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Cannon Baller Chronicle: Week 13

August 3, 2021

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. –The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers have completed week 13 of the 2021 season, getting two wins at home in a hard-fought six-game series with the Salem Red Sox at Atrium Health Ballpark. Here are some key performances from the week against Salem: (All stats are reflective of games from

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. –The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers have completed week 13 of the 2021 season, getting two wins at home in a hard-fought six-game series with the Salem Red Sox at Atrium Health Ballpark. Here are some key performances from the week against Salem:

(All stats are reflective of games from 7/27 to 8/01)

RHP Matt Thompson:

1-0, 1.50 ERA, 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K

Thompson’s season began with an abundance of walks and unlucky base hits, paving the way for statistically bad outings. After missing time with an injury, the No.3 overall prospect in the White Sox system has settled in on the mound and become the toughest matchup for opposing batters. In his last 11.0 innings of work, Thompson has started two games, allowing seven hits, one run, zero walks, and 11 punchouts.

RHP Jordan Mikel:

1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

With McKinley Moore earning a promotion to High-A Winston Salem, the Ballers had a void to fill for a late-inning shutdown arm. Mikel stepped up to take the role and looked solid under pressure. The righty from Illinois appeared twice against the Red Sox, tallying a win on Tuesday and a shutdown outing on Friday with two strikeouts. Mikel currently leads the team in ERA and opponent batting average.

1B Harvin Mendoza:

7-24, .292, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB

Mendoza’s week was somewhat spoiled when he lost his eight-game hit streak on Sunday, but the Venezuelan first baseman had a great week overall. Mendoza tallied multi-hit nights on Friday and Saturday, coming up clutch in situations when Kannapolis needed a base runner or to move a runner up.

OF Caberea Weaver:

5-21, .238, 2 RBI, 3 SB

Making it into the Cannon Baller Chronicle is not always about putting up big stat-lines. In Weaver’s instance, sometimes distinction is placed on the clutch factor. The RBI single in the 10th inning on Tuesday night gave the Ballers their first win of the week and set the tone for the rest of the series. Add three stolen bases to Weaver’s ledger, and the outfielder from Georgia earns a spot in this week’s edition.

LOOKING AHEAD:

*08/03-08/08 *

Carolina Mudcats (1st Low-A East Central Division, 46-32)

The Mudcats, Low-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, return home after a six-game series in Lynchburg against the Hillcats. Carolina notched two victories in the six games, good enough to hold onto their division lead over the Down East Wood Ducks. The Mudcats are 15-3 against Kannapolis this season, with all three losses coming in June at Atrium Health Ballpark.

Carolina has five of the top 30 Brewers prospects on their roster in LHP Antoine Kelly (No.6), INF Freddy Zamora (No.8), INF Zavier Warren (No.11), OF Micah Bello (No.27), and RHP Abner Uribe (No.29).

Kelly’s first start for the Mudcats came at Atrium Health Ballpark on July 18. The lefty only lasted 1.2 innings, allowing two runs on one hit. In three starts with Carolina, Kelly is 0-0 with a 5.87 ERA. Zamora notched an impressive month of baseball in July, batting .250 with four HRs and 15 RBIs. Warren struggled in the Mudcats’ series with Lynchburg, batting just .182 with 3 RBIs. Bello returned to Carolina’s active roster on July 25 after an injury, currently holding an active four-game hit streak. Uribe was placed on the 7-day IL on July 24 and has not seen game action since July 22 against Down East.

INF Felix Valerio began the first few months of the season as the all-around offensive threat in the lineup for skipper Joe Ayrault. The 5’7” infielder won Low-A East Player of the Month honors in June, batting .309 with 57 RBIs on the season. INF Ashton McGee broke out against Kannapolis last time the two sides squared off, tallying nine RBIs in one game against the Cannon Ballers on July 14 in a 15-10 victory for the Mudcats. McGee notched a .337 batting average in the month of July with five HRs and 21 RBIs.

As a team, the Mudcats are first in Low-A East in runs scored, RBIs, and walks. Carolina is second in doubles and triples, fourth in home runs, and third in stolen bases.

On the mound, RHP Nick Belzer and LHP Brandon Knarr are tied for the team lead in wins with six each. In 10 starts, Belzer is 6-3 with a 3.14 ERA, including a 3-1 record with a 1.97 ERA in the entire month of July. Knarr’s five games in July concluded with a 3-1 record and a 3.10 ERA with four of his five appearances being starts. With Uribe’s departure due to injury, the bullpen has been anchored by RHP Cam Robinson, who is 1-1 with a 1.98 ERA in 23 games of relief. The 2017 23rd-round pick held opponents to a .176 batting average in the month of July.

The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers face the Carolina Mudcats, Low-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers, in Zebulon August 3 through August 8, before venturing to Augusta for a six-game set with the GreenJackets, Low-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.

Tickets can be purchased for any upcoming home games at kcballers.com or at the F&M Bank Box Office located at Atrium Health Ballpark. Fans can also keep up with the action on the team’s social media outlets, with live in-game updates being provided on Twitter at @kcannonballers.