08/10/05 — Kinston takes two from Pelicans

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Kinston takes two from Pelicans

Published in Sports on August 10, 2005 2:21 PM

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- After a torrential downpour postponed the opener at Myrtle Beach on Monday, the Kinston Indians rained down runs Tuesday, sweeping a doubleheader, 6-4 and 6-0.

In the nightcap, the K-Tribe scored three times in the fourth and plated three more in the seventh as Indians' pitching gave up just four hits on the night.

Pelicans starter Kelvin Villa (0-9) retired the first 10 Kinston batters he faced, but with one out in the top of the 4th inning the K-Tribe figured out the 19-year-old southpaw. After RF Mike Conroy belted a double against the wall in left center field, DH Kevin Kouzmanoff drew a walk to put runners at first and second.

First baseman Stephen Head then rapped a single into right field, scoring Conroy from second easily, but the throw from Matt Esquivel was wild to the plate, allowing Kouzmanoff to come across the dish, giving the K-Tribe a 2-0 edge. Later in the inning, Head would score on an RBI double off the bat of CF Brian Barton, extending the Kinston lead to 3-0.

Kinston put the game away in the top of the seventh inning with a trifecta of runs. With two outs, Barton drove in his second run of the night with an RBI base hit to center, making the score 4-0. The Indians pushed two more runs across thanks to a two-run double courtesy delivered by catcher David Wallace. The double from Wallace cushioned the Kinston lead to 6-0, which is how it would end.

Villa (0-9) suffered the loss after giving up three runs, two of them earned on five hits, while fanning six and walking two. Kinston starter Chris Niesel (1-1) took home the win after slinging five shutout innings. Niesel allowed just three scattered hits, whiffed five, and walked two in the victory.

In the opener, Kinston held on for a 6-4 win after grabbing a 5-0 lead on Monday before the rains came. It took just under 24 hours to complete Game 1 of the four-game series. On Monday, torrential rains poured down on the two Southern Division rivals, forcing play to stop in the top of the second inning. After opening up a 5-0 lead through the first two innings, the K-Tribe outlasted a Pelicans rally when play resumed.

Kinston plated four runs in the opening inning, highlighted by RBI singles from DH Mike Conroy and 1B Stephen Head and an RBI double courtesy of C Caleb Brock. The K-Tribe added another run in the top of the second inning when CF Nathan Panther delivered a run scoring double to put the Indians on top 5-0, then the nasty weather came and halted play.

Myrtle Beach waited until tonight to wake up the bats. In the bottom of the second inning the Pelicans fought back and cut into the Indians lead. Newcomer, 3B Van Pope recorded his first hit as a Pelican with a line drive into right center field with one out to spark a rally. After a two out single from SS Diory Hernandez, 1B Scott Schade pulled the Birds within two runs with an opposite field, three-run home run over the right field wall. Schade's seventh blast of the season made the score 5-3 in favor of the K-Tribe.

Kinston extended its lead to 6-3 in the top of the fourth inning when Conroy drove in his second run of the ballgame with an RBI base hit, scoring SS Brandon Pinckney, who led the inning off with a walk.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Pelicans battled back with another run to pull within two runs for the second time in the game. Carl Loadenthal looped a leadoff single into right field and stole second base, his ninth swiped bag of the season, to move into scoring position. With Loadenthal at second, Jarrod Saltalamacchia smacked an RBI single into right center field, to make the score 6-4.

The Pelicans will play host to the Kinston Indians tonight at 7:02 p.m.

Courtesy of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.