ASHEVILLE, N.C. (April 17, 2017) - Starting pitcher Alec Hansen struck out six batters to help hold up an early Intimidators lead en route to a 5-3 win over the Asheville Tourists on Monday night at McCormick Field. Kannapolis (4-8) scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back to claim a win in the series opener.
Hansen (1-1) opened with five scoreless innings on his way to earning the win. The 6'7" right-hander kept the Tourists off-balance early, including a stretch of four straight strikeouts over the fourth and fifth innings. He finished with 6.0 innings pitched, allowing two runs on five hits with six strikeouts and a walk in his third start of the 2017 season.
Kannapolis jumped in front quickly when Joel Booker led off the first inning with a double to left field, and two batters later, Jameson Fisher drove him home with a base hit to right. Mitch Roman scored on a Seby Zavala grounder down the left field line, and Zach Remillard cashed Fisher with a drive to left field for a 3-0 lead.
In the fifth, the Intimidators capitalized on Tourists miscues to add another run. Booker reached first base when he topped a ball into play, and Asheville catcher Robbie Perkins' throw pulled first baseman Tyler Nevin off the bag. Dulin later grounded a ball to first base, which Nevin misplayed, scoring Booker for a 4-0 advantage.
Asheville chipped away with two runs off Hansen in the sixth and another off reliever Danny Dopico in the eighth. Mike Morrison, who pitched for Coastal Carolina during the university's run to the 2016 College World Series championship, took the mound in the ninth and spun a perfect frame for the save (1). Tourists starting pitcher Erick Julio (1-2) suffered the loss despite striking out eight batters over 7.0 innings.
The Intimidators fought back in the top of the ninth with an insurance run to open up a 5-3 lead. Remillard led off with a double, and with two outs, Joel Booker legged out an infield single to plate Remillard to extend the Kannapolis lead. Booker finished 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Roman continued his early-season hot-hitting, going 2-for-3 to up his average to .463 on the season.
The game began after a rain delay of 1:04, the first delay the Intimidators have experienced in 2017.
Kannapolis continues this 3-game series on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. as RHP Dane Dunning (0-0, 0.64 ERA) takes the ball for the I's against Asheville's RHP Antonio Santos (0-1, 2.25 ERA). The Intimidators return home on Thursday, April 20, to open a 4-game series in Kannapolis against Hickory. Tickets are available by calling the F&M Bank Box Office at 704-932-3267 or by visiting IntimidatorsBaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.