Game Notes 6/24/16: Let’s try this again, shall we

Kannapolis Intimidators vs. Delmarva Shorebirds
0-0 (24-46) – Chicago White Sox | 0-0 (42-27) – Baltimore Orioles
Friday, June 24, 2016 – 5:05 p.m. (Doubleheader)
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System (opened 1995) – Kannapolis, N.C.
Games #70-71 of 140
RH Luis Martinez (2-6, 4.91) vs. RH Cristian Alvarado (5-4, 3.76)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) and Shorebirds (A, Orioles) will complete Thursday’s suspended game through nine innings before playing Friday’s regularly-scheduled game, which will be a 7-inning contest. The suspended game will resume with Delmarva leading 1-0 with Kannapolis at bat with nobody on base, one out, and Seby Zavala in a 2-0 count in the fourth inning. This is the first game the Intimidators have had suspended since 2014. Kannapolis and Delmarva will square off in Game 2 of this 4-game series later this evening as Luis Martinez makes his league-leading 15th start of the season against Cristian Alvarado.

Intimidating Starter: Luis Martinez, 21, toes the rubber for his SAL-leading 15th start of 2016 and his third against Delmarva. The right-hander is coming off a win in his final appearance of the First Half, working 5.0 innings on June 17 at Lakewood, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out four. Martinez has struggled at home, going 1-5 with a 5.68 ERA (28 ER/44.1 IP) in nine starts in Kannapolis compared to 1-1 wit a 3.32 ERA (8 ER/21.2 IP) on the road. Martinez has made five career starts against the Shorebirds since 2015, going 0-3 with a 6.72 ERA against them. Last season with the Intimidators, Martinez went 4-14 with a 5.38 ERA in 24 games (24 starts). The White Sox signed him in December 2011 out of Venezuela.

Dealing for Delmarva: Cristian Alvarado, 21, makes his 14th start of the season and his second against Kannapolis. The Intimidators tagged Alvarado for a loss on April 21 when he allowed three runs on eight hits while striking out seven over 5.0 innings. He ended the First Half strong with wins in three of his last four outings, going 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA (5 ER/22.0 IP) in four starts this month, including 6.0 scoreless innings to beat Hickory on June 17 in his last outing of the half. He has struck out 81 batters over 69.1 innings, which ranks second in the SAL in total strikeouts and third among starters in highest K/9 IP ratio at 10.35. His last appearance against a White Sox affiliate came in 2012 with the DSL Orioles when struck out a career-high 10 batters over 7.0 scoreless innings, August 18, 2012. Earlier this year, he matched that career-high with 10 strikeouts over 6.0 innings on May 4 en route to a win over Lexington.

About Last Night: Thursday’s game between the Intimidators and Shorebirds was suspended in the fourth inning. The game will resume from the spot it was suspended with one out and no runners on base in the bottom of the fourth inning with Seby Zavala up to bat.

Give Me The Ball: Intimidators starters Luis Martinez and Johnathan Frebis have each started 14 games this season, tied with Asheville’s Jack Wynkoop for most in the South Atlantic League through the first half of the season. Zach Thompson is one of 21 other pitchers who have made 13 starts in the SAL in 2016. Thompson ranks second in the league with a .201 average against. Kannapolis used eight different starters in the First Half: Martinez, Frebis, Thompson, Tanner Banks (11 starts), Chris Comito (9), Ryan Riga (5), Easterling (3), and Jack Charleston (1).

Moving On Up: Reliever Ryan Riga earned a promotion to A-Advanced Winston-Salem on Thursday, his first opportunity at the next level. The left-hander was 0-3 with a 4.84 ERA (26 ER/48.1 IP) and 46 strikeouts in 19 games (five starts) and had become one of the league’s best bullpen arms after moving into a relief role. He went 0-1 with a 0.93 ERA (3 ER/29.0 IP) and 30 strikeouts in 14 relief appearances, keeping opponents off the board in 12 of 14 outings. The White Sox used a 13th round pick on Riga in the June 2015 First-Year Player Draft.

The Good Wood: Former Greensboro slugger KJ Woods joins Kannapolis after being released by the Marlins following a rough start to 2016 with Class A-Advanced Jupiter. Last season as a member of the Grasshoppers, Woods hit .277 with 18 home runs and 58 RBI. He ranked second in the SAL in slugging percentage (.496) and third in home runs while being named both a Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star in the South Atlantic League.

New Kid On the Block: Infielder Max Dutto is the first member of the White Sox 2016 draft class to reach Class A Kannapolis. The ninth round selection drew a walk his first time up and singled in the eighth for his first hit of his professional career on Saturday. Dutto went 2-5 in his first two games with Kannapolis last weekend in Lakewood.

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.

Intimidators close out first half on Fathers Day

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) wrap up this seven game road trip with the final game of this four game set against the Lakewood BlueClaws (A, Phillies). Intimidators pitching gave up their first grand slam since August 16 of the 2015 season against the Hagerstown Suns, the 9-1 loss has the BlueClaws with a four to three game lead over the Intimidators in the season series.

 

Intimidating Starter: Johnathan Frebis, 23, makes his 14th appearance and start of the year. This will be his second start of the season against the BlueClaws. The lefty took the win against Lakewood on May 8th in Kannapolis. He worked six innings allowing one run, unearned, on three hits, with no walks and four strikeouts. Frebis has been streaky this year, the lefty had a three game winning streak from April 21 through May 8 and a current three game losing streak that began May 30. Expect a quick pace while Frebis is in, he is one of the quickest workers in the Sally League something that Intimidators will consistently highlight as one their favorite things about the lefty. He will throw four pitches, a fastball, cutter, slider, and changeup with his fastball ranging between 85 and 89.

 

Lakewood Hurler: Tyler Gilbert, 22, makes his 12th appearance and start of 2016 for the BlueClaws. This will be his second start of the year against the Intimidators. Gilbert earned the win in Kannapolis on May 10, the lefty threw seven innings allowing two runs, on four hits, while working two, and striking out four. The USC alum was drafted by the Phillies in the 6th round of the 2015 MLB Draft. In college, he began the season as a reliever for the Trojans before eventually being moved to the roation which is how the Phillies eased him into their roation last season in Williamsport. The lefty has been described by scouts as ‘athletic’ with ‘plus but inconsistent pitches’ his fastball sits in the high 80’s with late movement and will occasionally hit 92-93. Working off of this is a curveball and changeup, but are described as ‘below average.’

 

About Last Night: Jose Pujols went yard for the second time of the series, a grand slam, and the Lakewood BlueClaws coasted to a 9-1 win over the Kannapolis Intimidators Saturday night at First Energy Park. Kannapolis (24-45) tallied seven hits, three for doubles, but had just one run to show against a combination of three BlueClaws (28-40) pitchers. Max Dutto, made his season debut for Kannapolis after being selected by the Chicago White Sox in the ninth round of this year’s 2016 MLB Draft. The Menlo College product tallied his first professional hit in the top of the eighth inning of Saturday night’s game.

 

Hey Now, You’re An All-Star: Five Intimidators have been named to the 57th Annual SAL All-Star Game in Lexington, Ky., on June 21 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, the league announced on Tuesday. Pitchers Tanner Banks and Zach Thompson, outfielder Landon Lassiter and catcher Seby Zavala all earned All-Star honors. Since then Banks has earned a promotion to high A Winston-Salem which led the announcement of Danny Mendick to the All-Star team. This will be the first time Kannapolis has had five men named to the team, with four taking part in the game itself. In 2013, Intimidators second baseman Micah Johnson won All-Star Game MVP.

 

Hits in bunches: Tyler Sullivan has been a staple atop the Intimidators lineup this season. Saturday night was the 61st time he has served as the leadoff man, but more recently Sullivan has made three appearances as the nine hitter. Sullivan has responded with a strong road trip. Last night he went 2-for-4 the third time on the trip that Sullivan has had a multi-hit game.

 

What a Debut: Max Dutto wasted no time during his professional debut. The 9th round pick of the Chicago White Sox in this year’s 2016 MLB Draft drew a walk his first time up and singled in the eighth for his first hit of his professional career. The hit led to some confusion by the BlueClaws who did not understand why Intimidators manager Cole Armstrong was asking for the baseball. Dutto eventually received the ball, a souvenir for his first night spent in pro-ball.

 

This Date In Baseball History: On this date in 1941, Joe DiMaggio goes 3-for-3 against the White Sox to extend his consecutive game hit streak to 32. The Yankee Clipper’s perfect day at the plate, which includes two singles and a home run, contributes to the Bronx Bombers’ 7-2 victory over the Pale Hose at Yankee Stadium.

 

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.

Intimidators suffer second straight walk-off loss, Game notes for a June 17th game in Lakewood NJ

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) continue this seven game road trip with the second of four against the Lakewood BlueClaws (A, Phillies). The 3-4 walk-off loss on Thursday night has stretched the Intimidators season losing streak to eight games. Kannapolis has now lost their last three games against the BlueClaws who own the season series three games to two.

 

Intimidating Starter: Luis Martinez, 21, makes his 13th appearance and his second of the year against the BlueClaws. In two career starts against Lakewood, Martinez is 0-2, and could not get out of the fifth inning his last time out against the BlueClaws. The righty lasted just 4 and 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits and four runs, the loss started his current six game losing streak. Martinez is in his second season with the Intimidators, after being signed as the number one White Sox International free agent in 2012. His pro career did not get off to a good start when he missed his first year of pro ball due to Tommy John Surgery. Coming into the 2016 season Martinez was ranked as the White Sox number 30 prospect. He will look to get through the sixth inning tonight, something he has only done once this year.

 

Lakewood Hurler: Jose Taveras, 22, makes his 12th appearance and seventh start of 2016 for the BlueClaws. It will be his second time facing the Intimidators this year. Taveras, who moved from the bullpen into the starting rotation, made his second start of the season against the Intimidators in Kannapolis on May 9. The righty earned the win after logging seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits, walking none, and striking out five. His last two times out, Taveras was hit hard by his opponents. He gave up 10 hits against Hickory on June 4 and eight hits to the Shorebirds on June 11.

 

About Last Night: The Kannapolis Intimidators, down to their final out, rallied for two runs in the ninth to take the lead only to see the Lakewood BlueClaws return the favor in a 5-4 walk-off loss Thursday night at First Energy Park. The Initmidators (23-44) raced out to a two-run lead through a combination of four straight hits. Landon Lassiter had the first, a solo shot to left, his first home run of the year. Johnan Cruz followed with a triple and scored when Seby Zavala singled to right. Zavala was one of three Intimidator hitters to have a multi-hit game, joining Danny Mendick, and Cody Daily. As a team Kannapolis tallied 11 hits on the night.

 

Hey Now, You’re An All-Star: Four Intimidators have been named to the 57th Annual SAL All-Star Game in Lexington, Ky., on June 21 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, the league announced on Tuesday. Pitchers Tanner Banks and Zach Thompson, outfielder Landon Lassiter and catcher Seby Zavala all earned All-Star honors, giving Kannapolis it’s most All-Star selections since sending four players to the 2012 All-Star Game in Charleston. In 2013, Intimidators second baseman Micah Johnson won All-Star Game MVP.

 

Playing like they’re double parked: How ‘bout that pace of play last night? It took Intimidators starter Brannon Easterling until the 10th man he faced last night to throw more than three pitches to a batter. Kannapolis was not waiting around either, excluding Grant Massey’s leadoff bat, the Intimidators did not have a four pitch at-bat until Seby Zavala’s marathon five pitch at-bat that leadoff the fourth inning.

 

Lassiter goes deep: It may be hard to believe, but Landon Lassiter’s solo shot to left in the first inning of Thursday night’s game was his first long fly of the year. Lassiter was the only position player named to the 2016 All-Star team without a homer before his dinger in the first.

 

3 For Dale: Johan Cruz triple in the first inning of Thursday night’s game was the third straight game the Intimidators have a had a triple, the longest streak of the season.

 

No Walk For You: One of the byproducts of Tuesday night’s lighting pace, was the Intimidators not working a walk. It was the first time since May 29 Kannapolis failed to work a walk.

 

This Date In Baseball History: On this date in 1943, Red Sox player-manager Joe Cronin hits a three-run pinch homer in both games of a doubleheader, becoming the first major leaguer to come off the bench to go deep in both ends of a twin bill. Boston defeats Philadelphia in the opener 5-4, but drops the nightcap at Fenway Park, 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.

Intimidators move north on seven game roadtirp

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) continue this seven game road trip with the first of four against the Lakewood BlueClaws (A, Phillies). The Intimidators have seen signs of life from their offense over the last two games, staging a ninth inning comeback two nights ago that fell one hit short and taking the Shorebirds into extra innings Wednesday night. Still the Intimidators slide continues. Their season long losing streak has reach seven games entering play tonight.

 

Intimidating Starter: Brannon Easterling, 25, makes his 19th appearance and third start of the season for Kannapolis. Easterling has moved to the starting rotation following the promotion of All-Star Starter Tanner Banks to high-A Winston-Salem. While in the bullpen, Easterling faced the BlueClaws at Intimidators Stadium on May 10 and was tagged for two unearned runs in an inning and 2/3 of relief work. Since joining the starting staff, Easterling has made an abbreviated start in the back end of a double header against the Greenville Drive going just an inning and 2/3 and receiving a no decision for his work. During his last start, the righty faced the Hickory Crawdads and once again did not receive a decision for a four inning performance. Even though Easterling is make just his third start of the year, the righty has a history as a starter. During his time with the Great Falls Voyageurs, in 2015, he went 5-4 with a 3.50 ERA in 15 appearances, all starts.

 

Lakewood Hurler: Drew Anderson, 22, makes his fifth start of 2016 and his second career start against the Intimidators. Anderson last faced the Intimidators during the 2014 season and did not pitch at all during the 2015 season due to injury.  Tommy John surgery sidelined the righty for the 2015 season and the first month and a half of the 2016 campaign. Since returning this year, Anderson has been strong for the BlueClaws posting a 1-1 record to go with an ERA of 1.31. He is still being stretch out, having not made it past the fifth inning in any of his starts this year. However, his last start was his longest a five inning outing where Anderson threw 90 pitches. When he was drafted out of High School projected well with his fastball in low to mid 90’s that worked off his “plus” slurve.

 

About Last Night: The Kannapolis Intimidators battled back to tie the Delmarva Shorebirds in the fifth inning Wednesday night at Arthur W Stadium, but were outlasted in an 11 inning 4-3 loss. The loss handed the Intimidators their second straight series sweep and stretched their season long losing streak to seven games. Intimidators (23-43) starter Zach Thompson was tested immediately by Shorebirds (38-26) hitters. Cedric Mullins lined Thompson’s first pitch of the night to the gap in left center for a triple. Three batters later Yermin Mercedes slugged his sixth homer of the season over the wall in left for an early 3-0 lead.

 

Hey Now, You’re An All-Star: Four Intimidators have been named to the 57th Annual SAL All-Star Game in Lexington, Ky., on June 21 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, the league announced on Tuesday. Pitchers Tanner Banks and Zach Thompson, outfielder Landon Lassiter and catcher Seby Zavala all earned All-Star honors, giving Kannapolis it’s most All-Star selections since sending four players to the 2012 All-Star Game in Charleston. In 2013, Intimidators second baseman Micah Johnson won All-Star Game MVP.

 

Lassiter’s Hit Streak Snapped: Landon Lassiter has been one of the Intimidators hottest hitters over the last ten games, but on Wednesday night his team best hitting streak of seven games came to end with an 0-for-2 night. Lassiter did reach twice with two walks to keep his games reached base streak, eight games. Lassiter’s longest hit streak of the year is nine games and his longest on base streak is 10.

 

June Gloom: The Intimidators have not enjoyed their time in the month of June thus far. Seven game losing streak notwithstanding, the Intimidators are batting .205 as a team during the month and have hit just one home run, by far the worst numbers in the league for the month.

 

This Date In Baseball History: On this date in 1961, in his major league debut, Lew Krausse, who graduated from Chester (PA) High School just ten days ago, throws a three-hit shutout in the A’s 4-0 victory over L.A. at Municipal Stadium. The 18 year-old redheaded fireballer, who was signed as an amateur free agent for $125,000 by A’s owner Charlie Finley, also collects two hits in the Kansas City contest.

 

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.

Intimidators slide reached 6, look to All-Star Zach Thompson as stopper

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) wrap up this three game series against Delmarva Shorebirds (A, Orioles) before continuing on to Lakewood during this seven game road trip. The Intimidators offensive maladroit tendencies came to an abrupt end during the ninth inning of Tuesday night’s game. Kannapolis scored three runs in the ninth to come to within one run. However, the rally ended there, extending the losing streak to six games.

 

Intimidating Starter: Zach Thompson, 22, makes his 13th appearance and start of the season This will be the righty’s second start against the Shorebirds this year and fifth of his career. Thompson’s only start against Delmarva this year came on April 24. The righty was hung with the loss after surrendering five runs on eight hits over four innings of work. The eight hits and five earned runs stand as the most the all-star has allowed in a start this season. You will hear many Intimidators around the club house refer to his starts as “Thompson time.” Thompson has responded to the calls by posting a team best five wins, and 2.97 ERA (among starters). The impressive campaign has earned him a selection to the All-Star team in his second year in the Sally league.

 

Delmarva Hurler: Brian Gonzalez, 20, makes his 12th start of 2016 and his third start against the Intimidators this season and fourth of his career. During his two starts in Kannapolis, Gonzalez went 1-0 despite being hit relatively hard. When Gonzalez took the no decision on April 13, the young righty allowed six hits during his five innings of work while striking out seven. During his win against the Intimidators on April 24 gave up five hits and walked six. Gonzalez was the first pick by the Baltimore Orioles in 2014, taking the righty in the third round 90th overall. His dad did not let him throw a curveball until he reached high school, which has led to Gonzalez to have an advanced changeup for his age.

 

About Last Night: The Kannapolis Intimidators pushed the Delmarva Shorebirds to the brink Tuesday night at Arthur W. Purdue Stadium with a three-run top of the ninth, but fell 5-4. Kannapolis (23-42) out hit the Shorebirds (37-26) 7-6, but came one hit short of tying the game in the ninth. Ofelfky Peralta (3-3) threw five strong innings for Delmarva and racked up seven strikeouts to earn his third win of the season. It took until the fifth inning, but the Intimidators finally broke through for a run. Tyler Sullivan singled with two out in the inning to score Cody Daily. Sullivan had a great night at the plate for Kannapolis going 3-for-4 with three RBI and a double.

 

Hey Now, You’re An All-Star: Four Intimidators have been named to the 57th Annual SAL All-Star Game in Lexington, Ky., on June 21 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, the league announced on Tuesday. Pitchers Tanner Banks and Zach Thompson, outfielder Landon Lassiter and catcher Seby Zavala all earned All-Star honors, giving Kannapolis it’s most All-Star selections since sending four players to the 2012 All-Star Game in Charleston. In 2013, Intimidators second baseman Micah Johnson won All-Star Game MVP.

 

Power Arrives Late: It took until the ninth inning of Tuesday night’s game for the Intimidators to tally their first extra base hit of the road trip. Cody Daily ended the power outage with a triple to right, but was thrown out at the plate on the same play trying to score on a wild relay throw from the Shorebirds second basemen Drew Turbin. Tyler Sullivan added a two RBI triple two batters later, but was left stranded at second representing the tying run.

 

A closer look on the road: When you first look at the Intimidators road record what jumps out is a far superior record on the road than at home. However, the road record is built primarily against Southern division opponents. Against the North, the Intimidators have not won a series and are 3-10 on the road against their division rivals.

 

This Date In Baseball History: On this date in 1977, the Mets trade the ‘Franchise’, Tom Seaver, to the Reds for pitcher Pat Zachary, second baseman Doug Flynn, and minor leaguers Steve Henderson and Dan Norman. Dave Kingman is also traded by New York to the Angels for Bobby Valentine and a minor league player.

 

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.

Intimidators takk on the Shorebirds for game 2, a look at offense and this date in baseball history

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) play game two of this three game series and of the seven game against the Delmarva Shorebirds (A, Orioles).  The Intimidators lacked the power stroke in Monday night’s 3-1 loss. Mustering five hits all singles. The time of game, two hours and 10 minutes, was the fastest of the 2016 season for the Shorebirds.

 

Intimidating Starter: Johanthna Frebis, 23, makes his 12th appearance and start of the season This will be the righty’s third start against the Shorebirds this year. In his previous two starts against Delmarva, Frebis has earned the win logging 10 innings, allowing just three runs and striking out five. Both starts came at Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System.  The lefty has the reputation as one of the quickest workers on the Intimidators pitching staff, his last start was proof of this when, in a nine inning game, the contest was wrapped up in timely 2 hours and 17 minutes. In that game, Frebis was hung with the lost despite turning in one of his best outings. He worked six innings, allowing a single run to the Hickory Crawdads in a 1-0 loss to the ‘Dads.

 

Delmarva Hurler: Ofelfy Peralta, 19, makes his 12th start of 2016 and his second start against the Intimidators. The young righty signed a year before most team expected him to sign, the Orioles were drawn to his fastball that can reach 95 mph at his young age. Peralta received one of the biggest signing bonus of the year. The fastball works well of his two breaking balls, a slider and curveball while he looks to develop a changeup. Scouts have compared him to Taijuan Walker. It will be the second time this season that Peralta has faced Frebis. Frebis won the first battle at Intimidators stadium on April 11.

 

About Last Night: Five hits by the Kannapolis Intimidators Monday night at Arthur W. Purdue Stadium all went for singles in a 3-1 loss to the Delmarva Shorebirds. It was a night of singles for both teams. The Intimidators collected five hits all singles, while the Shorebirds tallied 11 hits on the night, 10 went for singles, with the only extra base hit deciding the game. In the top of the first inning, the Intimidators raced out to an early lead. Landon Lassiter singled to start the rally and scored when, the next batter, Johan Cruz singled to center. The center fielder, Cedric Mullins, lost the ball in the twilight which allowed Lassiter to score all the way from first. It was the only run Kannapolis would plate on the evening.

 

Hey Now, You’re An All-Star: Four Intimidators have been named to the 57th Annual SAL All-Star Game in Lexington, Ky., on June 21 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, the league announced on Tuesday. Pitchers Tanner Banks and Zach Thompson, outfielder Landon Lassiter and catcher Seby Zavala all earned All-Star honors, giving Kannapolis it’s most All-Star selections since sending four players to the 2012 All-Star Game in Charleston. In 2013, Intimidators second baseman Micah Johnson won All-Star Game MVP.

 

Slide Continues: The Intimidators come into Tuesday’s game in the midst of a five game slide. IT is the second time Kannapolis has lost five straight. Their longest loosing streak of the year is six, a skid that took place May 13-18 against the Hagerstown Suns and Greensboro Grasshoppers.

 

No Fun, During The Last 10: It is not hard to see why the Intimidators have struggled through their last 10 games. As a team, they are batting .216 during the stretch (68/325) what has compounded the offensive malaise is a lack of power. Johan Cruz home run on June 11 is the only long fly over the last ten, a point that was highlighted in Tuesday night’s loss.  Of the five hits by the Intimidators all went for singles.

 

Landon Lassiter Shines: During the offensive woe that the Intimidators are experiencing their leftfielder Landon Lassiter has been a bright spot. The 2016 Sally League All-Star comes into Tuesday’s game with a .303 average on the season, and he is batting .345 (10/29) over the last ten games. One of the reasons Kannapolis has seen Lassiter rise in the batting order from an eight hitter to a two hitter.

 

This Date In Baseball History: On this date in 1969, Reggie Jackson accumulates 11 total bases and drives in ten runs in Oakland’s 21-7 rout of the Red Sox. The A’s outfielder’s offensive output in the Fenway Park contest includes a pair of two-run homers, a double, and a single.

 

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 6/12/16: Closing out the First Half home slate

Kannapolis Intimidators (23-39) vs. Hickory Crawdads (36-25)
Saturday, June 11, 2016 – 7:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System (opened 1995) – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #62 of 140
RH Luis Martinez (1-5, 4.74) vs. RH Pedro Payano (1-2, 1.47)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) wrap up the home portion of the First Half of the 2016 season today as they look to avoid a series sweep against the Crawdads (A, Rangers) in Game 4 of this 4-game set. Kannapolis currently sits seventh in the 7-team Northern Division in the South Atlantic League standings. Following today’s game, the Intimidators hit the road for a trip to Delmarva and Lakewood to close out the season’s First Half.

Intimidating Starter: Luis Martinez, 21, makes his SAL-leading 13th start and his fifth career start against Hickory. The right-hander is 0-4 with a 4.82 ERA (10 ER/18.2 IP) and 17 strikeouts in four games against the Crawdads over the last two seasons. In two starts this season against Hickory, Martinez is 0-2 with a 3.60 ERA. He is coming off a home loss to Greenville on June 6 after allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits over a season-high 7.0 innings. Earlier this season, Martinez matched his career-high eight strikeouts in a May 4 win over Hagerstown, his lone win of the campaign. He is in his second season with Kannapolis, going 4-14 with a 5.38 ERA (65 ER/108.2 IP) in 24 games (24 starts) in 2015. MLB.com ranks Martinez as the No. 29 Prospect in the White Sox organization. Martinez was signed as a free agent on Dec. 16, 2011.

Hickory Hurler: Pedro Payano, 21, makes his 10th start of 2016 and third against Kannapolis. He is 0-1 with a 0.90 ERA (1 ER/10.0 IP) and 13 strikeouts against the Intimidators this season, including a hard-luck loss on April 15 in which he allowed just one unearned run on the day. He is coming off a no decision June 6 against Greensboro, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits over 6.0 innings while striking out eight. Payano dominated the Grasshoppers on April 27 in a 9-inning complete game shutout, striking out 11 while tossing a 1-hitter for the ‘Dads. Payano joined Hickory in August 2015, finishing his SAL season 3-1 with a 1.10 ERA (4 ER/32.2 IP) and 31 strikeouts in six games (five starts). He did not face Kannapolis during his 2015 season while spending the years with three Rangers affiliates. In game one of the SAL Championship Series, Payano struck out eight batters including a stretch where he fanned six in a row.

About Last Night: Hickory scored six runs over the final four innings to rally past Kannapolis, 7-5, on Saturday in front of 2,691 fans at Intimidators Stadium. Johan Cruz helped build an early lead for the Intimidators, doubling in a run in the first inning and smacking a 2-run home run (3) in the fifth for a 3-1 lead. Brannon Easterling spun 4.0 solid innings in his second start of 2016 in a no decision. The bullpen struggled, however, allowing six runs (four earned) on 11 hits over 5.0 innings of work while striking out three and walking two. Yelmison Peralta (0-3) took the loss despite allowing just a pair of unearned runs. Eric Jenkins paced Hickory, driving in three runs while going 2-4. Adam Choplick earned the win (2-0). John Werner picked up the save (6).

Taking Your Ball And Going Home: Hickory’s Matt Ball returned to the mound in Kannapolis where he opened the season as a reliever for the Intimidators. The San Diego, Calif. native went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 10 games, striking out 24 batters while walking five in 16.0 innings. The White Sox dealt Ball to the Rangers in mid May for MLB-experienced Antony Ranaudo. In his seven games with the Crawdads, Ball is 0-0 with a 1.59 ERA (2 ER/11.1 IP) and 11 strikeouts. He spun 1.1 innings against his former teammates Saturday, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits while striking out two and walking one.

Ruchim Up: On night after Kyle Ruchim collected his first career hit in affiliated ball, the new outfielder showed off his arm for Kannapolis, throwing out a pair of runners at the plate Saturday in the fifth and eight innings. The former Northwestern Wildcat opened his season in Independent ball with the Frontier League’s Schaumburg Boomers before signing with the White Sox on May 5 and earning a promotion from Extended Spring Training to Class A Kannapolis on June 6.

Home Is Where The Hurt Is: Kannapolis has struggled at home recently, dropping 16 of their last 18 games at Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System. The team has the second-worst home record in the SAL at 10-24, one game better than Rome, which has gone 9-23 at State Mutual Stadium. Kannapolis has gone 13-15 on the road this season.

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.

Three former Intimidators make it to the Show: Sights & Sounds of the Week

What a week for former Intimidators.  From player promotions, milestone achievements, and most of all, Major League debuts — it’s awesome to see so many guys that have come through town go on to do great things.  Let’s start with the pinnacle moment for any minor league baseball player: making it to the bigs.  Welcome to another edition of the Charlotte Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat Associates Sights & Sounds of the Week.

Big League Dreams

Tim Anderson 480x270

The White Sox selected Tim Anderson 17th overall in the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft. He made his professional debut with Kannapolis that summer.

Friday night, former Intimidators shortstop Tim Anderson (2013) became the 90th player to go from Kannapolis to Major League Baseball, making his MLB debut with the White Sox and recording a double in his first at-bat (VIDEO).

He finished 2-for-3 with a run scored in the White Sox 7-5 win over Kansas City. You can hear Anderson’s comments about his MLB debut game and the double he hit here.

Intimidators fans will remember Anderson making his professional debut with Kannapolis in 2013 following the draft.  After an 0-for start in his first professional game, he hit safely in his next 9 or 10 straight games and never looked back.  His first professional home run came August 16, 2013, against the Grasshoppers in Greensboro.

Anderson is the most recent first round pick to play with the Intimidators, following Courtney Hawkins (2012) and Keenyn Walker (2011). The shortstop was joined in Kannapolis in 2013 by the White Sox second and third round picks from the 2013 draft, Tyler Danish and Jacob May.

Tyler Danish 2014 480x270Speaking of Tyler Danish, the former Intimidators pitcher (2013-14) got the call up to the big leagues on Thursday.  He is the 89th player to go from Kannapolis to MLB and the 65th to reach the bigs since the Intimidators became a White Sox affiliate in 2001.  After finishing his professional debut season with Kannapolis in 2013, the same year the White Sox selected him in the second round of the June draft, Danish returned to Kannapolis as a starting pitcher in 2014 and immediately set the Sally League on fire.  Check out these numbers from the Intimidators press release:

The White Sox selected Danish in the second round of the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Durant High School in Plant City, Fla. He joined the Intimidators on August 20, 2013, from the Advanced Rookie Bristol White Sox at age 18 and finished his professional debut season in Kannapolis. He opened his 2014 campaign with the Intimidators and went 3-0 with a 0.71 ERA (3 ER/38 IP) to open his season before earning a promotion to Class A-Advanced Winston-Salem. Danish earned South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week honors for April 28-May 4, 2014, after going 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA (0 ER/12 IP) in two scoreless starts against West Virginia and Hickory.

In fact, when Danish was promoted to Winston-Salem, we actually talked about what this moment — being called up to the Major Leagues — would be like if and when it came to pass.  Well, that moment came this week.  Here is what Danish had to say:

CoatsOne last big league promotion to note.  It’s been a week since Intimidators 2013 outfielder and South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star Jason Coats made his first trip to Chicago, and as of yesterday, he is already going back.

The former TCU Horned Frog and before that Plano West Wolf was tearing up the Triple-A International League this season, batting a league-best .335 at the time the White Sox officially purchased his contract on June 4, making him the 88th player to go from Kannapolis to the Bigs.

During his professional debut season in 2013, Coats was a mainstay in the Kannapolis lineup. And yes, while he was drafted in the 29th round of the June 2012 First-Year Player Draft, Coats was injured that season and did not first take the field as a professional until he got to Kannapolis in 2013.  And when he got here, the rest of the league took notice.  From the Intimidators press release:

Coats, 26, made his professional debut with the Intimidators in 2013 after the White Sox selected him in the 29th round of the June 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of TCU. The former Horned Frog playing 133 games for Kannapolis in 2013, the second most games in the SAL. He also ranked second in the league in doubles (38), at-bats (516), tied for second in RBI (84), tied for fourth in hits (140), and ranked fifth in extra-base hits (53) and total bases (220). Coats joined Micah Johnson as the two Intimidators to represent Kannapolis at the 2013 South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star Game in Lakewood, N.J.

Coats had a way of coming up with key hits late in games during that 2013 season.  Here are just a couple examples:

The updated list of Intimidators in the Majors can be found here.

Milestone Moments

Chris Curley battingThe last week has been an exciting one for other former Intimidators who are still working toward that ultimate goal of reaching the big leagues. One former Intimidators infielder, Chris Curley (2012, 2015) is now with the Jacksonville Suns in the Miami Marlins organization, and last week he accomplished a very rare feat, hitting for the cycle.

Another fun Intimidators tie to this story: Chris Curley was in the game the last time the Intimidators had a player hit for the cycle: July 15, 2012. That was the day that Bill Rice accomplished the feat in Greensboro. Meanwhile Curley was just a ho-hum 2-5 with a home run and 3 RBI.  Curley used to kill the Grasshoppers (in 2012, he hit .455 [10-22] with five home runs and nine RBI in just five games against them). Here is one of his home runs from his 2-homer game against them the day after Rice hit for the cycle on July 16, 2012:

Curley gets a “good dude” in my book. Generic to say that he played the game the right way, but he really has and continues to do so.  He’s one of those guys that you hope gets his shot at the big leagues, even if only for one at bat — just that quick cup of coffee — because especially after as many years as he’s spent in the minors trying to find that path to the show, you’d love to see him get there.  Remember, this is a guy who started with the Braves in 2009, found his way to the independent Frontier League, signed with the White Sox  in 2012, spent training camp with the Angels in 2015 before signing with the Sox at the end of March, and now is with the Marlins.

Puma to the Padres

Erik Johnson Intimidators 480

Erik Johnson pitched for Kannapolis in 2012 and reached the Major Leagues in 2013.

In baseball circles, it’s the James Shields trade, but here in Kannapolis, it’s the Erik Johnson trade (the same way that I remember the White Sox getting Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb prior to the 2012 season more than I remember them dealing Jason Fraiser — or how it was the trade that brought Wendelken, Montas, and Rondon to Kannapolis, not the Jake Peavy trade). Former Intimidators starting pitcher Erik Johnson (2012) was dealt to San Diego on Sunday along with minor league shortstop Fernando Tatis for Shields.

Quick note on Tatis: from what some of the guys in the clubhouse here say, he was and will be a beast. Too bad we won’t see him in Kannapolis, but it’ll be fun to see what he becomes in his baseball life.

Johnson, the White Sox second round pick in the June 2011 First-Year Player Draft, was a college teammate of Marcus Semien while at Cal. The two helped lead the Golden Bears to the College World Series in 2011 and help the program avoid being a budget line casualty of the UC system. He pitched for Kannapolis in early 2012 before earning a mid-season promotion to Winston-Salem. Johnson reached the big leagues one year after his time in Kannapolis.

Currently in Kannapolis

Here in Kannapolis, the team has had several exciting games recently, including a week ago today in Charleston when the Intimidators rallied with two outs in the ninth inning to beat the RiverDogs, using a fluky base-hit off the second base bag to help spark the rally.

Later in the inning, Grant Massey — the walk-off hero a week earlier — came through with the go-ahead hit.

Like Father, Like Son

Check out this bio feature on Intimidators hitting coach Justin Jirchele, a well-done piece by WCCB’s Jeff Zell.

That’s it for this week’s Sights & Sounds presented by Charlotte Eye, Ear, Nose & Thoat Associates. See you at the ballpark.

– JF
@BigTexJosh

 

Game Notes 6/7/16: Double dip duel with the Drive

Kannapolis Intimidators (22-34) vs. Greenville Drive (28-27)
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 – 5:00 p.m. (Doubleheader)
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System (opened 1995) – Kannapolis, N.C.
Games #57 & 58 of 140
RH Luis Martinez (1-4, 4.86) vs. RH Roniel Raudes (5-1, 3.21)
TBA vs. TBA

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) face the Drive (A, Red Sox) in their first home doubleheader of the season to make up for Monday night’s rainout. Kannapolis is coming off a road series win at Charleston, taking two of three games. The Intimidators return home looking for better results at Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System after dropping six of seven in the team’s last home stand, against Asheville and Augusta. The Intimidators are 0-2 in doubleheader games in 2016, being swept on May 21 in Asheville. Kannapolis leads the all-time series over the Drive, 52-47, dating back to 2005.

Hey Now, You’re An All-Star: The Kannapolis Intimidators will send four players to the 57th Annual South Atlantic League All-Star Game in Lexington, Ky., on June 21 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. Pitchers Tanner Banks and Zach Thompson will join outfielder Landon Lassiter and catcher Seby Zavala on the Northern Division team that faces the Southern Division squad in the mid-summer exhibition. The Intimidators last placed four players on the All-Star team in 2012. In 2013, Intimidators second baseman Micah Johnson won All-Star Game MVP.

Intimidating Starter: Luis Martinez, 21, makes his SAL-leading 12th start and his first career appearance against a Red Sox affiliate. He is coming off a 7-strikeout performance on May 31, one shy of his career-high, in a no decision against the GreenJackets where he allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits over 5.0 innings. Martinez finished the month of May at 1-1 with a 5.22 ERA (17 ER/29.1 IP) in six starts. Earlier this season, Martinez matched his career-high eight strikeouts in a May 4 over Hagerstown. The lanky right-hander is in his second season with Kannapolis, going 4-14 with a 5.38 ERA (65 ER/108.2 IP) in 24 games (24 starts) in 2015. MLB.com ranks Martinez as the No. 29 Prospect in the White Sox organization. Martinez was signed as a free agent on Dec. 16, 2011.

Dealing for Drive: Roniel Raudes, 18, makes his 10th start of the season and his first career appearance against a White Sox affiliate. The right-hander is rated the No. 14 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. This season with the Drive, he has struck out 40 batters in 42.0 innings while walking eight. He is two starts removed from 6.0 scoreless innings at Asheville May 23 when he matched his season-high eight strikeouts.

Last Time Out: The Intimidators were down to their final out trailing by two runs in the ninth before rallying for four runs to steal a 5-3 win over the RiverDogs on Saturday at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park in Charleston. Kannapolis enjoyed a pair of fortuitous bounces, twice grounding balls off the second base bag, bouncing away from the middle infielders to score runs.  Jack Charleston (1-3) retired all six batters he faced to earn his first win at the Class A level.  The reliever struck out two over a perfect eighth and ninth inning.  Down 3-1 going into the ninth, Landon Lassiter singled before Danny Mendick drew a 2-out walk, putting men on first and second for Antonio Rodriguez.  The base runners were the first two allowed by RiverDogs reliever Nestor Cortes since the fifth inning.  Rodriguez grounded what looked to be the final out up the middle, but the ball bounced off second base and away from shortstop Kyle Holder and second baseman Hoy Jun Park, allowing Lassiter to cross the plate, sparking the rally.  Corey Zangari grounded a ball to Holder, whose throw to second base pulled Park off the bag, allowing Mendick to score as the Intimidators avoided what would have been the game’s final out.  Grant Massey followed with a chopper up the middle to score Rodriguez and Zangari.

Down But Not Out: The Intimidators won their second game of the season when trailing after eight innings on Saturday in Charleston. The RiverDogs led 3-1 going into the ninth before Kannapolis rallied for four runs to win 5-3. Kannapolis is now 2-26 when trailing after eight innings. The team’s other win came exactly a week earlier when the Intimidators trailed Asheville 4-2 after eight before scoring two runs in the ninth to force extra innings and winning in the 10th, 5-4.

Saving Your Best For Last: Three times in 2016 the Intimidators have won a game in their last at-bats. On May 19, the Intimidators beat Asheville 10-7 in 10 innings thanks to a Corey Zangari 3-run home run at McCormick Field. The I’s scored their first walk-off win of 2016 on May 28 when Grant Massey singled in the winning run over the Tourists for a 5-4 win in 10 innings. On Saturday in Asheville, Massey’s go-ahead 2-run single capped a 4-run 2-out rally in the ninth.

Oh What A Ninth: Kannapolis rallied for four runs in the ninth on Saturday for a come-from-behind win over the RiverDogs with all four runs scoring with two outs. Since 2005, the Intimidators have only had seven higher-scoring ninth innings. Saturday’s win featured the highest-scoring ninth inning for the Intimidators since the team scored a franchise record eight runs – all with two outs – in the ninth on May 9, 2015, at Lexington to beat the Legends, 13-8.

Outhit With No Quit: Entering last weekend’s series against the RiverDogs, Kannapolis had gone winless (0-24) in games in which they failed to outhit their opponents, going 0-7 in games where hits are equal and 0-17 in games where the opponent outhits Kannapolis. In the 3-game series, Kannapolis won two games in which Charleston produced more hits. On Thursday, the Intimidators were 1-hit by the RiverDogs but scored a 1-0 win. Saturday, the RiverDogs outhit Kannapolis, 8-7, but the Intimidators emerged victorious with a 5-3 win.

Danny Boy: Danny Mendick went 1-3 with an RBI, a walk and a run scored on Saturday and has now hit safely in 23 in his last 25 games with Kannapolis since April 20, batting .348 (32-92) in that span. The infielder is batting .326 (44-135) in 37 games with the Intimidators this season, the fourth-best batting average in the SAL, and he ranks tied for third in the league with a .413 on-base percentage. He has a pair of 10-game hitting streaks, the first Intimidator with multiple 10-game hitting streaks in one season since Adam Engel in 2014.

Charleston vs. Charleston: Reliever Jack Charleston earned his first win of the season on Saturday against Charleston with 2.0 perfect innings, striking out two batters over the eighth and ninth. The 6’5”, 165-pound right-hander worked a pair of games at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park against the RiverDogs, tossing 3.2 scoreless IP with one hit, one walk, and four strikeouts. The White Sox selected Charleston in the 30th round of the June 2015 First-Year Player Draft.

Lassiter Among League Leaders: Outfielder Landon Lassiter is batting .305 (54-177) in 45 games for Kannapolis, the 10th-best average in the SAL. Since May 24, the former Tar Heel has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games, batting .352 (19-54) with four doubles and five RBI.

Riga On A Roll: Left-hander Ryan Riga has been on fire since moving to the Intimidators bullpen. In nine relief appearances, he has not allowed a run in eight outings, posting a 0.96 ERA (2 ER/18.2 IP) with 17 strikeouts since his first relief appearance of the season on May 5. As a starter, Riga opened the season 0-2 with a 10.71 ERA (23 ER/19.1 IP) in five starts.

Game Notes 6/6/16: Down but not out, Oh what a 9th, Danny boy, and Charleston vs. Charleston

Kannapolis Intimidators (22-34) vs. Greenville Drive (28-27)
Monday, June 6, 2016 – 7:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System (opened 1995) – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #57 of 140
RH Luis Martinez (1-4, 4.86) vs. RH Roniel Raudes (5-1, 3.21)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) return home for their final home stand of the First Half starting with a 3-game series against the Drive (A, Red Sox) in the only meeting between these two squads until August. Kannapolis is coming off a road series win at Charleston, taking two of three games. The Intimidators return home looking for better results at Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System after dropping six of seven in the team’s last home stand, May 26 through June 1, against Asheville and Augusta. Kannapolis leads the all-time series over the Drive, 52-47, dating back to 2005. The Intimidators claimed last year’s season series, 4-2.

Intimidating Starter: Luis Martinez, 21, makes his SAL-leading 12th start and his first career appearance against a Red Sox affiliate. He is coming off a 7-strikeout performance on May 31, one shy of his career-high, in a no decision against the GreenJackets where he allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits over 5.0 innings. Martinez finished the month of May at 1-1 with a 5.22 ERA (17 ER/29.1 IP) in six starts. Earlier this season, Martinez matched his career-high eight strikeouts in a May 4 over Hagerstown. The lanky right-hander is in his second season with Kannapolis, going 4-14 with a 5.38 ERA (65 ER/108.2 IP) in 24 games (24 starts) in 2015. MLB.com ranks Martinez as the No. 29 Prospect in the White Sox organization. Martinez was signed as a free agent on Dec. 16, 2011.

Dealing for Drive: Roniel Raudes, 18, makes his 10th start of the season and his first career appearance against a White Sox affiliate. The right-hander is rated the No. 14 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. This season with the Drive, he has struck out 40 batters in 42.0 innings while walking eight. He is two starts removed from 6.0 scoreless innings on May 23 at Asheville where he matched his season-high with eight strikeouts.

About Last Night: The Intimidators were down to their final out trailing by two runs in the ninth before rallying for four runs to steal a 5-3 win over the RiverDogs on Saturday at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park in Charleston. Kannapolis enjoyed a pair of fortuitous bounces, twice grounding balls off the second base bag, bouncing away from the middle infielders to score runs.  Jack Charleston (1-3) retired all six batters he faced to earn his first win at the Class A level.  The reliever struck out two over a perfect eighth and ninth inning.  Down 3-1 going into the ninth, Landon Lassiter singled before Danny Mendick drew a 2-out walk, putting men on first and second for Antonio Rodriguez.  The base runners were the first two allowed by RiverDogs reliever Nestor Cortes since the fifth inning.  Rodriguez grounded what looked to be the final out up the middle, but the ball bounced off second base and away from shortstop Kyle Holder and second baseman Hoy Jun Park, allowing Lassiter to cross the plate, sparking the rally.  Corey Zangari grounded a ball to Holder, whose throw to second base pulled Park off the bag, allowing Mendick to score as the Intimidators avoided what would have been the game’s final out.  Grant Massey followed with a chopper up the middle to score Rodriguez and Zangari.

Down But Not Out: The Intimidators won their second game of the season when trailing after eight innings on Saturday in Charleston. The RiverDogs led 3-1 going into the ninth before Kannapolis rallied for four runs to win 5-3. Kannapolis is now 2-26 when trailing after eight innings. The team’s other win came exactly a week earlier when the Intimidators trailed Asheville 4-2 after eight before scoring two runs in the ninth to force extra innings and winning in the 10th, 5-4.

Saving Your Best For Last: Three times in 2016 the Intimidators have won a game in their last at-bats. On May 19, the Intimidators beat Asheville 10-7 in 10 innings thanks to a Corey Zangari 3-run home run at McCormick Field. The I’s scored their first walk-off win of 2016 on May 28 when Grant Massey singled in the winning run over the Tourists for a 5-4 win in 10 innings. On Saturday in Asheville, Massey’s go-ahead 2-run single capped a 4-run 2-out rally in the ninth.

Oh What A Ninth: Kannapolis rallied for four runs in the ninth on Saturday for a come-from-behind win over the RiverDogs with all four runs scoring with two outs. Since 2005, the Intimidators have only had seven higher-scoring ninth innings. Saturday’s win featured the highest-scoring ninth inning for the Intimidators since the team scored a franchise record eight runs – all with two outs – in the ninth on May 9, 2015, at Lexington to beat the Legends, 13-8.

Where Home Runs Go To Die: In the Intimidators’ last two series in Charleston (July 8-12, 2015 and June 2-4, 2016), the two teams combined for no home runs over those eight games at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Ballpark. The Joe is arguably the most pitcher-friendly ballpark in the South Atlantic League.

Outhit With No Quit: Entering last weekend’s series against the RiverDogs, Kannapolis had gone winless (0-24) in games in which they failed to outhit their opponents, going 0-7 in games where hits are equal and 0-17 in games where the opponent outhits Kannapolis. In the 3-game series, Kannapolis won two games in which Charleston produced more hits. On Thursday, the Intimidators were 1-hit by the RiverDogs but scored a 1-0 win. On Saturday, the RiverDogs outhit Kannapolis, 8-7, but the Intimidators emerged victorious with a 5-3 win.

Danny Boy: Danny Mendick went 1-3 with an RBI, a walk and a run scored on Saturday and has now hit safely in 23 in his last 25 games with Kannapolis since April 20, batting .348 (32-92) in that span. The infielder is batting .326 (44-135) in 37 games with the Intimidators this season, the fourth-best batting average in the SAL, and he ranks tied for third in the league with a .413 on-base percentage. He has a pair of 10-game hitting streaks, the first Intimidator with multiple 10-game hitting streaks in one season since Adam Engel in 2014.

Jack Charleston

Kannapolis Intimidators relief pitcher Jack Charleston (25) in action against the Asheville Tourists at Kannapolis Intimidators Stadium on May 26, 2016 in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The Tourists defeated the Intimidators 9-6 in 11 innings. (Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images)

Charleston vs. Charleston: Reliever Jack Charleston earned his first win of the season on Saturday against Charleston with 2.0 perfect innings, striking out two batters over the eighth and ninth. The 6’5”, 165-pound right-hander worked a pair of games at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park against the RiverDogs, tossing 3.2 scoreless IP with one hit, one walk, and four strikeouts. The White Sox selected Charleston in the 30th round of the June 2015 First-Year Player Draft.

Lassiter Among League Leaders: Outfielder Landon Lassiter is batting .305 (54-177) in 45 games for Kannapolis, the 10th-best average in the SAL. Since May 24, the former Tar Heel has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games, batting .352 (19-54) with four doubles and five RBI.

Riga On A Roll: Left-hander Ryan Riga has been on fire since moving to the Intimidators bullpen. In nine relief appearances, he has not allowed a run in eight outings, posting a 0.96 ERA (2 ER/18.2 IP) with 17 strikeouts since his first relief appearance of the season on May 5. As a starter, Riga opened the season 0-2 with a 10.71 ERA (23 ER/19.1 IP) in five starts.

Starting Strong: Kannapolis has four members in their starting rotation with 11 starts entering today’s game, including today’s starter Luis Martinez plus Zach Thompson, Tanner Banks, and Johnathan Frebis. The quartet of Intimidators are four of the 18 players in the league that are tied for the league lead in games started so far this season.

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.

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