Triple-A Omaha lost their second straight in Colorado Springs, 8-7 in ten innings. The two teams combined for 29 hits.
The Storm Chasers bullpen blew the game twice. Clinging to a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth, Al Alburquerque allowed a leadoff triple, followed by an RBI single. After recording two outs, first baseman Ryan O’Hearn committed a crucial fielding error that kept the game going. A stolen base proceeded a two-run single to tie the game at 5-5.
With two outs in the top of the tenth, Garin Cecchini doubled to start the Omaha rally. After a Billy Burns walk, Ramon Torres followed with a two-run double (he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple to end the inning).
In came Andrew Edwards for the save, but he allowed a single and a home run to start the bottom of the tenth and the game was quickly tied again. A walk followed, but Edwards induced a double play. However, a single, a stolen base, and another walk followed to chase Edwards. In came Mark Peterson, who allowed an RBI single for the walk off victory.
The late offense for the Sky Sox negated the solid start by Jake Junis, who retired 19 of the first 21 batters he faced before hitting a snag in the seventh, when a one out single followed by a double put two runners in scoring position. That was all for Junis (at just 79 pitches). In came Kevin McCarthy, who allowed a two-run single to the first batter he faced. Here is Junis’ final line: 6.1IP, 4H, 2R, 0BB, 7K.
The Storm Chasers had the early lead because of the long ball. Whit Merrifield (2-for-5) hit a two out, two-run homer in the fifth. O’Hearn (3-for-5) hit his first Triple-A homer in the eighth (a solo shot). Leadoff hitter Billy Burns went 4-for-5 with a walk, two runs scored, and two stolen bases.
Double-A NW Arkansas won their first game of the season, winning versus San Antonio, 6-4. Every time the Missions scored, the Naturals came right back.
The top of the Naturals order collected all ten of the team’s hits. Leadoff hitter Donnie Dewees went 2-for-4 with an RBI. However, he was caught stealing twice. Alfredo Escalera and Mauricio Ramos also collected two hits in the win.
Frank Schwindel continued his hot hitting two games into the season. After collecting two hits in the season opener, he went 3-for-4 Friday night, falling a triple short of a cycle. Schwindel doubled and hit a three-run home run in the sixth.
Lefty Eric Skoglund got the start for the Naturals, but lasted just 3.1 innings, as he allowed five hits and walked three (62 pitches, 40 strikes). In his Double-A debut, Matt Tenuta picked up the victory, though he allowed two solo home runs (3.2IP, 5H, 3R, BB, 3K). Tenuta stranded two inherited runners in the fourth. Evan Beal and Jake Newberry each pitched a scoreless inning of relief, with Newberry picking up his first Double-A save (just 11 pitches needed).
A day late, but the High-A Wilmington Blue Rocks got their 2017 season underway on Friday night. They beat visiting Potomac, 6-2. Both teams collected five hits and committed two errors.
It was a solid start for Foster Griffin, who allowed a run on two hits over five innings. He struck out eight. The P-Nats got their first hit off Griffin to lead off the third, with the runner scoring on a wild pitch.
The Blue Rocks came back with a run in the fourth, as they loaded the bases via walks and scored on a ground out. They scored another in the fifth on a bases loaded walk (the third straight walk in that inning). Two straight singles started the 6th inning before Roman Collins hit a three-run home run. Wander Franco followed with a double, moved to third base on an error, and scored on another error.
On the negative side, catcher Chase Vallot committed a throwing error on a stole base and Franco committed a fielding error at third base in the eighth (which cost the team a run).
Lefty Luis Rico threw two perfect innings of relief, needing just 19 pitches. Richard Lovelady made his High-A debut, allowing an 8th inning unearned run. It started with two outs, but he then allowed back-to-back singles and threw a wild pitch before the error occurred. Jake Kalish escaped a two on, nobody out jam in the ninth.
Low-A Lexington lost in walk off fashion to Charleston, 9-8. The RiverDogs scored a run in the eighth and four more in the ninth. The two teams combined for 26 hits.
Legends reliever Jace Vines took the loss, as he allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits over the final 3.1 innings. He struck out the first two batters in the eighth, but then allowed four straight hits. Thankfully, the fourth single hit the base runner going from first to second base. In the ninth, five hits around a ground out provided the heroics.
After allowing four runs on five hits in the bottom of the first, Legends starter Garrett Davila settled down to allow just two more hits over the next four innings (5IP, 7H, 4R, 0BB, 5K). Davila was helped in the 1st inning by Marten Gasparini, playing just his second game in the outfield, who threw a runner out at third base to end the inning.
The Legends scored five runs in the third and three more in the fourth. After that, they had just one more base runner (a Meibrys Viloria one out double in the eighth). Viloria and Chris DeVito had two hits and an RBI in the loss.