Winston got the only run it would need in the first inning when Dan Black's groundout plated Michael Early. While Ferguson (1-2) faced the minimum over his next four frames, his offense faced frustration. The Rocks left 11 men on base as they went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The club left a man in scoring position in seven of its nine innings despite facing a fill-in starter.
Chris Bassitt (2-2) had not started since high school until he was thrust into the Dash rotation two weeks ago. The right-hander needed 106 pitches to get through five innings, but logged the win by allowing just two hits and scattering five walks. He got help from struggling prospect Mike Blanke, who thundered his sixth homer of the year to left in the seventh, and from his former fellow relievers.
After Kevin Vance and J.R. Ballinger combined on three scoreless bridge innings, Taylor Thompson tossed a perfect ninth for his seventh save in as many tries.
The three-game set continues at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night. Right-hander Matt Ridings (2-1, 3.04) gets the ball for Wilmington against righty Erik Johnson (1-1, 2.25). Broadcast coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. as studio host Rob Cunningham brings fans the Rocks Report Pre-game Show, presented by Wawa, on 89.7 WGLS-FM and online at wgls.rowan.edu.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
The Blue Rocks have been shut out a league-worst 12 times.
Three of Wilmington's four hits were singles.
The Blue Rocks' top three hitters combined for one hit.
Two of Wilmington's four knocks come courtesy of infielder Angel Franco. Tuesday marked his first game since suffering a hamstring injury while running out a grounder at Myrtle Beach on July 16. Franco also notched his ninth stolen base and pivoted an inning-ending double play in the second.
Matt Fields extended his hitting streak to nine games with a first-inning single.