Game #39/40 Preview – Dash at Myrtle Beach

Game two Dash lineup:

Adam Engel – CF
Hunter Jones – LF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Keon Barnum – DH
Marcus Davis – 1B
Louie Lechich – RF
Ryan Leonards – 2B
Sean O’Connell – C
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Andre Wheeler – LHP

Game #39 & #40 – Road Game #18 & #19
Winston-Salem Dash (14-24) at Myrtle Beach Pelicans (20-16)
Wednesday, May 18 – 5:05 p.m. (doubleheader)
TicketReturn.Com Field (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Steady rain in the Myrtle Beach area prompted the postponement of Winston-Salem’s series opener against the Pelicans at TicketReturn.Com Field. Thus, the Dash and Pelicans will duel in a twin bill on Wednesday for the first time since April 18, 2015, when Myrtle swept both ends at BB&T Ballpark.

STARTING LINEUP (Game 1):

160508-0632-JS

Thad Lowry will get the ball for game one of the doubleheader, while Andre Wheeler (above) will start the second contest (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Adam Engel – CF
Hunter Jones – RF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Mason Robbins – LF
Brett Austin – C
Toby Thomas – 2B
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Thad Lowry – RHP

DASH DOTS

  • Outfielder Adam Engel has shined in his first week back with Winston-Salem. Engel, who began the year with Double-A Birmingham, is hitting an even .400 (12-for-30) with three RBIs and four doubles in seven games with the Dash. The former Louisville star has scored 10 times, tied for the fourth-highest total in Minor League Baseball during this span (May 10-present). Former Dash star Tim Anderson (12), the reigning International League Player of the Week with Triple-A Charlotte, is one of the three ahead of Engel since last Tuesday.
  • Engel and Hunter Jones, who competed against one another while growing up in Southwest Ohio, have formed an outstanding one-two punch at the top of Winston-Salem’s lineup. The only Carolina Leaguer who has played 38 games this year, Jones’ season batting average (.283) is at its highest point since April 15 thanks to an 8-for-11 surge in the last three games. The former Cleveland farmhand is fourth on the circuit in hits (43), stolen bases (16) and triples (4), while his 28 runs scored are good for fifth.
  • Engel, Jones and Ryan Leonards all swiped a base in Monday’s loss, marking the first time since Opening Night (April 7 at Lynchburg) that the Dash amassed three stolen bases. Within the Carolina League, the Dash are last in stolen bases (22), five shy of seventh-place Wilmington.
  • Once again, Winston-Salem and Myrtle Beach will renew their rivalry over the next two nights at TicketReturn.Com Field. Since the start of the 2015 season, the Dash and Pelicans have met 41 times (regular season and postseason), with Myrtle Beach owning a narrow 23-18 advantage.  The final margin has been three runs or less in 15 of the last 16 matchups, with the exception being this past Wednesday (5-1 Dash win). There will be a fairly significant idle period for this season series after this three-game set, which marks the end of the clubs’ 15-game slate against each other in the first half. The next series takes place July 4-7 at BB&T Ballpark.
  • Even though Matt Cooper set a new career-high in runs on Monday, he also earned a share of the top spot in the Minors in strikeouts by logging five. Cooper has punched out 55, which are even with Atlanta prospect Lucas Sims. and Toronto farmhand Francisco Rios for the top spot. Cooper has struck out an average of 11 batters per nine innings thus far this season.
  • Speaking of Dash hitters near the top of the Carolina League, infielder Gerson Montilla drove home eight runs in the four-game set with Potomac, giving him a team-high 26 RBIs on the season. He is sixth in the CL in that category and only two away from a share of third place.
  • Due to an 0-for-4 effort Monday, Toby Thomas’ eight-game hitting streak came to an end. He was 9-for-29 (.310) with four RBIs during the streak, which was tied for the second-longest by a Dash hitter this season (9 by Nick Basto from April 21-30).
  • Righty Manny Martinez matched a season-best by a Winston-Salem reliever with five strikeouts over three shutout innings on Monday.
  • The Dash will play 11 of their next 14 games away from BB&T Ballpark, with the lone stop at home coming May 24-26 when Frederick invades the Triad for the first time this year.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 4:50 p.m., with the first pitch set for 5:05 p.m.

– Joe

Game #38 Preview – Dash vs. Potomac

Game #38 – Home Game #21
Winston-Salem Dash (14-23) vs. Potomac Nationals (18-16)
Monday, May 16 – 11 a.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Potomac downed the Dash 13-6 in a Sunday slugfest at BB&T Ballpark. Despite the loss, Winston-Salem could still clinch its first home series win of 2016 in Monday’s matinee.

STARTING LINEUP:

Montilla640_0416_1

Gerson Montilla clubbed a home run and drove home four in Sunday’s loss (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Adam Engel – LF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Mason Robbins – RF
Brett Austin – C
Toby Thomas – 2B
Ryan Leonards – SS
Matt Cooper – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • In the losing effort, Gerson Montilla continued his stellar homestand with two hits and four RBIs, including a three-run blast to right-center in the third inning (74th MiLB home run). Montilla, who leads Winston-Salem with 25 RBIs, is 6-for-12 with seven RBIs in the first three games of this series (2-for-21 in previous five contests).
  • A key to the Nationals’ big afternoon was their ability to coax 12 walks, which matches the highest single-game total in the Dash era (2009-present). The other two occurrences took place against now-defunct Kinston (April 10, 2009, and May 26, 2011). Winston-Salem also matched a season-high with four walks in one inning (the P-Nats’ three-run seventh). The Dash’s erratic pitching prompted a bizarre aspect of Sunday’s game–all three relievers entered the contest with the bases loaded. Six of those nine inherited runners ultimately came around to score.
  • Brandon Brennan’s three-inning effort on Sunday brought an impressive four-game streak to an end for Dash starters. Winston-Salem’s rotation had strung together four straight starts of seven or more innings. This included Spencer Adams’ eight-inning gem, the longest by a Dash hurler in 2016, in Saturday’s 4-2 win over Potomac. Before this four-game run, the Dash had only received two starts of seven innings this year.
  • Monday starter Matt Cooper is one of Minor League Baseball’s most prolific strikeout pitchers. After punching out nine on Wednesday at Myrtle Beach, Cooper became the third Minor Leaguer to reach 50 strikeouts, and he was just one shy of the top spot in the Minors in that category. He remains in third place, though he is now five behind Atlanta prospect Lucas Sims (55) for the top spot in the Minor Leagues. Milwaukee farmhand Jon Perrin is second with 51. Cooper’s 50 strikeouts have come in seven outings, and he has never whiffed fewer than five in a start. More information on Cooper is available on page 3 of the attached document.
  • The busiest player in the Carolina League has also been one of the most productive as of late. Hunter Jones is the only Carolina Leaguer who has played 37 games, and he has logged back-to-back three-hit performances. Jones is tops among active Winston-Salem position players in three-plus hit showings (5). Only Nick Basto (7), now with Double-A Birmingham, has recorded more for the Dash this year.
  • With an eighth-inning double Sunday, Toby Thomas extended his hitting streak to eight games, one shy of the longest by a Winston-Salem hitter in 2016 (Basto, April 21-30). During this span, the Alabama native boasts a .310 average (9-for-29) with four RBIs. Thomas’ run is tied for the longest active in the CL.
  • One day after playing its quickest nine-inning game of the campaign (2:12), Winston-Salem recorded its longest nine-inning contest (3:14).

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Monday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 10:45 a.m., with the first pitch set for 11 a.m.

– Brian

Game #37 Preview – Dash vs. Potomac

Game #37 – Home Game #20
Winston-Salem Dash (14-22) vs. Potomac Nationals (17-16)
Sunday, May 15 – 2:00 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Dash right-hander Spencer Adams limited the Potomac Nationals to two runs on three hits in a career-high eight innings in Winston-Salem’s 4-2 victory in front of 5,153 fans at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash go for their first series win at BB&T Ballpark this season on Sunday.

STARTING LINEUP:

160508-0393-JS

Spencer Adams dazzled in the Dash’s 4-2 victory on Saturday night, throwing a career-high eight innings to pick up the win (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Adam Engel – LF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Mason Robbins – RF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Sean O’Connell – C
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Brandon Brennan – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • The third-best prospect in the White Sox system according to multiple outlets, Adams had never worked more than seven innings in his Minor League career (four starts of exactly 7.0 frames). The 20-year-old has logged at least five innings in his last seven efforts, and he paces the Carolina League with 45.0 innings of work overall this season. Adams has permitted two earned runs or fewer in six of his eight starts (six earned runs in his other two starts).
  • Adams continued an impressive streak by the Dash’s starting staff. Winston-Salem’s rotation has recorded four consecutive starts of seven or more innings, with the first three occurrences being exactly seven innings. Matt Cooper started the streak on Wednesday at Myrtle Beach when he became the third Minor Leaguer to reach 50 strikeouts with nine whiffs of Myrtle Beach. Thad Lowry (2R) suffered a tough-luck loss against the Pelicans on Thursday. Jordan Stephens settled for a no-decision after his career-long outing in Friday’s walk-off win. Before this run, only two Dash starts had lasted seven innings.
  • Despite loading the bases in the ninth, righty Jacob Morris pushed his scoreless outing streak to eight, spanning 13.2 innings. The converted outfielder has scattered five hits and struck out 12 during this impressive run.
  • After a tough start to the home slate, Winston-Salem is starting to find its stride in the normally friendly confides of BB&T Ballpark. For the first time since a seven-game run from August 20-29, the Dash have strung together back-to-back victories at home. Winston-Salem entered 2016 with a 244-176 (.581) record in the first six seasons of BB&T Ballpark’s existence, but the club started 3-14 at home this year before these consecutive victories. The Dash’s 5-14 home mark is second-worst in the Carolina League, with only Wilmington (4-14) behind them.
  • Multiple Dash hitters are shining as of late. With a 3-for-4 effort on Saturday night,Hunter Jones logged his fourth game of three or more hits. He is tops among active Winston-Salem position players. Only Nick Basto (7), now with Double-A Birmingham, has recorded more for the Dash this season. Toby Thomas pushed his hitting streak to a season-long seven games, two shy of the longest by a Dash hitter this year (Basto, April 21-30). During this surge, Thomas boasts a .320 (8-for-25) average. Gerson Montilla is 4-for-7 in this series after falling into a 2-for-21 funk in his previous five contests.
  • Right-hander Brandon Brennan, a member of the White Sox 40-man roster, will make his third start with Winston-Salem on Sunday. His first outing on May 4 against Myrtle Beach ended after he took a line drive off his right hand. Six days later in Myrtle, he had to leave in the midst of the third inning after being ejected.
  • Saturday’s game was the shortest nine-inning contest for the Dash this year (2:12).
  • The Dash have drawn 12,338 fans to the first two games of this series, including the eighth-best crowd in BB&T Ballpark history Friday (7,185). The Dash lead the CL in attendance (75,387; 4,188/game).

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 1:45 p.m., with the first pitch set for 2 p.m.

-Joe

Game #36 Preview – Dash vs. Potomac

Game #36 – Home Game #19
Winston-Salem Dash (13-22) vs. Potomac Nationals (17-15)
Saturday, May 14 – 6:30 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

In his first game at BB&T Ballpark since last year’s playoffs, Adam Engel laced a walk-off single in the 11th inning to propel Winston-Salem past Potomac 5-4. The Dash try to string together their first winning streak at home this season on Saturday night against the Nationals.

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel

After his walk-off hit, Adam Engel (center) is now 9-for-19 with the Dash in 2016 (Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images).

Adam Engel – CF
Hunter Jones – RF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Toby Thomas – 2B
Louie Lechich – RF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Spencer Adams – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • The Dash earned just their fourth home win of 2016 in Friday’s opener with Potomac. Two of those home triumphs have come in walk-off fashion. On April 19, Toby Thomas delivered a game-winning single to complete a come-from-behind victory over Myrtle Beach. Winston-Salem is 4-14 (.222) at home, even with Wilmington for the league’s worst home mark. However, on the road, the Dash boast a 9-8 mark.

  • After Friday’s game, Engel said that Winston-Salem and BB&T Ballpark “feel like home.” He has felt at home in the Dash purple since rejoining the club on Monday from Double-A Birmingham. Engel is 9-for-19 (.474) with two RBIs and five runs scored in his four games at the High-A level this year. The former Louisville star has recorded at least two hits in every game after posting just a .170 (17-for-100) mark while with the Barons. Last season, Engel was a Year-End CL All-Star after leading the circuit in games (136), stolen bases (65) and runs scored (90).

  • Engel’s three-hit performance was one of many key performances for the Dash on Friday. Toby Thomas drove home a pair of runs while moving his season-long hit streak to six games. Gerson Montilla also collected two RBIs, and his two hits snapped a 2-for-21 funk.

  • Friday starter Jordan Stephens continued the Dash’s recent trend of great starting pitching with a career-long seven-inning outing, during which he limited the P-Nats to three runs on six six hits. Stephens had only lasted longer than four innings one other time this season (6.0 IP on April 20 vs. Myrtle Beach). As a result, the Dash’s starting staff has churned out three consecutive seven-inning outings. Matt Cooper gave up just one run and pushed his season strikeout total to 50 on Wednesday at Myrtle Beach. Thad Lowry followed with a two-run effort in a tough-luck loss Thursday against the Birds.

  • Engel and the Dash walked off with a victory in front of 7,185 fans, which is the eighth-best crowd in BB&T Ballpark’s seven-season history. The Dash pace the CL in both overall (70,234) and average (4,131) attendance thus far this season. In fact, the White Sox top three affiliates lead their respective leagues in both categories:
    – Triple-A Charlotte: 144,101 (9,006 average)
    – Double-A Birmingham: 98,011 (7,001 average)

  • Winston-Salem alumnus Chris Sale submitted another masterpiece on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. Sale needed just 99 pitches for his second complete game of 2016. He gave up just one run on six hits while punching out six in the White Sox 7-1 victory. Sale is not only the first Major League pitcher to reach eight wins, but no other man has collected more than six personal wins. Jake Arrieta (Cubs), Rick Porcello (Red Sox) and Erasmo Ramirez (Rays) are the only pitchers with six victories. Sale’s 1.67 ERA is fourth-best among Major League qualifiers.

  • Winston-Salem moved to 2-2 in extra-inning games with Friday’s win. The Dash had not claimed an extra-inning home victory since July 4, 2015, and had dropped nine of their previous 12 extra-inning affairs since the start of last year.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Saturday’s game 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 at 6:30 p.m.

-Joe

Game #35 Preview – Dash vs. Potomac

Game #35 – Home Game #18
Winston-Salem Dash (12-22) vs. Potomac Nationals (17-14)
Friday, May 13 – 7:00 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Myrtle Beach’s Trevor Clifton bested Winston-Salem’s Thad Lowry in an outstanding pitching matchup in the Pelicans’ 3-0 win in Thursday’s rubber match at TicketReturn.Com Field. The Dash return to BB&T Ballpark on Friday to face off against the Potomac Nationals for the first time this season.

STARTING LINEUP:

Robbins640_0426_2

Mason Robbins has hit safely in 17 of his last 20 games (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Adam Engel – CF
Hunter Jones – RF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Mason Robbins – LF
Brett Austin – C
Toby Thomas – 2B
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Jordan Stephens – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Winston-Salem’s pitching staff shined in its set at Myrtle Beach. The Dash boasted a 2.88 ERA (8 ER in 25.0 IP). Lowry and Matt Cooper, who became the third Minor Leaguer to reach 50 strikeouts on Wednesday, logged back-to-back quality starts, giving Winston nine on the year.
  • The Pelicans handed Winston-Salem its first loss in a road series since the first set of 2016 at Lynchburg (April 7-10). The Dash had rattled off three consecutive road series triumphs for the first time since June 13-30, 2013. Had the Dash earned a win Thursday, they would have claimed a fourth consecutive road series for the first time since July 27 to August 18 of 2012, the year the club posted the best overall record in full-season Minor League Baseball (87-51-1).
  • Home games have not gone nearly as well for Winston-Salem. After posting a 244-178 (.581) record at BB&T Ballpark in the facility’s first six seasons, the Dash are off to a 3-14 start at home this year. Two of the six all-time sweeps for opponents have come this season, while the Dash have lost five straight home series at the facility for the first time ever. In fact, this marks the first time that the franchise has lost more than two straight home series since at least 2004 (MiLB records are available from 2005-present).
  • Outfielder Adam Engel makes his return to BB&T Ballpark for the first time since the 2015 Southern Division Championship Series. Engel rejoined the Dash from Double-A Birmingham on Monday, and he recorded two hits in each of the three games at Myrtle Beach. Last season in Winston-Salem, Engel played 136 games, the most by a Carolina Leaguer since Dash slugger Ian Gac played all 140 in 2011. Engel’s 65 stolen bases were third-best in the Minors, and he was first in runs (90) and second in hits (133) in the CL.
  • Fellow outfielders Hunter Jones and Mason Robbins have been playing well as of late. The only Carolina Leaguer who has played in 34 games, Jones owns a .293 batting average with two homers and five RBIs in Winston-Salem’s 11 games this month. He also stands fifth on the circuit with 13 stolen bases. Since a 3-for-26 start to his High-A career, Robbins has hit safely in 17 of his last 20 contests, during which he is hitting .333 (26-for-78).
  • Before returning to Myrtle Beach for another three-game series next week, the Dash will entertain the Potomac Nationals for a wrap-around four-game set inside BB&T Ballpark. Friday marks the first of 18 duels between the purple-clad Dash and the Red, White and Blue defenders of Woodbridge, Va. The P-Nats have claimed the season series in back-to-back seasons after Winston-Salem did not lose a season set to Potomac from 2008-13.
  • Friday starter Jordan Stephens retired the first 11 he faced on Saturday against Salem. He then gave up six runs and did not retire a batter in the fifth.
  • Dash alum Chris Sale aims to become the Major League’s first eight-game winner when he takes to the hill Friday against the Yankees.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Friday’s game 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 at 7:00 p.m.

-Joe

Game #34 Preview – Dash at Myrtle Beach

Game #34 – Road Game #17
Winston-Salem Dash (12-21) at Myrtle Beach Pelicans (16-15)
Thursday, May 12 – 7:05 p.m.
TicketReturn.Com Field (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Behind another sterling outing from right-hander Matt Cooper, Winston-Salem upended Myrtle Beach 5-1 in Wednesday’s middle match from TicketReturn.Com Field. The Dash look to win their fourth consecutive road series on Thursday.

STARTING LINEUP:

Lechich640_0426_1

Louie Lechich capped the scoring in Winston-Salem’s 5-1 win on Wednesday at Myrtle Beach with a two-run single in the eighth (Jody Stewart/ W-S Dash).

Adam Engel – CF
Hunter Jones – RF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Mason Robbins – LF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Sean O’Connell – C
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Thad Lowry – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • With his career high-tying nine strikeouts during Wednesday’s win, Cooper became the third Minor League hurler to reach 50 strikeouts on the season. He is one punchout shy of the top spot in the Minors, which currently belongs to the duo of Jon Perrin (Brewers) and Lucas Sims (Braves). Both of those hurlers, who have 51 whiffs, have pitched for two different teams in their respective systems. The former University of Hawaii star has accumulated at least five strikeouts in every outing. Before 2016, Cooper was exclusively a reliever as a professional.
  • Behind Cooper, Jacob Morris continued his outstanding start to 2016 with a pair of hitless frames out of the bullpen. Since joining the Dash on April 16, the converted outfielder has allowed just three hits and whiffed 11 in seven relief efforts spanning 12.2 scoreless innings.
  • The top-of-the-order duo of Adam Engel and Hunter Jones have been instrumental to the Dash’s offensive attack in this series. Engel, who is back with the club after some early-season struggles in Double-A Birmingham, has posted consecutive two-hit games to start his High-A work for 2016. He and Jones, who is a .316 (12-for-38) swinger this month and has hit safely in five straight, amassed an RBI on Wednesday.
  • While Winston-Salem is off to its worst home start in BB&T Ballpark’s seven-season history (3-14), the club has continued to shine while away from the Triad. The Dash moved to 9-7 on the road with Wednesday’s victory, and they have a chance to claim their fourth road series win in a row. The last time Winston accomplished that feat was from July 27 to August 18 of 2012, the year the club posted the best overall record in full-season Minor League Baseball (87-51-1).
  • On Wednesday, Winston-Salem snapped a five-game losing streak against the Pelicans. These two teams have played 40 times since the start of 2015, and the two teams each had 17 wins before the Pelicans rattled off that five-game surge. Not only did the Dash stop that trend, but they ended a streak of 14 consecutive meetings between the two clubs that were decided by three runs or less. The Dash return to Myrtle Beach next Tuesday through Thursday for the final first-half duel between these Southern Division rivals.
  • Between trips to the Grand Strand, the Dash will entertain the Potomac Nationals during a wrap-around four-game series inside BB&T Ballpark. Friday marks the first of 18 duels between the purple-clad Dash and the Red, White and Blue defenders of Woodbridge, Va. The P-Nats have claimed the season series between the two clubs in back-to-back seasons after Winston-Salem did not lose a season set to the Nationals from 2008-13. This included a 10-0 record for the Dash against Potomac in the Triad in 2012.
  • Infielder Cleuluis Rondon snapped an 0-for-19 slump at the High-A level with a third-inning single Wednesday.
  • Thad Lowry recorded his first High-A quality start and victory in the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader against Salem (6.0 IP/2 R).
  • Winston-Salem is a perfect 5-0 in road games when its hurler tosses a quality start.

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 Dash will begin at 6:50 p.m, with the first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

-Joe

Game #33 Preview – Dash at Myrtle Beach

Game #33 – Road Game #16
Winston-Salem Dash (11-21) at Myrtle Beach Pelicans (16-14)
Wednesday, May 11 – 7:05 p.m.
TicketReturn.Com Field (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Winston-Salem threatened in the ninth inning, but Myrtle Beach survived for a 5-2 victory in Tuesday’s series opener at TicketReturn.Com Field. The Dash look to right the ship in the second game of a three-game set against the Pelicans.

STARTING LINEUP:

160506-0084-JS

Dash right-hander Matt Cooper leads the Carolina League this season with 41 strikeouts (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Adam Engel – CF
Hunter Jones – LF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Louie Lechich – RF
Danny Mendick – 2B
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Matt Cooper – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • The new top two in the Dash’s order put together a strong showing on Tuesday. Outfielder Adam Engel went 2-for-5 and scored the Dash’s only two runs in his first game with the club after struggling in Double-A Birmingham to begin the season. Hunter Jones reached base in all but one of his five plate appearances. He fell one knock shy of his career high while also delivering his 10th RBI of 2016.

  • Engel emphatically snapped a 1-for-28 funk with a scalded single in the fifth inning, which was part of his first multi-hit game since April 25 and his fifth all season. In his first game in right field since September 6, 2015, Jones made a dazzling catch to rob Daniel Lockhart of extra bases in the fifth. He also remained the lone Carolina Leaguer to play in 32 games this season. Jones, who is hitting .333 with two homers and four RBIs in the month of May, is tied with Davis for the CL lead in at-bats (128). Jones also stands fifth on the circuit in stolen bases (13).

  • The Dash’s other starting outfielder submitted another strong effort. Mason Robbins chimed in with his seventh multi-hit game (2-for-4). He has hit safely in 16 of his last 19 games, during which the Mississippi native boasts a .338 (25-for-74) average with eight RBIs and five runs.

  • Winston-Salem starter Matt Cooper will attempt to add to his Carolina League-leading strikeout total of 41. Only two pitchers–Wilmington’s Josh Staumont (38) and Potomac’s Phillips Valdez (36) are within seven strikeouts of the former Hawaii star. Cooper is tied for ninth in all of Minor League Baseball in this category. Atlanta prospect Lucas Sims leads the way with 51. Cooper has punched out at least five in all six of his previous starts, and he is averaging 10.9 whiffs per nine innings. This marks Cooper’s first season as a starter in the pros. He struck out 12.8 per nine innings in his first two Minor League seasons as a reliever.

  • For just the second time all season, Winston-Salem has strung together back-to-back multi-error games (April 24 & 26). Still, the Dash stand second in the CL in fielding percentage (.977), just behind Salem (.978). Winston committed 10 defensive miscues in its first three games, but the club has only amassed 18 since then.

  • Myrtle Beach is starting to take charge in a rivalry that has been very tightly contested since the start of last season. These two teams have played 39 times since the start of 2015, and the two teams each had 17 wins before the Pelicans rattled off the five most recent duels, including a sweep for Myrtle Beach at BB&T Ballpark last week. It was just the sixth sweep by an opponent since the ballpark opened in 2010. The last 14 tilts between the Southern Division combatants have been decided by three runs or less.

  • First baseman Keon Barnum is 3-for-9 in his first two games back with the club after spending the season’s first month on the disabled list.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio App. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:50 p.m., with the first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

-Joe

Game #32 Preview – Dash at Myrtle Beach

Game #32 – Road Game #15
Winston-Salem Dash (11-20) at Myrtle Beach Pelicans (15-14)
Tuesday, May 10 – 7:05 p.m.
TicketReturn.Com Field (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Despite a two-run bomb from Gerson Montilla, the Dash fell in Sunday’s series finale with Salem 8-3 at BB&T Ballpark. For the second time this year, the Dash hit the road for a three-game against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Winston-Salem took two of three from the Pelicans on the Grand Strand from April 11-13.

STARTING LINEUP:

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Adam Engel is back with Winston-Salem for the first time since last season’s postseason run (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Adam Engel – CF
Hunter Jones – RF
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Toby Thomas – 2B
Mason Robbins – LF
Brett Austin – C
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Brandon Brennan – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • The reigning Carolina League Player of the Month is no longer on the circuit. The White Sox announced Monday that Nick Basto has earned his first ever promotion to Double-A Birmingham. Basto hit .345 with five homers and 18 RBIs in 30 games with the Dash. He led the Minors with 39 hits in the month of April, which led to the club’s first monthly honoree since 2013. In his Double-A debut Monday, the former fifth-round pick went 2-for-5 with an RBI in the Barons’ 9-8 home win over Jackson.
  • The corresponding move netted Winston-Salem one of its best players during last season’s run to the Carolina League postseason. Outfielder Adam Engel returns to the Dash from Double-A Birmingham, with whom he hit .170 with six RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Last season with Winston-Salem, Engel hit .251 with seven homers and 43 RBIs in a league-leading 136 games, the highest total by a CL player since 2011. The Louisville product was third in the Minors with 65 steals.
  • While Engel did struggle in Double-A, he had a phenomenal fall with the Glendale Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League, a prospect showcase in October and November. Engel hit .403 (27-for-67) with nine RBIs and 10 stolen bases en route to the MVP award, joining the likes of Kris Bryant (Cubs) and Nolan Arenado (Rockies) as past Fall League honorees.
  • Tuesday’s pitching matchup is a rematch of the deciding Game 3 of last year’s Southern Division Championship Series. Myrtle Beach’s Jonathan Martinez surrendered just an Engel two-run homer over six frames for the win, while Brandon Brennan surrendered four runs in 6.2 innings in a losing effort. The Pelicans clipped the Dash 4-3 to advance to the Mills Cup Finals, during which they swept Wilmington 3-0.
  • The Dash and Pelicans square off for a fourth series on the young season from Tuesday to Thursday. Last week in the Triad, Myrtle Beach earned just the sixth sweep for an opponent at BB&T Ballpark since the facility opened in 2010. Despite the Birds’ strong showing last week, the season series is still very close since the start of last season. Myrtle Beach possesses a 21-17 edge during this time frame, and the last 13 games have been decided by three runs or less.
  • After posting a 244-178 (.581) record at BB&T Ballpark in the facility’s first six seasons, the Dash are off to a 3-14 start at home this year. Two of the six all-time sweeps for opponents have come this month, while the Dash have lost five straight home series at the facility for the first time ever. In fact, this marks the first time that Winston-Salem had lost more than two consecutive home series since at least 2004 (MiLB records are available from 2005-present).
  • Mason Robbins’ eight-game hit streak came to an end on Sunday after an 0-for-4 effort. During his hitting streak, Robbins was 11-for-31 (.355) with three RBIs…It was one game shy of the longest by a Winston-Salem hitter this season (Basto, April 21-30).
  • Brennan left his last start on Wednesday against Myrtle Beach in the fifth inning after a line drive hit his right hand.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tuesday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio App. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:50 p.m., with the first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

-Joe

Game #31 Preview – Dash vs. Salem

Game #31 – Home Game #17
Winston-Salem Dash (11-19) vs. Salem Red Sox (20-9)
Sunday, May 8 – 2 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Winston snapped its five-game skid with a 4-2 win in Saturday’s opener before Salem salvaged a split thanks to an 8-4 triumph in the finale in front of 6,041 at BB&T Ballpark.

STARTING LINEUP:

Davis640_0419_1

Marcus Davis drove in four runs combined during the Dash’s doubleheader on Saturday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Nick Basto – LF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Mason Robbins – RF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Spencer Adams – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Marcus Davis recorded a pair of multi-RBI games in Saturday’s doubleheader, giving him a team-best seven such efforts in 2016. Davis is now the club’s overall RBI leader at 19, one more than Nick Basto. Thad Lowry recorded the club’s ninth quality start of the season, and he worked a season-high six innings in the opener. Jacob Morris logged his first High-A save with an easy seventh that pushed his scoreless streak to 10.2 innings to begin the season (9 K, 3 H).
  • Winston-Salem outscored the Red Sox 8-2 in the first 11 innings of Saturday’s doubleheader. Right-hander Jordan Stephens set down the first 11 he faced in the nightcap, but Salem broke out in the fifth. The Red Sox stormed ahead with eight in the frame, the second-worst inning for Dash pitching this season. Winston tied a Dash-era record with 10 runs allowed in the fifth inning against Lynchburg on April 27. The first eight men who came to the plate in Salem’s monster inning reached and scored.
  • From April 14-20, Winston-Salem dropped six of seven on a week-long homestand against Salem and Myrtle Beach. This matched the worst multi-series homestand in BB&T Ballpark’s seven-year history. The Dash, who are 3-13 at home this year, must win Sunday to avoid the same fate against the same two clubs.
  • On Sunday, the Chicago White Sox announced four roster moves affecting the Dash’s roster. First baseman Keon Barnum, who was with the Dash in 2014 and 2015, has been activated from the disabled list. Barnum led Winston-Salem in home runs (9) and finished second with 67 RBIs. Also, shortstop Cleuluis Rondon is back with  Winston-Salem after an 11-game stint with Low-A Kannapolis. Rondon hit .243 (9-for-37) with the Intimidators after a .138 (8-for-58) showing in 16 games with the Dash in April.
  • In order to make room for Barnum and Rondon, the White Sox assigned infielder Grant Massey to Kannapolis and outfielder Louis Silverio to extended spring training. Massey hit .158 (3-for-19) in six games with the Dash, while Silverio was 3-for-16 (.188). Silverio logged four outfield assists in his five starts with Winston-Salem.
  • Wednesday marked the 1,000th regular season game for Winston-Salem as the “Dash.” The franchise assumed this nickname prior to the 2009 season and has posted a 528-474-1 (.527) record since changing from Warthogs. During these eight years, Winston has qualified for the CL playoffs four times and the Mills Cup Finals twice, while 33 Dash alumni have reached MLB. Plus, the team has hosted an exhibition game with the White Sox (2011) and the California-Carolina League All-Star Game (2012).
  • Thanks to Mason Robbins’ RBI single in the second inning of game one, the Dash ended an 0-for-19 slump with runners in scoring position… It also snapped a 20-inning scoreless drought that stretched back to Tuesday’s eighth inning against Myrtle Beach.
  • Winston-Salem alumnus Chris Sale became the first Major League pitcher to earn seven personal victories in the White Sox 7-2 win over Minnesota. Sale struck out nine and gave up two runs in seven innings.

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 1:45 p.m., with the first pitch set for 2 p.m.

-Joe

Game #29 & #30 Preview – Dash vs. Salem

UPDATE – 7:30 p.m.

Game two Dash lineup:

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – DH
Marcus Davis – 1B
Mason Robbins – LF
Louie Lechich – RF
Danny Mendick – SS
Sean O’Connell – C
Jordan Stephens – RHP

Game #29 & #30 – Home Game #15 & #16
Winston-Salem Dash (10-18) vs. Salem Red Sox (19-8)
Saturday, May 7 – 5:30 p.m. (doubleheader)
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Winston-Salem mustered just two hits and sent only two more than the minimum to the plate in Salem’s 9-0 victory on Friday at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash will play a doubleheader against the Red Sox on Saturday, with the first game starting at 5:30 p.m.

STARTING LINEUP (Game 1):

Lowry640_0414_1

Thad Lowry (above) will get the ball for game one of the doubleheader, while Jordan Stephens will start the second game (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Hunter Jones – CF
Toby Thomas – 2B
Gerson Montilla – 3B
Nick Basto – 1B
Marcus Davis – DH
Brett Austin – C
Louis Silverio – RF
Mason Robbins – LF
Grant Massey – SS
Thad Lowry– RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • In his first six starts of 2016, which are also his only six professional starting assignments, Matt Cooper has logged 41 strikeouts, which pace the Carolina League and are tied for fifth in all of Minor League Baseball. He is only six shy of the top spot, which belongs to Jon Perrin of Wisconsin (Low-A, Milwaukee). Cooper has punched out those 41 men in 34 frames of work, which calculates to 10.9 whiffs per nine innings.
  • Cooper is not the only Winston-Salem product who has performed at a high level amongst all Minor Leaguers. First baseman Nick Basto, who earned the CL’s Player of the Month award for April, is tied for second in the Minors with 41 hits. He is one shy of James Harris of Stockton (High-A, Oakland) for the top spot. Basto’s .380 batting average is second to Salem’s Andrew Benintendi (.381) in the CL and eight in MiLB. However, Basto is mired in his first lengthy funk of 2016. After posting a .433 mark in April, the former fifth-round pick is 2-for-18 (.111) in May.
  • Basto and Gerson Montilla have provided plenty of production in the heart of Winston-Salem’s lineup. In his last 15 games, the former Arizona farmhand has hit .345 (20-for-58) with 11 RBIs and 12 runs scored. Overall, Montilla is tied for seventh in the CL with 30 hits.
  • The Dash dropped to 2-12 this season at BB&T Ballpark thanks to Friday’s 9-0 decision, the club’s most lopsided home loss since Potomac dealt the Dash a 14-4 defeat on May 29, 2014. Before this year began, Winston-Salem boasted a 244-176 (.581) all-time mark at BB&T Ballpark. However, the Dash have been outscored 74-41 in their first 14 home games of 2016. Salem is a perfect 5-0 in Winston-Salem, though the Dash took three of four from the Red Sox in the Roanoke Valley from April 21-24.
  • Winston-Salem is in the midst of two frustrating streaks offensively. The Dash have not scored a run since Tuesday’s eighth inning, a streak of 19 frames without a tally. Since Saturday’s thrilling come-from-behind win at Frederick, the Dash have only plated six runs in their last five games. Also, the Dash have not collect a hit with men in scoring position on this homestand (0-for-18). The club’s last hit with a runner at second and/or third came in its second-to-last such opportunity on Sunday in its road finale at Frederick.
  • Wednesday marked the 1,000th regular season game for Winston-Salem as the “Dash.” The franchise assumed this nickname prior to the 2009 season and has posted a 527-473-1 (.527) record since changing from Warthogs. During these eight years, Winston has qualified for the CL playoffs four times and the Mills Cup Finals twice, while 33 Dash alumni have reached MLB. Plus, the team has hosted an exhibition game with the White Sox (2011) and the California-Carolina League All-Star Game (2012).
  • Both Saturday starters for the Dash–Thad Lowry and Jordan Stephens–are eyeing their first High-A victories.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Game one of Saturday’s doubleheader will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio App. The Pregame Dash will begin at 5:15 p.m., with the first pitch at 5:30 p.m.

-Joe

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