Dylan Cease (SP): 6 IP, 2 R (2 ER), 5 H, 1 BB, 11 K, 3.33 ERA *MVP*
Zack Collins (C): 1-for-4, 2B, .275 AVG, 1.007 OPS
Daniel Palka (LF): 0-for-4, .229 AVG, .784 OPS
Danny Mendick (3B): 0-for-4, .222 AVG, .716 OPS
Joel Booker (CF): 1-for-4, .083 AVG, .237 OPS (third game in Triple-A)
Ryan Goins (2B): 1-for-2, 3B, BB, RBI, .338 AVG, 1.026 OPS
Preston Tucker (DH): 2-for-4, .290 AVG, .808 OPS
The Knights struck first in this one, as a triple by Ryan Goins in the third inning drove in the first run of the game. Charlie Tilson followed with a groundout that drove in Goins to extend the Charlotte lead to two.
Things were looking good for the Knights, especially with Cease on the bump, but surprisingly, Cease made a couple of mistakes in the fourth. Those led to the only two runs he allowed. He missed his location with a fastball to Adam Duvall, and Duvall took advantage, hitting a two-run double in the gap. That tied the game at two, but Cease was exceptional the rest of the night. He mowed Stripers down left and right, ending the evening with 11 strikeouts and just one walk. He did not allow much solid contact, either.
Though Cease was outstanding other than that fourth inning, it was not enough to pull out a victory. The offense went quiet after the third, and the bullpen had a mediocre night, combining for three innings and allowing two runs (both earned).
The Knights are now 15-11 after today’s loss. They have now dropped four in a row to fall out of first place in the division. The Knights will wrap up the series against Gwinnett tomorrow, and that game will start at 10:05 a.m. CST.
The Birmingham Barons (10-15) had the day off and will start a series against the Chattanooga Lookouts (11-12) at 7:05 p.m. CST tomorrow. This will be the only non-morning game of the day among the affiliates, oddly enough. Left-hander Kodi Medeiros will get the start in that one. The Barons have been struggling offensively of late, but Luis Robert just joined the team, and he should provide a boost.
Zach Lewis (SP): 4 2⁄3 IP, 1 R (1 ER), 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 5.18 ERA
Alec Hansen (RP): 2⁄3 IP, 3 R (3 ER), 0 H, 3 BB, 2 K, 2.53 ERA
Nick Madrigal (2B): 1-for-5, 3B, RBI, .282 AVG, .755 OPS
Steele Walker (CF): 1-for-5, 2B, .200 AVG, .600 OPS (first game in Single-A+)
Zach Remillard (SS): 2-for-5, RBI, .260 AVG, .663 OPS
Yeyson Yrizarri (3B): 1-for-3, 2 RBI, BB, .241 AVG, .645 OPS
Craig Dedelow (LF): 3-for-5, 2B, .245 AVG, .740 OPS *MVP*
The Dash solved Nationals starter Andrew Lee early on in this one. Yeyson Yrizarri hit a two-run double to cap off a three-run second inning that put the Dash up 3-1. The Dash padded their lead in the fourth, as they put up two more on a Tate Blackman double and a wild pitch to extend their lead to 5-1. After a Tyler Frost double, a wild pitch, and a Jameson Fisher double, the Dash led 8-1 after six. Scoring on the Fisher double was Steele Walker, who made his Single-A+ debut tonight. Walker got a double of his own in a 1-for-5 performance.
Dash starter Zach Lewis did not last very long, but he was effective while he was in the game. He struck out six, walked only one, and allowed just one run. But, despite the offense’s big night and Lewis’ strong start, this game got interesting late.
We regret to inform you that Alec Hansen’s scoreless streak has come to an end. The Dash led 8-1 heading into a disastrous seventh. Hansen faced five batters, walked three of them, and struck out the other two. The three runs he allowed crossed the plate when the next reliever, freshly-promoted Dash reliever Austin Conway, failed to strand any of the baserunners Hansen walked. Conway had a nightmarish performance. Not only did he fail to strand those runners with two outs, but he allowed three more runs to score. However, he was not entirely responsible the last two of those runs, as an error by Fisher pushed them home. Kevin Escorcia took over and finally recorded the third out of the inning. But, by that point, the Nationals had put up a six-spot to pull within one.
The Dash got a few insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. Nick Madrigal got another extra base hit (!), as he drove in the ninth Dash run with a triple that hit the wall. Then, after Zach Remillard laid down a good bunt, and Potomac’s first baseman made an error, the Dash led 11-7. For once, a bunt worked out.
It turned out that the Dash would need all of those insurance runs, as David Masters hit a three-run homer off of Hayden Howard in the top of the ninth. However, that home run would end all scoring for the night, and the Dash held on for the win.
With this high-scoring victory, the Dash match Charlotte and improve to 15-11 this season. This was their fourth consecutive victory, as the bats have been hot lately. The Dash will face the Nationals again tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. CST.
Davis Martin (SP): 5 IP, 6 R (6 ER), 9 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 7.52 ERA
Romy Gonzalez (LF): 3-for-5, 3B, .600 AVG, 1.600 OPS *MVP* (season debut)
Bryce Bush (RF): 2-for-3, 2B, 2 HBP, .213 AVG, .619 OPS
Ramon Beltre (2B): 1-for-3, 3B, BB, .236 AVG, .689 OPS
Ian Dawkins (CF): 0-for-4, BB, SB (9), .269 AVG, .706 OPS
Evan Skoug (C): 0-for-4, BB, .186 AVG, .636 OPS
The RiverDogs teed off on starter Davis Martin early on, as Josh Breaux hit a two-run homer in the first. The RiverDogs never looked back in this one. They added to their lead by putting a big, crooked number (four) on the board in the fourth to go up, 6-0. Breaux started that big inning with his second bomb of the game, and the RiverDogs would get four more hits and a sacrifice fly to drive in the other three.
The Intimidators got on the board when Ramon Beltre tripled in the fifth and came around to score on an Ian Dawkins groundout. In the sixth, the Intimidators got three hits and took advantage of two Charleston errors to plate two more and trim their deficit to three.
The Intimidators took advantage of a bizarre eighth inning to tie the game at six. They put up three runs that inning without getting a hit. “How many errors did Charleston make that inning?” you may ask. Zero. Yes, that’s right. No hits, no errors, three runs. The Intimidators drew three walks and were hit by a pitch three times to force in three runs. My goodness. That’s A-ball for ya.
However, even though the Intimidators roared back from six down to tie it 6-6, they ultimately came up short. Breaux, mystical Kannapolis kryptonite, came through again, as he hit a single to drive in the winning run in the ninth.
After this loss, the Intimidators record sits at 10-13. Kannapolis will face the RiverDogs again tomorrow, at 9:35 a.m. CST.