Atlantic League Results, Friday, June 23, 2023

So. Maryland 3, High Point 1

WALDORF, Md. – The High Point Rockers, fresh off a seven-win homestand, headed back on the road on Friday and suffered a 3-1 defeat at Southern Maryland.

The Rockers dropped to 34-16 on the season while Gastonia (35-15) held a late lead over Staten Island on Friday night.  

With the game scoreless through four innings, the Blue Crabs broke the ice with a single run in the fifth when High Point starter Ryan Weiss allowed a lead-off single to Khalil Lee. Jose Rosario then doubled to left, scoring Lee and giving So. Maryland a 1-0 lead. It grew to a 2-0 Blue Crab lead in the sixth when Braxton Lee hit a solo homer, his seventh of the season.

The Rockers began to claw back, pulling within a single run in the seventh. Dai-Kang Yang doubled to start the frame, leading to So. Maryland starter Neil Uskali coming out of the game. Facing reliever Jim Fuller, Brian Parreira singled to center to score Yang and make it a 2-1 game.

Uskali, the former Rocker, went six innings and held the Rockers to five hits and one run while walking three and striking out seven. Closer James Dykstra issued one walk to the Rockers in the ninth in earning his second save of the campaign.

Weiss went longer than any other Rocker starter this year, pitching 7.2 innings with seven hits and all three runs. He did not issue a walk while striking out six.

Yang led the Rockers with three hits including a pair of doubles.

The Rockers and Blue Crabs will play game two of their three-game series on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. and will conclude the series on Sunday at 2:05.

NOTES: The Rockers are expected to sign LHP Justin Nicolino and have him start Saturday’s game at Southern Maryland. Nicoline was the Rockers’ Opening Day pitcher in 2022 and made four starts for the Rockers, going 3-1 with a 1.85 ERA. His contract was acquired in May 2022 by the Cincinnati Reds and finished the season at Class AAA Louisville and then made six starts with Durango in the Mexican League earlier this year. . . The Rockers released 1B Montrell Marshall on Friday . . . OF Dai-Kang Yang, also known as Daikan Yoh, is hitting .500 in June with three homers and eight RBI in seven games since coming off the injured list. He is riding a seven-game hitting streak.


Gastonia 7, Staten Island 1

Zach Mort was absolutely sensational on Friday night, retiring the first 15 batters he faced, throwing seven scoreless innings and striking out 11 against Staten Island.

Mort led the Gastonia Honey Hunters to a 7-1 victory over the FerryHawks in the first of a three-game set.

The right-hander had his best start of the season, as his control couldn’t have been better. He started off most at-bats with a first-pitch strike, usually the pitch being a curveball over the plate.

Mort used his curveball as the put-out pitch on five of his 11 strikeouts, and he didn’t walk a batter on Friday.

He was perfect through five frames, retiring the first 15 FerryHawks he faced.

Deibinson Romero broke up the perfect game with a single to lead off the sixth inning, but then got thrown out stealing. Because the single was erased, Mort ended up facing the minimum through 16 batters.

Mort allowed three hits in his last two innings pitched, and came out after throwing seven frames of scoreless ball.

While Mort was dealing for Gastonia, so was Ryan Hartman for Staten Island.

The southpaw was making his third start, and came into the game with a 9.58 ERA.

But Hartman was phenomenal all game long.

He threw seven innings of one-run ball, not walking a batter either and striking out four.

The lone run scored by either team through seven frames was a Pedro Gonzalez solo shot to left-center.

Gonzalez’s homer was hit 444 feet, 111 miles-per-hour off the bat.

He got on base four times on Friday night, ending the game just a triple shy of the cycle.

Gonzalez doubled to lead off the sixth, and was stranded by the top of Gastonia’s order.

He walked in the eighth to set up first and second with one out for Cole Freeman, with Gastonia still leading 1-0.

Freeman hit a sharp liner into left field, and it got all the way to the wall. Steven Sensley and Gonzalez scored, and Freeman got to third on a two-run triple.

Gonzalez’s next hit came in the ninth inning, as his two-RBI double gave the Honey Hunters a 6-1 lead.

He went 3-for-3 with three RBIs, a walk and two runs scored on Friday.

The one run scored by Staten Island was a Jack Elliott homer off Nick Wells.

Wells came on in relief of Mort, and gave up the long ball to the first batter he faced. He then struck out the next three hitters.

Jaime Schultz struck out the side in the ninth to wrap up Gastonia’s 7-1 win.

The Honey Hunters pitching staff was exceptional, recording a combined 17 strikeouts and not walking a batter.

Gastonia improved to 35-15, and have sole possession of first place in the South since High Point lost on Friday.

Staten Island fell to 15-32, and are still in last place in the North.

Game 2 of the series is on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.


Charleston 6, Lexington 1

Long Island at Lancaster, postponed (makeup June 24)

York at Frederick, postponed (makeup June 24)


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