Summertime and the livin' is easy

Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 09:28 AM EDT

Contributed by: Mike Green

The farm affiliates received shutout starts from Chris Baker, Jamie Vermilyea and Jesse Litsch as they went 4-2 on the evening. All three made it look easy.

Syracuse 7 Norfolk 0

Chris Baker, Justin Miller and Brandon League combined on a 7-hit shutout for the Sky Chiefs, while John-Ford Griffin's 3rd inning grand slam provided all the offence they would need. Chad Mottola's 7th inning 2 run shot was the icing on the cake. Baker gave up 6 hits and a walk, while striking out 5 in 6 innings of work. Miller pitched 2 perfect innings, and then League gave up a hit and nothing more in the ninth. Mottola had 3 hits.

Altoona 0 New Hampshire 5

Jamie Vermilyea and Tracy Thorpe combined for a 4 hit shutout, and Erik Kratz's solo homer in the 2nd inning was all they needed. Vermilyea in his 2nd start in a row went 7 innings, allowing 4 hits and no walks while striking out 5. His seasonal ERA is now 2.05. Thorpe completed the shutout with 2 hitless innings, walking one and striking out 2. The Fisher Cats broke the game open with 3 runs in the fourth inning on 4 hits and a sacrifice fly and coasted home. Kratz added a double and walk later in the game, while Clint Johnston singled and walked in 4 trips.

Dunedin 1 Clearwater 3

The D-Jays were overpowered by fine pitching through the eighth inning- 2 hits and 14 strikeouts tells a simple story. They rallied in the ninth on 3 singles, but left the tying runs at 2nd and 3rd to end the game. Kurt Isenberg started and pitched well, save for the sixth inning. A single and an error set up the deciding 2-out 3 run homer. Isenberg gave up 6 hits and no walks, while striking out 4. Brian Reed and Davis Romero finished up very nicely. Chip Cannon singled and walked in 4 trips.

Lansing 6 Cedar Rapids 4

Yuber Rodriguez' 3 run homer blew open a tight game, and the Lugnuts hung on for the W. Rodriguez drew 2 walks to accompany his long ball, while Christian Snavely continued his hot hitting by going 3-4 with 2 doubles. Russ Savickas started and kept the Kernels to 2 earned runs on 7 hits and 1 walk with 4 strikeouts. Joey McLaughlin Jr. distinguished himself with 2 fine relief innings, allowing only 1 hit while striking out 2. Mark Sopko put the tying runs on base in the ninth, but got out of it for the save.

Auburn 4 Mahoning Valley 5

A walk-off homer off Gabriel Alfaro with one out in the ninth broke a 4-4 tie. The Doubledays had rallied for 2 in the top of the eighth on a run-scoring single from Ryan Patterson and a wild pitch. Leadoff hitter Emmanuel Sena doubled and walked and scored twice, while Patterson reached base 3 times. Kristian Bell started and gave up 4 earned runs in 5 innings on 4 hits and 1 walk with 4 strikeouts. Aaron Tressler did a brilliant job holding the fort thereafter with 3 scoreless innings on 1 hit, no walks and 2 punch-outs.

Pulaski 3 Johnson City 2

Jesse Litsch continued his fine pitching with 6 shutout innings to lead the P-Jays to victory. Litsch allowed 4 hits and no walks, while striking out 6. Hector Delgadilo finished the game, allowing 2 unearned runs and 3 baserunners in 3 innings, while striking out 5. Five Pulaski singles in the 1st inning resulted in 3 runs, and that was that. Leadoff hitter Zach Kalter mastered 1/2 his game by reaching base 4 times in 5 trips. The other half not so much- 1 stolen base, but caught stealing twice. Wes Stone had 2 hits, while Jacob Butler reached base 3 times in 4 trips.

3 star selection

3rd star-John-Ford Griffin, grand slam for the Sky Chiefs
2nd star-Jesse Litsch, shutout pitching for Pulaski
1st star-Jamie Vermilyea, shutout pitching for the Fisher Cats

Bonus recipe- Green's off-to-camp mixed apple and berry pancakes:

1 grated Granny Smith and 1 grated Gala apple
2 small containers of strawberry yoghurt
2 eggs
just under 1/2 pint of fresh blackberries
enough flour to make the consistency just right
(that will depend on the size of the apples-use your judgment)
Fry up.