'Birds Walk over K-Town; One Win from Ninety
SALISBURY, MD - Striking out the final six batters of the game, the Delmarva Shorebirds' bullpen sealed a 4-3 victory over the Kannapolis Intimidators on Saturday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
Hector Guance (9-6) picked up the win for the Shorebirds (41-26, 89-47) with his fifth Quality Start, firing six innings of one-run ball, allowing just three hits without issuing a walk and striking out eight. Jason Bilous (6-10) was tagged with the loss for the Intimidators (35-33, 63-73) after lasting just 2.2 innings and giving up three runs on a hit and six walks while striking out four.
Felix Bautista collected his fourth save of the year for Delmarva, striking out the side in the ninth while topping 100 miles per hour seven times, including a 101 mph fastball to end the game.
It didn't take long for Kannapolis to get on the board first, as the second batter of the game, Lenyn Sosa, rocked a solo homer to left to give the Intimidators an early 1-0 lead.
Five walks in the third helped the Shorebirds strike back. Cody Roberts, Seamus Curran, and Alexis Torres all drew free passes to open the inning and load the bases. After a strikeout, Johnny Rizer rolled an RBI single through the right side to tie the game at 1-1. Adley Rutschman then drew a four-pitch walk to force in a run and make it 2-1 Delmarva. Following another strikeout, Nick Horvath worked the final free pass of the frame to force home another run, giving the Shorebirds a 3-1 advantage.
Roberts started the fourth the same way he did the third with a walk. After moving to third on consecutive groundouts to shortstop, Doran Turchin ripped a single up the middle, bringing Roberts home and extending the Delmarva lead to 4-1.
Kannapolis nearly came all the way back in the eighth. Ian Dawkins singled to start the inning and moved to second on a wild pitch before Sosa singled him to third. Alex Destino then lashed an RBI single to center to move make it a 4-2 game. Tyler Osik followed with a booming RBI ground-rule double over the wall in left center field to pull Kannapolis to within one. With the tying runs now at second and third, Delmarva reliever Matt De La Rosa buckled down and struck out three in a row to escape the jam with the lead still intact.
Matthew Hammonds and De La Rosa each picked up holds in relief before handing the ball to Bautista for his laser show in the ninth.
The Shorebirds had just two hits in the game, the RBI singles from Rizer and Turchin. Despite not getting a hit, Roberts managed to score twice after drawing two walks. Rutschman also drew two walks and drove in a run.
In addition to his homer, Sosa picked up a single for Kannapolis to finish 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Out of the leadoff spot, Dawkins also went 2-for-4 while scoring once.
With the win the Shorebirds are now one win away from becoming the 14th team in modern South Atlantic League history (since 1980) to win 90 games in a season, and the first since the 2006 Augusta GreenJackets.
The Shorebirds and Intimidators now kick off the month of September with a matchup on Sunday evening. Dallas Litscher (2-1, 4.03) is handed the ball for Delmarva while Kannapolis goes with Johan Dominguez (5-5, 3.19). First pitch is slated for 5:05 p.m. with gates opening at 4:00. Sunday is Perdue Strike Out Hunger Sunday and a Kids Club Game presented by Maryland Excels with Kids Run the Bases after the game presented by Chili's. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch app begins at 4:50 with Will DeBoer and Sam Jellinek on the call.
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South Atlantic League Stories from August 31, 2019
- Season Reaches the Brink After Another Blown Lead - Asheville Tourists
- Crawdads Set Walk-Off Record in 3-2 Win - Hickory Crawdads
- 'Birds Walk over K-Town; One Win from Ninety - Delmarva Shorebirds
- Jackets One-Win Away from Clinching Playoff Spot - Augusta GreenJackets
- Early Offense, Strong Pitching Culminates in 6-1 Win - Hagerstown Suns
- Relentless RiverDogs Crank 14 Hits to Down Drive - Charleston RiverDogs
- Pedrol's Quality Start Not Enough in 3-1 Loss - West Virginia Power
- Suns Score Early and Top Claws 6-1 on Saturday - Lakewood BlueClaws
- Fireflies Game Notes: August 31 at Augusta (Game 134) - Columbia Fireflies
- Simmons' Grand Slam Lifts Intimidators over 'Birds - Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
- Hagerstown Suns: Game Notes - Hagerstown Suns
- Sloppy Defense Sets the Tone in 4-1 Rome Loss - Rome Braves
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