Friday night in leading the Rockers to a 10-4 win over Charleston in front of a crowd of 2,318 at Truist Point. In truth, the top of the batting order wasn’t too shabby either.

High Point’s six through nine hitters combined for eight hits in 15 at-bats to help the Rockers win for the 23rd time this season, improving to 23-9 and continuing to hold a half-game lead over 22-9 Gastonia.

All four of those six through nine hitters, catcher Beau Taylor, left fielder Michael Martinez, shortstop Ryan Grotjohn and third baseman Michael Russell, collected at least two hits vs. Charleston. Russell hit a pair of doubles and drove in three runs, Taylor had two singles and a run batted in, and Martinez and Grotjohn each had a double and a single.

The top of the order celebrated the return of second baseman Shed Long, Jr. who had been out of action with a broken toe since May 5. Long, Jr. started the Rockers on the right path with a first inning triple. In just eight games, Long, Jr. has been held hitless just twice while collecting 12 hits.

“Having Shed back was huge,” said Rockers manager Jamie Keefe. “Just having him around the ballpark is great. He got us going tonight.”

High Point put its first run up on the board when Long, Jr. tripled with one out in the first and scored on a groundout by John Nogowski. High Point struck three times in the second on singles by Ben Aklinski and Beau Taylor and an RBI double from Michael Martinez and a two-run double into the leftfield corner off the bat of Russell. The Rockers extended the lead to 5-0 in the third when Nogowski walked then moved to second on a walk to Aklinski. After Nogowski stole third, Charleston pitcher Derrick Adams (L, 2-3) attempted to pick Aklinski off first but he was able to get into a rundown between first and second, allowing Nogowski to trot home with High Point’s fifth run of the night.

The Dirty Birds scored three times in the fourth to cut the gap to 5-3. After High Point starter Liam O’Sullivan (W, 2-2) allowed an infield hit to Luis Roman, Telvin Nash homered to right-center, a two-run shot. Bobby Bradley drew a walk and scored on a double by Diego Goris.

The Rockers scored twice more in the fourth when Martinez singled and Grotjohn drew a walk. D.J. Burt then doubled into the rightfield corner, scoring two runs and giving the Rockers a 7-3 lead.

High Point added an unearned run in the sixth as Grotjohn singled, stole second and third, and scored when Burt’s grounder to third was misplayed by Diego Goris for an error. Grotjohn’s run increased High Point’s lead to 8-3.  The Dirty Birds made it 8-4 in the top of the seventh on a Yefri Perez walk, a stolen base, and an RBI double by Jalen Miller. The Rockers got that run back in the bottom of the seventh when Nogowski singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Taylor’s single.

High Point’s final run came in the bottom of the eighth when Grotjohn and Russell slammed back-to-back doubles with Russell picking up the RBI.

High Point and Charleston will return to action in game two of the three-game series on Saturday with a 6:35 p.m. start at Truist Point. The game will be streamed live on FloSports and MixLR will carry the Rockers’ audio broadcast of the game.


Lebanon Ironmaster 7, Long Island 6

Playing as the Ironmasters on Lebanon County Weekend, the club opened a three-game series with a 7-6 victory over the Long Island Ducks Friday evening at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

The win kept “Lebanon” undefeated in four games donning the orange and gray.

Andretty Cordero and Kelly Dugan drove home first inning runs for the Ironmasters, but the lead was quickly erased in the top of the second.  Joe DeCarlo plated Sam Travis with a long sacrifice fly to left field, and Tzu-Wei Lin followed with a two-run homer onto the right field deck as Long Island grabbed a 3-2 lead.

A bad pickoff throw from Stephen Woods, Jr. (4-1) allowed Lebanon County resident Joseph Carpenter to stride home with the tying run in the second.  In the fourth, Trayvon Robinson doubled and scored on a Chris Proctor single to give Lebanon a lead it never lost.  Carpenter followed with a two-run homer for a 6-3 lead.

Cordero slugged his fifth homer of the year to open the fifth to end the Lancaster scoring despite five hits over the rest of the game.

Brent Teller (2-1) came within one out of a quality start, but a walk to Brian Goodwin, Teller’s first of the night, kept the sixth alive for the Ducks.  DeCarlo took advantage of the opportunity, cranking a three-run homer to left to cut the deficit to one.

The Lebanon bullpen trio of Brandyn Sittinger, Mike Adams and Andrew Lee did not allow a runner beyond first base over the final three innings to nail down the win.  Lee earned his third save.

Lebanon and Long Island meet again on Saturday at 6:30 with fireworks to follow the game.  Jared Lakind (2-2) will take the hill for the Ironmasters against fellow lefty Ian Clarkin (1-1).  Fans may follow the game on Froggy 101.3 or FloBaseball, beginning at 6:30.

NOTES:  The club has won three straight one-run games after dropping its first nine…Lee was the first Barnstormer to be charged with a ball on a pitch clock violation…It cost him a two-out walk to pinch hitter Mike Wilson in the top of the ninth…Right-handed batters are 2-for-36 off Lee…Proctor picked up his seventh tying or lead RBI of the season…Robinson had his first three-hit game of the season; Cordero had his second with three or more…The club tied its season high with 14 hits.


York 10, Frederick 4

(June 2nd, 2023 – York, Pa.):  The York Revolution offense stayed hot putting up another double digit run total, as the first place Revs outpaced Frederick Baseball Club, 10-4 in the first ever meeting between the two teams on Friday night at WellSpan Park. The Revs (19-13) have now won six straight, maintaining a half game lead over Southern Maryland for first place and increasing their lead to two games over Long Island.

Frederick started the scoring as Jimmy Paredes hit a two-run homer to right-center field making it 2-0 Club in the top of the first.

The Revs weren’t behind for long as Trent Giambrone led off the bottom half with a walk, and Tomo Otosaka was hit by a pitch in the foot making it first and second for Jacob Rhinesmith who smoked an RBI double down the right field line into the corner plating Giambrone as the Revs answered right away. Alejandro Rivero walked to load the bases and Richard Urena rolled one to shortstop, plating a run to tie the game at 2-2. Nellie Rodriguez sliced one down the right field line, barely keeping it fair for an RBI double. Urena was thrown out at home trying to score a second run but the Revs led 3-2. Drew Mendoza stayed hot, looping a single to right center while breaking his bat for a seven-game hitting streak as Rodriguez scored to make it 4-2 Revs after one.

Frederick loaded the bases with no outs in the second, but Revs starter Carlos Espinal allowed just one run on a double play grounder.

Baseball Club tied the game at 4-4 on an RBI single to center by Jose Marmolejos in the third.

York responded in the bottom of the third as Trey Martin singled in a run, another scored on a defensive error, and a third crossed on a sac fly from Giambrone as the Revs surged ahead, 7-4 and never looked back.

Armed with the lead, Espinal faced the minimum over his next three innings to maintain the advantage. Espinal (2-0) picked up the win, tossing six innings while giving up four runs on nine hits. He walked only one and struck out five.

The Revs scored two more in the bottom of the sixth as Giambrone launched his sixth homer of the year to deep left center and Rivero earned his 24th RBI on a slow roller to third that he legged out for an infield hit scoring Otosaka.

York tacked on one more in the eighth as Rodriguez singled sharply to right field, scoring Rhinesmith who walked to lead off the inning.

The Revs got scoreless relief appearances from Andrew Gross, Tasker Strobel, and Victor Capellan to close it out.

Frederick starter Elih Villanueva (1-3) took the loss, giving up nine runs (seven earned) in his 5.2 innings. 

Notes: York’s six-game winning streak is the Revs’ longest since a record-tying eight-game streak during the second half of the 2019 season. York has led at the conclusion of 37 consecutive innings. The Revs plated multiple runs in the first inning for the fourth consecutive game, having outscored the opposition 11-3 in the first inning in those four games and 21-8 for the season. York has scored at least seven runs with at least 10 hits in five consecutive games. The Revs have also won nine of their last 10 overall, having outscored opponents 74-40, going from a negative-32 run differential to a plus-two for the season. York righty Jorge Martinez (2-2, 6.82) faces Max Povse (0-2, 7.82) in the middle game of the series on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Promotions include Faith Fest presented by Children’s Aid Society, Inside-the-Park Fireworks, York County Literacy Council’s Buck-A-Book Night, and WellSpan Wellness Weekend: Stronger than Cancer. 

So. Maryland 2, Staten Island 1

(Friday, June 2nd, Staten Island) On Friday, the Atlantic League announced their first recipients of players to be recognized as player/pitcher of the month. For Blue Crabs starter Mitch Lambson, he was named as a co-pitcher of the month, the same day he would make his first start in the new month as he faced off with the Staten Island FerryHawks for the third time this year.  


In the first, the Crabs would load up the bases with a couple of walks and a hit by pitch; with two outs, Isaias Quiroz punched one into the outfield to score two runs and give the Crabs a 2-0 lead.  


The bottom of the second was led off with a solo home run by Christian Santana. After that, Lambson would retire 20 consecutive hitters and put up six straight zeros on the FerryHawks. Even getting around a two-out double from Kevin Krause to carry a 2-1 lead into the ninth.  


Staten Island led off with a single from Mitchell Piatnik and then a sac bunt from Adrian Sanchez after putting the tying run into scoring position. That would spell the end for Lambson, as Stan Cliburn turned to Andre Scrubb to close the game. Scrubb got a ground ball, and the tying run moved to third; a walk and stolen base had the winning run at second. Scrubb, going up against Santana, struck him out to end the game.  


Mitch Lambson is now 6-0 this year after going 8.1 innings; his ERA has plummeted to a 2.40 through seven starts. Andre Scrubb made a save; it is his seventh this season. The Blue Crabs are now 17-12 and a half-game behind the York Revolution for first place.  


Game two is scheduled for 4:00; Daryl Thompson will pitch for the Blue Crabs, as fans can watch the Prince of La Plata go for 1000 ALPB strikeouts on FloSports.  




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