July 5, 2013 - South Atlantic League (SAL) - Kannapolis Intimidators
Today\'s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) wrap up Thursday\'s suspended series opener before playing Friday\'s regularly-schedule game against the Crawdads (A, Rangers) at L.P. Frans Stadium. Kannapolis and Hickory are tied, 2-2, in the bottom of the seventh inning of the suspended game. In Friday\'s regularly-scheduled match up, two of the league\'s most consistent arms take the mound as Euclides Leyer makes his SAL-leading 17th start against C.J. Edwards, who boasts the second-best ERA on the circuit. Leyer, who suffered a hard-luck loss in his last outing, will try to snap a string of seven straight losing decisions as he faces the Crawdads for the second time this season.
Where We Left Off: Kannapolis and Hickory are tied 2-2 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Crawdads tied the game just before the game was suspended, saving the home team from a rain- shortened loss. Hickory will have the go-ahead run on second base in David Lyon with Luis Marte batting when play resumes. Intimidators starter Jefferson Olacio opened with 6 2/3 innings of no-hit ball before Luis Brinson singled in the seventh. The big lefty\'s line is incomplete (6.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K). Hickory\'s starter Andrew Faulkner struck out eight batters over 6.0 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. Top of the order Intimidators Jacob May (1-4, RBI) and Tim Anderson (2-4, RBI, 2B) have driven in both runs for Kannapolis, both coming in the second inning.
Intimidating Starters: Euclides Leyer, 22, makes his 17th start of the year and his second against Hickory. He took no decision in a quality start over the Crawdads on May 26. His last win came May 10 when he tossed 7.0 innings at Asheville. In his last four outings, Leyer has three quality starts, and in the one outlier, Leyer left in line for a win at Rome June 25, but the Intimidators needed extra innings to defeat the Braves (9-6, F/13). Leyer leads the SAL with 10 losses, ranks second with 12 hit batters. His 84.1 IP is fourth in the SAL with league-leader TJ Oakes of Asheville not far out of reach (89.0).
Hickory\'s Hurler: C.J. Edwards makes his 16th start of the season and his second against the Intimidators. He is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks in his only appearance against Kannapolis. Edwards\' 2.01 ERA is second-best in the SAL behind only West Virginia\'s Orlando Castro (1.93). The Hickory starter also ranks third in average against (.183) and fourth in WHIP (1.04). Edwards ranks second among starting pitchers in Highest SO./9 IP Ratio (11.61). He has not taken a decision in his last three starts despite allowing one earned run over 5.0 innings in each of the three games. His loss to Kannapolis on May 24 snapped a streak of four straight wins. While he has been solid at home (2-2, 3.05 ERA in 8 starts), Edwards has truly shined on the road, going 4-0 with a 0.96 ERA in 7 starts. Texas drafted Edwards in the 48th round in June 2011.
Roster Moves: The Intimidators promoted right-hander reliever David Cales to Double-A Birmingham today and received right-hander Cal Bowling from Advanced Rookie Bristol. Cales went 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in four relief appearances with Kannapolis, striking out 10 batters over 4.1 innings, allowing an unearned run on six hits while walking two. Bowling ranks second in the Appalachian League among relievers in highest strikeouts/9 IP ratio, with nine strikeouts over 4.1 innings with Bristol. In three games with the BriSox, he is 0-0 with a 4.15 ERA (2 ER/4.1 IP) this season.
Suspenders: The Intimidators have had three games suspended this season, including May 3 in Savannah, June 28 vs. Greenville and Thursday\'s game against Hickory. The May 3 game had to be completed later in the month in Kannapolis as it occurred in the final game of the series. The Intimidators are 1-1 in suspended games this season.
Clobberin\' Crawdads: Hickory\'s Joey Gallo leads all Minor Leagues with 25 home runs this season while teammate Ryan Rua is tied for second with 24. By comparison, the Intimidators have 32 home runs as a team. Gallo ranks second in the SAL in extra-base hits (43) and total bases (163), tied for third in runs scored (60) and fourth in games played (80). He is second in the Minor Leagues with 126 strikeouts, trailing only teammate Luis Brinson (128). Rua leads the SAL in extra-base hits (46), is tied for second with 64 RBI, tied for third with former Intimidators 2B Micah Johnson in total bases (161) and fifth in slugging percentage (.596).
Free Swingers: The Crawdads are the most strikeout-prone team in the SAL, fanning 871 times in 2,752 at-bats, or 31.6% of the time. Charleston has the second-most strikeouts in the league with 735. Kannapolis has struck out 677 times in 2,779 at-bats (24.4%).
Kiss It Goodbye: Hickory\'s 120 home runs are tied with the California League\'s Stockon Ports for the most in the Minors and 47 more than the next-closest SAL squad (Asheville, 73). The Crawdads current pace results in a home run every 5.56 hits, or 18% of the time.
Radio Broadcasts: Tonight\'s Intimidators games can be heard at IntimidatorsBaseball.com with pre-game show beginning at 4:45 p.m. prior to the 7/4 suspended game being resumed.