The K-Tribe’s pitching was nearly perfect, but it wasn’t enough as Wilmington slipped out of Kinston with a 1-0 win on Thursday night. Kinston’s Carlton Smith (1-2) was the tough luck loser, giving up just four hits and one earned run. Smith did not walk a batter and retired the last 16 Blue Rocks he faced.
Wilmington got to Smith early, as Josh Johnson blooped a single off of the right hander with one out in the first inning. Kurt Mertins snuck a groundball through the infield one batter later. Joe Dickerson followed with a line-out to second base that Kinston’s Cristo Arnal snagged and threw to first, almost doubling up Mertins. Wilmington’s Jeff Howell followed with a two-out, RBI single to score Johnson. Wilmington would manage just one more hit on the night, an infield single by Jarrod Dyson in the second inning. Kinston reliever Mike Pontius retired the six batters he faced, as Kinston pitching retired the final 22 Blue Rocks they faced. Kinston managed just three hits as Wilmington’s Matt Kniginyzky, Gilbert de la Vara and Tyler Chambliss combined for the shutout. Kniginyzky (1-4) got the win, Chambliss picked up his sixth save of the season. Wilmington pitchers walked one batter while striking out seven. The game took just two hours and two minutes to complete, the shortest nine inning game for Kinston in more than two years.
The K-Tribe hits the road for a four game in three day set with Winston-Salem on Friday. Jeanmar Gomez will take the mound for Kinston, game time 7pm from Winston-Salem.