Birmingham’s dominant pitching performance highlights a 2-3 day
This was a low-scoring game, but it was decided rather early on, as the Stripers made their early lead stand. The Knights’ lack of power in this game turned out to be costly in this one.
It was a tough start for Mike Wright, who fell behind in the bottom of the first. A three-run homer by Johan Camargo with one out put the Knights in a deficit that they could not dig out of. The game never got out of hand, as Wright recovered and did not allow any additional runs in four total innings on the mound. However, the Knights struggled to score, as they only did so once.
The score remained 3-0 until the bottom of the seventh, when a wild pitch by Nik Turley allowed the fourth Gwinnett run to score.
In the eighth, Matt Reynolds led off with a double, and familiar face Danny Mendick drove him in with a single. It was too little, too late at that point, as Mendick was the last Charlotte hitter to reach base safely.
Kyle Crick, Ryan Burr, and Will Carter each pitched a scoreless inning from the bullpen to keep the Stripers within striking distance.
This game was great for folks who love excellent pitching, featuring more than 10 innings of scoreless baseball. The Barons finally broke the ice in the bottom of the 11th to win in unusual fashion.
Kade McClure, who started on the mound for the Barons, was phenomenal. McClure struck out seven and did not issue a single walk. On top of that, the Braves struggled to make sharp contact against him. As a result, McClure gave up no runs on only two hits in six innings. It is impossible to put a negative spin on this performance, as McClure ascends to unqualified Birmingham ace after the trade of Konnor Pilkington to Cleveland.
Meanwhile, the Barons had scoring opportunities, but they struggled immensely to cash in on them. The Barons had runners on second and third with one out in the third, but failed to score. Jameson Fisher hit a one-out double in the sixth, but was stranded. In the seventh, Tyler Neslony led off with a double, but he was unable to even get to third.
Pitching was outstanding on both sides, and relievers Zach Muckenhirn, Caleb Freeman, Anderson Severino, and Félix Paulino deserve credit for scoreless relief appearances. The game went into extra innings tied at zero, and both teams went down 1-2-3 in the 10th. Paulino pitched out of trouble in the 11th, and the Barons finally scored in the bottom half. Carlos Pérez hit a ground ball that advanced the free runner on second base to third. Then, Fisher ended it by reaching on a fielder’s choice, as the Braves were unable to cut down Mitch Roman at the plate.
This game was a bit of a roller coaster, but the Dash ultimately fell short in a high-scoring contest.
The Tourists got on the board in the bottom of the first inning to open up the scoring against Johan Dominguez, as with two outs J.C. Correa hit a two-run single to put Asheville ahead by a score of 2-0.
Winston-Salem did not stay behind for long, however, responding in the top of the second. After Luis Mieses hit a double with one out, the Dash drew three consecutive walks. The third of those walks forced in a run, and Jagger Rusconi hit a sacrifice fly to tie it.
Dominguez had an excellent ending to his outing, as he lasted five innings and did not allow any runs after his rough first inning. Unfortunately, the Tourists kept the Dash off the board as well, so the score remained 2-2 until the seventh.
At last, the Dash took the lead, on a home run by Samir Dueñez. That was his second home run with the Dash in 29 at-bats, and it gave the Dash a 3-2 lead ... that evaporated quickly.
It was not Declan Cronin’s finest performance, as he struggled in the seventh inning. Cronin entered the game after inheriting a dreaded leadoff walk, and he failed to retire any of the six batters he faced (one of them reached on an error). By the time Cronin was out of the game, the Tourists led by a score of 7-3.
The Dash fought back and tied it in the top of the eighth with a big rally. Yoelqui Céspedes led off with a double, and the next four Dash hitters also reached base safely. Alex Destino and Luis Curbelo had back-to-back singles to cut into the deficit. Dueñez grove in a run with a ground out, and Lázaro Leal tied it with a clutch RBI single.
Justin Dirden of the Tourists made sure that the party ended soon, as his home run against McKinley Moore put Asheville up, 8-7. That was it for the scoring, as Winston-Salem went down quietly in the ninth.
Offense was hard to come by in the first game of the today’s doubleheader, but the Cannon Ballers had enough to top the Mudcats.
Kannapolis got the scoring started in the top of the second, when timely hitting allowed them to take an early lead. Caberea Weaver drew a dreaded leadoff walk and advanced to second on a ground out. After a strikeout, the Cannon Ballers had a runner on second with two outs, and Chase Krogman hit a grounder to short. It was a tough play for the shortstop, who made a throwing error that allowed Weaver to score. Krogman received credit for a single, and it was 1-0.
In the third, José Rodríguez led off with a single, and Samil Polanco drew a walk. A ground out by Bryan Ramos allowed Rodríguez and Polanco to advance 90 feet, and Harvin Mendoza singled to center to make it 3-0.
That proved to be enough runs for Kannapolis. Andrew Dalquist was the starting pitcher, and he had a great outing. The 20-year-old righthander went 4 2⁄3 innings and struck out eight while only issuing one walk. The only time Dalquist allowed a run was the third, when he allowed a one-out triple and a sacrifice fly. The Mudcats only had two plate appearances with runners in scoring position against Dalquist, and they went 0-for-2 in those.
Yoelvin Silven was the only reliever for the Cannon Ballers in this seven-inning contest, and he got the job done. Silven pitched into trouble in the sixth but escaped without allowing any runs after a crucial double play. Silven iced the game with two and one-third shutout innings.
The nightcap did not go as well as the first, as the Cannon Ballers had to settle for a split of today’s doubleheader.
The first inning went well, however, as the Cannon Ballers got on the board right away. José Rodríguez continued his excellent day (5-for-8, with a double) by hitting a single to lead off the game. Polanco followed with a single to put runners on the corners with no outs, and Ramos doubled to make it 1-0, still with no outs. Unfortunately, the Cannon Ballers failed to add any additional runs, which proved to be costly.
The Cannon Ballers doubled their lead in the second, when they took advantage of some sloppy Carolina defense. Weaver reached on an error to open the inning, and Richard García singled him over to third. Then, James Beard grounded into a force out to make it 2-0. That was the last time the Cannon Ballers scored in this game.
The Mudcats came to life in the bottom of the second against Kannapolis starter Martin Carrasco. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Carrasco allowed a double, a walk, and a two-run triple that tied the game.
The score remained 2-2 until the fourth, when the Mudcats loaded the bases with only one out. Then, a sacrifice fly by Andre Nnebe put Carolina ahead for good.
The Cannon Ballers lost despite getting 10 hits in only seven innings. The timely hitting just was not there in the nightcap, as Kannapolis finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.