Blue Wahoos blank Kimchi 5-0
Montgomery matches season-low for hits in tough loss
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The bats continued to stay cold for the Kimchi (11-7), as the Blue Wahoos (8-10) took their second-straight victory on Thursday night at Riverwalk Stadium, 5-0.
Sean Hunley (1-1) made quick work of the first two batters to open his fourth start of the season, but before the Kimchi could get out of the inning, Jose Devers reached on Hunley’s first walk of the season, before Joe Rizzo flied out to left field to end the frame. Evan Fitterer (1-0) made a strong Double-A debut with a quick one-two-three bottom of the first, including the 22-year-old’s first strikeout with the Blue Wahoos.
Troy Johnston opened the second inning with a solo home run to right field, the first that Hunley has allowed this season. The Blue Wahoos were unable to find any offense after taking a 1-0 lead, as J.D. Orr was caught stealing second base to end the inning. The Kimchi failed to respond despite a single from Heriberto Hernandez, who got his first hit of the series, as Diego Infante grounded into 6-4-3 double play.
Hunley found his groove in the top of the third, retiring the side in order with three strikeouts on ten pitches. The Kimchi were able to get runners on first and second to start the bottom of the inning, but a 1-4-3 double play and Fitterer’s second strikeout of the evening closed the door on a chance to tie the game.
A quiet fourth and fifth inning were highlighted by Fitterer, who took command after giving up two walks the inning before. The right-hander retired the side in the fifth on fourteen pitches.
Hunley’s evening came to an end after five innings, as Justin Sterner took the mound in relief for Montgomery. The righty continued the pitching-dominant trend, allowing one hit and striking out one in the top of the sixth. The Kimchi’s bats remained silent as Fitterer was once again able to retire the side in order in the bottom of the inning.
Troy Johnston ended the four-inning scoreless drought with another solo-shot over the right field wall, making it two-consecutive nights with two home runs for the first baseman. With a 2-0 lead in the top of the seventh, the bats once again fell silent for Pensacola as the next three batters were sent to the dugout to end the inning. Fitterer’s strong debut would come to an end in the sixth with Brady Puckett taking the mound for the Blue Wahoos in the seventh. The bats started to heat up for the Kimchi, with Austin Shenton and Logan Driscoll recording singles. But after another double play, Puckett would strike out Infante, leaving another runner stranded on third base to end the inning.
After another quiet inning at the plate from Pensacola, Jefry Yan relieved Puckett in the eighth, and recorded two strikeouts as Montgomery was retired in order again.
Graham Spraker was tasked with finishing the game on the mound for the Kimchi, replacing Sterner in the top of the ninth. After loading the bases with no outs, Griffin Conine grounded a ball to the right-field corner for a double, bringing in two runs to make the score 4-0. Cody Morissette scored after Nasim Nunez walked to make it 5-0, resulting in a pitching change for Montgomery. Victor Muñoz escaped the bases-loaded jam after Devers flied out to the center fielder Alexander Ovalles. After Ronny Simon walked to first base, Yan would close out the game by striking out the next three batters.
The Kimchi will return to action as the Biscuits against the Blue Wahoos for game four of the six game series Friday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 PM. Friday evening will also be 2000s night, with the projected pitching duel of Cole Wilcox (0-0) for Montgomery and Patrick Monteverde (2-0) for Pensacola.
The rest of the series will include Star Wars Night featuring Specialty Jerseys with Team Poster Giveaway presented by Kona Ice & MAX Fireworks on Saturday, April 29; and a Dog Giveaway presented by Montgomery Area Humane Society & Bark in the Park on Sunday, April 30.
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