K-Tribe takes down Blue Rocks|Former ECU standout Wood, Royals’ star Gordon play

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, April 13, 2010

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
KINSTON — A pair of Wilmington players may have brought a few extra fans into Grainger Stadium, but it was Kinston’s Jason Kipnis who was the star Monday night.
Kipnis had three hits, including a two-run home run, to power the K-Tribe to a 6-3 victory over the Blue Rocks in this Carolina League baseball game. Kinston (3-2) finished with 12 hits in the game, while K-Tribe starter Joey Mahalic and three relievers held Wilmington (1-4) to four hits.
“Mahalic did an unbelievable job,” Kinston skipper Aaron Holbert said. We got some strikeouts and the sinkers were working to get some ground balls.”
Former East Carolina standout Ryan Wood, an 11th-round selection by Kansas City in 2009, and Royals’ star Alex Gordon, in town on a rehab assignment, both started for the Blue Rocks.
Wood went 0-2 with a pair of walks. The shortstop, who completed his career as ECU's leader in runs and walks while finishing in the top 10 in most major categories, said his friends in the stands were giving him a bit of a hard time.
“It was rough,” Wood said with a laugh. “Did you hear them? They were getting after me.
“It was a good time.”
Gordon, a third baseman with the Kansas City Royals, went 1-3 with an RBI double. Gordon, a 2005 first-round pick (second overall), is expected to play tonight and Wednesday. He is rehabbing from a broken right thumb. Gordon is hitting .250 with 37 homers and 141 RBIs in his Kansas City career.
Kipnis (3-4, HR, 2 RBIs) belted a two-run homer, Kinston’s first home run of the season, in the fifth for a 5-2 advantage.
Donnie Webb led off with a single. Kipnis then belted a shot into left-center that first appeared to hit off the top of the fence, leaving Kipnis at second and Webb at third.
However, after the umpires conferred, it was ruled a home run.
“I kind of forgot that we hadn’t truly officially hit (a home run),” Holbert said. “It was surprising that we went into the fifth game without one.”
The K-Tribe took a 1-0 lead in the second. Doug Pickens (2-4) led off with a single to left. Pickens eventually scored on Richard Martinez’s groundout.
Abner Abreu’s two-run poke gave the Indians a 3-0 lead in the third.
The Blue Rocks scored twice in the fourth. Gordon belted an RBI-double to get the Blue Rocks on the scoreboard. Gordon later scored on an error to pull Wilmington within 3-2.
The two runs (on two hits) was all Mahalic (1-0) allowed. He struck out four and walked four over five innings.
Wilmington pulled within 5-3 in the sixth.
Martinez (2-4, 2 RBIs) slapped an RBI single in the eighth for an insurance run.
Ben Theriot (2-4) had two hits for the Blue Rocks.
Also throwing for the K-Tribe were Bryce Stowell (1 R, 1 H, 2 K’s, 3 W’s in 2 innings), former Rice standout Matt Langwell (1 H, 1 K, 1 W in 1 inning) and Steve Smith, who fanned two batters in the ninth.
The two teams play again at 7 p.m. today and then again at 11 a.m. Wednesday.