Not one starter on the farm went five innings yesterday and only one went as long as four innings. Regardless, the affiliates went 3-1 and the one starter who went longer than four innings was the one who had the outing to forget.
Lehigh Valley 5 @ Syracuse 6 - Boxscore
Jo Matumoto was summoned to Syracuse to make an emergency start for Josh Banks, who was removed from the 40-man roster yesterday. Matumoto had been pitching in relief for New Hampshire and did what he could as a starter, going 3 innings and giving up three runs. After 66 pitches he was done and Bubba Nelson took over. Nelson threw 42 pitches over 3.2 innings and surrendered a pair of runs himself. Jordan de Jong pitched the last 2.2 innings and picked up the save without allowing any runs. For an emergency start that could conceivably have impacted the pitching staff for several days to come, it didn’t turn out too badly as the innings were spread amongst three pitchers, all of whom turned it at least serviceable performances.
It was a game to forget for Syracuse’s eighth and ninth hitters, as Chip Cannon and Jorge Velandia went 0-7 with six strikeouts. However, everyone else got a hit and the team was led by a pair of hits by Hector Luna and Matt Watson. Luna showed why he was batting cleanup with a pair of solo homers and Watson, batting right behind him, added a double and a solo shot of his own. Luna and Watson hit back-to-back homers in the second inning. Luna’s other homer came in the fourth and he was also involved in Syracuse’s three-run fifth inning, which gave them the lead for good. Buck Coats, who went 3-4 on the afternoon, singled with one out and Wayne Lydon singled him to second. Russ Adams followed with a double, which scored Coats and pushed Lydon over to third. Luna followed with an RBI groundout that scored Lydon and then Watson doubled home Adams. That ended Syracuse’s scoring for the afternoon and what had become the Hector Luna and Matt Watson show.
New Hampshire 2 @ Harrisburg 10 - Boxscore
The less said about this game, the better. AJ Wideman started for New Hampshire in what was likely his worst start as a professional athlete. Wideman gave up nine runs, seven earned, and 15 hits over 4.2 innings. He struck out a batter and walked one. His counterpart, Bobby Brownlie, gave up one unearned run and five hits over 6 full innings. Wideman was relieved by Jamie Vermilyea, who pitched 2.1 innings and surrendered the last run, and Sean Stidfole, who finished the game.
Ryan Patterson was the only Fisher Cat to have a multi-hit game, as he went 2-3 with a double and a sacrifice fly. Patterson also had two outfield assists, including one at home plate to end the third inning Patterson also scored New Hampshire’s second run on Ryan Klosterman’s RBI groundout. Other than that the Harrisburg pitching staff scattered a few harmless hits by the Fisher Cats and their lead was never really threatned. Anthony Hatch had the only other extra-base hit for New Hampshire, but he also made a pair of errors that led to two unearned runs.
Clearwater 3 @ Dunedin 5 - Boxscore
Brian Dopirak continues to swing the hottest bat in Dunedin, as his 3-3 night accounted for a third of the D-Jays’ hits and with a run scored and 2 RBI he was involved in over half of the team’s runs. Paul Franko was the only other Dunedin player to have a mult-hit game. Dunedin had four extra-base hits amongst their nine hits, with Dopirak, JP Arencibia, Sean Shoffit and Travis Snider each hitting a double. The team also drew seven walks, with Chris Emanuele walking twice, Dopriak once and the 6 through 9 hitters all drawing a base on balls.
After a Dopirak RBI single in the first, the D-Jays scored two in the sixth and eighth innings. In the sixth Snider and Dopirak hit back-to-back doubles before Brad Emaus drove home Snider with a single. In the eighth JP Arencibia doubled home Bartolo Nicolas, who was pinch-running for Snider, and later Jonathan Diaz drew a bases-loaded walk to cash Arencibia.
Brett Cecil started for Dunedin and went 2.2 innings, striking out a pair and giving up one hit and one walk. Cccil got five ground-ball outs and a fly out, but after facing 10 batters his evening was over. He was relieved by Julio Pinto, who gave up two runs over 3.2 innings. Pinto struck out five, but wasn’t at his best with three walks and four hits allowed. With one out in the top of seventh Connor Falkenbach relieved Pinto and uncharacteristically struggled, as well. Falkenbach allowed three singles and that was enough for Clearwater to tie the game. It remained tied through the bottom of the seventh and top of the eighth, when Paul Phillips had a 1-2-3 inning, before Dunedin scored a pair in the bottom of the inning. Zach Dials gave up a harmless single in the ninth as he picked up his fifth save.
Kane County 4 @ Lansing 10 - Boxscore
A six-run fourth inning propelled Lansing to a six-run victory as they took advantage of 17 hits and a couple of Kane County errors to cruise to a comfortable win. Vancouver’s Trystan Magnuson started for Lansing and only went three innings, as he is still being stretched out. Magnuson didn’t give up a hit and struck out three in a very solid outing. Chi-Hung Cheng relieved him and continued to struggle to begin the year. He went four innings and claimed the win, but Cheng gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits. Cheng also continued to struggle with his control, as he walked three batters to go along with his three strikeouts and has now walked 11 in 15.1 innings on the season. Cody Crowell and Ross Buckwalter each threw an inning to finish the game. Crowell walked two but struck out three in his inning, while Buckwalter allowed his first run of the year.
Every Lansing starter had a hit and there were several performances to take notice of. Raul Barron and Manny Rodriguez each had three hits, with Barron chipping in with a pair of doubles and Rodriguez driving home three runners. Justin Jackson and Joel Collins each had a pair of hits and a homer and Moises Sierra had a single, a double and 2 RBIs. Lansing scored two in the first on a pair of RBI singles by Rodriguez and Yohermyn Chavez, but the Lugnuts offensive explosion came in the fourth with six runs. The inning started innocently enough with a pair of strikeouts by Collins and Wesley Stone, but then Jackson hit a solo homer. That solo shot with two out opened the floodgates as Barron doubled, Kevin Ahrens reached on an error and Rodriguez doubled both of them home. Chavez walked and then Adam Calderone and Sierra each added RBI singles before a second error allowed Collins to reach and the sixth run to score and the game turned from a close contest into a blowout.
3rd Star – Trystan Magnuson, 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
2nd Star – Brian Dopirak, 3-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 4 TB
1st Star – Hector Luna, 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 8 TB