Saturday, May 31, 2008

Wild One in Potomac

Here's a couple of snipets from the wild game in Potomac. Kinston going for their sixth straight win against the first place Nationals. Second clip comes with two out and the bases loaded in a one-run game.

Denham's Homer Wins it for the K-Tribe

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Kinston Wins Third Straight over Frederick

The K-Tribe won their third straight, beating the Frederick Keys 8-6 Tuesday afternoon. Here's some of the audio highlights:

Monday, May 26, 2008

First Set of Calls

Here's my first set of what will be known as calls of the day here's the first ones courtesy of Niuman Romero, Chris De La Cruz, Cirilo Cumberbatch, and Jerad Head.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Welcome to Kinston

I write this blog post sitting in the Hampton Inn in Kinston, the day before my first day as a member of the Kinston Indians broadcast team.
Despite losing the final game of a three-game set with Myrtle Beach, the K-Tribe are coming off a 4-2 road trip and sit just 6.5 games out of first place with 27 games to go in the first half of the season. They play five games in three days to complete two suspended games against Winston-Salem, before a key four-game series against Frederick, who sits a game out of first in the North Division.
The Indians hit the road for seven at Potomac and Wilmington, and it will be safe to tell by then whether Kinston has a shot to contend down the stretch of this first half, or whether the second half title is a better goal to shoot for. With series wins in five of their last six, however, the ship is starting to turn around.
The team is continuing to hit well with Nick Weglarz continuing to pace things. He's hitting .275 and now leads the team with five home runs. The Tribe sent second baseman Adam Davis down to extended Spring Training to try him out at catcher and received Chris de la Cruz from AA Akron to take his place. He will split time with Niuman Romero, who will be tough to get out of the lineup hitting .258 in just 20 games this season.
Carlton Smith turned in another impressive performance Wednesday in Kinston's romp against Myrtle Beach, winning 13-2 and improving to 2-2 on the season. Jim Deters has been an unsung workhorse in the bullpen, and got a win in a spot start of the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader in Winston-Salem.
Chris Hemeyer and I will take you through the rest of this first half with every pitch on the Kinston Indians Radio Network and Just click on the radio page and see which stream works best for you. So long for now and hope to see you at the ballpark!

Monday, May 12, 2008

If We Win Tomorrow...

...that's called a winning streak, it HAS HAPPENED BEFORE." - Lou Brown, Major League II

The ode to Lou Brown brings about the fact that the K-Tribe went on their longest winning streak of the year last week, winning their last two games in Lynchburg and their first two games in Frederick. Kinston also received a big jolt by splitting their home series with Potomac, that saw the first wins for two of their front-line starters, Carlton Smith and Steven Wright. The first set of roster moves was made last week with the Indians gaining one player from above and one from below. They brought reliever Sung-Wei Tseng down from AA Akron, who failed to prove himself at the next level posting an ERA near 9. Tseng came on and recorded a six-out save against the Nationals on Saturday to clinch the split of the series. The K-Tribe also received Wentzville, Missouri native Mike Pontius from Low A Lake County. The Holt High School grad was knocked around in 2/3 of an inning Friday night against the P-Nats, but Josh Tomlin came in to limit the damage, and the Kinston bats provided enough insurance to ensure the victory for Wright and the K-Tribe. Both these players have a lot to prove, but with plenty of opportunities to do so.
More great output continues to come from Josh Tomlin who has allowed only one run in his last 10 appearances. Luis Perdomo, the man Chris Hemeyer calls the "Dominican Dominator," still has not allowed an earned run in 14 appearances with seven saves. Starter Jeanmar Gomez turned in his best start of the season going five innings and giving up three runs in his first win in Frederick.
Johnny Drennen's consecutive games on-base streak ended at 21 straight games on base and 31 games dating back to last season. Nick Weglarz had a big series in Frederick with two home runs, four RBI's and five runs scored. Carlos Rivero has made shortstop a key hitting position for Kinston collecting hits in eight straight games against Lynchburg, Frederick, and the first two games of the Potomac series.
How Kinston performed on this past stretch was a big test on how their chances to contend in the first half would be affected. Now that the K-Tribe has shown the ability to compete with the top teams in the Carolina League, they face a team tied for last in the North Division (Wilmington), and the team only a game ahead of them in the South (Winston-Salem). Both these series set up for a showdown with first place Myrtle Beach. Eight chances to move up in the standings are critical for Kinston to take care of business while only being six back in the loss column.
Following that Myrtle Beach series, I'll be joining the team for the first time as they host Winston-Salem. I'll probably post a couple of times while I'm home just to take care of the baseball withdrawal from finals. That said, you can catch all the Kinston action on the Kinston Indians Radio Network, or online at

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What a Difference a Week Makes

If the Kinston Indians based their whole season on how they played against the Salem Avalanche, they would be sitting pretty with a record comfortably over .500. The K-Tribe are 4-2 against the team from southern Virginia, and the latest series was a showcase for Beau Mills. Last week, I said that Beau was struggling and wouldn't know a clutch hit if it stopped him in the street. Mills busted out of his slump with a big opening game, homering twice and driving in six runs. His average has climbed over the Mendoza line to .212. Just because he has one great game, does not get him off the hook, however, as he's hitless in his last eight at-bats. You might think I'm picking on this guy, but the output from your team's best player generally dictates how the status of the team. This team will go as far as Mills will lead them. When I talked to Chris Hemeyer before the season about Beau Mills, he said I might be lucky to even see him play. The learning curve at this level seems to be so intense, though, that the ticket to Akron and beyond will have to stay at the airport. That being said, the onus does not fall on Mills, but the players in the supporting cast like Johnny Drennen and Jerad Head. It's things like scoring 16 runs in two victories over Salem and then failing to score in the finale that I'm sure is making K-Tribe manager Chris Tremie scratch his head. A characteristic of great teams is the ability to step on the necks of the opposition and kick them while they are down.
A minute on the pitching, and looking at the stat lines, one name stands out. Josh Tomlin is 3-1 in nine relief appearances. He has struck out 16 batters in 17 and 1/3 innings with an ERA just over two. He is the kind of stop-gap reliever the Indians need if they want to turn this around, as the starting pitching is still a work in progress.
Of course, it's not near the end for this team, they are still 8-15 at the end of April, and miles ahead of where they were when the season started.
The month of May provides stronger challenges for Kinston right out of the gate. They finish off their 10 game road trip in Lynchburg and Fredrick. The Indians were able to get a game each from both teams at Grainger Stadium, but lost a combined five games. The team with the best record in the Carolina League, the Potomac Nationals, greets the K-Tribe when they return home. The P-Nats swept the Tribe in Woodbridge behind the strong pitching of Ross Detwiler and scoring 29 runs in three games off K-Tribe pitching. After two more road series against Winston-Salem and Myrtle Beach, we reach May 23rd, and my first action seeing the team.
I can only tell you now what I see in the box score, what I read, and what I hear from Chris, but soon I'll be able to give you a first-hand account of what goes on. This team has the ability to turn it around, and the pieces are there to make a worst-to-first run at the first half title. It's also unfair to say that the team should focus on getting better this half and worry about a title in the second half. The more this team focuses on winning now, the better it will be for the players who come through here later in the year.
As I always say, you can check the Indians out every game on If you can't get enough K-Tribe from me, read David Hall's recaps in the Kinston paper, he does a great job. Next post comes at the end of the road trip, and a preview of the series with Potomac.