Kannapolis Uses Balanced Attack to Split Series with Lakewood
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - Ending the eight-game road trip on a high note, Kannapolis beats Lakewood 7-1 with a balanced attack Tuesday night at FirstEnergy Park.
Ian Dawkins set the precedent for the Intimidators night at the plate with a single to lead off the game, extending his hit-streak to 12 games and on-base streak to 22 games.
After a flyout and a groundout, sending Dawkins to second base, Alex Destino walked after a seven-pitch battle with Rafi Gonell, putting runners at first and second with two outs. On the seventh pitch of his at-bat, Johan Cruz doubled (1) in Dawkins with ease and after the wave home from manager Ryan Newman at third, Destino scored as well.
With Gonell replaced by James McArthur (L, 0-3) after giving up two runs, McArthur walked three batters in a row after getting a pop-out off the bat of Luis Curbelo to begin the second inning. With bases loaded, Lenyn Sosa hit a sacrifice fly to right field, followed by a Romy Gonzalez single through the right side, giving Kannapolis an early 4-0 lead.
In the top of the third, Kannapolis went down in order, as Kade McClure (W, 2-3) toed the rubber for his third inning of work on the road, trying to extend his four-game streak of quality starts. Without giving up a hit in the first two innings, McClure allowed a Hunter Stovall single and a single from Jake Holmes to put runners at second and third with no outs.
On an 0-2 pitch to Jonathan Guzman, McClure induced a groundball to shortstop but with the infield back, Stovall was able to score the first run for the BlueClaws. Next up, Rafael Marchan grounded a ball to Corey Zangari at first, as the first baseman slung the ball to catcher Jhoandro Alfaro at home, with Alfaro's tag just beating the runner at the plate.
After a clean inning in the fourth for both teams, Kannapolis tacked on two more runs in the fifth, with one of those runs coming from a solo homer (2) from Sosa to left field. Up 5-1, Curbelo hit a sacrifice fly to left field, proving deep enough to score Alex Destino from third, who walked after another seven-pitch at-bat earlier in the frame.
Kannapolis's starter McClure looked sharp on the mound for his fifth outing in a row, spreading out three hits over 5.0 innings of work, allowing only one run and issuing only one walk.
Sam Long (H, 6) took over for McClure in the sixth, punching out five Lakewood batters over 3.0 innings of work, allowing only one hit.
Andrew Perez made sure to keep up the good work out of the bullpen for the Intimidators in the ninth, striking out one batter and getting a groundout and flyout to end the game.
Sosa and Cruz both collected two-hit nights, as seven of the nine Kannapolis hitters found themselves in the hit column. Destino extended his hit-streak to eight games with a 1-for-3 night and two runs scored.
Kannapolis will travel 13 hours from Lakewood to Kannapolis as they begin their seven-game homestand with a double header starting at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday against the Hickory Crawdads.
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South Atlantic League Stories from May 28, 2019
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