Ballers Boosted by Veras' Three-Run Home Run in 6-3 Win over Pelicans Saturday
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - Thanks to masterful pitching and some timely offense from the young starting lineup, the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers found their way back to .500 with a 6-4 victory Saturday night at Atrium Health Ballpark.
RHP Jared Kelley started on the mound for Kannapolis, tossing 4.0 shutout innings, allowing two hits and three walks, striking out three. The righty tossed his first shutout outing since May 22 in Fayetteville. RHP Tyson Messer (W, 3-2) relieved Kelley in the fifth, striking out one and walking one en route to victory.
Kannapolis opened the scoring in the bottom of the third, gathering three runs thanks to a pair of RBI singles from Wilber Sanchez and Wes Kath. The back-to-back run-producing base knocks allowed the Ballers to take a 2-0 lead. Later in the inning, Sanchez scored on a wild pitch from Pelicans starter LHP Luke Little (L, 1-3).
All stayed quiet until the bottom of the seventh inning when Wilfred Veras stepped to the plate. The 19-year-old from Santo Domingo, Domincan Republic crushed a three-run home run into left field, scoring Colby Smelley and DJ Gladney as well, to extend the Kannapolis lead to 6-0.
Myrtle Beach answered in the ninth inning by getting on the board for themselves. Malcom Quintero began the fun with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring James Triantos to make it 6-1 Ballers. Two batters later, Jacob Wetzel helped the Pelicans take a chunk out of the Kannapolis, blasting a three-run home run to right field, scoring Kevin Alcantara and Ezequiel Pagan on the long bomb to pull Myrtle Beach closer at 6-4. RHP Nick Gallagher (S, 1) entered in relief, getting the final out of the game, and sending Ballers fans home happy.
The Ballers will look to build on their winning ways in the series finale with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at Atrium Health Ballpark. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. LHP Tommy Sommer (2-5, 3.19 ERA) will start on Sunday afternoon, with RHP Richard Gallardo (4-4, 3.61 ERA) earning his second start of the week for Myrtle Beach.
Fans can purchase tickets for any upcoming home games at kcballers.com or at the F&M Bank Box Office located at Atrium Health Ballpark.
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