With a BB&T Ballpark record crowd of 8,184 in attendance, Winston-Salem was shut out 5-0 by the Wilmington Blue Rocks in a Fourth of July matchup.
Friday nights crowd surpassed the previous record of 7,576, set last year in an Independence Day meeting with Myrtle Beach. In addition to the game, fans enjoyed a first pitch from new Wake Forest men’s basketball coach Danny Manning and a postgame fireworks show, presented by WilcoHess.
The Dash (8-8, 38-47) failed to generate any offensive fireworks against Wilmington starter Glenn Sparkman (4-2), who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Joey DeMichele spoiled the bid with a one-out single up the middle, extending his hitting streak to 14 games, the best by a Winston-Salem player this season.
DeMicheles hit was the only knock surrendered by Sparkman, who set a career-high with nine strikeouts in seven innings of work. Kyle Bartsch allowed one hit in two innings of relief to keep Winston-Salem off the scoreboard.
Wilmington (7-8, 40-43) plated the initial run in the top of the second against Dash starter Tony Bucciferro (6-7). Mark Threlkeld and Michael Antonio produced back-to-back singles to begin the inning. Cam Gallaghers sacrifice bunt placed runners at second and third, setting up Ramon Torres RBI groundout to give the Blue Rocks a 1-0 lead.
The visitors from Delaware added to their advantage in the top of the fourth. Threlkeld singled and advanced to second on a Bucciferro wild pitch. Antonios flare to center field dropped in front of Jacob May for a base hit, allowing Threlkeld to score. Later in the inning, Torres chased Antonio home with a fielders choice groundout, giving Wilmington a 3-0 edge.
The Blue Rocks padded their cushion against Bucciferro in the top of the fifth inning. Jack Lopez led off the frame with a double down the left field line and Bubba Starling pounded a two-run homer into the right field seats. Starlings sixth dinger of the year provided Wilmington with a 5-0 advantage.
It was Bucciferros second-shortest start of the season, lasting only four and one-third innings. The Carolina League leader in innings pitched allowed five runs and 11 hits.
Winston-Salem will try to bounce back against the Blue Rocks on Saturday night. The Dash will send right-hander Terance Marin (2-0, 2.37 ERA) to the mound, while Wilmington counters with lefty Jonathan Dziedzic (5-5, 3.00 ERA).
On Sunday CCD will post more pictures from the July 4th game as part of our “Ultimate 4th of July” feature. Please check back for more fun from BB&T Park, including fireworks.