Results tagged ‘ Justin Collop ’

Game #3 Preview – Dash vs. Wilmington

Game #3 – Home Game #3
Winston-Salem Dash (0-2) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (2-0)
Saturday, April 5 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)


The Dash are still seeking their first win of the 2014 season, after losing 10-3 to the Blue Rocks Friday night. Brad Goldberg allowed three runs (two earned) over a career-high four innings in the first professional start of his career. Courtney Hawkins launched a two-run homer for his first of the season.

Adam Heisler will make his first start of the season for the Dash (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Adam Heisler will make his first start of the season for the Dash (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).


Jacob May – CF
Tim Anderson – SS
Courtney Hawkins – RF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Jason Coats – RF
Joey DeMichele – 2B
Michael Marjama – C
Grant Buckner – 3B
Adam Heisler – DH
Tony Bucciferro – RHP


  • Dash outfielder Courtney Hawkins’ home run on Friday night came in the second game of the season. Last year, Hawkins clubbed his first big fly in the fourth game, when he hit two at Frederick on April 10, 2013.
  • The Dash have struggled defensively this season, committing six errors in the first two games. Since becoming the Dash in 2009, the team never had more than three errors in the opening two games of each season.
  • Southpaw Jefferson Olacio made quite a first impression for Dash fans on Friday night. The Dominican Republic native fanned all six men he retired during a two-inning High-A debut.

  • Before Olacio’s outing Friday, no Winston-Salem reliever had whiffed more than six batters in one outing since Justin Collop collected seven strikeouts on May 25, 2012, at Carolina. Only two Dash relievers logged a six-strikeout effort all of last season.

  • After winning 30 of the previous 37 games against Wilmington during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, the Dash have actually lost five of the last six against the Blue Rocks, dating back to August 31, 2013.
  • Probable starting pitcher Tony Bucciferro is the only man in the Dash rotation with more starts than relief appearances in his career. Of his 22 professional outings, the 24-year-old has tossed the opening pitch in 15 games.


Tonight’s tilt is available live via telecast on My 48, with Brian Boesch and Lary Sorensen on the call. The game is also live on by clicking the “Listen Live” button under the Multimedia tab, with Dave Polaski providing play-by-play.

– Dave

Relive last year’s head shaving event

The Winston-Salem Dash and VS. Cancer are teaming up to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer this Friday at BB&T Ballpark. After the game, several Dash players will have their heads shaved on the field, a la last August’s Basebald event. Thanks to two of the Dash’s stellar photographers, Steve Orcutt and Jody Stewart, here are some of the sights from last year’s event:


Terance Marin chipped in with his barber skills by shaving the head of fellow right-handed hurler Chris Bassitt.

08242012_SO-500Michael Earley, who hit .291 with 73 RBIs for Winston-Salem in 2012 and now plies his trade for Double-A Birmingham, takes his turn in the barber’s chair.

08242012_SO-544Former Dash right-hander Justin Collop gets his head shaved by survivor Grant Ivey, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game.


Right-hander J.R. Ballinger showed his support as well.

082412_JS_0893Some of the Dash’s participants pose with Grant to show off their new looks. (From left to right: Ballinger, Earley, Nick Ciolli, Bassitt, Juan Silverio and Kevin Vance)

Come out and join us Friday night to see whose head gets shaved this year and show your support for VS. Cancer in the fight against childhood cancer!

– Rob

Roster moves shuffle pitching staff

Myles Jaye

Myles Jaye has been called up from Kannapolis to start tonight (Brian Westerholt/Four Seam Images).

The Chicago White Sox have announced four roster moves today that will affect the Dash’s roster. With Winston-Salem having an open spot in the rotation after both Terance Marin and Justin Collop were removed late last week, the Dash didn’t have a scheduled starter for today’s series opener against Myrtle Beach. To fix that, right-hander Myles Jaye is being called up from Low-A Kannapolis to start tonight and fill one of those two spots.

So far this year with the Intimidators, Jaye has pitched very well. The Fayetteville, Ga. native has compiled a 4-1 record with a 2.20 ERA in seven starts. In April, Jaye went 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA over 30 innings. Tonight will mark the former Toronto farmhand’s first career appearance in High-A ball.

The other new pitcher coming to Winston-Salem is not new to Dash fans at all, as righty Ryan Buch makes his way back to the Carolina League after spending parts of each of the last two seasons here in Winston-Salem. Buch was transferred from Double-A Birmingham, where he had a 4.91 ERA in five appearances out of the Barons’ bullpen. In his career with the Dash, the Monmouth University product has a 8-9 record and a 5.60 ERA in 33 appearances, 21 of which have been starts.

To make room for these moves, the Dash have sent right-hander Stew Brase back down to Kannapolis, where he appeared in 38 games last season. Brase started this season at extended spring training before making his way to Winston-Salem. In his time with the Dash, the La Grange, Ill., native sported a 5.19 ERA in six efforts out of the bullpen.

In addition to Brase’s departure to the South Atlantic League, Collop has been released by the White Sox. The former Toledo Rocket started six games for Winston this season, going 2-3 with a 5.79 ERA. He was Chicago’s sixth-round pick in 2009.

Join Brian and I here for the Pregame Dash at 6:45 p.m. as the Dash open up a three-game series against first-place Myrtle Beach. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. Talk to you then!

– Rob

Dash tweaking starting rotation

Jason Van Skike will make his second professional start Sunday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Jason Van Skike will make his second professional start Sunday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

For the first time this season, Winston-Salem will make a few changes to its starting rotation, Dash skipper Ryan Newman announced Friday.

Two of the Dash’s five starters have been tremendous thus far this season. Chris Beck (1.50) and Chris Bassitt (1.71) boast the top two earned run averages among active Carolina League pitchers. Former Potomac ace Taylor Jordan (1.24) is the only qualifier with a better mark, but he makes his Double-A debut tonight for Harrisburg. It is no surprise that this duo will remain in the rotation.

Two other members of the Dash’s Opening Day rotation, right-handers Justin Collop and Terance Marin, are heading to the bullpen. Collop (2-3, 5.79 ERA) worked through five innings in each of his first five starts, but he allowed eight runs in two and two-thirds in his most recent effort Monday against Frederick. The Wayne, Mich., native has been a reliever before. He has come out of the bullpen in 38 of his 99 career minor league efforts.

Marin (2-2, 7.04 ERA) also returns to the bullpen, where he spent his entire professional career before this season. The Newman, Calif., native pitched well in his first three starts, allowing just five earned runs in 17 innings of work. However, the righty has allowed at least six runs in his last three outings. Marin boasts a 2.18 ERA in his 77 career minor league appearances out of the bullpen.

Winston-Salem’s other starter, Bryan Blough, will also remain in the rotation, and he will technically move up a day and pitch the finale of this four-game series in Potomac. However, Blough will have normal rest thanks to Thursday’s off day.

As of now, we know one of the two new members of the Dash’s rotation. Right-hander Jason Van Skike, who has allowed just one earned run in his 15 innings with the Dash since an April 12 promotion from Kannapolis, will take to the hill tomorrow afternoon. Van Skike has only started one game in his minor league career, and it came in game two of Winston-Salem’s doubleheader sweep of Wilmington on April 20.

Newman and the White Sox have not determined the fifth and final member of the current rotation, so here is how the next few days shake up for the Dash on the mound:

Saturday – RHP Chris Beck
Sunday – RHP Jason Van Skike
Monday – RHP Bryan Blough
Tuesday – TBA
Wednesday – RHP Chris Bassitt

Stay tuned to the Dash Board for news on the Dash’s Tuesday starter. Join me for the Pregame Dash at 6:20 tonight here. Talk to you then.

– Brian

Returning righties highlight rotation

Terance Marin's first career minor league start is scheduled for Tuesday (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Terance Marin’s first career minor league start is scheduled for Tuesday (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The Dash announced their 2013 Opening Day roster Tuesday, and we broke down the entire roster yesterday on the blog. It features 13 players who have previously played in Winston-Salem, seven of whom are pitchers.

Four of those seven men will be in the Dash’s initial starting rotation, which looks like this for the first five games of the season.


Friday at Carolina: RHP Bryan Blough
Saturday at Carolina: RHP Chris Bassitt
Sunday at Carolina: RHP Chris Beck
Tuesday at Frederick: RHP Terance Marin
Wednesday at Frederick: RHP Justin Collop

This is a unique quintet from a statistical standpoint. The Dash’s Opening Day rotation has combined for 310 career minor league appearances but only 77 starts.

If you throw out Collop’s 55 starts in 93 appearances, the other four hurlers have combined for just 22 minor league starts. Thus, 80 percent of the Dash’s rotation has started a combined 10 percent of their minor league games.

Blough started six times for Low-A Kannapolis in the second half of 2012 before rejoining the Dash’s bullpen for the stretch run. He will take the ball for the Dash in the season opener Friday night after posting a 2-0 record with a 3.93 ERA in Winston-Salem a year ago.

The rotation plays out such that Bassitt is in line to receive the start for the Dash’s Home Opener Friday, April 12. Bassitt never started at the University of Akron or professionally until the second half of 2012 in the CL. He went 4-2 with a 4.25 ERA in 10 regular season starts. The righty then turned in his best professional outing in the SDCS-clinching win September 7 with seven scoreless innings in a 9-0 victory.

Beck enters the season as the top pitching prospect on the Dash’s roster, according to Baseball America. The Georgia native went 4-3 with a 4.69 ERA in 15 appearances (six starts) with rookie-level Great Falls last summer. He was the White Sox second-round pick last June.

A reliever for his entire minor league career, Marin shifts into the rotation for 2013. In 77 career appearances, Marin boasts a 2.18 ERA. His work in Winston-Salem last season was comparable (2.42 ERA in 33 efforts), but it came as a reliever. It will be fun to watch Marin’s transition.

Collop is the veteran starter of the bunch, with 16 of his 31 appearances last year coming in a starting role. In his High-A career, the former University of Toledo righty is 11-7 with a 4.17 ERA. Last season, he led the Dash in innings pitched (121.0) and shared the team lead in wins (9).

For those coming out to the first series of the home slate next weekend, you will likely see Bassitt, Beck and Marin, in that order. Everyone will get a chance to pitch at BB&T Ballpark during the Dash’s eight-game homestand from April 18-25.

– Brian

Opening Day roster breakdown

Top prospect Courtney Hawkins will receive plenty of attention in 2013 (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Top prospect Courtney Hawkins will receive plenty of attention in 2013 (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

One of the final steps before the Dash’s season can begin is the release of the Opening Day roster, which happened today. Dash fans know about some of these 25 players, while others will suit up for Winston-Salem for the first time Friday at Carolina. Let’s take a look at all of these players and how they fit within the roster.

The top prospect:
OF Courtney Hawkins

No White Sox prospect will draw as much attention as Hawkins will during the 2013 season. Chicago’s first-round pick 10 months ago, Hawkins hit three homers and drove in seven runs in 12 High-A games last season. He will likely get a longer look at this level while trying to live up to the billing of being the Sox top prospect and one of the top 100 players in the minors.

The other ranked farmhands:
RHP Chris Beck, INF Joey DeMichele & C Kevan Smith

In addition to Hawkins’ place atop Baseball America’s White Sox prospect rankings, three other players who will open the season with Winston-Salem found themselves on the publication’s Top 30 list. Beck (10th) makes the jump from short-season Great Falls, while DeMichele (24th) is a player that many believe can climb the minor league ladder quickly. Most Dash fans remember Smith (27th) and his big grand slam in the SDCS-clinching win over Myrtle Beach last season. He will likely receive the majority of the playing time available behind the plate.

The returning hurlers:
RHP J.R. Ballinger, RHP Chris Bassitt, RHP Bryan Blough, RHP Justin Collop, RHP Terance Marin, LHP Max Peterson & RHP Steven Upchurch

The Dash’s pitching staff was one of the best in the Carolina League last season, and more than half of the Dash’s Opening Day pitchers suited up for Winston-Salem at some point last season. Pitching coach J.R. Perdew also returns after the tremendous 2012 season. All seven of these pitchers have had success at this level, which bodes well for the Dash in 2013.

David Herbek shined following a midseason promotion to High-A (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

David Herbek shined following a midseason promotion to the Carolina League (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The “prove it” player:
INF David Herbek

Herbek’s 2012 season was unique. He hit just .214 in 43 games with Low-A Kannapolis, but the White Sox moved him up to Winston-Salem in late June. The Virginia native responded by swinging at a .313 clip in 47 games. Herbek figures to see significant time with the Dash, so will he be closer to his Kannapolis form or his Winston-Salem self? You have to like his chances to be a scary hitter on this circuit like he was down the stretch a year ago.

The new White Sox:
RHP Jeremy Erben, OF Nick Giarraputo & INF Mark Tracy

Three men on the 25-man roster were not with the organization last season. The White Sox signed Erben in spring training, just a few days after Arizona released him. Giarraputo is back in affiliated baseball after three seasons on the independent circuit. Tracy joined the Sox organization following a trade with Colorado. Former Dash outfielder Kenny Williams, Jr., was shipped to the Rockies in that deal. This trio will be hungry to contribute early on as White Sox farmhands.

The acquaintances:
INF Chris Curley, OF Mark Haddow & OF Billy Rice

These three men all joined Winston-Salem at some point last season, but the threesome combined for only 11 regular season games with the Dash. Curley shined in the final week of the regular season before hitting .500 in the CL postseason, while Haddow and Rice struggled a bit in their limited at-bats after playing well for Low-A Kannapolis. How will these three swingers adjust to a prolonged stay in the Triad? That answer may dictate how effective the offense will be this season.

The Kannapolis kids:
INF Grant Buckner, LHP Jarrett Casey, INF Joe De Pinto & RHP Daniel Webb

These four players spent most or all of their 2012 seasons with Low-A Kannapolis. The jump from Low-A to High-A is not an easy one, but all four of these men will get the chance to do it following spring training.

How will the catching duties be split among Kevan Smith, Martin Medina and Brent Tanner? (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

How will the catching duties be split among Kevan Smith, Martin Medina and Brent Tanner? (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

The catching couple:
C Martin Medina & C Brent Tanner

With Smith in the fold, how will skipper Ryan Newman find playing time for these two backstops? Both Medina and Tanner have shown promise in the minors, but there is only so many at-bats to go around. Last season, the Dash rarely had three catchers on the roster, so this will be a challenge for Newman and hitting coach Rob Sasser.

The comeback candidate:
RHP Cody Winiarski

Winiarski missed all of last season with a back injury, and he only has 17 career minor league efforts under his belt. Last season, Kyle Bellamy returned from a season-long injury to shine with Winston before heading to Double-A. Winiarski will look to do the same for the Dash in 2013.

Hopefully this gives you some more insight on the first roster for the Dash in 2013. The season is three days away, and we will have plenty more coverage leading up to Friday’s season opener here on the Dash Board.

– 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.


  • 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 – Lynchburg v. Winston-Salem

Mills Cup Championship Series
Lynchburg Hillcats at Winston-Salem Dash
Sunday, September 9 — 2:00 p.m.
Game 2 — Hillcats lead series 1-0


The Dash could not parlay their momentum from consecutive wins to claim the Southern Division Championship Series. Winston-Salem dropped Game 1 of the best-of-five Mills Cup Championship Series to Lynchburg 3-1 Saturday night at BB&T Ballpark. Winston only managed three base runners against Hillcats hurler Michael Lee, who spun six and a third scoreless innings for the victory.

As a result, the Dash will aim to even the series in the final game at BB&T Ballpark this season. Winston boasted the best home regular season record in full-season minor league baseball (48-23), but the Dash are just 2-2 in the Triad in the playoffs.


Winston-Salem — RHP Justin Collop (9-4, 4.17 ERA): In his playoff debut, Collop will face the Hillcats for the fifth time in 2012 today. The righty owns a 5.56 earned run average over 22 and a third innings against Lynchburg. His best outing against the Northern Division champs came July 3 when the former Toledo Rocket turned in six and two-thirds scoreless frames, but the Hillcats roughed up Collop five days later to the tune of eight runs on 12 hits.

Lynchburg — RHP Ryan Weber (2-4, 3.38 ERA): Weber spent much of the regular season in the bullpen, amassing 14 relief appearances and five starts. The former 17th round pick pitched out of the bullpen in Game 2 of the Northern Division Championship Series three days ago. Weber surrendered three runs on six hits over three innings during the Hillcats’ lone loss thus far in the postseason.


  • Over the last seven seasons, the team to win Game 1 of the Mills Cup Championship Series has gone on to win the Carolina League crown five times. However, in each of the last two seasons, the winner of the series opener has lost the next three and, thus, the series. Frederick overtook Kinston last year after the K-Tribe won Game 1, while Winston bested Potomac in the opener of the 2010 title set before the P-Nats won three straight.
  • Winston-Salem’s bullpen has yet to allow an earned run in the 2012 playoffs. The Dash have tossed 11 and two-thirds of scoreless relief, and every reliever has thrown at least one inning except for Kevin Vance, who boasts the bullpen’s lone win of the playoffs after working two-thirds of an inning Thursday night in Game 2 of the SDCS.
  • Dash outfielder Courtney Hawkins has driven in a run in each of the first four playoff games. Hawkins hit a solo shot in the fifth inning Wednesday and the seventh frame Thursday before an RBI fielder’s choice in the SDCS-clinching win Friday. Last night, the White Sox top pick in this year’s draft plated a run with a single. In his nine games with Winston-Salem, the Corpus Christi, Texas, native is 9-for-32 (.281) with three homers, six RBI and six runs scored.
  • Since moving into BB&T Ballpark facility prior to the 2010 campaign, Winston is a CL-best 134-77 (.635) inside the gem of the Carolina League. With a win today, the Dash would claim their 51st home win overall, which would surpass the 2010 squad. That team went 50-23 at home in the regular season and playoffs combined.
  • For what it’s worth, Winston-Salem is 13-6 on Sundays and 15-12 in day games this season. This will be the final Sunday contest and afternoon affair this season.
  • Keep in mind that the Dash and Hillcats have played six extra-inning games this season, which is more than Winston-Salem played against the rest of the circuit combined. Seven of the other 21 games between the division champions have been decided by one or two runs, so these two teams play some great games. This one is more important than all of them.


Outside Winston-Salem, it was a great day for Chicago’s minor league system. Triple-A Charlotte punched its ticket to the International League Finals with a 6-4 win over Indianapolis Saturday night. The Knights will play the Pawtucket Red Sox in Game 1 Tuesday night in Rhode Island. Also, rookie-level Great Falls sneaked past Missoula 5-4 thanks to Adam Heisler’s two-run, walk-off home run to force a deciding Game 3 in the Pioneer League semifinals.


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 1:40 p.m. and features a chat with manager Tommy Thompson and a look back at the Dash’s thrilling home season.

– Brian

Playoff Perspective – Game 3

In case you missed any of our coverage following the Dash’s SDCS-clinching win, be sure to check out the game recap, the highlights, two postgame interviews and the twitter updates. Now, it’s time for our Game 3 analysis.


  • The Dash posted the best overall record and home mark in full-season minor league baseball, so this team won on a regular basis throughout the year. This was, in my opinion, the most complete effort of the season, and it came with the season on the line.
  • Myrtle Beach outplayed Winston-Salem during the first 14 innings of this series, but the Dash responded and crushed the Pelicans in the final 13 frames. After Vinny DiFazio’s homer in the top of the seventh inning in Game 2, Myrtle did not score again in the series, while the Dash plated 12 runs and recorded three crooked numbers.

Chris Bassitt twirled the best start of his career Friday (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

  • The offense will steal the headlines because of the nine-run showing, but Chris Bassitt pitched the game of his life. “Absolutely,” Bassitt said when I asked him about it. Considering the importance of the game, I haven’t seen many pitching performances better than the one Bassitt turned in Friday night.
  • Keenyn Walker’s three-run triple in the second inning was a huge hit for the Dash and for Walker personally. The Pelicans were a deflated bunch after Walker slammed a 2-0 fastball to the gap in right-center. Plus, Walker had struggled a bit in the first two games of the series, and hitting coach Gary Ward has been working with him frequently over the last few weeks. Walker credited Ward in my chat with him after the game, and Dash fans saw Walker’s hard work come to fruition.
  • Winston-Salem catcher Kevan Smith put the game away with a grand slam in the bottom of the third. In his 24 games as a member of the Dash, Smith has driven in 27 runs. He has proven that he can truly hang offensively in the Carolina League, and his slam tonight was a bomb to the bullpen bar.
  • Speaking of Smith’s grand slam, tonight’s crowd was not the biggest at BB&T Ballpark, but it may have been the most baseball-savvy one we’ve seen this year thanks to the draw of a playoff elimination game, and the reaction after Smith’s grand slam was tremendous. This crowd went nuts.
  • Now, the scene shifts to the Mills Cup Championship Series, and the Dash have a huge advantage in their rotation for the first two games. Steve McCray will go in Game 1, and Justin Collop will toe the rubber in Game 2. On the flip side, Lynchburg will have Michael Lee for Game 1, but the Hillcats may have to go with multiple relievers in Game 2.
  • Two playoff wins down, and three to go. Enjoy it, Winston-Salem. I can’t wait until tomorrow.

– Brian

Dash Playoff Rotation Set

Erik Johnson is set to start Game 1 Wednesday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Today is the calm before the storm on the baseball field, but coverage for the 2012 Carolina League playoffs begins today. Winston-Salem will square off with Myrtle Beach in the Southern Division Championship Series, and the Dash have announced their starters for the three possible games in the series.

Game 1: RHP Erik Johnson

Johnson thrived with Low-A Kannapolis before earning his first promotion to High-A in mid-July. In his eight starts in a Dash uniform, Johnson is 4-3 with a 2.74 earned run average, and the former California Golden Bear has earned a quality start in seven of his eight efforts. The Los Altos, Calif., native has also worked through six innings in all but one start. Johnson has not pitched against the Pelicans this season.

Game 2: LHP Scott Snodgress

Snodgress, like Johnson, joined the Dash’s rotation in July after beginning the campaign with the Intimidators. The southpaw was 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA in eight starts, and he has five quality starts. The Yucaipa, Calif., native has struck out 44 men in 42 innings of work. When Snodgress appears against the Pelicans Thursday night, he will be facing them for the third time. His first two outings against Myrtle Beach were stellar: 12 innings, 1 run, 0 earned runs, 14 strikeouts, 3 walks.

Game 3: RHP Chris Bassitt

If the SDCS goes down to a deciding Game 3, Chris Bassitt will toe the rubber for Winston-Salem. Two months ago, Bassitt had never made a professional start, but he went 4-2 with a 4.25 earned run average in 10 starts over the final seven weeks of the season. Overall, the former Akron Zip is 5-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 38 appearances overall. Against the Pelicans, Bassitt has not allowed a run in nine and a third innings spanning four games (one start).

Where are Justin Collop and Steve McCray?

If needed, both Collop and McCray will be used out of the bullpen during the SDCS this week. Both men worked out of the bullpen during the first half of the season, so this is not a new role for the duo. However, if the Dash can dispose of the Pelicans easily without needing Collop or McCray, both could slot back inside the rotation for the Mills Cup Championship Series.

Myrtle Beach’s rotation

The Pelicans are expected to throw three right-handed pitchers: Luke Jackson (5-2, 4.39 ERA), Nick McBride (2-3, 3.76 ERA) and Joe Van Meter (4-5, 2.06 ERA).

– Brian