When the Kannapolis Intimidators made their first trip to Lexington this season, former University of Louisville player Logan Johnson struggled to contain his excitement. Johnson went 0-for-10 in the three-game series, but the Owensboro native redeemed himself Tuesday night.
Johnson went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI to lead Kannapolis to a 12-7 defeat of the Legends.
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“It's good to play well in front of my family,” said Johnson, a member of U of L's 2007 College World Series team. “I did have to control my emotions a little bit. I was a little excited last time we came here, but I was able to just play today.”
Johnson, who was taken in the 20th round of the 2007 draft by the Chicago White Sox, is hitting .278 with 10 home runs and 40 RBI in his first full season as a pro and has committed just seven errors at third base after playing second throughout his college career.
“I have to work on a few things over there,” Johnson said. “I'm still trying to get completely comfortable over there like I was at second base in college, but it's fine and I'm still learning.”
Though Johnson made numerous plays in the field, it was his offense that fueled the Kannapolis victory.
After the Legends grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning, Johnson kick-started a five-run second for Kannapolis with a home run that cleared the Pepsi Party Deck before landing in the parking lot behind right field.
“I hit that ball pretty well,” Johnson said, laughing.
Despite the early lead, Legends starter Jacob Leonhardt (2-7) struggled with his control, walking five hitters in three-plus innings on his way to the loss. Three of the five batters he walked eventually scored, as Leonhardt allowed six runs on six hits.
Kannapolis staved off several Lexington rallies to hold on for the victory, handing the Legends their seventh loss in eight games.
Russell Dixon homered in the fourth to cut the lead to 6-3 and eventually got within 8-6, but Kannapolis lead-off hitter Dale Mollenhauer drove in his fourth run in the seventh, and Johnson's RBI single fueled a two-run Kannapolis eighth that pushed the lead to 11-6. Lexington scored once in the eighth before Craig Corrado struck out with two out and two runners on base on a pitch that appeared to be outside. Corrado was ejected for arguing. The Intimidators tacked on another run in the ninth to provide the final margin.