Long's Strong Start Leads Intimidators to 2-1 Win
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Led by a strong outing from starter Sam Long and timely hitting, the Intimidators snuck by the Charleston RiverDogs Saturday night 2-1 at The Joe in Charleston, S.C.
Long (W, 8-5) started his solid outing by sitting down the first 18 Charleston batters he faced, including striking out the side in the fourth inning. Long hurled seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits, while striking out six.
Midway through Long's dominance on the bump, in the third, the Intimidators manufactured a run to put Long in the win column. Ramon Beltre doubled (23) on a groundball down the first base line, as Michael Hickman then used a productive flyout to right field to move Beltre to third. With only one out, Amado Nunez hit a 1-0 pitch deep enough to Frederick Cuevas in left field to score Beltre, giving Kannapolis a 1-0 advantage.
In the seventh, Long allowed his first hit after Brandon Lockridge singled on a 1-1 pitch to right field. After a groundout and Josh Stowers single to left field, Long threw a wild pitch to put two runners in scoring position. With just one gone, Long fanned Josh Breaux and Eric Wagaman to end the threat and cap off his outing.
Devon Perez (S, 3) earned himself a six-out save in relief of Long, allowing three hits through those two innings, including a solo homer to Stowers with two outs in the ninth. However, in the top half of the ninth, Nunez got plunked by a pitch and then stole second, later scoring on a Lenyn Sosa triple (2) to right to give Kannapolis a 2-0 lead. Despite Stowers' homer to cut the lead to one run, Perez induced a lineout to Ian Dawkins in center field to close out the ball game.
The Intimidators were out-hit 3-to-5 by the RiverDogs, with Sosa capturing two of those Kannapolis hits.
Kannapolis will look for the series sweep over Charleston with Davis Martin (7-9, 5.26 ERA) on the mound, as the RiverDogs will lean on Harold Cortijo (4-3, 3.18 ERA) to avoid the home sweep.
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