KANNAPOLIS, N.C.-On an overcast Sunday afternoon at Intimidators Stadium supported by Atrium Health, the Kannapolis Intimidators got the job done, clinching the first series of the new season with a 2-1 win over the Rome Braves.
Kannapolis found their offense in the bottom of the third inning, when a Lenyn Sosa double scored Ramon Beltre from second, who had reached on a single via a Michael Hickman sacrifice bunt. One batter later, Luis Curbelo switched places with Sosa at second, doubling in the Venezuelan shortstop to give the Intimidators a two-run cushion.
White Sox 20th overall prospect Konnor Pilkington (W, 1-0) took the hill for the Intimidators, throwing a total of 83 pitches with 54 of those being strikes. Over 5.2 innings, the former Mississippi State southpaw surrendered only three hits and one walk, while striking out six Braves batters.
The Intimidators brought relief for Pilkington in the form of Andrew Perez, Jason Bilous and Bennett Sousa, with Sousa striking out the side in the ninth and leaving three stranded in the eighth.
Greg Cullen provided Rome with their only run of the ball game, sending a shot over the right field wall off of Bilous in the eighth inning.
Kannapolis will look to take the momentum from the series win against Rome starting Monday with a three-game tilt with the Delmarva Shorebirds, affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m. The Intimidators will send RHP Kade McClure to the hill, with LHP Nick Vespi taking the mound for the Shorebirds.
Fans can purchase tickets for the series opener at intimidatorsbaseball.com or by visiting the F&M Bank Box Office located at Intimidators Stadium supported by Atrium Health.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.