Results tagged ‘ Myrtle Beach Pelicans ’
After 4,487 attended last night’s Dash game against Myrtle Beach, BB&T Ballpark surpassed the one millionth fan mark in it’s young history, making it the fastest a High-A ballpark has never reached that milestone. The ballpark has now hosted 1,004,042 fans in its three plus seasons.
Those aren’t the only impressive numbers this ballpark boasts. Since the ballpark opened, no team in High-A baseball has had more fans come through its gates. Here’s the top five:
1. Winston-Salem Dash: 1,004,042
2. Frederick Keys: 970,988
3. Wilmington Blue Rocks: 936,405
4. Lake Elsinore Storm: 737,971
5. Myrtle Beach Pelicans: 708,164
The Dash have also posted the best home record among all full season minor league teams since BB&T Ballpark opened. Here’s the top five:
1. Winston-Salem Dash (High-A, Chicago White Sox): 143-87
2. Savannah Sand Gnats (Low-A, New York Mets): 138-88 3.0 GB
3. Columbus Clippers (Triple-A, Cleveland Indians): 141-92 3.5 GB
4. Durham Bulls (Triple-A, Tampa Bay Rays): 142-96 5.0 GB
5. Tennessee Smokies (Double-A, Chicago Cubs): 137-92 5.5 GB
The Dash will try and improve that minor league-leading record even more tonight as the Potomac Nationals roll in to BB&T Ballpark for the first of a three-game series. Join me here at 6:45 for the Pregame Dash. First pitch is scheduled for 7. Talk to you then!
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!
The Dash are a few hours away from a series finale against the Potomac Nationals here in Woodbridge, Va., and there is plenty of news to discuss. Let’s break it all down with a Monday edition of Dash Dots.
- Despite going hitless in Sunday’s de facto doubleheader, Adam Heisler extended his on-base streak to 38 games thanks to a hit by pitch and a walk. Heisler’s 38-game run is now the second-longest in Minor League Baseball. Jamal Austin of High Desert (High-A, Seattle) has reached at least once in 44 straight contests.
- Heisler jumped to second place after Scooter Gennett of Nashville (Triple-A, Milwaukee) went 0-for-4 against Sacramento on Sunday, which snapped his 39-game on-base streak.
- Dash infielder Jeremy Farrell saw his 10-game hitting streak come to an end with an 0-for-4 showing in the suspended game from Saturday. Farrell fell one game shy of teammate Mark Haddow (April 6-18) and Salem infielder Garin Cecchini (April 22-May 4), whose 11-game streaks are the longest in the CL thus far this season. During this run, the former Pittsburgh farmhand boasted a batting average of .366 (15-for-41) with three homers and 12 RBIs.
- Winston-Salem is in danger of suffering its first four-game series sweep in the Dash era (2009-present). Winston’s last such brooming came in Myrtle Beach from June 2-5, 2008, when the franchise was called the Warthogs.
- The Dash had not lost the first three contests in a four-game set since August 18-20, 2011, here at Pfitzner Stadium. However, Winston-Salem emphatically avoided a sweep by pounding the P-Nats 15-3 in the series finale.
- Speaking of Dash era firsts, Potomac’s Blake Schwartz held Winston to just one hit in Sunday’s seven-inning contest, which marked the first time in Dash history that the club was held to just one hit. The Dash’s previous low-water mark for hits in a single game was two, which occurred five times.
- Following tonight’s game at Potomac, the Dash will entertain first-place Myrtle Beach for a three-game series that begins tomorrow. The Pelicans currently lead the Dash by 6.5 games, Winston’s largest deficit in the standings since the club finished the first half of the 2011 season 8.5 games back of Myrtle Beach. If the Dash want to win the first half title in the Southern Division, this series will be critical.
Join me for the Dash’s finale at Pfitzner Stadium. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m., and the Pregame Dash begins at 6:50 p.m. here.
The Dash are getting ready to wrap up a three-game series at Myrtle Beach tonight, but before that let’s check out some notes in a Wednesday edition of Dash Dots:
- Tonight’s starter Chris Bassitt did not give up a run in any of his four appearances (one start and three relief outings) against Myrtle Beach last season. In total, Bassitt gave up just four hits and four walks while striking out seven in nine and a third innings against the Pelicans in 2012. These numbers do not include his seven scoreless frames against Myrtle in the deciding third game of the SDCS last September.
- Mark Haddow is currently on a nine-game hitting streak, the longest in the Carolina League this season. He has picked up at least one hit in every game he has played so far this season, except for Opening Day. Haddow received his first day off yesterday.
- Chris Curley has a six-game hitting streak of his own going, including four straight multi-hit efforts. This streak has bumped his season average to .361, putting him sixth in the Carolina League. The infielder is also tied for fourth on the circuit with three homers and tied for third with 10 RBIs.
- Despite not having a home run in either of the first two games of their series against the Pelicans, the Dash still lead the circuit with 12 long balls on the season. Winston-Salem did not homer in the first two games of the season either and is now 0-4 when they don’t go deep at least once.
- Dash alum Addison Reed has been crucial to the White Sox this season. Coming into today, the South Siders are 6-8, with Reed picking up either the save or the win in all six of their victories.
- Double-A Birmingham was down by one last night to Chattanooga and down to their final strike when Dash alum Michael Blanke doubled in two runs to give the Barons the lead. Fellow Dash alum Taylor Thompson finished things off with a scoreless ninth to pickup the win in relief. Today, Michael Earley hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to knot the score, but the Lookouts did prevail with a 5-4 win.
The Dash wrap up their series with the Pelicans tonight at 7:05 from TicketReturn.com Field. A win puts Winston-Salem and Myrtle Beach in a tie atop the Southern Division. Catch Brian here with the Pregame Dash at 6:50.
With the season starting tomorrow night, it’s time to see who could make an impact on the seven other teams in the Carolina League. The prospect rankings used for this post are from Baseball America.
Carolina Mudcats: For the second straight season, shortstop Francisco Lindor is the top prospect in the Indians’ organization. The 2011 first-round pick spent all of 2012 with Low-A Lake County, where he was the youngest everyday player in the league at 18.
Scouts say Lindor has an above-average arm and great instincts and rate him as one of the best defensive infielders in the minors. Lindor was given some spring training action for the Indians, hitting .292 while appearing in 10 games. He won’t turn 20 until after the season, meaning his best days are surely ahead of him.
Others to watch for: Outfielder Tyler Naquin (#3 prospect), infielder Tony Wolters (#17), right-handed pitcher Cody Anderson (#29) and outfielder Jordan Smith (#30).
Frederick Keys: After spending all of 2012 with Low-A Delmarva, left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez could be set to make an impact for the Keys this summer. In 2012, the southpaw pitched 107 innings for Delmarva and posted a 3.70 ERA.
Rodriguez, listed as Baltimore’s number five prospect, was signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela when he was 17. He will turn 20 during the Carolina League’s opening weekend, and the Orioles hope he will continue to climb toward his very ceiling in his age 20 season.
Others to watch for: Infielder Nick Delmonico (#4 prospect), left-handed pitcher Tim Berry (#11), outfielder Glynn Davis (#14), right-handed pitcher Devin Jones (#18), right-handed pitcher Zach Davies (#20), right-handed pitcher Tyler Wison (#26) and outfielder Brenden Webb (#27).
Lyncburg Hillcats: After his 2012 season was cut short by injuries, outfielder Matt Lipka will be back in Lynchburg to start 2013. The 14th-rated prospect in the Braves’ system, Lipka hit .271 in 51 games for the Hillcats before a hamstring injury sidelined him for the rest of the season.
A former shortstop, Lipka was playing center field for the first time as a professional last year, and scouts say he showed good instincts. With his above-average speed, Lipka could turn into a very good defensive center fielder, but the Braves want him to prove he is healthy and continue to improve before giving him a shot at Double-A.
Others to watch for: Right-handed pitcher Navery Moore (#15 prospect), right-handed pitcher Juan Jaime (#20), third baseman Kyle Kubitza (#25), right-handed pitcher Nate Hyatt (#26) and outfielder Robby Hefflinger (#29).
Myrtle Beach Pelicans: On July 2, 2009, the Rangers signed two 16-year old shortstops from Venezuela. The first one, Jurickson Profar, is one of the top prospects in all of baseball and is close to breaking into the big league lineup. The other signing that day, Luis Sardinas, will be a member of the 2013 Pelicans.
While injuries slowed his progress at the start of his minor league career, Sardinas was mostly healthy last year while playing for Low-A Hickory. He hit .291 and stole 32 bases in 2012 while also showing off a strong arm and overall plus skills in the field. He played mostly shortstop last season, but with Profar ahead of him, he could move permanently to second base, where he played 14 games in 2012.
Others to watch for: Right-handed pitcher Luke Jackson (#6 prospect), infielder Rougned Odor (#11), infielder Drew Robinson (#21), outfielder Zach Cone (#24) and right-handed pitcher Nick Martinez (#27).
Potomac Nationals: After 109 games with Potomac, outfielder Michael Taylor earned himself the number 11 slot on the Nationals’ prospect list. Taylor was drafted as a shortstop, but was quickly moved to center field after turning pro. He is a very good defensive outfielder, but his bat trails behind his defensive skills.
Taylor hit just .242 last year and struck out more than 100 times for the second straight year, two big reasons why scouts believe he will repeat High-A this year. With improvements in his offensive game, though, Double-A should be within his reach before too long.
Others to watch for: Right-handed pitcher A.J. Cole (#4), right-handed pitcher Taylor Jordan (#13), infielder Jason Martinson (#14), left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray (#18) and outfielder Billy Burns (#26).
Salem Red Sox: The Red Sox number five prospect, left-hander Henry Owens, won 12 games for Low-A Greenville in his first professional season last year. Armed with a fastball, changeup, and two different types of breaking ball, the 2011 first rounder led all Red Sox farmhands with those 12 wins and finished second in strikeouts with 130.
The southpaw’s walk numbers were high in 2012, but improved control could limit his time in Salem and quickly send him up to Double-A before all is said and done. If the Red Sox struggle again in 2013, a September call-up to the big leagues may not be out of the question to get Owens’ feet wet.
Others to watch for: Catcher Blake Swihart (#6 prospect), third baseman Garin Cecchini (#7), shortstop Deven Marrero (#10), outfielder Brandon Jacobs (#13), second baseman Sean Coyle (#24), outfielder Keury De La Cruz (#25) and left-handed pitcher Miguel Pena (#30).
Wilmington Blue Rocks: The top prospect in the Kansas City organization after the big Wil Myers-James Shields trade is right-handed pitcher Kyle Zimmer. Last year’s fifth overall pick, Zimmer has been confirmed as a member of the Blue Rocks’ 2013 staff.
After a giving up just one run in 10 innings for the AZL Royals after signing, Zimmer was promoted to Low-A Kane County and made six starts. He pitched 30 innings for the Cougars, posting a 2.43 ERA. With a fastball that reached 99 mph in college, Zimmer may be on the fast track to the big leagues if he can build upon his strong professional debut.
Others to watch for: Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio (#4 prospect), left-handed pitcher Sam Selman (#6), third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert (#9), left-handed pitcher John Lamb (#11), right-handed pitcher Kyle Smith (#12), right-handed pitcher Angel Baez (#18), shortstop Jack Lopez (#19) and right-handed pitcher Robinson Yambati (#28).
Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these players and other top prospects as they make their way to BB&T Ballpark this summer. The Carolina League is loaded in 2013.
Winston-Salem battled Myrtle Beach in a tremendous Southern Division Championship Series last September. How do the Pelicans stack up this season?
CAROLINA COUNTDOWN: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Introduction: Members of the Carolina League since their inception in 1999, the Pelicans were originally affiliated with the Braves before joining forces with the Rangers in 2011. Playing in the vacation hot spot of Myrtle Beach, S.C., the Pelicans’ home games are at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, one of the more unique settings in the minors.
Last season: The Pelicans finished 2012 with the second-best overall record on the circuit, and they qualified for the playoffs as a wild card due to that 74-65 mark. Myrtle Beach fell two games to one in the best-of-three series, making it the second year in a row that the Pelicans have lost in the first round of the Carolina League playoffs.
Manager: Jason Wood will be back for Myrtle Beach this year after posting a 146-132 in his first two years. Wood carries an honor that not many can claim; he was drafted three times. The Toronto Blue Jays originally selected him in the 1988 draft. After deciding not to sign with Toronto, he was then drafted again in 1990 by the Atlanta Braves. The Oakland Athletics drafted him in 1991, and Wood finally began his professional career. Wood made his major league debut for Oakland, eventually also playing for Detroit and Florida before retiring after the 2008 season to begin his career in coaching.
System: The Texas Rangers have boasted one of the best farm systems in all of baseball over the last few years. According to Baseball America, the Rangers boast a top three system and a top three overall prospect in infielder Jurickson Profar, who skipped the Carolina League last year en route to a September call-up to the big leagues. Texas’ front office frequently challenges its talent to climb through the ranks at a young age, so the Pelicans are likely to have one of, if not the, youngest rosters on the circuit this season.
Best promotion: In honor of Jurassic Park being released in 3D this year, the Pelicans will be hosting a Jurassic Park Night for their home opener on April 5. Throughout the night, the Pelicans will be commemorating some of the best moments from the 1993 film. Being a fan of dinosaurs growing up, I always enjoyed watching this movie whenever it came on television throughout my childhood.
Fun fact: Back in August 2000, a very unusual event happened at Pelicans Ballpark (then called Coastal Federal Field). A car veered off 21st Avenue North, which runs behind the ballpark, and crashed through the left field wall. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Travel to Myrtle Beach: About 220 miles southeast of Winston-Salem, Myrtle Beach is about four hours from BB&T Ballpark. Not surprisingly, it is most players’ favorite road destination in the CL.
Pelicans in Winston-Salem: The Pelicans’ first invasion of BB&T Ballpark will be a three-game set from May 14-16. They will then be back in town for the Fourth of July, beginning a four-game series on Independence Day here, before wrapping up the season series August 24-26 in Winston.
Tomorrow: What do sharks have to do with the Potomac Nationals? Check back tomorrow to find out!
Winston-Salem’s 2013 schedule came out yesterday, and excitement is already building for the club’s fourth go-around inside BB&T Ballpark.
Yesterday, we broke down the key games of the first half. Now it’s time to examine the important dates during the final 70 games of the regular season:
- July 4 v. Myrtle Beach: The Fourth of July and baseball go together well, and the Dash will play at BB&T Ballpark on our nation’s birthday. Last season, the Dash set a BB&T Ballpark attendance record with 7,285 fans at their Fourth of July loss to Myrtle Beach. Winston will have a chance at revenge against the Pelicans in 2013.
- July 10 v. Potomac: Winston-Salem’s final “early” game of the season comes in the middle of July against Potomac, a team that the Dash swept in all 10 games at BB&T Ballpark in 2012. The Dash will host a pair of 11:00 a.m. games April 24 and May 8 along with two noon games June 26 and July 10. It is always fun to play hookey and take in a baseball game, and this will be the Triad’s final chance next season.
- August 24-26 v. Myrtle Beach: The two best teams in the Carolina League during the regular season were Winston-Salem and Myrtle Beach. The Pelicans challenged the Dash in the second-half division chase and took Winston-Salem to a winner-take-all Game 3 in the Southern Division Championship Series, and the Rangers tend to stock Myrtle with solid prospects. This series, which marks the final regular season meeting between the two squads, could be meaningful down the stretch in 2013.
- August 30 v. Potomac: The Dash clinched the second-half crown August 30, 2012. Exactly one year later, Winston-Salem will conclude their home slate with a “Fireworks Friday” clash against the P-Nats. Hopefully the Dash will not be saying “so long” to BB&T Ballpark on this night. Instead, maybe it’ll be a “see you in the playoffs” moment.
- September 2 at Wilmington: Game #140 always features a wide range of emotions, but the main question will be this: what will the Dash do after making the 7-hour trip back to Winston-Salem on Labor Day? Will the playoffs be on the docket, or will the players be heading home?
The games highlighted above will be fun and could be meaningful. Either way, we know what journey the Dash will have to take to get back to the playoffs. I can’t wait to begin that trip to begin April 5 at Carolina.
This is the eighth 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.
Moment #3 (September 7): Winston-Salem blasts Myrtle Beach in a winner-take-all Game 3 of the SDCS.
The first 15 innings of the Southern Division Championship Series were frustrating. The Dash’s offense did not muster much against Myrtle Beach’s solid pitching staff. A four-run sixth propelled the Pelicans to a Game 1 victory, and Myrtle enjoyed a 3-2 lead heading to the home half of Game 2′s seventh inning.
The Pelicans did not score again in 2012.
Courtney Hawkins’ leadoff homer in the seventh knotted the score, and Marcus Semien’s two-run double later in the frame proved to be the difference in a 5-3 victory that kept Winston’s season alive.
This comeback set the tone for arguably the Dash’s most complete game of 2012. In the deciding Game 3 of the Southern Division Championship Series, Winston-Salem came up with two big hits that grounded the Birds.
With the bases loaded and a run already in during the second inning, Keenyn Walker laced a three-run triple to right-center to lift Winston-Salem to a 4-0 advantage.
While the Dash’s lineup was quiet the rest of the evening, Chris Bassitt, Steven Upchurch and J.R. Ballinger combined for a five-hit shutout that felt even more lopsided than the 9-0 final score.
You can relive all of the highlights, postgame interviews and analysis from Game 3 here. It was an incredibly fun night to cap off a tremendous series, and the Dash proved to be the Southern Division’s best team in 2012.
Stay tuned for the second-best moment of 2012, which will be on the blog tomorrow. The Dash made history with this moment on a Sunday in Salem. Talk to you then.
Mills Cup Championship Series
Lynchburg Hillcats at Winston-Salem Dash
Saturday, September 8 — 7:00 p.m.
Game 1 — Series tied 0-0
GAME 1 BACKGROUND:
Both the Dash and the Hillcats won winner-take-all games Friday night in the Division Championship Series. Winston-Salem plated four in the second and five more in the third en route to a 9-0 win over Myrtle Beach at BB&T Ballpark. Lynchburg nipped Wilmington 2-1 in the NDCS finale thanks to Braeden Schlehuber’s solo shot in the bottom of the eighth inning.
As a result, these two franchises will meet for the Carolina League title for the first time since 2003, when Winston swept Lynchburg in three games for what is the club’s most recent championship. The Dash were last in the Mills Cup Championship Series in 2010 when Potomac won three games to one. The Hillcats’ last trip resulted in a sweep of Salem in 2009.
Winston-Salem — RHP Steve McCray (9-3, 3.30 ERA): McCray faced the Hillcats six times during the regular season. In a team-high 27.2 innings against Lynchburg, McCray boasts a 3-1 mark and a 3.58 ERA. In his final start of the regular season August 31, the former Tennessee star blanked the ‘Cats over seven innings for the victory. McCray, who makes his first playoff start tonight, is currently riding a four-game win streak dating back to August 9, a run that matches a career high.
Lynchburg — RHP Michael Lee (3-3, 3.93 ERA): A former Red Sox farmhand, Lee has made 11 appearances and nine starts for the Hillcats this season. Lee has allowed a run in every game since his scoreless Lynchburg debut, but he did turn in a very solid start against Winston-Salem August 21 in Virginia. He matched a season high with seven innings of work and surrendered three runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits.
- Winston-Salem has won a record 11 Mills Cup titles since joining the Carolina League as a charter member in 1945. The franchise’s last crown came in 2003 when the Warthogs swept Lynchburg in the championship set. This is Winston’s second trip to the Mills Cup Championship Series since becoming the Dash prior to the 2009 campaign. Potomac downed the Dash three games to one in 2010.
- The Dash outscored Myrtle Beach 12-1 in the final 12 innings of the Southern Division Championship Series, and Winston only needed three scoring frames to post that crooked number.
- Winston-Salem’s pitching staff did not need all that support. The Dash posted a 1.67 earned run average in the SDCS. Starter Chris Bassitt was the story Friday because of a career-high seven scoreless innings. Bassitt, who only allowed four Pelicans to reach base, twirled the second-longest start for any hurler thus far in the CL postseason.
- With his grand slam Friday night, Kevan Smith has plated 27 runs in his 24 High-A games. Between Winston-Salem and Low-A Kannapolis, Smith has 83 RBI in 108 efforts. Smith also hit the Dash’s seventh grand slam, which leads the CL. Smith, who hit a grand slam in his High-A debut July 26, is the only CL hitter with two grand slams in 2012.
- A couple of key Dash swingers bounced back from a rough start to the playoffs with big games Friday. Both Keenyn Walker and Dan Black went 0-for-8 in Game 1 and Game 2, but the duo combined for four hits Friday. Walker drove in three runs, while Black scored once and reached three times.
- The Dash and Hillcats split their 20-game season series, with Winston owning the 6-4 edge inside BB&T Ballpark. Winston had the slight advantage in average (.254 to .246), but Lynchburg outscored the Dash 102-96. The Dash won their season set against every other team in the Carolina League.
- Chris Curley, who joined the Dash eight days ago, went 6-for-10 with three runs scored. Since his promotion from Kannapolis, Curley is 11-for-22 in the CL.
AN EYE ON THE WHITE SOX FARM:
Two other teams are in the playoffs within Chicago’s minor league system. Triple-A Charlotte missed out on a chance to sweep Indianapolis last night. The Indians won Game 3 8-0, but the Knights still lead the best-of-five two games to one. Also, rookie-level Great Falls dropped Game 1 of a best-of-three Pioneer League semifinal to Missoula 8-3.
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 manager Tommy Thompson and a look back at the Dash’s SDCS comeback.
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.
- 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.