Results tagged ‘ Lynchburg Hillcats ’

Game #73 Preview – Dash at Lynchburg

Game #73 – Road Game #38
Winston-Salem Dash (2-0, 32-40) at Lynchburg Hillcats (0-2, 33-39)
Saturday, June 27 – 6:30 p.m.
Calvin Falwell Field (Lynchburg, Va.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Winston-Salem scored five in the second and held on from there Friday in a 6-4 victory. The Dash are looking for their first sweep of the 2015 campaign.

Euclides Leyer picked up the win Friday in relief of his brother Robinson. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Euclides Leyer picked up the win Friday in relief of his brother Robinson. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Omar Narvaez – C
Toby Thomas – LF
T.J. Williams – DH
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Michael Suiter – RF
Brandon Brennan – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • For the third time in the Dash era (2009-present), Winston-Salem has started a half with back-to-back victories. The Dash also began the second half in 2011 and 2014 with two consecutive wins. In both of those seasons, the third contest of the half did not go well. Frederick cruised to a 6-1 triumph in 2011, while Salem blasted Winston 13-4 a year ago. The franchise has not posted a 3-0 beginning to a half since 2006, when the team was known as the Warthogs.
  • For the first time in exactly a year, the Dash are riding a four-game road winning streak. From June 24-27, 2014, Winston-Salem won four straight away from BB&T Ballpark, the club’s longest such streak of the entire campaign. The Dash have not won more than four consecutive road contests since a five-game streak from August 19-23, 2013. The longest such surge in the Dash era is six (April 18-May 1, 2012).
  • Lynchburg did not put a ton of balls in play on Friday night. Winston-Salem’s pitching quartet amassed 12 strikeouts, one shy of the team’s season-high. The Dash also fell one free pass away from the worst showing of the season. Fortunately for the Dash, only one of those eight walks directly turned into a run.
  • Lynchburg City Stadium has been a house of horrors for the Dash in recent years. However, Winston-Salem has claimed two straight victories in the Hill City for just the second time in the last four seasons. The other instance was also in the first series of the second half. The Dash rallied for a series win from June 21-23, 2013, with wins in each of the final two games. Even with this mini-surge, Winston is just 11-27 (.289) at Lynchburg since the start of the 2012 season. This includes two losses in the 2012 Mills Cup Finals. In the previous two seasons (2010 and 2011), the Dash were 13-7 (.650) in Lynchburg.
  • Winston-Salem outfielder Michael Suiter ended a 6-for-46 funk with a two-run double in Friday’s second inning. It also guaranteed Suiter his first multi-RBI game at the High-A level. Suiter had only collected three RBIs in his first 28 games with the club. The Hawaii native has hit safely in three consecutive games for the first time since a season-high six-game run from May 31-June 6.
  • The Dash have logged a save in each of their last five wins. In fact, the Dash have not blown a save since June 7. During this stretch, Winston-Salem is a perfect 7-for-7 in save opportunities after beginning the season 8-for-15 (53 percent). Still, Winston-Salem is in the basement of the eight-team Carolina League with 15 saves. The next-closest club is Frederick (17), while Myrtle Beach paces the circuit (25).
  • For just the fifth time all season, Winston-Salem won a game on Friday despite posting fewer hits than its opposition.
  • Former Dash hurler Erik Johnson, who starred with Winston in 2012, has only given up two runs in his last 32 innings with Triple-A Charlotte.
  • Catcher Omar Narvaez is 7-for-13 (.538) with five runs scored in his last four games. The Midseason All-Star is one of five qualified hitters in the CL with a batting average north of the .300 mark (.304).

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Saturday’s game will be available on wsdash.com/broadcast, along with the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:15 p.m., with the first pitch at 6:30 p.m.

– Scott

Game #72 Preview – Dash at Lynchburg

Game #72 – Road Game #37
Winston-Salem Dash (1-0, 31-40) at Lynchburg Hillcats (0-1, 33-38)
Friday, June 26 – 6:30 p.m.
Calvin Falwell Field (Lynchburg, Va.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Jordan Guerrero pitched into the ninth inning and the Dash led wire-to-wire Thursday to knock off the Hillcats 5-4. Winston-Salem has now won three straight road contests.

Robinson Leyer starts Friday for the Dash in Lynchburg. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Robinson Leyer starts Friday for the Dash in Lynchburg. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Omar Narvaez – C
Nolan Earley – RF
T.J. Williams – DH
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Michael Suiter – LF
Robinson Leyer – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Not only did Guerrero post a new career-high in innings, but he also became the first Winston-Salem starter to pitch more than eight innings since July 20, 2014, when Tony Bucciferro took a no-hitter into the ninth at Frederick before settling for a complete game shutout. Guerrero fell two outs short of becoming the seventh Winston pitcher in the Dash era (2009-present) to toss nine innings in a single game.
  • For just the second time this season, the Dash have rattled off three consecutive road victories. The other such surge took place from April 24-26, when the Dash rallied for a four-game series win at Myrtle Beach. This most recent mini-streak has immediately followed an eight-game road skid, the longest for the franchise since 2006. That funk included a four-game sweep at the hands of the Hillcats from June 5-7. The Dash are 14-22 on the road, which is the second-worst mark in the Carolina League.
  • Several Dash players find themselves at or near the top of some categories in the Carolina League. Adam Engel is tied for first in stolen bases (28) and third in runs scored (44). Trey Michalczewski shares second in RBIs (42). Omar Narvaez is fifth in batting average (.303). On the pitching side, Matt Heidenreich is first in wins (8) and sixth in earned run average (2.77).
  • For a third straight half, Winston-Salem earned a win in the opener. The Dash blasted Salem 12-4 to begin last year’s second half before obliterating Frederick to kick off this season. Before this recent uptick, the Dash had dropped five half lid-lifters in a row. Since the nickname change in 2009, Winston-Salem is 6-8 to begin the half.
  • Dash utility man Toby Thomas logged another strong showing on Thursday. Thomas went 2-for-4 with an RBI, his sixth at the High-A level. Thomas has hit safely in 11 of his first 14 games within the Carolina League. Of his 15 base hits, nine of them have gone for extra bases (seven doubles, one triple and one home run). Plus, the Alabama native has produced well despite playing in both the infield and outfield and hitting anywhere from sixth to ninth in the lineup.
  • Former Dash infielder Carlos Sanchez carried the White Sox past Detroit on Thursday with a three-run triple in the 10th inning of an 8-7 win on Thursday.
  • Winston-Salem improved to 24-10 (.706) when scoring more than three runs.
  • Friday starter Robinson Leyer posted a quality start in his only appearance against Lynchburg on May 27 (6.0 IP, 3 R, 5 H), which did result in a loss for both the Dash and Leyer.
  • Despite the series-opening win on Thursday night, the Dash are just 10-25 (.286) in Lynchburg since the start of the 2012 season. This does not include a pair of losses in the Mills Cup Finals in 2012.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Friday’s game will be available on wsdash.com/broadcast, along with the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:15 p.m., with the first pitch at 6:30 p.m.

– Scott

Game #71 Preview – Dash at Lynchburg

Game #71 – Road Game #36
Winston-Salem Dash (0-0, 30-40) at Lynchburg Hillcats (0-0, 33-37)
Thursday, June 25 – 6:30 p.m.
Calvin Falwell Field (Lynchburg, Va.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The second half of the season begins Thursday, when the Dash start a three-game series at Lynchburg. Winston-Salem will compete with Salem and Carolina for the right to battle Myrtle Beach in the Southern Division Championship Series in September.

Trey Michalczewski begins the second half of the season in a tie for second in the Carolina League in RBIs. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Trey Michalczewski begins the second half of the season in a tie for second in the Carolina League in RBIs. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Omar Narvaez – C
Nolan Earley – RF
Toby Thomas – DH
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Michael Suiter – LF
Jordan Guerrero – LHP

DASH DOTS:

  • During the season’s first 70 games, Winston-Salem recorded the worst single-half record during the Dash era (2009-present). In fact, Winston-Salem three most recent halves have been the franchise’s three worst since the nickname change. A year ago, the Dash were 30-39 and 31-39 in the first and second half, respectively. Since 2009, the Dash are still 40 games over .500 (472-432-1). Only Potomac owns a better record in the CL during this span.
  • This three-game set marks the Dash’s second and final trip to Lynchburg in the regular season. The Hillcats claimed all four games of a weather-condensed four-game series from June 5-7. It marked the franchise’s first four-game road sweep since June 2-5, 2008, the final season of the Warthogs. In the series finale, Lynchburg overcame a 7-0 Winston-Salem advantage, the biggest lead the club had ever surrendered in a loss since the Dash era began six years ago.
  • Several Dash players found themselves at or near the top of some categories in the Carolina League. Adam Engel is tied for first in stolen bases (28) and tied for second in runs (44). Trey Michalczewski shares second in RBIs (42). Omar Narvaez is sixth in batting average (.299). On the pitching side, Matt Heidenreich is sixth with a 2.95 earned run average, while his eight wins are two better than any other CL hurler.
  • The California League cruised to a 9-2 victory in the 19th California-Carolina League All-Star Game on Tuesday in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Omar Narvaez went 1-for-2 with a run scored, while both James Dykstra (1.0 IP, 2 ER) and Matt Heidenreich (0.1 IP, 0 R) appeared on the mound. With the victory, the men from the West Coast snagged a 9-8-2 edge in the all-time series. The 2016 Midsummer Classic will take place in Lake Elsinore, Calif., in a celebration of the California League’s 75th anniversary.
  • The Dash only had two roster moves in advance of the season’s second half. Euclides Leyer has rejoined the club from Low-A Kannapolis, while fellow righty Yency Almonte was assigned to the Intimidators from Winston-Salem.
  • On Sunday, the Dash improved to 10-0 at home when scoring six-plus runs.
  • Jordan Guerrero will make his fourth High-A start in the stadium where he made his first (5.0 IP, 4 R on June 7).

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on 600 AM-WSJS and wsjs.com, along with the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:15 p.m., with the first pitch at 6:30 p.m.

– Scott

Game #56 Preview – Dash at Lynchburg

Game #56 – Road Game #32
Winston-Salem Dash (22-32) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (26-29)
Sunday, June 7 – 2 p.m.
Calvin Falwell Field (Lynchburg, Va.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

A six-run seventh inning was not enough for Winston-Salem in a 10-8 loss Saturday at Lynchburg. The Dash will look to salvage the four-game series Sunday as they finish out their brief road trip.

Omar Narvaez matched a career high Sunday with four hits. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Omar Narvaez matched a career high Saturday with four hits. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Chris Jacobs – 1B
Jeremy Dowdy – C
Nolan Earley – RF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Toby Thomas – LF
Ethan Wilson – DH
Jordan Guerrero – LHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Had Winston-Salem completed this comeback and won on Saturday, the squad would have notched the largest come-from-behind triumph in the Dash era (2009-present). The largest such victory was a seven-run rally on May 22, 2009, against Salem, while Winston turned in its sixth comeback of exactly six runs since the nickname change on Monday against the Red Sox, when the Dash trailed 8-2 before winning 9-8.
  • The Dash did drastically improve their clutch hitting on Saturday by going 6-for-16 with men in scoring position. Winston also logged 10 plate appearances with the bases loaded, going 3-for-8 with a pair of walks in these chances. This came on the heels of a 1-for-16 effort with runners in scoring position throughout Friday’s doubleheader. Still, the Dash stranded 13 runners, their highest such total since May 1, 2013, when Winston saw 14 runners stall in what was a 15-6 victory in Lynchburg.
  • Despite a valiant rally in the late innings, the Dash suffered their sixth consecutive road loss, their third road skid of four or more games in 2015. This is Winston-Salem’s longest road slump since the club dropped eight consecutive road contests from August 5-16 of 2014. The Dash are 11-20 in road tilts, which is tied with Frederick for the CL’s worst mark. The Dash and Keys also lead the circuit in total road games.
  • Dash catcher Omar Narvaez matched a career high with four hits in Saturday’s defeat. He only owns one other four-hit game in the Minors, and it came as a member of Tampa Bay’s Venezuelan Summer League team on August 2, 2010. Since May 28, Narvaez is a red-hot 12-for-22 (.545) with five RBIs and six runs scored. This six-game hitting streak has helped Narvaez storm to fourth place among Carolina League qualifiers with a .300 average. Narvaez paces all CL catchers in average, hits (45) and at-bats (150).
  • Infielder Jake Peter is riding a nine-game hitting streak that he extended with a 3-for-5 showing on Saturday. Since May 27, the former Creighton star is 12-for-33 (.364) with a homer and seven RBIs, including three his last time out. Peter has trumped his previous season-high hit streak of eight games, which took place from May 5-11. With a knock on Sunday, he would claim a share of the longest run by a Winston hitter in 2015 (Chris Jacobs, 10 games from April 29-May 9).
  • Sunday starter Jordan Guerrero will make his first career High-A outing. In nine starts with Low-A Kannapolis, Guerrero was 6-1 with a 2.28 ERA, while his 1.24 mark through May was the seventh-best among all Minor League qualifiers. The two-time South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week was a 15th-round pick in 2012.
  • For just the eighth time all season, the Dash lost a game during which they scored four or more runs. Winston-Salem’s eight-run output was its second highest in a losing effort this year (12-10 loss on May 5 at Frederick).
  • Dash slugger Trey Michalczewski reached base in four of his six plate appearances on Saturday (two singles and two walks).
  • Both Jefferson Olacio and Peter Tago recorded a perfect inning of relief, with the latter of the two whiffing the side.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Sunday’s game will be available on wsdash.com/broadcast, along with the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 1:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 2 p.m.

– Scott

Game #55 Preview – Dash at Lynchburg

Game #55 – Road Game #31
Winston-Salem Dash (22-31) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (25-29)
Saturday, June 6 – 6:30 p.m.
Calvin Falwell Field (Lynchburg, Va.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Winston-Salem was swept in a doubleheader Friday, with the Dash mustering just three combined runs between the two contests. Winston searches for a rebound Saturday.

Jake Peter is currently on an eight-game hitting streak. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Jake Peter is currently working on an eight-game hitting streak. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Chris Jacobs – 1B
Omar Narvaez – C
Nolan Earley – RF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Michael Suiter – LF
T.J. Williams – DH
James Dykstra – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • The Dash’s biggest issue on Friday was their inability to cash in on scoring chances. Overall, Winston-Salem was 1-for-16 (.063) with runners in scoring position, which includes an 0-for-12 showing in the opener. In that tilt, the Dash stranded a season-high 11 runners, eight of whom were in scoring position at the end of an inning. This rough showing followed a strong homestand, during which the Dash amassed 34 runs in six games (5.7 per game). Winston is last in the Carolina League in average (.236), while the club is fourth in runs per game (3.98).
  • Game one starter Matt Heidenreich permitted season highs in runs (7), earned runs (7) and hits (10) in his first loss since August 7, 2014, as a member of the Lancaster JetHawks (High-A, Houston). Before this effort, Heidenreich had worked past 5.0 innings in all but one of his first nine starts, and the opposition had tallied more than one earned run against him just twice.
  • As a result, Heidenreich fell short of becoming the second eight-game winner within Minor League Baseball. Heidenreich could have joined Jacob Faria of the Charlotte Stone Crabs (High-A, Tampa Bay) as the only two members of the eight-win club. However, Heidenreich must settle for sharing second in the Minors in wins with 11 other pitchers. He still stands third in innings (60.2) and fifth in ERA (2.67) in the CL.
  • For the second time this season, Winston-Salem infielder Jake Peter has recorded an eight-game hitting streak. Since May 27, the former Creighton star is 9-for-28 (.321) with a homer and four RBIs. Although Peter did extend his hitting streak with exactly one hit in both games of Friday’s twin bill, he did not score in either game after touching home precisely once in each of the first six games of his hit streak. Peter’s first eight-game run took place from May 5-11. He is two games shy of the longest run by a Winston hitter in 2015 (Chris Jacobs, April 29-May 9).
  • Winston third baseman Trey Michalczewski collected a pair of hits in Friday’s opener before hitting the ball hard twice in the nightcap, though both were ruled as Lynchburg errors. Within the Carolina League, Michalczewski is tied for fifth with six homers, while his 32 RBIs are tied for second, trailing Lynchburg’s Nellie Rodriguez.
  • On Tuesday, the White Sox announced that Carolina League stolen base leader Keenyn Walker has earned a promotion to Double-A Birmingham. Within the CL, Walker also stands tied for second in triples (4) and tied for third in runs scored (30). Fellow outfielder Nolan Earley has rejoined the active roster from the disabled list. On Wednesday, lefties Jordan Guerrero and Jefferson Olacio jumped to Winston-Salem from Low-A Kannapolis. Guerrero was seventh in the Minors in ERA through May (1.24).
  • Including both games Friday, the Dash have mustered three runs or less in 29 of their first 53 completed games. The Dash are 4-25 in those contests and 18-6 when mustering four or more knocks.
  • In his last outing, Saturday starter James Dykstra ripped off eight strikeouts, which doubled his previous season high. Winston-Salem is 6-2 in the eight games Dykstra has started.
  • The Dash dropped to 6-3 on the road against Northern Division foes.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Saturday’s game will be available on wsdash.com/broadcast, along with the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:15 p.m., with the first pitch at 6:30 p.m.

– Scott

Games #53/54 Preview – Dash at Lynchburg

UPDATE: 8:10 p.m.

Dash’s game two lineup:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Chris Jacobs – DH
Jeremy Dowdy – C
Nolan Earley – RF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Michael Suiter – LF
T.J. Williams – 1B
Brian Clark – LHP

Games #53/54 – Road Games #29/30
Winston-Salem Dash (22-29) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (23-29)
Friday, June 5 – 5:30 p.m.
Calvin Falwell Field (Lynchburg, Va.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

After Thursday’s postponement, Winston-Salem and Lynchburg will tangle in a doubleheader on Friday. The Dash took two of three from the Hillcats last week in the clubs’ first meeting this year.

Matt Heidenreich makes the start Thursday for the Dash in Lynchburg. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Matt Heidenreich makes the start Thursday in Game 1 of a doubleheader in Lynchburg. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP (Game 1):

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Chris Jacobs – 1B
Omar Narvaez – C
Nolan Earley – RF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Michael Suiter – LF
T.J. Williams – DH
Matt Heidenreich – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Even though Tuesday’s suspended game is still hanging in the balance, the Dash recorded a victorious week-long homestand. The Dash averaged 5.7 runs per game, while their pitching staff limited the opposition to just 3.8 runs per night. On Monday, Winston overcame a six-run deficit, which is tied for the second-biggest come-from-behind win in the Dash era (2009-present). Winston bounced back from a 7-0 hole against Salem on May 22, 2009, to win 8-7. Since then, the Dash have never mustered a comeback greater than six runs in a victory.
  • Thanks to Tuesday’s suspension and Thursday’s postponement, Winston-Salem will conclude half one by finishing 19 games over the course of 17 days. The first eight games of this surge to the All-Star break will take place against Northern Division opponents (Lynchburg and Wilmington) before concluding the first half with a series against each of the other three Southern Division clubs, with two taking place at home.
  • Winston-Salem is 11 games out of first place, which likely means that the club will fail to win a half for the fifth time in a row. The Dash have not qualified for the playoffs since 2012. If Winston does not make the postseason this year, it would mark the longest drought for the franchise since a four-season wait from 1999-2002.
  • Winston-Salem starter Matt Heidenreich is one of 11 pitchers in all of Minor League Baseball with seven or more personal victories. With a win on Thursday, Heidenreich would be the second hurler with eight. Jacob Faria of the Charlotte Stone Crabs (High-A, Tampa Bay) is the only man to reach eight wins, and he notched number nine on Monday. Only four big league pitchers have more wins than Heidenreich. The Coronado, Calif., native was the fourth pitcher in the Minors to pick up his fifth (May 7), sixth (May 17) and seventh (May 29) win.
  • Heidenreich has earned those seven victories with stellar pitching throughout his first nine outings. Among qualifiers, his 1.78 earned run average is fourth in the Carolina League and 21st in the Minor Leagues. Heidenreich has logged 55.2 innings, which are good for a share of third place in the CL. He has worked into the sixth inning in all but one start, and only twice has a team tagged him for more than one earned run (2 at FRE on 5/7; 5 at SAL on 5/12).
  • On Tuesday, the White Sox announced that Carolina League stolen base leader Keenyn Walker has earned a promotion to Double-A Birmingham. Within the CL, Walker also stands tied for second in triples (4) and tied for third in runs scored (30). Fellow outfielder Nolan Earley has rejoined the active roster from the disabled list. On Wednesday, lefties Jordan Guerrero and Jefferson Olacio jumped to Winston-Salem from Low-A Kannapolis. Guerrero was seventh in the Minors in ERA through May (1.24).
  • Winston-Salem took two of three from Lynchburg during the recent homestand. The Hillcats took the opener 4-2 before the Dash outscored the new Indians High-A affiliate 15-4 in the final two contests.
  • This is the first of two trips for the Dash to the Hill City. Winston opens the second half in Lynchburg from June 25-27.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Friday’s game will be available on wsdash.com/broadcast, along with the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 5:15 p.m., with the first pitch at 5:30 p.m.

– Scott

Game #48 Preview – Dash vs. Lynchburg

Game #48 – Home Game #20
Winston-Salem Dash (19-28) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (21-26)
Friday, May 29 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

All nine Dash starters reached base and Winston capitalized on six Lynchburg errors Thursday to knock off the Hillcats 7-3. Friday’s contest will be the rubber game of the three-game set.

Omar Narvaez had two hits and two runs scored Thursday against Lynchburg. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Omar Narvaez had two hits and two runs scored Thursday against Lynchburg. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Chris Jacobs – 1B
Omar Narvaez – C
Keenyn Walker – RF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Michael Suiter – LF
T.J. Williams – DH
Matt Heidenreich – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • For the second time in 14 games, Winston-Salem surpassed the four-run mark in Thursday’s victory. In their previous 13 games, the Dash had only mustered 29 total runs (2.2/game), with a whopping 12 of them coming in one game (12-1 win vs. Salem on May 17). Thursday marked the 10th time the Dash recorded a double-digit hit total. However, Winston is still last in the eight-team CL with a .233 average.
  • Even though the Dash have dropped 10 of their last 14 games, their pitching staff has shined during this funk. Winston-Salem owns a 2.31 earned run average (32 ER in 124.2 IP) since May 13. In these 14 contests, the Dash have given up more than three earned runs just three times. As a result, Winston-Salem has stormed into second place in the Carolina League in team earned run average with a mark of 3.16. Only Wilmington (2.59) has a better mark within the eight-team circuit, though four other teams are within 0.38 runs of the Dash for second place.
  • Entering this season, Winston-Salem had led the CL in homers in four of the last five seasons. However, the Dash have not gone yard in their last 87 frames dating back to May 17, and their 16 total long balls are seventh on the circuit. Only Wilmington (15) has fewer than Winston.
  • Dash starter Matt Heidenreich has been one of the Carolina League’s best pitchers thus far this season. Heidenreich leads the circuit with six victories, while he is fifth in earned run average (1.99), sixth in innings pitched (49.2) and eighth in WHIP (1.05). With a win Friday night, the Coronado, Calif., native would become the fourth Minor League hurler to reach seven personal victories. He was the fourth to reach five (May 7) and six wins (May 17) in Minor League Baseball. Winston is 7-1 (.875) when Heidenreich takes to the hill and 12-27 (.308) in all other contests.
  • This series features the CL’s top three base stealers. Keenyn Walker boasts a league-leading total of 24 stolen bases. Fellow Dash outfielder Adam Engel and Lynchburg’s Bradley Zimmer are tied for second with 20, though Engel has not ripped off a stolen base since May 15. Both Walker and Engel were caught stealing Thursday. Walker is tied for fourth in the Minors, while Engel and Zimmer are even for 12th.
  • Entering this homestand, the Dash had played in only 17 games inside BB&T Ballpark. Winston-Salem was tied with fellow CL club Frederick (Baltimore) and Bradenton (High-A, Pittsburgh) for the fewest number of home games in all of Minor League Baseball. The Dash, Keys and Marauders have all played home games on Wednesday and Thursday, so all three are still tied for last with 19. The Dash will play 18 of their last 25 games before the All-Star break in the Triad, including these last two home games.
  • For the third time this season, Jake Peter coaxed three walks in Thursday’s win. No other Dash hitter has collected three free passes in a single game this year.
  • Winston-Salem is a season-worst 11.5 games out of first place in the Southern Division.
  • Right-hander Jose Brito has not given up an earned run in his last three relief appearances spanning six innings.

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 p.m.

– Scott

Game #47 Preview – Dash vs. Lynchburg

Game #47 – Home Game #19
Winston-Salem Dash (18-28) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (21-25)
Thursday, May 28 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Winston-Salem’s offensive woes continued Wednesday in a 4-2 series-opening defeat to Lynchburg. Robinson Leyer turned in a quality start but the Dash mustered two hits for the second consecutive game. Winston looks to snap a four-game skid Thursday against the Hillcats.

Kenyan Walker blooped a two-run single for the Dash Wednesday. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Kenyan Walker blooped a two-run single for the Dash Wednesday. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Chris Jacobs – 1B
Omar Narvaez – C
Keenyn Walker – RF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Michael Suiter – LF
T.J. Williams – DH
Jake Cose – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Even though the Dash have dropped 10 of their last 13 games, their pitching staff has shined during this funk. Winston-Salem owns a 2.33 earned run average (30 ER in 115.2 IP) since May 13. In these 13 contests, the Dash have given up more than three earned runs just three times. As a result, Winston-Salem has stormed into second place in the Carolina League in team earned run average with a mark of 3.19. Only Wilmington (2.59) has a better mark within the eight-team circuit, though four other teams are within 0.24 runs of the Dash.
  • On the flip side, the Dash’s offense has not enjoyed much success in the last 13 games. During this span, the Dash have only mustered 29 total runs (2.2/game), with a whopping 12 of them coming in one game (12-1 win vs. Salem on May 17). Winston had gone 29 consecutive innings without pushing a run across until Walker’s two-run single in the fourth inning on Wednesday. The Dash have not gone yard in their last 79 frames dating back to May 17.
  • For a second consecutive game, the Dash amassed just two base hits. This marks the first time in the Dash era (2009-present) that Winston has failed to surpass the two-hit mark in back-to-back games. Since the nickname change, the Dash have mustered two or fewer hits just 14 times (two hits in 13 games; one hit in one game), though four have occurred this season.
  • Wednesday starter Robinson Leyer saw his impressive scoreless streak come to an end in the fourth inning. He had rattled off 15 straight scoreless frames, which had dropped his 2015 ERA almost two full runs. On Thursday, Jake Cose will try to continue his stellar start since returning from a 613-day absence. Cose has given up just four earned runs in 20.2 innings, and he did not permit a run over six frames in his last start. Then, Carolina League wins leader Matt Heidenreich will work Friday’s finale.
  • This series features the CL’s top three base stealers. With another swipe on Wednesday, Keenyn Walker added to his league-leading total of 24. Fellow Dash outfielder Adam Engel and Lynchburg’s Bradley Zimmer are tied for second with 20, though Engel has not ripped off a stolen base since May 15. Walker is in a three-way tie for third place in the Minor Leagues, while Engel and Zimmer are even for 12th.
  • Entering Thursday’s action, the Dash have played in only 18 games inside BB&T Ballpark. Winston-Salem is tied with fellow CL club Frederick (Baltimore) and Bradenton (High-A, Pittsburgh) for the fewest number of home games in all of Minor League Baseball. The Dash will have a chance to settle into the Triad the remainder of the first half. Starting with Wednesday’s homestand opener, the Dash will play 18 of their last 25 games before the All-Star break in Winston-Salem.
  • The Dash have failed to surpass three runs in 26 of their first 46 games (57 percent), during which the Dash are 4-22. Winston-Salem is 14-6 when plating four or more runs in a contest.
  • Righty Zach Isler, who had been with the Dash ever since Opening Day in 2014, was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte. He takes the place of former Dash hurler Daniel Webb, who is the White Sox 26th man for their doubleheader at Baltimore.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on 600 AM-WSJS and wsjs.com, along with the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 7 p.m.

– Scott

Game #46 Preview – Dash vs. Lynchburg

Game #46 – Home Game #18
Winston-Salem Dash (18-27) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (20-25)
Wednesday, May 27 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

After a 2-5 road trip, Winston-Salem enjoyed a scheduled off-day Tuesday. The Dash will start a week-long homestand Wednesday by beginning their three-game set with the Lynchburg Hillcats, the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.

Robinson Leyer has not given up a run in either of his last two starts. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Robinson Leyer has not given up a run in either of his last two starts. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Chris Jacobs – 1B
Omar Narvaez – C
Keenyn Walker – RF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Michael Suiter – LF
T.J. Williams – DH
Robinson Leyer – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • The Dash struggled during the road trip, but their pitching staff shined for the most part. In these seven games, Winston-Salem boasted a team earned run average of 2.19 (15 earned runs in 61.2 innings). These effective performances have propelled Winston-Salem to an overall team ERA of 3.17, which is second-lowest in the Carolina League behind only Wilmington (2.63).
  • On the flip side, the Dash’s offense has not enjoyed much success in recent games. While the pitching staff recorded back-to-back shutouts on Thursday and Friday, Winston-Salem’s bats have endured five shutout defeats in the last 11 games. During this span, the Dash have only mustered 25 total runs (2.3/game), with a whopping 12 of them coming in one game (12-1 win vs. Salem on May 17). Winston-Salem has gone 26 consecutive innings without pushing a run across. Thus, the Dash have dropped to the basement of the CL in team average (.235).
  • No Dash, Blue Rock or Red Sox player hit a homer during this seven-game swing. In fact, it has been exactly 70.2 innings since both the Dash and a Winston-Salem opponent has gone yard. Salem’s Aneury Tavarez (second) and Winston-Salem’s Trey Michalczewski (fourth) went deep in the Dash’s 12-1 obliteration of the Red Sox on May 17.
  • Wednesday starter Robinson Leyer has not given up a run in each of his last two starts. Leyer permitted just one hit over six sensational innings against Salem on May 15 before a six-frame, three-hit outing at Wilmington this past Thursday. In his first six starts, the El Seibo, Dominican Republic, native had a 5.86 ERA, one that he has lowered almost two runs during these two gems. This is similar to Leyer’s trajectory when he was with Low-A Kannapolis a year ago. He posted a 6.43 ERA in April before going 3-2 with a 1.53 ERA in May and June.
  • Even though neither men swiped a base on Monday, Dash outfielders Keenyn Walker and Adam Engel still stand at first and second in the CL in stolen bases, respectively. Walker leads the way with 23 stolen bases, which are good for a share of fourth place in all of Minor League Baseball. Engel has not ripped off a stolen base since May 15, but his 20 are tied for 10th-most in the Minors. Fellow White Sox farmhand Jacob May has also swiped 23 bases, giving the White Sox three farmhands in the top 10.
  • Entering this seven-game homestand, the Dash have played in only 17 games inside BB&T Ballpark. Winston-Salem is tied with fellow CL club Frederick (Baltimore) and Bradenton (High-A, Pittsburgh) for the fewest number of home games in all of Minor League Baseball. The Dash will have a chance to settle into the Triad the rest of the first half. The Dash will play 18 of their last 25 games of half one at home.
  • Since last weekend, the Dash have added left-hander Devon Davis, catcher Ryan Plourde, outfielder Michael Suiter and infielder Toby Thomas to their roster.
  • This marks the first of Winston-Salem’s 16 meetings with Lynchburg during the regular season. gThe Hillcats joined forces with the Cleveland Indians this offseason after a long tenure with the Braves’ organization.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

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

– Scott

Carolina Countdown – Lynchburg Hillcats

The Carolina Countdown previews the rest of the Carolina League in advance of the season. We will take a look at each club, both on and off the field. The countdown will progress alphabetically, and a new post will go up every weekday until it is over.

March 26: Carolina Mudcats
March 27: Frederick Keys

Introduction: Founded in 1963, Lynchburg joined the Carolina League in 1966, making the Hillcats the second-oldest continuously operating team on the circuit, behind only the Winston-Salem franchise. The 2015 season marks the 40th that Lynchburg will spend in the Carolina League and their first in affiliation with the Cleveland Indians. The Hillcats have now been affiliated with 10 MLB teams over their history, but have normally been very successful; their seven Carolina League titles leave them behind only Winston-Salem for the most in league history.

Last Season: While certainly no juggernaut, the Hillcats were nothing if not consistent, following up a 34-36 first half of the 2014 campaign with a 34-35 record after the All-Star Break. Despite finishing under .500 overall at 68-71, Lynchburg claimed a playoff spot by virtue of their second place finish in the second half of the season before Potomac swept their Mills Cup semifinals series.

Lynchburg pitchers combined for the worst ERA (4.36) of any team in the Carolina League, but that was no fault of Greg Ross, who had the lowest ERA of any starting pitcher on the club at 3.50 to go along with his 5-3 record in 79.2 innings. Infielder Jose Peraza, MLB.com’s 39th-best prospect, and outfielder Kyle Wren (more on him below) helped charge up the offense, with the former batting .342/.365/.454 with 35 stolen bases and the latter slashing .296/.359/.357 to go along with his 33 swipes.

Manager: The Hillcats will welcome Mark Budzinski into the dugout to lead their club for the first time as an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. Budzinski earned his first-ever managing experience last year with Class A Lake County of the Midwest League, leading the Captains all the way to the Championship Series before falling to the Kane County Cougars (Chicago Cubs) in three games.

Budzinski played collegiately at the University of Richmond and was selected by the Indians in the 21st round of the 1995 draft. He spent 11 seasons in the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Philadelphia systems, finally earning that coveted promotion to The Show in 2003 with the Reds. Budzinski’s MLB career was short; it lasted just four games and seven plate appearances before he was sent back down to the minors for good until his retirement following the 2005 campaign. The Severna Park, Md. native will be joined in the dugout by pitching coach Tony Arnold and hitting coach Bobby Magallanes.

Francisco Lindor is the top prospect in the Cleveland Indians organization. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)

Francisco Lindor is the top prospect in the Cleveland Indians organization. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)

System: Poised to be one of baseball’s breakout teams in 2015, the Indians have seen much of their enviable young core of talent graduate to the majors to help their big league club try to challenge Detroit, Kansas City and the White Sox for the American League Central crown. All five of Cleveland’s starting pitchers are 29-and-younger and of the team’s nine projected regulars, six are still in their 20s. So the upcoming season could be the first of many that the Indians are a serious threat not just in the Central, but also in the entire American League.

While the Cleveland farm system may not be the strongest top-to-bottom (Baseball Prospectus ranks it 17th overall), there are a couple of high-impact prospects on the way that could help the big league club as early as this summer. The first name that comes to remember is infielder Francisco Lindor, the fourth-best prospect in all of baseball. Still just 20 years old, Lindor was the youngest player in the Eastern League (Double-A) on Opening Day last season and became the youngest position player in the International League (Triple-A) after a midsummer promotion. Along the way, he played in his third consecutive All-Star Futures Game, batting .276/.338/.389 across the two levels with 11 home runs and 28 stolen bases in 126 games.

The other Indians prospect ranked among the minors’ best is outfielder Clint Frazier (54th overall). Cleveland made Frazier the first high school position player selected in the 2013 Draft (5th overall), gave him a franchise-record $3.5 million signing bonus and watched him slash .266/.349/.411 with 13 bombs and 50 RBIs with Low-A Lake County in 2014, his first professional campaign. Frazier could see time at High-A Lynchburg in 2015.

Best Promotion: On Saturday, May 3, the Hillcats will host “Kentucky Derby Night” against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Fans who wear a seersucker, fancy hat and/or a bow tie will receive discounted admission to the game.

Outfielder Kyle Wren was a Midseason All-Star for the Hillcats last year, but was traded to the Brewers in the offseason. (Photo courtesy of Baseball America.)

Outfielder Kyle Wren was a Midseason All-Star for the Hillcats last year, but was traded to the Brewers in the offseason. (Photo courtesy of Baseball America.)

Fun Fact: Outfielder Kyle Wren was named the Braves’ Single-A Player of the Year after his strong performance for Lynchburg last season. However, after Atlanta fired his father, Frank, as the team’s general manager and his uncle, Jeff, a scout in the organization, the team shipped Kyle to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for minor league pitcher Zach Quintana.

Hillcats in Winston-Salem: Lynchburg makes its first appearance at BB&T Ballpark for the 2015 season for a three-game series from May 27-29. The Hillcats will also come south two times after the All-Star Break, for a set from July 19-21 and then again for a weekend series from July 31-August 2.

We’ll come back into the Southern Division tomorrow to talk about the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Have a wonderful day!

– Scott

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