Apr. 16—HIGH POINT — Two key players from the High Point Rockers' inaugural season in 2019 will be returning in 2021. Infielders Giovanny Alfonzo and Michael Russell have both signed with the Rockers.
Both Russell and Alfonzo played vital roles as the Rockers qualified for the playoffs in their first year of existence in 2019.
Alfonzo, a native of Fort Pierce, Florida, played at Florida State and the University of Tampa. He saw action in 112 games for the Rockers in 2019, hitting .248 with 11 doubles, and led the team in sacrifices. He hit a 10th inning single to beat the Long Island Ducks 3-2 on June 16, 2019. A Miami Marlins draft choice in 2015, Alfonzo will be playing his sixth season of professional baseball.
Russell hails from Huntersville, is a graduate of Hopewell High and played three seasons at the University of North Carolina, where he was a second team All-ACC selection in 2014. Spending the entire 2019 season with the Rockers, Russell appeared in 75 games while hitting .287 with 21 stolen bases, four home runs and 26 RBIs.
"I'm excited to have both of these guys back," said Rockers' manager Jamie Keefe. "They are two guys who were mainstays of our middle infield who can also play all over the field which is huge for us. We're excited to have both of them back in a Rockers' uniform and I can't wait to get to spring training and get everybody back on the field again."
Both players led their college teams to their respective College World Series. Russell and the Tar Heels went 2-2 in the Division I CWS in 2013 and Russell was a third team All-American in 2014. Alfonzo helped Tampa to the NCAA Division II championship in 2015 and was also a third team All-American.