(Waldorf, MD, July 23rd, 2021)The High Point Rockers traveled to Waldorf for a three-game series starting on Friday night. Sam Burton (L, 2-5) got the start on the mound for the Blue Crabs following a series loss to the Gastonia Honey Hunters earlier this week.
High Point got the bats started early. The first two batters for High Point, Johnny Field and Michael Russell, hit back-to-back home runs to lead off the game. After that, Sam Burton locked in on the mound and struck out the next three batters.
The offense for both teams was silent for the next three innings until the top of the fifth inning. Giovanny Alfonzo led off the top of the fifth with a base hit and scored off a double by Stephen Cardullo.
High Point starter Bryce Hensley (W, 4-3) had no-hit the Blue Crabs until the sixth inning. Rubi Silva got the first Blue Crabs hit by beating out a slow grounder to the shortstop.
The Rockers were able to bring in two more runs of their own in the top of the seventh inning. Back-to-back singles from Jerry Downs and Stuart Levy grew the High Point lead to 5-0 after the top of the seventh inning.
In true Southern Maryland fashion, the Blue Crabs refused to go down without a fight. Kent Blackstone and Joe DeLuca both singled with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. A Michael Baca single to left brought home DeLuca and Blackstone. Southern Maryland trailed 5-2 heading into the eighth inning.
The hot bat of David Harris continued to produce as the right-fielder smacked a solo homer to right-centerfield to bring the Crabs within two runs at the start of the ninth.
Two walks and a Rubi Silva base hit put the Blue Crabs in business with only one away in the bottom of the ninth inning. With the bases loaded and now two outs, Alex Crosby was hit by the first pitch he saw, scoring Michael Baca. Preston Gainey (S, 6) came in and shut the door on the comeback kids as Southern Maryland dropped the first game of this series by a score of 5-4.
The High Point Rockers stay in Waldorf for two more games at Regency Furniture Stadium this weekend. Following the homestand, the Blue Crabs head to Central Islip, New York to take on the division-leading Long Island Ducks in a three-game series starting next Tuesday.