The K-Tribe secured their birth in the Carolina League Playoffs for a record seventh straight season, as the K-Tribe beat Lynchburg 7-4 in game one of a double header Wednesday night at Grainger Stadium. Kinston breaks a consecutive playoff streak tie with the Burlington Bees, who made it six straight years in the Carolina League from 1945-50. Kinston has made the Carolina League playoffs in now 16 of 21 years as a Cleveland Indians affiliate. Since 1987 Kinston has never missed the playoffs in consecutive years. It is the fourth straight year Kinston has wrapped up a playoff spot with a first half title.
Kinston clinched behind a great starting performance by Kevin Dixon. Dixon (3-3) struck out a season high nine batters in five and one-third innings. Mike Finocchi picked up his second save of the season as he held Lynchburg hitless for the final two plus innings. Kinston started the scoring in the first inning when Stephen Head singled home Chris De La Cruz. In the second inning, Kinston scored two unearned runs on a throwing error by Lynchburg first baseman Tripper Johnson. Kinston padded their 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning with RBI hits from Wes Hodges, Nate Panther and Mike Butia.
In game two, Kinston got another great pitching performance from starter Dan Cevette. Cevette (2-0) pitched five and one-third shutout innings, giving up just three hits while striking out three. Jim Deters got his first save of the season, giving up just two hits in two innings of relief work. Kinston scored the only run of the game when Josh Rodriguez screamed a hit off the glove of Lynchburg’s first baseman, scoring John Drennen.
The Carolina League Southern Division First Half Champion Kinston Indians go for the series sweep, tomorrow against Lynchburg. Sung-Wei Tseng takes the mound for Kinston, game time 7pm with fireworks after the game.