08/30/05 — K-Tribe takes three of four from Nats

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K-Tribe takes three of four from Nats

By Steve Roush
Published in Sports on August 30, 2005 2:09 PM

KINSTON--The Kinston Indians kept up their late-season surge Monday night, winning for the 11th time in 14 games 5-2 over Potomac before 663 fans in the final regular season home game at historic Grainger Stadium.

Brian Barton's three hits helped move Kinston to 31-32 in the second half and 72-61 overall, while Potomac slipped to 28-35 and 59-74.

The K-Tribe never trailed in this game, but starter Scott Roehl did have to extricate himself from some sticky situations early.

Roehl stranded runners on first and second in the top of the first, and the Indians then got him a quick run when Barton tripled to right-center with one away in the bottom of the frame and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Kouzmanoff to make it 1-0. Roehl then survived a single and two walks in the second as Potomac left the bases loaded, and Kinston padded its lead with two runs in the third.

Micah Schilling, Brandon Pinckney and Barton hit three straight singles to load the bases with one out, and Kouzmanoff then worked a five-pitch walk from Nationals starter Mike Hinckley to force in a run and make it 2-0. Stephen Head followed with a chopper up the middle, and shortstop Ian Desmond's only play was to first as Pinckney came in to score.

The Nationals drew within a run in the top of the fifth, as Desmond and Frank Diaz started the inning with singles to put runners at the corners. That chased Roehl, who had reached his pitch count, and the Indians brought on Kieran Mattison out of the bullpen.

Kory Casto grounded Mattison's first pitch into right field though, scoring Desmond as Diaz tried to make it to third. Ryan Goleski came up throwing, but sailed the throw over Kouzmanoff's head at third base allowing Diaz to come home and making it a 3-2 game. Mattison didn't panic though, and eventually got Jason Belcher to end the inning on a 6-4-3 double play with the tying run at second.

Kinston got a run back in the bottom of the fifth, as Barton led off with a single, went to third on Kouzmanoff's double, and scored on another groundout by Head. Potomac didn't get a hit in the final four innings, and Goleski capped the scoring with a laser of a solo home run down the left field line in the eighth.

Mattison (1-0) got the win as he worked three scoreless innings in relief, although he did allow both of his inherited runners to score. He allowed just one hit and two walks and struck out two.

Hinckley (3-9) lost for the fifth time in six starts, allowing four runs and seven hits in six innings. He walked two and tied a season-high with eight strikeouts. Tony Sipp worked the final two innings and struck out the side in the ninth for his second save.

Barton finished 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored, while Kouzmanoff and Head both had two RBI. Caleb Brock had two hits and also stole his first two bases of the year.

The Indians kick off a week-long road trip today with the start of a four-game series in Winston-Salem. The Warthogs beat Salem 6-0 Monday to move into first place in the Southern Division by a half-game with seven to play. Kinston is three games back of Winston-Salem, and if the Indians win the second half title they would get all three first-round playoff games at home.

Nick Pesco (10-10, 3.90 ERA) will start for Kinston and Lance Broadway (1-1, 2.83 ERA) will go for Winston-Salem.