Minor League Roundup: P-Nats rally, Hillcats drop fourth straight, Akron pounds Richmond
P-Nats rally for W The Potomac Nationals scored two runs in the ninth off against the Carolina Mudcats in a 6-5 comeback win at on a Saturday night at the Pfitz. Kevin Keyes hit a sac fly scoring Zach Walters to send home the crowd of 6,101 fans home happy.
Down 6-5 against Carolina closer Jose Flores who has gone seven-for-seven in save attempts this year, the P-Nats got a lead off walk from Ricky Hague. Walters drew a walk as well to put runners at first and second with one out. Michael Taylor hit a soft single into shallow left center that easily scored Hague to tie the ballgame 5-5. The throw home from Anthony Gallas ended up wide of the plate and allowed Walters to advance to third with one out on the error. That would be important as on a 2-2 pitch Keyes hit a fly ball to medium centerfield that scored Walters and ended the contest with the Nationals winning 6-5.
The win is the third time in the last four contests Potomac has won in walk-off fashion. It’s the third time the Nationals have been able to erase a last inning deficit in the stretch of three walk-off wins in four days.
Cameron Selik (2-1) pitched a scoreless ninth striking out two picked up the win for Potomac. Flores (0-1) took his first loss of the year as well as blew his first save in eight chances. The second and winning run against Flores was unearned.
The P-Nats took an early lead in the first inning off of LHP Francisco Jimenez who made the start for the Mudcats. Francisco Soriano singled and stole second with one out. David Freitas laced a single to center field with two outs that scored Soriano and Potomac led 1-0.
Carolina opened their scoring against Potomac spot starter RHP Trevor Holder. The Mudcats scored their first run with Justin Toole just beating a Ricky Hague throw home with a hook slide around the catcher Freitas to tie the contest 1-1. They aded two runs on a single by Jesus Aguliar and another on a Jeremie Tice double that chased Holder to extend the lead to 4-1 in favor of Carolina. Finally, Ronny Rodriguez hit a double off of Paul Applebee to open the lead to 5-1. Holder finished the contest yielding five runs in two and a third.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Nationals added two runs to decrease the Mudcats lead to 5-3. Freitas and Zach Walters both hit one-out RBI singles. Potomac added a run in the fourth on a Francisco Soriano ground out scoring Randolph Oduber to cut the Mudcats lead to 5-4. Jimenez, who beat the P-Nats less than a week ago in Zebulon, gave up four earned runs over five innings.
Both bullpens took over from there. Applebee was outstanding sporting a new pitching motion tossing three and two-thirds scoreless innings with just one hit. The Nationals got a great outing from Rob Wort who struck out three in two clean frames. Wort has now struck out three or more batters in six straight outings. Carolina got two scoreless and hitless frames from their reliever Kyle Petter.
Potomac did have a threat in the eighth as they loaded the bases with no out but could not score against reliever Trey Haley.
Tomorrow the Nationals and Mudcats finish their series with a Sunday afternoon contest at the Pfitz starting at 1:05 PM. LHP Ryan Demmin (0-1, 4.67) will make his second start for the Nationals. For tickets, call us at 703-590-2311.
Hillcats drop fourth straight The Hillcats dropped their fourth straight for the first time this season. The Dash offense roughed up the ‘Cats staff for eight runs in an 8-2 victory. A collaborative effort offensively for the Dash as every player had a hit in their win.
The game started with some back-and-forth play. The Dash got off to an early lead in the bottom of the second with Cody Martin on the mound. Michael Earley reached on Edward Salcedo’s 15th error of the season. Nick Ciolli singled to right and Earley went first-to-third. Juan Silverio would complete the manufacturing of the run by skying a fly ball out to center. Earley jogged home for the first run of the game.
Lynchburg answered back in the top half of third. The first pitch of the inning was let lose by Justin Collop and it hit Braeden Schlehuber. Matt Lipka would add his first hit in 22 at-bats, Schlehuber advanced to second. Nick Ahmed hit one to shortstop that looked like a double play ball, but after getting the lead runner at second, the Dash couldn’t complete the play and Ahmed beat the throw to first. The inning was extended and Adam Milligan made the Dash pay with a two RBI hot shot to right field to give the ‘Cats at 2-1 lead.
The lead didn’t last long for the Hillcats. Daniel Wagner, Carlos Sanchez and Trayce Thompson all singled with Thompson’s single scoring Wagner to make it 2-2. After a Dan Black whiff, Brady Shoemaker and Mike Blanke would each get an RBI in their at-bats. Shoemaker hit a single back up the middle and Blanke hit a fly out to right to score Thompson. The score was 4-2 and the Dash weren’t done.
A quiet couple of innings would give way to a loud sixth. Ciolli drew a walk and Silverio would strikeout to end the day of Martin. Caleb Brewer would enter in relief, but the Dash offense was already on fire at this point. Brewer would give up three singles of his own. Wagner would start Brewer’s appearance with a single. Thompson would added another RBI single to his day to make it 5-2 when Ciolli scored. Runners were now at the corners with the dangerous Black at the plate. However, he didn’t need to do much. Schlehuber couldn’t handle a low pitch from Brewer, the ball went past Schlehuber and Wagner broke for home and scored to it 6-2. Black singled but he and Thompson would get stranded.
The next inning wasn’t much better for Brewer. Earley hit a ball out to right field, the fielder, Kyle Rose, dove and it went past him. Earley would motor around to third base for a triple. Ciolli would add a double a few pitches later to score Earley and extend lead to 7-2. Silverio got in on the act by shooting his own double to the right-center field gap for the final run of the game.
Terance Marin (1-1) got the win in relief. He went 4.0 innings, allowed one hit and struck out five. Cody Martin (5-4) struggled through 5.1 innings. He gave up seven hits, five runs–four earned–while walking two and striking out five.
The series finale is at 2:00pm tomorrow at BB & T Park. Gus Schlosser (4-2, 4.32) will look to lead the ‘Cats to victory. The Dash’s only lefty Spencer Arroyo (2-1, 5.97) will get start. Tune in and listen live to all the action on 105.5 FM KD Country and online at lynchburg-hillcats.com starting with the Hillcats On-Deck Show coming on the air at 1:40pm with Erik Wilson and Mike Viso.
Akron pounrds Richmond The Akron Aeros (25-14) walloped the Richmond Flying Squirrels (20-22) for the second consecutive night at Canal Park, taking a, 15-5, victory in front of 4,104 on Saturday. The Aeros have claimed the first two games of the series by a total of 31-8. 31 runs is a Richmond franchise record for runs allowed in back-to-back ballgames.
The Aeros picked up where they left off on Friday, plating two runs off of Richmond right-hander Justin Fitzgerald in the first inning. Tim Fedroff started Akron with a lead-off single to left field. Ben Copeland followed with a double up the right-field line, placing runners at second and third with nobody out. Fitzgerald struck out Adam Abraham, but his first pitch to Chun Chen was wild to the backstop allowing Fedroff to score and Copeland to move to third base. Chen then sent a ground ball to Daniel Mayora at third base. He air-mailed the throw to first base, and Copeland scored on the error for a 2-0 lead. One of the two runs charged to Fitzgerald was unearned.
Richmond got one run back against Akron lefty Giovanni Soto in the third inning. Joel Weeks led off with a bunt-single and Soto walked Gary Brown behind him. Nick Liles bunted the runners up and Mayora grounded out to bring in Weeks to trim the Akron lead to 2-1.
It was the last positive moment in the ballgame for Richmond as the floodgates opened for the Aeros in the third inning. Juan Diaz contributed an RBI single in the third off of Fitzgerald to make it 3-1. It was just the beginning, as the Aeros sent 12 men to the plate to score eight runs in the fourth inning. Fitzgerald surrendered a two-run home run in the inning to Kyle Bellows, and singles to Copeland and Abraham before being lifted. Right-hander Edwin Quirarte came on and couldn’t put out the fire. Quirarte allowed an RBI single to Chen, a two-run double to Diaz and a two-run triple to Thomas Neal. Quirarte was charged with three of the eight runs plated in the inning.
Fitzgerald (3-2) took the brunt of the fourth, and took the loss over 3 1/3 innings. He was charged with eight runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out four in his toughest outing of the season.
Soto (4-2) lasted into the sixth inning for the win. He claimed his fourth victory of the season over 5 1/3 innings. The lefty allowed just a lone run on three hits, walked three and struck out three. Right-hander Jose De La Torre cleaned up the sixth for Soto, and stayed on to work a scoreless seventh as well. Right-hander Preston Guilmet worked a scoreless eighth inning.
Akron capped their scoring with three more runs in the fifth inning and a lone run in the seventh. All four of the runs were charged to Richmond right-hander Jake Dunning. Copeland scored four runs in the ballgame for Akron, while Abraham scored three times. Copeland also had four hits while four other Aeros contributed three-hit nights.
Once again, the Squirrels only prolific offensive inning came after the game was well out-of-hand. Richmond scored four times in the top of the ninth inning off of Akron right-hander Kyle Landis. Juan Perez delivered a two-run home run to cap the scoring for the evening.
The finale of the three-game series is scheduled for 1:05 PM on Sunday afternoon at Canal Park. Richmond RHP Craig Westcott (3-3, 4.08) will make the start opposite Akron LHP T.J. McFarland (7-1, 1.86). Pregame coverage will begin at 12:35 PM on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com.