Greenville, SC - Fluor Field was home to a pitcher's duel on Thursday night, and when the dust settled, the visiting Kannapolis Intimidators came out with a 2-0 victory over the Greenville Drive.
Thursday's pitching matchup featured Greenville's Kutter Crawford and Kannapolis's Blake Battenfield, two of the South Atlantic League's top starting pitchers, opposing each other, and the duo did not disappoint, as the game was scoreless through the sixth inning.
The Intimidators (22-11) broke the stalemate in the seventh against Crawford (0-2). Michael Hickman drew a leadoff walk and came in when Johan Cruz lined a triple into the right field corner. Nolan Brown followed with a sacrifice fly to make the score 2-0.
Crawford finished the night by allowing those two earned runs in six and two-third innings on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
Battenfield (3-1) stymied the Drive (8-25) offense all game, as he struck out 10 over eight scoreless innings while giving up just three hits.
The Drive put runners on the corners in the bottom of the ninth with one out, but Zach Lewis got Victor Acosta to ground into a double play to end the game.
Friday's series finale between the two teams will begin at 7:05 PM. Right-hander Denyi Reyes (3-2, 3.12) will take the ball for the Drive, and he will be opposed by Intimidators left-hander John Parke (4-1, 1.80), a product of Greenville High School and the University of South Carolina.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.