Quincy Latimore was down to one strike, but the High Point left fielder delivered the game winning single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th to lead the Rockers to a 5-4 victory over the Lancaster Barnstormers Tuesday evening at Truist Point.
After the Barnstormers failed to advance Anderson Feliz in the top of the tenth, Ben Aklinski took second to start the bottom of the inning. Scott Shuman (0-1) retired Johnny Field on a fly ball to right before walking Michael Russell on four pitches. Jerry Downs struck out on three before Latimore stepped into the box. Shuman worked ahead, 0-2, and missed down and away before Latimore lined his game winning single on two hops to Feliz in left.
The Rockers bolted out to a 3-0 lead over the first two innings. In the first Field led off with a line drive single to left and took second as the ball bounced beyond Feliz. One out later, Downs lined a single into right. Downs stole second, enabling Fields to score on Latimore’s one-out grounder to short.
In the second, starter Cameron Gann walked two before Aklinski’s long double to center drove in the second run of the night. Aklinski got nabbed off second when he tried to advance on a pitch that bounced forward off catcher Colton Shaver, but Field doubled into the left field corner to score Mike Gulino from third for the 3-0 lead.
Gann and Nile Ball combined to fire five shutout innings in the middle of the game, enabling the Barnstormers to battle back. The ‘Stormers picked up one run in the sixth on a bases loaded sac fly from Mark Zagunis, but it took until the eighth for Lancaster to surge ahead.
Ryan Dull walked Trace Loehr to open the eighth, and Feliz followed with a single, his second of the night. Shaver ripped a liner over the head of shortstop Tyler Ladendorf to drive in one, and Feliz scored the tying run when Kelly Dugan drilled a double to the gap in right center. Shaver scored the lead run when Zagunis bounced to the left of third baseman Zander Wiel. Lancaster left Dugan at third as the inning ended.
Marc Rzepczynski walked Russell on seven pitches to open the bottom of the eighth. The lefty retired Downs easily but then walked Latimore. Russell stole third and scored when Morrison chopped out to the hole on the right side to tie the game at 4-4.
Lancaster will send Dominic DiSabatino (0-1) to the hill on Wednesday night against left-hander Justin Nicolino (0-0). Fans may tune in to the Barnstormers YouTube channel, beginning at 6:30.
NOTES: Feliz has batted safely in all five games…Dugan’s double was the first extra base hit by a Barnstormer, other than an Andretty Cordero home run, since Friday…Ball struck out four in his two innings of work while retiring six of seven…The team that has scored first has won all five Lancaster games this season, although the eighth inning surge produced the first erased lead of the campaign…Lancaster has not had a runner reach base in the first inning in any of the five games.