KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - Despite three errors and only three hits, the Kannapolis Intimidators (61-72, 33-32) used a two-run homer to escape with a win, defeating the Hagerstown Suns 3-1 Wednesday night in a hard-fought pitcher's duel.
The Intimidators found the scoreboard first, striking in the bottom of the second via a Michael Hickman single to left field, allowing Corey Zangari to cross the plate to make it an early 1-0 Kannapolis lead.
RHP Kevin Folman started for the Intimidators Wednesday, going five frames, striking out five, and allowing a walk, three hits and one unearned run.
Hagerstown (62-73, 32-33 ) tied the ballgame in the top of the fifth on a Justin Connell RBI single to bring home Armond Upshaw, knotting the game at 1-1.
RHP Jackson Rutledge was the chosen arm for the Suns. The 2019 1st round pick and #3 overall prospect in the Washington Nationals organization threw five innings, gave up one hit, one earned run, and struck out nine Intimidators batters.
Tyler Osik broke the tie in the bottom of the sixth, hitting his third home run of the year. The two-run shot to left field off LHP Alex Troop (L, 1-3) also scored Lenyn Sosa, who had reached on a double, giving Kannapolis a 3-1 advantage.
Wilber Perez (W, 4-1) relieved Folman in the top of the sixth. Perez shut out Hagerstown in his three innings, also accumulating five strikeouts and allowing three hits. RHP J.B. Olson (S, 3) notched the save for Kannapolis, throwing a scoreless top of the ninth.
Kannapolis will look to take three of four from the Hagerstown Suns in the final home game of the 2019 campaign on Thursday. First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m. The Intimidators will give the nod to RHP Devon Perez (1-2, 3.12 ERA), while the Suns will send RHP Jackson Stoeckinger (2-2, 3.28 ERA) to the hill.
Thursday is not only the final home game of the 2019 season, but also the final Intimidators home game to ever be played at Intimidators Stadium before the team moves to the new Kannapolis Sports and Entertainment Venue (SEV). The new stadium will also bring a new team identity with it, thus ending the 19 year stretch of Intimidators baseball in Kannapolis.
Thursday's game will be a tribute to a historic 25 years of baseball at Intimidators Stadium. The festivities include a commemorative t-shirt giveaway to the first 1,000 fans in attendance, postgame fireworks, and all fans run the bases.
Fans can purchase tickets for the history-to-be-made Thursday night tilt with the Hagerstown Suns by visitingintimidatorsbaseball.com or stopping by 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.