A high-powered Barons offense highlights a 1-2 day on the farm
The pitching staff had a good evening, so the offense only needed a few runs to come away with the inning. Unfortunately, that did not happen. The offense only scored once, as the Dash only got two hits and did not draw any walks.
Alex McRae was the starting pitcher for the Knights, and he performed admirably. McRae retired the first 10 batters he faced before finally running into a bit of trouble in the fourth. After a hit by pitch, a single, and a walk, the Jumbo Shrimp had the bases loaded with two outs. McRae fell behind in the count (3-1) to Joe Dunand, who fouled off the 3-1 pitch before being called out on strikes to end the threat.
McRae went on to pitch a scoreless fifth inning to finish with five innings of work, no runs allowed, and only two hits allowed. However, since the Knights failed to score while he was on the mound, he got an unlucky no-decision, or a Quintana, as some say.
As soon as McRae left the mound, the Knights got on the board. After fly outs by Blake Rutherford and Matt Reynolds, the Knights came to life with two outs and nobody on base. Ti’Quan Forbes doubled, and Adam Engel came through in the clutch with a tie-breaking RBI single to make it 1-0.
The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the eighth, when Charlotte’s bullpen finally showed some cracks. After scoreless innings from relievers Anderson Severino and Nik Turley, Bennett Sousa struggled. The inning started with a fly out, but after a single and a stolen base, Jacksonville was threatening to tie the game. Then, a ground out advanced the runner to third with two outs, but out No. 3 was tough to get. Three consecutive singles later, it was 2-1 in favor of the Jumbo Shrimp.
The Knights went down quietly in the top of the ninth, so they dropped this low-scoring game.
The Barons finished only 3-for-18 with runners in scoring position, but they finished with seven runs, which was enough.
Barons starter Blake Battenfield did not have his finest outing, as the Trash Pandas made quite a bit of solid contact against him. The first Rocket City run that scored was of the unearned variety, as a three-base error followed by a sacrifice fly opened the scoring.
The Barons got that run right back in the bottom of the first on a double by Jameson Fisher. After a quiet top of the second, Birmingham went right back to business in the bottom half Joe DeCarlo was hit by a pitch, and Ian Dawkins followed with a two-run homer to make it 3-1.
In the top of the third, Rocket City tied the game. The Trash Pandas used three hits, a walk, and a sacrifice fly to pull even. However, once again, the Barons responded as quickly as they could have. In the bottom of the third, the Barons got three runs on five hits to take a 6-3 lead. The double by Xavier Fernández was the biggest hit, as it put the Barons ahead once again, and it set Birmingham up for insurance runs.
Rocket City answered with one in the fourth against Battenfield. But, the bullpen took care of business the rest of the way, only allowing one run in four and two-thirds innings.
Winston-Salem was unable to play tonight against Bowling Green due to the rain.
— BG Hot Rods (@BGHotRods) September 9, 2021
Instead of a nine-inning game to recap tonight, we will have two seven-inning games to recap tomorrow. The first pitch of game No. 1 is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Central.
This was a heartbreaker, as the Cannon Ballers led from nearly wire to wire in this one only to lose it in the ninth.
Bryan Ramos homered in the first, and Chase Krogman followed with another solo home run to give Kannapolis an early 2-0 lead. Meanwhile, Cannon Ballers starter Sean Burke was terrific during his three and one-third innings on the mound.
Reliever Angel Acevedo also had a solid outing in relief, allowing only one run in three and two-thirds innings. That run scored on a two-out single in the top of the sixth. However, when Acevedo left the game, Kannapolis still had a two-run lead because AJ Gill scored on a wild pitch.
The score remained 3-1 until the ninth, when the wheels fell off. After reliever Hunter Speer delivered a scoreless eighth inning, he issued two straight walks to open the top of the ninth. Zach Cable took over on the mound and immediately got a pop out for a big out No. 1. However, Cable threw a wild pitch that allowed both runners to advance, and suddenly, the tying run was in scoring position. Then, Wilber Sánchez made an error that allowed both runners to score. Then, Joey Loperfido launched a two-run homer to give the Woodpeckers a 5-3 lead. Just like that, the rally was complete, and the Cannon Ballers threatened but could not score in the bottom of the ninth.