Winston-Salem scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, handing Kinston a 5-2 On Opening Night in the Triad.
Kinston (1-6) jumped on top of Winston-Salem in the top of the first when Tyler Holt led off with a single. After Bo Greenwell hit a one-out single to get Holt to third base, Holt scored later in the inning on a wild pitch. After a walk to Adam Abraham, Abner Abreu hit a ball to right field that was dropped by Winston-Salem’s Jose Martinez. The error by Martinez allowed Greenwell to score and make the K-Tribe advantage 2-0. Dash starting pitcher Andre Rienzo settled down after the first, giving up just two more hits, while striking out seven and walking only one more batter.
The Dash pushed across their first run off of K-Tribe starter T.J. McFarland in the bottom of the second inning. After a walk and a Kinston error earlier in the frame, Kyle Colligan delivered a two-out hit to cut Kinston’s lead in half. The score would stay 2-1 in favor of the Indians, until Ian Gac hit a solo home run off of McFarland in the bottom of the sixth inning. It was the Carolina League leading fourth home run of the season for Gac. McFarland picked up the no decision, giving up four hits and one earned run though six innings. He walked one and struck out five.
The K-Tribe broke the tie in the top of the seventh inning off of Dash reliever Ryan Kussmaul. Justin Toole led off the frame with a single. After Toole stole second base with one-out in the inning, Greenwell drove him home with a two-out RBI single.
Chris Jones spelled McFarland from the K-Tribe bullpen in the seventh inning. Kyle Shelton struck out to begin the inning, but the ball got away from catcher Doug Pickens and Shelton reached safely. Two ground outs got Shelton to third base. Shelton then scored on a Jones wild pitch to even the score at three.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Gac delivered a one-out single to get things going for Winston-Salem. Andy Wilkins followed with a walk, off of Kinston reliever Jose Flores. After a Flores strikeout brought Kinston one-out away from getting out of the frame, Shelton delivered a two-RBI triple to put things away for the Dash. Flores picked up the loss giving up two runs in 1 1/3 innings. Greenwell and Toole each had two hits for Kinston.
The Indians road trip continues Saturday in Winston-Salem at 7pm. Clayton Cook will get the start for Kinston.