Rally Comes up Short for Kannapolis in 4-3 Loss
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - Despite a late-game rally, the Kannapolis Intimidators (54-69, 26-29) went just 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, falling to the Lexington Legends by a score of 4-3 Saturday night.
Unlike the first two games of the series, it was the Legends who found the scoreboard first, striking via Jeison Guzman's RBI triple to center field to bring home John Rave. Guzman eventually came home as well, crossing the plate on a Nathan Eaton sacrifice fly to make it a 2-0 lead for Lexington.
Two frames later, Guzman scored again, this time on a Rubendy Jaquez first-pitch single to left field, giving the Legends a 3-0 advantage.
Kannapolis sent RHP Kevin Folman to the mound to start the ballgame. The former North Dakota State product tallied six innings of work, giving up six hits, three earned runs, and two walks while striking out three. In relief of Folman, the Intimidators gave the ball to RHP Declan Cronin (L, 0-2). Cronin threw the final three frames, giving up an earned run, walking one, and striking out three.
The Intimidators spoiled the shutout in the bottom of the fourth, when Michael Hickman singled to right field to score Corey Zangari, making it a 3-1 game, in favor of the Legends.
Lexington (61-63, 24-31) gave the ball to RHP Zach Haake, who accumulated six strikeouts over four innings, and surrendering five hits and one earned run.
The Intimidators started their rally in the bottom of the seventh, when Ramon Beltre hit his fourth homerun of the season, an opposite field shot off Daniel Duarte (W, 1-0, BS, 1) to cut Lexington's lead to 3-2. Later in the same half inning, Michael Hickman struck out swinging, but the third strike was a wild pitch, which brought home Tyler Osik from third base to knot the ballgame at 3-3.
The Legends quickly retained the lead in the top of the eighth, when Reed Rohlman doubled to score Guzman. Guzman's third run of the ballgame broke the tie and gave Lexington a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, Kannapolis rallied back to load the bases, but RHP Brandon Marklund struck out Cameron Simmons looking to end the game.
The Intimidators will look to avoid the sweep Sunday in the final game of the four-game series with Lexington. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m. Kannapolis will send LHP Sam Long (6-5, 3.54 ERA) to the mound to face Legends RHP Jon Heasley (8-5, 3.16 ERA). For the final time in the 2019 season, the Intimidators will sport their Los Rapidos de Kannapolis jerseys Sunday.
Fans can purchase tickets for the Sunday Los Rapidos game or any of the other five remaining 2019 home games at intimidatorsbaseball.com or by stopping by the F&M Bank Box Office located at Intimidators Stadium supported by Atrium Health.
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