Kevan Smith was 2-4 with a two-run homer to pace the Kannapolis Intimidators to a 5-3 victory over the Charleston RiverDogs on Friday night in front of 978 people at CMC-NorthEast Stadium. Kannapolis now sits at 12-15 in the second half (45-52 overall), while the RiverDogs drop to 15-13 in the second half (54-41 overall) in South Atlantic League action.
In the first inning for Kannapolis, Joey DeMichele reached base on a swinging strike three and a passed ball with one out. After a Chris Curley strikeout, Smith smacked a two-out, two-run homer to put the Intimidators out in front early. He also chipped in with a line drive single off the left-field wall in the sixth inning to finish 2-4 with two runs scored and two RBI's.
Ben Gamel (2-4, double, run) led off the fourth inning for Charleston with a double to right center, and scored a couple pitchers later on an RBI single by Tyson Blaser (2-4, RBI). That cut the Intimidators lead to 2-1, but it was as close as the RiverDogs would get.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, back-to-back doubles by Bill Rice and Andrew Douglas plated a run for Kannapolis. Then, two errors on one play by Charleston 1B Reymond Nunez brought in another run to make it 4-1 Intimidators.
Just one inning later, Rice (3-4, double, RBI, run) singled home Smith to plate another Intimidators run and push their lead to 5-1. Reliever Joel de la Cruz was able to strand the bases loaded in the sixth and prevent any more damage.
The RiverDogs got a run in the eighth inning on a Cito Culver RBI double to give themselves a chance in the ninth. Max Peterson came in to close it out for Kannapolis, and was immediately greeted by a triple to right-center by Dante Bichette, Jr. He scored on a wild pitch just two pitches later to make it 5-3. After an Eduardo Nunez one out single, Reymond Nunez stepped up with a chance to tie the game. He struck out swinging, then Kelvin de Leon flew out to right to end the game and give Peterson his second save of the year.
Scottie Allen (3-6) got the start for Charleston and struck out nine batters with just one walk through five innings of work. He allowed four runs on just three hits en route to the loss, but only one of the runs was earned. Joel de la Cruz allowed one run on four hits over two innings, and Nick Goody threw a scoreless eighth inning for the RiverDogs.
Game three of the four game series will be on Saturday night in Kannapolis. Charleston will send out RHP Bryan Mitchell (6-7, 5.13 ERA), and the Intimidators starter is TBD. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm at CMC-NorthEast Stadium.