The Kinston Indians took two from the Potomac Nationals on Wednesday night, winning 12-2 and 4-2 improving their overall record to a Carolina League best 59-33. Kinston exploded for 12 runs on 12 hits in the first game of the night, picked up in the bottom of the third inning after rain suspended the game on Tuesday night. Coming into the game, Kinston was hitting just .245 as team with a 4-6 record in their last ten games.
“The guys keep working hard, there is not quit in them,” said K-Tribe manager Mike Sarbaugh. “You’re always going to have your ups and your downs, but with the downs we can come out of them quickly; these guys just seem to respond.”
No K-Triber responded better than Jerad Head. The Kinston outfielder went 4-for-4 with a home run, double and two singles. The four hit game snapped a mini slump and raised his batting average by 24 points. “I went through a little slump over the past couple of weeks,” says Head. “I’ve been working extra the past few days and on the road trip. Tonight I was more selective at the plate, looking more for my pitch and I got some of those pitches and capitalize on them.”
The K-Tribe also got a hot bat from first baseman Matt Whitney, who went 2-for-5 with five RBI. Whitney hit a single and a double with the bases loaded in both the third and fifth innings. Kinston scored five runs in both the third and fifth, batting around in each frame. Mike Finocchi (3-1) picked up the win for Kinston, throwing three innings of relief. Chris Niesel came in for the final three innings and his first save of the season.
In game two, the K-Tribe got a great outing from starter Frank Herrmann (7-4), who went five innings, giving up just one earned run and striking out a season high six batters. Herrmann was 1-3 in his previous four starts, but got back on track last night. Herrmann retired ten batters in a row from the second through fifth innings.
“I felt good, I had a good feeling going into the game early on, said Herrmann “I just relaxed and realized things couldn’t get worse than they were going for me, I just went out and threw and the results were good.”
Herrmann got the offensive support he needed in the third inning went Wes Hodges hit a key two-out double. The hit scored Josh Rodriguez and Stephen Head, giving Kinston a 3-0 lead they would never let go of. Erik Stiller and Scott Roehl each pitched an inning from the bullpen to seal the 4-2 win. Roehl picked up his Carolina League leading 16th save of the season.
The K-Tribe returns to Grainger Stadium for the final game of the four game series tomorrow at 7pm. Nine game winner Ryan Edell will take the mound for the K-Tribe.