The Wilmington Blue Rocks came back to beat the K-Tribe 7-6 Tuesday night at Historic Grainger Stadium. The game was a wild one, featuring 23 hits and five errors. With the loss, Kinston drops to 1-4 on the season.
The K-Tribe bats unloaded on the Blue Rocks early as Adam Abraham hit a two-run home run to give Kinston a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning. It was the second consecutive game that Abraham hit a home run for the K-Tribe. Bo Greenwell kept the good times going in the bottom of the third inning with a two-run blast of his own. It was Greenwell’s first of the season and gave Kinston a 4-2 lead. The Indians would add to the lead later in the inning when a dropped pop-up allowed Chase Burnette to score.
Both teams’ bats would stay silent until the top of the seventh inning. Kinston reliever Jose Flores allowed a walk and a single to start the frame. Flores then battled back, striking out both Alex McClure and Rey Navarro. Wilmington’s Nick Francis had two strikes on him when he bounced a two-rbi single through the left side. John Whittleman delivered an RBI triple and Tim Ferguson drove in another run with a base knock. The Blue Rocks flipped the script on Kinston and headed to the bottom of the seventh inning with a 6-5 lead.
Kinston would tie the score in the bottom of the frame. Justin Toole hit a hard chopper to pitcher Bryan Paukovits who threw wide of first. Toole would score from second base when Tyler Holt laid down a sacrifice bunt that was misplayed at first base, this time with an error by second baseman Rey Navarro trying to corral the throw. Bo Greenwell followed with a single to push Holt to third base with no outs, but Kinston could not bring Holt home and the score would remain knotted at six.
With Tyler Sturdevant on the hill in the ninth inning, a one-out grounder was mishandled by shortstop Casey Frawley, allowing Nick Francis to reach first base. After Whittleman pushed Francis to third with a single, Francis scored the winning run on an RBI ground out by Ferguson. Sturdevant was saddled with the loss, giving up just one hit in two innings. Ryan Dennick got the win for Wilmington.
T.J. House started the game for Kinston, but a high pitch count saw him leave after 2 2/3 innings. He gave up two runs on four hits while striking out four. Marty Popham was great from the pen for Kinston, giving up just two hits and no runs in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.
Kinston banged out 12 hits on the night. Tyler Holt went 3-for-3 with a walk. Greenwell and Frawley each had two hits for Kinston.
The two teams will finish up the series Wednesday morning at 11 am. Kinston's Drew Pomeranz will get the start at Historic Grainger Stadium.