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Big Ninth Inning Sinks Ballers in 11-4 Loss to Salem on Thursday

July 29, 2021

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers got on the board early Thursday night, but fell victim to an offensive outburst by the Salem Red Sox 11-4 at Atrium Health Ballpark. RHP Chase Solesky got the start for Kannapolis on the mound, unable to continue his ways of striking out

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers got on the board early Thursday night, but fell victim to an offensive outburst by the Salem Red Sox 11-4 at Atrium Health Ballpark.

RHP Chase Solesky got the start for Kannapolis on the mound, unable to continue his ways of striking out the opposition at a high rate. The former Tulane pitcher tossed four innings, allowing four runs on six hits, walking one and striking out four. RHP Kevin Folman (L, 3-3) relieved Solesky in the fifth, surviving only one frame, allowing one hit and two runs.

Salem briskly opened the scoring in the top of the first with a two-run home run off the bat of Ceddanne Rafaela. Nick Decker also scored on the long bomb, giving the Red Sox an early 2-0 advantage.

The Ballers responded quickly in the bottom of the first, getting on the scoreboard on a wild pitch by Salem’s LHP Jeremy Wu-Yelland, scoring Jose Rodriguez. Later in the frame, Luis Mieses added an RBI single to center field to score Bryan Ramos and even the ballgame at 2-2 after just one inning.

Richard Garcia broke through in the bottom of the second, crushing the first pitch of the at-bat over the wall in left field. The home run also brought Lency Delgado Jr. home, putting the Ballers ahead 4-2.

Kannapolis struggled to stop the Red Sox past the first two frames with Salem scoring in three straight innings. In the top of the third, Decker’s RBI double scored Gilberto Jimenez to close the gap to 4-3.

Nick Northcut tied the ballgame in the top of the fourth with his first of two home runs. The solo shot knotted the matchup at 4-4. In the top of the fifth, Northcut crushed another ball over the wall in left-center field, this time a two-run shot that scored Rafaela, giving the Red Sox a 6-4 lead.

Wu-Yelland began the night on the hill for Salem, struggling to have a successful statistical night on the mound. The former Hawaii southpaw allowed seven hits and four runs, walking one and striking out four. RHP Nate Tellier (W, 2-0) entered in relief in the fifth, providing a quality outing of two shutout innings, striking out two and allowing three hits along the way.

A big ninth inning of offense for the Red Sox gave the visitors insurance runs. After a double and a single, Nick Yorke notched a two-RBI triple that scored Dean Miller and Angel Maita. The very next batter, Jimenez added an RBI triple of his own that brought Yorke across the plate, giving Salem a 9-4 lead. After a pitching change and two batters later, Rafaela tallied the third RBI triple of the inning, scoring Jimenez from third base. A few moments Rafaela slid into third base, an errant throw by Harvin Mendoza allowed the runner to score, pulling the Red Sox ahead 11-4.

The Cannon Ballers will look to recuperate from two straight losses to the Salem Red Sox on Friday night in the fourth of six matchups this week at Atrium Health Ballpark. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m. RHP Angel Acevedo (2-4, 5.89 ERA) gets the start for Kannapolis, with RHP Chih-Jung Liu (2-1, 9.88 ERA) beginning the evening on the hill for Salem.

Tickets can be purchased for any remaining home games at kcballers.com or at the F&M Bank Box Office located at Atrium Health Ballpark.