I's pitchers fan 14 Suns to snap skid
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 18, 2013) -- Three Kannapolis pitchers combined to strike out 14 batters as the Intimidators earned their second shutout victory of the season, 5-0, over the Hagerstown Suns on Saturday in front of 4,075 fans at CMC-NorthEast Stadium. Kannapolis (15-24) snapped a five-game losing streak with the win over first-place Hagerstown (24-15).
Starting pitcher Jake Cose fanned seven batters while giving up two hits over 4.0 innings but left the game early due to a left knee contusion, aggravated by a first inning collision at home plate. He is not expected to miss his next scheduled start.
Stew Brase (1-0) worked a scoreless fifth inning, walking two and striking out one to earn the win. Adam Lopez struck out a season-high six batters over 4.0 relief innings to secure the save (2). At one point, the trio faced 25 consecutive Suns batters without allowing a hit, spanning from the second to eighth innings.
Kannapolis jumped in front early with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Micah Johnson singled and stole second base, his Minor League leading 39th stolen base of the season. Michael Johnson followed with a run-scoring single and later scored on a Michael Marjama base hit for a 2-0 advantage.
Michael Johnson finished the game 3-for-3 with a walk, a triple, an RBI and two runs scored while Michael Marjama went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a double in his first game back after a stint on the disabled list.
The Intimidators tacked on runs in the second, third and fourth innings to separate themselves from the Suns.
Hagerstown starter Pedro Encarnacio (3-3) entered the game with the fourth-best ERA in the South Atlantic League but lasted just three innings, allowing four runs on seven hits in a losing effort.
Cose dropped his ERA to 1.61 with four scoreless innings tonight, now the fourth-best on the circuit. He kept the Suns off the scoreboard in the first inning, sacrificing his body in a collision at the plate. With two outs and a runner on second, Cose threw a wild pitch that Marjama chased to the backstop.
Hagerstown's Mike McQuillen attempted to score from second, and as Marjama throw back to the plate came in, McQuillen's slide upended Cose -- who still managed to apply the tag for the final out of the inning. Cose remained in the game for three more frames, striking out six more batters along the way.
The 14 strikeouts by Intimidators pitchers was one shy of the team's season-high mark, coming May 13 at Lexington. Kannapolis notched it's second shutout of the season, with the first coming at home against Hickory on April 14.
The Intimidators and Suns wrap up this 4-game series on Sunday at 5:05 p.m. as LHP Jefferson Olacio (1-5, 6.75) takes the mound for the Intimidators against Suns starter RHP Dixon Anderson (3-1, 2.43). For ticket information, call the F&M Bank Box Office or visit IntimidatorsBaseball.com.