GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sep. 7, 2017) - Luis Martinez spearheaded an Intimidators shutout win, 4-0, over the Grasshoppers on Thursday night at First National Bank Field in Greensboro. Four Kannapolis arms combined to limit Greensboro to three hits while earning the franchise's first playoff win since the 2005 championship season. With Thursday's win, the Intimidators can advance to the South Atlantic League Championship Series by winning at home on Friday, or if necessary Saturday, in this Best-of-3 series.
**Hear the highlights: Jake Burger dazzles defensively | Strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out double play**
Luis Martinez (1-0) earned the win, working 5.0 scoreless innings, striking out four and walking two while allow just two hits. Kade McClure tossed scoreless sixth and seventh innings. Andre Davis spun a perfect eighth, and Matt Foster struck out a pair in a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save (1).
Willy Garcia, who joined the Intimidators on a Major League rehab assignment prior to the game, legged out a 2-out infield single and moved to second base on a Gavin Sheets walk. White Sox first round pick Jake Burger followed with an RBI-single up the middle, and Garcia slid head-first home ahead of the throw for a 1-0 lead.
Luis Gonzalez belted a solo home run 402-feet to right-center field for a 2-0 lead in the fourth.
The Grasshoppers committed two errors on one play in the fifth inning, allowing the Intimidators to add another run. Joel Booker stole second base and induced an errant throw by catcher Jarett Rindfleisch. As Booker took off for third, center fielder Jhonny Santos fired the ball over the third base dugout and into the stands, bringing home Booker for a 3-0 advantage.
In the ninth, Zach Remillard singled to cash Mitch Roman for an insurance run.
Hoppers starter Max Duval (0-1) took the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits over 5.0 innings.
The Intimidators are in their first postseason since 2009, when they suffered a two-game sweep at the hands of eventual champion Lakewood in the Northern Division Series. Kannapolis last won a post-season game when it clinched its only SAL Championship in 2005.
The Intimidators host Game 2 of the Northern Division Series on Friday at 7:05 p.m. During Friday's game, the Intimidators are hosting a special raffle to raise money for Hurricane Harvey relief in conjunction with Minor League Baseball and MiLB Charities. Friday's game also features a Fall Craft Beer Sampling as well as a kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month at the ballpark. Game 3, if necessary, would also be in Kannapolis on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Playoff 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.