Starting lineups 4/20/15: Power vs. Intimidators

wvLooks like the worst of the storm has passed us.  Now we just have to dump all the water off the tarp and see what we have to deal with.  My guess would be we start in a delay.  Frankly, I think we’d be much better off playing tonight, even with a later start than a doubleheader tomorrow.  Here’s why:

A doubleheader on Tuesday, even starting at 5:05 p.m. would mean the Intimidators and Power would play three games in less than 24 hours.  Remember, there is an Education Day game on Wednesday at 10:05 a.m. So we wait around a little tonight (probably won’t be that long anyway — said the optimist in me).  Either way, if I was a fan, I’d come out to the ballpark tonight because, hey, it’s Belly Buster Monday (presented by BWW) and you get all-you-can-eat for only $10.  If the game isn’t played, then you get to come back some other night with a rain check ticket.

When we do play (hopefully at 7:05 p.m. but realistically more like 7:30/8pm), here are the line ups:

Photo on 4-20-15 at 6.16 PMKannapolis Intimidators (4-6)

#1 Eddy Alvarez SS
#29 Michael Suiter LF
#9 Christian Stringer 2B
#11 Chris Curley 1B
#28 Zach Fish DH
#20 Brett Austin C
#21 Louie Lechich RF
#5 Toby Thomas 3B
#37 James Baldwin CF

#35 Luis Martinez RHP (0-0, 2.25 ERA)

West Virginia Power (6-3)

#3 Elvis Escobar CF
#15 Pablo Reyes 2B
#16 Josh Luplow 3B
#25 Jerrick Suiter DH
#18 Tito Polo LF
#10 Chase Simpson 1B
#6 Trace Tam Sing SS
#44 Francisco Diaz C
#5 Jeff Roy RF

#32 John Sever LHP (1-0, 0.00)

I’m back on the call tonight starting at 6:50 p.m. for the pregame show.  As a reminder, I’m calling all the home weekday games and all the road games.  It’s either part of the new cruelty (for fans of “LA Story”) or something I requested as a way to 1. be allowed to travel with the team, and 2. improve our in-game entertainment by serving as on-field host.  If you doubt my abilities in that realm, that’s fine, but youtube would argue with you.

Anyway, here are tonight’s radio links:
TuneIn Radio
Flash/PC/Droid
iPhone/iPad

– JF
@BigTexJosh

Guerrero named SAL Pitcher of the Week

Jordan Guerrero pitchingWord came down earlier today from the South Atlantic League that Intimidators’ Opening Day starter Jordan Guerrero has been named the SAL Pitcher of the Week for April 9-19.  The left-hander has been dominant for Kannapolis in two starts, including an 11-strikeout performance on April 15 at Delmarva.  His previous career-high was six strikeouts, a figure he matched in his season debut at Lakewood on April 9.

It’s awesome to see the progress Guerrero has made since last season — not that he wasn’t good, but he just wasn’t healthy.  Guerrero missed a lot of 2013 after being selected by the White Sox in the June 2012 First-Year Player Draft.  After building up arm strength in the bullpen last season, he began starting every 10 days in a piggyback rotation with Andre Wheeler toward the end of the year.

Guerrero joins Wheeler as Intimidators to earn SAL Pitcher of the Week honors.  In fact, 2014 was a banner year for Kannapolis pitchers, with three players earning Pitcher of the Week, the most since the award was given to a Kannapolis arm four times in 2005.

Recent Intimidators Pitchers of the Week:

Andre Wheeler (Aug. 11-18)
Thad Lowry (June 2-9, 2014)
Tyler Danish
 (April 28-May 4, 2014)
Blair Walters (May 14-21, 2012)
Paul Burnside (May 31-June 6, 2011)
Jake Petricka (April 7-18, 2011)
Andre Rienzo (July 12-19, 2010)
Matt Wickswat (May 3-10, 2010)
Stephen Sauer (May 18-25, 2009)
Dan Hudson (April 27-May 4, 2009)
Gregory Infante (April 8-20, 2009)
Johnnie Lowe (April 28-May 5, 2008)
Michael Moat (July 11-17, 2005)
Gio Gonzalez (May 30-June 5, 2005)
Jack Egbert (May 9-15, 2005)
Gio Gonzalez (April 7-17, 2005)

And recent Intimidators Player of the Week:

Trey Michalczewski (June 2-9)
Jacob May
 (August 19-26, 2013)
Tyler Kuhn (June 1-8, 2009)
Jon Gilmore (May 18-25, 2009)
Mark Fleisher (June 23-30, 2008)
John Shelby (August 13-20, 2007)
Joshua Hansen (April 18-24, 2005)

Starting Lineups 4/15/15 Game 2: Now let’s finish the party, get on the bus, and go home

Boy, that was a fun first game. Such excitement. Talk about drama.  Both teams.  All out.  And, well, um, okay….

I wrote everything you’re about to read before the first game even started.  And if both managers said “no changes” for the lineups, then I clicked publish.  If they hand a change or two, I made it.  But that’s IT!

This has been a fun trip to Delmarva.  I’d never been to their ballpark before, and for a 20-year-old ballpark, it’s great.  For Single-A ball, this is about a steady a facility as you could really ask for.  Sure, the palaces masquerading as Sally League ballparks in Lakewood and Greensboro are impressive, but this place is not far behind at all.  Plenty of different seating and ticketing options.  Great view from the press box. Clubhouses were just redone.  They have two cages underneath the bleachers — one for the home and visiting team.  A huge executive club lounge on the top level and a few suites.  Seriously, anything else beyond this, and you’re just showing off.

View from my seat in the press box in Delmarva.

View from my seat in the press box in Delmarva.

Okay, you are here for the Game 2 lineups.  Without further ado…

Kannapolis Intimidators

#1 Eddy Alvarez SS
#10 Mason Robbins RF
#9 Christian Stringer 2B
#11 Chris Curley DH
#21 Louie Lechich CF
#20 Brett Austin C
#25 Nolan Earley LF
#5 Toby Thomas 3B
#8 T.J. Williams 1B

#23 Jordan Guerrero LHP (0-0, 0.00)

On Opening Night in Lakewood, Guerrero tossed 6.0 scoreless innings, matching his career-long outing, and struck out six batters, also equaling his career-high. He was solid out of the Intimidators pen last season before moving into a piggy-back start every-other outing with Andre Wheeler toward the end of 2014.  In his two games against Delmarva, he worked a total of 4.0 relief innings and didn’t budge: 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K.  Not too shabby.

This is the namesake of the Delmarva baseball franchise. I mean, probably.

This is the namesake of the Delmarva baseball franchise. I mean, probably.

Delmarva Shorebirds

#2 Ronarsy Ledesma 2B
#9 Cameron Kneeland 3B
#32 Alex Murphy C
#34 Connor Bierfeldt RF
#39 Elier Leyva CF
#20 Jomar Reyes DH
#27 Riley Palmer 1B
#23 Jamil Moquete LF
#14 Jared Breen SS

#37 Stefan Crichton RHP (0-0, 13.50 ERA)

First Pitch of Game 2 at 7:30pm

Radio links:
TuneIn Radio
Flash/PC/Droid
iPhone/iPad

– JF
@BigTexJosh

Starting Lineups 4/15/15 Game 1: Let’s get the party started

IMG_9229The Intimidators and Shorebirds play two games today at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium, which means one thing: we should all be tired enough to sleep on the 7-hour bus ride home tonight.  If today’s games end around 9:30 p.m. (wouldn’t that be lovely), and if the bus leaves around 10:30 p.m., and we stop for maybe 20 minutes somewhere along the way, we should get back to Kannapolis around 6 a.m. To rephrase, we should get back to town 12 hours before gates open for our home opener.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, Here are today’s lineups for Game 1.  Once again, Kannapolis is looking to snap Delmarva’s 7-game home winning streak against the Intimidators, dating back to August of 2013.

Kannapolis Intimidators

#1 Eddy Alvarez SS
#29 Michael Suiter CF
#9 Christian Stringer DH
#11 Chris Curley 3B
#28 Zach Fish C
#10 Mason Robbins RF
#25 Nolan Earley LF
#2 Ethan Gross 2B
#8 T.J. Williams 1B

#17 Yency Almonte (1st start of 2015)

Delmarva Shorebirds

#1 Jay Gonzalez CF
#2 Ronarsy Ledesma 2B
#32 Alex Murphy DH
#34 Connor Bierfeldt RF
#21 Logan Uxa 1B
#20 Jomar Reyer 3B
#23 Jamil Moquete LF
#14 Jared Breen SS
#12 Jonah Heim C

#26 John Means LHP (1-0, 0.00)

Radio links:
TuneIn Radio
Flash/PC/Droid
iPhone/iPad

– JF
@BigTexJosh

This is the 20th season of Delmarva Shorbirds baseball.  They joined the SAL one year after the Piedmont Phillies.

This is the 20th season of Delmarva Shorbirds baseball. They joined the SAL one year after the Piedmont Phillies.

Game Notes 4/15/15: A Doubleheader in Delmarva, Almonte on the mound, Guerrero going too…

Kannapolis Intimidators (2-3) vs. Delmarva Shorebirds (4-1)
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 – 7:05 p.m.
Arthur W. Perdue Stadium – Salisbury, Md.
Games #6 & 7 of 140
RHP Yency Almonte (0-0, 0.00) vs. LHP John Means (1-0, 0.00)
LHP Jordan Guerrero (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Stefan Crichton (0-0, 10.35)

Today’s Preview: Following Tuesday’s rainout, the Intimidators (A, White Sox) wrap up their season-opening road trip with a doubleheader against the Shorebirds (A, Orioles) at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. Delmarva, which took the series opener on Monday, 5-3, sends lefty John Means to the mound for his second start of the year in Game 1 while Kannapolis starter Yency Almonte toes the rubber in his season debut. Game 2 features Intimidators’ opening day starter Jordan Guerrero dueling Stefan Chricton. The Intimidators are looking for their first win in Salisbury, Md., since Aug. 27, 2013, when Kannapolis took a series opener against the Shorebirds late in the year. Delmarva has won its last seven home games against Kannapolis.

Intimidating Starter: Yency Almonte, 20, takes the ball for his 23rd career start and his first in the South Atlantic League. Almonte was traded from the Los Angeles Angels to the Chicago White Sox on Feb. 4. 2015, as a part of the Gordon Beckham deal. Last season in the Class A Midwest League, Almonte had nine starts with the Burlington Bees, going 2-5 with a 4.93 ERA (23 ER/42 IP). He made his professional debut in 2012 with the AZL Angels. A native of Miami, Fla., he was drafted by the Angels in the 17th round of the 2012 MLB draft.

Going in Game 2 (KAN): Jordan Guerrero, 21, makes his second start of the season and third career appearance against Delmarva. Last season in two relief appearances against the Shorebirds, the left-hander spun 4.0 scoreless innings while allowing one hit and no walks, striking out six. In his season debut on April 9 at Lakewood, Guerrero threw 6.0 scorless innings, striking out six and walking one while giving up two hits in a no decision. The native of Moorpark, Calif., spent last season with Class A Kannapolis, going 6-2 with a 3.46 ERA (30 ER/78.0 IP) in 27 games (nine starts). He led the team in wins while returning from an injury-plagued 2013 in which he appeared in just five games for Advanced Rookie Bristol, going 0-3 with a 4.26 ERA in five starts. Since being drafted by the White Sox in the 15th round of the June 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Guerrero has amassed 101 career strikeouts and just 36 walks in 112.1 innings of work. Last season out of the pen, he was 4-0 with a 2.65 ERA (11 ER/37.1 IP) with 48 strikeouts in 18 games.

Shorebird on the Bump: John Means, 21, makes his 12th career start and second of the season when he faces Kannapolis today. Means, who has not yet faced a White Sox affiliate in his career, picked up a win on Opening Day against Greensboro with 6.0 scoreless innings on April 9. He made his professional debut in 2014, going 1-4 with a 3.46 ERA (15 ER/39 IP) in 11 games (10 starts) between the GCL Orioles and Short-Season Aberdeen. The Orioles drafted Means in the 11th round of the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of West Virginia University, where he went 6-2 with a 3.13 ERA in 12 games (12 starts) in his final season with the Mountaineers.

Going in Game 2 (DEL): Stefan Crichton, 23, toes the rubber for his second appearance (first start) of the year after a rough season debut. He gave up three runs on two hits and two walks in 2.0 innings of relief against Greensboro on April 10 but did strikeout four Grasshoppers. The Orioles selected Crichton in the 23rd round of the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of TCU where he was college teammates with former Intimidators Jason Coats (2013) and Andrew Mitchell (2014). Last season, Cricthton spent the year in the Short-Season Aberdeen bullpen, going 2-5 with a 4.47 ERA in 20 games (one start).

Last Time Out: The Shorebirds reclaimed the lead against the Intimidators bullpen and held on to beat Kannapolis, 5-3, Monday. Delmarva plated four runs against Kannapolis relievers in the bottom of the sixth while the ‘Birds bullpen blanked the Intimidators over the final 3 and 1/3 frames. Nick Cunnigham (1-0) tossed 2 and 2/3 scoreless relief innings to earn the victory, while Jacob Morris took the loss for the Intimidators.

Robbins on a Roll: Intimidators outfield Mason Robbins has begun the season 8-18 (.444) at the plate, which ranks second in the SAL in batting average. The former Southern Miss Golden Eagle has hit safely in each of the four games he’s played this season. Last season with Advanced Rookie Great Falls, Robbins led the Voyagers in hits (70) and totals bases (108) while posting a 17-game hitting streak from July 16 to Aug. 8, second best in the PL.

No Ks for Christian: Intimidators second baseman Christian Stringer ranks fourth in the South Atlantic League in lowest total plate appearances/strikeouts ratio (20.00). A former Rice Owl, he is batting .211 (4-19) with no strikeouts in 20 total plate appearances. Last season, Stringer struck out 51 times in 322 total plate appearances (6.31 TPA/SO). Mason Robbins ranks fifth in the league (19.00).

If You Ain’t First, You’re Last: The Intimidators have scored first in four of their first give games this season, going 2-2 in those contests. The lone exception, Monday’s series opener against the Shorebirds, resulted in a Kannapolis loss.

Bird Batting ‘em in: Shorebirds catcher Alex Murphy leads the South Atlantic League with nine RBI despite Tuesday’s rainout. Murphy is batting .318 (7-22) with two doubles and three runs scored through five games.

Prospect Watch: The Intimidators roster features five players rated among the White Sox Top 30 Prospects, according to Baseball America and MLB.com. All five prospects with Kannapolis are members of the Intimidators pitching staff: Spencer Adams (Baseball America #3/MLB.com #4), Thad Lowry (17/17), Luis Martinez (20/23), David Trexler (22/24), and Opening Day starter Jordan Guerrero (NA/28).

Broadcast Information: This season, all 140 games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via the TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his fifth season with the team.

Starting lineup 4/13/15: Kannapolis at Delmarva

It’s time for the Intimidators renew the rivalry with Delmarva.  Last season the Intimidators went 3-7 against the ‘Birds, including an 0-4 mark at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.  Kannapolis is looking for its first win in Salisbury, Md., since Aug. 27, 2013.

Kannapolis Intimidators

#1 Eddy Alvarez SS
#29 Michael Suiter CF
#10 Mason Robbins LF
#11 Chris Curley 1B
#28 Zach Fish DH
#20 Brett Austin C
#21 Louie Lechich RF
#5 Toby Thomas 3B
#2 Ethan Gross SS

#35 Luis Martinez RHP (1st start of 2015)

Delmarva Shorebirds

#1 Jay Gonzalez CF
#17 Steve Wilkerson 2B
#32 Alex Murphy C
#34 Connor Bierfeldt DH
#39 Elier Leyva RF
#27 Riley Palmer 1B
#20 Jomar Reyer 3B
#23 Jamil Moquete LF
#14 Jared Breen SS

#36 RHP Bennett Parry (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1st start of 2015)

Radio links:
TuneIn Radio
Flash/PC/Droid
iPhone/iPad

– JF
@BigTexJosh

Game Notes 4/13/15: Martinez making his debut today

Kannapolis Intimidators (2-2) vs. Delmarva Shorebirds (3-1)
Monday, April 13, 2015 – 7:05 p.m.
Arthur W. Perdue Stadium – Salisbury, Md.
Game #5 of 140
RHP Luis Martinez (0-0, 0.00) vs. LHP Bennett Parry (0-0, 0.00)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) open a 3-game series against the Shorebirds (A, Orioles) at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. The Intimidators, which lead the all-time series 123-103, make their first visit to Delmarva since May 22-25, 2014, when the Shorebirds swept a 4-game series. Last season, Kannapolis went 3-7 against Delmarva. Today Luis Martinez makes his Class A debut against returning Sally Leaguer Bennett Parry.

Luis Martinez will make his Class A debut against the Shorebirds.

Luis Martinez will make his Class A debut against the Shorebirds.

Intimidating Starter: Luis Martinez, 20, takes the mound for his 12th career start and his first in the South Atlantic League. Martinez was signed as a free agent on Dec. 16, 2011. He didn’t make his professional debut until last season with the Arizona League White Sox because of an injury (fractured right elbow). Between the AZL White Sox and Advanced Rookie Great Falls, Martinez appeared in seven games (six starts) going 5-3 with a 2.93 ERA (24 ER/58.1 IP) in 2014.

Shorebird on the Bump: Bennett Parry, 23, makes his season debut against a familiar foe as he faces Kannapolis for the third time in his career (one start). In 2014, Bennett’s second full season in the South Atlantic League, he went 1-3 with a 2.63 ERA in16 games (0 starts). In two games against the Intimidators last season, he went 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA (8 ER/3.0 IP). Parry, was drafted in the 40th round in 2011 draft, out of Cal State Northridge.

Last Game: Kannapolis shut out Lakewood, 8-0, to split the season-opening series on Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Park. The Intimidators exploded for a season-high in runs, including five in the top of the third inning, and the team collected double-digit hits for the third straight game. Starter Thad Lowry (1-0), who pitched 6.0 scoreless innings, matched his career-long outing en route to the win. Brad Salgado finished where Lowry left off, going 3.0 innings strong with no runs scored. The Intimidators sent nine men to the plate in the big third inning.  Michael Suiter, Mason Robbins, and Christian Stringer strung together a trio of 1-out hits to increase the Kannapolis lead to 2-0.  Two batters later, Louie Lechich added a 2-run base hit up the middle.  After Brett Austin walked, Nolan Earley doubled to the gap in left-center field to drive in two more runs for a 6-0 lead.  Lakewood starter Ranfi Casimiro (0-1) worked 5.0 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout in a losing effort.  He bounced back from the big inning with a perfect fourth and fifth frame.  Jason Zgardowski tossed 4.0 relief innings for the BlueClaws, keeping Kannapolis off the board for his first three frames of work. Michael Suiter tripled to left field in the top of the ninth, scoring Earley and Toby Thomas to bring the Kannapolis lead to 8-0.

Sweet Swinging: Three Intimidators – Michael Suiter, Mason Robbins, and Louie Lechich – enjoyed a multi-hit afternoon in Lakewood as seven of the nine starters hit safely.

Blankin’ The BlueClaws: Sunday’s 8-0 victory over Lakewood was the first shutout win by the Intimidators since Aug. 16, 2014, when the Intimidators beat Greensboro, 6-0. Andre Wheeler got the win, pitching 5.0 scoreless innings and striking out four. Andrew Mitchell and Matt Abramson secured the shutout over the Grasshoppers by each pitching 2.0 scoreless innings.

Thad Ain’t Bad: Thad Lowry’s 6.0 innings on Sunday of no-run baseball was the best outing of his career since his first year as a pro in 2013. On Aug. 27, 2013, with the Advanced Rookie Bristol White Sox, he spun 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing six hits and striking out four against Burlington Royals. Sunday’s effort was Lowry’s first scoreless outing since July 17, 2014, when he worked 5.0 scoreless innings in a no-decision at Augusta.

Robbins on a Roll: Intimidators outfielder Mason Robbins has begun the season 7-14 (.500) at the plate, which ranks third in the SAL in batting average. In each of the three games he has played, Robbins has at least two hits.

Strong Starters: Through four games, Intimidators starting pitchers have two quality starts (6 IP or more, 3 ER or less). Jordan Guerrero open the season with 6.0 scoreless frames against the BlueClaws, and Thad Lowry matched that effort on Sunday. Starters have posted a 2.70 ERA.

Broadcast Information: This season, all 140 games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via the TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his fifth season with the team.

Starting lineups (4/12/15): The series finale

It’s Game 4 of this 4-game set at FirstEnergy Park to open the 2015 season. Here are the lineups for the Intimidators and BlueClaws.  Broadcast hits the airwaves at 12:50 p.m. for our first pitch start time of 1:05 p.m.  Can’t wait to talk to you.

Kannapolis Intimidators

#29 Michael Suiter CF
#10 Mason Robbins LF
#9 Christian Stringer 2B
#11 Chris Curley 3B
#21 Louie Lechich RF
#20 Brett Austin C
#25 Nolan Earley DH
#8 T.J. Williams 1B
#5 Toby Thomas SS

#24 Thad Lowry RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1st start of 2015)

Lakewood BlueClaws

#17 Cord Sandberg DH
#23 Jiandido Tromp RF
#15 Carlos Tocci CF
#12 Rhys Hoskins 1B
#14 Damek Tomscha 3B
#26 Deivi Grullon C
#33 Herlis Rodriguez LF
#25 Tim Zier 2B
#2 Grenny Cumana SS

#52 Ranfi Casimiro RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1st start of 2015)

Radio links:
TuneIn Radio
Flash/PC/Droid
iPhone/iPad

– JF
@BigTexJosh

Starting lineups (4/11/15): Intimidators at BlueClaws

The Intimidators and BlueClaws pick this series up with Game 3 of this 4-game set today at 4:05pm.  You can listen in here:
TuneIn Radio
Flash/PC/Droid
iPhone/iPad

The starting lineups are hot off the press.  Check it out.

Kannapolis Intimidators

#1 Eddy Alvarez SS
#10 Mason Robbins LF
#9 Christian Stringer 2B
#11 Chris Curley DH
#21 Louie Lechich CF
#28 Zach Fish C
#25 Nolan Earley LF
#8 T.J. Williams 1B
#2 Ethan Gross 3B

#33 Yelmison Peralta RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1st start of 2015)

Lakewood BlueClaws

#9 Malquin Canelo SS
#17 Cord Sandberg LF
#15 Carlos Tocci CF
#12 Rhys Hoskins 1B
#3 Derek Campbell 3B
#7 Joel Fisher C
#25 Tim Zier DH
#33 Herlis Rodriguez RF
#2 Grenny Cumana 2B

#21 Tyler Viza RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1st start of 2015)

-JF
@BigTexJosh

Intimidating Insight 4/11/15: Extra inning fun, a catcher leads the league in triples, and K’s for Kelvis

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS (1-1) vs. LAKEWOOD BLUECLAWS (1-1)
Saturday, April 11, 2015 – 4:05 p.m.
FirstEnergy Park – Lakewood, N.J.
Game #3 of 140
RHP Yelmison Peralta (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Tyler Viza (0-0, 0.00)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) will try to keep their bats hot after collecting 12 hits in Friday’s win over the BlueClaws (A, Phillies) with Game 3 of this 4-game series on the docket today at 4:05 p.m. Kannapolis will try to take the edge in the series as Yelmison Peralta makes his Class A debut against South Atlantic League veteran Tyler Viza, who spent last season with Lakewood.

Intimidating Starter: Yelmison Peralta, 20, takes the ball for his 16th career start and his first in the South Atlantic League. 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.

BlueClaw on the Bump: Tyler Viza, 20, makes his season debut against a familiar foe as he faces Kannapolis for the third time since last July. In his first full season of professional baseball, Viza went 3-17 with a 5.29 ERA in 24 games (24 starts) in the SAL in 2014. He led the circuit in losses and hits allowed (172) but brings a knowledge of the league to the mound today. In two games against the Intimidators last season, he went 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA (6 ER/11.0 IP). April was Viza’s best month of 2014 as the 32nd round pick from the 2013 draft went 2-2 with a 3.72 ERA (12 ER/29.0 IP) in five games (five starts).

About Last Night: Kannapolis earned an extra-innings win, 4-3 (F/12), over Lakewood on Friday. Devon Davis tossed a perfect 11th and scoreless 12th to earn his first professional win, and Chris Curley delivered the go-ahead RBI-double in the top of the 12th to drive in Eddy Alvarez, who led off the inning by reaching on an error. Curley finished 3-6 while catcher Brett Austin went 3-5 with a pair of triples and a pair of runs scored, equaling his career-high in hits, which was set last year in Lakewood on July 26.

Extra! Extra! The Intimidators earned their first extra-inning victory on Friday since last August 4 when they beat Hickory 5-4 in 10 innings in Kannapolis. In 2014, the Intimidators were a league-worst 4-10 (.286) in extra-inning games.

Raise your hand if you lead the South Atlantic League in triples.

Raise your hand if you lead the South Atlantic League in triples.

Triple Doubled: Catcher Brett Austin became just the third Intimidators player in the last four years to record two triples in one game. The catcher, who did not triple in during his professional debut in 2014, smashed his first two career 3-base hits to the right-centerfield gap on Friday night and came around to score both times. Austin, the White Sox fourth round pick in the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft, now leads the SAL in triples (2). He is the first Intimidator with two triples in a game since Kale Kiser on June 12, 2014 at Greensboro. Keenyn Walker also tripled twice in one game on July 1, 2012, at Rome.

He’s Just A Run Machine: Brett Austin has scored three of the Intimidators five runs on the season, including the first three Kannapolis pushed across the plate in 2015. Thursday he scored the season’s first run on a passed ball. Friday, Louie Lechich and Mason Robbins each took turns cashing in Austin with RBI-hits. Austin is tied for fourth in the league with three runs scored on the season.

K’s for Kelvis: Reliever Kelvis Valerio used his slider to get out of the 10th inning on Friday. The White Sox farmhand struck out three while scattering four hits in 3.0 innings.

Cheaper By The Dozen: The Intimidators pounded out a season-high 12 hits on Friday, the most for Kannapolis since smashing 14 hits on Aug. 24, 2014 at West Virginia.

From Right Field to Reliever: Jacob Morris, a 2014 Intimidators outfielder, made his pitching debut on Friday, working the seventh inning. He allowed two runs on two hits while striking out two and hitting two batters.

Gutsy Guerrero: Opening Day starter Jordan Guerrero tossed a career-long 6.0 innings of scoreless ball for Kannapolis on Thursday. He matched his career-high of six strikeouts while limiting the BlueClaws to two hits and a walk. The Moorpark, Calif., native is tied for the SAL lead in innings pitched (6.0) and ranks tied for eighth in strikeouts (6).

 

Broadcast Information: This season, all 140 games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via the TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his fifth season with the team.

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