Dedelow Does It All: Craig's two-dong day helps the Dash win 7-6 in extras

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Kade McClure had a rare mediocre start, but the Dash battled all the way back, as they took game two of the series from the Down East Wood Ducks 7-6 in 11 innings.

McClure wasn’t bad on the mound, just made a few untimely mistakes. He clearly wasn’t overpowering the Wood Ducks, but he also was not struggling with control much, if at all. Over six innings, he threw 79 pitches, with 57 for strikes and just 22 for balls. He walked, in fact, zero batters, didn’t hit anyone, and didn’t throw a wild pitch.

He did, however, give up a couple of wall-scraping doubles and a massive home run to a former top prospect. Both of those doubles were in the second inning, separated by just one batter, and both bounced off the outfield wall, one dangerously close to the home run line. A steal of third and a single knocked in the second run of that inning. 

The rest of the damage was in the fifth, when McClure gave up a single that Zach Remillard at short barely missed, jumping as high as he could but only managing to tip it, if anything. In the next at-bat, Bubba Thompson, the Rangers’ first-round draft pick in 2017 who is hitting .171/.244/.257 in an injury-shortened season, hit an absolute bomb to right center field to score two runs and extend the Wood Ducks lead to 4-1. You know it’s not good when the center fielder — Steele Walker, in this case — runs back with his eye on the ball, then glances to see how much space he still has left before the wall, and the crowd groans as they see he doesn’t have any, with the ball not landing for several more seconds. 

McClure was helped in his outing by catcher Carlos Perez, who threw out two batters trying to steal, and the field umpire, who called both of them out.

To their credit, the Dash — specifically Craig Dedelow — refused to go without a fight. JJ Muno led off the third with a walk, then Tate Blackman hit a baseball that, for a second, seemed destined for the seats, but instead bounced off the wall for a run-scoring double. They added a couple more in the sixth on a Dedelow two-run bomb that scored Steele Walker from a single. This was Dedelow’s 12th dong of the year, and without access to TrackMan data down here, I can only assume that the exit velocity of each exceeded 200 mph.

A crucial game-tying run came in the eighth for the Dash. Walker, who was the Cake Walk Batter of the Game, drew a leadoff walk that guaranteed everyone in attendance a free cake square. Dedelow, who had what could fairly be described as “a good day,” singled him to third, then a Remillard groundout drove him in.

This tied it at four. It was still tied at four in the top of the 10th, when Jake Elliott took the hill. As a reminder, a runner is automatically placed on second base at the start of each extra inning in the minors. Bubba Thompson’s leadoff triple obviously scored this runner, and then Thompson himself scored on Sam Huff’s single in the next at-bat. Elliott was able to get the next three outs in order, but the damage was done.

The Dash entered their half of the 10th down 6-4. Mitch Roman started the inning at second base.  Walker struck out. Dedelow stepped up to the plate, and for the second time today, pulverized a baseball, vaporized it, made it regret ever being sewn; it didn’t crack off the bat like a gunshot, this was a cannon blast, fitting right in with the 1812 Overture. If the ball did ever land, it was somewhere in the right field seats, and it was a 6-6 ballgame. Dedelow has always been a dangerous hitter when he makes contact, and right now, his 10-game average is .333 and season line is .270/.336/.476. He’s hit 15 doubles and seven triples (not to mention around five bunt singles!) to go along with his now 13 home runs.

The Wood Ducks went down in order, Elliott actually only facing two batters: Sherten Apostel hit a line drive right into second baseman Blackman’s glove, and with the auto-runner at second taking off with the play, the double play almost turned itself.

In the bottom of the 11th, still tied at six, Jameson Fisher was placed on second base. Catcher Carlos Perez singled him to third. Still with nobody out, JJ Muno hit a fly ball exactly deep enough to the outfield, and Fisher cruised home with the winning run. Dash win, 7-6. Elliott gets the win, Will Kincanon struck out three over two scoreless, Andrew Perez loaded the bases but allowed no runs in his one inning of work. Carlos Perez had two hits and Dedelow had three, two of those being dingers. Walker, Tyler Frost, and Blackman all reached twice.

The Dash have now taken two of three from a 68-33 overall Wood Ducks team that’s 39-14 on the road and in first place in the (relatively meaningless) full-season standings by 13 games. They’ll go for the sweep on Monday night at 7 pm, Konnor Pilkington getting the ball.

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