Game Notes 8/28/16: Last home game of the season, can’t hold anything back

Kannapolis Intimidators (31-31, 55-77) vs. Columbia Fireflies (26-36, 62-70)
Saturday, August 27, 2016 – 7:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System (opened 1995) – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #133 of 140
RH Luis Martinez (7-9, 3.90) vs. RH Gaby Almonte (3-5, 5.22)

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Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) host their final regular season home game in 2016 as they face the Columbia Fireflies (A, Mets) in the rubber match of this 3-game series. The South Atlantic League leader in games started, Luis Martinez, makes his 27th start on the mound for Kannapolis against Columbia’s Gaby Almonte in the home finale at Intimidators Stadium. In the SAL Northern Division standings, Kannapolis is now fifth, 7.0 games back of Lakewood with eight games left in the regular season. The Intimidators elimination number sits at 2.

Intimidating Starter: Luis Martinez, 21, makes his 27th start of the season and first against a Mets affiliate in his career. The lanky right-hander did not see Columbia in the First Half nor did he face Savannah in 2015. He is coming off a road loss at Rome, allowing four runs on five hits over 5.2 innings, only his second loss since June 29. Martinez, who is two starts removed from a career-high nine strikeouts over 5.0 scoreless innings at Greenville on August 18, has been solid in the second half, going 5-3 with a 2.84 ERA (20 ER/63.1 IP) in 12 starts since the break. His 132 strikeouts rank fifth in the league, and he is fifth among starters in highest strikeouts/9 IP ratio at 9.19 (132 SO/129.1 IP). This is Martinez’s second season with Kannapolis. In 2015, he went 4-14 with a 5.38 ERA in 24 games.

For the Fireflies: Gaby Almonte, 24, makes his 13th start of the season and his first career start against a White Sox affiliate. The right-hander is coming off a home win over Augusta in which he allowed four runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings while striking out none and walking one. He has given up three earned runs or more in eight of his 12 starts with the ‘Flies and four earned or more in six of those starts. Almonte spent the bulk of 2015 with Short-Season Brooklyn, going 6-7 with a 3.68 ERA in 14 games (14 starts) before making on appearance with Savannah. He made his professional debut in 2011 with the DSL Mets and made his domestic debut in 2013.

About Last Night: Columbia scored seven runs in the third inning to pull away for a 10-6 win over Kannapolis. The Intimidators out-hit the Fireflies, 11-10, with Micker Adolfo finishing 3-4 with a double, a triple, two RBI, and two runs scored while Seby Zavala was also 3-4. Chase Ingram earned the win for the ‘Flies, working around six runs (four earned) on 11 hits over 5.1 innings while Max Beatty (4-6) took the loss, giving up eight runs (four earned) on eight hits in 2.2 innings. Kannapolis struck out 13 Columbia batters on the night.

Baker’s Dozen: Five Intimidators pitchers combined to strike out 13 batters on Saturday, led by reliever Danny Dopico’s five strikeouts, one shy of his career-high. Max Beatty fanned four, and Johnathan Frebis fanned three over 2.0 relief innings. Ian Hamilton added one in the eighth. The Intimidators have struck out double-digit batters 22 times this season.

Break in the Daily Routine: First baseman Cody Daily went 0-3 on Saturday to see his team-best 14-game hitting streak come to an end. He had hit safely from August 12-26, batting .370 (17-46) with three doubles, four RBI, and five runs scored. The 14-game hitting streak, which is tied for the seventh-longest in the SAL this season, is the longest by an Intimidators player since Michael Suiter hit safely in 23 straight games last season Daily did draw a walk on Saturday to extend his on-base streak to 20 games, which ties Danny Mendick (April 11-May 21) for the longest on-base streak for Kannapolis in 2016.

Healthy Dose of Adolfo: Micker Adolfo finished a home run shy of the cycle on Saturday, with a single, a double, and a triple at the plate while finishing 3-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. He grounded out to third base in his one at-bat with a chance at completing the feat. Adolfo, who came off the Disabled List on Saturday to return to the lineup, now has four games with at least three hits for the Intimidators in 2016, including a career-high 4-hit game July 26 at Delmarva.

Frebis on Fire: Johnathan Frebis has not allowed a run in his last four games (two starts), a span of 13.1 innings of scoreless ball. Dating back to his August 9 win at Hagerstown when he gave up one run in 5.2 innings, he has posted a 0.47 ERA (1 ER/19.0 IP) in five games (three starts).

Easterling at the Top: League ERA leader Brannon Easterling has posted a 2.07 ERA in 113.0 innings this season, which is now enough to qualify for the South Atlantic League ERA title in a 140 game season (.8 IP/team game). The right-hander has possibly two more starts left in 2016, on Wednesday in Lakewood then on Monday in the season finale at Delmarva. Easterling could become the first Intimidators pitcher to lead the SAL in ERA since Corwin Malone in 2001.

Broadcast Information: All 140 Intimidators games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network online at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his sixth season as the “Voice of the Intimidators.” Erik Oas will handle play-by-play during weekend home games.

Game Notes 8/27/16: Triples decide game for I’s, Daily’s streak continues, & and this date in baseball history (triples edition)

Columbia Fireflies (25-36, 61-70)at Kannapolis Intimidators (31-30, 55-76)
Saturday, August 27, 2016 – 7:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System (opened 1995) – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #132 of 140
RH Chase Ingram (7-9, 4.48) vs. RH Max Beatty (4-5, 3.00)

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Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) welcome in the Columbia Fireflies (A, New York, NL) for the final home series of the season. Kannapolis returns home following a three game sweep in Rome stretching their losing streak to five game and setting them seven games back of the first place Lakewood BlueClaws.

 

Intimidating Starter: Max Beatty, 25, makes his 11th appearance and start of the season for Kannapolis. Beatty was not with Kannapolis when they first faced the Fireflies on April 29-May 2. The Vancouver Washington native was signed by the White Sox in June of this year after spending time in two Independent leagues in 2015. First Beatty pitched for the San Rafael Pacifics, helping the team to a championship in the Pacific Association and then pitched in one game for the Wichita Wingnuts of the American Association. Beatty’s biggest obstacle to overcome was his diagnosis with testicular cancer in late 2011. The righty missed a year of baseball but returned to the field in 2012 and was selected by the San Diego Padres. Beatty has earned the reputation with the Intimidators as a quick worker who will throw the “kitchen sink” during his outings.

 

Fireflies starter: Chase Ingram, 21, makes his 24th appearance and start of the season for the Fireflies. Ingram took the loss in his only outing against Kannapolis on May 2nd. During the outing, the righty lasted just two innings, giving up three runs, one earned, on two hits three walks and two strikeouts. IT was his shortest outing of the year in both innings and pitches thrown. He jumped up draft boards with a strong season at Hillsborough Community College, going 11-1 with a 1.88ERA. Ingram is known for having just an average fastball but a curve that far more developed than other pitchers at this level.

 

About Last Night: Jake Fincher and Danny Mendick became the first Kannapolis Intimidators of the 2016 season to go back-to-back with triples in a 6-3 win Friday night over the Columbia Fireflies at Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System.  Columbia (25-36 Second Half, 61-70) pitching combined to strike out 11 Intimidators, but Kannapolis (31-30 Second Half, 55-76) racked up 12 hits to snap a four game losing streak. Mendick paced the offense with a 3-for-4 night for Kannapolis that included a triple, an RBI and a run scored. Grant Massey added an RBI single in the eighth, his second RBI of the night, to pad the Intimidators lead.

 

Doing It Daily: Cody Daily went 2-4 on Friday to extend his current hitting streak to 14 games, the longest streak by an Intimidators player in 2016. He is batting .372 (16-43) with three doubles, four RBI, and five runs scored since August 12 and has tied for the 7th longest hitting streak in the SAL this season. Daily’s streak, which surpasses the 11-game hit streak by Danny Mendick from April 20-May 21 for the longest by an Intimidator this season, is the longest by a Kannaplis player since Michael Suiter’s 23-game hitting streak last season which lasted July 19-August 14, 2015. Daily’s 12-game streak surpasses his 11 game hit streak that opened his career with the AZL White Sox from June 20-July 5, 2015.

 

They going back-to-back (Drake freestyle): Jake Fincher and Danny Mendick combined to go back-to-back with triples in the seventh inning of Friday night’s win over the Fireflies. It was the first time this season that the Intimidators had registered back-to-back triples in game. Both three baggers came with two out in the inning, and helped to break a 3-3 tie.

 

The Glass is Half Full: For the 39th time this season the Intimidators collected 10 or more hits in a game, half of the hits for Kannapolis went for extra bases. Bradly Strong, Tyler Sullivan, Cody Daily and Zach Remillard each had doubles with Danny Mendick and Jake Fincher tallying triples.

 

When it rains it pours: Danny Mendick was a factor in nearly all of the Intimidators rallies Friday night. The shortstop went 3-for-4 and has now collected two more hits in three of his last six games.

 

Wright is … well right: Ben Wright earned his third save of the season with two perfect innings of relief. The righty from Ventura California set down the six Fireflies batters he faced, striking out two to close the door on the Intimidators first win in their last five games.

 

This Date in Baseball History: On this date in 1938, in the first game of a twin bill at the Bronx ballpark, Joe DiMaggio hits three consecutive triples. The Yankee Clipper’s offensive outburst helps the Bombers edge Cleveland, 8-7.

 

Broadcast Information: All 140 Intimidators games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network online at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his sixth season as the “Voice of the Intimidators.” Erik Oas will handle play-by-play during weekend home games.

Game Notes 8/26/16: 2nd rd pick Hansen to start, Daily’s streak continues, & an angry this date in baseball history

Columbia Fireflies (25-35, 61-69)at Kannapolis Intimidators (30-30, 54-76)
Friday, August 26, 2016 – 7:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System (opened 1995) – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #131 of 140
RH Nabil Crismatt (1-1, 1.25) vs. RH Alec Hansen (0-0, 0.00)

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Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) welcome in the Columbia Fireflies (A, New York, NL) for the final home series of the season. Kannapolis returns home following a three game sweep in Rome stretching their losing streak to five game and setting them seven games back of the first place Lakewood BlueClaws.

Intimidating Starter: Alec Hansen, 21, makes his Class A debut after being selected by the Chicago White Sox in this year’s MLB Draft. In ten previous starts, at the Rookie ball level, Hansen has been effective. His professional record thus far is 2-0 with a 1.03 ERA (5 ER/ 43.2 IP) in ten starts. Hansen arrived on many pro scouts radars his senior year of High School. In his final year of High School, Hansen struck out 71 batters to post an ERA of 0.91 earning him a 25th round selection by his hometown Colorado Rockies. Still, the righty elected to head to college and pitch for the Sooners of Oklahoma. Despite early projections of him being selected in the first round Hansen fell to the second due to fear over his command. His repertoire – Fastball 95-97 maxs out at 99, a high 70’s curveball and a mid 80’s slider – has worked well in his professional career, thus far. Hansen signed immediately after being drafter for exact slot value of $1,284,500.

Fireflies starter: Nabil Crismatt, 21, makes his fourth appearance and third start of the year for Columbia. The righty earned the call up to the Fireflies in August following a strong 31 innings of work with the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York Penn League. Originally called up to the fireflies as a spot starter the Columbia native has made the most of his time with Columbia. He has a record of 1-1 to go with his 1.25 ERA (3 ER/ 21.1 IP). Originally signed as an international free agent in May 2012, Crismatt is currently in his fifth season with the Mets organization. He spent all of 2012 and 2013 in Dominican South League with both Mets1 and Mets2 as the organization has two teams at the level following their withdrawal from the Venezuelan Summer League prior to the 2010 season.

About Last Night: Cody Daily extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games, but the Intimidators fell in extra-inning, 2-1 in 10 innings, to the Rome Braves on Thursday at State Mutual Stadium. Kannapolis (30-30 Second Half, 54-76) dropped its fifth straight game while Rome won its eighth in a row to complete the 3-game series sweep. The Intimidators led 1-0 until Rome tied the game in the eighth off Jack Charleston. Tyler Neslony led off the inning with a base hit and stole second base. An error by Grant Massey gave Rome an extra out, and Kevin Josephina capitalized with a 2-out RBI-single to plate Neslony to tie the game.

Doing It Daily: Cody Daily went 1-3 on Thursday to extend his current hitting streak to 13 games, the longest streak by an Intimidators player in 2016. He is batting .357 (14-39) with two doubles, two RBI, and four runs scored since August 12 and has tied for the 16th longest hitting streak in the SAL this season. Daily’s streak, which surpasses the 11-game hit streak by Danny Mendick from April 20-May 21 for the longest by an Intimidator this season, is the longest by a Kannaplis player since Michael Suiter’s 23-game hitting streak last season which lasted July 19-August 14, 2015. Daily’s 12-game streak surpasses his 11 game hit streak that opened his career with the AZL White Sox from June 20-July 5, 2015.

Bonus Baseball on the Road: Thursday night’s 2-1 10 innings loss to the Rome Braves continued a theme of late for the Intimidators. Over their last six road games three have been settled in extra innings.

Home is where the Hits are: Antonio Rodriguez does not pay attention to labels. “Intimidators stadium is a pitcher’s park,” is a label Rodriguez choses to ignore. In 60 games at the friendly confines he is hitting .271 (60/221) nearly 70 points higher than his road average of .202 (45/223).

Sooner Rather Than Later: Former Oklahoma Sooners pitcher Alec Hansen, the White Sox second round pick (49th overall) in the June 2016 First-Year Player Draft is scheduled to make his Class A debut on Friday in Kannapolis against Columbia.

This Date in Baseball History: On this date in 1961, after seeing a caricature of himself on the scoreboard, an angry Leo Duroucher calls the Astrodome’s press box to have it removed. When nothing is done, the enraged Cubs manager rips the phone out of the dugout wall and tosses it onto the infield.

Broadcast Information: All 140 Intimidators games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network online at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his sixth season as the “Voice of the Intimidators.” Erik Oas will handle play-by-play during weekend home games.

Game Notes 8/25/16: Easterling on short rest, getting hits Daily, zapped by Zavala

Kannapolis Intimidators (30-29, 54-75) at Rome Braves (36-23, 63-65)
Thursday, August 25, 2016 – 7:00 p.m.
State Mutual Stadium (opened 2003) – Rome, Ga.
Game #130 of 140
RH Brannon Easterling (6-3, 2.17) vs. RH Touki Toussaint (4-8, 4.11)

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Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) look to avoid a sweep and snap a four-game losing skid as South Atlantic League ERA leader Brannon Easterling takes the hill on short rest to face the streaking Rome Braves (A, Atlanta) in the series finale. Rome has won seven straight games to claim a 1.5 game lead in the SAL Southern Division as Kannapolis has fallen into a fourth place tie, 6.0 games back of first place Lakewood with 11 games to go in the 2016 regular season.

Brannon Easterling

Kannapolis Intimidators starting pitcher Brannon Easterling (38) in action against the Hickory Crawdads at Kannapolis Intimidators Stadium on June 11, 2016 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The Crawdads defeated the Intimidators 7-5. (Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)

Intimidating Starter: Brannon Easterling, 26, makes his 16th start and 32nd appearance as he faces Rome for the second time. He spun 3.0 perfect innings with four strikeouts in a no decision against the Braves on June 28. Easterling leads the SAL with a 2.17 ERA and in the Second Half has gone 3-2 with a 1.89 ERA (13 ER/62.0 IP) in 12 games (12 starts). He is two starts removed from striking out a career-high seven over 6.0 innings, allowing two runs over 6.0 innings. The Texas native pitched exclusively out of the bullpen until moving to the starting rotation on June 7. The White Sox selected him in the 20th round of the June 2014 draft out of St. Edwards University.

Brave on the Bump: Touki Toussaint, 20, makes his 23rd start and 25th appearance as he faces a White Sox affiliate for the first time in his career. He is coming off a road win at Asheville on August 20, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits over 5.2 innings with eight strikeouts. Toussaint fanned a career-high 11 in 4.0 innings in a July 21 loss against Lexington. He is the No. 10 Prospect in the Braves organization according to MLB.com. The Diamondbacks selected Toussaint in the first round (16th overall) in the June 2014 draft as the third prep pitcher taken that summer, and he was traded the following summer to the Braves. According to MLB.com, he possessed one of the best curve balls in his draft class but the D-Backs limited how often he threw it early in his career to develop his other pitches. Last season between Kane County and Rome, he went 5-7 with a 4.83 ERA in 17 games (17 starts) at Class A.

About Last Night: Rome kept Kannapolis off the board over the final seven innings in a 7-4 Braves win, their seventh straight. Mike Soroka (8-9) struck out six over 6.0 innings and bounced back from allowing four runs over the first two innings. Oriel Caicedo and Chase Johnson-Mullins combined to spin the final 3.0 scoreless innings. Jimmy Lambert (0-4) suffered his third straight loss, allowing five runs on six hits over 2.0 innings.

Doing It Daily: Cody Daily went 2-4 on Wednesday to extend his current hitting streak to 12 games, the longest streak by an Intimidators player in 2016. He is batting .359 (14-39) with two doubles, two RBI, and four runs scored since August 12 and has tied for the 16th longest hitting streak in the SAL this season. Daily’s streak, which surpasses the 11-game hit streak by Danny Mendick from April 20-May 21 for the longest by an Intimidator this season, is the longest by a Kannaplis player since Michael Suiter’s 23-game hitting streak last season which lasted July 19-August 14, 2015. Daily’s 12-game streak surpasses his 11 game hit streak that opened his career with the AZL White Sox from June 20-July 5, 2015.

Frebis From the Pen: Johnathan Frebis faced the minimum over 2.0 scoreless innings in his first relief appearance of 2016 on Wednesday. The left-hander hit the first batter he faced but started a 1-6-3 double play to erase the base runner and retired five straight. Frebis’ move to the bullpen creates a starting role for second round pick Alec Hansen.

Hamilton Handles It: Ian Hamilton struck out a career-high four batters, working around one hit over 2.0 scoreless innings on Wednesday. The right-hander has been lights out for Kannapolis since July 28, posting a 1.15 (2 ER/15.2 IP) and 14 strikeouts while recording saves in all seven opportunities. Hamilton has not allowed a run in his last three outings.

Sooner Rather Than Later: Former Oklahoma Sooners pitcher Alec Hansen, the White Sox second round pick (49th overall) in the June 2016 First-Year Player Draft is scheduled to make his Class A debut on Friday in Kannapolis against Columbia.

Seby ZavalaZapped by Zavala: Seby Zavala threw out Kevin Josephina at second base Wednesday to nab his 43th base runner of the season, second-most in the league (48, Matt Winn, AUG). Zavala has thrown out runners at a .371 clip (43 CS/116 ATT), fourth-best in the SAL.

Game Notes 8/24/16: Lambert v. Soroka as Intimidators fight for playoff

Kannapolis Intimidators (30-28, 55-74) at Rome Braves (35-23, 62-65)
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 – 7:00 p.m.
State Mutual Stadium (opened 2003) – Rome, Ga.
Game #129 of 140
RH Jimmy Lambert (0-3, 3.68) vs. RH Mike Soroka (7-9, 2.98)

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Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) send fifth rounder Jimmy Lambert to the mound against Braves No. 6 prospect Mike Soroka in the second game of this 3-game series at State Mutual Stadium. The Rome Braves (A, Atlanta) have won six straight games and 14 of their last 17 since August 6, their hottest streak of their season to surge into first place in the SAL Southern Division while Kannapolis has dropped three straight games to slip into a tie for third in the Northern Division, 5.0 games back of first place Lakewood.

Jimmy Lambert

Kannapolis Intimidators starting pitcher Jimmy Lambert (8) in action against the Lexington Legends at Kannapolis Intimidators Stadium on July 12, 2016 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. (Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)

Intimidating Starter: Jimmy Lambert, 21, makes his ninth start for Kannapolis and his first career appearance against a Braves affiliate. He is coming off back-to-back losses at home to Lakewood and West Virginia, allowing three runs in both starts. Prior to that, he posted a 1.62 ERA in his first six starts with Kannapolis. Lambert made his pro debut with the AZL White Sox where he went 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA (3 ER/8.0 IP) and 13 strikeouts compared to two walks in four games (two starts). The White Sox selected Lambert in the fifth round (146th overall) out of Fresno State, where he went 10-2 with a 3.13 ERA (34 ER/97.2 IP) and 78 strikeouts in 15 games (15 starts) in 2016 to help the Bulldogs secure their first Mountain West Conference regular season championship. Fresno State went 36-22 in 2016, amassing its highest win total since 2011, and Lambert earned Mountain West Co-Pitcher of the Year honors.

Brave on the Bump: Mike Soroka, who turned 19 this month, makes his 23rd start and second against Kannapolis. He threw a 7.0 inning complete game, striking out seven (then a career-high) while allowing a run on two hits against the Intimidators on June 28. He is coming off a career-high eight strikeouts over 7.0 innings at Asheville on Aug. 19, to lock up his fourth consecutive win and fifth straight winning decision. Soroka has only gotten better of late, going 5-0 with a 2.00 ERA (8 ER/36 IP) and 29 strikeouts in six games (six starts) since July 20. Atlanta selected Soroka in the first round (28th overall) in the June 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Bishop Carroll High School in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Soroka boasts the eighth-best ERA in the SAL at 2.98.

About Last Night: Rome’s Ricardo Sanchez struck out nine over 7.0 innings to keep the Intimidators quiet in a 6-3 Braves win on Tuesday. Kannapolis mustered one unearned run off Sanchez before scoring twice in the eighth off the Braves bullpen with 2-out RBI hits by Danny Mendick and Cody Daily. Sanchez (7-9) earned the win and Luis Martinez (7-9) took the loss, giving up four runs in 5.2 IP. Rome’s Corbin Clouse notched the save (4).

Walk This Way: Nate Nolan drew two walks as the Intimidators walked five times in the 6-3 loss to Rome on Tuesday. Kannapolis has 404 base on balls this season, the third most in the SAL behind only Greenville (450) and Columbia (438). The Intimidators .319 OBP is right at the SAL average despite a batting average (.247) below the SAL average .250.

Racing the Bases: Kannapolis matched its season-high with four stolen bases on Tuesday in Rome. Alex Call stole two bases while Jake Fincher and Grant Massey also added a bag swiped. The Intimidators have 84 stolen bases this season, fourth-fewest in the SAL.

Sooner Rather Than Later: Former Oklahoma Sooners pitcher Alec Hansen, the White Sox second round pick (49th overall) in the June 2016 First-Year Player Draft was promoted Tuesday to Kannapolis after 10 appearances between the AZL White Sox and Advanced Rookie Great Falls to open his professional career. The 67” right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.03 ERA (5 ER/43.2 IP) and 70 strikeouts compared to 16 walks in his first 10 professional outings while holding hitters to a .094 batting average. He is scheduled to make his Class A debut on Friday in Kannapolis against Columbia.

B’EASTerling: Starting pitcher Brannon Easterling continues to lead the SAL with a 2.17 ERA despite pitching through a water-logged outing on Sunday in a loss to the Power. He is now 3-2 with a 2.35 ERA in 15 starts since June 7 after opening the season in the pen, going 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA in 16 relief appearances.

Call In the Clutch: White Sox third round pick Alex Call, the 86th overall pick in this June’s draft, is batting .333 (6-18) with runners in scoring position and 2 outs this season with Kannapolis. The Intimidators outfielder is batting .317 (45-142) in 36 games since he earned a promotion to the SAL on July 17. He has hit safely in 27 of his 36 games with the Intimidators. Call began his professional career by reaching base in 24 consecutive games with Advanced Rookie Great Falls in the Pioneer League.

Game Notes 8/23/16: Call in the Clutch, B’EASTerling, and we’ll see a Sooner

Kannapolis Intimidators (30-27, 55-72) at Rome Braves (34-23, 61-65)
Tuesday, August 23, 2016 – 7:00 p.m.
State Mutual Stadium (opened 2003) – Rome, Ga.
Game #128 of 140
RH Luis Martinez (7-8, 3.78) vs. LH Ricardo Sanchez (6-9, 4.98)

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Alex Call

Alex Call (2) of the Kannapolis Intimidators hustles down the first base line against the West Virginia Power at Kannapolis Intimidators Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The Intimidators defeated the Power 4-0. (Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators open a 3-game road series against the now first place Rome Braves (A, Atlanta Braves) on Tuesday. Rome has surged past Augusta in the South Atlantic League Southern Division standings, winning five straight games to take a half-game lead over the GreenJackets, which have suddenly dropped six in a row after their nine-game inning streak. Kannapolis is coming off losses in six of its last nine games to fall 4.0 games behind the first place Lakewood BlueClaws in the SAL Northern Division, third in the division. Today, Luis Martinez makes his SAL-leading 26th start as the Intimidators look to enact a measure of revenge after the Braves won a 3-game series in Kannapolis in June of this season. Rome leads the all-time series, 60-49.

Intimidating Starter: Luis Martinez, 21, makes his 26th start and his second against the Braves. He took a loss to Rome on June 29, giving up four runs on six hits while striking out seven over 7.0 innings. Martinez is coming off a career-high nine strikeouts over 5.0 scoreless innings of 2-hit ball in a no-decision on August 18 at Greenville. He has now struck out 128 on the season, fifth-most in the SAL, and he ranks fourth among starters in highest strikeouts/9 IP ratio at 9.32 (128 K/123.2 IP). After a sluggish start to the season in which he went 2-6 with a 4.91 ERA in 14 first half starts, Martinez is 5-2 with a 2.50 ERA in 11 starts in the second half. This is Martinez’s second season with Kannapolis. In 2015, he went 4-14 with a 5.38 ERA in 24 games. In his lone start against the Braves in 2015, he spun 6.2 shutout innings, limiting Rome to four hits on May 2, 2015.

Brave on the Bump: Ricardo Sanchez, 19, makes his 22nd appearance and 21st start of the season as he faces a White Sox affiliate for the second time in his career. He is coming off 6.0 innings against Hagerstown on August 18, limiting them to two runs (one earned) on eight hits in a no decision. He is 2-6 with a 5.29 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) in home games compared to 4-3 with a 4.72 ERA in 11 starts away from State Mutual Stadium. In his last nine appearances (eight starts) in July and August, Sanchez is 3-3 with a 3.54 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 48.1 IP after a rough month of June in which his ERA was over 9.00.

About Last Night: Kannapolis dropped two games to West Virginia, falling to the Power 5-2 in the completion of Sunday’s suspended game before a 5-1 loss (7 inn.) in Monday’s regularly-scheduled contest. Seby Zavala homered in the second game for a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but the Braves rallied against Intimidators reliever Jack Charleston for four runs over the final 2.0 innings for a come-from-behind win.

Boomer, Sooner: Former Oklahoma Sooners pitcher Alec Hansen, the White Sox second round pick in the June 2016 First-Year Player Draft has been promoted to Kannapolis after 10 appearances between the AZL White Sox and Advanced Rookie Great Falls to open his professional career. The 67” right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.03 ERA (5 ER/43.2 IP) and 70 strikeouts compared to 16 walks in his first 10 professional outings while holding hitters to a .094 batting average. The White Sox selected him with the 49th pick this June.

B’EASTerling: Starting pitcher Brannon Easterling continues to lead the SAL with a 2.17 ERA despite pitching through a water-logged outing on Sunday in a loss to the Power. He is now 3-2 with a 2.35 ERA in 15 starts since June 7 after opening the season in the pen, going 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA in 16 relief appearances.

Call In the Clutch: White Sox third round pick Alex Call, the 86th overall pick in this June’s draft, is batting .333 (6-18) with runners in scoring position and 2 outs this season with Kannapolis. The Intimidators outfielder is batting .317 (44-139) in 35 games since he earned a promotion to the SAL on July 17. He has hit safely in 26 of his 35 games with the Intimidators. Call began his professional career by reaching base in 24 consecutive games with Advanced Rookie Great Falls in the Pioneer League.

Broadcast Information: All 140 Intimidators games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network online at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his sixth season as the “Voice of the Intimidators.” Erik Oas will handle play-by-play during weekend home games.

Game Notes 8/21/16: A look at shutout history,Probables & Remillard heating up

WEST VIRGINIA POWER at KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS
WVA: 27-28 Second Half (62-62) – Pittsburgh Pirtes
KAN: 30-25 Second Half (55-70) – Chicago White Sox
Sunday, August 21, 2016 – 5:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System (opened 1995) – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #126 of 140
RH Logan Sendelbaugh (8-6, 3.65) vs. RH Brannon Easterling (6-2, 1.99) 

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Today’s Preview: The Kannapolis Intimidators (A, White Sox) collected their 10th shutout of the season Saturday night to top the West Virginia Power (A, Pirates) 4-0. The Intimidators with a win tonight can pull even with the Power in the season series and combined with losses from Hagerstown would move into sole possession of second place in the North Division.

 

Sally League Standings: Kannapolis (30-25) kept pace with the first place Lakewood BlueCalws (30-23) with their win Saturday night to remain 2.0 games back in third place in the SAL Northern Division second half standings.  Hagerstown saw their game with the Lexington Legends postponed due to rain but still remain in second place 1.5 game back.  Hickory (28-27) took over fourth place. 4.0 game out of first, with their win over Greensboro while West Virginia (27-28) dropped into fifth place, 5.0 games back. The Greensboro Grasshoppers (26-28) remain in sixth place 5.5 games back. The Southern Division’s first place Augusta GreenJackets (33-21) dropped both games of a doubleheader to Columbia but still hold first by a 1.5 over the Rome Braves (32-23).

 

Intimidating Starter: Brannon Easterling, 26, makes his 14th start and 31st appearance of the year for Kannapolis. This will be Easterling’s second time facing the Power this year, the righty worked four shutout innings of relief in West Virginia back April 18. The Texas native pitched exclusively out of the bullpen until moving to the starting rotation on June 7th and has been starting ever since. Easterling was one of the most effective relievers for Kannapolis going 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA (16 ER/ 68.2 IP) out of the ‘pen, but has been even more impressive as a starter, posting a 3-1 record with a 1.78 ERA (7 ER/ 35.1 IP). Those numbers combine to give Easterling a 1.99 ERA the lowest in the South Atlantic League, among qualifiers. Also known as one of the quickest workers in the Intimidators starting staff, he brings in a string of two straight starts of six innings to go with his modest two game winning streak.

 

Power Probable: Logan Sendelbach, 22, makes his 24th start of the season and his second against Kannapolis. The Tiffin Ohio native is a four pitch pitcher, using his fastball, low 90’s, and slider as his primary pitches but also working in a changeup and curveball. Both the curve and change are seen as works in progress and Sendelbach spent much of spring training working on a new grip for his changeup and a curve that he has admitted to using rather sparingly. Sendelbach was the starter for the Power during the 16 inning marathon with the Intimidators on April 18th in West Virginia. The righty worked 5 and 1/3 innings and gave up just one run on five hits while striking out three and walking none. Sendelbach has struggled at times away from home this season posting a record of 2-3 with a 4.30 ERA (22 ER/ 46 IP) compared to a  6-3 record at home with a 3.26 ERA (28 ER/ 77.1 IP).

 

Last Time Out: Johnathan Frebis set the tone for the Intimidators 10th shutout victory of the season, a 4-0 win over the West Virginia Power on Saturday night at Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System. Kannapolis (30-25 Second Half, 55-70) broke its longest scoreless streak in five years to pull ahead late with two runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth. Danny Dopico took over for Frebis with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning. Facing West Virginia’s John Bormann, Dopico induced a grounder up the middle which shortstop Danny Mendick backhanded and glove-flipped to second base where Grant Massey bare-handed the ball and fired it to first for an inning-ending double play. Dopico (2-0) spun a scoreless seventh and notched the win for Kannapolis. Relievers Brandon Quintero and Ian Hamilton each tossed a scoreless frame to complete the shutout, the Intimidators’ first since August 7 in a 1-0 win at Greensboro.

 

What is the deal with all the shutouts? (Seinfeld voice): The Intimidators struck for four runs in Saturday night’s 4-0 win to snap a string of two straight games in which they had been shutout. Thanks to strong outings from Johnathan Frebis, Danny Dopico, Brandon Quintero and Ian Hamilton Kannapolis returned the favor to register their 10th shutout of the season.

 

24 Scoreless Innings: When the Intimidators offensive exploded for two runs in the seventh inning of Saturday night’s game it ended a streak of 24 scoreless innings for Kannapolis the longest of the season. The last time Kannapolis suffered through such a long offensive malaise was April 7th-10th of 2011 when Kannapolis started the season without scoring a run in the first 24 innings of the season.

 

3 for Dale … and also Remillard: Zach Remillard set the pace for the Intimidators offense with a three hit night. Remillard was selected in the 10th round this year’s draft after winning the NCAA College World Series with Coastal Carolina, his three-hit game Saturday night his third of his professional career, all with Kannapolis.

 

This Date in Baseball History: On this date in 1926, at Fenway Park, White Sox right-hander Ted Lyons throws a no-hitter against the hometown Red Sox, 6-0. The future Hall of Famer’s gem takes only 67 minutes to complete.

 

Broadcast Information: All 140 Intimidators games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network online at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his sixth season as the “Voice of the Intimidators.” Erik Oas will handle play-by-play during weekend home games.

Game Notes 8/19/16: Intimidators eye first, Sullivan continues to hit & a look at shutouts

WEST VIRGINIA POWER at KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS
WV: 26-27 Second Half (61-61) – Pittsburgh Pirtes
KAN: 29-24 Second Half (53-70) – Chicago White Sox
Friday, August 19, 2016 – 7:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System (opened 1995) – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #124 of 140
RH Mitch Keller (7-5, 2.72) vs. RH Jimmy Lambert (0-2, 2.84) 

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Today’s Preview: The Kannapolis Intimidators (A, White Sox) return home to open up a four-game series and home stand with the West Virginia Power (A, Pirates) this will be only trip to Kannapolis for the Power who last faced the Intimidators April 18-20 in West Virginia. Kannapolis only win of the series was thanks to a Tanner Banks nine inning shutout and complete game that earned him Pitch of the Week honors.

 

Sally League Standings: Kannapolis (29-24) remained a game back of first place Lakewood (30-23) in the SAL Northern Division second half standings with Thursday night’s loss.  Hagerstown moved into a tie with Kannapolis for second place, 1.0 game back after Thursday night’s win in Rome.  Greensboro (26-26) took control of fourth place and are now 3.5 games back. West Virginia (26-27) fell to fifth place after dropping both games of a doubleheader with the Lexington Legends. The Southern Division’s first place Augusta GreenJackets (33-19) currently enjoy a 3.5 game lead over the Rome Braves (30-23).

 

Intimidating Starter: Jimmy Lambert, 21, makes his eighth start and appearance of the year, and his first against West Virginia. Lambert has an innings limit after logging nearly 100 innings, 97.2 IP, for the Fresno State Bulldogs this season. This season he has not made it past the third inning and has also not thrown more than 57 pitches as a professional. In limited work this season, Lambert has been sharp striking out 19 and walking just six in his time with Kannapolis.

 

Power Probable: Mitch Keller, 20, makes his 22nd start of the season and first against Kannapolis. The Cedar Rapids native was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft and entered this season as the team’s 14th overall prospect.  This year has been his first sting in the Sally League and the beginning of the year was marked by dominance. In April he posted an ERA of 0.86, earning him Sally League Pitcher of the Month honors, and in May an ERA of 2.50, but in June Keller struggled with his command and his ERA ballooned to 6.39 with opponents hitting .275 against him. Keller has enjoyed more success since his struggles in June and factored into back-to-back shutouts July 13-14. It was the first time the Power had back-to-back shutouts since the 2010 season. Mitch older brother, Jon, 24, pitches in the Baltimore Orioles organization for the Frederick Keys (Class A Advanced) and has spent time in double A. A groundball pitcher, Keller was thought of as the best prospect to come out of Iowa and has proven to have bounced back from an injury riddled 2015 season, missing extened time due to a forearm injury. His best pitch is his fastball registering between 90 and 94 mph with sink which works off his 11-to-5 curve and a changeup that is described as by scouts as needing work.

 

Last Time Out: Luis Martinez struck out a career-high nine batters, but the Intimidators couldn’t take advantage of his strong start in a 2-0 loss to Greenville on Wednesday at Fluor Field at the West End. Kannapolis (29-24 Second Half, 53-70) suffered its fifth shutout loss of the season and first since a 4-0 loss to Rome on June 29. Greenville starter Roniel Raudes (11-5) spun 7.0 scoreless innings, limiting the Intimidators four hits and a walk while striking out four to earn a win. Victor Diaz worked the final 2.0 innings out of the bullpen for the Drive, giving up a walk while striking out two for the save (9). Martinez worked around two hits and four walks while striking out nine batters, the most by an Intimidators pitcher this season. He spun 5.0 shutout innings for his fifth scoreless outing of the season and fourth since the All-Star Break.

 

Sullivan Adds Another: Tyler Sullivan has been a mainstay atop the Intimidators lineup appearing as the leadoff man 105 times this season. Sullivan has rewarded Kannapolis consistent playing time with hits, he leads the Intimidators with 105 hits and has also set the pace with multi-hit nights as well. Despite being shutout 2-0 by the Greenville Drive Thursday night Sullivan collected his team leading 34th multi-hit game.

 

Not so Familiar: Even though the West Virginia Power are North Division Rivals with the Kannapolis Intimidators they will meet just seven times this season with the four game series being the final meeting of the 2016 season.

 

Stand Alone: The Kannapolis Intimidators will play the first of four games with the West Virginia Power in a stand-alone four game home stand. The Intimidators will then hit the road for a stand-alone three game series in Rome before returning home for the final time during the regular season to face the Columbia Fireflies for three games. Kannapolis will finish the season on the road with three games in Lakewood and four games in Delmarva.

 

Shutouts: Thursday night’s 2-0 loss in Greenville was the first time this season that the Kannapolis Intimidators were shutout on the road and the fifth time overall on the season. The Intimidators are 9-5 in shutouts this year.

 

This Date in Baseball History: On this date in 1921, at the age of 34, Ty Cobb becomes the youngest player to collect 3000 hits when he singles off of Red Sox hurler Elmer Myers. The ‘Georgia Peach’ will end his career with 4,191 hits, the most ever in the major leagues until Pete Rose surpasses the mark in 1985.

 

Broadcast Information: All 140 Intimidators games will be broadcast live on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network online at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and via TuneIn Radio App with the Josh Feldman, in his sixth season as the “Voice of the Intimidators.” Erik Oas will handle play-by-play during weekend home games.

Game Notes 8/18/16: Offensive eruption in extras, working late, and sweet relief

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS at GREENVILLE DRIVE
KAN: 29-23 Second Half (53-69) – Chicago White Sox
GVL: 27-25 Second Half (64-57) – Boston Red Sox
Thursday, August 18, 2016 – 7:05 p.m.
Fluor Field at the West End (opened 2006) – Greenville, S.C.
Game #123 of 140
RH Luis Martinez (7-8, 3.94) vs. RH Roniel Raudes (10-5, 3.98)

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Today’s Preview: After back-to-back extra-inning games to open this series, the Intimidators (A, White Sox) face the Drive (A, Red Sox) in the series rubber match at Fluor Field. Luis Martinez will make his South Atlantic League-leading 25th start of the season in search of his third straight win against Roniel Raudes of Greenville, who is one of only four 10-game winners in the league this season, in a rematch of a June 7 pitching match-up at Intimidators Stadium. Kannapolis is coming off an extra-innings win over Greenville after the Drive edged the Intimidators in extras Tuesday in the series opener. This is the final meeting between the two teams this season unless both teams win the Second Half and advance to the SAL Championship Series.

Sally League Standings: Kannapolis (29-23) kept pace with first place Lakewood (30-22) to remain 1.0 game back in the SAL Northern Division second half standings. Hagerstown slipped to third, 1.5 games back after being rained out on Wednesday in Rome. Greensboro and West Virginia are both 26-25, now 3.5 games back with doubleheaders today against Delmarva and Lexington, respectively. The Southern Division’s first place Augusta GreenJackets saw their 9-game winning streak come to an end with a loss to Charleston, 5-1, however they remain 4.0 games ahead of Rome in the division.

Intimidating Starter: Luis Martinez, 21, makes his 25th start and his second of the season against Greenville. He took a home loss to the Drive on June 7, spinning all 7.0 innings in a complete-game loss in the first game of a doubleheader, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts. The lanky right-hander is coming off back-to-back wins in consecutive quality starts, beating Greensboro on August 7 and Lakewood on August 12. Over his last four outings, Martinez is 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA (5 ER/22.2 IP) and 21 strikeouts. After a sluggish start to the season in which he went 2-6 with a 4.91 ERA in 14 first half starts, Martinez is 5-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 10 starts in the second half. This is Martinez’s second season with Kannapolis. In 2015, he went 4-14 with a 5.38 ERA in 24 games.

Dealing for Drive: Roniel Raudes, 18, makes his 22nd start of the season and second against Kannapolis. He beat the Intimidators on June 7, allowing a run on five hits while striking out five and walking one in 5.1 innings. Despite a pair of losses, he has continued to improve in August, going 1-2 with a 1.69 ERA (3 ER/16.0 IP) and 15 strikeouts on the heels of a rough July where he was 2-1 with a 5.76 ERA (16 ER/25.0 IP) and five home runs allowed in the month. The right-hander is rated the No. 13 Prospect in the Red Sox organization according to MLB.com. Raudes signed with the Red Sox in July 2014 and dominated the Dominican Summer League in his professional debut in 2015, posting 63 strikeouts and three walks in 53.2 innings, going 4-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) and earning a late-season promotion to the Gulf Coast League. Raudes, a native of Granada, Nicaragua, finished his professional debut by going 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA in four GCL starts.

Last Time Out: Four relievers combined to strike out 10 batters in seven innings, and the Intimidators bats erupted for seven runs in the 14th inning for an extra-innings blowout win, 9-2, over Greenville. In the 14th, Kannapolis sent 12 batters to the plate, matching the team’s most runs in an inning this season against Drive reliever Stephen Nogosek and JT Watkins, a position player pressed into duty on the mound. An error helped Kannapolis load the bases with no outs before Bradley Strong, Zach Remillard, and Tyler Sullivan each followed with RBI-singles.  Grant Massey added a sacrifice-fly to cash Strong.  Seby Zavala chipped in with an RBI-single, and Mendick’s second hit of the inning nearly cleared the wall in left-field for a grand slam, however the Intimidators infielder settled for a 2-run double. Four Intimidators relievers — Mike Morrison, Louie Lechich, Ian Hamilton, and Danny Dopico — combined to allow one unearned run on three hits while striking out 10 and walking three.  Dopico (1-0) earned the win with scoreless 13th and 14th innings after Ian Hamilton spun 2 and 2/3 frames of relief.  Nogosek (0-1) suffered the loss for Greenville in a game that lasted 4:18, the third-longest game for Kannapolis both in terms of time and innings this season.

Big Inning in Extras: The Intimidators matched their highest-scoring inning of the season by scoring seven in the 14th on Wednesday. Previously, Kannapolis scored seven runs in an inning this season on August 3 against Charleston in the first inning and on May 7 against Lakewood in the fourth. The last time Kannapolis scored eight in an inning came May 9, 2015, at Lexington when Kannapolis rallied in the ninth inning to beat the Legends, 13-8.

Working Late: Kannapolis went extra innings for the second straight game for the third time this year. After falling on Tuesday, 3-2 in 11 innings to the Drive, the Intimidators enacted revenge in a 9-2 win in 14 innings on Wednesday in Greenville. Earlier this season, Kannapolis went 10 innings on May 19 at Asheville and, a day after a rainout, went nine innings in a 7-inning game in the first game of a May 21 doubleheader against the Tourists. To open the second half, the Intimidators went 11 innings then eight innings in a 7-inning game against Delmarva.

Going Long: Wednesday’s 14-inning game is the third-longest of the season for the Intimidators both in terms of innings and time of game as Kannapolis needed 4:18 to beat Greenville, 9-2. On April 18 at West Virginia, Kannapolis fell 8-7 to the Power in 16 innings in a game that lasted 5:01. Then on May 31, the Intimidators played their longest game since 2005, both in terms of innings and time when they played 17 innings in 5:26 in an eventual home loss to Augusta, 6-5.

14 Innings of Fun: Wednesday’s 9-2 win is the seventh 14-inning game Kannapolis has played since the beginning of the 2005 season. The last time the Intimidators went exactly 14 innings also came at Fluor Field, on April 13, 2014.

History Repeats Itself: The last time Kannapolis played consecutive games of at least 11 innings came exactly four years prior, on August 16-17, 2012. In those games, White Sox first round pick Courtney Hawkins came through for the Intimidators with walk-off hits in both games, first in a 13-inning win, 4-3, on August 16, 2012, then in a 7-6 win in 11 innings on August 17, 2012.

Sweet Relief: Four Intimidators relievers (Mike Morrison, Louie Lechich, Ian Hamilton, and Danny Dopico) combined to allow one unearned run on three hits while striking out 10 and walking three in Wednesday’s win at Greenville.Louie Lechich took over for Morrison to record the final out of the ninth, striking out left-handed hitter Josh Ockimey, and Ian Hamilton relieved Lechich with two on and one out in the 10th to strand two men on base. Hamilton spun 2.2 innings before turning the ball over to Dopico for 2.0 scoreless frames. The quartet helped lower the team’s bullpen ERA to 3.20 this season while throwing 103 total pitches. Starter Max Beatty threw 104 pitches in his 7.0 innings to open the game.

Beatty Battles on the Bump: Starting pitcher Max Beatty worked 7.0 innings, limiting the Drive to a run on two hits in his fifth start of at least 7.0 innings this season. He has worked seven complete innings in three of his last four starts, including limiting his opponents to one run in each of his last two starts, both 7-inning outings.

Game Notes 8/17/16: Another dance with the Drive

Kannapolis Intimidators (28-23 Second Half, 52-69 overall)
at
Greenville Drive (27-24 Second Half, 64-56)
Tuesday, August 17, 2016 – 7:05 p.m.
Fluor Field at the West End (opened 2006) – Greenville, S.C.
Game #122 of 140
RH Max Beatty (6-8, 4.07) vs. LH Logan Boyd (13-6, 4.73)

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Today’s Preview: On the heels of an extra-inning loss in Tuesday’s series opener, the Intimidators (A, White Sox) face the Drive (A, Red Sox) in Game 2 of this 3-game series at Fluor Field at the West End. Kannapolis, which fell 3-2 in 11 innings, sends right-hander Max Beatty to them mound with a chance to even the series against South Atlantic League wins leader Logan Boyd. The Drive have been one of the SAL’s hottest teams in August, going 12-4 so far this month. Greenville has won its last four series (vs. Asheville, at Charleston, at Columbia, vs. Charleston), while the Intimidators are coming off wins in seven of their last nine games and consecutive series wins.

Sally League Standings: Kannapolis (28-23) fell into a tie for second in the SAL Northern Division as Lakewood (29-22) swept a doubleheader over Hickory. The Intimidators are even with Hagerstown (28-23) in the standings, 1.0 game back of the BlueClaws in the Second Half standings. Hagerstown won the First Half title in the Northern Division, and if the Suns win the Second Half as well, the second-best overall team will join them as a wild card in the playoffs. Due to a rough first half, the Intimidators must win the second half to reach the post-season for the first time since 2009. In the Southern Division, the Augusta GreenJackets won their ninth straight game on Tuesday and lead the division by 4.5 games.

Intimidating Starter: Max Beatty, 25, makes his 10th start with the Intimidators and second against Greenville. He is coming off his fourth outing of at least 7.0 innings, spinning 7.0 frames for a home win over Lakewood on August 11, allowing a run on six hits while striking out three. Beatty spent 2015 as one of the best arms in the independent Pacific Association, going 8-2 with a 3.18 ERA and three complete games in 14 games (14 starts) for the San Rafael Pacifics. He opened this season with the Pacifics before the White Sox signed him in June. In his most recent season in affiliated ball, Beatty made 18 appearances for Short-Season Eugene in the Padres system, going 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA (14 ER/28.0 IP) and 25 strikeouts in 2014. He pitched at Pacific Lutheran University in college, missing the 2012 season while recovering from testicular cancer. He bounced back to go 7-5 with a 2.48 ERA in 13 starts for Pacific Lutheran in 2013 before the Padres took him in the 32nd round of the June 2013 draft.

Dealing for the Drive: Logan Boyd, 22, takes the mound in pursuit of his Minor League Baseball-best 14th win of the season. Boyd is coming off five consecutive wins and is tied for fourth in all of Minor League Baseball with 13 wins, behind three AAA pitchers who have 14 cumulative wins in 2016. He is 6-3 with a 5.71 ERA in 10 home starts compared to 7-3 with a 3.95 ERA in 13 road starts. In his last two outings, he allowed one run over 6.0 innings to beat Charleston twice. He did not face Kannapolis earlier in the season. Boyd was named SAL Pitcher of the Week for July 18-24, tossing 7.0 scoreless innings of 1-hit ball in a July 21 win over Greensboro which started his current 5-game winning streak. The Red Sox selected Boyd in the 19th round of the June 2015 draft out of Sam Houston State.

Last Time Out: The Intimidators rallied to force extra innings but fell to the Drive, 3-2 in 11 innings, on Tuesday. Trailing the entire game, Kannapolis rallied for runs in the eighth and ninth innings to tie the game, 2-2, forcing extras.  In the 11th, Jeremy Rivera led off with a base hit and moved into scoring position on a Derek Miller sacrifice bunt, setting up Michael Chavis’ game-winnings single up the middle to walk-off the Intimidators. Greenville’s Kuehl McEachern (2-3) earned the win with a perfect 10th and 11th after giving up the tying run in the ninth. He struck out four while allowing an unearned run on two hits in 3.1 innings.  Ben Wright (1-1) took the loss, giving up a run on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts in a 2.1 innings.

Easy For Easterling: Kannapolis starter Brannon Easterling bounced back from allowing two early runs to spin a quality start on Tuesday, striking out a career-high seven batters over 6.0 innings.  He limited the Drive to two runs on six hits while walking none in a no decision. Easterling continues to lead the SAL with a 1.99 ERA and a .750 winning percentage. He previously struck out six batters five times in his career, including twice previously this season.

Five Double Plays: Kannapolis turned a five double plays in Sunday’s 2-1 win against Lakewood, equaling the most by the team in recorded history (since 2005). Since the 2005 season, there have been 25 South Atlantic League games where a team has turned five double plays with Kannapolis turning in three of those performances. The Intimidators also turned five double plays on July 28, 2009, against Rome and on May 12, 2010, in an 8-3 home win over Delmarva. Kannapolis is one of four SAL teams with three 5-double-play games since 2005, along with Augusta, Greensboro, and Rome. The Intimidators have not hit into five twin kills since 2005. In that time, Rome has hit into five double plays four times. In South Atlantic League history, there have only been a pair of games where a team turned six double plays: Greenville did it on August 10, 1968, and Asheville also accomplished the feat on May 27, 1996.

Remember Me?: Louie Lechich, who led the Intimidators with 130 games played as the team’s primary center fielder in 2015, returned to Class A Kannapolis as a pitcher and spun a scoreless inning – working around two hits – in his debut on Sunday. Lechich opened this season with Class A-Advanced Winston-Salem but struggled at the plate, prompting the White Sox to convert the Stockton, Calif., native into a pitcher. The White Sox took Lechich in the sixth round of the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of San Diego where he pitched and played outfield.

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