Luke Erickson

Luke Erickson is a season-ticket holder for the Potomac Nationals, but makes a point of seeing games in Hagerstown and Harrisburg at least once a summer. When the PNats are away on the weekend, Luke finds a minor-league game somewhere to watch, and generally attends 70-80 baseball games a year up across several states. A former sportswriter with newspapers in Massachusetts and Oregon, Luke lives in Western Fairfax County with his wife and two sons.

Jun 272014
 

The Potomac Nationals Booster Club will hold the first of two Silent Auctions tomorrow at Pfitzner Stadium (the next will be on Saturday, August 16). These are the primary fundraisers for this group, which provides food, housing, and general assistance to the players, their friends, and their families. They also sponsor monthly awards and recognize players with in-season birthdays. In short, the club helps make life just a little easier for the young men striving to make the journey from Potomac to Washington.

Without further ado, here’s a list of the items that will be up for auction:

• Paul Nichols Ross Detwiler Print 16×21; autographed by Ross
• Paul Nichols Original Painted Baseball
• Paul Nichols 8.5×11 Original Drawing Caricature – Ryan Zimmerman; autographed by Ryan
• Paul Nichols 5×6 Original Drawing Caricature – Tyler Clippard
• Paul Nichols 5.88×8 Print Caricature – Steven Strasburg
• Doug Fister Autographed Baseball Card – 2013 Topps
• Ryan Zimmerman Autographed Carolina League Baseball
• Drew Storen Autographed Card – 4×6
• Danny Espinosa Autographed Card – 4×6
• Myrtle Beach Pelicans Autographed Team Baseball
• Myrtle Beach Pelicans Autographed Team Bat
• Cutter Dykstra Autographed P-Nat Batting Helmet
• Adrian Sanchez Autographed P-Nat Batting Helmet
• Derek Norris Autographed Oakland A’s Logo Baseball
• Set of Four Washington Nationals Racing Presidents Bobbleheads
• Adrian Sanchez, Rafael Martin, and Sammy Solis Autographed Eastern League Baseball
• Matt Williams Autographed MLB Baseball
• Washington Nationals Autographed Arizona Fall League Baseball – Troy Gingrich; Robert Benincasa; Matt Purke; Sammy Solis; Adrian Nieto; Brian Goodwin; Matt Skole; Steven Souza
• Delino DeShields Jr. (Houston Prospect; California League Championship Series MVP; #73 Overall Prospect) Autographed MLB Baseball
• Mason Williams (Yankees Prospect) Autographed MLB Baseball
• Reggie Jackson Autographed MLB Baseball
• Marcus Semien (CWS Prospect; Southern League MVP 2013) Autographed MLB Baseball
• Addison Russell (Oakland Prospect; #17 Overall Prospect; A’s #1 Prospect)
• Kris Bryant (Cubs Prospect #35 Overall) and Jorge Soler (Cubs Prospect #25 Overall and #3 Cubs Prospect)
• P-Nat Autographed Team Batting Helmet – Khayyan Norfolk; Randolph Oduber; Stephen Perez; Will Piwnica-Worms; Shawn Pleffner; Tony Renda; Oscar Tejeda; Dakota Bacus; Robert Benincasa; Brett Brach; Ian Dickson; Bryan Harper; Travis Henke; Gilberto Mendez; Brett Mooneyham; Ronald Pena; Brian Rauh; Blake Schwartz; Derek Self; Wander Suero; Kylin Turnball
• Gio Gonzalez Autographed Carolina League Baseball
• Kevin Keyes Autographed Cracked Bat
• P-Nat Team Signed Bat

Jun 262014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Postponed vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre,
5:00 p.m.
Roenicke (3-3, 4.24) and
Delcarmen (3-2, 2.78) vs.
Mitchell (0-0, 0.00) and TBD
Harrisburg Lost, 6-2 @ Akron,
7:05 p.m.
Espino (3-3, 4.80) vs.
Arias (5-2, 3.14)
Potomac Won, 7-4 @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Spann (5-1, 3.40) vs.
Faulkner (4-1, 2.69)
Hagerstown Postponed vs. Lexington,
4:30 p.m.
Pivetta (9-3, 3.57) and
Giolito (2-2, 2.59) vs.
Reed (2-6, 6.04) and
Simmons (1-1, 6.44)
Auburn Postponed vs. Batavia,
7:05 p.m.
Lopez (0-1, 2.00) vs.
Castellanos (0-0, 3.86)
GCL Nationals Lost, 5-4 vs. GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 2-1 @ DSL Giants,
10:30 a.m.
Pena (1-2, 3.71) vs.
Reyes (0-0, 6.89)


Syracuse vs. Lehigh Valley — PPD
With a doubleheader scheduled for tonight, the powers that be made the call early to scratch this one and make them up next month
with a pair of doubleheaders on Saturday, July 19 and Sunday, July 20th.

Richmond 2 Harrisburg 0
• Dupra (L, 1-3) 5IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 3K, HBP
• Benincasa 1IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K
• Latimore 1-4, HR, RBI
• Hague 1-4, 2B, RBI

Richmond completed the three-game sweep with a 6-2 win over Harrisburg on a Wednesday matinee. Seven walks helped mask the continued futility as the Senators notched just three hits for the game and went 0-for-12 with RISP. Quincy Latimore homered to lead off the 8th and break up the string of 18 scoreless innings on offense. Brian Dupra suffered his second loss over his last three starts (fourth overall at AA), giving up four runs on six hits and a walk over five innings while striking out three.
Roster move: RHP John Simms reassigned from Potomac with no corresponding move.

Potomac 7 Myrtle Beach 4
• Schwartz (W, 1-0) 5IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Mendez (SV, 5) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Renda 2-5, 2-2B, 2RBI
• Perez 2-5, R
• McQuillan 1-3, R, BB, HR, 3RBI

The P-Nats took their fifth straight and took sole possession of 1st place in the Northern Division with a 7-4 victory over the Pelicans. Blake Schwartz got his first win of 2014 as he turned in five innings of two-hit ball, allowing a leadoff homer in the 1st and a single in the 3rd to Jorge Alfaro while blanking the rest of the Myrtle Beach lineup. Tony Renda doubled twice, Stephen Perez singled twice, while Mike McQuillan went yard for his first of the season, an Earl Weaver special in the 6th that put Potomac up 5-1. The Pelicans rallied for one in the 7th and two in the 8th to make things interesting but Gilberto Mendez slammed the door with a 1-2-3 ninth for his fifth save.

Lexington vs. Hagerstown — PPD
Add Hagerstown to the list of gates killed by the rain on Wednesday. It does, however, make for a killer doubleheader with both Lucas Giolito and Nick Pivetta scheduled to pitch for the Suns tonight.

Auburn vs. Williamsport — PPD
The rains that washed out the Chiefs also postponed the Doubledays and Crosscutters. The game will be made up with a doubleheader on July 4th at 12 p.m. (Wait. What? No Fireworks?!)

GCL Cardinals 5 GCL Nationals 4
• A. Williams 2IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Morales (L, 0-2) 4IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 3K
• Alvarez 3-5, 2R, 2B, 3B, RBI, CS
• Gutierrez 2-3, RBI

The G-Cards came back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 to edge the G-Nats, 5-4. Sixth Rd. pick Austen Williams threw two scoreless innings in his pro debut, working around three hits and a walk. The loss was charged to Jose Morales, who recovered from the Cards’ three-run 5th to post zeroes in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings. Thomas Alvarez fell a home run shy of the cycle as he went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored to lead the D-Nats 11-hit attack.

DSL Red Sox 2 DSL Nationals 1
• Acevedo 5IP, 5H, 0R, 3BB, 4K
• Vargas (L, 0-1) 3⅓ IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 3K
• Charlis (BS, 2) ⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-2 IR-S
• G. Ramirez 3-4
• Guerrero 1-3, BB, 2SB

After breaking up the Star Trek convention on the scoreboard with an unearned run in the 8th, the D-Nats couldn’t repel the D-Red Sox in their final at-bat as they fell in the 9th, 2-1. Miguel Vargas walked the leadoff man to begin his fourth inning of relief, then gave up an infield single. After a sacrifice, he was lifted for Fiyeral Charlis, who struck out the first batter but Sorianoed the second as he gave up the two-run, game-winning single for his second blown save. Offensively, the D-Nats were held to just six hits, three of which came off the bat of Gilberto Ramirez (3-for-4). Roster moves: RHPs Malvin Pena, Francisco Pinto, LHP Yonathan Ramirez assigned from Washington; C Jose Cabello, LHP Jose Jimenez, RHP Angel Guillen placed on the 60-Day DL

Jun 252014
 

No, I Said The White PhoneWhile it may just be an up and back to provide bullpen depth, nevertheless, according to multiple online reports… RHP Taylor Hill will be recalled today to join the Washington Nationals in Milwaukee.

Hill has quietly put together a stellar season for Syracuse (9-2, 1.92/3.44/0.99, 9BB, 65K in 93⅔ IP) which has only recently caught the attention of the mainstream media. Obviously, we’ve known about him for much longer, having put him on the 2012 Watchlist despite having a losing record (0-2) for the 2011 Auburn Doubledays because of terrific peripherals (0.3HR, 0.9BB, 7.8SO).

The 2012 season was a struggle for Hill, as it is for many pitchers in their first full season. He won 11 games between Hagerstown and Potomac but also saw his ERA, HR rate, and H/9IP soar. Even with his resurgence over the past season and a half, the latter stat continues to hover around a hit per inning, which is also not unusual for his primary weapon: a low-90s sinker, complemented.

In 2013, Hill began to develop a curve and a change, which has helped increase his K rate but more importantly has given batters something else to consider, especially when his other two pitches — the four-seamer and the obligatory slider — are closer in speed to his sinker. This resurgence earned him a spot on the 2014 Watchlist, and as aforementioned, it’s continued at Syracuse over 14 starts and a four-inning relief appearance that earned him his first (and thus far only) save.

The corresponding move to make room for Hill on the 40-man roster has not yet been announced. Possibilities include shifting Matt Purke to the 60-Day DL (most likely) or designating a player such as Greg Dobbs for assignment (less likely).


UPDATE:
The other shoe has dropped as Greg Dobbs was indeed designated for assignment to make room for Hill. Additionally, Jeff Kobernus was activated from the 60-Day DL, optioned to Syracuse. The corresponding move for Kobernus? The release of RHP Christian Garcia, who never fulfilled the pipe dream hopes of becoming a starting pitcher and was injured too often to be an effective reliever.

Jun 252014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-3 vs. Lehigh Valley,
5:00 p.m.
Hill (9-2, 1.92)
TBD and Delcarmen (3-2, 2.78) vs.
Smith (5-5, 4.32) and
Neris (1-0, 3.70)
Harrisburg Lost, 2-0 @ Richmond,
12:00 p.m.
Dupra (1-2, 5.03) vs.
Crick (4-3, 3.88)
Potomac Won, 10-1 @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Schwartz (0-0, 3.24) vs.
Wolff (7-3, 2.60)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-3 vs. Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Reed (2-6, 6.04) vs.
Pivetta (9-3, 3.57)
Auburn Lost, 10-4 @ Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
Lopez (0-1, 2.00) vs.
Whitehead (1-0, 1.54)
GCL Nationals Won, 6-0 @ GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 8-2 vs. DSL Red Sox,
10:30 a.m.
Acevedo (2-0, 7.15) vs.
Diaz (1-1, 2.65)


Syracuse 4 Lehigh Valley 3 — GAME ONE
• Kroenke (W, 1-0) 5⅔ IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K
• Madrigal (SV, 6) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Burriss 2-3, 2R, 3B
• Souza 2-2, R, 2B, RBI, SB

Steve Souza, Tyler Moore, and Zach Walters went back-to-back-to-back with RBI doubles in the Chiefs’ three-run 3rd as Syracuse rolled to its eighth straight win in the opener, 4-3. Zach Kroenke made the spot start and got his first AAA win since last August as he pitched into the 6th, allowing three runs on eight hits over five and 2/3rds innings with one walk and one whiff. Warner Madrigal set the side down in order in the 7th for his sixth save. Roster moves: LHP Aaron Laffey placed on 3-Day TIL; OF Destin Hood activated from 7-Day DL; IF Jose Lozada placed on 7-Day DL; UT Jeff Kobernus assigned for MLB rehab.

Syracuse vs. Lehigh Valley — PPD
There’s a certain irony when a doubleheader, which was created by a previous rainout, is partially rained out again. They’ll try to play two again today, though there’s more rain in the forecast.

Richmond 2 Harrisburg 0
• Brach (L, 1-2) 7IP, 9H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 5K
• Herron 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Vettleson 2-3, SB
• Skole 1-2, BB

The Senators ran into buzzsaw as Flying Squirrels southpaw Jack Snodgrass tossed a five-hit shutout in a 2-0 win vs. Harrisburg. Starter Brett Brach took the loss despite scatting nine hits over seven innings for the two Richmond runs. He walked just one and struck out five. The Senators had but one serious threat in the game as Cutter Dykstra led off the 7th with infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Following a Matt Skole walk, the two baserunners were bunted over by Quincy Latimore. Dykstra was picked off third for the inning’s second out while Drew Vettleson struck out to end the inning.

Potomac 10 Lynchburg 1
• Voth (W, 1-0) 6IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 6K
• Runion 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Harper 2-3, 2R, BB, HR, 4RBI
• Renda 2-3, 2R, BB,
• Piwnica-Worms 2-4, 2R, 2B, 2RBI

Bryce Harper singled, walked, homered, and drove in four in just five innings as the P-Nats completed a sweep of Salem with a 10-1 beatdown. Austin Voth tossed six scoreless innings and let up just two hits and two walks while fanning six to win his High-A debut.
The P-Nats scored in each of the first three innings, piling up 13 hits total with Harper, Tony Renda, Will Piwnica-Worms, Oscar Tejeda, and Wilson Ramos each having multiple hits.

Lexington 5 Hagerstown 3
• Silvestre (L, 3-5) 7IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 6K, HR, HBP
• Thomas 2IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 1K
• Difo 2-4
• Bautista 2-5, R, SB(36)

The Suns fell behind 4-0 and pulled to within one at 4-3 but couldn’t get the equalizer as they fell by a 5-3 count. Starter Hector Silvestre took the loss, giving up four runs and six hits over seven innings for the second straight start. Justin Thomas gave up a run in the 9th after a scoreless 8th. Leadoff man Rafael Bautista and No. 2 batter Wilmer Difo both singled twice while Carlos Lopez and James Yezzo both doubled to pace the Hagerstown offense.

Williamsport 10 Auburn 4
• Torres (L, 1-1) 4+ IP, 6H, 5R, 2ER, BB, 6K, 2HR
• Feliz 2⅓ IP, 5H, 5R,5ER, 2BB, K, HR
• Sanchez 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Read 2-3, 2R
• Carey 2-4, R

Williamsport scored in five straight innings, including a four-run 5th that broke open a 4-3 game as they sent Auburn to a 10-4 loss. Luis Torres was torched for five runs on six hits, including two homers, the second of which chased him from the game with no outs in the 5th. He walked one and struck out six over four-plus innings. Raudy Read and Daley Carey were the only two Doubledays to notch multiple hits as they were held to seven total with the top four batters going 0-for-18 with one walk and one RBI on the night.
Roster move: John Feliz promoted from the GCL Nationals.

GCL Nationals 6 GCL Cardinals 0
• Bourque 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Bach (W, 1-0) 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Lora 4-5, R, 2RBI
• Serrata 2-3, 2R, 2B
• Ortiz 2-5, R, RBI, OF assist at 2B

A four-run 3rd broke a 0-0 tie as the G-Nats went on to shut out the G-Cards, 6-0. James Bourque started and went two innings, giving up one hit and one walk while striking out two. Connor Bach got the win as the first reliever out of the ‘pen, throwing two innings with one hit and and one walk. Maximo Valerio earned a hold with three innings of one-hit ball, with no walks and two K’s. Offensively, Edwin Lora led the 11-hit attack with a 4-for-5 game, scoring once and driving in two, .

DSL Nationals 8 DSL Red Sox 2
• Baez 5IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 6K
• Archibald (W, 1-0) 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Cespedes (SV, 4) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Franco 2-4, 2R, HR, 3RBI
• G. Ramirez 2-4, R, RBI, CS
• Agustin 1-3, R, BB, SB(10)

The D-Nats scored eight unanswered runs — five in the 7th, three in the 8th — as they pulled into a tie for second place with an 8-3 win against the D-Red Sox. Joan Baez continues to deal, lowering his ERA to 1.50 with five innings of one-run ball with three hits and one walk allowed and six set down on strikes. 16-y.o. Anderson Franco connected for his first professional home run, a two-run shot in the 8th as he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI total to lead the D-Nats offense.

Jun 242014
 

Outfielder Michael Taylor and pitcher Lucas Giolito were among those named to the US team for the 2014 Futures Game, which will be held on the Sunday prior to the MLB All-Star game on July 15 in Minneapolis.

Taylor has been having a monster season for the Harrisburg Senators, prompting chatter about his becoming the heir apparent to CF Denard Spa. This is despite the presence of Syracuse Chief Brian Goodwin, who was more highly rated during this past offseason and famously leapfrogged Taylor two years ago on the organizational ladder. Or more accurately, perhaps it’s because while Taylor has flourished at AA (.333/.413/.584, 17HR, 52RBI, 19SB) Goodwin has floundered at AAA (.219/.351/.339, 4HR, 30RBI, 6SB).

As the game’s name suggests, Giolito’s selection is more about his potential than his production, though his line of 2.59/4.14/1.09 with a 2-2 record and 52 strikeouts in 48⅔ innings for the Hagerstown Suns isn’t so bad, especially for teenager in his first full professional season who’s two years removed from Tommy John surgery. Giolito has also been very carefully managed in terms of workload with just one start that lasted six innings — perhaps not coincidentally, the last one before he was skipped for several turns from mid-May 11 to early June — and five starts that have lasted less than five innings.

Jun 242014
 

Rehabbing major-leaguer Wilson Ramos sliced a three-run home run to cap off a four-run 3rd as Potomac defeated Salem, 5-2 before a reported crowd of 7,804 last night in Woodbridge.

Ramos, who was joined in the lineup by some kid named Bryce Harper (single in 1st, walk in the 3rd, made a putout in LF), also doubled and went 3-for-4 on the night. Nursing a hamstring strain, the 26-y.o. Venezuelan ran like Mark DeRosa, but faster gingerly but obviously didn’t need to run very much as he hit the ball hard.

The DC backstop also had an influence with the pitching of Dakota Bacus, whose start was somewhat obscured by all the hype and hullabaloo. The 23-y.o. went seven innings and scattered eight hits, with no walks and two strikeouts to win his third game of the season.

Also not likely to be found outside this space: a terrific night by Will Piwinica-Worms, who made diving catch to end the 2nd, doubled to start the four-run rally in the 3rd and singled in the 4th for an RBI.

Despite the score, defense factored in the outcome as both teams turned three double plays and Potomac narrowly missed a fourth to offset the 20 hits between the two teams. Take away the Ramos HR and you’re looking at a very close ballgame that Potomac may have only won by a 2-1 count, assuming the usual outfield alignment and not Oscar Tejeda playing left field after Harper left, which led to an unearned run in the 8th off Travis Henke.

Gilberto Mendez, persumably the closer with the promotion of Robert Benincasa, worked around a pair of hits in the 9th to close it out and earn his fourth save.

The win improves Potomac to 3-1 in the second half and was their third straight. Tonight, Austin Voth is scheduled to make his High-A debut, opposed by Pat Light (1-3, 6.06) for Salem. Both Ramos and Harper are expected to play again, with Harper reportedly in center field for five innings while Ramos catches again for nine innings.

Jun 242014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 7-4 vs. Lehigh Valley,
6:00 p.m.
Kroenke (1st AAA start of ’14) and
Hill (9-2, 1.92)
Delcarmen (3-2, 2.78) vs.
Bootcheck (2-3, 4.09) and
Smith (5-5, 4.32)
Neris (1-0, 3.70)
Harrisburg Lost, 7-2 @ Richmond,
6:35 p.m.
Brach (1-1, 8.00) vs.
Snodgrass (7-1, 3.24)
Potomac Won, 5-2 vs. Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Voth (High-A Debut) vs.
Light (1-3, 6.06)
Hagerstown Won, 3-1 vs. Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Silvestre (3-4, 4.83) vs.
Junis (7-4, 3.28)
Auburn Won, 4-3 (10 inn.) @ Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
Torres (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Packrall (0-0, 9.00)
GCL Nationals Lost, 8-2 vs. GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 10-0 vs. DSL Red Sox,
10:30 a.m.
Baez (2-1, 1.42) vs.
Bautista (0-0, 0.00)


Syracuse 7 Durham 4
• Laffey 6IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 6K
• Cedeno (W, 3-0) 1⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, 2BB, 4K
• Gonzalez (SV, 6) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Souza 3-4, 2R, BB
• Rhymes 3-5, 2R, 2B
• Walters 1-3, 2R, 2BB, RBI

A four-run rally in the 8th broke a 3-3 tie as the Chiefs won their seventh straight, 7-4 to complete a four-game sweep of the Bulls. Starter Aaron Laffey spun a quality start with three runs allowed on six hits and two walks while striking out six but did not factor in the decision. The win went to Xavier “Carry On” Cedeno while the save was earned by veteran Mike Gonzalez. Steve Souza reached base with three singles and a walk while veterans Brandon Laird and Jeff Howell both drove in two while going 1-for-4.
Roster move: LHP Zach Kroenke reassigned from Harrisburg.

Richmond 7 Harrisburg 2
• McGregor (L, 0-1) 0IP, 1H, 6R, 6ER, 5BB, 0K, 0HR
• Bates 5IP, 5H, 0R, BB, 0K, 2-2 IR-S
• Dykstra 3-4
• Vettleson 2-4

Scott McGregor continued the Sens starter tradition of giving up lots of runs early as the Squirrels scored six in the 1st and, um, flew to a 7-2 win. The 27-y.o. walked the first five batters he faced, then gave up a two-run double before he was lifted to preserve an infinite ERA. Colin Bates let in both inherited runners but finished the 1st, then pitched four more scoreless innings. The offense did not reward Bates’ bullpen-saving work, scoring just single runs in the 3rd and 7th innings. Cutter Dykstra singled three times for second straight game to push his BA over .300 while Drew Vettleson went 2-for-4 in his first game back with the Senators since April 13.
Roster moves: MLB Rehabs Jeff Kobernus and C Wilson Ramos removed from roster.

Potomac 5 Lynchburg 2
• Bacus (W, 3-2) 7IP, 8H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K
• Mendez (SV, 4) 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• W. Ramos 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Piwnica-Worms 2-3, R, 2B, RBI
• Oduber 1-3, R, 2B

Good pitching, adequate defense, and a three-run home run were the recipe for a win Last Night In Woodbridge.
Roster moves: OF Bryce Harper and C Wilson Ramos added to roster for MLB rehab.

Hagerstown 3 Lexington 1
• Mooneyham 4IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K
• Cooper (W, 5-1) 3IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Napoli (SV, 1) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K, HBP
• Ward 2-4, 2-2B, RBI
• Lopez 2-4, R, 2B

Isaac Ballou’s two-run blast highlighted a three-run sixth as Hagerstown tripled up Lexington, 3-1 in the series opener. Starter Brett Mooneyham walked just two over four innings and gave up three hits while fanning five while pitching at his third stop of 2014. The win went to Andrew Cooper for three scoreless innings of relief while David Napoli pitched the 8th and 9th innings for his first Low-A save. Drew Ward and Carlos Lopez both went 2-for-4, including back-to-back doubles for the third run of the Hagerstown sixth.
Roster moves: LHPs Brett Mooneyham, David Napoli reassigned from Auburn.

Auburn 4 Mahoning Valley 3 (10 inn.)
• J. Rodriguez 5⅓ IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 6K
• Valdez 2IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, K
• Page 2-4, R, 2B, BB, RBI
• Read 2-3, 2R, BB

The Doubledays rallied for two in the 8th to tie and took advantage of two costly Scrapper mistakes for the 4-3 walkoff win in extra innings. Osvaldo Abreu reached and went to second on a two-base error to lead off the 10th, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a flyball over the drawn-in centerfielder for a game-winning single by Matthew Page. The win went to Jake Joyce, who pitched a scoreless 10th inning. Starter Jefry Rodriguez went five and a 1/3rd innings with two runs charged to him on six hits with no walks and six K’s. Page and Raudy Read both reached base three times with two hits and a walk to pace the Auburn offense.
Roster move: OF David Gardner (8th Rd. pick) assigned from Washington.

GCL Cardinals 8 GCL Nationals 2
• Van Orden (L, 0-1) 2IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K
• Johns 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Corredor 2-3, R, BB
• Aguero 2-3, 2B

The G-Cards scored in four of the first five innings as they cruised to an 8-2 beating of the G-Nats. Washington 5th Rd. pick Drew Van Orden took the loss, giving up two runs on four hits and no walks in his pro debut. Aldrem Corredor and “Fred” Aguero both went 2-for-3 as the G-Nats got eight hits total but went 0-for-13 with RISP.

DSL Nationals 10 DSL Rojos 0
• Bermudez (W, 1-2) 5⅓ IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 4K
• Charlis 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 2-0 IR-S
• G. Ramirez 3-4, R, RBI, 2SB
• Je. Baez 2-3, 2R, 2B, BB, RBI
• Robles 2-5, R, 4RBI, SB

Three D-Nat pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout in a 10-0 win over the D-Rojos. Juan Bermudez got the win with four hits and two walks allowed over five and 1/3rd innings while striking out four. Jeyner Baez singled, doubled, and walked to lead the 12-hit, three-walk offense.

Jun 232014
 

Hagerstown took both Pitcher and Player of the Week awards for the Sally League while Brandon Laird was named the Imnternational League’s Batter of the Week for week of June 16-22.

Pivetta pitched just once, but six no-hit innings with one unearned run allowed on one walk and two strikeouts last Friday was enough to earn the honor of the Sally League’s Pitcher of the Week. Hagerstown won the game 9-1 and finished with a combined one-hitter with Andrew Cooper (2IP) and Ryan Ullmann (1IP) finishing up the game. For the season, Pivetta is 9-3 in 13 appearances (12 starts) with a pitcher’s line of 3.57/4.37/1.27 with 47K (6.71/9IP) and 23BB (3.29/9IP) in 63 innings pitched.

Even an 0-for-3 game yesterday couldn’t dissuade voters from naming 19-y.o. (yes, really) Drew Ward as Batter of the Week for the Sally League. Of course, the week was shortened by the All-Star break but in those four games, Ward went 7-for-17 (.412) with three doubles and two home runs for a Nintendo-esque .941 slugging percentage and a .444 on-base percentage. He scored four times and drove in six. The third baseman has struggled on defense (14 errors in 48 games) and has whiffed 60 times in 57 games but has also hit .274/.328/.465 with eight HRs and 48 RBI total on the season thus far.

Brandon Laird did play a full slate, as the I.L. all-star break isn’t for another couple of weeks, and hit .423 with a double, four homers for eight RBI and eight runs scored. The four longballs came in four straight games, one shy of the franchise record set by Corey Brown in 2012. The 26-y.o. was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the 27th Round of the 2007 Draft and has seen time at the MLB level with New York (11 games, 2011) and Houston (17 games, 2012; 25 games, 2013) as a corner infielder. He was acquired in a spring-training trade with Kansas City for cash and/or a PTBNL this past March.

Jun 232014
 

There’s not much question about this when it comes to the P-Nats: These guys can hit.

Sure, they took a couple of innings to get going last night as the first six men went down in order with just one well-struck ball, an opposite-field liner by Shawn Pleffner. But in the 3rd, Will Piwnica-Worms homered to lead off the inning and struck out to end it.

In between, the Woodbridge nine had seven runners make it to first base and five of them came around to score for six-run inning that propelled the P-Nats to an 11-4 win over the Salem Red Sox.

Eight of the nine batters hit safely, and the one who didn’t — Oscar Tejeda — still drove in two runs with a fielder’s choice that might have been a hit but for a brilliant stop and toss by Salem’s Ryan Dent to get the runner trying to advance from second to third.

Randolph Oduber also went deep while Khayyan Norfork went 3-for-4 with a two-run double. Cobmined with Piwinica-Worms, the #7 batter, the veteran trio went 7-for-13 with five runs scored and five runs driven in.

On the pitching side, John Simms started and turned in five innings that on many nights wouldn’t be good enough to win as he did for the second time. He was charged with all four Salem runs on six hits and two walks and struck out four.

Two relievers followed, both coming off long stints on the DL.

Brian Rauh made his first appearance in nearly two months and did pitch well: three no-hit, no-run innings with two walks and three strikeouts and three groundouts.

He was followed by Richie Mirowski — out since May 6th, and essentially down from AA on an unofficial rehab assignment, much like Rafael Martin and Paul Demny before him — who was charged with a hit when Oduber lost the ball in the twilight and had it fall behind him in LF for a double. Mirowski was unfazed by the gaffe and retired the next two batters to finish out the game.

The two teams resume the series tonight, which could be a sellout with both Wilson Ramos and Bryce Harper expected to play on rehab assignments from DC. Dakota Bacus (2-2, 3.63) will get the ball for Potomac, opposed by Salem’s Justin Haley (5-2, 2.05).

Jun 232014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 9-0 @ Durham,
1:05 p.m.
Laffey (9-3, 3.08) vs.
Montgomery (8-1, 3.38)
Harrisburg Won, 7-5 @ Richmond,
6:35 p.m.
MacGregor (1st AA start of ’14) vs.
Blach (4-4, 2.79)
Potomac Won, 11-4 vs. Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Bacus (2-2, 3.63) vs.
Haley (5-2, 2.05)
Hagerstown Won, 4-3 vs. Lexington,
7:05 p.m.
Mooneyham (1st Low-A start of ’14) vs.
Rico (2-5, 4.33)
Auburn Lost, 15-5 vs. Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
J. Rodriguez (0-0, 1.80) vs.
Hill (0-0, 9.00)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY @ GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals OFF DAY vs. DSL Rojos,
10:30 a.m.
Bermudez (0-2, 1.20) vs.
Estevez (0-2, 2.16)


Syracuse 9 Durham 0
• Treinen (W, 4-0) 6IP, 3H, 0R, 3BB, 8K
• Jackson 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Souza 2-5, 2R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Rhymes 2-4, R, 2B, BB

The Chiefs continue to roll, taking their sixth straight with a 9-0 running of the Bulls. Blake Treinen gave up three hits and three walks in six scoreless innings to improve his AAA record to 4-0. Three relievers threw one inning apiece to complete the four-hit shutout. Steve Souza doubled and homered, scoring twice and driving in three to lead Syracuse’s 13-hit attack, followed by Will “Don’t Call Me Buster” Rhymes, who singled, doubled and walked.

Harrisburg 7 Akron 5
• Cole 6⅓ IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 6K, HR
• Harper (BS, 1; W, 1-0) ⅔+ IP, 4H, 2R, ER, 0BB, 0K, 1-1 IR-S
• Herron (SV, 3) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K, 2-1 IR-S
• Dykstra 3-3, R, 2BB, SB
• Ramsey 2-3, R, BB, RBI
• Taylor 2-4, 2R, BB, 2SB

A three-run 7th put Harrisburg on top for good as they outlasted Akron for a 7-5 win to take the series, 2-1. The rally took Bryan Harper off the hook for blowing a 3-2 lead in the top of the inning and turned A.J. Cole’s quality start into another no-decision. Tyler Herron let in one of two inherited runners in the 8th, but closed out the game for the save. Cutter Dykstra reached base five times with three singles and two walks to pace the Senators offense. Roster moves: While not official yet, UTs Sean Nicol and Justin Bloxom have been released to make room for recently signed RHP Scott McGregor (not the son of former Orioles LHP) and OF Drew Vettleson, according to Geoff Morrow of the Patriot-Times.

Potomac 11 Lynchburg 4
• Simms (W, 2-4) 5IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 4K
• Rauh 3IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• Norfork 3-4, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
• Oduber 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• Piwnica-Worms 2-5, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI

A six-run 3rd put this one away early Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 4 Greensboro 3
• Johansen 4IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K
• Webb (W, 3-1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, K
• Ballou 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• Difo 2-4, 2R, BB
• Kieboom 2-4, RBI, SB

The Suns rallied in the 9th to take the game, 4-3 and the series, 3-1 against the Grasshoppers. Jake Johansen got the start but failed to go five innings for the fourth time in 14 starts, giving up two runs on five hits over four innings with no walks and three K’s. The win went to Joe Webb, who walked two and struck out one while pitching the 8th and 9th innings. The 2-3-4 trio of Wilmer Difo, Isaac Ballou, and Spencer Kieboom combined to go 6-for-12 with a homer (Ballou), three runs scored, and three RBI.

Mahoning Valley 15 Auburn 5
• Martinez (L, 0-1) 4⅓ IP, 9H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 4K, WP, BK
• Yrizarri 1IP, 2H, 7R, 0ER, 2BB, K, HBP, 2-0 IR-S
• Mejia 2-4, R, 3B, RBI, 2E
• Page 1-3, R, HR, BB, RBI
• Davidson 1-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI

Six Auburn errors and a seven-run 6th by Mahoning Valley put the brakes on a modest three-game win streak as the Scrappers trashed the Doubledays, 15-5. Andres Martinez took the loss, dinged for four runs on nine hits and a walk over four and a 1/3rd innings. All seven runs charged to Deibi Yrizarri in the aforementioned frame were unearned, though the 19-y.o. Venezuelan put five baserunners on with two hits, two walks, and a hit batsman in the space of 10 batters. Bryan Mejia went 2-for-4 with an RBI triple while Matthew Page smacked his first professional homer, a two-run shot in the 9th.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
After splitting two with the G-Mets last week, it’s three against the Cardinals (away-home-away) then three against the Marlins (home-away-home) this week.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
A 3-3 week has dropped the D-Nats three back in the Boca Chica South. This week it’s home games against the Rojos, Red Sox, Giants and Rockies with a pair of home games against the Red Sox and Giants.