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Late-Game Home Runs Hurt Ballers in Series Finale with Carolina

July 20, 2021

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers jumped ahead early in the ballgame Sunday, but late-game offense from the Carolina Mudcats proved to be too much as the Ballers dropped their sixth straight matchup 10-3 at Atrium Health Ballpark. RHP Angel Acevedo (L, 1-4) started the afternoon on the mound

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers jumped ahead early in the ballgame Sunday, but late-game offense from the Carolina Mudcats proved to be too much as the Ballers dropped their sixth straight matchup 10-3 at Atrium Health Ballpark.

RHP Angel Acevedo (L, 1-4) started the afternoon on the mound for the Ballers, lasting four innings while allowing four runs on six hits, striking out two and walking two. RHP Martin Carrasco piggy-backed Acevedo, going three innings, allowing three hits, one unearned run, walking two and notching two punchouts.

For the first time in the series, the Ballers opened the scoring in the ballgame, getting a run in the bottom of the first on a Luis Mieses RBI single to center field that scored Samil Polanco.

The Mudcats knotted the ballgame in the top of the second at 1-1 on a strange sequence of baserunning. After Ernesto Martinez doubled, with Alex Hall at the plate, Martinez stole third base then scored on a throwing error by Acevedo.

Kannapolis jumped out ahead again in the bottom of the second with Caberea Weaver scoring on a wild pitch from Carolina starter LHP Antoine Kelly.

Kelly was activated by the Mudcats just a few hours before first pitch, getting the start on Sunday for Carolina. The southpaw who holds the distinction of the No.6 prospect in the Brewers organization worked just 1.2 frames, allowing two runs on one hit, walking two and punching out two. RHP Jhoan Cruz (W, 4-5) relieved Kelly in the second, working as the innings-eater for skipper Joe Ayrault. The righty from the Dominican Republic went 5.2 innings, allowing six hits and one run, walking one and striking out three along the way.

Freddy Zamora answered in the top of the third with an RBI single to knot the ballgame at 2-2. Zamora’s groundball scored Gabe Holt, who had reached earlier in the frame on a single and advanced to second on a passed ball.

Carolina took the lead in the top of the fourth on a Joey Wiemer solo shot to left field, barely clearing the wall deep in the left field corner to make it 3-2 in favor of the visitors. Two batters later, Hall extended the lead for the Mudcats with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Martinez for the second time in the ballgame.

Late-inning runs haunted Carolina all series, but Noah Campbell changed the tides and added an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh, growing the lead to 5-2.

Weaver’s solid day continued in the bottom of the eighth, chipping away at the deficit with an RBI groundout that scored Mieses to cut the lead to 5-3.

Felix Valerio answered the late-inning Ballers rally with a solo shot to left field to make it 6-3. Three batters later, Martinez completed the cycle in the top of the ninth with a two-run shot to center field, growing the lead to 8-3. The third home run of the inning came off the bat of Mike Wilson, smacking a two-run shot of his own to blow the game wide open at 10-3 in favor of the Mudcats.

The Ballers will take a day off from game action on Monday before taking a road trip to Fayetteville for the week to face the Woodpeckers, Low-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. Fans can keep up with the action while the team is on the road on the team’s social media platforms, with live in-game updates being provided on Twitter at @kcannonballers.

Tickets can be purchased for any remaining home games at kcballers.com or at the F&M Bank Box Office located at Atrium Health Ballpark.