Kannapolis Clubs RiverDogs 15-3 on Saturday

Riverdogs hoping to take home the win in the Championship!
Riverdogs hoping to take home the win in the Championship!(Charleston RiverDogs)
Published: Apr. 22, 2023 at 11:31 PM EDT
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Kannapolis, NC- The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers scored 11 runs over their final three at-bats to turn a close game into a runaway 15-3 victory over the Charleston RiverDogs on Saturday night at Atrium Health Ballpark. Five RiverDogs pitchers combined to issue 12 walks in the defeat. Kannapolis has taken four of the first five games of the series and assured the RiverDogs of their first series loss this season and fourth overall since becoming a Tampa Bay Rays affiliate in 2021.

The Cannon Ballers (9-4) entered the sixth inning holding a 4-3 lead. Mario Camilletti began the frame with a base hit and Tim Elko joined him on base by smashing a single off the glove of shortstop Ryan Spikes. The very next pitch to catcher Luis Pineda was driven over the right field wall for a three-run home run and 7-3 lead.

The RiverDogs (5-8) lost control of the contest in the seventh. The combination of Sean Harney and Junior Williams on the mound allowed 12 batters to come to the plate, with seven runs scoring on four hits and a pair of walks. Wilber Sanchez, Brooks Baldwin and Elko collected RBI within the outburst. Kannapolis added one more run off catcher Julio Meza, who took the mound to work the eighth with the game out of reach.

Charleston jumped in front in the top of the first for the third time in the series. Chandler Simpson reached on an error by pitcher Tyler Schweitzer to open the game. Simpson quickly stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball charged to catcher Luis Pineda. He scored on a fielder’s choice groundball back to the mound from Xavier Isaac.

Kannapolis took awhile to strike offensively, but when they did it was with a big inning. Johnabiell Laureano opened the fourth inning by singling against Alex Cook. Cabarea Weaver worked a walk and the bases became loaded when Sanchez laid down a sacrifice bunt and no defender covered first base. A wild pitch from Cook allowed Kannapolis to tie the game before Camilletti walked to reload the bags. Baldwin gave the Cannon Ballers a 3-1 lead with a single to right and Elko added one more with a broken bat single to left in the next at-bat.

The RiverDogs briefly climbed back into the contest with a two-run single from Isaac in the fifth. Isaac paced the attack with two hits and three runs batted in.

Sanchez stood out in a 14-hit showing from the home team, going 3-5 with two RBI. Baldwin, Elko, Pineda and Logan each added two hits of their own. Camilletti reached base six times out of the leadoff spot, registering a single and taking five walks.

Starting pitcher Yoniel Curet worked 2.2 scoreless innings for the RiverDogs as the starter. Four relievers each allowed at least one run with Cook taking the loss after surrendering four runs on five hits and three walks in 1.1 innings.

The series finale will take place on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. LHP Alex Ayala Jr. will get the nod for the second time this week against RHP Peyton Pallette (0-1, 6.35) of Kannapolis.