The K-Tribe mounted a furious, late-inning come back, but came up just one hit short as Frederick foiled Kinston 7-6 Friday night at Grainger Stadium. Kinston scored four runs over the final four innings of the game, including a two-run home run by Jared Goedert with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to pull Kinston within one. With Kinston down 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth, Matt Whitney started the inning with a single to left. Mike Butia entered the game as a pinch runner and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Chris Gimenez. Johnny Drennen fouled out and Wes Hodges was called out on strikes to end the rally and send Kinston to their fourth straight loss. It is the longest losing streak of the season for the K-Tribe.
“We’ve been fortunate, we haven’t really had a stretch like this throughout the whole season,” said Kinston Manager Mike Sarbaugh. “You just have to be able to fight through those and keep coming back everyday. We’ll find ourselves out of this.”
This year’s first round draft pick for the Cleveland Indians, Beau Mills, made a splash in his Carolina League debut; hitting a two-run home run in his first at bat. Mills, the 13th overall pick in the 2007 draft, went 2-for-4 adding a double and three RBI.
“I’ve heard a lot of things about this team and you see their record and the guys they have here,” said Mills. “They got a great group of guys and they play the game good. It was fun to come out here and play the game with them, it was exciting to see what it was all about.”
“He swung the bat well,” said Sarbaugh. “Anytime you go to a new club and do what he did, that’s a good start for his time in Kinston.”
Johnny Drennen and Matt Whitney also had two hits a piece for the K-Tribe, who now have just a two game lead over Salem in the second half standings. K-Tribe starting pitcher Josh Tomlin (0-1) picked up his first loss of the season, giving up nine hits and six earned runs in five innings. Ryan Edell came in from the bullpen, giving up one earned run in three innings. Neil Wagner pitched a scoreless top of the ninth inning for Kinston. Jason Berken (8-9) picked up the win for Frederick, Jason Burch with the save.
The K-Tribe returns to Grainger Stadium for game two of the four game series Saturday night. It is player awards and fan appreciation night at the ballpark, game time 7pm. Frank Herrmann (10-5, 4.10) will be on the hill for the K-Tribe.