KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Despite picking up a lead in the bottom of the third inning with a three-run frame, the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (54-49) fell in game two of a six-game series at home against the Down East Wood Ducks (56-43), 10-4, Wednesday night at Atrium Health Ballpark.
RHP Aldrin Batista impressed in his Single-A debut after being traded last week from the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, striking out six in five innings of work, allowing three runs on seven hits, not walking any Wood Duck batters. LHP Ben Beutel (L, 3-2) earned his second loss of the season, allowing one run on four hits, striking out two.
Down East got on the board first in the top of the first inning on a Danyer Cueva sacrifice fly to center field. Konner Piotto scored one of his two runs on the night on the fly ball to put the visitors in the lead, 1-0.
The Cannon Ballers scooped their only three runs of the game in the bottom of the third on a pair of RBI groundouts from Jacob Gonzalez and Calvin Harris. Eddie Park quickly followed with an RBI single to push Kannapolis on top, 3-1, after three innings of work.
Following a scoreless fourth, the Wood Ducks began their stretch of nine unanswered runs in the top of the fifth on a Miguel Villarroel RBI single. Ian Moller then added a pair of RBI singles in the sixth and eighth innings, with the eighth inning single being quickly followed by a three-run homer by Piotto into right, pushing Down East ahead, 8-3.
Anthony Gutierrez contributed two more runs in the top of the ninth with a two-RBI single to center field, bringing Cueva and Gleider Figuereo home and tallying the Wood Ducks’ score to double digits.
Juan Gonzalez did not give up in the bottom of the ninth inning, smacking his second home run of the season to left field to hand the Ballers their fourth run of the night, with no other offense coming to fruition late for the home team.
Kannapolis will look to rebound from their loss on Wednesday in the third of six total games on the week against the Wood Ducks on Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in the Thirsty Thursday and 80’s Night showdown, with LHP Shane Murphy set to make the start on the mound for the Cannon Ballers.
Fans can purchase tickets for any remaining home games at kcballers.com or at the F&M Bank Box Office located at Atrium Health Ballpark.