EAST ISLIP, N.Y. — A throwing error allowed Long Island to score the go-ahead run in the ninth and defeat the Rockers 7-6 on Thursday night at Fairfield Properties Ballpark.
The Ducks were down 6-4 before rallying in the final inning with High Point reliever Nefi Ogando on the mound.
With one out, Johnni Turbo singled before Steve Lombardozzi and L.J. Mazzilli each walked to load the bases. Brock Stassi followed with a single to center to tie the game with Mazzilli moving to third. When Stassi attempted to steal second, catcher Logan Moore’s throw skipped into the outfield, allowing Mazzilli to score the winning run. It was the Rockers’ fourth error of the game.
The Rockers had broken a 4-4 tie in the eighth when James McOwen singled to right to score former High Point University standout Joe Johnson, who led off the inning with a single. With McOwen at second, Michael Russell singled to left and when Mazzilli bobbled the ball, McOwen was able to continue home to extend High Point’s lead to 6-4.
The loss negated another strong outing by starter Luke Westphal. The lefty pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed just four hits and three earned runs, leaving with the game tied at 4.
Ogando took the loss, allowing two hits, three runs, two earned, and walking two in his one-third of an inning.
The Rockers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when James McOwen walked, moved to second on a single by Michael Russell and scored on Stuart Levy’s single to center.
High Point extended its lead to 3-0 in the top of the second. Edwin Arroyo led off the frame with a walk, and moved to third on a double to right field by Moore. High Point resident Randy Norris, who was activated prior to Wednesday’s game, grounded out to third, scoring Arroyo. Giovanny Alfonzo was hit by a pitch and Cesar Trejo drew a walk to load the bases. McOwen grounded into a 3-6-3 double play that scored Moore for the second run of the inning.
The Ducks scored twice in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of a pair of Rockers’ errors.
The Rockers extended their lead to 4-2 in the fifth when Russell singled and scored from first on a double by Jared Mitchell. Long Island tied the game with a pair of runs in the sixth, using a single, a double and a sacrifice fly.
The Rockers opened a three-game series Friday night at the West Virginia Power at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston.