'Birds Fall Flat in K-Town Opener
KANNAPOLIS, NC - The Delmarva Shorebirds had no answers for the Kannapolis Intimidators, falling 8-2 in the Friday night series opener at Intimidators Stadium.
Spencer Moran (1-1) earned the win in his second start for the Intimidators (19-15, 58-43), allowing two runs on six hits over 5.1 innings while walking one and striking out five. Jhon Peluffo (3-6) took the loss for the Shorebirds (18-15, 53-47) after surrendering four runs on six hits in five innings.
Kannapolis wasted no time getting on the board in the first inning. Ian Dawkins led off with a single and advanced all the way to third on a pair of wild pitches. Nick Madrigal eventually brought Dawkins in with a sac fly to put the home side up 1-0.
Delmarva evened things up in the top of the fifth. Branden Becker led off with a nine-pitch walk, then Will Robertson belted a double into the right center gap, bringing Becker around to tie it at 1-1. The Shorebirds failed to get Robertson in from second with nobody out, though, and the Intimidators made them pay in the home fifth.
Tate Blackman walked to lead off and Tyler Frost followed with a single. Carlos Perez then belted a double to score Blackman, and Justin Yurchak brought home Frost on an RBI groundout. After another groundout and single, Johan Cruz notched a run-scoring single, plating Perez to make it 4-1 Kannapolis.
In the top of the sixth, Zach Jarrett singled with one out, and Trevor Craport banged a line drive off the wall in dead center for an RBI double, getting the Shorebirds back within 4-2 and chasing Moran from the game. Bennett Sousa came in from the bullpen and struck out Ryan Ripken and Becker in succession, cutting off the Delmarva rally.
The Intimidators poured it on in the seventh. With the bases loaded and no out against Nick Gruener, Ian Dawkins hit into an RBI fielder's choice. Cruz then smacked a double off the wall in left, scoring another to make it 6-2. Dawkins scored soon after on a wild pitch, and Madrigal's second sac fly of the game capped a four-run inning and gave the game its final margin.
Craport finished 2-for-4 with a double and his 58th RBI to lead the Shorebirds, while Jarrett went 2-for-4 with a run.
Dawkins and Perez each went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs and an RBI for the Intimidators, while Cruz and Madrigal each plated a pair.
The Shorebirds will look to bounce back against the Intimidators on Saturday night. Scott Burke (2-3, 5.12) squares off for Delmarva against Kannapolis' Zach Lewis (2-3, 3.39). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 with Will DeBoer on the call.
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