Nine extra base hits, including a rare inside-the-park home run by Zander Wiel, and six shutout innings by former Marlins lefty Justin Nicolino combined to lead the High Point Rockers to a 14-0 rout of the Lancaster Barnstormers Wednesday evening at Truist Point.
The loss was the fifth straight for the Barnstormers.
Jerry Downs opened the onslaught with a two-out solo homer off Dominic DiSabatino (0-2) in the first inning after the Lancaster right-hander had struck out his first two batters of the game.
Leading off the second, Wiel, cracked a deep fly ball to right. It cleared the glove of right fielder Mark Zagunis and hit off the base of the wall before caroming well back toward the infield. Zagunis wheeled around and could not find the loose ball until Wiel was well around third. Johnny Field later lined a two-run double to left center that LeDarious Clark lost in the sun setting through an open area behind home plate as the Rockers extended the lead to 4-0.
A bloop double to left by Chris Proctor in the fourth made it 5-0 upon DiSabatino’s departure. Logan Morrison added an RBI double and Tyler Ladendorf a two-run triple in the fifth as High Point busted the game wide open.
For good measure Wiel launched an “outside-the-park” home run, a three-run blast, to cap the scoring in the eighth.
Meanwhile, Nicolino (1-0) yielded only three hits in six innings while striking out eight. He did not allow a runner beyond second. Kelly Dugan managed two of the three Lancaster hits, including a double to right center in the second inning. Colton Shaver had the other on a flare to left in the fourth. Andretty Cordero got Lancaster the closest to scoring on the entire night. Twice, the Lancaster first baseman flied to the warning track in right with two runners on base.
Augie Sylk (0-1) will take the hill for the Barnstormers on Thursday evening against right-hander Cooper Casad (0-0). Fans may tune into the YouTube Channel, beginning at 6:30.
NOTES: Lancaster still has not had a runner reach base in the first inning on the road trip…Feliz failed to pick up a hit for the first time in six games…Tyler LaPorte was the only one of Lancaster’s five pitchers to escape the Rockers’ wrath…The Louisiana right-hander picked up four outs on four batters, erasing an HBP with a double play ground ball.