Kannapolis Builds Early Lead Before Bats Fall Silent Over Final 8 Innings

LAKEWOOD, N.J. (April 29, 2017) — Kannapolis led the majority of the day, but the BlueClaws rallied for four runs over the final three innings to hand the Intimidators a walk-off loss, 4-3, on Saturday afternoon at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood.  The BlueClaws scored two in the seventh, one in the eighth, and one in the ninth to complete the comeback.
Kannapolis (11-11) starting pitcher Yosmer Solorzano kept Lakewood off the board over the first six innings.  The right-hander struck out three and walked one while facing one over the minimum over the first six frames.
 
Solorzano got into trouble in the seventh inning as Lakewood opened the frame with three straight hits, including a 2-run double by Darick Hall to end Solorzano’s outing.  Kyle Kubat took over with the tying run in scoring position and retired the next three batters to get Kannapolis out of the jam with the lead, 3-2.
In the eighth, Lakewood’s Daniel Brito doubled off reliever Ben Wright with two outs, stole third base, and Brito scored the tying run on a wild pitch.  In the ninth, Mickey Moniak — the first overall pick in last June’s draft — singled to lead off the inning as the BlueClaws loaded the bases with no outs. Cord Sandberg lifted a sacrifice-fly to center field, scoring Moniak for the winning run.
Lakewood reliever Will Hibbs (4-0) earned the win, pitching a perfect eighth and ninth, while Wright (0-2) took the loss.
The Intimidators wasted little time getting on the board, plating three runs in the top of the first inning.  Mitch Roman and Jameson Fisher singled to reach base, and Micker Adolfo belted a two-run double to the left-center field gap, scoring both for a 2-0 lead.  Zach Remillard added his own RBI-double to trade places with Adolfo for a 3-0 advantage.
Kannapolis managed just two hits after the first inning — both by Grant Massey to extend his hitting streak to nine games — as the offense fell silent late in the game.  BlueClaws starting pitcher Nick Fanti, reliever Trevor Bettencourt, and Hibbs combined to retire 15 of the final 16 Intimidators hitters.
Fanti bounced back after a 3-run first inning to keep Kannapolis off the scoreboard over his final five innings of work.  He finished the game with six strikeouts and a walk in 6.0 innings of work, giving up three runs on six hits.
Kannapolis wraps up this 4-game series in Lakewood on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at FirstEnergy Park as RHP Alec Hansen (1-1, 4.42 ERA) takes the mound against Lakewood’s RHP Sixto Sanchez (0-2, 3.77 ERA).  The Intimidators return to Kannapolis for a 7-game home stand starting Tuesday, May 2, as the team hosts promotions such as a Wine & Paint Party (May 3), Thirsty Thursday (May 4), Military Appreciation Jersey Raffle (May 5), and Hawaii Vacation Giveaway (May 6). Tickets are available by calling the F&M Bank Box Office at 704-932-3267 or by visiting IntimidatorsBaseball.com.
Story Credit: Kannapolis