Coming off an eight-game losing streak, the Kannapolis Intimidators bounced back and capped off a three-game sweep against the GreenJackets Friday night at Intimidators Stadium supported by Atrium Health with a 6-3 victory.
The Intimidators jumped on the board in a big way in the second inning, as Tate Blackman jumped all over the seventh pitch thrown to him by Caleb Baragar, sending it 400 feet and over the left field wall, giving the I's an early 1-0 lead.
In response to Blackman's solo homer, eight-hole hitter Jeffry Para for the GreenJackets smacked his seventh homer of the season to almost the exact same spot as Blackman's, tying the game, 1-1.
In the fourth, Craig Dedelow led off the frame with a hard-hit ball that banked off the wall in right field, as right fielder Logan Baldwin held Dedelow to a long single with a strong throw to second base. After a strikeout to Tate Blackman and a stolen base for Dedelow, Michael Hickman roped a high pitch up the middle for a single, bringing in Dedelow to help the Intimidators regain the lead, 2-1.
A half inning later, Augusta regained the lead against Drew Harrington (W, 8-6), as Jeffry Para cranked a double down the left field line to lead off the inning, followed by a sacrifice bunt off the bat of Baldwin to send Parra to third with just one out. Next up, Malique Ziegler roped a double into left field to score another Augusta run, followed by a single from Manuel Geraldo to put the GreenJackets on top, 3-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, Johan Cruz reached on a walk and then stole second base to put himself in scoring position for Dedelow. One pitch later, Dedelow smacked a hard groundball down the first base line to Ryan Kirby, as the first baseman dove, got up and underhanded the ball to pitcher Stetson Woods at first base. But, Woods did not get there in time, allowing Dedelow to reach on his second of three singles on the night. On the play, Cruz never stopped around third base and dove into home for the tying run, 3-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Intimidators woke up the bats, as Ian Dawkins singled and stole second base to put himself in scoring position for Ramon Beltre. With one out, Beltre smacked a double that rolled into the left field corner, bringing Dawkins in to score the leading run, 4-3. After a walk to Tyler Frost, Cruz laced a ball that hit Woods, as Woods then picked up the ball and threw it into center field, attempting to get Frost out at second. On the wild throw, Beltre cruised home for the fifth Intimidators run, giving Kannapolis a 5-3 lead.
Two batters later and after a pitching change that brought Camilo Doval to the mound for Augusta, Dedelow singled on soft line drive into left field, scoring Frost from third to double the lead for the Intimidators, 6-3.
Harrington left the game after seven innings, giving up seven hits and three runs, as the southpaw tied his season high in strikeouts with seven on 78 pitches (56 strikes). Jake Elliott (H, 6) and Jose Nin (S, 6) combined to strikeout five batters, while only giving up one hit over the last three innings.
The Intimidators will remain at home as they welcome the Greensboro Grasshoppers for a five-game series over four days, with game one of the series starting at 7:05 p.m. Saturday night with RHP Yosmer Solorzano on the mound.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.