Game Notes 8/26/14: Only seven games left, and it all starts tonight

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS vs. ROME BRAVES
59-71, 30-33 (Chicago White Sox)        53-80, 29-34 (Atlanta Braves)
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 – 7:05 p.m.
CMC-NorthEast Stadium – Kannapolis, N.C.
2nd Half Game #64 (131 of 137)
LH Jeff McKenzie (3-4, 6.04) vs. LH Yean Carlos Gil (6-6, 3.51)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) open the final home stand of the season with a 3-game series against the Rome Braves (A, Atlanta Braves) on Tuesday at CMC-NorthEast Stadium. With seven games remaining in the season, Kannapolis is looking to finish the second half above .500 after dropping six of its last seven games. The Intimidators are sending left-hander Jeff McKenzie to the mound for his ninth start of the season after three relief appearances. Rome is countering with Yean Carlos Gil, who has started 20 games for the Braves after opening the year in the bullpen. The Intimidators lead the season-series, 3-1, after taking three of four games at State Mutual Stadium.

Intimidators Starter: Jeff McKenzie, 23, makes his ninth start for Kannapolis and his first career appearance against an Atlanta affiliate. His last start came Aug. 7 in Hagerstown, in which he was tagged with a second straight loss, giving up seven runs on eight hits over 3.1 innings against the Suns. After going 2-4 with a 6.15 ERA (28 ER/41 IP) in eight starts for Kannapolis, McKenzie moved to the bullpen and went 1-0 with a 5.59 ERA in three relief appearances. McKenzie threw the first complete game of his career in his last away outing July 27 at Lakewood, tossing all 7.0 innings in the first game of a doubleheader, limiting the BlueClaws to three runs (two earned) in a win. He made two starts with Advanced Rookie Great Falls to open this season, going 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA before earning a promotion to Kannapolis on June 25. In 13 games (10 starts) in 2014 between the Voyagers and Intimidators, he is 4-4 with a 5.20 (36 ER/62.1 IP). He made his professional debut in 2013, working in the Voyagers bullpen going 4-0 with a 1.44 ERA (4 ER/25 IP) in 16 games, converting all six save chances. The White Sox drafted McKenzie in the 28th round of the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Cal State Bakersfield, where he was named Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year, becoming his school’s first All-American baseball player in by going 13-2 with a 1.88 ERA (24 ER/114.2 IP) with six complete games (four shutouts).

Brave on the Bump: Yean Carlos Gil, 23, makes his 21st start of the season and second against Kannapolis. He ranks third in the SAL in WHIP (1.15) and 11th in ERA (3.51). Gil opened the year with 12.0 scoreless relief innings over five games before moving into the rotation with an April 25 start against Kannapolis. The Intimidators tagged him with a loss, as he gave up two runs on three hits over 4.0 innings. As a starter, he is 4-6 with a 3.92 ERA (45 ER/103.1 IP) in 20 starts. He is coming off a no decision against Savannah on Aug. 20 in which he gave up two runs on four hits over 4.0 innings, and his last win came two starts ago when Gil shutout the RiverDogs over 5.0 innings of 1-hit ball while striking out six on Aug. 14. He made his professional debut in 2010 with the DSL Braves at 19 years old, and compiled a record of 6-11 with a 3.00 ERA in 48 games (32 starts) over his first four seasons.

Last Time Out: Eddy Alvarez paced the Intimidators offense with a 4-hit game, and Chris Freudenberg kept the Power offense quiet in a 7-1 win at Appalachian Power Park on Sunday. Freudenberg tossed 6.0 innings, allowing one run to earn the win, outdueling West Virginia starter and Pirates prospect Luis Heredia, who suffered the loss. Brad Salgado tossed the final 3.0 innings of scoreless relief for the save (3). West Virginia reliever Jake Burnette gave up five runs in relief, walking four batters in the seventh inning alone during the Intimidators 3-run frame.

Steady Eddy: Eddy Alvarez collected a career-high four hits on Sunday in West Virginia, going 4-6 with 2 RBI. He’s hit safely in 10 of 11 games with Kannapolis, batting .467 (21-45) since joining the Intimidators from the AZL White Sox. An Olympic silver medalist in short-track speed-skating at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Alvarez signed with the White Sox in June. On Saturday, he hit two home runs, going 3-4 with an RBI-double. The 4-hit game by Alvarez on Sunday is the seven by an Intimidator this season and first since Adam Engel on July 19 against Lakewood.

Dowdy’s Streak Snapped: Jeremy Dowdy saw his career-best hitting streak of seven games come to an end on Sunday in West Virginia with an 0-5 game. During his streak, he hit .500 (12-24) in the South Atlantic League from July 27 to Aug. 21, including five multi-hit games. After batting .295 during the first half of the season, Dowdy has upped his average to .316 (24-76) in 20 second-half games.

Familiar Faces: Two current members of the Rome Braves has played for the Kannapolis Intimidators. Second baseman Ross Wilson, a White Sox 10th round pick in the June 2010 First-Year Player Draft, spent parts of the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Intimidators. He is batting .247 with seven home runs and 37 RBI in 70 games with Rome this season. Left-handed pitcher Sean Bierman opened this season in the Kannapolis rotation, made two starts with Kannapolis before earning a promotion to Winston-Salem. He made five relief appearances for the Dash before being released.

Broadcast Information: All 70 home games and select road games will be broadcast on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and on the TuneIn Radio App with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators. Tonight’s pregame shows begins at 6:50 p.m. with first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

Game Notes 8/24/14: A Silver Medal Slugger, Eddy still steady, and Intimidators looking avoid a sweep

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS at WEST VIRGINIA POWER
58-71, 29-33 (Chicago White Sox)        51-77, 31-29 (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Sunday, August 24, 2014 – 2:05 p.m.
Appalachian Power Park – Charleston, W.V.
2nd Half Game #63 (130 of 137)
LH Chris Freudenberg (1-1, 6.00) vs. RH Buddy Borden (7-7, 3.03)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) try to avoid matching the team’s longest losing skid of the season and a second straight series sweep when Kannapolis wraps up this 3-game set against the Power (A, Pirates). West Virginia defeated Kannapolis, 5-4, on Saturday to eliminate the Intimidators from post-season contention. Kannapolis has dropped six straight games since Aug. 17 and will try to salvage this series with a victory or else endure the team’s third 7-game skid of the season and first since July 9-16. Today Chris Freudenberg takes the ball for his fifth start with the Intimidators as he faces West Virginia’s Buddy Borden, who faces Kannapolis for the third time this season.

Broadcast Information: Sunday’s game in West Virginia will be broadcast on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and on the TuneIn Radio App with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators. Pregame shows will begin at 1:50 p.m. with first pitch at 2:05 p.m.

Intimidating Starter: Chris Freudenberg, 21, makes his fith start with Kannapolis and 14th start of the year. Freudenberg matched his season-high in strikeouts by fanning seven straight batters to wrap up his last outing, an Aug. 19 loss to the Tourists in which he allowed four early runs on six hits over 4.0 innings. The left-hander made a strong debut with Kannapolis, tossing 6.0 innings and allowing a run on two hits in a win on Aug. 3 against Augusta, however he has allowed 11 runs on 15 hits in 12.0 innings since. Freudenberg was promoted from Advanced Rookie Great Falls to Kannapolis on Aug. 1 after going 3-3 with a 3.17 ERA (17 ER/48.1 IP) in nine games (nine starts) for Great Falls. Overall this season, he is 4-4 with a 3.93 ERA (29 ER/66.1 IP) in 13 starts. He is in his second yeard with the White Sox after being selected in the eighth round of the June 2013 draft out of South Mountain Community College in Phoenix. Last season with Advanced Rookie Bristol, the lefty went 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in nine games (six starts) in the Appalachian League. He graduated from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2011.

Power Pitcher: Buddy Borden, 22, makes his 25th start of the season and third against the Intimidators. He is coming off consecutive scoreless outings at Asheville and Lexington, with 18 strikeouts over 11.0 innings in his last two starts, including a career-high 10-strikeout performance over 6.0 innings in a while over the Tourists on Aug. 9. He leads the South Atlantic League in average (207), ranks tied for third in WHIP (1.15), tied for fourth in strikeouts (111), and fifth in ERA (3.03). Among starting pitchers, he’s third in fewest baserunners/9 IP ratio (10.77) and fourth in highest strikeouts/9 IP ratio (8/23). Borden last allowed a run on Aug. 4, when he gave up one tally on two hits over 7.0 innings to beat the Hagerstown Suns. In three August starts, he is 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA (1 ER/18 IP) with 22 strikeouts and four walks. The Pirates selected Borden in the seventh round in the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of UNLV, where he was 11-9 with a 4.30 ERA in 41 games (27 starts) over three years. Borden made his profession debut in 2013 with Short-A Jamestown, going 0-0 with a 1.09 ERA (2 ER/16.2 IP) in six games (three starts).

Last Time Out: Eddy Alvarez hit a pair of home runs, but the West Virginia Power broke a tie in the seventh inning to beat the Intimidators, 5-4, on Saturday. Wyatt Mathisen drove in Jeff Roy in the seventh to give the Power their third and final lead of the game. Alvarez led off the game with a home run, but the Power scored two runs in the bottom of the first, including an RBI-double by Austin Meadows. Meadows added a sac-fly in the third for a 3-2 lead. Roy tripled to score Erich Weiss for a 4-2 advantage. In the fifth, Toby Thomas doubled and scored on a Chevy Clarke ground out to get one run back, and Alvarez hit his second home run to equalize the score. Zach Von Rosenberg (2-2) earned the win while Dylan Chavez (4-5) took the loss. The Power bullpen tossed 3.0 perfect innings, including Isaac Sanchez spinning the ninth inning for the save (6).

Silver Medal Slugger: Eddy Alvarez blasted his first two home runs with Class A Kannapolis on Saturday, a pair of solo shots to lead off the game in the first and to tie the game in the fifth. Alvarez, an Olympic silver medal-winning short-track speed-skater in the 5,000-meter relay in February in Sochi, finished the game 3-4 with 3 RBI, a pair of runs scored, and a game-tying double to go along with his double-barrel blasts. Saturday’s game marked the fourth time this season that an Intimidator led off the game with a home run and the fourth time an Intimidator had a two-HR game in 2014.

Multi-HR Games                                                   Lead Off Game with HR
Hunter Jones (June 5 at ASH)                                Hunter Jones (May 28 at HIC)
Christian Stringer (June 24 at HIC)                         Hunter Jones (June 5 at ASH)
Christian Stringer (July 6 at HAG)                           Adam Engel (July 23 at HAG)
Eddy Alvarez (Aug. 23 at WVA)                               Eddy Alvarez (Aug. 23 at WVA)

Steady Eddy: Eddy Alvarez has now hit safely in nine of 10 games with Kannapolis, going 3-4 on Saturday. He is batting .436 (17-39) since joining the Intimidators from the AZL White Sox and has reached base in all 10 games he’s played in the SAL. Alvarez ranks second on the team in batting average in August behind catcher Jeremy Dowdy at .471 (8-17). His two home runs on Saturday were his first since homering in consecutive games July 27-28 with the AZL White Sox.

Don’t Doubt Dowdy: Jeremy Dowdy is on a career-best hitting streak of seven games since July 27. He is now batting .500 (12-24) during that span in the South Atlantic League, including five multi-hit games. After batting .295 during the first half of the season, Dowdy has upped his average to .338 (24-71) in 18 second-half games. 

Losing Skid at Six: Kannapolis lost its sixth straight game on Saturday in West Virginia, its fifth losing streak of at least six games in 2014. The Intimidators last lost six in a row Aug. 5-10 and will try to avoid the team’s longest losing streak of the year, seven games, which Kannapolis has hit twice, first from May 19-26 and then again from July 9-16.

Leonards Streak Snapped: Shortstop Ryan Leonards saw his career-best 11-game on-base streak come to an end with an 0-4 night on Saturday in West Virginia. Leonards reached base safely in 11 straight games from Aug. 8-22, including hits in nine of those games with a career-best 7-game hitting streak from Aug. 12-21. The White Sox 21st round pick in the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of University of Louisiana-Lafayette, he hit just .191 (17-89) with Kannapolis in July but is batting .296 (16-54) in August.

Game Notes 8/23/14: Streaks snapped for Wheeler and Leonards, Intimidators host comedy of errors

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS at WEST VIRGINIA POWER
58-70, 29-32 (Chicago White Sox)        50-77, 30-29 (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Saturday, August 23, 2014 – 7:05 p.m.
Appalachian Power Park – Charleston, W.V.
2nd Half Game #62 (129 of 137)
RH Robinson Leyer (5-9, 3.68) vs. RH Luis Heredia (2-4, 3.82)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) look to snap a 5-game losing skid in Game 2 of a 3-game series against the West Virginia Power on Saturday at Appalachian Power Park. Kannapolis sends Robinson Leyer to the mound in his South Atlantic League-lead tying 25th start to face Pittsburgh Pirates No. 14 prospect Luis Heredia. The Intimidators lead the season-series over West Virginia, 7-5, with two games left between the two Northern Division foes in 2014. Last season, the Power dominated Kannapolis by winning all 10 games against the Intimidators, and today an Intimidators’ win would secure a season-series victory over West Virginia.

Broadcast Information: Saturday and Sunday’s games in West Virginia will be broadcast on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and on the TuneIn Radio App with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators. Pregame shows will begin 15 minutes before listed first pitch time.

Intimidating Starter: Robinson Leyer, 21, makes his 25th start of 2014 and second against West Virginia on the heels of his roughest outing since his season debut. Leyer took a loss at Greensboro on Aug. 17, allowing six runs on eight hits in 2.0 innings of work, just the third time he’s allowed six runs all season and the first such outing since his second start of 2014. The right-hander beat West Virginia in his lone start against the Power, limiting them to a run on seven hits over 5.1 innings on April 30. Leyer put together a remarkable stretch from April 16 through June 28, going 4-2 with a 1.59 ERA (13 ER/73.2 IP) in 13 starts, the sixth-best ERA in all of full-season Minor League Baseball in that stretch and the best in Class A. July and August have been tougher, as Leyer is 1-5 with a 5.04 ERA (28 ER/50 IP) in nine starts. Today, Leyer is looking for his first win since his complete game in Greensboro and just his second win since June 5 in Asheville. He ranks nine in the SAL with 129.2 IP and 11th in ER (3.69). The younger brother of former Intimidator Euclides Leyer, Robinson spent 2013 with Advanced Rookie Bristol, going 2-7 with a 6.35 ERA in 13 starts.

Power Pitcher: Luis Heredia, who turned 20 earlier this month, makes his 17th start of the season and third career start against the Intimidators after facing Kannapolis twice in 2013 with West Virginia. He is coming off consecutive no-decisions, including a dominant performance on Aug. 11 against Augusta in which he spun 7.0 shutout innings. The Pirates No. 14 prospect according to MLB.com, Heredia is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA (4 ER/24 IP) in four starts in August after opening the year 1-3 with a 4.86 ERA in his first 12 outings. He spent last season with West Virginia, going 7-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 14 games (13 starts). In two starts Kannapolis last season, he is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA (1 ER/8 IP). The Pirates signed Heredia out of Mexico in 2010, and he made his professional debut at 16 with the GCL Pirates in 2011, going 1-2 with a 4.75 ERA in 12 games (11 starts). He followed that with a strong second season in 2012 with Short-Season State College, posting a 4-2 record and 2.71 ERA, 12th-lowest in the NYPL, in 14 starts as the youngest player in the league.

Last Time Out: West Virginia scored eight runs in the seventh inning to come from behind and beat the Intimidators, 10-5, on Friday night, taking advantage of three Intimidators’ errors in the inning. Edwin Espinal’s first inning two-run single put the Power up 2-0. The Intimidators returned fire in the fourth on a Carl Thomore 2-run home run (4). Danny Hayes 2-run single in the seventh made it 5-2 Intimidators before the Power put up a snowman in the home half of the inning. Clario Perez (4-1) earned the win, and Matt Abramson (3-7) was charged with the loss.

Let’s Build A Snowman: West Virginia put up eight runs in the seventh on Friday, matching the biggest inning by an Intimidators opponent this season. Hagerstown also scored eight runs in an inning against Kannapolis on June 1.

Five Game Dive: Kannapolis lost its fifth straight game on Friday in West Virginia, its sixth losing streak of at least five games in 2014. The team’s last slide of at least five games came Aug. 5-10 when the Intimidators lost six in a row.

Wheeler’s Streak Snapped: Andre Wheeler gave up two runs in the first inning, seeing his scoreless inning streak end after 17.0 innings from July 31 through Aug. 16. The left-hander, who earned South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week honors during his run, finished Friday’s game after 5.0 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out seven and walking none. Wheelere leads the Intimidators with 104 strikeouts in 92.1 innings of work in 2014.

Stacking Up The Streak: Here’s how Andre Wheeler’s scoreless innings streak compares to other Intimidators in 2014:

Consec. Inn.            Pitcher             Date             Games (Started)     Notes                                                                               

22                 Tyler Danish       April 23-May11         4 (4)              Final 22 IP before promotion to Dash

18.1            Jake Sanchez       April 4-May21            7 (1)                SAL All-Star traded to OAK on June 14

17               Andre Wheeler     July 31-Aug.16     4 (3)        SAL Pitcher of the Week (Aug. 11-17)

12.2            Matt Abramson        April 21-May11       7 (0)             First 7 outings with Intimidators

Comedy of Errors: The Intimidators matched their season-high with five errors on Friday in West Virginia. The two previous 5-error games came against Hickory on April 16 at L.P. Frans Stadium and on May 20 in Kannapolis.

Steady Eddy: Eddy Alvarez has hit safely in eight of nine games with Kannapolis, going 1-5 on Friday. He is now batting .400 (14-35) since joining the Intimidators from the AZL White Sox. On Thursday, he saw hit career-high 9-game hitting streak, spanning two games with the AZL White Sox and seven with Kannapolis, come to an end, however the Olympian has reached base in all nine games played with Kannapolis. Alvarez won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in February in short-track speed-skating in the 5,000-meter relay. The White Sox signed Alvarez in June.

Cajun Cooked: Shortstop Ryan Leonards went 0-4 on Friday, ending his career-best hitting streak after 7 games. The Crowley, La., native had five multi-hit games in this stretch, batting .565 (13-23) in seven games from Aug. 12-21. The White Sox 21st round pick in the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of University of Louisiana-Lafayette, he hit just .191 (17-89) with Kannapolis in July but is batting .320 (16-50) in August.

Game Notes 8/21/14: Clinch City, Guerrero going, mighty Mitchell, steady Eddy, and don’t doubt Dowdy

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS vs. ASHEVILLE TOURISTS
58-68, 29-30 (Chicago White Sox)     82-46-41-18 (Colorado Rockies)
Thursday, August 21, 2014 – 7:05 p.m.
CMC-NorthEast Stadium – Kannapolis, N.C.
2nd Half Game #60 (127 of 137)
LH Jordan Guerrero (6-0, 2.95) vs. RH Johendi Jiminian (12-5, 4.31)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) play to avoid a series sweep in the third and final game against the Tourists (A, Rockies) in 2014. Asheville leads the season-series, 8-1, having won eight straight games against Kannapolis, and the Tourists can clinch a playoff berth with a win today over the Intimidators and a loss by Charleston at Greenville. Asheville enters today’s game as the South Atlantic League’s best team in the second half at 41-18, first in the Southern Division, while Kannapolis has slipped to fifth in the Northern Division at 29-30 since the All-Star Break.

Clinch-City, USA: If the Tourists clinch a playoff berth in today’s game, they would become the third different SAL squad to secure its playoff berth in Kannapolis. In the first half of the season, Savannah won the Southern Division thanks to a pair of wins followed by a rainout on June 11 at CMC-NorthEast Stadium. Greensboro swept the Intimidators over four games to end the first half, clinching the Northern Division on the last day of the half, June 15.

Intimidating Starter: Jordan Guerrero, 20, makes his seventh start after opening the season in the bullpen. The lefty has faced Asheville three times in relief, posting a 6.35 ERA (4 ER/5.2 IP). Guerrero is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA (10 ER/26.2 IP) in six starts compared to 4-0 with a 2.65 ERA (11 ER/37.1 IP) in 18 relief appearances. The left-hander continues to improve, with a 2.66 ERA in 11 games (six starts) in the Second Half after going 3-0 with a 3.47 ERA in 13 games before the All-Star Break. He is coming off a no decision at Greensboro, allowing two runs (one earned) while scattering seven hits over 4.0 innings on Aug. 15. The Moorpark, Calif., native is enjoying a solid month of August, with a 1.69 ERA (2 ER/10.2 IP) in three games (two starts). Guerrero was drafted in the 15th round of the 2012 first year player draft by the White Sox. He went 0-4 over the course of two seasons with advanced rookie Bristol in 12 app/5 starts with a 3.93 ERA (15 ER/34.1 IP).

Twirling Tourist: Johendi Jiminian, 21, makes his league-leading 26th start and second against Kannapolis. He ranks third in the league in wins (12) and second in innings pitched (135.2). Jiminian is coming off a win on Aug. 15 against Augusta, allowing a run on six hits for his first win since beating the Intimidators on July 13. In his lone start against Kannapolis, the right-hander worked 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Jiminian has been better on the road this season than at home, going 7-2 with a 2.96 ERA in 13 starts compared to 5-3 with a 6.03 ERA at McCormick Field. Jiminian was one of the league’s best arms after the first half of the season, going 8-3 with a 3.48 ERA in 14 starts before the All-Star Break, but he is now 4-2 with a 5.43 ERA in 11 starts since. The Rockies signed Jiminian prior to the 2010 season, and he spent two seasons with the DSL Rockies before making his domestic debut with Advanced Rookie Grand Junction in 2012 in the Pioneer League, going 2-4 with a 7.71 ERA in 14 games (13 starts). Last season with Short-A Tri-City, he went 3-5 with a 3.38 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) in the Northwest League.

Last Time Out: Asheville’s Ryan McMahon hit a 2-run home run as part of a 5-run second inning as the Tourists early lead held up in an 8-6 win over Kannapolis on Wednesday night. The Intimidators rallied from down 6-1 for four runs in the third inning, all with two outs. Jeremy Dowdy’s base hit drove in Ryan Leonards and Danny Hayes, and Dowdy and Jacob Morris scored on a Toby Thomas base hit. Kannapolis did not score again until the ninth inning when Leonards’ sac-fly cashed Eddy Alvarez, but the Intimidators left the tying run at the plate in the ninth. Asheville’s Konner Wade (8-8) earned the win, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits over 5.0 innings, while Thad Lowry (4-6) took the loss for Kannapolis, giving up eight runs (seven earned) in 6.0 innings. Trent Daniel recorded the final out of the game for the Tourists to collect the save (13) after Alex Balog worked 3.2 innings in his second relief appearance of the year.

Mighty Mitchell: Reliever Andrew Mitchell tossed 3.0 scoreless innings on Wednesday, striking out four batters while allowing one hit and no walks. The outing was the longest by Mitchell since working 3.0 frames in a 13-inning affair on June 7 at Asheville, 17 appearances ago. Mitchell’s no-walks effort on Wednesday was his third of the year in 29 games with Kannapolis and his longest outing without a walk since Aug. 18, 2013, when Mitchell tossed 5.0 walk-free frames. The former TCU Horned Frog has 81 strikeouts in 61.1 IP but leads the league with 62 walks and 23 wild pitches.

Steady Eddy: Eddy Alvarez continued his impressive start with Kannapolis, hitting safely for the seventh straight game. He waited until Wednesday’s ninth inning before extending his hitting streak with a double down the right field line. He is now batting .464 (13-28) with hits in all seven games played for the Intimidators. Alvarez, a short-track speed-skater who won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in February, has now hit safely in nine straight games between the AZL White Sox and Kannapolis, batting .471 (16-34) since Aug. 7, the longest streak of his young career. Alvarez strung together an 8-game hitting streak with the AZL Sox from July 16-28, batting .417 (15-36) in that stretch. The White Sox signed Alvarez in June.

Ragin’ Cajun: Shortstop Ryan Leonards paced the Intimidators offense on Wednesday, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored for his first 3-hit game since joining Kannapolis. The Crowley, La., native has hit safely in six straight games, a career-high streak, with five multi-hit games in that stretch. Leonards is batting .632 (12-19) in his last six games, since Aug. 12. The White Sox 21st round pick in the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Leonards hit just .191 (17-89) with Kannapolis in July but is now batting .349 (15-43) in August.

Don’t Doubt Dowdy: Jeremy Dowdy continued to produce at the plate, going 1-3 with 2 RBI on Wednesday, to extend his career-best hitting streak to six games since July 27. He is now batting .500 (10-20) during that span in the South Atlantic League, including four multi-hit games. After batting .295 during the first half of the season, Dowdy has upped his average to .328 (22-67) in 18 second-half games.

Broadcast Information: This season all 70 home games and select road games will be broadcast on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and on the TuneIn Radio App with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators.

Game Notes 8/19/14: Christian’s string, Wheeler’s weekly award, and a hurting from the Hoppers

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS vs. ASHEVILLE TOURISTS
58-66, 29-28 (Chicago White Sox)      80-46-39-18 (Colorado Rockies)
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 – 7:05 p.m.
CMC-NorthEast Stadium – Kannapolis, N.C.
2nd Half Game #58 (125 of 137)
LH Chris Freudenberg (1-0, 5.14) vs. RH Antonio Senzatela (13-2, 3.30)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) open the second-to-last home stand of the season when the Tourists (A, Rockies) come to town for three games this week. Asheville, which is a South Atlantic League best 39-18 during the Second Half of the season, has won its last six games against Kannapolis after the Intimidators took the first game of the season-series between the two teams. The Tourists, which lead the season-series over Kannapolis, 6-1, enter this series off an 11-3 win over Augusta that helped them take 3 of 4 games in the series. While Kannapolis dropped its most recent contest in Greensboro, 14-2, the Intimidators have won five of their last seven games. Chris Freudenberg takes the ball for his fourth start while Antonio Senzatela looks to duplicate his past success against the Intimidators.

Intimidating Starter: Chris Freudenberg, 21, makes his fourth start with the Intimidators and 13th start of the season. Freudenberg matched his season-high with seven strikeouts in 4.0 innings on Aug. 13 against Lexington while taking no decision, allowing three runs on four hits including a pair of home runs, the first time in his career he allowed multiple home runs. The left-hander made a strong debut with Kannapolis, tossing 6.0 innings and allowing a run on two hits in a win on Aug. 3 against Augusta, however he has allowed seven runs on nine hits in 8.0 innings since. Freudenberg was promoted from Advanced Rookie Great Falls to Kannapolis on Aug. 1 after going 3-3 with a 3.17 ERA (17 ER/48.1 IP) in nine games (nine starts) for Great Falls. Overall this season, he is 4-3 with a 3.61 ERA (25 ER/62.1 IP) in 13 starts. He is in his second season with the White Sox after being selected in the eighth round of the June 2013 draft out of South Mountain Community College in Phoenix. Last season with Advanced Rookie Bristol, the lefty went 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in nine games (six starts) in the Appalachian League. He graduated from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2011.

Twirling Tourist: Antonio Senzatela, 19, makes his 24th start of the season and third against the Intimidators. He earned a win by dominating Kannapolis on July 10, striking out a season-high nine batters over 7.0 scoreless innings, starting a string of three straight scoreless starts, spanning 19.0 innings. His other start against Kannapolis resulted in no decision on June 6, allowing four runs on four hits over 6.0 innings in an eventual Asheville comeback win. The right-hander is coming off his first loss April 24 and just his second of the season after a string of 12 straight winning decisions over 16 starts from May 5 to Aug. 1. He went a respectable 7-1 with a 4.42 ERA in 13 starts and has dominated the league since the All-Star Break, going 6-1 with a 1.83 ERA in 10 starts. Senzatela now leads the South Atlantic League in wins (13) and winning percentage (.867) and ranks seventh in ERA (3.30). He came within one out of a 9-inning complete game on May 22 at Hagerstown. He made his professional debut in 2012 with the DSL Rockies, going 5-2 with a 0.72 ERA (5 ER/62.2 IP) in 13 games (12 starts), and earned a mid-season promotion in 2013 from the DSL to Short-Season Tri-City.

Last Time Out: Greensboro beat Kannapolis, 14-2, behind Coco Johnson’s big night at the plate, going 2-3, six RBI, two runs scored and a double. The Hoppers pounded out 17 hits, including seven doubles, as all nine Greensboro batters hit safely. They jumped in front with a 6-run second inning off Robinson Leyer, who took the loss for Kannapolis, and added eight more runs off the Intimidators bullpen, including six more off Connor Walsh in his Class A debut. Christian Stringer gave Kannapolis an early lead with a first inning solo home run (9), and Jacob Morris added a home run (8) in the eighth to account for the Intimidators offense output on the day. Chris Sadberry tossed 4.0 relief innings in the win.

Hammered by Hoppers: Sunday’s loss to Greensboro saw Kannapolis give up a season-high 14 runs while enduring the largest margin of defeat of the season, surpassing the 13 runs Greenville scored against Kannapolis on April 11. The Intimidators also suffered its largest margin of defeat (12 runs) in the 14-2 loss, surpassing the 11-run loss to Greenville on April 11 (1-43). The 14 runs against the Intimidators are the most since Charleston beat Kannapolis, 15-5, on April 27, 2013. It’s the first time the Intimidators allowed double-digit runs since June 24 in an 11-10 loss in Hickory.

Pitcher of the Week: Left-hander Andre Wheeler was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week on Monday for the week of Aug. 11-17. Wheeler went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA with 10 scoreless innings over two starts while earning wins over Lexington and Greensboro. He is the fourth Intimidator to earn a weekly award this season, joining fellow pitchers Tyler Danish (April 28-May 4) and Thad Lowry (June 2-8) along with third baseman Trey Michalczewski (June 2-8). Wheeler extended his scoreless innings streak to 17 with five frames on Saturday, his third straight scoreless start. He faced the minimum through the first three innings, thanks to a pair of double-plays to erase two base runners. Wheeler last allowed a run on July 25 in Hagerstown. In his last seven games (five starts), he is 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA (5 ER/27 IP). This season, Wheeler is 3-3 with a 2.99 ERA with a team-high 97 strikeouts in 87.1 innings in 26 games (14 starts).

Christian’s String: Christian Stringer has strung together a season-best 8-game hitting streak, which is now one game shy of his career-best 9-game hitting streak that he put together at the end of 2013 with Advanced Rookie Great Falls. Stringer went 1-4 with a solo home run (9) on Sunday. He is batting .314 (11-35) in eight games since Aug. 10. After batting .245 through July, the left-handed-hitting Texan is batting .338 (24-71) in 17 games in August.

An Intimidator Knighted: Tyler Barnette, who opened this season in the Intimidators bullpen, made his Triple-A debut with the Charlotte Knights on Sunday, tossing 2.0 scoreless, hitless innings of relief with a strikeout in the Knights game against the Durham Bulls. The former Charlotte 49er became the first Intimidators player promoted directly to Triple-A since Adam Heisler made two stints with the Knights last August. This season in Kannapolis, Barnette went 2-8 with a 5.08 ERA over 85.0 IP in 25 games (11 starts) with Kannapolis, including a 1.51 ERA out of the bullpen.

Don’t Doubt Dowdy: Jeremy Dowdy continued to produce at the plate, going 1-4 with a run scored on Saturday, extending his hitting streak in the South Atlantic League to a career-best five games, batting .529 (9-17) since July 27. After batting .214 in 31 games last season with Kannapolis, he is hitting .307 (54-176) with a home run, nine doubles, two triples and 20 RBI in 47 games. After batting .295 during the first half of the season, Dowdy has upped his average to .328 (21-64) in 17 second-half games.

Broadcast Information: This season all 70 home games and select road games will be broadcast on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and on the TuneIn Radio App with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators.

Game Notes 8/17/14: Christian’s string, Wheeler a dealer, and a former Niner Knighted…

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS at GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS
58-65, 29-27 (Chicago White Sox)     78-48, 34-22 (Miami Marlins)
Sunday, August 17, 2014 – 4:00 p.m.
NewBridge Bank Park – Greensboro, N.C.
2nd Half Game #57 (124 of 137)
RH Robinson Leyer (5-8, 3.31) vs. RH Domingo German (8-3, 2.56)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) play for a second straight series victory after taking two of the first three games against the Grasshoppers (A, Marlins). Kannapolis has now won five of its last six games, including a shutout victory, 6-0, in Greensboro on Saturday. The Intimidators have won four of the six games they have played at NewBridge Bank Park, however the Hoppers still lead the season-series, 6-4. Today Robinson Leyer makes his team-leading 24th start of the season, which will tie for the second-most in the South Atlantic League, while dueling Greensboro ace Domingo German.

Pitchers Duel: Both of today’s starting pitchers rank among the South Atlantic League leaders in ERA. Domingo German (2.56) ranks fourth in the Sally while Robinson Leyer (3.31) is ninth. The two hurlers faced each other on June 15 in a game Greensboro eventually won against the Intimidators bullpen.

Intimidating Starter: Robinson Leyer, 21, makes his 24th start of 2014 and third against Greensboro. Leyer is coming off four straight quality starts (6 IP or more with 3 ER or less). In his last outing, he spun 7.0 innings, allowing a run on five hits with seven strikeouts and a walk in a no decision against the Legends. He has worked at least 6.0 innings in six of his last seven starts, including a career-high 7.2 innings in a home loss to Asheville on July 13. In two starts against the Grasshoppers, Leyer is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA (3 ER/13 IP), including his first career complete-game victory when he tossed all 7.0 innings in a rain-shortened win on July 8 at NewBridge Bank Park. Today Leyer is looking for his first win since his complete game in Greensboro and just his second win since June 5 in Asheville. He ranks sixth in the SAL with 127.2 IP and ninth in ERA. The younger brother of former Intimidator Euclides Leyer, Robinson spent 2013 with Advanced Rookie Bristol, going 2-7 with a 6.35 ERA in 13 starts.

Hoppers Hurler: Domingo German, who turned 22 on Aug. 4, makes his 23rd start and third against the Intimidators. He pitched Greensboro to a First Half clinching victory on June 15, allowing one unearned run on four hits over 7.0 innings but was battered by Kannapolis on July 7, allowing five runs on nine hits in 4.1 innings in a no decision. He ranks fourth in the SAL in ERA, tied for eighth with 104 strikeouts, and 20th with 112.1 IP. His eight wins rank tied for 11th on the circuit. He has not allowed an earned run in his last four outings, spanning 14.0 innings, and he has produced a scoreless start in four of his last six starts. In fact, the last time German allowed an earned run came against Kannapolis on July 7. German was lights out in the first half, going 7-2 with a 2.10 ERA in 14 starts, however he is fallen off the pace in the second half, going 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star Break.

About Last Night: Andre Wheeler led the Intimidators to a shutout victory, 6-0, over Greensboro on Saturday night. Wheeler (3-3) tossed 5.0 scoreless innings for the third straight start before turning the mound over to the bullpen. Andrew Mitchell followed with 2.0 innings of work, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out one.  Matt Abramson tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth for the save (6). The Intimidators broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth.  Jeremy Dowdy, who walked to reach base, took off from first on a hit-and-run with Toby Thomas at the plate.  Thomas laced a line drive over the head of left fielder Austin Dean, scoring Dowdy for a 1-0 lead.  In the sixth, Eddy Alvarez singled through the right side of the infield, and Christian Stringer followed with a triple to plate Alvarez for a 2-0 lead.  Stringer later scored on a Greensboro error for a 3-0 advantage. Danny Hayes broke the game open with two outs in the ninth inning, lining a bases-clearing double down the left field line to score Carl Thomore, Chevy Clarke and Ryan Leonards for a 6-0 lead.

Wheelin’ is Dealin’: Left-hander Andre Wheeler extended his scoreless innings streak to 17 with five farmes of work on Saturday, his third straight scoreless start. He faced the minimum through the first three innings, thanks to a pair of double-plays to erase two base runners. Wheeler last allowed a run on July 25 in Hagerstown. In his last seven games (five starts), he is 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA (5 ER/27 IP).

Christian’s String: Christian Stringer has strung together a season-best 7-game hitting streak, which is now two games shy of his career-best 9-game hitting streak that he put together at the end of 2013 with Advanced Rookie Great Falls. Stringer went 1-5 with an RBI-triple on Saturday, upping his average to .323 (10-31) in seven games since Aug. 10. After batting .245 through July, the left-handed-hitting Texan is batting .343 (23-67) in 16 games in August.

Don’t Doubt Dowdy: Jeremy Dowdy continued to produce at the plate, going 1-4 with a run scored on Saturday, extending his hitting streak in the South Atlantic League to a career-best five games, batting .529 (9-17) since July 27. After batting .214 in 31 games last season with Kannapolis, he is hitting .307 (54-176) with a home run, nine doubles, two triples and 20 RBI in 47 games. After batting .295 during the first half of the season, Dowdy has upped his average to .328 (21-64) in 17 second-half games.d

Steady Eddy: Eddy Alvarez, who won a short-track speed-skating silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, continued to hit since his promotion to Kannapolis on Monday.  He went 1-5 on Saturday and has now hit safely in all five games with Kannapolis, batting .474 (9-19). Alvarez put together an 8-game hitting streak with the AZL White Sox from July 16-28, batting .417 (15-36). The switch-hitting infielder hit safely in his last two games prior to joining the Intimidators, putting him at seven straight games with a hit between the AZL and South Atlantic League.

Hammerin’ Hayes: Danny Hayes overcame a slow start to this weekend’s series in Greensboro with a big finish to the Intimidators win on Saturday. After going 0-for-10 to open the series, Hayes drew his league-leading 65th walk before toe-dipping into the waters with a base hit in the eighth inning. He then burst through the floodgates with a bases-clearing double in the ninth, his 30th double of the season, which ranks tied for fifth in the league.

Niner Knighted: Former Charlotte 49ers RHP Tyler Barnette has been promoted to Triple-A Charlotte. He is 2-8 with a 5.08 ERA over 85.0 IP in 25 games (11 starts) with Kannapolis, including a 1.51 ERA out of the bullpen. Barnette is the first Intimidators player promoted directly to Triple-A since Adam Heisler made two stints with the Knights last August.

No Broadcast Today: Broadcasts on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com & on the TuneIn Radio App, will resume when the team returns to Kannapolis on Tuesday, Aug. 19. This season all 70 home games and select road games will be broadcast on the KIBN with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators.

CEENTA Sights & Sounds of the Week (Aug. 17)

From an Olympian joining the team to a catcher’s triple, and from a game-ending double play to a twin-killing off a ricochet, the Intimidators have seen (and done) a little bit of everything in the past week.  In this highlight-heavy edition of Sights & Sounds of the Week, presented by Charlotte Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat Associates, we jump into those highlights and game recaps as the Intimidators enter the home stretch of the 2014 season.

A Look at the Olympian

Eddy Alvarez joined Kannapolis on Monday from the AZL White Sox and immediately made an impact.

Eddy Alvarez joined Kannapolis on Monday from the AZL White Sox and immediately made an impact.

As described in a blog post on Monday, the Intimidators made a roster move at the beginning of the week that seemed as if the newsworthiness would be in the promotion of the player going up, not in whom Kannapolis was receiving as the corresponding move.  That was until we realized that replacing Trey Michalczewski was Olympian Eddy Alvarez.  The folks at MiLB have done a great job detailing the journey Alvarez has taken from baseball to speed-skating and back to baseball.

On Tuesday, Alvarez made his Class A debut with Kannapolis, coming through with this game-tying base hit in the Intimidators’ eventual 5-1 win over Lexington.

At the plate, it’s been a great debut week for Alvarez, who hit .474 (9-19) in his first five games since his promotion from the Arizona White Sox. And while defensively he still needs a little work to catch up to the other middle-infielders on the Intimidators roster, you can see the makings of something special. After that game-tying base-hit on Tuesday, Alvarez was involved in turning the game-ending double-play for secure the Intimidators’ win.

As I said, not a bad debut for Alvarez. Also, he says his folks may make a trip up to Kannapolis, and if they do, we may get a chance to see that silver medal (he keeps it at home with them, reportedly in his sock drawer according to an interview he did with Joe Habina of The Observer and Cabarrus News).

JEREMY DOWDY TRIPLE HEADLINE

Jeremy Dowdy is batting over .300 in 48 games with Kannapolis in 2014.

Jeremy Dowdy is batting over .300 in 48 games with Kannapolis in 2014.

Now turning our attention from a guy who is fast enough to medal in the Olympics to a man whose speed is deceptive (read: he’s faster than you think … I guess). Catcher Jeremy Dowdy tripled on Monday during a 4-run 8th inning against Lexington to break open the game. Here’s the highlight:

Afterwards, Dowdy made sure to let us know — via Twitter — that catchers are faster than we might think.

Fast-forward to Saturday, and Dowdy scored from first base on a hit-and-run where Toby Thomas doubled over the left-fielder’s head in Greensboro.

A Wheeler and a Dealer

Andre Wheeler has not allowed a run since July 25, a streak of 17 scoreless innings.

Andre Wheeler has not allowed a run since July 25, a streak of 17 scoreless innings.

Speaking of Saturday’s game in Greensboro, starting pitcher Andre Wheeler ran his scoreless innings streak to 17 with his third straight start of 5.0 shutout frames on his way to a second straight win. The left-hander has not allowed a run (earned or otherwise) since July 25 in Hagerstown. On Saturday, he faced the minimum through three innings (thanks to a couple double-play balls) and eventually worked five frames before calling it an evening and letting the bullpen complete the shutout victory.

Highlight of Wheeler’s outing to come — still being processed by MiLB

Also still to come, the highlight of Christian Stringer turning a double-play off a deflection from shortstop Ryan Leonards.  Check back later today. You won’t want to miss this!

 

Hammering Hayes

True the Intimidators now have an outfielder named Chevy, but Danny Hayes is the one that’s been “like a rock” for Kannapolis in 2014. The first baseman is batting a team-best .292 through Saturday’s game despite a slow start to the series. In fact, Hayes was 0-for-10 in Greensboro before dipping his toes in the water with an 8th inning single. Then in the 9th, Hayes provided a cannon ball into the middle of the pool, washing away the Grasshoppers with a bases-clearing double.

That’s this week’s highlight wrap up with the CEENTA Sights & Sounds of the Week.  Thanks for viewing & listening.

-JF
@BigTexJosh

Game Notes 8/16/14: Andre’s been giant, a dinger for Stringer, don’t doubt Dowdy, and steady Eddy…

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS at GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS

56-65, 27-27 (Chicago White Sox)      78-46, 34-20 (Miami Marlins)
Saturday, August 16, 2014 – 7:00 p.m.
NewBridge Bank Park – Greensboro, N.C.
2nd Half Game #55 (122 of 137)
LH Andre Wheeler (2-3, 3.17) vs. RH Cody Crabaugh (4-2, 4.60)

Today’s Preview: Andre Wheeler looks to keep his scoreless innings streak in tact as he toes the rubber for the Intimidators (A, White Sox) in the third game of this 4-game series against the Grasshoppers (A, Marlins) on Saturday at NewBridge Bank Park. Wheeler, who has not allowed a run since a July 25 loss in Hagerstown, has not allowed a run in 12.0 innings including a pair of 5-inning outings in his last two starts. The left-hander will dual Greensboro’s Cody Crabaugh, who returns to a starting role for the first time since July 23. With this series tied 1-1, Kannapolis looks for a leg up after winning Friday, 6-3.

Intimidating Starter: Andre Wheeler, 22, makes his 14th start of the season and 26th appearance as he faces the Grasshoppers for just the second time in 2014. He has pitched three straight scoreless outings since giving up five runs over 4.1 innings in a July 25 loss in Hagerstown. Wheeler spun 2.0 hitless relief innings on July 31 against Augusta before his first of two straight 5.0-inning starts. The lefty is coming off a win over Lexington on Aug. 11. In his last six games (four starts), Wheeler is 1-1 with a 2.02 ERA. After trading starts with Jordan Guerrero since mid-June, Wheeler has assumed one of the Intimidators five starting spots. He is 2-3 with a 3.57 ERA in 13 starts compared to a 2.22 ERA in 12 games in relief. The White Sox selected Wheeler in the 15th round of the June 2013 Draft out of Texas Tech. 

Hoppers Hurler: Cody Crabaugh, 23, makes his ninth start of the season and third against Kannapolis. This is Crabaugh’s first start since July 23, making four relief appearances since. He’s been relatively consistent between starting and relieving, going 3-1 with a 4.75 ERA in eight starts compared to going 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA in nine games out of the bullpen. Crabaugh’s two starts against Kannapolis have been at both ends of the spectrum. On June 13, he limited the Intimidators to a run on four hits over 6.1 innings in a no decision, but he took a loss on July 8, allowing season-highs with six runs and 10 hits over 4.0 innings. Crabaugh opened this season with Class A-Advanced Jupiter, making two relief appearances. The Marlins selected Crabaugh in the 32nd round of the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Oklahoma City University. He graduated from Edmond North (Okla.) High School.

About Last Night: The Intimidators scored all six runs with two outs, using timely hits to squash the Grasshoppers, 6-3, on Friday. Christian Stringer launched a 2-run home run (8) with two outs in the sixth inning for a 6-2 lead. Eddy Alvarez finished 2-4 with a double, a walk, and a run scored. Dylan Chavez (4-4) worked 2 and 2/3 innings, allowing a run on two hits with two walks and a strikeout while earning the win. Tyler Barnette retired the final seven Greensboro batters of the game of the save (1).  Greensboro starter Ryan Wertenberger (1-1) took the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits over 4.0 innings. The Intimidators pulled ahead in the third inning when Alvarez, who led off with a base hit, scored on a 2-out single by Jacob Morris.  Morris later crossed the plate on a Greensboro error after a Jeremy Dowdy base-hit was misplayed in right field for a 3-1 lead. After the Hoppers got a run back in the bottom of the third on a Joel Jiminez 2-out single, Kannapolis returned fire in the top of the fourth. Stringer’s 2-out base hit plated Mike Danner for a 4-2 lead. Down 1-0 in the second inning, Jeremy Dowdy led off with a base hit, and T.J. Williams came through with a 2-out game-tying single to score Dowdy.

Dinger for Stringer: Christian Stringer went 3-5 with a home run (8) and a team-leading 3 RBI on Friday – his eighth 3-hit game of the season and first since collecting three hits in three straight games Aug. 3-5. After batting .245 through July, the left-handed-hitting Texan is batting .355 (22-62) in 15 games in August, who has heated up August before. A year ago, Stringer hit .356 (26-73) in 21 games for the Voyagers during this month.

Don’t Doubt Dowdy: Jeremy Dowdy has made great strides offensively in 2014, batting .308 (53-172) with an on-base percentage of .367 in 46 games as the Kannapolis catcher. The former Appalachian State Mountaineer is hitting .362 (17-47) against left-handed pitching. After batting .295 during the first half of the season, Dowdy upped his average to .333 (20-60) in 16 second-half games. Last season with the Intimidators, he hit .214 (21-98) in 31 games in the South Atlantic League.

Steady Eddy: Eddy Alvarez, who won a short-track speed-skating silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, continued his hot start since his promotion to Kannapolis on Monday.  He went 2-4 on Friday, dropping his average to .571 (8-14) in four games. The switch-hitting infielder has now reached base in 10 of his 16 plate appearances for a .625 on-base percentage with Kannapolis.

No Broadcasts this weekend: Broadcasts on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, which are available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com & on the TuneIn Radio App, will resume when the team returns to Kannapolis on Tuesday, Aug. 19. This season all 70 home games and select road games will be broadcast on the KIBN with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators.


Game Notes 8/15/14: Guerrero going against Greensboro, the Sochi slugger, and Salgado’s strikeouts

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS at GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS
56-65, 27-27 (Chicago White Sox)     78-46, 34-20 (Miami Marlins)
Friday, August 15, 2014 – 7:00 p.m.
NewBridge Bank Park – Greensboro, N.C.
2nd Half Game #55 (122 of 137)
LH Jordan Guerrero (6-0, 3.00) vs. RH Ryan Wertenberger (1-0, 4.05)

Today’s Preview: Jordan Guerrero makes his second straight start in over a year as the Intimidators (A, White Sox) look to bounce back from Thursday’s loss to the Grasshoppers (A, Marlins). Guerrero, who opened the season in the Kannapolis bullpen, had alternated starts with Andre Wheeler before both were moved fully into the rotation last week. The left-hander will dual Greensboro right-hander Ryan Wertenberger in the second game of a 4-game series. The Grasshoppers lead the season-series against Kannapolis, 6-2.

Intimidating Starter: Jordan Guerrero, 20, makes his second straight start, his sixth of the year, after opening 2014 as an Intimidators reliever. He last started consecutive games in 2013, when he started five games for Bristol before his season ended with an injury in late July. This season, Guerrero is 2-0 with a 3.57 ERA (9 ER/22.2 IP) in five starts compared to 4-0 with a 2.65 ERA (11 ER/37.1 IP) in 18 relief appearances. The left-hander continues to improve, with a 2.70 ERA in 10 games (five starts) in the Second Half after going 3-0 with a 3.47 ERA in 13 games before the All-Star Break. Guerrero was drafted in the 15th round of the 2012 first year player draft by the White Sox. He went 0-4 over the course of two seasons with advanced rookie Bristol in 12 app/5 starts with a 3.93 ERA (15 ER/34.1 IP).

Hoppers Hurler: Ryan Wertenberger, 24, makes his eighth start of the season and his 13th appearance when he faces Kannapolis for the second time this season. He worked out of the bullpen on July 7 against the Intimidators, allowing three runs on four hits, including a pair of home runs, with four strikeouts and a walk in 1.2 innings. Following his relief outing against Kannapolis, Wertenberger moved into the rotation, going 1-0 with a 4.11 ERA in seven starts after posting a 3.86 ERA in five relief appearances. Wertenberger signed with the Marlins after finishing his collegiate career in 2013, making his professional debut with the GCL Marlins. He has split this season between Short-A Batavia, Greensboro and High-A Jupiter, going 2-0 with a 4.53 ERA (25 ER/49.2 IP) in 18 games (seven starts).

About Last Night: Greensboro used a pair of leadoff home runs in the sixth and seventh innings to overtake the Intimidators to win, 4-3, on Thursday. Avery Romero opened the sixth with a game-tying home run (5) off Brad Salgado (2-2) to knot the game, 3-3.  One inning later, J.T. Riddle launched a bomb (9) to right field for a 4-3 lead. Kannapolis overcame a 2-0 deficit with three runs in the top of the fifth against reliever Tyler Kane.  Ryan Leonards blasted a 2-out, 2-run double over the head of center fielder Yefri Perez, scoring Toby Thomas and Carl Thomore to tie the game.  Two batters later, Christian Stringer singled to right field, cashing Leonards for a 3-2 lead.  Kane (2-0) recovered to toss two more scoreless frames, finishing the night after 3.0 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with three walks, earning the win.  Tyler Bremer and Tyler Kinley each tossed a perfect relief inning with Kinley notching the save (10). Greensboro jumped ahead in the first inning a J.T. Riddle singled to lead off the frame and moved to second on a Chris Hoo base hit.  Two batters later, Riddle scored on a Felix Munoz sacrifice-fly for a 1-0 lead.  The Hoppers extended their lead in the fourth inning when Kentrell Dewitt scored on an Eddy Alvarez throwing error for a 2-0 lead.

The Sochi Slugger: Eddy Alvarez, who won a speed skating silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, continued his hot start since his promotion to Kannapolis on Monday.  He went 2-3 on Thursday and is now batting .600 (6-10) in three games. 

Salgado Strikeouts: Brad Salgado struck out a career-high four batters over 3.0 innings but took the loss on Thursday, allowing the two home runs in a relief effort. He had given up just one home run this season, on Aug. 3 against Augusta, before Monday’s game.

Game Broadcasts: Friday’s game in Greensboro will be carried live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com & on the TuneIn Radio App. This season all 70 home games and select road games will be broadcast on the KIBN with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators.

Game Notes 8/14/14: Going back to Greensboro, twice the touchdowns, and Hayes continues to walk

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS at GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS
56-64, 27-26 (Chicago White Sox)        77-46, 33-20 (Miami Marlins)
Thursday, August 14, 2014 – 7:00 p.m.
NewBridge Bank Park – Greensboro, N.C.
2nd Half Game #54 (121 of 137)
RH Thad Lowry (4-5, 4.50) vs. LH Jarlin Garcia (9-5, 4.85)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) hit the road for a 4-game series against the Grasshoppers (A, Marlins) at NewBridge Bank Park. Kannapolis is coming off a 3-game home sweep against Lexington, which snapped a 6-game slide, while Greensboro rides a 4-game winning streak into this series, having just swept three games against Lakewood to open a home stand. The Grasshoppers lead the season-series against the Intimidators, 5-2, however Kannapolis has won 2 of 3 games in Greensboro this season.

Intimidating Starter: Thad Lowry, 19, makes his 16th start and second road start against the Grasshoppers, which tagged him for six runs on seven hits and a career-high six walks over 4.2 innings in a no decision on July 7. He has struggled on the road, going 1-3 with a 6.12 ERA (29 ER/42.2 IP) in nine starts compared to 3-2 with a 2.43 ERA (9 ER/33.1 IP) in six starts in Kannapolis. Lowry tossed a complete game no-hitter in a rain-shortened 5-inning contest at West Virginia on June 3, earning South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week honors for the gem. It was the first complete game no-hitter for Kannapolis since June 10, 2003, when Brian Miller no-hit Greensboro. In June and July, Lowry went 4-2 with a 3.98 ERA (24 ER/54.1 IP) in nine starts. The White Sox selected Lowry in the fifth round of the June 2013 draft, and he went 3-5 with a 5.48 ERA in 15 games (7 starts).

Hoppers Hurler: Jarlin Garcia, 21, makes his team-leading 23rd start of the season and his first against Kannapolis. The left-hander has not missed a start since opening the season as the Grasshoppers No. 2 starter, and is coming off 5.0 scoreless frames of 1-hit ball in a no decision on Aug. 9 at Hickory. It was Garcia’s first scoreless outing of the season. Garcia has worked at least 5.0 complete innings in his last 14 outings, last failing to finish the fifth on May 16 against Rome (4.1 IP). In his last four starts, he has a 1.64 ERA (4 ER/22 IP) yet has suffered a pair of losses in that stretch. In 2013, Garcia went 2-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 15 starts for Short-A Batavia. He made his professional debut with the DSL Marlins in 2011.

About Last Night: Kannapolis erupted for seven runs in the seventh in a 9-5 win over the Legends. Eddy Alvarez paced a 12-hit game for the Intimidators, going 3-4 with two RBI and a run scored.  Danny Hayes went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and two walks. Kannapolis overcame three Lexington home runs, trailing 3-2 going into the seventh. Toby Thomas drove in Hayes to tie the game with one out, and T.J. Williams followed with a go-ahead 2-run triple.  Alvarez added his second RBI-single of the day.  A Legends error along with base-hit by Hayes in his second plate appearance of the inning chased reliever Luis Rico from the game.  Chevy Clarke scored one more run on a passed ball for a 9-3 lead before reliever Andrew Brockett was able to end the inning. Jeff McKenzie (3-4) picked up the win, opening with three scoreless frames before allowing a Frank Schwindel 2-run home run (19) with no outs in the eighth to pull the Legends within four, 9-5. Chris Freudenberg struck out a season-high-tying seven batters over 4.0 innings.  He gave up three runs on four hits, including solo home runs by Dominique Taylor and Elier Hernandez, while walking one.  Rico (3-8) took the loss for the Legends, allowing seven runs (four earned) on eight hits over 2 and 2/3 relief innings.

Twice the Touchdowns: Kannapolis scored seven runs in an inning twice during the past series against Lexington, including a 7-run seventh inning on Wednesday afternoon’s win. The Intimidators also plated seven runs a part in the third during a 10-0 blowout in the series opener on Monday. The team’s highest-scoring inning of the season came on June 25 at Hickory when Kannapolis put up eight runs against the Crawdads in a 12-3 win.

Walk This Way: Danny Hayes drew a pair of walks Wednesday to raise his South Atlantic League-leading walk total to 63.  He ranks tied for fourth in the league with a .390 OBP.

Game Broadcasts: Thursday and Friday’s games in Greensboro will be carried live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com & on the TuneIn Radio App. This season all 70 home games and select road games will be broadcast on the KIBN with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators.

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