CWS Farm Report 5/27: Barons continue to roll

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AAA: Charlotte Knights

After dropping a 4-1 contest to Rochester (20-30) on Saturday night, the Knights (20-31) were able to bounce back thanks to some heroics by ex-Voyager Jim Gallagher (2007).  With his team down 2-1 in the top of the eighth, Gallagher slugged his third double of the season and drove in two runs in the process.  That would be enough for the Knights, as their ‘pen would preserve the 3-2 lead—resulting in a four-game series split.  Yesterday would end on a much lighter note than Saturday, where the Red Wings would score four runs in the first three innings off of starter Andre Rienzo (3-3) and never look back.  2008 Voyager Dan Remenowsky would come on in relief and toss two innings of scoreless ball, but the Charlotte bats were unable put more than one run on the board against Rochester pitching.  Another member of that 2008 Great Falls team, third baseman Brent Morel, would have a quiet two days from the plate—as he collected a hit in each game.  Charlotte now sits 11 games out of first place in the International League South Division, and they will be back at home tonight to begin a four-game series with Toledo (15-36).  First pitch is scheduled for 5:15 at Knights Stadium.  Simon Castro (0-6, 6.08) will be going for his first win of 2013.

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AA: Birmingham Barons 

After splitting the first two games of their five-game set against Jacksonville (26-21), the Barons (32-18) took a stronghold on the series by winning the final three games–including a 4-1 victory earlier this afternoon.  The Barons streak of 29 straight innings was finally snapped when Jacksonville picked up their only run of the game in the seventh.  2011 Voyager alumni Scott Snodgress (6-3) paved the way for Birmingham with seven innings two-hit, one-run ball to go along with seven strikeouts.  Ex-Voyager Keenyn Walker went yard for the first time this season in the top half of the fifth inning and collected a double in the win.   Taking a look back at Saturday, Birmingham was led by 2011 Voyager Erik Johnson (4-2), as he went seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball en route to the Barons 3-0 win.  The righty finished with seven strikeouts, which was the fourth time this season that he reached this mark.  Former Voyager first baseman Andy Wilkins (2010) drove in two runs, while 2009 Voyager Trayce Thompson belted home a run as well to pace Birmingham offensively.  Yesterday, we saw another strong pitching performance, as  four pitchers (including 2011 Voyagers Salvador Sanchez and Kevin Vance) combined for a three-hit shutout in the Barons 2-0 victory.  Thompson had another big showing at the plate, as he clubbed his 5th home run of the season in the fourth inning.  Birmingham now has a six-game lead over second place Tennessee in the Southern League’s North Division, and they will return home tomorrow to begin a five-game series with the Smokies.

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High A: Winston-Salem Dash

After seeing their five-game winning streak snapped on Friday, Winston-Salem (24-23) would lose 8-7 on Saturday night to Carolina (17-31) before bouncing back with a big 11-4 victory yesterday.  On Saturday, the Dash would fall behind 5-1, but then they would rack up five runs in the top of the eighth to take a 6-5 lead thanks in part to a three-run homer off the bat of 2011 Voyagers Kevan Smith.   The Dash bullpen would be unsuccessful in holding the lead though, as Terance Marin would surrender three runs in the bottom of the frame.  The Dash would put the go-ahead run up to the plate in the top half of the ninth, as Smith would double for the fifth time this year and later score on a single by ex-Voyager Mark Haddow (2011).  Yesterday afternoon, the Dash would win big, but the runs wouldn’t come until late in the game.  With the score tied at two heading into the seventh, Winston-Salem would bat around and bring home eight runs against Mudcat pitching.  Haddow and former Voyager Yoandy Barroso (2012) would drive in runs in the monster inning for the Dash.  The Dash currently sit in second place in the Carolina League’s Southern division.  They trail Myrtle Beach by 4 1/2 games.  Winston-Salem will be back in action today at 3:00 against Frederick.

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Low A: Kannapolis Intimidators

The Intimidators (16-30) continued their slide down the standings this weekend, as they fell Saturday 14-3 and Sunday 6-5 to Hickory (28-20).  On Saturday, starter Jefferson Olacio (1-7) was hammered for 12 runs (ten earned) on ten hits in 4 1/3 innings of work.  2012 Voyager Mike Marjama drove in one of the Intimidators three runs via a sacrafice fly, and his teammate in Great Falls last year, Brent Tanner, raised his average to .324 with a three-hit day.  Yesterday afternoon, we saw Kannapolis take a 5-3 victory into the seventh inning before they ultimately fell to the Crawdads.  Ex-Voyager Micah Johnson’s second homer of 2013 in the sixth inning would give the Intimidators their largest lead of the day, but it proved to not be enough for a Kannapolis team that has now lost 12 of their past 15 games.  Two former Voyagers would factor into the loss for Kannapolis, as Zach Isler (2012) would blow the lead in the 7th inning by allowing two runs on three hits, and Joe Dvorsky (0-2) would surrender the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth off of the bat of Nomar Mazara.  The Intimidators now find themselves dead last in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division—13 games behind first place Hagerstown.  They will stay on the road tonight at 5:05, as they begin a three-game set against Lexington.  A member of last year’s Great Falls pitching staff, Brandon Brennan (1-7, 7.14), will get the nod for Kannapolis.

Voyagers Alumni of the Night

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Erik Johnson (2011)

7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 7 K, 0 BB (W) in 3-0 win over Jacksonville on Saturday night

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