KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (April 13, 2016) – The Kannapolis Intimidators came storming back with a four-run bottom of the seventh inning to win 8-7 over the Delmarva Shorebirds on Wednesday afternoon at Intimidators Stadium supported by Carolinas HealthCare System in front of 3,442 screaming students at the team’s annual Education Day game.
Delmarva (4-3) was spotted a three-run lead in the top of the first inning thanks to a pair of RBI doubles from Ricardo Andujar and Yermin Mercedes. Natanael Delgado singled home the third run of the inning off Intimidators starter Ryan Riga.
The Intimidators answered right back in the bottom of the first inning. Corey Zangari slugged his first home run of the season on a no-doubt two-run shot to left that made it 3-2. In the bottom of the second inning, the Intimidators plated two more runs. The rally was capped by a Landon Lassiter RBI single.
Lassiter turned in a phenomenal day at the plate for Kannapolis. The leftfielder went a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs scored, two doubles, and three RBI.
Delmarva starter Brian Gonzalez settled down following the bottom of the second inning. The lefty exited with the lead after throwing three consecutive shutout frames and was relieved by Bobby Strader.
The 4-3 lead for the Intimidators did not last long. The Shorebirds retook the lead in the top of the third inning on an RBI ground out from Ryan Mountcastle, and added insurance runs in the fourth and fifth innings, to lead 7-4.
Riga made it through just 3 and 1/3 innings allowing six runs, five earned, on seven hits and two walks, but was taken off the hook for the loss by his offense.
Strader (0-1) worked a 1-2-3 top of the sixth inning but immediately ran into trouble in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Grant Massey touched off a rally with a leadoff single that started a string of four consecutive base hits by Intimidators batters. Lassiter drove in the first two runs of the inning by slicing a double fair down the right field line. Two pitches later, Lassiter scored the tying run on a passed ball by catcher Mercedes. The tie was broken on a two-out RBI single from Cody Daily that scored Zangari.
The four-run seventh for the Intimidators gave them an 8-7 lead that would hold up thanks to strong relief from Ryan Hinchley (1-0) and Matt Ball. Ball preserved the lead with two shutout innings of work and earning him his first save of the season.
The win wraps up the home-stand for the Intimidators who collected their first series win of the season. The Intimidators will now hit the road for a seven game trip starting tomorrow in Hickory. Right-hander Zach Thompson (0-0, 1.80 ERA) starts for Kannapolis against Crawdads RHP Pedro Payano (0-0, 1.80). First pitch will come at 6:00 P.M. and be heard online on at Intimidatorsbaseball.com with the pregame showing starting 5:45 p.m. The team returns to Kannapolis on Thursday, April 21, when the Intimidators host Delmarva for a four-game series. For tickets and promotional information, call the F&M Bank Box Office or visit IntimidatorsBaseball.com.