Ronald Rivas hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the tenth inning, as Kinston beat Winston-Salem 7-6 on opening night at Historic Grainger Stadium.
In front of a sold out crowd of 4,102, Kinston starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz was brilliant in his professional debut. Pomeranz, Cleveland’s first round draft pick in 2010, was perfect through his first three innings of work, striking out five his first time through the lineup. Pomeranz went 5 1/3 innings, giving up two hits (both infield singles), while striking out nine. He did not walk a batter.
Kinston scored their first run of the season in the bottom of the fourth inning when Casey Frawley singled and was driven home by Adam Abraham. Kinston would then break a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning on back-to-back, two-out, RBI hits from Roberto Perez and Jeremie Tice. Kinston would add two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning after three straight singles from Tyler Holt, Bo Greenwell and Frawley. Every K-Triber in the starting lineup had a hit, as Kinston banged out fifteen hits on the night (the most hits in a game for Kinston since June of last season).
The K-Tribe led 5-1 going into the top of the eighth inning, when Winston-Salem exploded for four runs on four hits (two home runs) off of Kinston reliever Marty Popham. After a half hour rain delay in the top of the ninth inning, the Dash broke the tie with an RBI single from Jared Mitchell in the top of the tenth to take a 6-5 lead.
With one out in the bottom of the tenth inning, Adam Abraham reached with a double. After Justin Toole was inserted as a pinch runner for Abraham, Perez walked. Jeremie Tice then hit a chopper to Dash shortstop Kyle Davis. Davis threw high to first base, allowing Toole to score on the error. Rivas then drove home Perez with the RBI hit. Rivas went 3-for-5 on the night. Greenwell, Frawley, Abraham and Tice each had two hits for Kinston. Travis Turek (1-0) got the win in relief for Kinston. Brandon Kloess took the loss for Winston-Salem. Tyler Sturdevant pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief for Kinston giving up one run on two hits while striking out three.
The K-Tribe plays game two of the series Saturday night at Historic Grainger Stadium. T.J. McFarland will take the mound for Kinston, game time 6:30 pm with fireworks after the game.