Game #94 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

Game #94 – Home Game #49
Winston-Salem Dash (11-12, 39-54) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (12-12, 48-46)
Monday, July 18 – 7:00 p.m. 
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

First-rounder Zack Collins clubbed a three-run homer to support Zach Thompson’s first High-A victory in Winston-Salem’s 7-2 win on Sunday at BB&T Ballpark. Winston-Salem looks for consecutive wins at home against the Pelicans for the first time this season.

STARTING LINEUP:

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Zack Collins has eight RBIs in just three games with Winston-Salem (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Michael Suiter – CF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Mason Robbins – RF
Nick Basto – LF
Zack Collins – DH
Marcus Davis – 1B
Toby Thomas – 2B
Brett Austin – C
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Tanner Banks – LHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Collins, the 10th overall pick in last month’s MLB Draft, has begun his stint with Winston-Salem by going 5-for-12 (.417) with two homers and eight RBIs. The former University of Miami slugger has collected at least two RBIs in each of his first three games with Winston-Salem. Collins is the only Dash hitter to accomplish that feat this season, while only one has plated more runs over a three-game span (Gerson Montilla; nine from May 15-18 [postponement on May 17]).
  • Over the last three games, Winston-Salem has collected 27 runs on 46 hits, including back-to-back 10-run efforts on Friday and Saturday for the first time since May of 2015. In 16 games this month, the Dash boast a team batting average of .331, which is 11 points better than Lynchburg for the top spot in the Carolina League and second in full-season Minor League Baseball. Only the Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple-A, Colorado) have a better mark (.3312 to .3309). On the flip side, the lowest July average in all of Minor League Baseball belongs to DSL Marlins (.179), a 6-30 club overall.
  • Dash outfielder Mason Robbins recorded his team-leading 30th multi-hit game on Sunday. This month alone, during which he is a .357 hitter, Robbins has logged two or more hits in seven of his 16 contests. Overall, the Mississippi native is sixth in the CL in batting average (.304).
  • While Marcus Davis and Toby Thomas posted respectable numbers in the first half, the duo has been electric since the All-Star break. Davis’ overall average has jumped from .254 to .279 thanks to a .368 mark (28-for-76) since the second half began on June 23. In those 18 games, Davis has two homers, 15 RBIs and 14 runs. In his last two contests, Davis is 7-for-10 with four RBIs. Thomas paces High-A baseball and is ninth in the Minor Leagues with a .417 average (35-for-84) since June 23. This surge has bumped his 2016 mark 49 points to .280.
  • Just 360 days after making his Dash debut, right-hander Carson Fulmer made his White Sox debut on Sunday against the Angels in Los Angeles. Fulmer struck out Albert Pujols on three pitches to begin his first big league outing and ultimately blanked the Halos over two strong innings. In addition, former Dash catcher Omar Narvaez, who worked in a battery with Fulmer in Game 1 of last year’s SDCS in Winston-Salem, doubled in his first Major League at-bat.
  • Outfielder Landon Lassiter, a midseason South Atlantic League All-Star, joined the Dash from Low-A Kannapolis on Sunday. Lassiter is a North Davidson High School alumnus and a High Point native who played three seasons at the University of North Carolina. In 77 games with the Intimidators, Lassiter hit .283 with two homers and 24 RBIs. He took the place of CL All-Star Hunter Jones, who amassed three RBIs in his Double-A debut with Birmingham Sunday.
  • Before his last start, southpaw Tanner Banks owned a four-game personal winning streak, though Potomac tagged him for six runs (all earned) in Wednesday’s homestand opener.
  • Dash catcher Brett Austin has strung together a season-long eight-game hit streak, which has yielded 14 hits (half of which for extra bases).

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Monday’s contest will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch set for 7:00 p.m.

-Joe

Robbins’ early decision is paying off

Mason Robbins was in high school at George County in Leakesville, Miss., when his dad told he and his two brothers to made a difficult decision–football or baseball.

“My brothers and I played football,” Robbins said, with a southern Mississippi inflection in his voice, “But my dad said choose a sport that you think you could succeed in. And for all of us, it was baseball.”

Fast forward to Winston-Salem at age 23, and the Dash right fielder is a consistent source of productivity in 2016 for the Dash, holding the third-best batting average (.304) among active, qualified Carolina Leaguers. He also leads the Dash in multi-hit games (30).

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Mason Robbins has been a steady presence in Winston-Salem’s lineup this season (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Growing up, Robbins had a batting cage outside of his house, where he and his two brothers Logan and Walker hit almost every day. When they skipped the cage, they took their cuts in the open area next to the house to get a feel for hitting on an actual field.

“It’s a work ethic, getting out there and hitting every day,” Robbins said. “It’s the exact same thing we do, is we get to the park early and we hit early. Hitting every day, you’ve got to get in the same routine of swinging the bat and getting your rhythm.”

The three brothers who hit in the cage together have each made it to the next level in baseball. Logan, the middle brother, pitches for Jones County Junior College. The St. Louis Cardinals recently drafted Walker, the youngest, in the fifth round out of high school.

Before Walker was drafted this year, the state of Mississippi named him ‘Mr. Baseball’, awarded to the best player in the state. Mason received the title in 2011. His senior season, Mason led Mississippi in home runs at 14 with a .500 batting average and a 1.63 ERA.

That same year, Mason and two of his friends were up for the Mr. Baseball award. Robbins was there to accept the award when he won, while one of the others was playing in the state championship game.

“It was a good award to have,” but, Robbins said, “I would have much rather been playing in the state championship.”

The ‘Mr. Baseball’ of 2011 turned down professional baseball when the Mets drafted him in the 20th round out of high school, opting for three years of college at Southern Mississippi. Three years later, the White Sox drafted him in the 25th round in 2014 as a junior.

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Robbins starred at Southern Mississippi for three seasons before being drafted by the White Sox in 2014 (Hattiesburg American).

 To find out what works for Robbins in the batter box – or isn’t working, though the left-hander’s batting average has yet to drop under .270 since May 4  – is simple.

“Most of the time it’s nothing wrong with your swing,” Robbins said. “It’s the timing or the pitches you swing at.”

He works with Dash hitting coach Charlie Poe, who throws him three rounds in the batting cage, two with pitches on the outside of the plate and one switching from outside to inside locations.

Robbins has remained for just a season in each Minor League level, steadily rising through the White Sox farm system. One season in rookie ball in Great Falls, where he hit .304 and led the team in hits (70). The next season in Low-A Kannapolis, he collected 47 RBIs and hit .263. Now, his current residence is Winston-Salem for the 2016 season.

A consistent time frame in each place, with a consistent batting average to go with it.

If anything has changed, it is Robbins’ understanding of his role in a lineup. For most of the season, he hits second in the batting order. He puts the ball in play and has hit .556 for the Dash with the bases loaded. He drives in runs despite going deep just twice all year.

“I don’t hit a lot of home runs,” Robbins said, “but I hit a lot of doubles because I hit to the middle of the field a lot. I’ve learned to not worry about the power numbers as much, just try to do whatever I can every day to help the team win and learn that doubles may not be a home run, but it’s productive.”

Mason has been incredibly productive for the Dash after a productive decision that he and his brothers made a few years ago.

-Jackie

Game #93 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

Game #93 – Home Game #48
Winston-Salem Dash (10-12, 38-54) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (12-11, 48-45)
Sunday, July 17 – 5:00 p.m. 
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Winston-Salem rallied for three in the bottom of the ninth to force extras, but Myrtle Beach edged the Dash 12-10 in 12 innings in Saturday’s series opener. The Dash look to put on another strong offensive showing against Myrtle Beach on Sunday at BB&T Ballpark.

STARTING LINEUP:

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Marcus Davis accumulated four hits in the Dash’s wacky 12-10 loss in 12 innings on Saturday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Michael Suiter – CF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Mason Robbins – RF
Nick Basto – LF
Zack Collins – C
Telvin Nash – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Toby Thomas – 2B
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Zach Thompson – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Winston-Salem has scored 10 runs in each of its last two games, marking the franchise’s first run of back-to-back double-digit run outputs since May 7-8 of 2015. The Dash blasted Frederick 14-2 before downing Myrtle Beach 10-6. Winston boasts a .331 average in July, which paces the Carolina League (2nd – Lynchburg, .321). Only the Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple-A, Colorado) have a better July average in the Minors (.338). In the club’s 15 games this month, Winston-Salem is averaging 7.1 runs per game (107 total), which is second to Lynchburg in the CL.
  • One night after matching a season-high for runs in an inning (eight in the fourth against Potomac), the Dash set a new single-game mark for hits in a 2016 contest. Winston-Salem banged out 21 hits, one more than its previous high-water mark on April 22 at Salem. This marked the Dash’s biggest offensive effort in hits since August 21, 2011, a 23-knock explosion at Potomac. The Dash-era record for hits is 26, which also took place against Potomac on July 23, 2010.
  • Of the Dash’s 21 base hits, Marcus Davis and Mason Robbins recorded four apiece, which matched career-highs for both men. Davis, who tied the game with an RBI double in the ninth, is hitting .347 with two homers and 14 RBIs in 17 games since the All-Star break. Robbins notched his team-leading 29th multi-hit game Saturday, pushing his average to .302 (7th-best in the CL).
  • The White Sox announced Sunday that All-Star outfielder Hunter Jones has earned his first career promotion to Double-A Birmingham. The former Cleveland farmhand leaves as the CL leader in hits (104), while he is second in runs (62) and fourth in stolen bases (31). He was the last player on the circuit to miss one of his team’s games (the 70th and final contest of the first half). Overall, Jones was a .286 hitter with five home runs and 34 RBIs in 90 games.
  • Even though the Dash lost an All-Star, they did receive an All-Star Sunday. Outfielder Landon Lassiter, who was a midseason South Atlantic League honoree, has joined the Dash from Low-A Kannapolis. Lassiter is a North Davidson High School alumnus and a High Point native who played three seasons at the University of North Carolina. In 77 games with the Intimidators, Lassiter hit .283 with two homers and 24 RBIs.
  • Thanks to a 3-for-4 effort that included a two-run homer in the sixth, Brett Austin pushed his season-long hit streak to eight games. During the surge, the former NC State star is 14-for-30 (.467) with 10 RBIs and seven extra-base hits. Fellow catcher Zack Collins, the White Sox top pick in last month’s MLB Draft, is 4-for-10 (.400) with five RBIs in his first two games with the Dash. Toby Thomas leads the CL and is second in High-A with a .425 average (34-for-80) since the All-Star break (6-for-9 in his last two games).
  • Because of their 12-inning defeat Saturday, the Dash dropped to 2-5 in extras, which stands under all other Carolina League clubs in that baseball category.
  • Righty Zach Thompson, Sunday’s starter, gave up a career high-tying seven runs against Frederick in his High-A debut on Monday.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Television coverage of Sunday’s contest will be available on My48 at 2 p.m. A full channel guide is available here. The game will also be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 4:45 p.m., with the first pitch set for 5 p.m.

-Joe

Game #92 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

Game #92 – Home Game #47
Winston-Salem Dash (10-11, 38-53) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (11-11, 47-45)
Saturday, July 16 – 6:30 p.m. 
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

In his Winston-Salem debut, first-rounder Zack Collins logged three hits, including a three-run blast during an eight-run fourth, in the Dash’s 10-4 thumping of Potomac at BB&T Ballpark. On Friday, the Dash begin a four-game set against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, who invade the Triad for the final time this season.

STARTING LINEUP:

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Zack Collins smashed a three-run blast in his High-A debut on Friday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Mason Robbins – RF
Nick Basto – LF
Zack Collins – DH
Marcus Davis – 1B
Toby Thomas – 2B
Brett Austin – C
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Jordan Stephens – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • During its eight-run fourth, Winston-Salem sent four men to the plate twice. It marked the club’s second eight-run inning of 2016, with the other coming in the deciding 13th on Opening Day at Lynchburg (April 7; 14-6 Dash win). Since the nickname change to Dash in 2009, Winston has scored more than eight runs only once. The Dash amassed nine runs in the seventh inning of a 14-2 rout at Frederick on May 7, 2015. Despite the massive run total, the Dash only logged four hits in Friday’s tie-breaking fourth.
  • Collins’ three-run blast, a majestic shot to the Foothills Brew Pen, was his first professional long ball. After going 1-for-11 with seven whiffs in the AZL, Collins produced Friday like he did so often at the University of Miami during his remarkable college career. Collins won the 2016 Johnny Bench Award, given to the best catcher in college baseball, after hitting .363 with 16 home runs, 59 RBIs and 54 runs in 62 games. He helped Miami reach the College World Series before becoming the 10th overall pick.
  • The fifth through eighth hitters in the Dash’s order reached base in 16 of their 20 trips to the plate via two home runs, two doubles, seven singles and five walks. The rest of Winston’s lineup went a combined 3-for-20.
  • Collins was the five-hole hitter in his Dash debut, while Telvin Nash reached via three walks in his five trips to the plate out of the six spot. Thomas reached safely in all five trips to the plate and logged his fourth career four-hit game. Since June 23, the start of the second half, Toby Thomas is hitting .427 (32-for-75), which leads the CL, is second in High-A and is ninth-best in all of Minor League Baseball.
  • Eight-hole hitting Michael Suiter also mustered four hits in his first game since Sunday. It was his second career four-hit showing and his first since July 22, 2014, when he was with the AZL White Sox.
  • On May 31, Winston-Salem was 5-19 (.208) at BB&T Ballpark, the worst home mark in the Minor Leagues. The Dash had lost six of their first seven home series, with the other being a four-game split with Potomac from May 13-16. Since the start of June, Winston is 14-8 (.636) at home, and the club is undefeated in home sets. The Dash’s overall home mark of 19-27 (.413) is still second-worst in the CL (Wilmington, 16-29).
  • Carson Fulmer, a key cog to the Dash’s playoff push a year ago, earned his first promotion to the Majors, the White Sox announced Friday. Fulmer is the first member of the 2015 MLB Draft class to reach the Show. He did not appear in the White Sox 7-0 loss to the Angels on Friday. Fulmer is the 347th Winston-Salem alumnus to reach the Major Leagues (39th in the Dash era).
  • Friday starter Jordan Stephens had allowed just a single run in his last four outings over 27.1 IP until his most recent outing Monday. Frederick collected three runs on six base hits, ultimately knocking Stephens out after four innings.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Saturday’s contest will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:15 p.m., with the first pitch set for 6:30 p.m.

-Joe

Game #91 Preview – Dash vs. Potomac

Game #91 – Home Game #46
Winston-Salem Dash (9-11, 37-53) vs. Potomac Nationals (13-6, 47-40)
Friday, July 15 – 7:00 p.m. 
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash plated two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to rally past Potomac 5-3 in Thursday’s middle match at BB&T Ballpark. Winston-Salem looks for the series win in the rubber match of the three-game set.

STARTING LINEUP:

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Cleuluis Rondon has nine RBIs in his last nine games (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Mason Robbins – RF
Nick Basto – 1B
Zack Collins – C
Telvin Nash – DH
Toby Thomas – 2B
Michael Suiter – LF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Spencer Adams – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Winston-Salem had not collected a last at-bat victory in more than two months before Thursday night. The Dash’s last such win also came when the P-Nats were at BB&T Ballpark, when Adam Engel delivered a walk-off single in the 11th inning on May 13. At that point of the season, Winston had churned out five last at-bat wins, two of the walk-off variety, in its first 35 games.
  • On Thursday, Thad Lowry spun Winston’s first start of six or more innings since July 4, when Jordan Stephens whiffed a career high-tying nine over six innings. Lowry’s outing was the longest by a Dash hurler since June 26, when Lowry befuddled Wilmington over seven frames. The last time someone other than Lowry worked into the seventh was Tanner Banks on June 25.
  • Right-hander Spencer Adams was activated from the disabled list and will start in Friday’s rubber match with Potomac. The third-best White Sox prospect per MLB Pipeline, Adams left his most recent start on July 7 due to a scary-looking right ankle injury that ended up being minor. The 20-year-old missed just seven games during what was his first stint on the disabled list as a professional. Despite the absence, Adams stands second to Lowry in the Carolina League in innings pitched (102.1 to 101.2).
  • Carson Fulmer, a key cog to the Dash’s playoff push a year ago, has earned his first promotion to the Major Leagues, the White Sox announced Friday. Fulmer, the eighth-overall pick last year, is the first member of the 2015 draft class to reach the Majors. The former National Champion at Vanderbilt, Fulmer posted a 2.05 ERA in 22 innings with Winston-Salem last year. The Dash did not lose a game during which he pitched. The top prospect in the Sox system per MLB Pipeline, Fulmer is the 347th Winston-Salem alumnus to reach the Major Leagues. Since the nickname change to Dash in 2009, the Dash have graduated 39 players to The Show.
  • On the day that Fulmer earns his first big league call, another White Sox first-round pick will make his Dash debut. Catcher Zack Collins, the 10th overall selection in last month’s MLB Draft, is hitting fifth and catching for the Dash on Friday. Collins won the Johnny Bench Award, honoring the best catcher in college baseball, after hitting .363 with 16 homers, 59 RBIs and 54 runs scored in 62 games with the University of Miami. He led the Hurricanes to the College World Series before inking a deal with the Sox.
  • Winston-Salem wore commemorative Warthogs jerseys for the final time in 2016 on Thursday. Before the franchise was known as the Dash, it went by the Warthogs moniker from 1995-2008. Winston was 2-1 with the ‘Hogs jerseys this year.
  • Winston-Salem is 2-3 in its previous rubber matches thus far this season.
  • This marks the P-Nats’ final visit to BB&T Ballpark in 2016.
  • The Dash will invade Pfitzner Stadium for a five-game, four-day series from July 21-24 to conclude the season series between the two clubs.
  • Brett Austin is riding a seven-game hit streak, which ties a season-long. During this run, Austin is 11-for-26 (.423) with eight RBIs.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Friday’s contest will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch set for 7:00 p.m.

-Joe

Game #90 Preview – Warthogs vs. Potomac

Game #90 – Home Game #45
Winston-Salem Warthogs (8-11, 36-53) vs. Potomac Nationals (13-5, 47-39)
Thursday, July 14 – 7:00 p.m. 
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Potomac plated four in the fourth and two in the fifth and never looked back in a 7-2 win over the Dash in Wednesday’s opener at BB&T Ballpark. Winston-Salem will don Warthogs jerseys Thursday, in what is the third and final Throwback Thursday of the season.

STARTING LINEUP:

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Michael Suiter (above) and the Dash are 1-1 this season when wearing the throwback Warthogs jerseys (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Mason Robbins – RF
Nick Basto – LF
Marcus Davis – DH
Telvin Nash – 1B
Toby Thomas – 2B
Brett Austin – C
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Thad Lowry – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Wednesday was a milestone day for the home of the Dash, as BB&T Ballpark welcomed its two millionth fan. Thanks to Wednesday’s crowd of 6,034, the downtown facility has now drawn 2,004,554 fans all-time. BB&T Ballpark was the quickest High-A stadium to one million fans, and it is second-fastest to two million. Since its opening in 2010, BB&T Ballpark has finished either first or second in both overall and per-game attendance among the 30 High-A clubs. It earned the title of “Best Ballpark in High-A” per an online vote on Ballpark Digest last month.
  • Winston-Salem second baseman Toby Thomas continued his torrid second half with a pair of hits during Wednesday’s loss. In his 18 games since the All-Star break, Thomas boasts a .406 (28-for-62) batting average, which is second to Potomac’s Max Schrock (.443) in the Carolina League and third in all of High-A baseball. During this span, Thomas has amassed four RBIs and scored 13 times. The Alabama native has hit safely in 15 of these 18 contests.
  • After a shutout win over Myrtle Beach on July 4, Winston-Salem stood 6-5 in the second half. Since then, Winston-Salem had dropped five of its last seven games, during which the club has given up 64 runs (9.1 per game). This slump has dropped Winston 1.5 games in the standings.
  • The White Sox announced Thursday that catcher Zack Collins, the 10th overall selection in last month’s MLB Draft, has been promoted from the AZL White Sox to Winston-Salem. Collins won the Johnny Bench Award, honoring the best catcher in college baseball, after hitting .363 with 16 homers, 59 RBIs and 54 runs scored in 62 games with the University of Miami. He led the Hurricanes to the College World Series before inking a deal with the White Sox. Throughout his college career, Collins swatted 42 home runs and drove in 183 runs in 189 games.
  • For the third and final time this year, Winston-Salem will don Warthogs jerseys in honor of the team’s nickname from 1995-2008. Here are some notable events during the Warthogs era:
    1994: Winston-Salem played its final season with the nickname Spirits (1984-94).
    1995: In the first year of the Warthogs era, Winston-Salem went 69-68 with the help of future MLB All-Star Aaron Boone.
    1997: The Warthogs shifted affiliates from the Cincinnati Reds to the Chicago White Sox. Winston-Salem has been with the White Sox ever since this change.
    2003: Winston-Salem claimed its 11th all-time Mills Cup. The Warthogs went 71-67 in the regular season and swept both Kinston and Lynchburg in the Carolina League Playoffs.
    2005: Leo Daigle recorded the CL’s second Triple Crown (.341, 29 HR, 112 RBIs). The only other Triple Crown belongs to fellow Winston slugger Ray Jablonski (.363, 28, 127 in 1950).
    2008: Winston-Salem was 71-68 in the final season of the Warthogs era. The organization announced the change to Dash on December 4.
  • In addition to Collins’ arrival, the Sox announced that Danny Dopico has been assigned to the AZL White Sox.
  • Fellow righty reliever Connor Walsh, currently on the DL with an oblique injury, has begin a rehab assignment in the AZL.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on 600 AM-WSJS in the Winston-Salem area, as is the case with every Thursday game throughout the season. The game is also available on wsjs.com, as well as wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn App. The Pregame Warthog will begin at 6:45 p.m, with the first pitch at 7:00 p.m.

-Joe

Game #89 Preview – Dash vs. Potomac

Game #89 – Home Game #44
Winston-Salem Dash (8-10, 36-52) vs. Potomac Nationals (12-5, 46-39)
Wednesday, July 13 – 7:00 p.m. 
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Winston-Salem collected 15 hits, but Frederick rallied for the game’s final six runs in an 11-7 win over the Dash on Monday at NYMEO Field. Winston-Salem now begins its second home series of the season against Potomac on Wednesday.

STARTING LINEUP:

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Hunter Jones became the first Carolina League player to reach 100 hits on Monday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Mason Robbins – RF
Nick Basto – LF
Marcus Davis – DH
Telvin Nash – 1B
Toby Thomas – 2B
Brett Austin – C
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Tanner Banks – LHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Wednesday is a milestone day for the home of the Dash, as BB&T Ballpark will welcome its two millionth fan. Currently, the downtown facility has drawn 1,998,520 fans. BB&T Ballpark was the quickest High-A stadium to one million fans, and it will be the second-fastest to two million. Since its opening in 2010, BB&T Ballpark has finished either first or second in both overall and per-game attendance among the 30 High-A clubs. It earned the title of “Best Ballpark in High-A” per an online vote on Ballpark Digest last month.
  • Winston-Salem hit .311 and scored 25 runs (6.3 per game) in its four-game series in Frederick. Since the All-Star break, the Dash have recorded seven games of seven or more runs, while the squad is averaging 5.9 runs per game (106 runs in 18 games). In the first half, Winston posted just 3.9 per contest. On Sunday, Telvin Nash became the first Dash hitter to post a multi-homer game since June 20, 2014 (Jason Coats).
  • However, Winston-Salem gave up 35 runs (8.8 per game), the second-most in a single series during the Dash era (2009-present). The Dash permitted 36 runs in a four-game split with Potomac from July 22-25, 2010. A Dash starter has not worked through the sixth inning since Jordan Stephens’ six-inning gem on July 4.
  • Six years ago Tuesday, Chris Sale made his final appearance with Winston-Salem before jumping to Triple-A Charlotte. On Tuesday, Sale threw the first pitch of the MLB All-Star Game while representing the White Sox. He gave up a solo homer to Cubs slugger Kris Bryant in an otherwise flawless inning of work in the A.L.’s 4-2 victory over the N.L. at Petco Park in San Diego. Sale has reached the All-Star Game in five straight seasons. Fellow White Sox lefty Jose Quintana also tossed an inning (fifth), during which he had one hit and one strikeout.
  • One of the Dash’s Midseason All-Stars, outfielder Hunter Jones, became the third High-A player and the first Carolina Leaguer to reach 100 hits thanks to a four-hit showing on Monday. Jones’ second career four-knock effort gave him an even 100 on the year. Not only does the former Cleveland farmhand pace the CL in hits, but he is first in at-bats (346), second in runs (61), third in games (86), and fourth in both stolen bases (31) and total bases (142).
  • BB&T Ballpark’s landmark day also kicks off a home-heavy next month for Winston-Salem. The Dash will play 21 of their next 29 games in the Triad, though the team is seventh in the eight-team CL in home record (17-26; Wilmington, 16-29). During this run, the Dash’s lone trips are to Potomac from July 21-24 (doubleheader on July 23) and August 1-3 at Carolina. Once this span ends on August 11, the Dash will play 17 of their final 23 regular season games on the road.
  • Nick Basto has reached in 10 of his last 13 plate appearances. He leads all active, qualified CL hitters with a .329 batting average. Teammate Mason Robbins stands second at .303.
  • Righty Colin Kleven earned a promotion to Double-A Birmingham on Tuesday after going 1-2 with a 5.35 ERA in 24 relief efforts with Winston-Salem.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Wednesday’s contest will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch set for 7:00 p.m.

-Joe

Game #88 Preview – Dash at Frederick

Game #88 – Road Game #45
Winston-Salem Dash (8-9, 36-51) at Frederick Keys (9-8, 45-42)
Monday, July 11 – 2:00 p.m. 
NYMEO Field (Frederick, Md.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Slugger Telvin Nash went deep twice, but the Frederick Keys earned a walk-off 5-4 victory on Sunday night from NYMEO Field. The Dash will try and round out their four-game set against Frederick with a series-splitting win on Monday.

STARTING LINEUP:

Nash480_0623_2

On Sunday, Telvin Nash became the 29th different player in the Dash era (since 2009) to hit two home runs in a single game (Jody Stewart/ W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Mason Robbins – RF
Nick Basto – LF
Marcus Davis – DH
Telvin Nash – 1B
Toby Thomas – 2B
Brett Austin – C
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Zach Thompson – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • One game after Winston-Salem registered its biggest come-from-behind-win since May 22, 2009, Nash became the first Dash hitter to club a pair of home runs in one game since June 20, 2014. Outfielder Jason Coats, who is now in the Major Leagues with the White Sox, socked two long balls in a win over Salem on that day. Nash became the 29th different player in the Dash era (2009-present) to go deep twice. It was the 39th multi-homer game of the Dash era.
  • At the end of June, the Dash found themselves in the bottom half of the Carolina League in team home runs (40). However, Winston-Salem has churned out 13 long balls in the first 10 days of July, which already surpasses the club’s efforts in April and June (12 in each). The Dash are only three long balls away from their season-high for a month (May). The only CL team with more July homers than the Dash is Frederick, who has 19 overall and eight thus far this series.
  • Sunday starter Jordan Stephens labored over four innings, during which he needed 87 pitches. Stephens gave up three runs on six hits in a no-decision. Before this outing, the former Rice Owl had given up just one run in his previous 27.1 innings. Still, Stephens’ earned run average stands at 3.57, which is ninth-lowest among qualified Carolina League pitchers.
  • One day after Stephens, the White Sox fifth-round pick in 2015, took the mound, the Dash turn to Chicago’s fifth-rounder from 2014. Righty Zach Thompson will make his High-A debut in Monday’s finale. While with Low-A Kannapolis, Thompson went 6-3 with a 2.62 ERA, the fourth-best qualified ERA in the South Atlantic League. A Midseason All-Star in the SAL, Thompson made 16 starts with the Intimidators in each of the last two years (2015: 3-8, 4.44 ERA).
  • Zach is not the only Thompson brother who has suited up in Minor League Baseball. His older brother Matt passed up college and went into the Texas Rangers’ system after being a seventh-round pick in 2008. Zach had an opportunity to watch his brother play in Hickory in 2010, and five years later, Zach was suiting up against the Crawdads as a member of the Kannapolis Intimidators. Thanks to his promotion to the Dash on July 11, Zach has now soared higher than his brother in the Minors. Matt peaked with the Low-A Hickory Crawdads in 2010 and 2011, combining to go 12-14 with a 5.17 ERA in 51 appearances. Overall in the Minors, Matt was 16-19 in 75 appearances (54 starts).
  • Even though the club was just 24-46, Kannapolis had five All-Star honorees, and Thompson had the biggest impact during the North Division’s 2-1 victory in Lexington, Ky. Thompson worked a perfect sixth inning, during which he struck out a pair. Two other SAL All-Stars have logged time with the Dash this season–southpaw Tanner Banks, who did not appear in the game because he was promoted to the Dash, and infielder Danny Mendick, who went 0-for-2. The other two Kannapolis products in the Midsummer Classic were infielder Landon Lassiter (1-for-2, single) and Seby Zavala (0-for-0, walk).
  • Several Dash hitters are at or near the top of the Carolina League in various offensive categories. Nick Basto (.324) and Robbins (.305) are first and second, respectively, among active, qualified CL hitters. Basto had reached in six straight plate appearances before a sixth-inning strikeout Sunday, while Mason Robbins saw his four-game multi-hit streak end with just his second 0-for-5 day of the season. Hunter Jones paces the circuit in hits (96) and at-bats (341), while he is second in runs (60) and fourth in stolen bases (30).
  • After Monday’s finale in Maryland, the Dash return to the Triad for a seven-game homestand that begins Wednesday at BB&T Ballpark, which has drawn 1,998,520 fans in its seven-season history. Thus, with only 1,480 fans to go until the two-million mark, the Dash will surpass this milestone in their series opener with Potomac. The downtown facility, which was named the best ballpark in High-A via a fan vote on Ballpark Digest earlier this year, was the quickest to reach one million fans, and it will be the second-quickest to get to two million fans.
  • Starting Wednesday, the Dash will play 21 of their next 29 at BB&T Ballpark before finishing with 17 out of 23 road games.
  • Former Dash star Carson Fulmer spun a perfect inning and struck out two in Sunday’s MLB Futures Game.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Monday’s contest will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 1:45 p.m., with the first pitch set for 2:00 p.m.

-Joe

Game #87 Preview – Dash at Frederick

Game #87 – Road Game #44
Winston-Salem Dash (8-8, 36-50) at Frederick Keys (8-8, 44-42)
Sunday, July 10 – 6:00 p.m. 
NYMEO Field (Frederick, Md.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Frederick jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but Winston-Salem surged back to claim a wacky 13-11 win on Saturday at NYMEO Field. With red-hot Jordan Stephens on the mound, the Dash continue this four-game series against the Keys on Sunday at 6 p.m.

STARTING LINEUP:

Stephens640_0524_1

Jordan Stephens has logged six straight quality starts (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Mason Robbins – RF
Nick Basto – 1B
Telvin Nash – DH
Toby Thomas – 2B
Chris O’Dowd – C
Michael Suiter – LF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Jordan Stephens – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Winston-Salem erased a six-run deficit to win on Saturday. The club had not mustered a bigger come-from-behind-win since May 22, 2009, when a 7-0 Salem lead turned into an 8-7 Dash victory. This was the seventh time since the nickname change to Dash in 2009 that the franchise overcame a six-run deficit to win a game. The last instance also came against the Red Sox (June 1, 2015, at BB&T Ballpark).
  • The Dash have not used the long ball much this season. They entered Saturday’s game fifth on the circuit with 47 homers, but they cranked four over the course of three innings. Winston fell one home run shy of the Dash-era record in a single-game (five), which was recently matched on July 1 at Wilmington. Here are some details on each of the Dash’s home runs:
    Brett Austin: 6th of 2016 (T-3rd among CL Cs)
    Marcus Davis: Part of career high-tying three-run day (second three-run game this month)
    Telvin Nash: 4 homers in 16 games with Dash
    Mason Robbins: Part of fourth multi-hit game in a row (9-for-16, 5RBI, 4R during this stretch)
  • All four Southern Division teams claimed wins Saturday during this all-interdivisional weekend in the CL. On Friday, the Northern Division’s quartet went a perfect 4-0.
  • Winston-Salem has scored 59 runs, or 11.8 per game, in its five victories this month. Three of those five wins have come with a double-digit run output. However, the Dash had not won a game when surrendering 10 or more runs since July 8, 2012, when Winston-Salem outlasted Lynchburg 13-12 in 12 innings.
  • Saturday starter Kelvis Valerio also claimed a unique part of Dash history by becoming the first person since the nickname change to earn a win when giving up eight runs. He surrendered those eight runs (six earned) over five innings.
  • Several Dash hitters are at or near the top of the Carolina League in various offensive categories. Nick Basto (.321) and Robbins (.310) are first and second, respectively, among active, qualified CL hitters. Joey Meneses, formerly of Carolina and now with Double-A Mississippi, is the only qualified hitter ahead of the Dash duo at .342. Hunter Jones paces the circuit in hits (96) and at-bats (336), while he is second in runs (60) and fourth in total bases (137) and steals (30).
  • After Thursday’s crowd of 3,825, the Dash have drawn 1,998,520 fans in BB&T Ballpark’s seven-season history. Thus, with only 1,480 to go until the two-million mark, the Dash will surpass this milestone this coming Wednesday, when the Dash host Potomac at 7 p.m. The downtown facility, which was named the best ballpark in High-A via a fan vote on Ballpark Digest earlier this year, was the quickest to reach one million fans, and it will be the second-quickest to get to two million fans. The Dash currently lead the CL in overall attendance (177,608).
  • Stephens has logged six consecutive quality starts entering Sunday’s contest. The former Rice Owl has only given up one run over his last 27.1 innings dating back to the fifth frame of his start at Carolina on June 10. Stephens has punched out 32 over his last four starts (24.2 innings), including a career high-tying nine over six shutout innings in front of a sold out crowd on the Fourth of July.
  • Former Dash righty Carson Fulmer (2015) will suit up for the U.S. Team in Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game in San Diego.
  • Winston-Salem pitching allowed three homers Saturday, which ties a season-high for the staff.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Sunday’s contest will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 5:45 p.m., with the first pitch set for 6:00 p.m.

-Joe

Game #86 Preview – Dash at Frederick

Game #86 – Road Game #43
Winston-Salem Dash (7-8, 35-50) at Frederick Keys (8-7, 44-41)
Saturday, July 9 – 6:00 p.m. 
NYMEO Field (Frederick, Md.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Frederick Keys scored four in the first and never looked back in an 8-1 win over Winston-Salem in Friday’s series opener at NYMEO Field.  The Dash look to snap a five-game losing streak to Frederick on Saturday night.

STARTING LINEUP:

Valerio640_0524_3

Kelvis Valerio has a 2.76 ERA in three starts this season with Winston-Salem (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Mason Robbins – RF
Nick Basto – LF
Marcus Davis – DH
Telvin Nash – 1B
Toby Thomas – 2B
Brett Austin – C
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Kelvis Valerio – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Over the last two games, Winston-Salem has flip-flopped its two-hole and three-hole hitters. Gerson Montilla has jumped to the two spot, while Mason Robbins is now hitting third. So far, this subtle change has paid off for both men. They have logged back-to-back multi-hit efforts, with Montilla going 5-for-7 with an RBI and two runs. Montilla reached in every trip to the plate Friday thanks to a pair of walks. Robbins is 5-for-8 with two RBIs and two runs. He leads the club with 27 multi-hit contests.
  • Robbins and the Dash’s cleanup hitter Nick Basto have surged to the top of the Carolina League in batting average. Among active CL hitters who qualify for the batting race, Basto leads the way with a .316 average, with Robbins occupying second place. Only one qualified hitter has a better average than this Dash duo–Joey Meneses, formerly of the Carolina Mudcats. In 66 games before joining Double-A Mississippi, Meneses boasted a .342 average here in the CL.
  • On Friday, Winston-Salem suffered its most lopsided loss since May 6, 9-0 home defeat at the hands of Salem. However, all other Southern Division clubs lost, which means the Dash still possess a share of first place in the second half.
  • Two red-hot Dash hitters endured 0-for-4 games in Friday’s opener in Maryland. Infielder Toby Thomas was leading High-A baseball with an average of .458 (22-for-48) since the All-Star break before going hitless. He still stands second to Potomac’s Max Schrock (.451) and fourth in High-A during this span with a .423 mark (since June 23).
  • Also, catcher Chris O’Dowd boasted a .474 (9-for-19) with five RBIs and six runs scored in his previous five games, but he struck out three times for the first time since June 20, 2014, while with High-A Modesto in Colorado’s system.
  • Beginning with Friday’s contest, the Dash and Keys will meet 14 times in the second half after Frederick claimed four of the six meetings prior to the All-Star break. Despite the loss in the series opener, the Dash have enjoyed their recent visits to Maryland. Since 2012, Winston-Salem is 28-18 (.609) at NYMEO Field, including a 2-2 record thus far this season.
  • After Thursday’s crowd of 3,825, the Dash have drawn 1,998,520 fans in BB&T Ballpark’s seven-season history. Thus, with only 1,480 to go until the two-million mark, the Dash will surpass this milestone this coming Wednesday, when the Dash host Potomac at 7 p.m. The downtown facility, which was named the best ballpark in High-A via a fan vote on Ballpark Digest earlier this year, was the quickest to reach one million fans, and it will be the second-quickest to get to two million fans. The Dash currently lead the CL in overall attendance (177,608).
  • Saturday starter Kelvis Valerio is 1-1 with a 2.76 earned run average in three appearances since joining the rotation when All-Star Matt Cooper was promoted to Double-A Birmingham.
  • Former Winston-Salem star Carlos Rodon (2-7, 4.50 ERA in 2016) was placed on the White Sox 15-day disabled list due to a sprained right wrist.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Saturday’s contest will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 5:45 p.m., with the first pitch set for 6:00 p.m.

-Joe

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