Kannapolis Sweeps West Virginia, Takes Over First Place

Kannapolis Sweeps West Virginia, Takes Over First Place

Sunday April 24, 2011
Posted: 6:45 a.m.
Kannapolis A
The Intimidators extended their winning streak to five games Saturday night and took over first place in the South Atlantic Leagues Northern Division with a doubleheader sweep of West Virginia at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium. Kannapolis took both games by a score of 8-7, winning each in its final at-bat to complete the five-game series sweep.

Dan Blacks two-run double in he bottom of the seventh completed a comeback in Game Two after the Power had grabbed a 7-6 lead with a two-run outburst of their own in the top half of the inning. It was Blacks third double of the game. Mike Blanke had a four-hit game for the victors, who had 31 hits in the twin bill.

Ryan Hammes RBI single in the bottom of the seventh capped a comeback in he opener. The Intimidators had scored six runs in the second inning but West Virginia pecked away, eventually taking a 7-6 lead into the seventh. Juan Silverios RBI double set the stage for Hammes game-winner.

The Intimidators finished with 14 hits and Jimmy Ballinger pitched a scoreless but shaky seventh inning a hit and two walks to pick up the victory.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

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Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

The Blackhawks’ starts have been all over the map this season but their finishes have usually been strong. That was the case again on Sunday night as the Blackhawks took a lead, lost a lead and regained a lead for good in their 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

This one featured a little bit of everything. So let’s just get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory over Vancouver.

1. Jonathan Toews breaks through. If the Blackhawks captain’s confidence was a little shaken with his lack of scoring this season, it should’ve gotten a boost with his Sunday outing. Toews’ goal and three assists were as big for him as they were the Blackhawks, who needed every bit of it late against the Canucks. In his last 12 games Toews has three goals and eight assists. He’s getting there. Said coach Joel Quenneville, “it seems like he was around the puck way more and when he does that, usually good things happen.”

2. Great start. This hasn’t been written very often but it was more than evident on Sunday night. If this wasn’t the Blackhawks’ best opening period of the season it was pretty close, as they broke out to a 2-0 lead against the Canucks. The Blackhawks, outside of a 3 ½-minute sequence without a shot on goal, were tenacious and ready to shoot, taking an 18-9 shots-on-goal edge in that first.

3. Corey Crawford rebounds. Quenneville considered Scott Darling for this game, an understandable thought with Darling coming off a 30-stop shutout. But he wanted Crawford to get back to where he was prior to his appendectomy, and Crawford took a step in that direction on Sunday night. In stopping 25 of 27 shots Crawford got his 18th victory of the season and 200th of his career. Quenneville said Crawford “looked like he was in control.”

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4. Michal Kempny’s tough stretch. When Kempny has been good this season he’s been very good. When he’s been bad... The defenseman was in the penalty box when the Canucks scored their first goal and he was beaten by Bo Horvat on the Canucks’ second goal. Kempny didn’t play the final 14 minutes of the game. Quenneville, who liked what Kempny brought on the team’s road trip, said Kempny just has to work through some things. “Coverage with awareness and knowing sometimes it’s man coverage, sometimes it’s playing the puck and clearing the loose stuff,” Quenneville said. “Defenseman is a tough position as you’re growing and learning it, but the more you play the better you play and I still think he’s making progress.”

5. Brian Campbell gets to keep No. 500 this time. Campbell thought he had his 500th point against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night but it was taken away. Well he got it back on Sunday night, setting up Richard Panik’s 11th goal of the season in the first period.