HIGH POINT RALLIES FOR 4-3 WIN
On Tuesday evening, at Truist Point, walks boosted the Lancaster Barnstormers into the lead, and walks cost them the game.
The High Point Rockers used four consecutive walks in the bottom of the eighth inning to produce the tying and winning runs in a 4-3 victory over the Barnstormers in the opener of a three-game series.
Lancaster’s second straight one-run loss left the Barnstormers in a tie with the Long Island Ducks for first place in the Northern Division at 3-2.
Following the departure of High Point starter Mitch Atkins, the Barnstormers were able to score three unearned runs off Ryan Chaffee in the top of the sixth. Caleb Gindl walked to lead off the inning. One out later, Trayvon Robinson skipped a grounder to first baseman Logan Morrision. The force play throw was mishandled by Giovanny Alfonzo, allowing Gindl to advance safely. Kelly Dugan singled home Lancaster’s first run and sent Robinson to third. Walks to LeDarious Clark, Anthony Peroni and Cleuluis Rondon led to two additional runs and a 3-1 edge.
High Point had a similar inning in the eighth. After Morrison homered to right center to open the inning, Yoel Espinal (0-1) and Donald Goodson combined to walk the next four batters, tying the score at 3-3. Goodson almost escaped the inning, but a one-out grounder to third by Alfonzo allowed the decisive run to score.
Brian Clark faced only three batters in the top of the ninth. Blake Allemand singled but was picked off, giving the lefty closer the second out.
High Point managed only one run on four hits over five innings against starter Tommy Shirley. Mitch Atkins tossed scoreless baseball for High Point through the first five, striking out seven.
The Barnstormers and Rockers tangle again on Wednesday evening at 7:05. Danny Taggart (0-0) will make his first Atlantic League start against right-hander Cooper Casad, also in his first ALPB start. Fans may tune into the Barnstormers YouTube broadcast beginning at 7:00.
NOTES: Melvin Mercedes was held hitless for the first time in five games, but he did reach on a walk…There have been 57 walks in the first five games of the season…Clark stole two bases in the second after being hit by a pitch…The Stormers have 11 swipes on the season…For the fifth straight game, the Barnstormers played over three hours, 15 minutes.