Through the first two games, the Dash has used Kinston's formula to pick up back-to-back wins: outstanding pitching and just enough hitting. Thursday's starting pitching match-up featured two pitchers with sub-two ERA's as Dylan Axelrod threw against Austin Adams.
Both starters were terrific over the first four innings, yielding just one hit and no runs. Winston-Salem was finally able to get to Adams (0-1) in the bottom of the fifth inning. Adams issued consecutive walks to Jason Bour and Drew Garcia with one out.
Kyle Shelton followed with a line-drive single to right field to score Bour and give the Dash the first run of the game. Greg Paiml then chopped a ball to the right side of the infield for a fielder's choice that scored Garcia to double the Winston lead.
That seemed to be enough for Axelrod (1-0), who kept the Indians off balance with impeccable location and pitch selection. He retired 19 men in a row before Kyle Bellows led off the eighth with a double. Axelrod then walked Abner Abreu to put the tying runs on base with no outs.
Joe McEwing then brought in Brandon Kloess to work out of the jam. Kloess rose to the occasion, striking out Juan Diaz, who could not get a bunt down. He then struck out Doug Pickens on three pitches before Donnie Webb singled to right field, loading the bases.
Bo Greenwell came to the plate in a situation similar to the one he faced last night. On Wednesday, Greenwell struck out with two men in scoring position in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded this time, Greenwell bounced out to Garcia at second base to end the threat.
Tyson Corley entered the game in the ninth inning and gave up a leadoff single to Karexon Sanchez, which was wiped out on a Jeremie Tice double play. Chun Chen grounded out to second base to end the game and Winston took a 2-0 series lead over the K-Tribe.
Axelrod earned the win with seven innings of two-hit, shutout ball. He tied his career-high with nine strikeouts and out-dueled Adams, who was the losing pitcher. Adams gave up two runs on two hits and two costly walks in 4.2 innings.
The Dash won despite being limited to just three hits, tying the fewest Winston has had in a game all year. The Indians have out-hit the Dash in both games of this series, but find themselves in a 2-0 hole as the series shifts to Kinston.
Winston-Salem will go for the sweep on Friday night at Grainger Stadium. RHP Nate Jones (11-6, 4.08) starts for the Dash against the Carolina League's "Starting Pitcher of the Year," RHP Joe Gardner (12-6, 2.65). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game can be heard on www.wsdash.com beginning at 6:45.
There will be at least one more game at BB&T Ballpark this season. If Kinston wins each of the next two games, the teams would return to Winston-Salem for game five on Sunday at 5 p.m. If the Dash wins one of the next two games, the team would host the first two games of the Mills Cup Championship Series beginning on Monday night against the Northern Division champion. Please call the Dash at 336-714-2287 for playoff tickets or buy online at www.wsdash.com.
Fans may purchase tickets for every Dash game this season by calling the Dash at (336) 714-2287 or visiting www.wsdash.com.