A record crowd of 5,513 saw Kinston blow past the Blue Rocks of Wilmington 5-2 Friday night at Historic Grainger Stadium. The crowd was the most ever to see a Carolina League game at Grainger Stadium in Kinston’s 46 years in the Carolina League, eclipsing the record of 5,349 set on July 3rd of 1995.
The K-Tribe gave the record crowd something to cheer about early when Nick Weglarz drove home Jerad Head with a single in the first inning. Kinston let the big bats do the talking from there as Carlos Rivero hit a solo homerun, his third of the season, in the fourth inning. In the sixth, Weglarz struck again with a round tripper of his own. The solo shot was the Canadians eighth of the season. Weglarz went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Beau Mills put a cap on the night with his team leading 12th home run, a two-run shot, in the bottom of the seventh.
Kinston starting pitcher Hector Rondon (7-3) was brilliant again, winning his fifth consecutive game. The 20-year-old Venezuelan went 6 2/3 innings, giving up just two hits while striking out eight. Rondon leads the Carolina League in strikeouts with 97 and has not lost a game since May 9th. Neil Wagner got his third save of the season, Matt Meyer picked up his fourth hold of the year. Wilmington starter Everett Teaford (4-2) took the loss for the Blue Rocks.
The K-Tribe hits the road, traveling to Winston-Salem Saturday for a three game road series. Game time 6pm as Kinston’s Carlton Smith takes the mound for the K-Tribe.