A brilliant battle between two tough starters ended in a 1-0 shutout win for Kinston over Wilmington Tuesday night at Historic Grainger Stadium. The shutout was Kinston’s sixth of the season, the second most in the Carolina League this year. The K-Tribe (26-24) has now won 12 of their last 14 games.
Kinston starter Giovanni Soto had one of his best starts of the season, but was saddled with the no decision. Soto tied a career high with ten strikeouts. He gave up only two hits and no runs. Wilmington starter Justin Marks was better, however, taking a no hitter into the seventh inning. Through his first six frames Marks allowed just one base runner, when Tyler Holt walked to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Marks walked Kinston’s Jeremie Tice. Adam Abraham then screamed a grounder down the third base line. The just fair ball headed all the way to the corner and Tice scored all the way from first to give Kinston the 1-0 lead. Marks (2-3) was the tough luck loser, giving up just two hits through eight complete innings of work. He walked two and struck out seven.
Kinston’s bullpen took over from there as Jose Flores pitched 1 2/3 innings of one hit ball. Flores (2-3) picked up the win, walking one and striking out four. K-Tribe closer Preston Guilmet got the final four outs of the game for his 12th save in 12 tries. The Carolina League leader in saves pitched a perfect 1 1/3 innings, striking out two and lowering his ERA to 0.90. Wilmington managed just three hits on the night. The 2:09 game was the shortest of the season for Kinston.
The series continues with a special 11 am Lenoir County Schools day on Wednesday morning. Drew Pomeranz will take the mound for Kinston. The K-Tribe will end the series Thursday night at Historic Grainger Stadium with a Thirsty Thursday!