KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - The Kannapolis Intimidators (8-6, 36-46) came close to pulling off an improbable comeback Wednesday Night against the Rome Braves (8-6, 38-45), but the pitching woes were too much to overcome and fell 13-11.
Neither side wasted much time getting on the board in this one. Rome took advantage of doubles from Greg Cullen and Jeremy Fernandez to get two runs across in the top of the first.
Kannapolis immediately answered with a big first inning of their own in the bottom of the frame. Bryce Bush hit a hard grounder that got under the shortstops glove to score Ian Dawkins and Lenyn Sosa to tie the game at 2-2. Johan Cruz then singled to score Alex Destino with Corey Zangari immediately singling after to score Bush to put the Intimidators up 4-2.
Griffin Benson doubled to score Cullen in the top of the third to get one run back for Rome and cut the Kannapolis lead to 4-3.
It didn't take long for Johan Cruz to answer that run with one of his own. In the bottom of the third, Cruz crushed a solo home run off the visitor's clubhouse in left field to bump the lead up to 5-3.
We wouldn't see a change in the score until the top of the fifth. Benson singled to score Justin Dean. Fernandez then singled to score Cullen and Brendan Shewmake to take the 6-5 lead.
This would also be the end of the day for Johan Dominguez (L, 4-4). His final line read as: 4 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 3 K, 3 BB.
Devon Perez came in for relief with no outs in the top of the fifth and runners on second and third. He managed to get out of the jam with minimal damage being done. The only run Rome managed for the rest of the inning came off a sac fly from Ariel Montesino that scored Benson and extended the Braves lead to 7-5.
Cullen tacked on his third of four hits of the day for Rome in the top of the sixth and scored Jose Bermudez, creating an 8-5 deficit for Kannapolis.
Tyler Watson came in for the Perez after the seventh, but the hot bats kept going for Rome into the eighth. They used five hits, three hit-by-pitches, and two sac fly's to tack on five more runs, giving the Braves 13 runs on 17 hits.
In the bottom of the frame, Corey Zangari hit a two-run home run to score him and Cruz and cut into the deficit, leaving Kannapolis down 13-7. It was his eighth of the season and third in his last four games.
Sosa and Destino tallied back-to-back singles in the bottom of the ninth, and then Bryce Bush reached on an error to load the bases with no outs. Romy Gonzalez then hit his fourth triple of the season to clear the bases and cut the deficit to 13-10. Cruz singled immediately after that to bring in Gonzalez to make things 13-11. Despite threatening, the Intimidators were unable to get any more runs across and ultimately fell.
Kannapolis hits the road Thursday at Augusta at 7:00 p.m. Sam Long will take the bump for the Intimidators.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.