Results tagged ‘ Daniel Wagner ’

Dash to a million: BB&T Ballpark in pictures

Since BB&T Ballpark opened on April 13, 2010, nearly one million fans have made their way through its gates. As we approach this milestone, we decided to take a look back at some of the best moments in this young park’s history.

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The first fans make their way through BB&T Ballpark’s gates ahead of the first game in the park’s history.

MiLB - Potomac vs. Winston-Salem - April 13, 2010

Kenny Williams, the former White Sox GM and father of 2010 Dash alum Kenny Williams Jr., throws out the first pitch in BB&T Ballpark history.

MiLB - Potomac vs. Winston-Salem - April 13, 2010

Fans packed the seats and the left field berm for the park’s inaugural night with 7,111 in attendance.

Winston-Salem Dash vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Dash and Myrtle Beach Pelicans played a 20-inning affair in the second game of a doubleheader on May 19, 2010, prevailing 4-3 when Ozzie Lewis scored the game winning run.

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A tremendous crowd of 7,268 fans (the highest in the park’s history to that point) packed BB&T Ballpark on July 2, 2010 as Chris Sale made his professional debut. Sale is now shining in the big leagues.

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Prior to the 2011 season, Winston-Salem entertained its parent club at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash bested the White Sox 3-0 in an exhibition game.

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On July 5 and 6, 2011, Dash outfielder Nick Ciolli robbed a pair of home runs from Salem and Myrtle Beach, the latter of which would have been a grand slam. See both grabs here and here. (Photo via Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash)

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BB&T Ballpark was jam packed again for the All-Star Game between the California League and Carolina League on June 19, 2012. (Photo via Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash)

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Bolt got together with several of his friends to put on quite a show during last year’s All-Star festivities. (Photo via Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash)

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After the Carolina League finished thrashing the California League 9-1, fans enjoyed a great fireworks show to cap off the week’s festivities. (Photo via Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

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Dash fans came out in droves on July 4, 2012, setting a BB&T Ballpark record with 7,285 watching the Dash take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. (Photo via Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

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The Dash posted full-season Minor League Baseball’s top record in 2012, and Winston-Salem advanced all the way to the Mills Cup Finals. Kevan Smith clubbed a go-ahead homer in the Dash’s Game 2 win, and Daniel Wagner’s reaction in the middle said it all. (Photo via Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

Thank you to the best fans in Minor League Baseball for helping BB&T Ballpark become the fastest High-A facility to reach one million fans! Check back tomorrow for more BB&T Ballpark history.

- Rob

From W-S to Team USA?

The White Sox squared off with Team USA in an exhibition game yesterday, and a 2012 Dash alum had the unique opportunity to suit up for United States.

Right-handed reliever Kevin Vance was an emergency pitcher for Team USA, just in case something happened to any of the club’s pitchers as Joe Torre’s crew prepares for the World Baseball Classic. Vance did not pitch in the game, but he was decked out in Red, White and Blue…

The Sox and Team USA ended up finishing the game at a 4-4 tie, and no major injuries were suffered in the game. Thus, it was a success. The experience will also be one that Vance never forgets. The squad even trusted him with an important job during batting practice…the bucket (gathering all of the baseballs hit into the outfield).

Vance shined with Winston-Salem in 2012, and he will have quite a story to tell around the Triad if he returns for the start of the 2013 campaign.

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UPDATE: Also in this game, Dan Black, Brandon Short and Daniel Wagner appeared for Team USA. Wagner tweeted out this photo of it:

Congratulations to everyone involved!

- Brian

Dash Top 10: #4 – Smith Blasts Dash to Game 2 Win

The look on Daniel Wagner’s face says it all (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

This is the seventh installment of the “Dash Top 10,” where we rehash the top 10 moments from the Dash’s historic 2012 season. Stay tuned to the Dash Board Blog for the rest of the series over the next few days.

Previous Top 10 Moments:
#10: Second-half clinch
#9: Hankerd’s walk-off

#8: 10-game win streak
#7: 5-run 9th sinks Salem
#6: Postseason awards
#5: First-half clinch

Moment #4 (September 9): The Dash rally for a 5-4 win over Lynchburg in Game 2 of the Mills Cup Championship Series.
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Winston-Salem posted the best home record in full-season minor league baseball during the regular season, and the Dash entered their final home game of the playoffs in need of one more BB&T Ballpark victory.

It was Game 2 of the Mills Cup Championship Series, and Lynchburg claimed the opener of the best-of-five series 3-1. A loss on that Sunday afternoon at BB&T Ballpark would not have eliminated the Dash, but winning three straight road games in the playoffs is a tough assignment.

The Hillcats seized a 3-1 lead in the fourth, and a Dash offense that was so dominant during the regular season needed a spark. Fortunately, that spark came in the sixth.

Keenyn Walker and Daniel Wagner strung together consecutive doubles to pull Winston within a run. Marcus Semien pushed Wagner to third with a well-placed groundout to second. However, league MVP Dan Black whiffed for the inning’s second out.

During a postseason of offensive frustration, it appeared that the Dash would spoil another golden scoring chance. Kevan Smith, quite frankly, rescued Winston-Salem.

Smith crushed a two-out, two-run homer to the bullpen bar in left-center field, propelling the Dash to a one-run lead they would never relinquish. The 5-4 victory evened the Mills Cup Championship Series and, at the time, seemed to give the Dash some huge momentum.

Unfortunately, we all know the end of the story. On a picturesque Sunday afternoon in the Triad, though, the Dash wrapped up the best season in BB&T Ballpark history with arguably the most important home run this facility has ever seen.

After Smith’s bomb cleared the fence, Winston-Salem fans truly thought their team was destined for a championship. What a game, and what a home run.

The Dash’s third-best moment of 2012 is ticketed for tomorrow here on the Dash Board blog, and Smith plays a big role once again. Talk to you then.

- Brian

Dash Top 10: #7 – 5-Run 9th Stuns Salem

Michael Earley recorded the walk-off hit August 14 against Salem (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

This is the fourth installment of the “Dash Top 10,” where we rehash the top 10 moments from the Dash’s historic 2012 season. Stay tuned to the Dash Board Blog for the rest of the series over the next two weeks.

Previous Top 10 Moments:
#10: Second-half clinch
#9: Hankerd’s walk-off

#8: 10-game win streak

Moment #7 (August 14): Winston-Salem scores five in the ninth to walk off with a 10-9 win over Salem.
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In the first half of the season, the Dash and Salem Red Sox waged quite a battle for the Southern Division championship. Winston-Salem outlasted the Sox despite struggling against Salem in head-to-head matchups.

The second half was a much different story even though both teams endured many promotions to Double-A. Winston remained atop the circuit, while Salem sunk to the Southern Division’s basement.

With the playoffs three weeks away, these two teams played in a game that meant very little in the grand scheme of the playoff chase. Salem was mere days away from official elimination, while the Dash could only add one home game to their postseason schedule with a division crown.

Still, baseball has a way of making the ordinary extraordinary, and game 121 for the Dash proved to be special.

For eight and a half innings, Salem controlled the contest. The Red Sox led 6-0 through six innings and 9-5 entering the home half of the ninth, which is when the magic happened.

After a Juan Silverio leadoff home run, Daniel Wagner followed with a bunt single, and Keenyn Walker drew a free pass. Two batters later, Brandon Short pulled the Dash within a run thanks to a two-run double.

Following Dan Black’s well-struck fly out, Cyle Hankerd delivered a two-out double off the wall in center to push across the tying run.

On the next pitch, Michael Earley laced a single to right-center, and Hankerd rumbled around third to beat Shannon Wilkerson’s throw and complete the Dash’s most improbable comeback of 2012.

The Dash’s season featured 90 total victories, but this one was among the best. It continued Winston’s push for the minors’ top record, while Salem suffered one of its most deflating losses during a terrible second half.

We will present the Dash’s sixth-best moment from the 2012 campaign tomorrow. This is the only moment that did not technically take place on the field. Talk to you then.

- Brian

Playoff Perspective – Game 4

It’s a day late, but here is our final analysis of the Dash’s Game 4 loss to Lynchburg last night.

PLAYOFF PERSPECTIVE:

  • First off, congratulations to the Lynchburg Hillcats. Over the last four days, Lynchburg was the better team after the Dash posted an incredible regular season. All the fans in attendance were treated to one heck of a championship-clinching victory.
  • Also, big time props must go out to the 50-plus Dash fans who made the trip to Lynchburg and added to the atmosphere. It was a great minor league baseball game yesterday, even if the result did not go the way of Winston-Salem.
  • There were so many twists and turns during last night’s game, and I’m not going to go through all of them. However, it is never easy to lose a game when your opposition loads the bases with an infield single, an error and a bunt single in the deciding inning. Winston would love to have the 11th inning back.
  • You have to feel for Taylor Thompson, who was the Carolina League’s best reliever during the second half of the season. He didn’t have his best stuff in the ninth inning, and Lynchburg took advantage to tie the game. That will likely be Thompson’s final High-A appearance because he is overdue for a trip to Double-A Birmingham.
  • If the Dash could have forced a Game 5, especially based on the way last night’s game played out, I would have felt really good about their chances. Alas, Lynchburg closed the deal with a dramatic win.
  • This is my fifth season of calling baseball, and this Dash team was, by far, my favorite team to deal with. It was such a privilege to get to know these guys as baseball players and human beings. The White Sox run their minor league system very well, and fans in Winston-Salem, Chicago and across the country should be proud of these players. This team accomplished so much, and it was an incredible journey.
  • Finally, Daniel Wagner summed it up perfectly last night on Twitter: “What a year. Proud to say I was apart of the 2012 @WSDashBaseball team. Great run boys. Got nothing to hang our heads about.”

Thanks for following along all season long. We will continue our coverage throughout the offseason. It has been an honor. Go Dash!

- Brian

A Second Wake Up Call?

Was this moment the turning point in the Mills Cup Finals? (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

If something isn’t broken, why fix it?

Maybe that was the mentality for the Dash in the Mills Cup Championship Series after a strange but effective route to a Southern Division Championship Series triumph against Myrtle Beach.

Against the Pelicans, Winston-Salem mustered only two runs in the set’s first 14 innings. With nine outs remaining in Game 2, the Dash were down by one with their season on the line. Winston’s offense woke up to the tune of three runs in the seventh to even the series and a combined nine tallies in the second and third frames of the winner-take-all Game 3 clash.

The next night, the Dash turned in their second straight one-run performance in a playoff series opener. In Game 2, Lynchburg held a 3-1 lead entering the sixth inning. This time around, elimination wasn’t a possibility, but going down two games with three road games remaining is as close as you can get in a best-of-five set.

Once again, Winston-Salem’s bats woke up. Three runs in the sixth, capped off by Kevan Smith’s two-run bomb to give the Dash the lead, ultimately tilted the momentum in the way of the home team.

For the second time in four days, the Dash stormed back for a Game 2 victory they had to have. Sunday’s win doesn’t mean Winston-Salem will win the series, but it likely kept the club afloat. Now, it comes down to a best-of-three in Lynchburg for the Mills Cup.

Sure, Winston-Salem will have to overcome plenty of obstacles for a Carolina League crown. The Dash went just 4-6 in Lynchburg during the regular season. The Hillcats will send the circuit’s Pitcher of the Year, righty Gus Schlosser, to the mound tomorrow night. And, of course, Lynchburg is a really good team.

However, the Dash have plenty going in their favor:

  • Smith is hitting the ball as well as anyone has over a week-long stretch in the Carolina League this season.
  • Chris Curley is the best nine-hole hitter in the CL right now, and it isn’t close.
  • Keenyn Walker and Daniel Wagner (who is still working hard on this off day) are setting the table for the heart of Winston-Salem’s order.
  • Marcus Semien, with a go-ahead homer, a go-ahead two-run double and an insurance homer in this postseason, has been extremely clutch for the Dash.
  • Courtney Hawkins, with an RBI in four of the five postseason contests, hasn’t been too shabby on that front, either. This kid is for real.
  • Dan Black is oh so due for a big game.
  • So is Cyle Hankerd.
  • Tuesday’s starter Erik Johnson should have had a no-hit bid through six innings in Game 1 of the SDCS Wednesday against Myrtle Beach.
  • Winston’s final two starters–Scott Snodgress and Chris Bassitt–shined in round one with the Dash’s collective back against the wall.
  • Every member of the Dash’s bullpen, which has allowed just one earned run in 16.1 innings in the playoffs, will be available for Game 3.

The Hillcats are good, but so is Winston-Salem. At the beginning of the season, Dash fans would’ve loved the idea of needing two wins in three tries to win a Mills Cup. That’s what the assignment is for the Dash, and for the reasons above and many others, this club has a great chance to get it done.

- Brian

Playoff Perspective – Game 2

Winston-Salem rallied for a thrilling 5-4 victory over Lynchburg in Game 2 of the Mills Cup Championship Series Sunday afternoon at BB&T Ballpark. First off, hear from the man who gave the Dash their first lead in the series–catcher Kevan Smith.

Now, it’s time for our postgame analysis.

PLAYOFF PERSPECTIVE:

  • Wow. Once again, the Dash’s collective back was against the wall in a Game 2, and this offense found a way to battle back for a narrow win. After five frustrating innings of offense, Smith, Daniel Wagner and Keenyn Walker came up with huge hits in the sixth, and Marcus Semien’s solo shot in the eighth proved to be the difference in the game. This offense, despite struggling at times in the playoffs, is so good.
  • Everyone knew Dash skipper Tommy Thompson was going to be the Carolina League’s Manager of the Year, and he pushed the right button today when he submitted his lineup card. Winston’s catcher had hit in the seven hole in all four previous postseason contests, but Thompson switched Smith with Cyle Hankerd. Sure enough, Smith’s turn came around when the Dash needed a hit, and the former Pittsburgh star came through in a big way.
  • As for Semien’s homer, credit the former sixth-round pick for coming up with the first run scored against Lynchburg reliever John Cornely at the High-A level. Semien is only 3-for-18 in the playoffs, but those three hits have been huge: solo homer in the first inning of Game 2 of the SDCS, game-winning two-run double in that same game and this homer today. Semien is a clutch player.
  • How important has Chris Curley been to this playoff run? He is 8-for-16 with four runs scored, and the late-season acquisition made the defensive play of the game in the seventh. Curley, who was playing in on the grass, stabbed a Nick Ahmed liner and doubled off a runner at second to end the threat.
  • Starter Justin Collop and reliever Taylor Thompson turned in gritty efforts Sunday, and both Max Peterson and Kevin Vance continued to pitch well out of the bullpen. All in all, a solid day for Winston’s pitching staff.
  • Thank goodness Andrelton Simmons will be heading back to Atlanta tomorrow, according to multiple reports. It is incredible that this young man played in the CL last year. His ninth-inning double was one of the hardest-hit balls I’ve seen this year.
  • Series tied at one game apiece. Momentum-shifting Game 3 on the horizon. Erik Johnson versus Gus Schlosser. It doesn’t get much better than that, and it’s 47 hours away.

The Dash and Hillcats have tomorrow off, but the Dash Board blog will be packed with more #Dash12 coverage in advance of Game 3 Tuesday. Talk to you then.

- Brian

Game 2 Preview – Myrtle Beach at Winston-Salem

Southern Division Championship Series
Myrtle Beach Pelicans at Winston-Salem Dash
Thursday, September 6  — 7:00 p.m.
Game 2 — Pelicans lead series 1-0

GAME 1 BACKGROUND:

The Dash face elimination tonight at BB&T Ballpark in Game 2 of the SDCS against Myrtle Beach. The Pelicans plated four runs in the top of the sixth and held Winston-Salem to just one run, a Courtney Hawkins solo shot in the fifth, on five base hits. As a result, Winston must win to avoid its sixth playoff series loss in its last eight tries, while Myrtle Beach is a win away from the franchise’s first Mills Cup Championship Series appearance since 2008.

STARTING PITCHERS:

Winston-Salem — LHP Scott Snodgress (4-0, 1.50 ERA): Winston-Salem turns to Snodgress with its season on the line. Snodgress has turned in five quality starts in his eight outings with the Dash, and he has not allowed an earned run in five of his games. In two starts against the Pelicans, Snodgress has given up just one unearned run on seven hits over 12 innings. A fifth-round pick in 2011, Snodgress whiffed 14 batters in those two outings.

Myrtle Beach — RHP Joe Van Meter (4-5, 2.06 ERA): A reliever for the season’s first four months, Van Meter has made eight starts and is 3-2 with a 2.41 ERA in those efforts. Van Meter, who had a brief stint in Double-A Frisco during the regular season, strikes out about one batter per inning. In his penultimate outing of the regular season and his only start against Winston-Salem, the Glen Allen, Va., native surrendered two runs on six hits in six innings August 26.

DASH DOTS:

  • Winston-Salem dished out nine sweeps in the regular season, but no Carolina League club was able to accomplish the feat when squaring off with the Dash. Winston faced a possible sweep five times during the season, but the squad went 5-0 in those games and outscored its opposition 37-16, which is an average score of 7.4-3.2 in such situations. The Dash face a possible playoff sweep tonight.
  • Wednesday’s starter Erik Johnson twirled a no-hitter until the final out of the sixth inning, which matched the longest no-hit bid by a Winston-Salem starter this season.
  • Since Winston-Salem won the 2003 Carolina League crown, the franchise has played in four elimination games. Winston is 0-4 in those games, with the combined score sitting at 22-11. This is the first elimination game in Winston-Salem since September 6, 2008, when Myrtle ended the Warthogs season with an 11-5 victory.
  • Outside of Daniel Wagner’s 2-for-2, two-walk night, no Winston whacker reached base more than once Wednesday night. Excepting Hawkins’ home run, the Dash did not get a runner to third base. Myrtle Beach’s pitching quartet whiffed 10 men during the contest, while the Dash stranded seven runners, four of which were in scoring position.
  • Dash outfielder Courtney Hawkins hit his second High-A home run in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game. Including his regular season work, Chicago’s top pick in June is 6-for-21 (.286) with a pair of long balls and three RBI in Winston-Salem. Hawkins is the youngest player to compete in the CL this season (18 years, nine months, 25 days).
  • Myrtle Beach plated four runs in the sixth inning in Game 1 after the Pelicans only scored more than four runs in five regular season games against the Dash this season. In these two squads previous two meetings (August 26 and last night), the Pelicans have surged past the Dash thanks to a four-run frame late in the contest.

AN EYE ON THE NDCS:

Lynchburg seized a 1-0 lead in the Northern Division Championship Series with an 8-0 win in Wilmington Wednesday. Carolina League Pitcher of the Year Gus Schlosser blanked the Blue Rocks over eight innings, while the Hillcats plated two in the eighth and four more in the ninth to pull away. Tommy La Stella drove in three runs, while fellow midseason All-Star Nick Ahmed plated a pair.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Dash fans can catch the club’s quest for a 12th Mills Cup by tuning in here. Fans are encouraged to tweet @WSDashBaseball and use the Dash’s official playoff hashtag: #Dash12. The Pre-Game Dash begins at 6:40 p.m. and features a chat with Dash skipper Tommy Thompson and a look back at Game 1.

- Brian

Game 1 Roster Finalized

The White Sox announced two more moves affecting the Dash in advance of the postseason opener tonight at 7 inside BB&T Ballpark.

Right-hander James Hudelson was demoted to Low-A Kannapolis, so his season comes to an end after a pair of relief appearances for the Dash. Also, utility man Ross Wilson was activated off the disabled list after spending a week and a half on the shelf due to a right hand injury. Wilson hit .190 with six RBI in 25 games with the Dash this season.

As a result, Winston-Salem heads into the Southern Division Championship Series with 12 pitchers, two catchers and 11 position players. Four of those position players only play in the infield, while three of them are exclusively outfielders.

The Dash have the luxury of possessing four players–Cyle Hankerd, Juan Silverio, Daniel Wagner and Wilson–who can play in either the infield or the outfield in some capacity.

Winston-Salem opens up the SDCS against Myrtle Beach tonight. Join us at 6:40 for the Pre-Game Dash here.

- Brian

Another Day, Another Roster Move

Scott Snodgress went to Stanford before the White Sox nabbed him in the fifth round last year (Stanford athletics).

Over the last five days, the White Sox have moved 13 players. It began with three moves Wednesday, highlighted by the first High-A promotion for Keenyn Walker. Friday, a pair of Kevin’s–Kevin Moran and Kevin Vancejoined the Dash’s bullpen.

Also Friday, we learned that Brent Morel would begin a rehab that continues today. Morel will play at third base for five innings this afternoon.

There were some huge moves on Saturday as well, with Jake Petricka and Carlos Sanchez heading to Double-A Birmingham and Erik Johnson and Daniel Wagner coming to Winston-Salem. Also yesterday, news broke that the White Sox had dealt now former Dash arms Matt Heidenreich and Blair Walters to Houston for big league closer Brett Myers.

Today, the White Sox released two more moves, placing Moran on the disabled list and receiving left-hander Scott Snodgress from Low-A Kannapolis.

Moran made his High-A debut Saturday night at BB&T Ballpark and worked two-thirds of an inning, allowing two runs thanks to four walks.

Snodgress has been a solid starter for the Intimidators throughout the season. The southpaw was 3-3 with a 3.64 earned run average in 19 starts. Over 99 innings of action, the Yucaipa, Calif., native struck out 84 men and held South Atlantic League swingers to a .233 batting average.

Winston-Salem and Frederick meet in a rubber match today at 5:00 p.m. Pre-game begins at 4:45 here. Talk to you then.

- Brian

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