KANNAPOLIS – Joe Gray Jr. extended his hitting streak to 16 consecutive games with a RBI triple in the first, but the Mudcats stranded a season high 16 men on base while falling to the Cannon Ballers for the first time this season 5-1 on Wednesday night at Atrium Health Ballpark in Kannapolis.
LISTEN: Manager Joe Ayrault's Post-Game Interview
The game was tied 1-1 through the fourth before the Cannon Ballers (5-26) rallied for three runs against Carolina (19-12) starter Brandon Knarr in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead. Knarr (1-1, 5.66) started the fifth with a strikeout, but then gave up three straight hits to Jose Rodriguez, Chase Krogman and Bryan Ramos. The big blow of the rally came from Ramos as he brought in both Rodriguez and Krogman with a double. Ramos then scored moments later on a sacrifice fly.
Krogman led the way for Kannapolis after reaching base five times and going 4-for-4 with a run scored. Ramos, meanwhile, went 1-for-4 with his only hit going for a go-ahead run scoring double in the fifth. Ramos also drove in the tying run in the third after hitting into a bases loaded first.
Carolina did score first in the loss and did so after Gray drove in the first run of the game with a RBI triple in the opening frame. That triple gave Carolina a 1-0 lead and was Gray’s third triple in his last two games. It was also his fifth triple in his last seven games and his league leading fifth overall for the season.
The Cannon Ballers later tied it at 1-1 in the third after Ramos drove in a run by hitting into a bases loaded force out.
The Mudcats left a season high 16 men on base in the loss. They also went just 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position, with that lone hit being Gray’s first inning triple to score Felix Valerio from third.
Relievers Kent Hasler and Abner Uribe followed Knarr with Hasler going one full frame and Uribe working two and 1/3. Hasler allowed a run and one hit in the sixth, but left the game with the bases loaded. Uribe followed and worked out of the inherited bases loaded jam with a strikeout. He then went on to work through two other scoreless frames and finished with five strikeouts against nine batters faced.
The loss dropped Carolina into a series tie in Kannapolis with both teams winning one game so far. The loss, combined with a Down East victory, dropped the Mudcats into a tie for first in the Low-A Central division standings.
The series will continue on Thursday night in Kannapolis with RHP Jhoan Cruz starting for Carolina.
TOP PERFORMERS - BATTERS:
Gray Jr., CF (Carolina): 1-for-3, 0 R, 0 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI
Valerio, F, 2B (Carolina): 1-for-3, 1 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Campbell, 3B-1B (Carolina): 1-for-3, 0 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Krogman, LF (Kannapolis): 4-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Ramos, DH (Kannapolis): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBI
TOP PERFORMERS - PITCHERS:
Hasler (Carolina): 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO
Uribe (Carolina): 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
Acevedo (Kannapolis): 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO
Silven (W, 1-4) (Kannapolis): 3.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
Mikel (Kannapolis): 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO
Moore (Kannapolis): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO
Mudcats 1st (Mudcats 1, Cannon Ballers 0) -- Felix Valerio hit by pitch. Throwing error by Angel Acevedo on the pickoff attempt. Freddy Zamora grounds out, Jose Rodriguez to Harvin Mendoza, Felix Valerio to 3rd. Joe Gray Jr. triples to right-center field, Felix Valerio scores. Noah Campbell walks. Joey Wiemer walks, Noah Campbell to 2nd. Ashton McGee strikes out swinging. Zavier Warren struck out looking.
(1 Runs, 1 Hits, 1 Errors, 3 LOB)
Cannon Ballers 3rd (Mudcats 1, Cannon Ballers 1) -- Victor Torres singles to shallow right field. DJ Gladney walks, Victor Torres to 2nd. Jose Rodriguez pops out to Freddy Zamora on the infield fly rule. Chase Krogman singles to right field, Victor Torres to 3rd; DJ Gladney to 2nd. Bryan Ramos grounds into a force out, Freddy Zamora to Felix Valerio, Victor Torres scores; DJ Gladney to 3rd; Chase Krogman out at 2nd. Luis Mieses strikes out swinging.
(1 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 2 LOB)
Cannon Ballers 5th (Cannon Ballers 4, Mudcats 1) -- DJ Gladney strikes out swinging. Jose Rodriguez singles to center field. Chase Krogman singles to right field, Jose Rodriguez to 3rd. Bryan Ramos doubles to left-center field, Jose Rodriguez scores; Chase Krogman scores; Bryan Ramos to 3rd. Luis Mieses out on a sacrifice fly to Joe Gray Jr., Bryan Ramos scores. Pitcher Change: Kent Hasler replaces Brandon Knarr. Lency Delgado strikes out swinging, Lency Delgado to 1st;wild pitch by Kent Hasler. Harvin Mendoza strikes out swinging.
(3 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB)
Cannon Ballers 6th (Cannon Ballers 5, Mudcats 1) -- Caberea Weaver walks. Victor Torres grounds out, Felix Valerio to Ashton McGee, Caberea Weaver to 2nd. DJ Gladney doubles to left-center field, Caberea Weaver scores. Jose Rodriguez strikes out swinging. Chase Krogman walks. Bryan Ramos walks, DJ Gladney to 3rd; Chase Krogman to 2nd. Pitcher Change: Abner Uribe replaces Kent Hasler. Luis Mieses strikes out swinging, Zavier Warren to Ashton McGee.
(1 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors, 3 LOB)