Weekend Recap: First place Dash sweep, Barons and Intimidators split
The Knights (26-38) had a wet start to their weekend on Friday, as the final game of their five-game set against Pawtucket was cancelled due to rain. Charlotte would remain on the road, as they then headed to Eastern Pennsylvania to begin a four-game series against Lehigh Valley (32-31). On Saturday, the Knights would fall by the score of 8-5. Starter Jason Berken (4-6) would only last three innings–allowing a total of seven runs on nine hits. Ex-Voyager Brent Morel (2008) drove in one of Charlotte’s five runs in the ballgame and also collected two hits. 2007 Voyager Jim Gallagher was left without a hit on the night, as he went 0-4. Yesterday, we would see the Knights lose again–this time in much closer fashion–3-1. Zach Stewart (3-8) lasted six innings and only allowed three runs on five hits, but the Charlotte offense was unable to get anything going at the plate with only three hits on the day. The Knights will look for their first win since last Thursday tonight, as they play the third game of their series against the Iron Pigs. Andre Rienzo (5-3, 6.02) gets the nod for Charlotte, as he tries to notch his third win in as many starts.
The Barons (39-23) saw the start of their ten-game homestand begin on a sour note on Friday night against Jacksonville (31-28), as they fell 11-1. 2011 Voyager Scott Snodgress (7-4) lost for the first time since May 20, as he surrendered five runs over five innings of work. The only bright spot for Birmingham offensively was ex-Voyager Trayce Thompson (2009). The center fielder had three of the Barons eight hits and doubled home his team’s only run in the bottom half of the third. Birmingham was able to bounce back on Saturday with a 3-2 victory. They would score all three of their runs in the first inning and would never look back. Nick McCully (6-1) lasted five innings and allowed two runs, and two ex-Voyagers, Kevin Vance (2011) and Taylor Thompson (2010) then combined to toss four scoreless innings to ensure the win. 2010 Voyager Andy Wilkins drove home the game’s first run with a single in the first frame. He would later score along with 2011 Voyager Keenyn Walker–capping off the three-run first. The Suns and the Barons would only be able to play 1 1/2 innings yesterday afternoon, before rain suspended their game–postponing it until today at 10:30. Birmingham trails 3-1 heading into the bottom half of the second. Following the completion of the suspended game, 2010 Voyager Spencer Arroyo (4-4, 3.21) will get the nod in the regularly scheduled game for the Barons.
The Dash (34-29) returned home for a six-game homestand, and started it off with a bang by sweeping Wilmington (31-32). They took care of business on Friday by the score of 5-0 thanks in part to a five-run first frame. Ex-Voyagers backstop Kevan Smith (2011) would have an RBI in the inning and 2012 White Sox first round draft pick Courtney Hawkins drove in two runs on his fourth double of the season. Hawkins also recorded his first triple of 2013 later in the ballgame. The story of the game though, was the pitching performance of 2012 Voyager Christopher Beck. Fresh off being named to the 2013 Carolina League All-Star Team, Beck tossed a complete game shutout–scattering five hits and striking out seven. The Dash benefited from another high-scoring first inning on Saturday, as a four-run frame propelled them to a 9-5 victory. Hawkins and Chris Curley would each belt two-run homers in the first to give Winston-Salem the lead for good. Jake Cose (1-1) picked up the win thanks to six innings of three-run ball. 2012 Voyager Brandon Hardin then came on in relief to toss a scoreless seventh. Smith would have a big day at the dish, as he went 3-4 with two doubles and two runs batted in. He also scored three times in the Dash win. Winston-Salem capped off the sweep yesterday with a 6-1 win. Bryan Blough (4-4) went seven strong innings and only allowed one run on six hits to pace the Dash. First baseman Rangel Ravelo led Winston-Salem at the plate, as he homered for the first time all season and drove in four of the team’s six runs. The Dash now sit tied with Myrtle Beach for the Southern Division first half lead with only seven games left on their schedule. They begin a three-game set against Lynchburg tonight. Myles Jaye (3-1, 5.34) will take the ball for Winston-Salem, with first pitch set for 5:00.
The Intimidators (22-39) played four games in three days this past weekend against Greensboro (30-32). On Friday, Euclides Leyer (2-1) was roughed up for four runs on six innings, and Kannapolis fell 5-1. 2012 Voyager Micah Johnson would have a solid night at the plate despite the loss, as he collected three hits, including a league-best seventh triple. He also scored the Intimidators only run of the game. Kannapolis would bounce back on Saturday night, as they escaped with a narrow 7-6 victory. They scored four runs in the first three innings and would never trail. Johnson had another productive night at the plate, as he picked up a double and an RBI. 2012 Voyager Brent Tanner also homered for the third time this season in the third to help out the Intimidators cause. Kannapolis and Greensboro would play a doubleheader yesterday afternoon, with the result ending in a split. In game one, the Intimdators were led by 2012 Voyager Kyle Hansen (2-2) en route to a 6-1 win. The righty scattered four hits over five innings of one-run ball to pick up his second win in three starts. Tanner would homer for the second straight game and drive in two runs to help fuel the Kannapolis offense. Johnson also collected two more hits–raising his season average to .330–and drove in a run as well. The Intimidators would not be as fortunate in game two, as they fell by the score of 4-3. The Grasshoppers scored three runs in the first inning off of Kannapolis starter Tony Bucciferro to set the pace for their one-run victory. The Intimidators got a run back in the second inning, as 2012 Voyager Mike Majama went yard for the first time this season. They would then put two more runs up in the fifth inning, but that would be all they could muster off of Greensboro pitching for the remainder of the seven-inning game. Kannapolis concludes the first half of the South Atlantic League schedule this week with a seven-game homestand. They begin a three-game set against Augusta tonight at 5:05. Braulio Ortiz (0-1, 2.61) will be making his second start of the season.
Voyagers Alumni of the Night
Christopher Beck (2012)
CG, 5 H, 0 ER, 7 K, 0 BB in Friday’s 5-0 win over Wilmington