Osik's Big Day Overshadowed by 14 Rome Runs
ROME, GA - Despite a two-homer day for Tyler Osik and jumping out to an early 4-3 lead, Kannapolis (56-71, 28-31) pitching allowed three runs in the fourth and nine in the seventh to lose 14-4 Thursday night against the Braves at State Mutual Stadium.
In the first inning with two outs, Alex Destino got nailed by a 1-1 pitch from Rome's Dilmer Mejia (W, 8-3), putting a runner on for Osik. On a 1-2 count, Osik belted a homer (1) to left field to give the Intimidators the early 2-0 lead.
In the home half of the first, Bryce Ball doubled (2) on a fly ball to right field, scoring Justin Dean who reached on a fielding error by third baseman Camilo Quinteiro. One batter later, Michael Harris singled on a groundball up the middle off Johan Dominguez (L, 4-5) to score Ball to tie up the ball game, 2-2.
After both pitchers recorded two strikeouts in the second inning, Kannapolis used the long ball in the third to take the lead. With two outs, Osik just cleared the wall in left field for his second homer of the day on a 2-2 pitch, giving the Intimidators a 3-2 lead. Four pitches later with Corey Zangari at the plate, the Kannapolis first baseman hit a no-doubter to left field for his 13th homer of the season, doubling the lead for the Intimidators, now 4-2.
In the fourth, Harris tripled (1) and then scored thanks to a Ricardo Rodriguez groundball single through the right side, cutting the Intimidators lead to one, 4-3. Next up, Brendan Venter was plunked by Dominguez on a 2-0 pitch, as Jeremy Fernandez then singled to Cam Simmons in right field to score Rodriguez to tie the game, 4-4.
In his first rehab game since his heel injury back on July 23rd with the Braves, Dansby Swanson singled on a line drive to Simmons in right, bringing in Brendan Venter to give Rome the 5-4 lead through four innings.
Although both teams had their chances in the fifth and sixth frames, neither team cashed in on their opportunities. However, in the seventh, Rome cashed in. Using a single from Swanson and a wild pitch from Wilber Perez, to move him to second, Rome (60-68 ,30-29) then loaded the bases with back-to-back walks. Following a mound visit and a flyout to Simmons in left, Rodriguez drove in Swanson and Greg Cullen on a line drive single to left field. This sequence led to the departure of Perez.
Justin O'Conner stepped to the hill for the Intimidators in relief with two runners on, placing the third runner on with a hit-by-pitch to his first batter. Rome then used four straight singles, a double, and then one more single to score seven runs to push the lead to 10 runs, 14-4.
Osik finished with three hits, three RBI, and two runs. Destino and Zangari both recorded two-hit nights in Kannapolis' 10-hit night.
The Intimidators will head to South Carolina to take on the Charleston RiverDogs for a three-game series starting at 7:05 p.m. Kevin Folman (0-4, 5.53 ERA) will take the hill for the Intimidators against the RiverDogs' Charlie Ruegger (2-3, 8.55 ERA).
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