Winston-Salem, NC- Another magnificent starting pitching performance combined with a fourth-inning power surge to lift the Wilmington Blue Rocks to a 4-1 victory over the Winston-Salem Dash on Wednesday at BB&T Ballpark. Kris Bubic turned in the sixth straight quality turn on the mound from the Wilmington rotation while Brewer Hicklen and Dennicher Carrasco hit back-to-back homers. The win was the Rocks' fourth straight, which is one shy of the team's season-high.
Bubic kept the Dash off balance all night, holding them to just a single score in the fourth during his six frames. The lefty yielded just five hits and fanned 11 while walking none. The 11 punchouts were just one away from tying his career-high. Winston-Salem got its only run thanks to a solo homer from Craig Dedelow. Bubic peppered the zone, throwing 64 of his 94 pitches for strikes.
Wilmington got on the board in the third. With runners at second and third and only one out, Michael Gigliotti hit a sharp grounder to second that scored Nick Pratto . The Blue Crew used a couple of big blasts to pad the lead an inning later. Hicklen launched a Konnor Pilkington fastball over the left-center fence for a solo homer. Three pitches later Carrasco hit an opposite-field homer off of Pilkington. Carrasco scored the night's final run as well when he came home on Pratto's sixth-frame single.
Collin Snider provided two scoreless innings of bridgework out of the bullpen, setting the stage for Walker Sheller's first save of the season.
The Rocks continue their series in Winston-Salem on Thursday with first pitch slated for 7 p.m. Fans can catch all of the action with the Voice of the Blue Rocks, Cory Nidoh, on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
Four continues to be the magic number for the Blue Rocks this season. Wilmington is 35-5 when scoring four-or-more times in a game, but just 22-32 when registering three or fewer tallies in a contest.
Wilmington's starting pitching has been magnificent over the last six games. During that span the quintet of Jonathan Bowlan, Kris Bubic, Austin Cox, Marcelo Martinez and Daniel Tillo have combined to allow just two earned runs over 40 innings pitched. Each have turned in quality outings, with Bubic doing so twice.
Wilmington has traveled exceedingly well in 2019. The Rocks are 31-18 in away games this season, the second-best road record in the Carolina League. In fact, the Blue Crew has a losing record in only one ballpark this season (Salem). One of the reasons for the road success has been the Rocks' ability to hit for power. They have hit 33 of their 41 home runs in 2019 away from the friendly confines of Frawley Stadium. Wilmington has not exactly been bad at home however, sporting a 27-19 mark in the First State.
The Rocks hit back-to-back homers on Wednesday for the first time in more than a year. Hicklen and Carrasco combined each went yard in the top of the fourth. DJ Burt and Emmanuel Rivera were the last Blue Crewers to accomplish this feat on Jul 9, 2018 at Frederick.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.