The Kannapolis Intimidators responded to a rough second-half start by exploding for double-digit runs en route to a 12-2 win over the Augusta GreenJackets on Friday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
The Intimidators scored all the runs they would need, five, in the sixth to even the four-game series at one. A night after GreenJackets starter Kendry Flores held the Intimidators to one run, their second consecutive win, Augusta (39-32) fell victim to a strong effort by Kannapolis starter Brandon Brennan, who allowed just two unearned runs on three hits over seven innings.
“He kept us off balance all night,” GreenJackets manager Mike Goff said. “We hit a lot of weak ground balls and didn’t square up much.”
Kannapolis (28-42) made its move in the sixth inning after GreenJackets starter Joan Gregorio lost his control. Two runs scored on wild pitches, two came on a two-run double by Jeremy Dowdy and an RBI single by Tim Anderson scored the fifth run.
In his second professional game, Anderson went 2 for 5 with two RBI for Kannapolis.
Gregorio allowed a season-high seven runs – six earned – on seven hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. The right-hander maintained his strikeout stuff, but struggled with his command and control, which had been a strength through six starts.
“It wasn’t his best outing,” Goff said. “He battled, but he’s got to use his fastball more and establish it early. He has to trust his stuff.”
The Intimidators scored one in the first on an RBI single by Marjama before adding two more in the third on an RBI single by Anderson and sacrifice fly RBI by Keon Barnum.
Coats brought home three insurance runs in the eighth on an opposite-field home run, his sixth.
An error scored Augusta’s first run in the fourth, and the GreenJackets added a second later in the inning on a sacrifice fly RBI by Eric Sim.