Staten Island’s Jack Elliott hits for cycle
In Sunday’s Staten Island loss to Gastonia, Ferryhawks third baseman Jack Elliott hit for the cycle, recording a single, double, triple and home run. It is the first known cycle in the Atlantic League this season. In 2022, Kentucky’s Luke Becker and High Point’s Michael Russell each hit for the cycle.
Elliott hit a solo homer in the second inning, hit a two-run triple in the third, doubled in the fifth inning, grounded out to third in the seventh, then completed the cycle with a ninth inning single. On the day, Elliott was 4-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI.
Gastonia 13, Staten Island 8
GASTONIA, N.C. - Kevin Santa’s go-ahead grand slam in the sixth inning led Gastonia to win the rubber match against Staten Island 13-8 on Sunday afternoon.
Santa had one homer coming into the contest, and he batted with the bases loaded and nobody out in the frame.
After what had been a back-and-forth five innings, Santa hit a towering fly ball to deep right that put Gastonia over the top for good.
The grand slam made it 11-7 in favor of the Hunters, and they never relinquished the lead.
Gastonia manager Goose Gozzo praised Santa’s hitting ability, even though his stats haven’t popped off the page this season.
“That kid’s a grinder,” Gozzo said. “Kevin goes out there and gives it 100% every time. He’s a really good hitter. I know his numbers don’t show that right now this year, but he is a very good hitter. He’s smart and knows what he’s doing. He got that nice little cookie inside and he turned on it.”
Santa is now hitting .241 with a .657 OPS in 27 games. Having hit over .330 in each of the last two seasons with the Kansas City Monarchs, Gozzo is confident that the shortstop’s numbers will continue to increase as the year goes on.
In addition to Santa, the bottom of Gastonia’s order produced against Staten Island.
Eric De La Rosa, Luis Curbelo and Pedro Gonzalez all reached base and came home in both the second and sixth frames, as they combined for four hits, three RBIs and six runs scored.
Gastonia improved to 46-24 after taking two out of three from Staten Island. The Honey Hunters will now face off against the only team with a better overall record – the High Point Rockers.
High Point defeated Gastonia in the South Division first half championship game and won the series the last time the rivals faced off.
The Honey Hunters and Rockers start their three-game set on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. in Gastonia.
High Point 8, Lexington 3
The Rockers improved to a league-best 47-24 on the season by winning their fourth straight game. They are in first place in the Atlantic League’s South Division at 6-2 in the second half of the season.
With the Rockers holding a narrow 4-3 lead in the ninth, Yoh reached base on a walk, his third walk of the game. He then raced to third on a single by Brian Parreira before Emmanuel Tapia lined a double off the center field wall, scoring both Yoh and Parreira for a 6-3 advantage. Johnson, the former High Point Panther, then blasted his first homer as a Rocker, scoring Tapia ahead of him and giving High Point a comfortable 8-3 margin.
The Rockers’ Ryan Dull allowed a hit and a walk in the bottom of the ninth but was aided by a 3-6-3 double play turned by Tapia and Shed Long, Jr.
Johnson, who has been starting in left field in recent games, drove in three runs and scored once. Yoh finished 2-for-2 with a homer and three walks while Tapia slammed a pair of doubles.
Lexington starter Merandy Gonzalez struggled with his control right from the first inning. After coaxing ground outs from Long, Jr. and D.J. Burt to start the contest, Gonzalez threw 12 straight pitches out of the strike zone to walk the bases loaded with Zander Wiel, Yoh and Ben Aklinski. Gonzalez then hit Parreira with a 1-0 pitch to force in the first run of the game before getting Michael Martinez to strike out and end the inning.
Lexington knotted the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first on a solo homer by Brandt Broussard, his first of the year. Broussard continued to swing a hot bat, doubling home two runs in the second to give the Counter Clocks a 3-1 lead.
Yoh hit a solo homer to straightaway center field in the third to pull the Rockers to within one at 3-2. High Point tied the game in the fourth when Martinez walked, moved to second on a disengagement violation by Gonzalez, stole third and then scored on a groundout by Johnson.
The Rockers forged a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth when Tapia led off the inning with a ground-rule double to right-center. John Daly was the designated pinch-runner and took Tapia’s place at second. A Johnson ground out moved Daly to third and he then scored the go-ahead run on a sac fly by D.J. Burt.
Lexington’s J.C. Encarnacion reached third with one out in the bottom of the eighth with the ‘Clocks trailing by one but Bryce Hensley (W, 5-1) fanned Mitch Ghelfi and Cam Bedrosian came on to strikeout Jesus Tavarez to quell the threat.
All four of the Rockers’ runs in the eighth and ninth innings came off reliever Joey Steele (L, 0-2). The Counter Clocks walked 12 High Point hitters on the day with Gonzalez contributing seven free passes.
The Rockers will enjoy an off-day on Monday, July 17, before returning to action on Tuesday when they start a three-game series at Gastonia. First pitch on Tuesday from CaroMont Health Park is set for 6:35 p.m.
Lancaster 9, Spire City 4
The Lancaster Barnstormers could not reach the outfield fences with deep fly balls early Sunday afternoon, so they shifted gears on the Spire City Ghost Hounds.
Lancaster rapped out 12 hits, all singles and doubles, and tied a franchise record with seven stolen bases, taking down the Ghost Hounds, 9-4, in the finale of a series at Clipper Magazine Stadium.
With the win, the Barnstormers improved to 6-2 in the second half.
Lancaster trailed, 2-0, against Dustin Beggs (3-6) through 4 ½ innings. With two outs and Trayvon Robinson at second on a walk and a steal, Melvin Mercedes yanked a double into the right field corner. Trace Loehr matched it with another double to tie the game at 2-2. Loehr stole third and scored on a single that short hopped center fielder Leobaldo Cabrera.
The Barnstormers legs came into play again in the sixth. Joseph Carpenter singled through the left side with one out, and Robinson followed with his second walk of the afternoon. They executed a double steal, and Carpenter scored when Pete Yorgen’s throw to get Robinson entered center field. Robinson scored Lancaster’s fifth run on a single by Jack Conley into left.
Cabrera’s third hit of the afternoon drove home Yorgen to bring the Hounds within two in the seventh. Again, Lancaster went to “small ball.” Mercedes led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk and advanced on a bunt by Loehr. Cordero picked up the run with a single to the wall in right.
Even with the 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth, the Barnstormers had more tricks up their sleeves. Carpenter singled to right and moved up on a wild pitch. Conley bunted his way aboard for the second time in the game. Yorgen sailed his throw to first, and Carpenter crossed with a run. Shawon Dunston, Jr. singled to center to second Conley to third, and Mercedes and Loehr performed a beautiful hit-and-run, scoring Conley. Loehr drove in the final Lancaster run with a sacrifice fly.
Brent Teller (6-4) yielded six hits and four walks in the first five innings, but the right-hander allowed only two runs on sacrifice flies as the Ghost Hounds had four runners thrown out on the bases. New right-hander Jeff Bain and lefty Zach Warren were credited with holds.
Lancaster will entertain Lexington beginning Tuesday at 6:30. Jared Lakind (4-2) will take the hill for the Barnstormers in the series opener. Fans may tune in on Blue Ridge 11 or FloBaseball.
NOTES: The Barnstormers signed utility player Chad Sedio following the game…He is a lefty batter who will primarily play the outfield…Right-hander Spencer Johnston was released…Carpenter extended his hitting streak to nine games…He is 17-for-36 (.472)…Cordero temporarily tied for the league RBI lead with 62, pending the outcomes of the later games on Sunday…He has 15 RBI for the week…Cordero has driven home 180 runs in 200 games as a Barnstormer…Mercedes is 21-for-46 (.457) in his last 12 games…Of the seven steals, only Robinson stole more than one.
Southern Maryland 5, Charleston 1
York at Long Island postponed
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