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Solesky’s Quality Night Helps Guide Ballers to Third Straight Victory over Mudcats

June 11, 2021

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Early offense and a productive night of pitching helped guide the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers to their third straight victory over the Carolina Mudcats 6-4 on Friday night at Atrium Health Ballpark. RHP Chase Solesky (W, 1-3) got the nod from skipper Guillermo Quiroz on the mound for

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Early offense and a productive night of pitching helped guide the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers to their third straight victory over the Carolina Mudcats 6-4 on Friday night at Atrium Health Ballpark.

RHP Chase Solesky (W, 1-3) got the nod from skipper Guillermo Quiroz on the mound for the Friday night tilt. The Tulane product provided his best outing of the season, going five innings, allowing four hits and two runs, one earned, while walking one and striking out six Mudcats. RHP Tyler Johnson entered in relief for his second appearance of his rehab stint with the Ballers, going 1.2 innings, allowing just one hit, while striking out four and walking two.

Kannapolis opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning on a string of offense. After two Ballers reached base, Luis Mieses scorched a sacrifice fly to left field, bringing in Jose Rodriguez from third base. Three batters later, Caberea Weaver smacked an RBI double to left field, allowing Bryan Ramos to cross the plate, giving Kannapolis an early 2-0 advantage.

The Mudcats got a run back in the top of the fourth inning when Noah Campbell corked an RBI single to right field that brought home Joe Gray Jr. after a strange sequence of baserunning. The RBI from the switch-hitting first baseman cut the Ballers lead to 2-1.

Carolina tied the ballgame in the top of the fifth frame on a Darrien Miller RBI single to center field, bringing Felix Valerio home, knotting the matchup at 2-2 in the fifth inning.

The tied ballgame did not last long as the Cannon Ballers unloaded an offensive outburst on the Mudcats bullpen in the bottom of the fifth inning. Harvin Mendoza got the big inning started with an RBI double to center field, driving in Rodriguez to pull the Ballers ahead 3-2. Two batters later, Lency Delgado Jr. walked with the bases loaded to expand the lead to 4-2.

After the walk, Victor Torres swung at a fastball from RHP Michele Vassalotti (L, 1-2) that resulted in a swinging bunt. The ball was awkwardly played by the Mudcats fielders, allowing Mendoza to score from third. Weaver scored on the same play with some crafty baserunning skills to grow the Kannapolis advantage to 6-2.

LHP Brock Begue got the start on the hill for Carolina. The southpaw from Ohio tossed four innings while allowing three hits and two unearned runs, walking one and striking out one. Vasalotti entered in relief, unable to continue the efficiency from Begue, allowing four runs and two hits over his 2.1 innings of work.

Zavier Warren shrunk the lead in the top of the eighth inning with his second home run in as many games. The two-run shot to right field helped the Mudcats climb back into the ballgame despite still trailing 6-4.

RHP McKinley Moore (S, 1) tallied his first save of the season with an efficient ninth inning. After allowing two runners to reach base, the Arkansas-Little Rock product struck out the final two batters of the ballgame to seal the deal for Kannapolis.

The Cannon Ballers will look to make it four straight against Carolina on Saturday night in the fifth of six matchups with the Mudcats. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m. RHP Matt Thompson (0-3, 6.14 ERA) is the probable arm scheduled for Kannapolis, while Carolina will send out LHP Brendan Murphy (2-1, 3.12 ERA). The Saturday night game will be followed by post-game fireworks.

Tickets can be purchased for any of the remaining home games including any of the matchups the rest of the week versus the Mudcats at kcballers.com or at the F&M Bank Box Office located at Atrium Health Ballpark.