Meet the New Dash: Winston's newly promoted pitchers fit right in

Kade McClure’s third High-A start was as strong as his first two and the bullpen handled the rest as the Dash beat the Lynchburg Hillcats 3-0 on Thursday. 

McClure’s fastball sat in the low 90s and his breaking stuff dipped as low as 70, and all of it more or less did what he wanted. He’s not a huge strikeout guy (he is a huge guy in general at 6’7”, 230, though) but he got them when he needed them and the defense handled the rest. Of the two hits McClure gave up, both came in the first inning, and then he was locked in. He retired nine straight, walked a batter in the fourth, then retired the next seven to finish up his outing. He struck out three Hillcats, all swinging, one to end an inning. McClure now has thrown 18 innings at the new level, and has given up just one earned run total. In his first start, he gave up five hits; in his second, he gave up two; today, he gave up two. He’s good, is what I’m saying. He also apparently has a slurve, a pitch that I will correctly identify live not even once, ever.

Kade McClurveball

Kade McClurveball (Clinton Cole)

McClure was relieved by Bennett Sousa, who was just promoted over the recent All-Star Break. Sousa was drafted in the 10th round last season and has put himself on a fast track to… something, if he keeps it up. Over his 32.1 innings with the Intimidators, Sousa gave up nine earned runs, walked seven batters, and struck out 39. Over his one inning with the Dash (this game), Sousa has walked one, struck out one, and given up zero runs.

Vince Arobio came into the game in relief of Sousa — all three pitchers having spent most of the first half of the season together in Kannapolis — and continued the dominant season he’s having. Arobio started his year off in Low-A by giving up two earned runs in his first appearance, then three runs in his third, three more two games after that, and another the next day (May 1). Those eight earned runs are the only ones he has given up this season. Coming into tonight’s game, he had thrown 32 innings between levels, striking out 43, walking eight, and sporting an ERA of 2.25. All of those numbers that can improve will; Arobio struck out the side swinging in the eighth, and added two more to that total in a scoreless ninth. 

The Dash had an interesting offensive game. Three players — Tyler Frost, Mitch Roman, and Zach Remillard — reached base at least twice, with Frost and Roman reaching three times. The team led off the first five innings of this game with a batter reaching base. And still, they scored just three runs. Dash batters left nine on base, which isn’t in itself a super unusual number, but their 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position is. 

In the very first inning, the Dash collected three hits and pulled off a double steal of third and second with Frost and Roman, scoring two runs between a Craig Dedelow grounder and Remillard single. Roman knocked in the third and final run of the game with a ground ball single in the second, and then it was just a lot of guys stranded on base from there out. The third opened with a Carlos Perez double; he did not advance from second base. Frost was hit by a pitch to start the fourth and promptly stole second, but was thrown out at third as he and Roman flew too close to the sun and tried for their second double steal of the day. Remillard hit a leadoff single in the fifth, but only made it as far as second base. Dedelow hit an absurdly long triple in the seventh and went nowhere.

Still, a win is a win, and the Dash are 9-3 in the month of June (who knows what their record would be if they hadn't had FOUR GAMES cancelled due to rain last week). Konnor Pilkington gets the start, his first at home for the Dash, on Friday at 7 pm.

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