Big Third Inning Helps Guide Intimidators to 9-5 Lead over Lexington
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - The Kannapolis Intimidators (23-21, 51-61) totaled 13 hits against the Lexington Legends (17-26, 54-58) on Monday night, winning game three of the four-game series 9-5 at Intimidators Stadium supported by Atrium Health.
The top of the first inning didn't start quite the way that Jason Bilous (W, 5-6) would've liked. Three of Lexington's first four batters singled, and Eric Cole's put them up 1-0 early.
It didn't take long for the Intimidators to even things up. Michael Hickman got a two-out hit in the bottom of the second that scored Amado Nunez and evened the score, 1-1.
The bottom of the third is when Kannapolis really put their stamp on the game. Ian Dawkins led the inning off with a solo home run (4) to left center to take the 2-1 lead. Lenyn Sosa doubled next, and then he switched places with Alex Destino, who subsequently doubled to extend the lead to 3-1. Destino was later driven in on a sac fly from Cam Simmons. One batter later, Amado Nunez came up and hit a solo shot (8) of his own to take the commanding 5-1 lead, and cap off the four-run inning.
Two innings later, the Intimidators added to their lead. They loaded the bases early in the inning, and when Cam Simmons got hit by a pitch, it brought in Sosa to take the 6-1 lead. It was then immediately extended to 7-1 after Nunez hit a sac fly that drove in Destino.
Despite the first inning struggles, Bilous settled into the game and shut things down. He ended up tossing 5.2 innings, allowing just five hits, one earned run, struck out eight, and walked two. J.B. Olson came in for relief on the mound.
In the top of the eighth, Lexington got a few runs back. Nick Huchins doubled to drive in Eric Cole, and then a Bhret Bewley single made things 7-3, taking Olson out of the game. Austin Conway was brought in and gave up a two-run homer to the first batter he faced, and just like that, the lead was cut to two runs, 7-5.
In the bottom half of that frame, Kannapolis managed to re-extend their lead. A balk brought Hickman in to score. Ian Dawkins then singled and drove in Ramon Beltre to take the 9-5 lead.
Conway closed things out in order in the top of the ninth to help give the Intimidators the 9-5 win.
Kannapolis will finish its series with Lexington on Tuesday morning. Kevin Folman (0-3, 4.60 ERA) will be the starter for the Intimidators, while the starter for the Legends is Zach Haake.
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