Starting Lineups 7/4/15: Intimidators at GreenJackets

Happy Fourth of July!

The team is down in Augusta, Ga., for their only series of the season against the GreenJackets (A, Giants). Baseball on the Fourth of July — or as the movie The Sandlot explained it: the one night of the year you could have a night game with a bright sky full of fireworks.  The GreenJackets will shoot off those fireworks after the game, and Kannapolis will try to provide their own starting at 7:05 p.m.

Here are the starting lineups for the Intimidators and GreenJackets.

Kannapolis Intimidators (3-6, 38-40)

#1 Eddy Alvarez DH
#10 Mason Robbins RF
#21 Louie Lechich CF
#23 Alexander Simon 1B
#14 Nick Basto LF
#20 Brett Austin C
#11 Ryan Leonards SS
#5 John Ziznewski 3B
#18 Ethan Gross 2B

#17 Yency Almonte RHP (5-4, 4.80 ERA, 12th start)

Augusta GreenJackets (6-3, 39-39)

#17 Johneshwy Fargas CF
#22 Jeremy Sy SS
#15 Aramis Garcia C
#25 Skyler Ewing 1B
#20 Jonah Arenado 3B
#28 Dylan Davis RF
#22 Matt Pare DH
#36 Andrew Cain LF
#11 Will Callaway 2B

#48 Matt Gage LHP (3-4, 5.03 ERA, 14th start)

Tune in to today’s game starting with the pregame show at 6:50 p.m. featuring our Friday chat with Intimidators manager Tommy Thompson.

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-JF
@BigTexJosh

Game Notes 7/4/15: Happy Fourth of July! When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a baseball team to hit the road for a nine-game road trip…

Kannapolis Intimidators (3-6) at Augusta GreenJackets (6-3)
Saturday, July 4, 2015 – 7:05 p.m.
Lake Olmstead Stadium – Augusta, Ga.
Game #79 of 139
RHP Yency Almonte (5-4, 4.80) vs. LHP Matt Gage (3-4, 5.03)

Today’s Preamble: When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a baseball team to hit the road for a nine-game road trip… the Intimidators (A, White Sox) open their longest road trip of the season with a Fourth of July game against the GreenJackets (A, Giants). Yency Almonte returns to the rubber for Kannapolis against Augusta’s left-hander Matt Gage. The Intimidators continue to face tough competition as the GreenJackets enter this series tied for first place in the Southern Division. The Intimidators face the GreenJackets in one series this season. Augusta won last year’s season-series, 3-4.

Star Spangled Starter: Yency Almonte, 21, makes his 12th start and 13th appearance of the season for Kannapolis. He is coming off a rough outing June 28 against Asheville, allowing five runs on six hits in 6.0 innings with a career-high-tying four walks and four strikeouts in a loss. He finished the first half by making a spot appearance for Winston-Salem on June 20 against Salem, working 7.0 innings in the continuation of a suspended game. He earned the win for the Dash, giving up two unearned runs on four hits while striking out three. In his last road SAL outing, Almonte spun 7.0 strong innings for a road win on June 13 at Delmarva. Almonte is 2-1 with a 7.91 ERA (17 ER/19.1 IP) in five games (four starts) on the road compared to 3-3 with a 3.32 ERA (15 ER/40.2 IP) in seven starts at home. He strung together four straight wins May 15-31, the longest winning streak by an Intimidators pitcher since 2010 when Cameron Bayne won six straight starts (July 27-August 25). Almonte put together consecutive scoreless starts May 15 and May 21, tossing 6.0 innings in a pair of home starts. Almonte was traded from the Angels to the White Sox in February as the PTBNL in the Gordon Beckham deal. Last season in Midwest League, Almonte had nine starts with the Burlington Bees (A, Angels), going 2-5 with a 4.93 ERA (23 ER/42 IP). He made his professional debut in 2012 with the AZL Angels. The Miami native was drafted by the Angels in the 17th round of the June 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

Benedict Augusta: GreenJackets starter Matt Gage, 22, makes his 14th start of the season and second career outing against a White Sox affiliate. He is coming off a no decision at Rome on June 28, giving up four runs (two earned) on six hits with six strikeouts in 5.1 innings. He struck out a career-high nine on June 6 against Lexington despite allowing career-highs six runs on nine hits in 5.0 innings. Gage went 0-2 with a 8.35 ERA (17 ER/18.1 IP) and 25 strikeouts in June. His last win came at Asheville on May 31 when he gave up three runs on eight hits while striking out seven. Gage made his professional debut with the AZL Giants in 2014, going 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA (7 ER/33.1 IP) and 32 strikeouts in 13 games (six starts). Last season, he worked 4.0 innings against the Rookie White Sox, allowing a run on one hits with three walks and six strikeouts in a no decision. The Giants drafted him in the 10th round of the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Siena.

What So Proudly We Hailed: Starter Luis Martinez spun six scoreless innings of two-hit ball to lead Kannapolis to a 3-0 shutout win over West Virginia in a rain-shortened affair. Martinez struck out two before turning the game over to reliever Jose Brito, who tossed a scoreless seventh before the skies opened up. Nick Basto hit a two-run double in the fourth inning that proved to be too much for the Power to overcome. Alex McRae took the loss, allowing three runs on three hits over 5.0 innings.

Bright Stars: Luis Martinez (3-7) made his second scoreless start of the year with six shutout innings against the Power on Friday, earning his third win of the year. Martinez last made a scoreless start on May 2 with a career-long 6.2 frames of shutout ball against Rome.

Freedom From Oppression, Opposing Offense: Kannapolis tossed its league-leading ninth shutout of the season on Friday, improving to 9-2 in shutout games. The Intimidators last shutout an opponent on June 20 at Greensboro in a 4-0 win. Kannapolis (9-2) also leads the league in winning percentage in shutout games at .819, boasting the fewest shutout losses of any SAL team. Augusta (8-8) is second in the league with eight shutout wins. The I’s also limited West Virginia to a season-low two hits by an opponent, besting the three hits allowed May 12 at Lexington, the second three-hit game of the year.

At The Twilights Last Gleaming The Intimidators and Power took just 1:42 to play Friday’s rain-shortened seven-inning game, the shortest game Kannapolis has played in 2014. The Intimidators took 1:48 to beat Delmarva on April 15 in Game 2 of a doubleheader, the team’s previously fastest game.

All-American Arm: Thad Lowry, the White Sox No. 14 Prospect according to MLB.com, spun 7.0 innings on Thursday and once again leads the South Atlantic League in innings pitched with 85.0. The right-hander also leads the circuit total batters faced (354) while ranking tied for third in wins (8). Lowry has highest win total by an Intimidators pitcher since 2011 when both LHP Spencer Arroyo and RHP Matt Heidenreich each won 10 games over the course of 27 starts with Kannapolis.

Uncle Sam put your name at the top of his list: Eddy Alvarez ranks among SAL leaders in multiple categories, ranking second in walks (57), tied for second in runs scored (52) and on-base percentage (.404), fourth in stolen bases (36), and tied for fourth in games played (74) and doubles (19). Alvarez, an Olympic silver medalist in the 5000-meter short-track speed-skating relay at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, did not play on Friday, making it just the fourth game he has taken off this season.

O Say Can You Hear: This season, all 140 games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his fifth season as the “Voice of the Intimidators,” and Nick Nollenberger, in his first year with the team.

Star Spangled Starting Lineups: Intimidators vs. Power

West Virginia Power (7-1, 44-33)

2 Cole TUCKER SS
16 Jordan LUPLOW 3B
23 Connor JOE 1B
13 Michael SUCHY RF
15 Pablo REYES 2B
25 Jerrick SUITER LF
10 Chase SIMPSON DH
17 Taylor GUSHUE C
18 Tito POLO CF

30 Alex McRae LHP (4-4, 4.06 ERA)

Kannapolis Intimidators (2-6, 37-40)

11 Ryan LEONARDS SS
10 Mason ROBBINS LF
21 Louie LECHICH CF
14 Nick BASTO 1B
5 John ZIZNEWSKI 3B
2 Michael DANNER RF
25 Louis SILVERIO DH
18 Ethan GROSS 2B
28 Ryan PLOURDE C

43 Luis MARTINEZ RHP (2-7, 6.52)

All-American Game Notes 7/3/15: Intimidators vs. Power

Kannapolis Intimidators (2-6, 37-40) vs. West Virginia Power (7-1, 44-33)
Friday, July 3, 2015 – 7:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #78 of 139
RHP Luis Martinez (2-7, 6.52) vs. RHP Alex McRae (4-4, 4.06)

K-logo stars and stripes2Today’s Preamble: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) wrap up this nine-game home stand with a chance to split a series with the first place Power (A, Pirates). Kannapolis took the series opener on Tuesday, but West Virginia rallied for a 2-1 series lead with wins on Wednesday and Thursday.

Bombs Bursting In Air: Following the game, fans are invited to stick around for All-American fireworks presented by the City of Kannapolis. Also on Saturday, Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System will host an All-American Community Celebration with Fourth of July Fireworks starting at 9:30 p.m.

Luis Martinez pitchingStar Spangled Starter: Luis Martinez, 20, makes his 13th start for Kannapolis and his second against the Power. He is coming off the shortest outing of his career, tossing 1.2 inning with a career-high-tying five walks against Asheville on June 27, giving up three unearned runs on two hits with two strikeouts in his Second Half debut. In his previous start against West Virginia, his lone appearance against a Pirates affiliate, he gave up four runs (three earned) over 4.2 innings in a home loss on April 21. Martinez has been much better at home than on the road, going 2-4 with a 4.99 ERA (17 ER/30.2 IP) in seven starts in Kannapolis compared to 0-3 with a 9.17 ERA (18 ER/17.2 IP) in five road stars. He is two starts removed from his second quality start of the year, allowing one run over 6.0 innings in a no decision June 17 against Hagerstown. The 6’6” righty had the best outing of his career May 2 against Rome in which he worked 6.2 innings, allowing zero runs, four hits while walking one and striking out five. Martinez was signed as a free agent on Dec. 16, 2011. In 2014 he combined to go 5-3 with a 2.93 ERA (24 ER/58.1 IP) and 62 strikeouts in 12 appearances (11 starts) between the Arizona League White  Sox and  Advanced Rookie Great  Falls.

Representing the Red Coats: West Virginia’s Alex McRae, 22, makes his 15th start of the season and second against the Intimidators. The right-hander is coming off a win against Greensboro on June 28, giving up three runs on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts over 6.0 innings, his first win in over a month. Seven of his 14 starts have been quality starts, allowing three ER or less in six IP or more. McRae took a loss in Kannapolis on April 22, giving up four runs on six hits over 3.0 innings in his lone outing against a White Sox affiliate. He struggled in April, going 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA in four starts but found a groove in May, going 2-1 with a 2.40 ERA in six starts. He finished June 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in five games (four starts). McCray was drafted by the Pirates in the 10th round out of the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft of the University of Jacksonville. That year with the Jamestown Jammers (Short Season, Pirates), he went 3-6 with a 6.21 ERA (46 ER/ 66.2 IP) and striking out 44.

The White Sox selected Thad Lowry in the fifth round of the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

The White Sox selected Thad Lowry in the fifth round of the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

About Last Night: Thad Lowry worked 7.0 innings, but the Intimidators couldn’t erase an early deficit, falling to the Power, 5-1, Thursday. Lowry took the loss (8-4), allowing three runs (two earned), walking two and striking out two. West Viginia’s Stephen Tarpley (4-2) pitched 7.0 innings, allowing one run on three hits while walking two and fanning five in the win. In the second, the Power took a 1-0 lead when Jerrick Suiter doubled and scored on an Elvis Escobar single. West Virginia added another run in the fourth, making it 2-0, when Cole Tucker scored on a sacrifice fly. Taylor Gushue singled on a groundball to left field, scoring Suiter for a 3-0 lead in the fifth. The Intimidators scored their only run in the sixth inning, cutting the Power lead to 3-1. After Eddy Alvarez singled and stole second and third, Louie Lechich knocked in Alvarez on an infield single. The Power put the game away 5-1 when Suchy lined a two-run home run over the left-field fence in the eighth. Matt Cooper worked the final two innings, allowing two runs on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts.

All-American Arm: Thad Lowry, the White Sox No. 14 Prospect according to MLB.com, spun 7.0 innings on Thursday and once again leads the South Atlantic League in innings pitched with 85.0. The right-hander also leads the circuit in at-bats against (320) and total batters faced (354) while ranking tied for third in wins (8). Lowry has highest win total by an Intimidators pitcher since 2011 when both LHP Spencer Arroyo and RHP Matt Heidenreich each won 10 games over the course of 27 starts with Kannapolis.

Patriotic Promotion: The Intimidators have promoted first baseman Alexander Simon directly to Triple-A Charlotte today to replace former Intimidator Chris Curley, who has been placed on the Charlotte Knights’ Disabled List. The Intimidators roster now sits at 24 players. Simon, 22, played 23 games with Kannapolis after the White Sox acquired him from the Tampa Bay Rays in late May for cash.  He hit .293 (27-92) with four doubles, two triples, a home run, 13 RBI, and 12 runs scored with the Intimidators after opening this season with the Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs in the Florida State League.

It's Guaranteed Win Night! If the Intimidators don't win on Friday, July 3, every fan in attendance will receive a ticket to a future game!

It’s Guaranteed Win Night! If the Intimidators don’t win on Friday, July 3, every fan in attendance will receive a ticket to a future game!

Guaranteed Win Night: The Intimidators have guaranteed a win on Friday, July 3.  If Kannapolis does not win, every fan in attendance will receive a ticket to a future game.

One If By Land: Eddy Alvarez continues to pace the Intimidators ground game, stealing two bases Thursday to bring his team-leading total to 36 stolen bases this season. Alvarez, an Olympic silver medalist in the 5000-meter short-track speed-skating relay at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, is tied for the league-lead in games played (74), ranks second in walks (57) and runs scored (52), ranks third in on-base percentage (.404), and is tied for fourth in doubles (19). Alvarez is 10-for-10 stealing third base this season.

Two If By Suchy: West Virginia’s Michael Suchy has hit two home runs in his last two games in Kannapolis. The Power outfielder is batting .455 (5-11) with eight RBI this series and is batting .480 (12-25) through eight games in the Second Half.

Broadcast Information: This season, all 140 games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his fifth season as the “Voice of the Intimidators,” and Nick Nollenberger, in his first year with the team.

Game Notes 7/2/15: Lowry back to the mound, Robbins rockin’ at the plate, and cheaper by the dozen

Kannapolis Intimidators (2-5, 37-39) vs. West Virginia Power (6-1, 43-33)
Thursday, July 2, 2015 – 7:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #77 of 139
RHP Thad Lowry (8-3, 4.04) vs. LHP Stephen Tarpley (3-2, 2.83)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) send ace Thad Lowry to the mound against the first place Power (A, Pirates) in Game 3 of this 4-game series on Thursday. Lowry, who leads Kannapolis with eight wins, already has the highest win total of any Intimidators arm since the 2011 season. He will duel West Virginia’s left-hander Stephen Tarpley. Kannapolis and West Virginia are deadlocked in this series, 1-1, as well on the season-series, 4-4, after the Power ran away with Wednesday’s game, 11-4. West Virginia leads the South Atlantic League Northern Division Second Half Standings while the Intimidators sit 4.0 games back in sixth place.

Intimidating Starter: Thad Lowry, 20, will try to get back on the winning track in his 14th start of the season and second against West Virginia. Prior to a loss to Asheville in his Second Half debut on June 26, Lowry had won four straight starts, matching the longest streak by an Intimidator this season (Yency Almonte). He gave up a career-high 11 hits over 5.2 innings in his last outing, taking his first loss since May 20 at Asheville. Earlier this season against the Power, he earned a win on May 8 with 6.0 strong innings at Appalachian Power Park. In two career starts against West Virginia, Lowry is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA (2 ER/11 IP), including a five-inning no-hitter on June 3, 2014 – the first individual gem by an Intimidator since Brian Miller on June 10, 2003. Lowry, the White Sox No. 14 Prospect according to MLB.com, has highest by an Intimidators arm since 2011 when both Spencer Arroyo and Matt Heidenreich each won 10 games. His eight First Half wins are the most in a half since Andre Rienzo won eight games in the second half of the 2010 season, finishing the year 8-4. This year, he has allowed three earned runs or less in 11 of his 13 starts. Earlier this season, he worked a career-long 8.1 innings on May 14, becoming the first Intimidators starting pitcher to work into the ninth inning since Arroyo in 2011. The Texan went 4-6 with a 4.76 ERA (46 ER/87.0 IP) in 17 starts with Kannapolis last season, including throwing an individual no-hitter on June 3, 2014, in a 5-inning rain-shortened game at West Virginia. He made his professional debut in 2013 with Bristol, going 3-5 with a 5.48 ERA (27 ER/44.1 IP) in 15 games (seven starts). The White Sox slected Lowry in the fifth round of the June 2013 draft.

Power Pitcher: Stephen Tarpley, 22, makes his eighth start of the year and first career outing against a White Sox affiliate. He is coming off a quality start in a no decision on June 27 against Greensboro, allowing a run on five hits over 6.0 innings. He began his season with wins in each of his first three starts, going 3-0 with a 1.20 ERA, but the Los Angeles native is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA (10 ER/20 IP) in his last four starts. The Orioles drafted Tarpley in the third round of the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, and he made his professional debut that year with the GCL Orioles, going 0-1 with a 2.14 ERA in seven starts. In 2014 with Short-Season Aberdeen, he went 3-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 13 games (12 starts). This is his first season in the Pirates organization. Pittsburgh acquired him in January, along with a PTBNL, from Baltimore in exchange for big league outfielder Travis Snider.

About Last Night: West Virginia rolled to an 11-4 win over Kannapolis on Wednesday as Kannapolis walked a season-high 12 batters, six of which crossed the plate for the Power. Austin Coley (10-4) earned his SAL-leading 10th win, giving up two runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 5.0 innings. West Virginia put up an early run when Cole Tucker led off the game with a base hit, and Jerrick Suiter drove him in with a two-out single for a 1-0 Power lead after the first inning.  Elvis Escobar doubled the lead with an RBI-triple in the second, and Chase Simpson added to the Power’s advantage with a two-run home run (7) in the third for a 4-0 lead. Nick Basto put Kannapolis on the board with a two-run home run (3) to left-center field with no outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, cutting the Power lead to 5-2, but the Intimidators would not get closer than that again. Yelmison Peralta (2-7) took the loss, giving up five runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts in 4.0 innings of work.  Jacob Morris tossed a scoreless fifth before giving up a three-run home run to Michael Suchy in the sixth, giving the Power an 8-2 lead.  Morris walked four batters over 1 and 2/3 innings of relief. Connor Walsh also walked four while allowing three runs in 1 and 1/3 relief innings.

Rockin’ Robbins: Mason Robbins shined at the plate on Wednesday, going 4-for-5 with two RBI and a double for Kannapolis, his second four-hit game of this season and fourth of his career.  Robbins previously connected on four hits on June 13 at Delmarva. Wednesday was the ninth 4-hit game by an Intimidator in 2015, and Robbins joined Alexander Simon as the only Intimidators with multiple 4-hit games this season. The last time Kannapolis boasted a 5-hit performance was April 12, 2012, when Keenyn Walker went 5-5 at Lexington.

Cheaper By The Dozen: Kannapolis pitchers combined to walk a season-high 12 batters on Wednesday, just the second double-digit walk game by Intimidators arms this season. Kannapolis walked 10 batters on May 19 in a loss at Asheville. The dozen walks on Wednesday also equaled the most in a game in the SAL this season, matching the 12 walks issued by Rome against Hickory. It was the most walks in a game by Intimidators arms since May 22, 2010, when the Intimidators issued 13 walks at Asheville.

League Leaders: Thad Lowry enters tonight’s start tied for third in the league with eight wins and ranks fifth in the league with 78.0 innings pitched. He needs just five frames on the mound to pass new league-leader Austin Coley of West Virginia, who currently sits atop the Sally with 82.2 innings of work in 2015. Shortstop Eddy Alvarez walked again on Wednesday and now has 57 walks, second-most in the SAL. Alvarez also ranks second in on-base percentage (.405), tied for second in games played (73) and runs scored (51), and tied for third in both stolen bases (34) and doubles (19). Following Wednesday’s start, Yelmison Peralta ranks second in the league with 42 walks this season while also pacing the circuit in runs (58) and earned runs (48) allowed.

Roster Move: Kannapolis received outfielder Louis Silverio from Great Falls on Wednesday and placed Hunter Jones on the DL in a corresponding move.

Broadcast Information: This season, all 140 games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his fifth season as the “Voice of the Intimidators,” and Nick Nollenberger, in his first year with the team.

Starting lineups 7/1/15: Intimidators vs. West Virginia Power

Time for Game 2 of this series. I’m excited to be back on the air to call a full game after we were unable to get on the air for the first inning and a half.  In minor league baseball, technical difficulties are wide-ranging.  Anything from a broadcaster forgetting to put his equipment on the bus from on city to the next to having your Public Address announcer show up a half-hour later, so you’ve got to slide over and cover that role.

On Tuesday, it was the latter.  The result was fine, I suppose.  We got on the air before the game was too far underway, and the fans in the ballpark were taken care of.  And at the end of the day, the guys shook hands across the diamond, which is always how I like to end things.

Here are today’s lineups:

West Virginia Power (5-1, 42-33)

#2 Cole TUCKER SS
#3 Elvis ESCOBAR LF
#16 Jordan LUPLOW 3B
#13 Michael SUCHY DH
#25 Jerrick SUITER RF
#18 Tito POLO CF
#10 Chase SIMPSON 1B
#44 Francisco DIAZ C
#14 Tyler FILLIBEN SS

#28 Austin COLEY RHP (9-4, 3.94 ERA, 15th start)

Kannapolis Intimidators (2-4, 37-38)

#1 Eddy ALVAREZ SS
#10 Mason ROBBINS DH
#21 Louie LECHICH CF
#23 Alexander SIMON 1B
#20 Brett AUSTIN C
#14 Nick BASTO LF
#11 Ryan LEONARDS 2B
#5 John ZIZNEWSKI 3B
#25 Louis SILVERIO RF

#33 Yelmison PERALTA (2-6, 6.49 ERA, 14th start)

Tune in to today’s game starting with the pregame show at 6:50 p.m.

PC/Droid: http://bit.ly/16WINds
iOS: http://bit.ly/ZqLOx9
TuneIn: http://bit.ly/1rouCcl

-JF
@BigTexJosh

Game Notes 7/1/15: Happy Canada Day, but actually there are no Canadians in this game. MURICA!

Kannapolis Intimidators (2-4, 37-38) vs. West Virginia Power (5-1, 42-33)
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 – 7:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #76 of 139
RHP Yelmison Peralta (2-6, 6.49) vs. RHP Austin Coley (9-4, 3.94)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) play for a second straight win over the first place Power (A, Pirates) as Yelmison Peralta toes the rubber for his second start since the All-Star Break. He will face South Atlantic League wins leader Austin Coley, who looks to build on past success against Kannapolis. The Intimidators scored a 7-3 win in Tuesday’s series opener, putting an end to the Power’s five-game winning streak while Kannapolis snapped its season-long four-game losing skid. The I’s lead the season-series over West Virginia, 4-3.

Intimidating Starter: Yelmison Peralta, 20, makes his team-leading 14th start of the season, which ties for fourth-most in the league, and his second against the Power. The right-hander leads the SAL in runs allowed (53) and is tied for the league-lead in earned runs allowed (43) while ranking tied for second in walks (39). He is coming off a quality start in a no decision on June 25 against Asheville, allowing four runs (three earned) in 6.0 innings, striking out four and walking two. He finished June 0-2 with a 3.54 ERA (8 ER/20.1 IP) in four starts, his lowest ERA in any month so far this year. In his first start against West Virginia, he gave up two runs on five hits with five walks and five strikeouts in 5.0 innings in a no decision on May 7. The native of Santiago, Dominican Republic, combined to go 4­3 with a 3.57 ERA (18 ER/45.1 IP) and 33 strikeouts in 15 games (three starts) between the Arizona Rookie League White Sox and Advanced Rookie Great Falls in 2014. He made his domestic debut in 2013 with Advanced Rookie Bristol, where he went 0-3 with a 7.88 ERA in 10 games. The White Sox signed him as a free agent on May 24, 2012.

Power Pitcher: Austin Coley, 22, makes his 15th start of the season and second against Kannapolis. He beat the Intimidators on May 6 at Appalachian Power Park, striking out eight batters over 6.0 innings while limiting the I’s to a run on four hits. The eight strikeouts is the second-most by any pitcher against Kannapolis in 2015. Coley has earned wins in his last three decisions, including his most recent start on June 26, working around five runs on eight hits over 6.0 innings against Greensboro. Coley is tied with Hickory’s Ariel Jurado for the league-lead in wins (9), ranks tied for second in home runs allowed (9), and is fifth in innings pitched (77.2). He is 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA (16 ER/26.2 IP) in five road starts compared to 7-1 with a 3.18 ERA (18 ER/51 IP) in nine home outings. The Pirates selected Coley in the eighth round of the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Belmont. He made his professional debut with the Short-Season Jamestown Jammers last season, going 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA (12 ER/20.2 IP) in eight games (eight starts).

About Last Night: Spencer Adams spun 7.0 strong innings as Kannapolis beat the Power, 7-3, on Tuesday. The I’s snapped its four-game losing streak while putting an end to the Power’s five-gave winning streak. Adams (4-4) matched his career-long outing while limiting West Virginia to two runs on seven hits with a walk and four strikeouts on his way to his second straight win.  At the plate, Brett Austin finished 3-for-4 with a home run and a career-high-tying three RBI.  David Trexler struck out three batters in the eighth inning, and Matt Cooper spun a scoreless ninth to preserve the victory. With the game tied 1-1, West Virginia reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth.  Tito Polo legged out an infield single with two outs and scored on batter later on Taylor Gushue’s bloop-single to shallow center field. Ryan Leonards threw home, but Polo slid under the tag of catcher Brett Austin for the go-ahead run, 2-1. Austin got his revenge by leading off the bottom of the fifth with a home run (3) to tie the game, 2-2.  Leonards singled with one out, and John Ziznewski followed with double off the right-field wall to score Leonards from first.  Ziznewski later scored on an Eddy Alvarez sac-fly for a 4-2 lead.  Austin’s sixth-inning RBI-single chased Power starter Colten Brewer (2-5) from the game.  Brewer spun 5 and 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking two, while giving up five runs in a losing effort.  In the eighth, Nick Basto hit an RBI-double, and Austin drove him in with a base hit off Dovydas Neverauskas.

Spencer’s Strong Start: One night after Zach Thompson matched his career-long outing with 6.0 innings on the mound Monday, Spencer Adams equaled the longest start of his career with 7.0 innings of work to earn a win over West Virginia on Tuesday. Adams previously worked 7.0 innings on May 27 against Lexington. He gave up two runs on seven hits for his third quality start of the season. Adams now ranks second among SAL starting pitchers in lowest walks/9 IP ratio at 1.39 (10 BB-IBB/64.2 IP) behind only tonight’s starter for the Power Austin Coley at 1.27 (11 BB-I BB/77.2 IP).

Austin’s Powers: Catcher Brett Austin smashed the third home run of his career and second against the West Virginia Power on Tuesday. He finished the game 3-4 with a career-high-tying three RBI. Austin’s previous home run came June 3 at Greenville, and his first career home run came at Appalachian Power Park May 8. The SAL All-Star enjoyed the fourth 3-RBI game of his career and first since June 25 against Asheville.

Big Bat from the Big Apple: John Ziznewski went 2-3 with an RBI-double on Tuesday, upping his average to .321 (17-53) in 17 games with Kannapolis. The Staten Island native hit .378 (14-37) in 11 games in June. The White Sox selected him in the eighth round of the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft. Ziznewski earned 2014 Northeast Conference Player of the Year at Long Island University (Brooklyn, N.Y.).

Olympian On-Base: Eddy Alvarez drew another walk Tuesday and continues to rank second in the SAL with 56 walks in 2015. An Olympic Silver Medalist in the 5000-meter relay in short-track speed-skating at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Alvarez is also second in the league in on-base percentage (.404), tied for second in runs scored (51) and games played (72), tied for third in stolen bases (34), and tied for eighth in doubles (18). The shortstop was one of two Intimidators to play in the 56th Annual SAL All-Star Game a week ago in Asheville. Alvarez, teammate Brett Austin, and the Northern Division beat the Southern Division, 7-5.

Monster Month: Kannapolis hit .270 in June, the fourth-highest team average in the SAL behind Lexington (.291), Asheville (.275), and Charleston (.271). In June, Mason Robbins leads qualifying Intimidators with a .365 average (31-85), and Ryan Leonards is batting .347 (25-72).

Broadcast Information: This season, all 140 games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his fifth season as the “Voice of the Intimidators,” and Nick Nollenberger, in his first year with the team.

Starting lineups 6/30/15: Intimidators vs. Power

West Virginia Power (5-0, 42-32)

#3 Elvis ESCOBAR LF
#16 Jordan LUPLOW 3B
#23 Connor JOE 1B
#13 Michael SUCHY RF
#15 Pablo REYES 2B
#10 Chase SIMPSON DH
#18 Tito POLO CF
#17 Taylor GUSHUE C
#14 Tyler FILLIBEN SS

#48 Colten BREWER RHP (2-4, 5.13 ERA, 10th start)

Kannapolis Intimidators (1-4, 36-38)

#1 Eddy ALVAREZ SS
#9 Hunter JONES CF
#21 Louie LECHICH RF
#23 Alexander SIMON DH
#14 Nick BASTO 1B
#20 Brett AUSTIN C
#10 Mason ROBBINS LF
#11 Ryan LEONARDS 2B
#5 John ZIZNEWSKI 3B

#12 Spencer ADAMS RHP (3-4, 4.06 ERA, 13th start)

Tune in to today’s game starting with the pregame show at 6:50 p.m.

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-JF
@BigTexJosh

Game Notes 6/30/15: The Power comes to town as the I’s wrap up the month of June

Kannapolis Intimidators (1-4, 36-38) vs. West Virginia Power (5-0, 42-32)
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 – 7:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #75 of 139
RHP Spencer Adams (3-4, 4.06) vs. RHP Colten Brewer (2-4, 5.13)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) open a four-game home stand against the first place Power (A, Pirates) on Tuesday. The season-series is deadlocked, 3-3, with both teams holding serve in their home ballparks, 2-1, in the First Half. Kannapolis sends White Sox No. 3 Prospect Spencer Adams to the mound against West Virginia’s Colten Brewer in the series opener. Kannapolis is coming off a home series loss to Asheville, dropping its last four games, while West Virginia swept a home series against Greensboro to open the Second Half with the SAL’s best record, 5-0.

Intimidating Starter: Spencer Adams, 20, makes his 13th start of the season and second against the Power. He earned a win on the final day of the First Half, working around three runs on seven hits over 5.0 innings to beat Greensboro. In June, Adams is 2-1 with a 4.22 ERA (10 ER/21.1 IP) in four starts. The right-hander enjoyed a strong month of May, going 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA (7 ER/23.0 IP), including a hard-luck loss at West Virginia on May 6 when he gave up just two runs on three hits over 6.0 innings. The Georgia native spun a career-long 7.0 innings of work against Lexington May 27, giving up just one run on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts in a no decision. The second round pick (44th overall) from the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft was named Best Athlete in the Sox 2014 draft class by Baseball America. He made his professional debut in 2014 with the AZL White Sox, going 3-3 with a 3.67 ERA (17 ER/41.2 IP) in 10 games (nine starts). He struck out 59 batters while walking just four in the Arizona League, including a career-high nine strikeouts in three different starts. The Cleveland, Ga., native graduated from White County High School.

Power Pitcher: Colten Brewer, 22, makes his 10th start of the season and first career start against a White Sox affiliate in his career. He opened the second half with a home win over Greensboro on June 25, striking out nine batters over 6.0 innings while giving up a run on three hits with two walks. The right-hander struck out a career-high 11 batters over 6.0 scoreless innings against Greensboro on June 1 in his other win of 2015. He joined the Power in early May and went 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in his first four starts before settling down to go 2-2 with a 4.08 ERA in five starts in June. The Pirates originally drafted Brewer in the fourth round of the June 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of High School, and he made his professional debut in 2012 with the GCL Pirate, going 1-3 with a 3.24 ERA in eight games (six starts). In 2013, he went 2-0 with a 3.29 ERA in three starts before missing the rest of the year and all of 2014 with various back and leg injuries.

About Last Night: Asheville’s Helmis Rodriguez shutout Kannapolis through seven innings as the Tourists won a fourth straight game, 6-1, on Monday.  Rodriguez (6-3) earned the win, scattering eight hits and walking two batters. Asheville took advantage of a Kannapolis error while putting up four runs in the third inning, but the Tourists paid the price with two of their players leaving the game with injuries.  Wes Rogers was hit by a pitch in the helmet, and Forrest Wall appeared to injure his shoulder diving back to second base on a pickoff.  Luis Jean capped the four-run frame with an RBI-triple, scoring Drew Weeks from first base.  The Tourists added two runs in the seventh off Brad Salgado, who gave up a home run to Dom Nunez, his second of the series and of the season. Kannapolis drew four straight walks — all with two outs — in the bottom of the eighth to get on the board.  Jared McCrummen took over following the four free passes by Blake Shouse and struck out Mason Robbins to end the walk-a-thon.  McCrummen tossed a scoreless ninth for the save (4).

Zach Attack: Intimidators starter Zach Thompson matched his career-long outing on Monday, despite taking a loss against Asheville. The 6’7” right-hander tossed 6.0 innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout. Thompson’s previous career 6.0-inning outing came August 2, 2014, with the Advanced Rookie Great Falls Voyagers against Billings.

Double Trouble: Kannapolis hit into a season-high four double plays, the first time the Intimidators hit into four double plays since April 13, 2014, at Greenville. It’s the just third time Kannapolis has hit into four twin-killings since June of 2012. Previously this year, the I’s hit into three double plays four times.

Connect Four: The Intimidators lost a fourth straight game on Monday, matching the team’s longest losing skid of 2015. After Kannapolis won its first game of the Second Half with a dramatic walk-off win over the Tourists, Asheville took the next four games. The Intimidators also dropped four straight May 3-7, with the third and fourth games of that slide coming at West Virginia. Kannapolis has not lost five in a row since a six-game skid from August 17-23, 2014.

Olympian On-Base: Eddy Alvarez ranks second in the SAL with 55 walks this season. An Olympic Silver Medalist in the 5000-meter relay in short-track speed-skating at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Alvarez is also tied for second in the league in games played (71), third in the league in runs scored (50) and on-base percentage (.406), fourth in stolen bases (32), and tied for seventh in doubles (18). The shortstop was one of two Intimidators to play in the 56th Annual SAL All-Star Game a week ago in Asheville. Alvarez, teammate Brett Austin, and the Northern Division beat the Southern Division, 7-5.

Empire State of Mind: John Ziznewski pushed his average to .300 (15-50) on Monday with a 1-3 night at the plate, also driving in a run and drawing a walk. The Staten Island native matched his career-high with two RBI on Sunday, the second time in his career he has driven in multiple runs in a game. Ziznewski earned 2014 Northeast Conference Player of the Year at Long Island University (Brooklyn, N.Y.).

Monster Month: Kannapolis is batting .270 (222-822) in June entering the final game of the month, the third-highest team average in the SAL behind Lexington (.291) and Asheville (.274). In June, Mason Robbins leads qualifying Intimidators with a .365 average (31-85), and Ryan Leonards is batting .347 (25-72).

Broadcast Information: This season, all 140 games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his fifth season as the “Voice of the Intimidators,” and Nick Nollenberger, in his first year with the team.

Game Notes 6/29/15: Lechich’s long bomb, Alvarez on base, and Thompson to the mound

Kannapolis Intimidators (1-3, 36-37) vs. Asheville Tourists (3-1, 35-39)
Monday, June 29, 2015 – 7:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #74 of 139
RHP Zach Thompson (2-1, 2.57) vs. LHP Helmis Rodriguez (5-3, 3.33)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) are trying to snap their longest home losing skid of 2015 in today’s series finale against the Tourists (A, Rockies). Asheville has won three straight against Kannapolis after the Intimidators took the series opener in dramatic fashion on Thursday night. The Tourists lead the season-series over the Intimidators, 6-1. Today Zach Thompson takes the mound for Kannapolis against Asheville’s Helmis Rodriguez, the Southern Division’s starting pitcher in the 56th Annual SAL All-Star Game last week in Asheville.

Intimidating Starter: Zach Thompson, 21, makes his fourth start of the season and second against a Rockies affiliate. He is coming off 5.0 scoreless innings at Greensboro on June 20 in his final outing of the First Half, earning his second straight win while limiting the Hoppers to three hits. The 6’7”, 215-pound right-hander joined Kannapolis on June 3 from Extended Spring Training and made his season debut on June 7 against the Shorebirds in Kannapolis, taking a loss. The tall Texan earned a win in his second start, beating Delmarva on the road. He made his professional debut in 2014 with Advanced Rookie Great Falls, going 2-3 with a 3.27 ERA (16 ER/44.0 IP) in 11 games (11 starts). Last season against Grand Junction (Advanced Rookie, Rockies), he allowed six runs (three earned) over 5.0 innings in a loss. The White Sox selected him in the fifth round of the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of UT-Arlington. Thompson graduated from Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington, Texas. His brother, Matt Thompson, pitched in the Texas Rangers organization fro 2008-12.

Asheville’s Arm: Helmis Rodriguez, 21, makes his 15th start of the season and first against Kannapolis. He tossed a scoreless first inning in last week’s SAL All-Star Game, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out one. He struggled in his final outing of the first half, walking a career-high seven batters in a no decision at Charleston on June 21. Rodriguez is 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA (6 ER/22.1 IP) in four starts in June, limiting opposing hitters to a .215 average this month. His twin brother, Herlis Rodriguez, is an outfielder for the Lakewood BlueClaws. Helmis Rodriguez is in his first year of full-season after spending 2013 with Advanced Rookie Grand Junction and 2014 with Short-Season Tri-City. In two relief appearances against Great Falls in 2013, he went 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA (4 ER/5.1 IP).

About Last Night: Asheville scored five runs in the third inning en route to a 6-4 win over Kannapolis to secure a series win on Sunday evening. Shane Hoelscher paced the Tourists while going 2-5 with a game-high three RBI, a double, and a run scored, and Drew Weeks hit a two-run home run during the Tourists big inning. John Ziznewski led the Intimidators at the plate, going 2-3 with two RBI. Yency Almonte (5-4) took the loss, giving up five runs on six hits over 6.0 innings while walking four and striking out four. Sam Howard (3-8) spun 6.0 innings for the win, his second over Kannapolis, and closer Josh Michalec secured his league-leading 15th save.

Olympian On-Base: Eddy Alvarez snapped an 0-for-his-last-11 skid with a first-inning single on Sunday, finishing the game, 2-4 with a double and a walk. The Olympic silver medalist ranks second in the league in walks (55), third in runs scored (50) and on-base percentage (.409), tied for third in games played (7), and fourth in stolen bases (32).

Empire State of Mind: John Ziznewski matched his career-high with two RBI on Sunday, the second time in his career he has driven in multiple runs in a game. The corner infielder finished the game 2-3 with two RBI, two doubles, and a run scored while also drawing a walk. Ziznewski’s previous two-RBI game came August 6, 2014, with Great Falls against the Orem Owlz. Sunday is also the second time in his career in which the 2014 Northeast Conference Player of the Year collected two doubles in a game, equaling his performance on June 26, 2014, at Helena. The White Sox selected Ziznewski in the eighth round of the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Long Island University (Brooklyn, N.Y.).

Louie Lechich hit his fourth home run of the season on Sunday.

Louie Lechich hit his fourth home run of the season on Sunday.

Louie Louie: Outfielder Louie Lechich smashed his fourth home run of the season on Sunday, his first since June 5 against Delmarva. The former San Diego Torero lifted a Sam Howard offering over the right field wall in the third inning for his second home run at home this season. Earlier in 2015, Lechich hit home runs in consecutive games May 6-7 at West Virginia. The White Sox selected him in the sixth round of the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of USD.

Big Bad Thad: Despite taking the loss Friday, Intimidators starter Thad Lowry ranks second the South Atlantic League in innings pitched (78.0) and remains ranked third in wins (8). Lowry is 8-3 with a 4.04 ERA in 13 games (13 starts), and he also leads the SAL in total batters faced (325) while ranking tied for first with West Virginia’s Austin Coley in at-bats against (296). The White Sox selected Lowry in the fifth round of the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Brito Eating Innings: Reliever Jose Brito tossed 5 and 1/3 innings out of the pen on Saturday, the longest relief outing by an Intimidator this season, surpassing a 4.0-inning outing by Kelvis Valerio on June 4 against Delmarva. Brito nearly equaled the longest outing of his career with his relief effort. On August 11, 2010, Brito tossed a career-long 6.0 innings with the DSL White Sox, coincidentally also against a Colorado affiliate, the DSL Rockies.

Broadcast Information: This season, all 140 games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his fifth season as the “Voice of the Intimidators,” and Nick Nollenberger, in his first year with the team.

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