GASTONIA — The Rockers put just one run on the board after the first inning and fell to Gastonia 9-4 at CaroMont Health Park on Saturday night.
The loss dropped High Point a game behind first-place West Virginia in second half standings for the Atlantic League’s South Division. The second-half champ will qualify for the postseason as will a wild card team if first-half North Division winner Long Island remains in first place and sweeps both halves.
The Rockers are 2.5 games ahead of Southern Maryland in the wild card race. The Blue Crabs still have a chance of winning the North second half, trailing Long Island by 1.5 games.
Home runs accounted for all of the Rockers' runs. Jerry Downs hit a two-run homer and Quincy Latimore followed with a solo shot in the first. Stephen Cardullo hit his 14th homer of the year in the fourth but it was just one of two hits that High Point mustered over the last eight innings.
Gastonia took the lead for good with four runs, two on a homer, in the first off Tommy Lawrence (10-3). In the third, Joshua Sale of the Honey Hunters hit a ball off the wall in center that was originally ruled a triple that scored two runs. After a discussion, the umpiring crew ruled Sale’s drive hit above a yellow line wall used to designate home runs, giving Sale his 30th of the season and making the score 7-3.
Lawrence was ejected arguing the ruling.
The teams end their three-game series Sunday.