Warthogs vs. Wilmington: Game #77 Preview
Winston-Salem Warthogs (40–36) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (39–35)
Wednesday, July 6–7:00 p.m.
Truist Stadium (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
Game 76 Recap
The Winston-Salem Dash found their offensive groove in the seventh inning to pull away from Wilmington in a 5–1 win.
Duke Ellis showcased his speed in the bottom of the first inning when he leadoff the game for the Dash with a triple into the left-field corner. The very next batter Colson Montgomery bounced a ground ball to third base, which was enough to see Ellis score the first run of the game.
From there, Winston-Salem starter Christian Mena really settled into a rhythm. The 19-year-old right-hander surrendered a single in the second inning but nothing more then worked a 1–2–3 third inning. The Blue Rocks singled in the fourth as well but could not push a run across. Mena then registered a scoreless fifth inning, which wound up being his final frame. He did not allow a run or a walk in those five innings, with five strikeouts as well.
In the top of the sixth, Darren Baker drew a one-out walk for Wilmington against Luis Amaya. A single off the bat of Jose Sanchez pushed Baker to third base, then a well-placed single by Yasel Antuna plated Sanchez to tie the game at 1.
The game stayed tied at 1–1 into the home half of the seventh, which began with a Luis Mieses double into right field. Adam Hackenberg then grounded the first pitch of the at-bat to shortstop, but the throw to first sailed out of play and Mieses was awarded home, while Hackenberg moved to second. Up 2–1 now, Ben Norman singled through the right side of the infield, and Hackenberg crossed the plate to make it 3–1 Dash. A groundout pushed Norman to second base, then Duke Ellis walked to put two men aboard. Next, Colson Montgomery lined a single the other way to left field, with Norman scoring on the play and Ellis advancing to third base. The inning did not end there, as Oscar Colas plated Ellis with a sharp single into right field. All told, Winston-Salem pushed four runs across to go from a 1–1 tie to a 5–1 advantage.
Everett Hazelwood entered from the Dash bullpen and worked a perfect eighth inning. Then in the top of the ninth, Ty Madrigal sent the Rocks down 1–2–3 to secure a 5–1 Dash win. Amaya got the official win, with Michael Cuevas taking the loss.
Ten games into the second half, the Dash are in sole possession of first place in the South Atlantic League South Division with a 7–3 record. The Rome Braves are just a game behind them though with a 6–4 record.
MONTGOMERY MAKING IT ON-BASE
Colson Montgomery has carried over his hot streak from Kannapolis to Winston-Salem. Through nine games he has a .394 average and .487 on-base percentage, including two home runs and six RBIs. In all of those games, he’s reached base safely, increasing his on-base streak to 41 games.
Duke Ellis has consistently shown off his speed and contact all this season. On the basepaths, Ellis has been a terror, as he’s second place in the South Atlantic League in stolen bases with 32, trailing first place by just one SB, and is in third place in runs in the league with 54. Meanwhile, from the batter’s box, he’s got on base reliably as he’s tied for fifth place in batting average in the league with a .310 average.
WINSTON TOWER POWER
Luis Mieses and Bryan Ramos have been two of the most effective hitters in the South Atlantic League when playing at home. Mieses is tied for the league lead in RBIs with 30 while Ramos is tied for fourth with 27. Ramos has also hit the ball out of Truist Stadium six times this year, tied for the eleventh-best mark in the league.
In their last 19 games at home, the Dash have been dominant, going 14–5. Winston-Salem took five out of the six games against Greenville before narrowly winning their series, four games to two, against their I-40 rivals, the Greensboro Grasshoppers. The Dash split the series with Hudson Valley through four games but took the latter two to win the series four games to two. The Dash took the first game in their series against Wilmington to increase their recent home win total to 14.
First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m.