As Winston-Salem and Kannapolis each had two games apiece after being rained out Tuesday, James Dykstra turned in a no-hitter to headline a day of solid pitching performances from the pitching staffs across the org while Keon Barnum provided the entire offense for the Dash across two games.
The Knights lineup tallied nine hits in five innings backing Chris Beck pitching the most Chris Beck stat-line possible: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K. Scientists are still trying to figure out how Beck gets results without strikeouts. Every starter minus Jared Mitchell and Matt Davidson tallied a hit, with Kevan Smith and Leury Garcia getting two hits a piece. Leadoff man Tyler Saladino reached based three times (single, two walks) on his way to 2 RBI, a number matched by Carlos Sanchez in the two-hole. Jairo Ascenio recorded the only two strikeouts for the entire Knights staff in his two-inning save, his third save of the year.
Tim Anderson continued the trend of lead-off men getting two RBIs when he and Jacob May drove in all three of the Baron’s runs on Wednesday. Offensively, Birmingham couldn’t get anything going as the team racked up 13 strikeouts, with spring training star Courtney Hawkins swinging his way to a golden sombrero. Myles Jaye turned in a decent stat line – 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3K – but the offense sputtered the night away. Nolan Sanburn took the loss after giving up a run in the eighth to the Lookouts, just after Anderson and May tied the game at 3.
James Dykstra threw a 7-inning no-hitter, facing the minimum thanks to picking off the one walk he allowed. His stat-line on the year looks like this: 13 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K, and 27 ground-outs versus 2 fly-outs. Dykstra was on our 2014 Midseason Top 30 prospects list, but just missed the 2015 Preseason edition. All-in-all, Dykstra is having himself a very nice start to the year. Keon Barnum drove in Trey Michalczewski to give the Dash their only needed run.
Andre Wheeler wasn’t as lucky as Dykstra as he gave up three runs in under three innings. The offense performed slightly better in the make-up game from Tuesday’s rainout with Barnum going 2-3 with the only RBI. Cleuluis Rondon also went 1-2 with a walk to keep his average at a respectable .286.
…until the make-up game when they went nuts. Eddy Alvarez, Mason Robbins, Louie Lechich, Brett Austin and Toby Thomas each had at least two hits and Austin went 3-4 with a triple and 2 RBIs. Despite the offensive explosion, starter Jordan Guerrero was the star as he went 6 innings of 2 hit ball with 11 strikeouts. Not only has Guerrero put up two very nice starts, there have been reports of his fastball jumping from last year’s 88-91 range to more 91-93 and touching 94, which should make his already-strong curve and change-up combo even more effective. Austin hit his third triple of the very early season, as nearly half his hits have been of the three-base variety.
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