Intimidators Win Series with Greensboro After Double Header Split
Despite being not-hit in the first game of the double header, losing 2-1, the Intimidators bounced back to win the series with a dominant performance in game two, beating the Grasshoppers 9-0 to take the three-game series Sunday evening at Intimidators Stadium supported by Atrium Health.
The Intimidators saw their first chance to score come in the second inning, as Craig Dedelow and Evan Skoug both drew walks against RHP Taylor Braley (W, 5-5). But, after two strikeouts to Tate Blackman and Tyler Frost, Ramon Beltre followed with a line out to right field to end the Kannapolis threat in the second.
Kannapolis starter, Zach Lewis (L, 2-4), proved to be unhittable in his first 3.2 innings of work, but Greensboro's Isael Soto got the best of Lewis after a seven-pitch at-bat with two outs in the fourth, smacking a solo homer to right field for the first hit of the ball game for either team.
After scoring another run in the top of the sixth, this time off LHP Andrew Perez, the Grasshoppers' right-handed pitcher, Braley, who still had a no-hitter intact, exiting with only 66 pitches. Jeremy Ovalle replaced Braley to try and preserve the no-hitter, but walked and hit the first two guys he faced. After a Steele Walker strikeout, Dedelow force out and Tate Blackman walk to load the bases, Frost walked to cut the lead in half, 2-1, with no hits.
In the seventh (last inning), Will Kincanon replaced Perez, striking out the side to give the I's a chance in the bottom-half of the inning to notch their first hit. Although Kannapolis did not get a hit in their final plate appearance, Justin Yurchak walked, representing the eighth base runner for the Intimidators during the no-hitter. With Johan Cruz replacing Yurchak to run at first base, Greensboro's Michael Mertz closed the door on Kannapolis with a strikeout to Luis Curbelo to end the game and cap off the no-hitter.
The Intimidators got the scoring going in the first inning against RHP Colton Hock (L, 9-5), as Blackman cranked a triple into right-center with Walker and Dedelow on base, scoring both runners to jump out to a 2-0 lead. One batter later and on the second pitch of his at-bat, Frost unloaded on a ball to right field for his 15th homer of the season, giving RHP Yosmer Solorzano (W, 3-6) a four-run cushion.
After giving up a single into left field to the second batter of the game, Solorzano dialed in and refused to give up a hit for the rest of his 5.0 inning outing. Although the pitcher out of Venezuela only struck out one batter through his brilliant time on the bump, Solorzano got five batters to groundout back to him, keeping batters off-balanced all evening long.
The Kannapolis offense increased the four-run lead to six in the fourth inning, as Carlos Perez scurried to third on a Michael Hickman broken bat double off the wall in right field. With Cruz at the plate and two runners in scoring position, Cruz capitalized on a passed ball by Hock, giving the I's a 5-0 lead. Two batters later, the Intimidators used an Ian Dawkins single up the middle to score Hickman to give Kannapolis a six-run advantage.
One batter later, Walker dug into the left side of the batter's box, looking for his first hit in an Intimidators uniform. A couple pitches into the 2018 second-round pick's at-bat, Walker laced a ball down the right field line, chucking up white paint to score Dawkins. But, after Greensboro's manager Todd Pratt came out to challenge the call, the umpires got together and reversed the call to a foul ball, leading to a Justin Jirschele ejection.
On the very next pitch, Walker roped a single into right field for his first hit, leading to a Grasshopper pitching change.
In the fifth, the Intimidators added on three more runs on two hits, a wild pitch and a groundout, blowing the game wide open, up 9-0.
Kannapolis will have an off day on Monday before heading to Hickory to take on the Crawdads for a four-game series over three days, with Tuesday's first pitch coming at 7:00 p.m.
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South Atlantic League Stories from August 6, 2018
- Legends to Honor Kentucky Thoroughblades in Penultimate Homestand of the Season - Lexington Legends
- Intimidators Win Series with Greensboro After Double Header Split - Kannapolis Intimidators
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