Results tagged ‘ Taylor Thompson ’

Game #136 Preview – Dash at Frederick

Game #136 – Road Game #66
Winston-Salem Dash (43-22, 73-62) at Frederick Keys (31-36, 63-74)
Saturday, September 5 – 6 p.m.
Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium (Frederick, Md.)


Winston-Salem stunned Frederick with four in the ninth to claim a 7-4 win in Friday’s series opener. The two clubs continue this four-game set, which wraps up the regular season.

Nick Basto's two-run double in Friday's ninth inning gave the Dash the lead for good (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Nick Basto’s two-run double in Friday’s ninth inning gave the Dash the lead for good (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)


Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Nick Basto – LF
Brett Austin – C
Nolan Earley – RF
Michael Danner – DH
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Yency Almonte – RHP


  • With two away in the ninth on Friday, Jake Peter singled, Trey Michalczewski coaxed a nine-pitch walk and Keon Barnum reached on an infield single to load the bases. Nick Basto walloped the first pitch he saw for a go-ahead two-run double, and Omar Narvaez followed with a two-run single to cap the scoring.
  • Entering Friday’s contest, Winston-Salem was 0-46 when trailing after eight innings. If you throw in seven-inning doubleheader games, the Dash were 0-51 when facing a deficit entering the final inning of regulation.
  • The club’s last such victory was June 2, 2014, when Tim Anderson swatted a two-run walk-off homer to defeat Lynchburg 6-5. Frederick was the only Carolina League club to own a perfect record when leading after eight frames before Friday night.
  • The Dash have won 12 of their last 14 contests dating back to August 20, the only day this half that Winston-Salem has not possessed at least a share of first place. The Dash have outscored their opponents 66-35 during this span. With a win Saturday, the Dash would match their best road win streak of the season (five games).
  • The Dash are one win away from posting the best winning percentage in the Dash era (2009-present). This immediately follows a 30-40 first half that represents the worst since the name change.
  • In his last start on Sunday at home against these Keys, right-hander Yency Almonte whiffed a career-high 12…His previous high-water mark for strikeouts was seven.
  • Brad Goldberg’s 11 saves are the most by a Dash pitcher since Taylor Thompson’s 12 in 2012.


Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on and the TuneIn App. The Pregame Dash will begin at 5:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 6 p.m. from Maryland.

– Brian

8 Dash alums named SL All-Stars (EDIT: Now 9)

Dan Black and seven other Dash alums are Southern League All-Stars (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Dan Black and eight other Dash alums are Southern League All-Stars (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

UPDATE (2 p.m. Wednesday): Birmingham closer Taylor Thompson was added as a replacement to the roster, so the Barons now have nine Southern League All-Stars, all of whom played in Winston-Salem. Thompson, who suited up for the Dash from 2010 to 2012, is 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA and 11 saves in 28 appearances. The rest of the post from Tuesday is below.

Propelled by plenty of Winston-Salem alums, Double-A Birmingham rolled to a first-half Southern League North Division title.

Eight men who contributed to that postseason run, all of whom donned the Dash purple prior to their climb to Double-A, have been named SL All-Stars, the league’s office announced Tuesday afternoon.

Here are the players, followed by their year(s) with the Dash and their 2013 numbers with the Barons:

1B Dan Black (2012): .283, 8 HR, 52 RBIs in 78 games
C Mike Blanke (2012): .257, 5 HR, 33 RBIs in 52 games
RHP Erik Johnson (2012): 8-2, 2.23 ERA, 74 Ks in 14 appearances (all starts)
RHP Ryan Kussmaul (2010-11): 2-1, 2.20 ERA, 33 Ks in 19 appearances
RHP Nick McCully (2012): 7-2, 2.63 ERA, 45 Ks in 17 appearances (10 starts)
SS Marcus Semien (2012): .263, 7 HR, 29 RBIs in 80 games
LHP Scott Snodgress (2012): 8-7, 4.97 ERA in 16 appearances (all starts)
1B Andy Wilkins (2011): .288, 10 HR, 49 RBIs in 67 games

Both Johnson and Wilkins will not participate in the Southern League All-Star Game because they have been recently promoted to Triple-A Charlotte.

The 2013 Southern League All-Star Game will be played on July 17 at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, home of the Jacksonville Suns.

– Brian

Still plenty of positives

Dan Black is shining for Double-A Birmingham after a tremendous 2012 in the Triad (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Dan Black is shining for Double-A Birmingham after a tremendous 2012 in the Triad (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Even though the Dash have dropped three in a row, there are plenty of positive notes to hit on during this Tuesday afternoon. How about an optimistic set of Dash Dots? Last time we did that, Winston-Salem mustered a sweep at Frederick (proof here). Here’s hoping for a similar result.


  • Dating back to last season, Winston-Salem outfielder Adam Heisler has reached base in 34 straight games, which is tied for the second-longest current streak in Minor League Baseball. High Desert’s Jamal Austin has reached safely in 38 straight games, while Nashville’s Scooter Gennett also has a 34-game run.
  • Heisler made his way aboard in the final three contests of 2012 with rookie-level Great Falls before finding his way on base in all 31 games thus far this season (19 with Low-A Kannapolis and 12 with Winston-Salem). Heisler has hit safely in 27 of these 34 games, and he owns a .303 (40-for-132) average with 15 RBIs and 23 runs scored during this streak.
  • Winston-Salem leads the Carolina League in fielding percentage (.976), and the Dash are tied with Potomac for the fewest errors on the circuit (28). The Dash stumbled out of the gates defensively, amassing 10 errors in the first four games and 21 in the first 14. Since then, though, the Dash have only made seven defensive miscues in their last 17 games.
  • Dash alum Jordan Danks hit a game-winning home run in the eleventh inning against Kansas City Monday, helping the White Sox avoid a sweep against the surging Royals. It was Danks’ first homer of the season.
  • In that ballgame, Addison Reed, who shined with Winston in 2011, earned his 11th save. He also has a win, which means that Reed has had some factor in the decision in 12 of the White Sox first 13 wins.
  • How about the start for Double-A Birmingham? The Barons are a Southern League-best 20-10 on the season, including a 13-2 record at home. Birmingham just wrapped up a five-game sweep of Chattanooga over the weekend with a thrilling 16-14 win Sunday afternoon.
  • Multiple 2012 Dash alums are at or near the top of the SL in a handful of offensive categories. Dan Black is currently leading in batting average (.340) and RBIs (25) and sits second in hits (35). He is only two behind fellow Baron and former Winston-Salem player Marcus Semien, who tops the league in hits with 37. Trayce Thompson also has the second-most runs (24) on the circuit.
  • On the pitching side, Steve McCray and Scott Snodgress are two of five pitchers in the SL who have won four games this season, while Erik Johnson (third, 1.30) and Spencer Arroyo (ninth, 2.36) are in the top 10 on the circuit in earned run average. Taylor Thompson is tied for third with five saves thus far this season, too.
  • Vine is one of the newest social media platforms, and both Dash players and Dash fans are having fun with it. Check out Courtney Hawkins’ clips from the Dash’s MVP Education Day at BB&T Ballpark last Saturday. Plus, Dash fan Eric Martinez sums up a Saturday night game here.

The Dash try to avoid losing their fourth straight home game, something they have only done once in BB&T Ballpark history, tonight at 7 against Frederick. Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 here.

– Erika, Rob and Brian

Dotting the diamond

Chris Bassitt will look to continue his success against Myrtle tonight. (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Chris Bassitt will look to continue his success against Myrtle tonight at the Beach (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

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.
Addison Reed had a 1.59 ERA with the Dash in 2011 (Kevin Hartley/W-S Dash).

Addison Reed had a 1.59 ERA with the Dash in 2011 (Kevin Hartley/W-S Dash).

  • 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 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.

– Rob

Another Division Title?

Taylor Thompson and six other Dash alums will play for a title Saturday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

The Dash claimed the first-half and second-half division championships in the Carolina League’s Southern Division, and a few contributors to those crowns finished up another division title run last night.

The Salt River Rafters, a club that has featured seven former Winston-Salem stars, claimed the Arizona Fall League’s East Division title with a 6-4 win over Peoria yesterday.

As a result, the Rafters, who wrap up their regular season this afternoon, will play in the AFL Championship Game Saturday at 3 p.m. EST. The game will be televised on MLB Network, and live stats will be available here.

Congrats to Andre Rienzo, Santos Rodriguez, Carlos Sanchez, Salvador Sanchez, Taylor Thompson, Trayce Thompson and Andy Wilkins, all of whom contributed to the Rafters’ run. Every member of this group will be in uniform except for Rienzo, who left the team to pitch for Team Brazil in a World Baseball Classic qualifier.

We’ll have a full recap of all seven players’ efforts in the AFL on the blog in the coming days. Dash fans are Rafters fans this weekend!

– Brian

All’s Well In Arizona

Taylor Thompson and the rest of the Dash contingent are off to a 2-0 start with Salt River in the Arizona Fall League (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Through two games in the Arizona Fall League, a handful of prospects have represented the Dash and White Sox well.

The Salt River Rafters are off to a 2-0 start in AFL play, and Dash alumni have played a key role.

In Salt River’s season-opening 6-5 win Tuesday, Trayce Thompson went 1-for-2 with a pair of RBI. Thompson has reached base in five of his nine plate appearances during the season’s first two games.

Also in the opener, Carlos Sanchez went 1-for-3 with a run scored, and Andy Wilkins hit a solo shot in the sixth for his lone knock.

Last night, the Rafters rolled to an 11-3 triumph. While the offense was the story for Salt River, a pair of former Dash righties shined out of the bullpen. Salvador Sanchez, a late addition to the AFL roster, tossed an inning and a third of scoreless relief. Taylor Thompson, who finished the season as the Dash’s best option in the back-end of the bullpen, twirled an easy eighth inning, whiffing two and walking one.

Salt River, the AFL’s lone remaining unbeaten squad, takes to the diamond again tonight at 9:35 EST against Scottsdale.

– Brian

Track Dash Alums In Arizona

The Dash’s season may be over, but there are a handful of Winston-Salem alumni who will be playing for the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League, and their season begins tonight at 9:35 p.m. EST against the Mesa Solar Sox.

The AFL features some of minor league baseball’s top prospects, and each of the six teams on the circuit consists of representatives from five different MLB organizations. The Rafters boast prospects from the White Sox, Astros, Diamondbacks, Rockies and Tigers.

The White Sox have sent seven players to Salt River for the 2012 AFL season, and all of them made a stop in Winston-Salem en route to this opportunity. Pitchers Andre Rienzo, Santos Rodriguez, Salvador Sanchez and Taylor Thompson are with the Rafters, along with infielders Carlos Sanchez and Andy Wilkins and outfielder Trayce Thompson.

The Rafters will play 32 games over the next few weeks, and fans can track all of the AFL action here.

And if you have never heard of the AFL before, check out this list of AFL Hall of Famers. What a group.

– Brian

Playoff Perspective – Game 4

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


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

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

– Brian

Game 3 Preview – Winston-Salem at Lynchburg

Mills Cup Championship Series
Winston-Salem Dash at Lynchburg Hillcats
Tuesday, September 11 — 6:05 p.m.
Game 3 — Series tied 1-1


For the first time this postseason, the Dash will play away from BB&T Ballpark. During the regular season, Winston-Salem went 4-6 against the Hillcats inside Lynchburg City Stadium, which is one of two places (Salem’s LewisGale Field the other) where the Dash had a record below .500 this season. Because of the split at BB&T Ballpark, Winston and Lynchburg are down to a best-of-three for the Mills Cup Championship. The Dash led the circuit with 16 three-game series victories.


Winston-Salem — RHP Erik Johnson (4-3, 2.74 ERA): The Dash send Johnson to the mound after he lost Game 1 of the SDCS. Johnson was one strike away from six no-hit innings before surrendering four runs and exiting the contest before the sixth came to an end. During the regular season, the former California Golden Bear recorded a quality start in all but one of his High-A appearances. That start came against Lynchburg August 23 (5IP, 6R).

Lynchburg — RHP Gus Schlosser (13-7, 3.38 ERA): Schlosser claimed the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year award after finishing first in the league in wins (13) and innings (165.1), tied for first in starts (27), second in strikeouts (139), and third in earned run average (3.38) and WHIP (1.14). Winston held its own against the righty, mustering five runs on 11 hits in 13 innings of work. He did whiff 18 Dash swingers in those two efforts.


  • Since 2005, the MCCS has been tied at one game apiece four times, and the road team for the final three games has won the series twice. In all four instances, the winner of Game 3 went on to take the series in four games.
  • Frederick won back-to-back games in Kinston last year, while the Keys also won consecutive games at Salem in 2007 for the crown. The Dash lost two straight at Potomac two years ago, while the P-Nats claimed the title with two wins at home over Myrtle in 2008.
  • The Dash’s bullpen has allowed only one earned run in 16.1 innings this postseason. Lynchburg’s only earned tally against a Dash reliever came in the ninth inning Sunday during Taylor Thompson’s six-out save. Thompson had not surrendered an earned run since July 8, a span of 18 appearances.
  • Winston-Salem third baseman Chris Curley has hit safely in eight games with the Dash since a promotion from Low-A Kannapolis August 31. The former Florence Freedom star is a combined 13-for-28 (.464) with eight runs between the regular season and playoffs.
  • In its first five playoffs games, Winston-Salem has only scored in 10 of a possible 42 innings. However, four of those 10 frames have brought about three or more runs.
  • Winston has hit six homers in the playoffs, while the rest of the league has combined for the same number of long balls. Three Dash swingers–Courtney Hawkins, Marcus Semien and Kevan Smith–each have two apiece.
  • The Dash’s 4-6 regular season mark in Lynchburg included a pair of two-out-of-three series losses and a four-game split. Despite owning a two-game gap in the 10 meetings, the Hillcats only outscored Winston-Salem 49-44 at home.


Since the Dash last played Sunday afternoon, one White Sox affiliate advanced to a championship series, while another fell two runs short. Triple-A Charlotte took down Indianapolis three games to one to clinch a spot in the Governors’ Cup Finals against the Pawtucket Red Sox. Game 1 of this best-of-five series is tonight at 7:05 in Rhode Island. On the flip side, rookie-level Great Falls fell short in its bid to repeat as Pioneer League champions. The Voyagers lost a deciding Game 3 of a PL semifinal to Missoula 4-2 Sunday.


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 5:45 p.m. and features a chat with manager Tommy Thompson and an audio look into the Dash’s offensive bounce back Sunday afternoon.

– 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


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