2015 Intimidators Walk-Up Songs

A lot of our fans asked throughout the season about which songs players used for their walk-up music (the song that is played as a batter steps into the batters box or when a pitcher takes the mound). I also want to make sure I chronicle some of these because while I do have a few (a lot of these actually) saved in our audio computer, I want to put these out there for everyone to see.

Some of them I remember even from my first season with Kannapolis (2011), such as Addison Reed, who would take the mound in relief to The Show Goes On by Lupe Fiasco.  I don’t believe any Intimidators player has used it since, which makes it pretty cool for some reason.  Maybe it’s because Reed was the first guy I saw play in Kannapolis and reach the Major Leagues — he went all the way from the Intimidators to the White Sox within the 2011 season.

Beyond Reed, I don’t remember too many others from that long ago that stand out.  I remember Keenyn Walker had the most songs during his time in Kannapolis (2011-12).  I remember Mike Blanke in 2011 started with Outta Your Mind by Lil Jon until coaches suggested he change it.  Leighton Pangilinan was the first to use Ray Bands by B.o.B, which somehow caught on as a “cult classic” among our front office (specifically Darren and Puckett) in 2012.

With that said, here is the list (which I’d say is at least 90% complete) of the 2015 Intimidators Walk-Up songs.  Anyone who I left out, I don’t have any idea what our PA announcer played for them, but it wasn’t labeled with their name in the system.

Adams, SpencerDevil Went Down To Georgia by Charlie Daniels Band (Spencer didn’t request this song, but when he first took the mound for Kannapolis at time, I figured it would be a fitting intro for the White County, Georgia, native.)
Almonte, YencyThe Movement by Kid Ink. Originally we played Will Smith’s Miami for the Miami native.
Alvarez, EddyDown & Out by Tantric. You may know this as Evan Longoria’s walk-up music.
Austin, Brett — The former NC State catcher used a few different songs this season, going from Nelly’s Country Grammar to Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood before switching to Ja Rule’s Living It Up prior to his promotion to Winston-Salem.
Cooper, Matt — He used Volbeat’s A Warriors Call before going in a complete and total different direction with Carly Rae Jespen’s I really like you.
Daily, CodyBrantley Gilbert’s Kick It In the Sticks, which I believe we gave him.
Danner, Michael — Ray Bands by B.o.B
Gross, EthanMark Morrison’s Return of the Mack
Guerrero, Jordan — Halfway through his first season with Kannapolis in 2014, Guerrero began starting every other appearance, piggybacking with Andre Wheeler. I downloaded 2pac’s California Love and played it for him.  He like it and suggested we go with this remix — In The City (California Love Remix) — which we used for the rest of the 2014 and all of his 2015 home appearances before earning his way up to Winston-Salem.
Jones, Hunter — WWE fans recognized The Rock’s entrance music when Jones stepped to the plate.
Lechich, Louie — When you make plays that get our team on SportsCenter, you can change your song as often as you’d like. The defensive wizard used both Metalingus by Alter Bridge and American Oxygen by Rihanna.
Leonards, RyanI Don’t Get Tired — Kevin Gates ft. August Alsina
Lowry, ThaddiusPantera’s Walk
Martinez, LuisHungria Hip Hop – O Play Boy Rodou
O’Connell, SeanRenegade by Styx, which was originally used by Kannapolis 2012 relief Jarrett Casey.
Olacio, JeffersonCon To Lo Cacabele by El Alfa
Plourde, RyanWiz Khalifa & Iggy Azalea – Go Hard or Go Home
Riga, Ryan — The June 2015 draft pick didn’t get too many chances to pitch in Kannapolis.  I do remember at least once we played the Ohio State fight song for the former Buckeye.
Robbins, Mason — WWE fans also recognized Stone Cold Steve Austin’s intro music.
Salgado, BradCall Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jespen. Yes, he selected this on his own. Not a bad choice, actually. A reliever who wants something the crowd can get into as he enters the game — makes sense.
Simon, AlexanderEl Mayor Clasico’s La Encendedora
Stringer, ChristianGod Blessed Texas by Alan Jackson.  Definitely not the first guy I’ve assigned this music too, but most of the time if we have a Texan on the team, that’s the music I’ll play for them, and I don’t remember any of them saying to switch to something different.  Stringer also walked up to it in 2014, and Jason Coats used it in 2013.
Suiter, MichaelM.I.A.’s Double Bubble TroubleWhen I was loading everyone’s songs into the system before a game in early April, the team was on the field taking BP.  Suiter was in the group getting ready to hit, and as this song played over the system for the first time, the Flyin’ Hawaiian started dancing.  Pretty clear it put a pep in his step as he strung together a league-best 23-game hitting streak this season.
Thomas, Toby$ave Dat Money by Fetty Wap and Rich Homie Quan — hey, whatever helps you win fans a year’s worth of toilet paper
Thompson, Zach — I don’t know why, but some of the guys on the team wanted to play a joke on Thompson and have him take the mound to the theme of The Pink Panther. I don’t ask questions; I just play the music (or at least load it into the system).  Thompson didn’t seem to mind, and his ERA at home (3.86) was much better than his outing away from Kannapolis (5.09), so it couldn’t have bothered him that much, if at all.
Valerio, KelvisEl Batallon ft. Secreto – Aqui No Hay Miedo, which I believe translates to Here There Is No Fear.
Williams, Tyler — TJ used his fair share of songs during his time with the Intimidators, probably more than I’d let others get away with, but he was always helpful in not only sending me the mp3 of the songs he wanted but also in helping his teammates do the same.  The last song he used before his promotion to the Dash was Man Of The Year by ScHoolboy Q.
Ziznewski, John — He finished the season by stepping into the batters box to J Boog’s Let’s Do It Again after opening his year with I Need Your Love by Shaggy.

Intimidators in the MiLBYS: Dykstra, Devenski, and a tie goes to Mother Nature

updated_milbys_hdrCrazy to think the Intimidators last took the field more than a month ago as Minor League Baseball’s 2015 regular season came to a close on September 7.  But as the Major League Baseball playoffs start to heat up, the folks at MiLB.com are also working on crowning a champion as part of the 2015 MiLBYS — Minor League Baseball’s fan vote for the best players, teams, plays and more of the past season.  You can check out the main page here.  As for this blog post, we are going to focus on Intimidators who are up for 2015 MiLBYS.

Best Performance

There are two former Intimidators up for this award, so vote how you must.  We’re just here to highlight them both for you.

James Dykstra worked 6.2 strong innings of two-hit ball as the Intimidators dropped the Crawdads, 1-0, on April 9, 2014.

James Dykstra worked 6.2 strong innings of two-hit ball as the Intimidators dropped the Crawdads, 1-0, on April 9, 2014.

Dykstra gives outfielders a day off
Dash righty tosses no-no without ball ever leaving the infield

The lowdown (from MiLB.com): James Dykstra’s seven-inning gem for Winston-Salem on April 15 seems even more impressive when you consider his outfielders could have spent the game on social media rather than fielding their position as all 21 outs were recorded without the ball ever leaving the infield. More »

With Kannapolis: In 2014, James Dykstra served as the Intimidators opening day starter and made his way to High-A Winston-Salem before mid-July. The right-hander went 6-8 with a 2.64 ERA (29 ER/99.0 IP) in 16 games (16 starts) for Kannapolis. He was sensational in June and July, going 3-3 while posted a 1.42 ERA (7 ER/44.1 IP) in seven starts while striking out 38 batters and walking three.  In fact, for his entire stint with the Intimidators, he walked just 10 batters and struck out 82.  That’s fewer walks than even Spencer Adams (11 BB in 100.0 IP) had in 2015 with the Intimidators.  Dykstra was a no nonsense arm that threw heavy fastballs.  So much so that for most of the first half, he led the South Atlantic League and ranked Top 5 in the Minors in groundouts to air-outs ratio.  His incredible performance from 2015 is just the latest example of that.  He didn’t elevate pitches and rarely gave opposing hitters a chance to tee off (he allowed just three home runs in 99.0 innings in the Sally League).

Chris Devenski pitched in 19 games (eight starts) for the Intimidators in 2012 before included in the Brett Myers trade as the player to be named later the Astros received.

Chris Devenski pitched in 19 games (eight starts) for the Intimidators in 2012 before included in the Brett Myers trade as the player to be named later the Astros received.

Devenski dominates under spotlight
Astros prospect leads Fresno to title with terrific Triple-A debut

The lowdown (from MiLB.com): With all eyes on El Paso, Fresno’s Chris Devenski twirled a gem in his Pacific Coast League debut as the right-hander gave up just one hit and struck out nine over seven innings to help the Grizzlies defeat the Columbus Clippers for the Triple-A National Championship. More »

With Kannapolis: The Intimidators weren’t a great team in 2012, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t big league talent on the roster. It just means that guys were quickly promoted to Winston-Salem, and the Kannapolis roster never had time to gel.  In fact, three pitchers from that squad have already reached the Major Leagues: Erik Johnson, Scott Snodgress, and Daniel Webb.  Perhaps the next former Intimidators arm from that 2012 squad to make it to baseball’s biggest stage will be Chris Devenski.  The right-hander led Kannapolis with six wins in 2012, with four of them coming in relief before he moved into the rotation.  Devenski went 6-5 with a 4.23 ERA (29 ER/61.2 IP) and 54 strikeouts in 19 games (eight starts) for Kannapolis before being sent to the Houston Astros as the Player To Be Named Later in a deal that brought Brett Myers to the White Sox. The trade also included former Intimidators pitchers Matt Heidenreich and Blair Walters, but Devenski has emerged as the best of that bunch.  He was a goofy kid who was somewhat taken aback by the trade, but I remember him being excited about it.  The Astros wanted him.  He said his goodbyes and finished the 2012 season with the Lexington Legends (who were in their final season with Houston before signing a PDC with Kansas City).  Devenski finished his 2012 campaign by spinning a nine-inning no-hitter in which he fanned 16 batters for the Legends.  The performance was voted the best game of the year in the 2012 MiLBYS.

Best Game

The month of August was rough for Kannapolis. The team went 10-18 while the offense hit a collective .225 and the pitching staff posted a 4.83 ERA.  The Intimidators found themselves wrapping up a tough road trip in Savannah, Ga., in the team’s final visit to Historic Grayson Stadium before the Sand Gnats move to Columbia, S.C., for the 2016 season.  The Sand Gnats entered the series winner of 15 straight and promptly won the first and second games of the four-game series.  Following a Saturday night rainout, the Intimidators were forced into a getaway day doubleheader in Savannah.

The Gnats extended their winning streak to 18 straight games to open the doubleheader, but Kannapolis put a stop to the madness by ending Savannah’s winning streak with a rain-shortened 1-1 tie in the series finale behind a strong pitching performance from Thaddius Lowry.

Now as much as it might sound like we’re celebrating a result that 1. isn’t a normal part of baseball, and 2. was described by NFL Hall of Fame head coach Vince Lombardi as “like kissing your sister,” let’s just say that yes — I get it — it’s not an outright win.  If only Kannapolis (or even Savannah) had the chance to legitimately put a decisive end to the game.  And unfortunately, it was quick trigger by the umpires to roll out the tarp that robbed the game of at least one, maybe two, additional innings for the two teams to decide their own fate.

Storms in Savannah disrupted the Intimidators final trip to Historic Grayson Stadium in August 2015.

Storms in Savannah disrupted the Intimidators final trip to Historic Grayson Stadium in August 2015.

There was a perfect storm — so to speak — of occurrences that lead to this tie.  First of all, the Gnats were on their way out of town, and with that in mind, the team had no intent to replace an old tarp full of holes.  When a tarp has holes in it, all the water will drain to that one spot in the infield making it very unsafe, so before the Sand Gnats staff puts on the big tarp, they must first lay down smaller tarps over four parts of the infield where the holes are to better protect their field.  Second of all, it was rained the previous night — more like a monsoon — in Savannah, and the entire field was practically a lake.  In fact, when we arrived at the ballpark on Sunday morning for the doubleheader, the grounds crew had to drag the outfield.  To give you an idea how often that happens: it was the first time I’d seen that done in five years in the South Atlantic League.

Savannah's head grounds keeper drags the outfield following torrential rain the night before.

Savannah’s head grounds keeper drags the outfield following torrential rain the night before.

Third of all, with it being late in the season and the Gnats about to leave town, the Savannah grounds crew was short on Turface (it’s the clay/dirt that groundskeepers will put on the mound or at the plate when it’s raining to help stabilize the surface and allow a game to continue — you’ve seen timeouts for the grounds crew to do this).  And by short on Turface, I mean they didn’t have any more.

So, that’s where we were.  A field that was already soggy from the previous day, a tarp that doesn’t work, and no supplies to stave off a wet mound or home plate.  Assign blame wherever you want, but that’s where we were, and it doesn’t matter how we got there.  You make lemonade.

The Intimidators and Gnats were tied 1-1 through five innings when the Savannah groundskeeper went out to let home plate ump Justin Robinson know that a storm was moving in.  Rather than wait until the rain arrived, in a somewhat unprecedented move, Robinson called for the tarp prematurely.  His logic, I assume, being that he wanted to give the Gnats staff ample time to put down the four additional smaller tarps before rolling out the big one.

Now here’s where that’s a bit of an issue:

1. It wasn’t raining.  This issue cannot be overstated enough.  There was no rain.  Yes, there was a storm coming.  And I understand wanting to allow the grounds crew time to get the tarp down, but believe it or not, that’s not always how it works.  You play until the umpires determine that it’s no longer safe or feasible to continue the game, and then you clear the field.  There was no lightning in the area.  The sixth inning could have been played, and based on the fact that the rain didn’t get really bad for about 35 minutes (it took roughly 45 minutes to call the game which is a whole other issue that involves time keep that I don’t feel like getting into), the Intimidators and Sand Gnats could have probably gotten at least the sixth and potentially the seventh innings in before play would have to be halted.

I know what you’re thinking though.  If it takes that long to get all the tarps down and prepare the field for an impending storm, then the Gnats staff needed that time because otherwise their field would be too soggy for the next day’s game. Which brings me to my second point…

2. Following the completion of the second game of the doubleheader between Kannapolis and Savannah, the next home game at Historic Grayson Stadium would be six days later, which is more than enough time for the field to dry out.  So if the Intimidators and Gnats played through the rain up until the point umpires felt compelled to stop the game, and at that point it was raining too hard for the grounds crew to put the tarp on the field (which is what happened to the Intimidators in our home game on July 3), then you’ve already got an official game (through five completed innings) and you call it a day.  At the very least both teams would have each had a couple more at-bats to try to break the 1-1 deadlock.

After the game, Gnats president John Katz was upset about the result as his team’s Minor League-best winning streak was brought to an end by the Intimidators and Mother Nature:

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Now, while I’d argue that “absurd” might be a bit strong — it’s definitely more of an oddity given the necessity for Minor League Baseball’s optional suspended game rule — it’s definitely not fun to see your team’s winning streak end.

The rough part of it is, both teams could have had a chance to finish the game on their own instead of giving way 15 minutes early for a tarp that wasn’t preventing water from leaking onto the field anyway.  And that, my friends, is all you could ever want to know and more about the “Best Game” nomination out of the South Atlantic League: Kannapolis ending Savannah’s 18-game winning streak with a tie.

So that’s our look at the Intimidators’ involvement in this year’s MiLBYS.  Happy voting.

Regulators: The 2015 Lineup Rap

It happened again. This time on Labor Day. What’s that line from The Waterboy?

“Last game of the season. Can’t hold anything back now.”

I didn’t. Despite missing my typical target date of Camp Day for the lineup rap, I managed to squeeze it in on Labor Day.  Why I do this? Honestly, the same reason I dunk a basketball every year on my birthday: to make sure I can still do it.  I used to speak French, but considering I haven’t needed that since a 2011 trip to Paris, it’s a skill that has dwindled and all but disintegrated from my arsenal. As for dunking a basketball, I’ll let you know on January 27.

When it comes to rapping the lineup, well, y’all can be the judge.  Lord know the team judged last year’s edition when they discovered it on the bus to Hagerstown. Here is the 2015 lineup rap:

Hope y’all enjoy this, and I hope the 2015 season was as much fun for y’all as it was for me.

It’s a lot of hard work at time, but I get to do what I love to do, and little projects like this make it even more fun at times. Thanks to all the fans that supported the Intimidators in 2015.

Wake me up when September ends.

Josh

Game Notes 9/7/15: The Last One

Kannapolis Intimidators vs. West Virginia Power
Monday, September 7, 2015 – 1:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System (open 1995) – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #139 of 139
RHP Thaddius Lowry (12-7, 4.33) vs. RHP Alex McRae (7-9, 5.07)

Intimidators: 29-39-1 Second Half, 64-73-1 (Chicago White Sox)
Power: 49-20 Second Half, 86-52 (Pittsburgh Pirates)

Today’s Preview: The 21st season of professional baseball in Kannapolis comes to a close as the Intimidators (A, White Sox) host the Power (A, Pirates) in the regular season finale. Thaddius Lowry makes his team-leading 25th start with an opportunity to become the franchise’s leader in wins. The right-hander has the opportunity to finish as the South Atlantic League leader in innings pitched. Kannapolis has dropped three straight to West Virginia after winning Thursday’s series opener, securing a series victory for the playoff-bound Power.

64 and going for more: Kannapolis has won 64 games this season, the most since the 2011 squad captured 76 victories in Tommy Thompson’s first season as manager. The Intimidators won 61 games in 2012 and 2013, and last season Kannapolis earned 62 checkered flags.

Intimidating Starter: Thaddius Lowry, 20, makes his 25th and final start in 2015 and his third against the Power. He is coming off a rough outing in Hagerstown in which he allowed five runs on 11 hits in 5.0 innings but left in line for a win before taking no decision on September 2. In two starts against the Power this season, he is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA (4 ER/13 IP). He also spun an individual no-hitter at West Virginia on June 3, 2014, to earn SAL Pitcher of the Week honors. Lowry is tied for second in the SAL in wins and is third in the league in innings pitched (145.1), only 2.2 innings behind current leader Austin Coley (147.2) of the Power. The White Sox fifth round pick in the June 2013 draft is the organization’s No. 16 prospect, according to MLB.com. Since joining Kannapolis in 2014, Lowry’s 16 wins are tied for the most in team history with Brian Miller (2003-04). Last year, Lowry went 4-6 with a 4.76 ERA (46 ER/87 IP) in 17 starts with Kannapolis.

Chasing Charlie: With a win today, Thaddius Lowry can become the Intimidators’ first 13-game winner since Charlie Leesman, who went 13-5 with a 3.08 ERA in 27 games (27 starts) in 2009. He is two starts removed from beating Delmarva for his 12th win of the season, the most since Cameron Bayne went 12-9 in 2010.

Power Pitcher: Alex McRae, 22, makes his league-lead-tying 27th start and third against the Intimidators. He is coming off a no decision September 2 against Lexington, giving up six runs on eight hits. Since the All-Star Break, he is 4-5 with a 6.11 ERA in 13 starts compared to going 3-4 with a 4.02 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) in the First Half. In two starts against Kannapolis, he is 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA (7 ER/8 IP). McRae was drafted by the Pirates in the 10th round out of the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft of the University of Jacksonville. That year with the Jamestown Jammers (Short Season, Pirates), he went 3-6 with a 6.21 ERA (46 ER/ 66.2 IP).

About Last Night: West Virginia scored five in the sixth to run away with an 8-3 win over the Intimidators on Sunday. Kannapolis dropped its third straight contest to the playoff-bound Power. West Virginia built a 3-2 lead off Zach Thompson over the first fourth innings, and the Power surged against reliever Johnathan Frebis in the sixth.  Pablo Reyes hit a three-run home run (12) and Elvis Escobar added a two-run double — one of six Power doubles on the day — to cap the big sixth inning. Jose Regalado (7-5) earned the win, tossing three scoreless relief innings after Yeudy Garcia allowed two runs in the first four frames.  Garcia was pulled after four innings, ensuring his 2.10 ERA will lead the SAL. Thompson (3-8) took the loss for Kannapolis, allowing three runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts in four innings of work.

Closing Time: The Intimidators wrap up the season at home for the fifth consecutive season. Kannapolis is 2-2 in its last four Labor Day games, including a walk-off win on the final day of 2013 on a Jacob May 10th inning home run to beat Hagerstown, 4-3. Over the last 10 seasons (since 2005), Kannapolis is 5-5 on Labor Day.

Retired by Riga: Reliever Ryan Riga tossed a career-long 3.2 scoreless innings on Sunday against the Power. He had twice worked 3.0 complete innings with the AZL White Sox, most recently on June 28 against the AZL Padres. Riga’s longest outing with Kannapolis had been 2.2 innings on August 31 at Hagerstown.

Louie in the Lineup: Louie Lechich has played 129 games this season, the second-most in the SAL this season. The Kannapolis outfielder ranks third in at-bats (490) and fifth in RBI (71).

Second-Best Attended Season: Kannapolis has drawn 133,854 fans to 65 home openings in 2015, the second-largest total attendance in franchise history (since 1995). The Intimidators set the franchise attendance record in 2011 when 138,487 fans came to see the team in Tommy Thompson’s first year as manager.

Eddy On Base: Former Intimidators shortstop Eddy Alvarez ranks second in the Sally League with a .408 on-base percentage. His on-base percentage mark establishes a new Intimidators era record (since 2001), besting the .403 on-base percentage of Nate Espy in 2005.

A Wild Ride: The Intimidators have thrown 130 wild pitches in 2015, breaking the franchise record of 126 set by the 2006 team. Kannapolis is tied for the second most wild pitches in the SAL behind Charleston (136).

Too Many Triples: This season, Kannapolis has recorded the most triples in Intimidators history, collecting 46 three-base hits in 2015. The Intimidators have tied a franchise mark set by the 1995 Piedmont Boll Weevils in the inaugural season of professional baseball in Kannapolis. The next-highest Intimidators team is the 2007 squad that tripled 41 times. Mason Robbins leads the team with nine triples this season which is tied for the fifth most in franchise history with John Shelby (2007), while All-Stars Eddy Alvarez (6) and Brett Austin (5) rank second and third, respectively, on the team.

Saves by the bell: The Intimidators have 39 shutouts as a team, ranking second-most in Intimidators history (since 2001). Kannapolis pitchers recorded 43 saves in 2004, matching the franchise mark set by the 1998 Piedmont Boll Weevils.

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

Game Notes 9/6/15: Toby thrice, Exactly 1100 hits, and a wild new team record

Kannapolis Intimidators vs. West Virginia Power
Sunday, September 6, 2015 – 5:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System (open 1995) – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #138 of 139
RHP Zach Thompson (3-7, 4.37) vs. RHP Yeudy Garcia (12-5, 2.02)

**View Complete Game Notes**

Intimidators: 29-38-1 Second Half, 64-72-1 (Chicago White Sox)
Power: 48-20 Second Half, 85-52 (Pittsburgh Pirates)

Today’s Preview: With two games left in the 2015 regular season, the Intimidators (A, White Sox) send former fifth round pick Zach Thompson to the mound against the playoff-bound Power (A, Pirates) in Game 4 of this 5-game series. Thompson, who has not faced a Pirates affiliate in his career, will duel West Virginia’s right-hander Yeudy Garcia, who was named to the South Atlantic League’s Annual All-Star Team earlier this week. West Virginia leads the SAL Northern Division with an 85-52 record, the best mark in the league. The Second Half champions lead the season-series against Kannapolis, 7-6, with two games to play.

Intimidating Starter: Zach Thompson, 21, makes his 16th start and final of the season as he faces the Power for the first time. He is coming off a September 1 loss at Hagerstown, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits over 4.0 innings. The right-hander has missed more bats over the last month and a half, striking out at least four batters in each of his last nine starts since July 18. He is two starts removed from a career-long 6.2 innings, allowing a run on four hits in a no decision against Delmarva on August 27, finishing August with a 1.95 ERA (6 ER/27.2 IP) and 26 strikeouts in five starts for the month. His last win came July 18 against Hagerstown when he spun 6.0 scoreless innings in a 1-0 win. He joined Kannapolis on June 3 from Extended Spring Training. The White Sox selected Thomspon in the fifth round of the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of UT-Arlington. He graduated from Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington, Texas. His brother Matt pitched in the Rangers’ organization from 2008-12.

Power Pitcher: Yeudy Garcia, 22, makes his 21st regular season start a third appearance against Kannapolis. The SAL Annual All-Star Right-Handed Pitcher has won his last eight decisions and has gone 8-0 with a 1.54 ERA (11 ER/64.1 IP) and 56 strikeouts in 13 games (12 starts) in the Second Half of the season. Garcia leads the SAL with a 2.02 ERA, which includes a mark of 11-3 with a 1.94 ERA as a starter. He opened the season in the Power bullpen, going 1-2 with a 2.30 ERA in ninth relief appearances, including two early-season games against the Intimidators. He posted a 3.86 ERA (3 ER/7.0 IP) and seven strikeouts against Kannapolis. While Garcia’s last win came August 16 at Hickory, three of his last four outings have been shutout appearances. He struck out a season-high 10 batters on August 27 at Augusta over 5.2 innings.

About Last Night: Toby Thomas smashed a game-tying home run in the seventh inning that earned one fan a year’s supply of toilet paper, but West Virginia spoiled the fun with a 6-5 win.  The Intimidators gave up a run in the eighth as the Power broke a 5-5 tie when Jerrick Suiter doubled to score Kevin Kramer. Thomas finished 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored.  With Kannapolis down, 5-4, Thomas ripped a two-out home run (3) over the left field wall during Seven Oaks Seventh Inning Slam promotion, winning a fan in attendance a year’s supply of toilet paper from Seven Oaks Supply.  Suiter, the Power left fielder, finished the game 3-for-4 with three doubles, three RBI, and two runs scored to lead West Virginia to victory. Julio Vivas (3-1) earned the win despite giving up the Thomas bomb over two innings of relief.  Nick Neumann earned the save (17).  Brad Salgado (2-5) suffered the loss for Kannapolis, allowing an unearned run over 3.1 innings.

Infielder Toby Thomas recorded his second game with at least three hits on Saturday.

Infielder Toby Thomas recorded his second game with at least three hits on Saturday.

Toby Thrice: Toby Thomas collected three hits on Saturday, his second game of at least three hits this season. The shortstop is now batting .298 (34-114) since the start of August. In five games in September, Thomas has hit .350 (7-20) with a double, a home run, three RBI, and six runs scored.

Louie in the Lineup: Louie Lechich has played 128 games this season, the second-most in the SAL this season. The Kannapolis outfielder ranks third in at-bats (486) and fifth in RBI (71).

Too Many Triples: This season, Kannapolis has recorded the most triples in Intimidators history, collecting 46 three-base hits in 2015. The Intimidators have tied a franchise mark set by the 1995 Piedmont Boll Weevils in the inaugural season of professional baseball in Kannapolis. The next-highest Intimidators team is the 2007 squad that tripled 41 times. Mason Robbins leads the team with nine triples this season which is tied for the fifth most in franchise history with John Shelby (2007), while All-Stars Eddy Alvarez (6) and Brett Austin (5) rank second and third, respectively, on the team.

Exactly 1,100: Kannapolis recorded 10 hits on Saturday to reach the 1,100-hit barrier for the ninth consecutive year. The Intimidators last recorded fewer than 1,100 hits in 2006 when the 42-94 squad hit .240 (1,083-4,505).

Shutout Mark: Kannapolis has 13 shutout wins this season, the third-most in Intimidators history (since 2001). The team record was set during the first year of the Intimidators when Kannapolis threw 15 shutouts in 2001. The I’s recorded 14 shutouts during the 2005 South Atlantic League Championship season.

Saves by the bell: The Intimidators have 39 shutouts as a team, ranking second-most in Intimidators history (since 2001). Kannapolis pitchers recorded 43 saves in 2004, matching the franchise mark set by the 1998 Piedmont Boll Weevils.

Second-Best Attended Season: On Saturday night, Kannapolis welcomed 4,051 fans to Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System, bringing the team’s season total to 132,030. Today’s game should make the 2015 season the second-best attended year of professional baseball in Kannapolis, just ahead of the 2012 season in which Kannapolis drew 132,493. The Intimidators set the franchise attendance record in 2011 when 138,487 fans came to see the team in Tommy Thompson’s first year as manager.

Brad Salgado is in his third season as a pitcher after being drafted as a shortstop in 2010.

Brad Salgado is in his third season as a pitcher after being drafted as a shortstop in 2010.

A Wild Ride: Jose Brito and Brad Salgado each threw a pair of wild pitches on Saturday night, helping set a new franchise record for wild pitches in a season. The Intimidators have now thrown 128 wild pitches in 2015, surpassing the mark of 126 set by the 2006 Intimidators. Salgado leads the team with 16, with Yelmison Peralta (13), Yency Almonte (12), and David Trexler (12) also finishing with double-digit stray tosses.

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

Starting lineups 9/5/15: Intimidators vs. Power

Three games left in 2015 (#3forDale), and the Intimidators face the Power tonight at 7:05 p.m.  Here are your lineups:

Kannapolis Intimidators (29-37-1 Second Half, 64-71-1)

#9 Hunter Jones CF
#10 Mason Robbins RF
#21 Louie Lechich DH
#23 Alexander Simon 1B
#2 Toby Thomas SS
#14 Michael Suiter LF
#37 Cody Daily 3B
#25 Daniel Gonzalez C
#18 Ethan Gross 2B

#17 Zack Erwin LHP (0-2, 1.69 ERA, third start)

West Virginia Power (47-20 Second Half, 84-52)

#18 Tito Polo CF
#15 Pablo Reyes 2B
#6 Kevin Kramer SS
#13 Michael Suchy RF
#23 Jerrick Suiter LF
#3 Elvis Escobar DH
#10 Chase Simpson 1B
#17 Taylor Gushue C
#14 Tyler Filliben 3B

#46 Stephen Tarpley  LHP (11-4, 2.35 ERA, 20th start)

Upcoming Probable Pitchers: Kannapolis/Opponents.

SUN 9/6
RHP Zach Thompson vs. RHP Yeudy Garcia (12-5, 2.02)

MON 9/7
RHP Thaddius Lowry (12-7, 4.33) vs. RHP Alex McRae 1:05 p.m.

Tonight we’ve got Matt Blaker on the broadcast. I’ve got the pre-game interview with skipper Tommy Thompson for our final Friday night chat of the season. Tune in to the pregame show starting at 6:50 p.m. with first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

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

-JF
@BigTexJosh

Game Notes 9/5/15: Intimidators vs. Power

Kannapolis Intimidators vs. West Virginia Power
Saturday, September 5, 2015 – 7:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System (open 1995) – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #137 of 139
LHP Zack Erwin (0-2, 1.69) vs. LHP Stephen Tarpley (11-4, 2.35)

**View complete game notes**

Intimidators: 29-37-1 Second Half, 64-71-1 (Chicago White Sox)
Power: 47-20 Second Half, 84-52 (Pittsburgh Pirates)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) send White Sox fourth round pick Zack Erwin to the mound for his final appearance of the 2015 season against the Power (A, Pirates) in the third game of this 5-game series. Erwin, a former Clemson Tiger, faces Pittsburgh pitching prospect Stephen Tarpley in a battle of left-handers. Kannapolis is coming off a loss, 7-1, on Friday against West Virginia, who improved their record to a South Atlantic League-best 84-52 (.618). The season series between the Intimidators and Power is tied 6-6 with three games to play before the regular season comes to a close.

Intimidating Starter: Zack Erwin, 21, makes his third start for the Intimidators and seven this season when he faces a Pirates affiliate for the first time in his career. He is 2-2 with a 1.21 ERA (5 ER/37.1 IP) in 14 games (six starts) between Advanced Rookie Great Falls and Kannapolis. He is coming off no decision on August 31 at Hagerstown, giving up two runs on three hits in three innings. He has struck out 11 batters in 16 innings with the Intimidators. The White Sox selected Erwin with their second pick of the June 2015 First-Year Player Draft in the fourth round. In three years at Clemson, he went 16-9 with a 3.50 ERA in 65 games (29 starts) including a mark of 7-4 with a 3.04 ERA with 92 strikeouts in 106.2 IP in 17 games (16 starts) as a junior in 2015.

Power Pitcher: Stephen Tarpley, 22, makes his 20th start of the year and second against Kannapolis. He has been one of the SAL’s best arms in the Second Half, going 8-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 13 games (13 starts) since the All-Star Break. He faced Kannapolis on July 2, spinning 7.0 innings and allowing a run on three hits. He victory over the Intimidators sparked a string of seven straight winning decions from July 2 through August 15, including a 6-inning rain-shortened no-hitter on July 7 against Delmarva. Tarpley ranks fourth in the SAL with a 2.35 ERA and ranks tied for fifth with 11 wins. Among starters, he is second in highest strikeouts/9 IP ratio (8.27) and fourth in lowest batting average (.236). The Orioles drafted Tarpley in the third round of the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College, and he made his professional debut that year with the GCL Orioles, going 0-1 with a 2.14 ERA in seven starts. In 2014 with Short-Season Aberdeen, he went 3-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 13 games (12 starts). This is his first season in the Pirates organization. Pittsburgh acquired him in January, along with a PTBNL, from Baltimore in exchange for big league outfielder Travis Snider. MLB.com rates Tarpley as the Pirates’ No. 24 prospect.

Last Time Out: Austin Coley spun seven innings to lead the Power to a 7-1 win over Kannapolis on Friday. He earned his league-leading 16th win, allowing one run on four hits with five strikeouts and no walks in seven innings of work.  Edgar Santa worked the final two innings to close the game for West Virginia. Luis Martinez (4-14) took the loss for the Intimidators, giving up four runs on three hits over six innings. West Virginia scored a pair of runs in the second, fourth, and seventh innings before tacking on an extra tally in the ninth.  Catcher Taylor Gushue led the Power at the plate, going 2-3 with a pair of runs scored and two RBI.  Pablo Reyes also drove in two for the Power.  Kannapolis scored its lone run in the fifth inning when Toby Thomas doubled and John Ziznewski singled to drive him in.

Louie in the Lineup: Louie Lechich has played 127 games this season, the second-most in the SAL this season. The Kannapolis outfielder ranks third in at-bats (481) and fifth in RBI (70). Lechich, who is batting .256 on the season, has been a dangerous hitter deeper in games, batting .317 (45-142) in the seventh inning or later.

New Franchise Record: Luis Martinez suffered his 14th loss of 2015, setting a new franchise mark for losses. Five pitchers have lost 13 games since 1995, including four in the Intimidators era. Darrio Ferrand (2001), Tim Bittner (2002), Ryan Rote (2006), and Euclides Leyer (2013) each lost 13 games in a season with Kannapolis.

Rockin’ Robbins: Mason Robbins, who went 1-4 on Friday, tripled for the second consecutive game in the process of a career night on Thursday. He finished 3-4 with a career-high four RBI and his ninth triple, tied for fifth-most in the SAL. Robbins reached his previous career-high of three RBI on six occasions, including twice this year – most recently on July 22 at Greensboro.

Too Many Triples: This season, Kannapolis has recorded the most triples in Intimidators history, collecting 46 three-base hits in 2015. The Intimidators have tied a franchise mark set by the 1995 Piedmont Boll Weevils in the inaugural season of professional baseball in Kannapolis. The next-highest Intimidators team is the 2007 squad that tripled 41 times. Mason Robbins leads the team with nine triples this season, while All-Stars Eddy Alvarez (6) and Brett Austin (5) rank second and third, respectively, on the team.

10 Hits from 1,100: Kannapolis has 1,090 hits this season, 10 shy of cracking the 1,100-hit barrier for the ninth consecutive season. The Intimidators have three games left to reach the milestone. Kannapolis last recorded fewer than 1,100 hits in 2006 when the 42-94 Intimidators hit .240 (1,083-4,505).

Shutout Mark: Kannapolis has 13 shutout wins this season, the third-most in Intimidators history (since 2001). The team record was set during the first year of the Intimidators when Kannapolis threw 15 shutouts in 2001. The I’s recorded 14 shutouts during the 2005 South Atlantic League Championship season.

Saves by the bell: The Intimidators have 39 shutouts as a team, ranking second-most in Intimidators history (since 2001). Kannapolis pitchers recorded 43 saves in 2004, matching the franchise mark set by the 1998 Piedmont Boll Weevils.

Hanging 10: On Thursday, Kannapolis put up 10 runs for the first time since a 12-2 win July 12 at Charleston. The Intimidators are now 7-1 when scoring at least 10 runs. Kannapolis has twice put up a season-high 13 runs, on May 9 at Lexington (W, 13-8) and on June 18 against Hagerstown (W, 13-5).

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

Starting lineups 9/4/15: Intimidators vs. Power

Four games left in the 2015 season for Kannapolis. The Intimidators take on the Power, who are gearing up for a post-season run. West Virginia’s playoff game #1 starter is Austin Coley, and the 15-game winner is taking the mound tonight in Kannapolis.  Coley is the first 15-game winner in Power history and the first 15-game winner for Charleston, W. Va., since John Ray went 16-9 for the 1990 Charleston Wheelers.

Kannapolis Intimidators (29-36-1 Second Half, 64-70-1)

#9 Hunter Jones RF
#10 Mason Robbins LF
#21 Louie Lechich CF
#23 Alexander Simon 1B
#2 Toby Thomas SS
#37 Cody Daily DH
#5 John Ziznewski 3B
#25 Daniel Gonzalez C
#18 Ethan Gross 2B

#43 Luis Martinez RHP (4-13, 5.35 ERA, 24th start)

West Virginia Power (46-20 Second Half, 83-52)

#5 Kevin Newman SS
#6 Kevin Kramer DH
#23 Connor Joe 1B
#13 Michael Suchy RF
#23 Jerrick Suiter LF
#15 Pablo Reyes 2B
#14 Tyler Filliben 3B
#17 Taylor Gushue C
#18 Tito Polo CF

#28 Austin Coley RHP (15-6, 3.77 ERA, 27th start)

Upcoming Probable Pitchers: Kannapolis/Opponents.

SAT 9/5
LHP Zack Erwin (0-2, 1.69) vs. LHP Stephen Tarpley (11-4, 2.35)

SUN 9/6
RHP Zach Thompson vs. RHP Yeudy Garcia (12-5, 2.02)

MON 9/7
RHP Thaddius Lowry (12-7, 4.33) vs. RHP Alex McRae 1:05 p.m.

Tonight we’ve got Matt Blaker on the broadcast. I’ve got the pre-game interview with skipper Tommy Thompson for our final Friday night chat of the season. Tune in to the pregame show starting at 6:50 p.m. with first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

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

-JF
@BigTexJosh

Game Notes 9/4/15: Intimidators vs. Power

Kannapolis Intimidators vs. West Virginia Power
Friday, September 4, 2015 – 7:05 p.m.
Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System (open 1995) – Kannapolis, N.C.
Game #136 of 139
RHP Luis Martinez (4-13, 5.35) vs. RHP Austin Coley (15-6, 3.77)

**View complete game notes here**

Intimidators: 29-36-1 Second Half, 64-70-1 (Chicago White Sox)
Power: 46-20 Second Half, 83-52 (Pittsburgh Pirates)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) send White Sox prospect Luis Martinez to the mound for his final start of the 2015 season against the Power (A, Pirates) in Game 2 of this 5-game series. West Virginia sends 15-game winner Austin Coley to the mound for his final start before the Power host the Hickory Crawdads in next Wednesday’s playoff opener. Kannapolis leads the season-series over West Virginia, 6-5, with four games left against the Northern Division Second Half champs.

Luis Martinez, 20, is in his first year of full-season ball after making his pro debut in 2014 with the AZL White Sox and Advanced Rookie Great Falls.

Luis Martinez, 20, is in his first year of full-season ball after making his pro debut in 2014 with the AZL White Sox and Advanced Rookie Great Falls.

Intimidating Starter: Luis Martinez, 20, makes his 24th and final start of the year and his third against the Power. He is coming off a no decision at Hagerstown in which he allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits over 5.0 innings. The 6’6” right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA (3 ER/10.2 IP) in two starts against the Power, including six scoreless innings on July 3 to pitch Kannapolis to a rain-shortened shutout win over West Virginia, 3-0 (F/7). Martinez struggled in August, going 0-4 with a 7.66 ERA (21 ER/24.2 IP) in six starts after putting up a dominant month of July in which he went 2-2 with a 1.52 ERA (5 ER/29.2 IP) in five starts. Martinez ranks second in the South Atlantic League with 13 losses (14, Justin Kamplain, CSC), equaling an Intimidators record. Martinez started the Second Half of the season strong, going 2-3 with a 1.44 ERA (5 ER/31.1 IP) in six starts from June 27-July 27, including a career-long 8.0 scoreless innings on July 27 at Lakewood. MLB.com currently ranks Martinez as the No. 29 Prospect in the White Sox organization. Martinez was signed as a free agent on Dec. 16, 2011. In 2014, he went 5-3 with a 2.93 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 58.1 innings over 12 games (11 starts) between the AZL White Sox and Great Falls.

Power Pitcher: Austin Coley, 22, makes his 27th start of the season and third against Kannapolis. He is 2-0 in two starts against the Intimidators with a 2.45 ERA (3 ER/11.0 IP) and 10 strikeouts. The right-hander leads the league in wins (15) and home runs allowed (18), will tie for the league lead in game started (27), and ranks tied for second in IP (104.2). Coley is coming off a no decision at Lexington despite allowing one run on three hits over 7.0 innings in an eventual Power win over the Legends. In August, Coley went 3-1 with a 3.09 ERA in six starts, his best monthly ERA since April. In the Second Half, he is 7-2 with a 3.91 ERA in 13 games (13 starts). The Pirates selected Coley in the eighth round of the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Belmont. He made his professional debut with the Short-Season Jamestown Jammers last season, going 0-2 with a 5.23 ERA (12 ER/20.2 IP) in eight games (eight starts).

Last Time Out: Mason Robbins drove in a career-high four runs and the Intimidators rallied for six runs over their final two at-bats in a 10-6 win over the Power. Kannapolis trailed 6-4 before scoring two in the seventh and four in the eighth. The Power took advantage of Intimidators errors to add five unearned runs off starting pitcher Kelvis Valerio in the fourth and fifth inning.  Pablo Reyes doubled to drive in two runs for a 5-4 lead, and Tyler Filliben singled to cash Reyes for a 6-4 advantage in the fifth.  The Intimidators tied the game in the home half of the seventh inning when Toby Thomas scored on a John Ziznewski groundout and Ryan Plourde followed with a game-tying single to plate Robbins.  With the game tied 6-6 and Thomas at the plate with bases loaded, the Intimidators shortstop drew a walk off Power reliever Jared Lakind to push Michael Suiter across the plate for a 7-6 lead.  Mason Robbins added a two-run single up the middle, and Thomas later crossed the plate on a passed ball for a 10-6 lead. Connor Walsh, who opened with three scoreless innings, loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth before Ryan Riga retired the final West Virginia batter for the save (2).

Late-Game Heroics: Kannapolis rallied for four runs in the eighth inning en route to the team’s 10th win in its final at-bats. The Intimidators last won in their final at-bats on August 17 when they rallied for five runs in the ninth inning in Asheville. Kannapolis is now 10-13 in games decided in the final at-bats.

Rockin’ Robbins: Mason Robbins tripled for the second consecutive game in the process of a career night on Thursday. He finished 3-4 with a career-high four RBI and his ninth triple, tied for fifth-most in the SAL. He is batting .545 (6-11) in three games in September. Robbins reached his previous career-high of three RBI on six occasions, including twice this year – most recently on July 22 at Greensboro.

Wins for Walsh: Connor Walsh earned the win Thursday, his second in as many games, while striking out four batters over 3.2 innings. Walsh has 79 strikeouts in 52.0 innings this season. Since making his season debut on May 6, he ranks tied for 16th in the league in strikeouts in nearly 20 fewer innings than anyone ahead of him.

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 2.37.14 PM

Riga Saves: Left-hander Ryan Riga recorded the final out of Thursday’s win for his second straight save and second of his career. He has not allowed an earned run in his last four outings. The White Sox selected Riga in the 13th round of the June 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Ohio State.

Hanging 10: On Thursday, Kannapolis put up 10 runs for the first time since a 12-2 win July 12 at Charleston. The Intimidators are now 7-1 when scoring at least 10 runs. Kannapolis has twice put up a season-high 13 runs, on May 9 at Lexington (W, 13-8) and on June 18 against Hagerstown (W, 13-5).

Toby Thrice: Infielder Toby Thomas matched his career-high with three runs scored on Thursday, going 2-3 with a go-ahead RBI on a bases-loaded walk in the eighth inning. He previously scored three runs in a game in his professional debut season with Advanced Rookie Bristol against Burlington on July 24, 2013.

Louie Leads the Way: Louie Lechich drove in his team-leading 70th RBI Wednesday and ranks tied for fourth in the league in RBI while ranking second with 126 games played and third with 477 at-bats. Lechich is fourth in the White Sox minor league organization in RBI.

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

Starting lineups 9/3/15: Intimidators vs. Power

Kannapolis Intimidators (28-36-1 Second Half, 63-70-1)

#14 Michael Suiter LF
#9 Hunter Jones RF
#21 Louie Lechich CF
#23 Alexander Simon 1B
#2 Toby Thomas SS
#10 Mason Robbins DH
#5 John Ziznewski 3B
#28 Ryan Plourde C
#18 Ethan Gross 2B

#26 Kelvis Valerio (2-2, 4.40 ERA, fourth start)

West Virginia Power (46-19 Second Half, 83-51)

5 Kevin NEWMAN SS
6 Kevin KRAMER DH
23 Connor JOE 1B
13 Michael SUCHY RF
23 Jerrick SUITER LF
15 Pablo REYES 2B
14 Tyler FILLIBEN 3B
17 Taylor GUSHUE C
18 Tito POLO CF

#48 RHP Colten Brewer RHP (5-9, 4.81 ERA, 22nd start)

Upcoming Probable Pitchers: Kannapolis/Opponents.
FRI 9/4
RHP Luis Martinez (4-13, 5.35) vs. RHP Austin Coley (15-6, 3.77)

SAT 9/5
LHP Zack Erwin (0-2, 1.69) vs. LHP Stephen Tarpley (11-4, 2.35)

SUN 9/6
RHP Zach Thompson vs. RHP Yeudy Garcia (12-5, 2.02)

MON 9/7
RHP Thaddius Lowry (12-7, 4.33) vs. RHP Alex McRae 1:05 p.m.

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