KANNAPOLIS, N.C. –The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers have completed week 16 of the 2021 season, snapping their losing skid with a win on Saturday night, but going 1-5 on the week against the Down East Wood Ducks. With a flurry of new faces added to the roster, the Ballers are now
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. –The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers have completed week 16 of the 2021 season, snapping their losing skid with a win on Saturday night, but going 1-5 on the week against the Down East Wood Ducks. With a flurry of new faces added to the roster, the Ballers are now tasked with the difficulty of having to build team chemistry late in the year. Here are some notable performances from the week at home:
(All stats are reflective of games from 8/17 to 8/22)
RHP Jesus Valles:
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Though Valles’ spectacular six innings did not result in a win, the righty’s shutout outing helped propel the Ballers in the direction of success. When a starter is able to go out and keep the opponent off the basepaths, and more importantly the scoreboard as Valles did on Friday night, it sets up the offense to go out and perform. Unfortunately for skipper Guillermo Quiroz and Valles, the offense was unable to give the former Pirates farmhand much in the way of run support.
RHP Angel Acevedo:
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Acevedo’s season probably has not overall gone how he had hoped, but the righty from Calabozo, Venezuela provided a stellar outing out of the bullpen on Saturday night in relief of Drew Dalquist. Acevedo was able to get through three frames with only one walk, something that Dalquist was struggling with in his start. With one walk and three punchouts in three innings of work, Acevedo set Kannapolis up for success in their victory Saturday.
INF Shawn Goosenberg:
5-12, .417, 1 3B, 1 SB, 3 R
One of the fresh faces to the Ballers roster, Goosenburg contributed with a new energy to the lineup for Kannapolis. The on-base presence the 2021 draft pick provided in his three games against Down East proved to be a spark of energy for skipper Guillermo Quiroz. A triple, a stolen base, and three runs are just some of what Goosenburg added to the lineup from the two-spot in the lineup.
C Adam Hackenberg:
4-8, .500, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 2 R
Another fresh face to the lineup, Hackenberg’s presence behind the plate in two games proved to be beneficial. The former Clemson backstop found ways to get on base Friday and Saturday, adding an RBI in Saturday’s win over the Wood Ducks. With the shakeup at the catcher position for the Cannon Ballers, Hackenberg profiles as a catcher to provide stability and consistency.
Lynchburg Hillcats (3rd Low-A East South Division, 47-49)
The Hillcats, Low-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, visit Kannapolis for the first time in franchise history after hosting the Salem Red Sox at Bank of the James Stadium in Virginia. Lynchburg went 1-5 in the six-game set with Salem last week, getting their only victory on Wednesday in a combined 21-hit slugfest. The Hillcats join Low-A East in 2021 after being a High-A affiliate from 1990-2020. Lynchburg has stuck with the Hillcats nickname since 1995, even through a proposed rebrand in the 2016 season with names like the “Love Apples” and “Lamb Chops” being suggested. Lynchburg has been an affiliate of the Indians since 2015, transitioning to Cleveland’s system after a few years as an affiliate of the Atlanta Braves from 2011-2014.
The Hillcats hold four of the top 30 prospects in the Indians organization in INF Angel Martinez (No.8), OF Petey Halpin (No.19), RHP Lenny Torres (No.23), and INF Gabriel Rodriguez (No.24).
Martinez’s 2021 has been a pedestrian year, batting .255 with five home runs and 34 RBIs. Halpin joined the team in late June and has produced in the month of August, batting .333 with six RBIs in the month. The only pitching prospect in the top 30 on Lynchburg’s roster, Torres, has provided consistency for Lynchburg’s pitching staff. The 2018 Competitive Balance Round A selection is 2-5 with a 4.95 ERA in 16 appearances and 15 starts this season. Finally, Rodriguez is second on the team in strikeouts with 87 in 75 games. His .225 average and .268 on-base percentage are low, with only one home run and 22 RBIs on the season adding up to be not an amazing season for Rodriguez in 2021.
The Hillcats offensive attack has been led by OF Alexfri Planez, who is first on the team in home runs with 12 and RBIs with 38. IF Yordys Valdes leads the team in stolen bases with 16. Martinez’s six triples are good enough for first on the team. INF Christian Cairo has a team-high 37 walks.
On the mound, RHP Josh Wolf, who was acquired in the Francisco Lindor deal, has been a bright spot for the Hillcats despite a 1-3 record and a 5.98 ERA. LHP Jaime Arias-Bautista leads the team with a 7-4 record, also holding a 4.01 ERA in 21 games with eight starts. RHP Jordan Jones leads all starters with 16 starts, boasting a 3-6 record with a 4.50 ERA. Out of the bullpen, RHP Cade Smith is the active team leader in saves with four, holding a 1-3 record with a 5.08 ERA in 24 games. LHP Daritzon Feliz has appeared in 26 games, carrying a record of 4-2 with a 6.84 ERA, also leading the team with 57 punchouts with no starts.
The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers face the Lynchburg Hillcats, Low-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, August 24-29 at Atrium Health Ballpark before departing for a six-game trip September 1-5 to Kinston to face the Down East Wood Ducks, Low-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The Ballers then return home for the final homestand of the year September 7-12 against the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, Low-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.
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.