KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - After the Charleston RiverDogs rallied to tie the Kannapolis Intimidators in the eighth inning on Friday night, Tyler Williams' game-winning home run in the ninth was the difference in a 4-3 Intimidators walk-off victory on Saturday evening at CMC-Northeast Stadium in South Atlantic League action.
The RiverDogs are 3-7 in the second half and 36-44 this season. The Intimidators are now 7-3 and 31-38, respectively. Kannapolis also guarantees a victory in the season series with five straight wins for a 5-1 margin in an eight-game series.
Charleston had a pair of early scoring opportunities that were stymied by double plays. With two runners aboard and one out in the second inning, Kannapolis' Cleuluis Rondon, Christian Stringer and Danny Hayes turned an inning-ending double play. Dustin Fowler and Mike Ford singled in the fourth to put runners on the corners before a strikeout and another double play from Rondon, Stringer and Hayes closed the scoring threat.
Kannapolis broke through for a 2-0 lead with a late rally in the fourth inning. Hayes and Jacob Morris drew two-out walks and both scored on a single by Jeremy Dowdy.
In the sixth inning, Hayes lifted the Intimidators to a 3-0 advantage. Following a leadoff groundout from Michalczewski, Hayes drove a solo home run to right field for his sixth blast of the year.
Following seven scoreless innings, Charleston tied the game at 3-3 in the eighth. Brandon Thomas took a one-out walk and advanced to third base on a John Murphy single. Both runners scored on a Tyler Wade double that was coupled with an error, which helped Wade continue a 19-game on-base streak. Wade made it to third when Ford reached on an error. Ford stole second base and Wade scored the tying run when the throw to second went into center field.
The RiverDogs had the bases loaded but did not score in their half of the ninth inning. Eduardo de Oleo and Gosuke Katoh each recorded one-out singles while Thomas was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Back-to-back strikeouts closed the frame with the game still tied.
During the bottom of the ninth, Williams prevented extra innings with a walk-off home run. There were two quick outs ahead of Williams, who hit the game-winning solo shot to right field.
Ben Brewster, who was drafted by the Chicago White Sox this year, is 1-0 after winning his Kannapolis debut. Brett Gerritse is 1-1 after receiving the loss.
Game three of the four-game series will be held at 5:05 p.m. Sunday. The probable pitchers are Charleston RHP Rookie Davis (3-7, 4.86 ERA) and Kannapolis LHP Jeff McKenzie (0-0, 0.00 ERA).