NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. - The Kannapolis Intimidators (11-6, 39-46) battled from behind late to notch their third-straight road victory against the Augusta GreenJackets (9-8, 45-40) Saturday night at SRP Park, 9-5.
Augusta struck first on Saturday night in the bottom of the second inning. Zander Clarke initially hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Frankie Tostado and go up 1-0. Later in the same inning, Andres Angulo singled and scored Jacob Gonzalez to double the lead to 2-0.
Kannapolis got one run back in the top of the third when Andrew Vaughn tallied his first RBI as an Intimidator with a sac fly to score Ramon Beltre.
Augusta answered right back in the bottom of the third with a few runs of the their own. Tostado doubled to score Anyesber Sivira and Jose Layer. Jacob Gonzalez then singled to score Tostado and extend the lead to 5-1 for the GreenJackets.
In the top of the fifth, Kannapolis tacked one more run by way of Bryce Bush walking with the bases loaded to score Ian Dawkins to make things 5-2.
The Intimidators once again scored one run in the top of the sixth due to an Ian Dawkins single that scored Johan Cruz that cut the deficit to 5-3.
Taylor Varnell (W, 5-3) exited the game after six innings, giving up eight hits, five earned runs and striking out eight. It wasn't his most efficient outing of the season but left the Intimidators within striking distance when Wyatt Burns (S, 1) came in for relief.
Finally, in the top of the seventh, Kannapolis was able to pull themselves ahead. Things got started from a Michael Hickman single that scored Alex Destino and Cruz to tie the game at 5-5. Immediately after, Beltre doubled to score Cruz and Hickman to take the 7-5 lead.
A couple more insurance runs were due for Kannapolis in the top of the ninth. Vaughn was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Beltre. Alex Destino then grounded into a force out but scored Dawkins in the process to head into the bottom of the ninth up 9-5.
Burns pitched a scoreless ninth and earned a rare three-inning save for the Intimidators. Dawkins finished with a three-hit day, while Cruz tallied two hits and two runs scored. In his second game with the team, Vaughn collected two RBI.
Kannapolis will look for the four-game series sweep against Augusta Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. with Jason Bilous (2-5, 3.10 ERA) on the bump.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.