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Intimidators rally in ninth inning to steal win

Lechich drives in three runs, including two on his fifth home run
August 17, 2015

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (August 17, 2015) - The Kannapolis Intimidators rallied for five runs in the ninth inning to score a come-from-behind win, 8-4, over the Tourists on Monday at McCormick Field in Asheville. Kannapolis (24-26 Second Half, 59-60) snapped its four-game losing skid by sending 10 men to the plate in the final frame.

Trailing 4-3, Ryan Leonards led off the top of the ninth with a pinch-hit single off Asheville closer Josh Michalec, and Hunter Jones was hit by a pitch to put the tying run on second base. Following a Michael Suiter sac-bunt, Louie Lechich dribbled a ball back to Michalec, who whiffed on a glove-flip home which allowed the tying run to score. One batter later, Alexander Simon gave Kannapolis a 5-4 lead with a base hit through the right side to score Jones. Michalec committed two more errors, failing to pick up balls in front of the mound, which led to a pair of runs, and Sean O'Connell added a sac-fly for the 8-4 lead.

Devon Davis, who rejoined Kannapolis from the Double-A Birmingham Barons earlier in the day, spun a perfect ninth inning to slam the door. Johnathan Frebis (1-0) earned the win in his Class A debut, tossing 1 and 1/3 scoreless relief innings with three walks and two strikeouts.

Lechich drove in three runs for Kannapolis, including a pair on his team-lead-tying fifth home run of the season, a fifth inning blast that broke a 1-1 time. He finished 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, and Alexander Simon pounded out three hits, going 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.  

Asheville overcame a 3-1 deficit with a three-run frame in the home half of the seventh. The Tourists pounded out three extra-base hits, including an RBI-double by Dom Nunez and run-scoring triple by Yonathan Daza to take a 4-3 lead.  

Kelvis Valerio started the game on the mound for Kannapolis, his first start of the season, and worked 4.0 innings, allowing a run on four hits with three walks and a season-high-tying five strikeouts. Brad Salgado worked 2 and 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts.  

Asheville starter Carlos Polanco spun 6.0 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks.  

The Intimidators continue this three-game series on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at RHP Thad Lowry (11-6, 4.11 ERA) takes the mound for Kannapolis against Asheville's RHP Jesus Tinoco (2-0, 1.59 ERA). Kannapolis returns to Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System on Tuesday, August 25, to open a four-game home stand. For ticket and promotional information, call the F&M Bank Box Office at (704) 932-3267 or visit IntimidatorsBaseball.com.