LEXINGTON, KY - The Kannapolis Intimidators (14-18) used three timely extra-base hits to escape Lexington with a series win Friday night, defeating the Legends 4-2.
Despite giving up one run on two singles in the first inning, Taylor Varnell (W, 3-1) collected two strikeouts to end the frame, followed by two punchouts in the second and one in the third to keep the Lexington lead at one run.
In the fourth, Corey Zangari and Luis Curbelo both struck out swinging to lead off the inning. Next up, Amado Nunez evened the score with a solo home run to left field on an 0-2 offering, proving to be his first homer of the 2019 season. One batter later, Gunnar Troutwine singled on an 0-2 pitch to center field, as Ramon Beltre struck out on three pitches. But, on the third strike of the at-bat, Kris Bubic's pitch scurried away from catcher Chase Vallot, allowing Beltre to reach first base on the wild pitch.
Next up, the Intimidators leadoff hitter, Ian Dawkins, took advantage of the extra out, singling in Troutwine with a ball hit up the middle to give the Intimidators a 2-1 lead through four innings.
After a clean inning in the fifth, Varnell finished the night with eight strikeouts through 5.0 innings on the mound for Kannapolis, spreading out five hits for one run on 87 pitches (63 strikes).
With Andrew Perez (H, 4) now in for Kannapolis, Juan Carlos Negret punched a 1-2 pitch to left field, scoring Eric Cole, who reached on a walk to lead off the sixth inning.
Up by one in the eighth and with Lexington making a pitching change, Kannapolis' Luis Curbelo hit his first triple of the season on a line to right-center to lead off the inning. Nunez followed Curbelo's triple with a ground-rule double (2) to bring in an insurance run for the Intimidators, now up 4-2.
Lane Ramsey (S, 2) replaced Vince Arobio (H, 2) in the bottom of the ninth, striking out one and getting a groundout and pop out to give Kannapolis the series victory on the road.
Dawkins, Lenyn Sosa and Nunez all finished with two-hit nights for Kannapolis.
The Intimidators will head east to take on the West Virginia Power in Charleston, West Virginia, with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. on Saturday night, the first of the three-game series.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.