SRP Park has seen Blake Rivera at his best in 2019. The right-hander, after six innings of shutout baseball on Thursday, lowered his home ERA to 1.76 on the year, and he helped the GreenJackets (30-30) earn a series opening win over the Kannapolis Intimidators (26-34) by a final score of 3-1.
The GreenJackets offense went right to work in the 1st inning. After Mikey Edie reached base on a strikeout with a wild pitch, Shane Matheny rolled one into the gap, but was thrown out at 2nd base looking for a double.
It moved Edie to 3rd base and so the GreenJackets were only 90-feet away from scoring the 1st run of the game. Frankie Tostado came up with two outs, and drilled a single into right field to make it 1-0 GreenJackets. The RBI for Tostado was his 40th of the season.
As Kannapolis came out to play defense in the 2nd inning, the rain came pouring down. Kannapolis Manager Ryan Newman would be ejected as he wanted the game to delayed. The game would eventually go into a delay, and we would wait 20 minutes in order to repair the field before the bottom of the 2nd inning began.
Blake Rivera didn’t let the rain bother him, as he retired the first nine batters that he faced. His offense grabbed another run for him in the 3rd inning when Diego Rincones muscled a single into right field and it would give the GreenJackets a 2-0 advantage.
Rivera ended his night after six innings of shutout baseball. He was dealing all night long, and the right-hander ended his night with a career high 10 strikeouts while allowing only one hit. Tyler Schimpf came out of the bullpen in the 7th and was able to strike out the side to keep Kannapolis off the board.
The Jackets offense manufactured another run in the 7th inning. With two outs, Anyesber Sivira singled, and Mikey Edie would triple to score Sivira and give the Jackets a 3-0 lead.
In the 8th inning, Kannapolis produced their first run of the game. Franklin Van Gurp came into the game and would allow a solo home run off the bat of Michael Hickman to make the score just 3-1 Jackets. Van Gurp would allow only one run as he came back and got the final three outs in the 9th. It was his 4th save of the season as the Jackets won the series opener by a final of 3-1.
Player of the Game: Blake Rivera, 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 10 SO
Blake Rivera was brilliant all night long. His 10 strikeouts were a career high, and the 4th round pick from Wallace State Community College in 2018 would earn his 2nd win of 2019.
Tomorrow’s Game: 7:05 PM vs Kannapolis Intimidators (Chicago White Sox), SRP Park, North Augusta, South Carolina
Pitching Matchup: (KAN) LHP Sam Long (2-1, 3.00 ERA) vs (AUG) LHP Seth Corry (1-2, 2.49 ERA)
GreenJackets All-Star Seth Corry will get the baseball in the 2nd game of the series tomorrow with the Kannapolis Intimidators. Corry, the southpaw who is ranked as the San Francisco Giants #25 overall prospect according to MLB.com, was a 3rd round pick out of Lone Peak High School in Highland, Utah in 2017. Corry leads the GreenJackets with 65 strikeouts this year and in his last outing, he tied his career high with 5.1 innings on the mound while getting his first win of the season. He did not allow an earned run in his last start and finished with six strikeouts.
On the mound for Kannapolis will be Sam Long. Long was an 18th round selection out of Sacramento State University in 2018. He has appeared in 16 games this season, but it will be just his 2nd start of 2019 for Kannapolis. In his first start of the year on June 2nd, Long went 4.0 innings while allowing only two runs. Opponents are hitting just .211 against the southpaw this year.
COURTESY AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS