Monday, June 10, 2013 —
GREENSBORO -- The Kannapolis Intimidators fought off a hard-charging Greensboro club on Saturday night, squashing the Grasshoppers, 7-6, at NewBridge Bank Park.
The Hoppers put the tying and winning runs on base in the ninth inning with two outs. Zach Isler induced an Anthony Gomez ground out, which Micah Johnson fielded after it deflected off Isler's glove, and threw it to first just in time to beat the runner and end the game, stranding the tying run on third.
Intimidators starter Brandon Brennan (2-9) earned his first win since April 21, working 6.0 innings and allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out three and walking two. Isler picked up the save (4). Greensboro reliever Brian Ellington (2-2) took the loss.
After seeing Greensboro come back from a 4-run deficit earlier in the game, Kannapolis was able to hold on to a three-run lead built over the final three innings.
With the game tied 4-4, Kannapolis pulled in front with two runs in the seventh inning. Kale Kiser led off with a walk and Micah Johnson laid down a sacrifice bunt that third baseman Yordy Cabrera threw past first base, putting both runners in scoring position. Jake Brown took advantage of a pulled-in infield, dropping a base hit just behind the second baseman into shallow right field, bringing in Kiser and Johnson for a 6-4 lead.
In the eighth, Michael Marjama tapped a slow-roller up the third-base line that Cabrera avoided, hoping it would roll foul. The ball held the line, and Marjama scooted to second with a leadoff double. Justin Jirschele later drove him in on a groundout for a 7-4 lead.
Viosergy Rosa launched his second home run of the series, a two-run blast to pull Greensboro with a run, 7-6, in the bottom of the eighth inning, setting up the dramatic ninth inning.
For the second straight night, Johnson led off the game with an extra-base hit and scored the opening run. He doubled on the first pitch from Matt Milroy before stealing third base, his 48th stolen base of the season. Jason Coats brought him home with a groundout up the middle.
The Intimidators added two runs in the second inning, both coming with two outs. Juan Ramirez and Jirschele drew walks before Johnson's two-out base-hit cashed Ramirez and moved Jirschele to third. Johnson then stole second base, forcing an errant throw from catcher Tony Caldwell that allowed Jirschele to score for a 3-0 lead.
Johnson finished 2-3 with two runs scored and two stolen bases, upping his Minor League-lead to 49 swiped bags this season. He also leads the South Atlantic League with 58 runs scored.
Brent Tanner blasted a solo home run (3) to left-center field in the third inning to extended the Intimidators lead, 4-0.
Cody Keefer cut the Kannapolis lead in half with a two-run double in the home half of the fourth. Two innings later, Yordy Cabrera tied the game with a two-run home run (9), his second of the series.
Greensboro starter Matt Milroy walked five batters over 5.0 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits while striking out five in a no decision.
The Intimidators return home on Monday, June 10, to open a seven-game home stand against the Augusta GreenJackets (Giants) and Rome Braves (Braves). For ticket information, please call the F&M Bank Box Office at (704) 932-3267 or visit intimidatorsbaseball.com.