The Charleston RiverDogs scored three runs in a ninth-inning comeback attempt, but the Kannapolis Intimidators held on for a 6-5 victory on Friday night at CMC-Northeast Stadium in South Atlantic League action.
Charleston now sits at 3-6 in the second half and 36-43 overall. Kannapolis has records of 6-3 and 30-38, respectively. Tyler Wade doubled in the fifth inning to extend his on-base streak to 18 consecutive games, the best RiverDogs streak this year.
The RiverDogs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Reymond Nunez, Mike Ford, and Jackson Valera collected early singles that loaded the bases. John Murphy drove in Nunez with a single of his own to put Charleston in front. At the end of the play, Kannapolis right fielder Jacob Morris threw out a runner at home plate.
In the bottom of the third, the Intimidators evened the score at 1-1. Carl Thomore and Christian Stringer opened with back-to-back singles. After Thomore advanced to third base on a Tyler Williams fly out, Hunter Jones lifted a sacrifice fly that scored Thomore and tied the game.
Valera pushed Charleston back ahead 2-1 in the fourth inning. Following a two-out walk for Miguel Andujar, Valera doubled to bring in Andujar from first base for another RiverDogs lead.
Two-run spurts by Kannapolis in the fifth and sixth innings shifted the lead and the momentum. Williams hit a game-tying home run during the fifth, his fourth home run of the season. Later in the frame, Trey Michalczewski tripled to bring in Cleuluis Rondon for a 3-2 Kannapolis lead. Both runs in the sixth inning scored on a triple by Williams.
The Intimidators also added a run in the eighth inning for a 6-2 advantage. Morris scored from second base on a single by Stringer that was coupled with a throwing error.
Charleston answered with three runs in the ninth before falling short. Ford reached on a two-base error during a popup. Andujar singled to send Ford home and cut the difference to three. Andujar added another run himself after a single by Murphy. Two batters later, Murphy came in with a Michael O’Neill single and a throwing error. After Wade was hit by a pitch, Dustin Fowler launched a fly ball to the right field warning track that was caught to finish the contest.
Thad Lowry earned the win with a quality start, improving to 3-4 after giving up just two runs in six innings pitched. Brady Lail is 7-4 with the loss after allowing three runs in five frames.
COMING UP: Game two of this four-game series is scheduled for 7:05pm on Saturday. RiverDogs LHP Caleb Smith (4-6, 3.56 ERA) will pitch against Intimidators RHP Robinson Leyer (4-4, 3.05 ERA). The next homestand at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park begins on Friday, July 4 through Wednesday, July 9. Independence Day opens the homestand on an ISHPI Red Shirt Friday that will end with postgame fireworks. Tickets may be purchased at the Riley Park Box Office, (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or on-line at www.riverdogs.com. If fans cannot make it to the ballpark, they are encouraged to tune in to all the action this year both home and away worldwide on www.riverdogs.comand locally on 1250 WTMA, the new radio home for RiverDogs baseball.