KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – In the first of a scheduled seven-game series between the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers and the Carolina Mudcats, it was the latter who earned the victory Tuesday night at Atrium Health Ballpark. The Mudcats crushed Cannon Baller pitching for 14 runs on 20 hits, winning 14-2 in the series opener.
LHP Tyler Schweitzer (L, 3-1) settled in after a rough first inning to toss four shutout frames in response, finishing the night with his first loss of the season. The southpaw tossed five innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out three. RHP Kole Ramage entered in relief in the sixth following a lightning delay, firing a shutout inning with one strikeout along the way.
Carolina struck early and often in Tuesday’s action, accumulating five runs in the first inning on RBI singles from Luke Adams and Jadher Areinamo, followed up quickly by a Jesus Parra RBI triple that drove two in and pushed the Mudcats ahead 5-0.
The Ballers answered for their first run in the bottom of the second, earning a run on a throwing error from Carolina’s shortstop that allowed Jacob Burke to cross the plate, slicing the lead to 5-1.
Brooks Baldwin continued his solid month of May with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth after the 51-minute lightning delay, pushing Kannapolis closer at 5-2 after five innings.
While the starting pitching was effective enough for Kannapolis to keep it close, the bullpen struggled against a hot-hitting Mudcats lineup. Carolina rattled off a run in the seventh on another RBI single from Adams, followed by two consecutive four-run frames in the eighth and ninth. A base hit from Blayberg Diaz kicked off the eighth, pushing the lead to 7-2. Following Diaz’s hit, three bases-loaded walks in a row pushed the Mudcats’ advantage to 10-2, completing the eighth inning.
The Mudcats cashed in for more offense in the ninth, notching RBI doubles from Parra and Diaz, followed by a Luis Lara two-run homer that completed the night of offense at 14-2.
LHP Shane Murphy gets the start for Kannapolis in game two of the seven-game set with the Mudcats. First pitch is set for 11:00 a.m. Wednesday morning at Atrium Health Ballpark, with it being the final Education Day matchup in 2023 for the Ballers.
Fans can purchase tickets for Wednesday’s game or any remaining home games at kcballers.com or at the F&M Bank Box Office located at Atrium Health…