Intimidators Fall to Drive on Opening Night 3-2
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. () — More than 3,000 fans showed up for the Opening Night of the 20th season of baseball in Kannapolis, but the hometown Intimidators managed just four hits in falling to the Greenville Drive, 3-1, at CMC-NorthEast Stadium night.
Greenville (1-0) broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning when Jesus Loya turned a leadoff walk into a run, scoring on a Kannapolis (0-1) error. Carlos Asuaje, who reached on a base hit, crossed the plate on Tim Roberson’s RBI-single for a 2-0 Drive lead.
The Intimidators responded with their lone run in the home half of the third when shortstop Cleuluis Rondon — the No. 27 prospect in the White Sox organization, according to Baseball America — doubled to deep center field, driving in Adam Engel. Rondon finished 1-for-4 at the plate.
Kannapolis starter James Dykstra worked 5.0 innings in his first professional start, allowing two runs on six hits while walking two and striking out four. Dykstra (0-1) took the loss while Greenville’s Cody Kukuk (1-0) notched the win with 5.0 innings of one-run ball. Kukuk turned the ball over to Jacob Dahlstrand, who retired all nine Intimidators batters he faced over three innings before Joe Gunkel spun a scoreless ninth for the save (1).
The Drive added a run off Andre Wheeler in the seventh inning on Roberson’s second RBI-single of the game. He finished 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Sean Hagan pitched a perfect eighth and ninth innings for the Intimidators to keep the game close, but the Intimidators couldn’t bring the offense to life in the final frames.
The loss spoiled the debut for manager Pete Rose Jr. with Kannapolis, the 10th manager in Intimidators history. Rose, the son of baseball’s all-time hits leader of the same name, managed the Advanced Rookie Great Falls Voyagers to the post-season in 2013.
Article Courtesy: Kannapolis Intimidators