Two blowout wins and two extra-inning losses. Compared to two blowout losses and two extra-inning wins, this is good for Pythagoras but bad for the soul.
Scranton 6 at Syracuse 3 (12 innings)
A heartbreaker for baseball fans in the Syracuse area and a few diehards with high-speed internet connections scattered across the globe. Scranton scratched a run off Josh Towers in the first on two singles sandwiched around a wild pitch. A second run scored in the third inning when Russ Adams dropped the throw on a steal attempt, Josh Towers threw a wild pitch, and Paul Chiaffredo threw the ball into left field trying to nail the runner advancing to third. Ed Yarnall took a perfect game into the fifth inning for the Red Barons but loaded the bases on a Simon Pond double and a pair of free passes to Jorge Sequea and Gabe Gross. Noah Hall's ground ball, which should have ended the inning, was bobbled by Lou Collier at first, allowing Pond to score. Russ Adams flew out to centre to strand the bases loaded. Towers was pulled after five innings (6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) in favor of Bob File, who pitched well but got even less defensive support than Towers. File whiffed his first man and got the second to hit an easy fly ball to centre which was muffed by Noah Hall. The next batter grounded to third, and Sequea threw the ball into the dugout on the attempted 5-4-3 double play. The fourth hitter hit a liner to left that was misplayed by Pond into a double; amazingly, File escaped with only one run allowed. Shawn Fagan knotted the score at three with a two-run homer (scoring Russ Adams, who had singled) in the eighth, and Vinnie Chulk and Aquilino Lopez pitched shutout ball from the seventh inning until the eleventh. However, Syracuse's bats fell silent after Fagan's blast, and Talley Haines coughed up three runs in the twelfth, which turned out to be the difference.
The SkyChiefs managed only three singles, two doubles (Pond and Gabe Gross), a home run (Fagan), and two walks on the night. Gross, with a double and a walk, was the only batter to reach base twice.
New Hampshire 6 at Reading 1
The Fisher Cats spotted Cam Reimers a rare 3-0 lead before he even took the hill in this one. Tyrell Godwin led off the game with a first-pitch single to left field, and Stubby Clapp followed with a double off the centre field fence. After Dominic Rich lined out to Danny Gonzalez at short, John-Ford Griffin walked to load the bases. Matt Logan followed with a two-run single to left, putting Griffin on third, and Aaron Hill's grounder was booted by Gonzalez, scoring Griffin and moving Logan to third. A Little League style play followed, as Maikel Jova struck out while Hill broke for second, with Griffin attempting the delayed steal of home. Anyway, the predictable happened: Hill was safe at second, but Logan got cut down at the plate on the return throw. (Needless to say, I didn't actually see the play, so don't take my reaction too seriously.) The next six innings were quite uneventful; Reimers left at the end of the sixth (4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K). Jordan DeJong came on to pitch the seventh and promptly fanned his first two batters before giving up a single, a walk, and an RBI single. Kevin Frederick ended the inning on a foulout and made it through the eighth before giving way to John Ogiltree, who retired the side in order in the ninth. New Hampshire added two more runs in the eighth on solo homers by Griffin and Hill, and a sixth run came in the ninth when Clapp's single to centre was misplayed by Ryan Fleming, allowing Godwin to score from first à la Enos Slaughter.
Totals on the day for the Fisher Cats were ten hits (including Clapp's double and Griffin and Hill's home runs) and five walks. Justin Singleton was the only batter not to reach bases, and everyone else except Hill and Jova reached base at least twice. Hill's home run was his first of the season; congratulations, Aaron.
Dunedin 6 at Daytona 7 (10 innings)
Another extra-inning loss for the good guys. Dunedin took the lead in the first as Jayce Tingler led off the game with a double to right and came home on Carlo Cota's single. Neomar Flores was sharp early, setting the Cubs down in order in the first. Dunedin struck four more times in the second thanks to some weak Daytona defense. With two out and Brad Hassey on second base, Rodney Medina reached on an error by Felix Pie on a fly that should have ended the inning; Hassey scored on the play. Manny Mayorson followed with a double, driving in Medina. After Tingler was plunked, Cota reached on an error by second baseman Ryan Theriot, loading the sacks for Ron Davenport, who delivered a two-run single to centre. Vito Chiaravalloti fanned to end the inning. Daytona got a run back on a two-out triple on the bottom of the inning, but Jason Waugh's home run restored the D-Jays' five-run cushion in the third. Flores lost it in the bottom of the inning, with the first five batters going walk-single-triple-groundout-homer. With the lead down to 6-5, Flores was yanked for Jamie Vermilyea, and at this point both offenses went into hibernation. Vermilyea faced eight batters and didn't allow any of them to either reach base or hit the ball out of the infield (five groundouts, two popups, one strikeout). Andy Torres set the Cubs down in order in the sixth and seventh innings but blew the lead in the eighth. After Pie led off with a single to centre, Torres' error on Buck Coats' sacrifice bunt allowed Pie to score all the way from first. Robert Nunley pitched a scoreless ninth but gave up a walkoff solo homer to Casey McGehee to end it in the tenth. Apparently there is sometimes joy in Mudville after all.
The D-Jays piled up eleven hits on the night, including doubles by Tingler, Davenport, Hassey, Medina, and Mayorson, and the home run by Waugh. Davenport had two hits on the night and was the only Jay to draw a walk. Medina had three hits. Chiaravalloti was the only Dunedin batsman without a hit, dropping his average to .297.
Hagerstown 2 at Charleston 9
There are lots of subtle ways to win a ballgame; amassing seventeen hits isn't one of them, but it's undeniably effective. After a false start in the first (Juan Peralta singled and Ryan Roberts walked, but both were stranded), Charleston struck for a single run in the second on Morrin Davis' RBI double to right centre. Hagerstown starter Jesse Floyd appeared to be in command after setting down Roberts and Robinson Diaz to start the third, but here's what the following seven batters did:
Clint Johnston: single
David Smith: double
Mike Galloway: home run, 3 RBI
Joey Reiman: single
Morrin Davis: single
Eric Arnold: double, 2 RBI
Juan Peralta: single, RBI
Ryan Roberts grounded out to end the inning. Anyway, with Justin James cruising (6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K) and Davis Romero pitching solid relief (2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K), Charleston never looked back.
Every AlleyCat starter reached base at least once. Johnston, Smith, Davis, and Arnold each hit a double, and Galloway delivered the big blow with his three-run homer. Johnston and Reiman each had three hits.
Batter's Box Radio Reporters: Mike Green and Rob. You'll recognize bits of your postings in my game summaries. Thanks, guys!
Syracuse (Jason Arnold) at Richmond (ATL), 4:00 PM
New Hampshire (Dustin McGowan) at Reading (PHI), 7:05 PM
Dunedin (Josh Banks) at Vero Beach (LA), 7:00 PM
Lakewood (PHI) at Charleston (Shaun Marcum), 6:05 PM
Vero Beach is sending Mike Megrew to the hill against Banks; this would be a good game to catch.
With only one of the organization's top pitching prospects on the mound and most of the better hitting prospects having quiet days, the stars were there for the taking tonight.
Our Third Star: Joey Reiman, Charleston. 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI. I'll take nine of them, thank you very much.
Our Second Star: Cam Reimers, New Hampshire. Six shutout innings, with as many strikeouts (five) as hits plus walks, improving his record to a perfect 4-0.
Our First Star: Mike Galloway, Charleston. 2 for 4 with a three-run homer, plus he's from St. Thomas.