WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (July 30, 2014) – J.B. Wendelken struck out a Dash-era record 13 batters, dominating the Frederick Keys in a 12-2 Winston-Salem win on Thursday afternoon at BB&T Ballpark. Wendelken preceded Carlos Rodon, who made his Dash debut in the eighth inning.
Wendelken (6-8) allowed only two hits and two walks in seven innings. The previous record for strikeouts by a Winston-Salem pitcher since the club became the Dash in 2009 was 11, first established by Hector Santiago on April 16, 2011, against Kinston. Frank Montas equaled that mark on May 22 of this season at Salem.
Rodon, the former NC State star who was the third overall pick in this year's MLB Draft, entered with Winston-Salem enjoying an 8-0 lead on Frederick (16-22, 48-57). Rodon struck out Jerome Pena, the first batter he faced. Steel Russell reached first when he struck out on a wild pitch and moved to second on Johnny Ruettiger's walk. Adrian Marin flew out to left field and Trey Mancini walked, loading the bases against Rodon.
Chih-Hsien Chiang lofted a single to center field against Rodon, chasing Russell and Ruettiger home to cut the margin to 8-2. Rodon struck out Jason Esposito to end the inning.
Rodon registered three strikeouts and two walks during his 33-pitch inning. Both runs against the southpaw were earned.
The Dash (21-19, 51-58) got things going offensively in the bottom of the first. Cleuluis Rondon and Courtney Hawkins singled against Frederick starter Brady Wager (5-8) to begin the rally. Jason Coats doubled to right field, plating both runners. Keon Barnum's single to right scored Coats to make it a 3-0 game.
Winston-Salem kept rolling in the third. Hawkins drew a leadoff walk from Wager and Coats' second double of the game set up runners at second and third. Joey DeMichele added a two-bagger of his own to drive in two runs and scored on Michael Marjama's double, giving the home team a 6-0 cushion.
The Dash struck again in the sixth. Keenyn Walker was issued a leadoff walk by Keys' reliever Matt Hobgood. Jacob May doubled to right field to set up runners at second and third. Rondon brought Walker home with an RBI groundout and May scored on a Hobgood wild pitch, pushing the margin to 8-0.
Winston-Salem capped the scoring in the eighth. May doubled and Rondon walked against Hobgood before Hawkins lifted a deep fly ball to the center field fence. The ball bounced away from center fielder Brenden Webb as Hawkins raced around the bases. The relay throw home was too late, giving Hawkins an inside-the-park, three-run homer. It was the slugger's 17th round-tripper of the year. Barnum later followed with a more conventional home run: a solo blast beyond the seats in right field. His eighth of the season made it a 12-2 game.
The Dash have now won four straight games and can go for the series sweep against Frederick on Thursday night. Winston-Salem's starter has yet to be announced, while the Keys counter with righty Parker Bridwell (5-7, 4.11 ERA). First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.