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.

Apr 142013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-0 vs. Lehigh Valley,
2:00 p.m.
Maya (0-0, 2.84) and
Perry (0-0, 10.80) vs.
E. Martin (0-0, 8.31 and
Rosenberg (0-0, 15.00)
Harrisburg Won, 3-1
(10 inn.)
@ Altoona,
1:00 p.m.
Broderick (0-0, 4.91) vs.
Waldron (0-1, 6.00)
Potomac Won, 11-6
(10 inn.)
@ Lynchburg,
2:05 p.m.
Turnbull (0-1, 12.46) vs.
Weber (1-0, 3.60)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-6 vs. Delmarva,
1:05 p.m.
Encarnacion (0-0, 1.80) vs.
Hader (1-0, 0.00)

Lehigh Valley 6 Syracuse 0
• Roark 5+ IP, 7H, 6R, 4ER, BB, 5K
• Romero 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Rhymes 2-4, 2B
• Walters 1-3

Syracuse’s modest three-game win streak was put to an abrupt halt with a 6-0 shutout by Lehigh Valley. Tanner Roark fell victim to some sloppy defense, giving up all six runs (four earned) on seven hits and a walk over five-plus innings. It didn’t much matter as Iron Pigs starter Adam Morgan stifled the Chiefs for eight innings, holding Syracuse to three singles and a walk on just 97 pitches. Eury Perez’s 23-game hit streak ended the hard way as the 22-year-old CF rolled over his (glove) left wrist on dive during the 5th inning. He finished the inning and made the last out, but was taken out and sent to a doctor to evaluate the extent of the injury. C Jhonatan Solano was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the 8th, and is most likely on his way to D.C. to replace Wilson Ramos on the Washington roster. Best bet for the catcher shuffle is for Kris Watts to be activated from the Harrisburg DL with Jeff Howell moving up from AA to replace Solano in AAA.

Harrisburg 3 Altoona 1 (10 inn.)
• Karns 5IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 8K
• Lehman (W, 1-1) 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 1K
• Barrett (SV, 1) 1IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 2K
• Leon 2-4, 2B
• Goodwin 2-5, R, RBI

Nathan Karns’ sophomore start was more in line with expectations of Top 10 prospect but the offense took nine innings to get in gear as Harrisburg took this 3-1 in 10 innings, with all four runs scored in the 10th. Karns gave up just three hits and walked one while striking out eight, throwing 47 of 73 pitches for strikes. Veteran IF Sean Nicol went hitless but made the play of the game in the 8th to quash a 1st-and-2nd with one out by snaring shot down the line for an out at third. Brian Goodwin (RBI single), Anthony Rendon (sac fly) and Destin Hood (RBI double) cashed in their opportunities in the 10th on a rally that started with a leadoff single by Ricky Hague. Pat Lehman got the “W” with the aforementioned help on “D” while Aaron Barrett notched his first AA save, albeit a bit shaky with a hit, a walk, and an error (his). Shoulder soreness continues to dog Steve Souza Jr., which is why he was pulled in the 4th after just two ABs per Geoff Morrow of the Patriot-News.

Potomac 11 Lynchburg 6 (10 inn.)
• Cole (ND) 6IP, 6H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 3K
• Grace (W, 1-0) 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Ramsey 2-3, 2R, BB
• Soriano 2-5, R
• Oduber 2-5, R, 3RBI
• Taylor 1-5, R, HR, 3RBI, BB, GIDP, CS, K, E, OF assist at HP

Three home runs in the middle innings helped Potomac build a 6-1 lead, but another bullpen meltdown sent this one into extras. The Hillcats relievers did them one “better,” coughing up five runs with two outs to give the P-Nats an 11-6 win in 10 innings. A.J. Cole got the no-decision with two runs on six hits and a walk over six innings, but just three whiffs. Jason Martinson and Adrian Nieto both hit solo shots while Michael Taylor showed all facets of his game, as the last bullet attests. The 7-8-9 hitters combined for six of the 11 Potomac hits. Matt Grace got the win with two perfect innings in the 9th and 10th.

Delmarva 7 Hagerstown 6
• Pena (L, 0-1) 3IP, 8H, 7R, 7ER, 2BB, 2K
• Fischer 5IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 7K, HBP
• Norfork 3-4, R, 2-2B, 2RBI, SB
• Piwinica-Worms 2-4, R, BB, RBI
• Schill 1-1, 2R, 2B, 2BB, SB

Delmarva pounded Ronald Pena for seven runs in the first three innings and held off Hagerstown for a 7-6 win. Pena gave up eight hits and two walks, but no home runs. Reliever David Fischer was outstanding in the loss, clipping the Shorebirds’ wings with five scoreless innings and just three baserunners allowed. Khayyan Norfork led the Suns failed comeback bid with a 3-for-4 night, doubling twice and driving in two, with a run scored and a stolen base. Will Piwinica-Worms went 2-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and an RBI in his first Low-A start.

Apr 132013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Postponed vs. Lehigh Valley,
2:00 p.m.
Roark (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Morgan (0-0, 3.00)
Harrisburg Won, 4-0 @ Altoona,
6:30 p.m.
Karns (0-1, 17.18) vs.
Pimental (0-0, 0.00)
Potomac Lost, 3-2 @ Lynchburg,
6:05 p.m.
Cole (0-0, 6.75) vs.
Pope (0-0, 7.36)
Hagerstown Won, 4-0 vs. Delmarva,
6:35 p.m.
Pena (0-0, 1.80) vs.
Kline (0-0, 0.00)

Syracuse — PPD
Rain affected the Syracuse Chiefs for the third time this week as yesterday’s home opener was postponed by rain. Same starters, same time, same festivities planned as the makeup will be a later date, most likely in July per Auburn Citizen sportswriter Ben Meyers on Sunday afternoon.

Harrisburg 4 Altoona 0
• Clay IP, H, R, ER, BB, K, HR
• Swynenberg 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Souza 2-3, R, 2B, HR, BB
• Rendon 1-3, 2B

Caleb Clay outdueled Pittsburgh phenom Jameson Taillon as the Harrisburg Senators broke a four-game slide with a 4-0 win vs. the Altoona Curve. Clay let up just four hits over six innings, walked none, and struck out five for his first “W.” Matt Swynenberg, Marcos Frias, and Aaron Barrett each put up a goose egg to preserve the shutout. Steve Souza Jr. homered and doubled while Anthony Rendon reached base three times with a single and two walks to lead the Harrisburg offense.

Lynchburg 3 Potomac 2
• Jordan 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 6K, HR
• Herron (L, 0-1) 2IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• Sanchez 2-3
• Keyes 1-4, 2B, RBI
• Martinson 1-3, R, RBI

Looks like the P-Nats’ bats have cooled just as the pitchers have found their stride as Lynchburg edged Potomac, 3-2. Starter Taylor Jordan turned in another quality start, giving up a pair of runs over six frames on four hits and three walks while setting down six on strikes. Tyler Herron followed with a strong 7th but was touched for a run in the 8th on a two-out single. The P-Nats were held to just four hits — two by Adrian Sanchez — and three walks, making the most of their limited scoring chances (just three LOB) with an RBI double by Kevin Keyes in the first and an RBI single by Jason Martinson in the third.

Hagerstown 4 Delmarva 0
• Mooneyham (W, 1-0) 6IP, 1H, 0R, 3BB, 2K, HBP
• Rauh (SV, 1) 3IP, 5H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, WP
• Higley 2-4, R, 2B
• Perez 2-3, R, RBI

Brett Mooneyham is still struggling with the walks, but he ain’t letting up the hits — just one in six innings last night as the Suns eclipsed the Shorebirds, 4-0. The southpaw walked three to bring his season total to seven in 10IP. Brian Rauh scattered five hits over the last three to complete the shutout and earn the save. Hagerstown scored all four in the bottom of the 2nd on an RBI single by Stephen Perez, a sac fly from Wes Schill and a two-run double by Tony Renda.

Apr 122013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY vs. Lehigh Valley,
2:00 p.m.
Roark (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Morgan (0-0, 3.00)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-4 @ Altoona,
6:30 p.m.
Clay (0-0, 7.20) vs.
Taillon (1-0, 0.00)
Potomac OFF DAY @ Lynchburg,
6:05 p.m.
Jordan (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Holland (0-0, 7.71)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-4
(10 inn.)
vs. Delmarva,
6:35 p.m.
Mooneyham (0-0, 2.25) vs.
Taylor (0-0, 0.00)

Syracuse — OFF DAY
The tied-for-first-place Syracuse Chiefs return home after a 5-1 road trip to open the season, leading the International League on offense with 50 runs scored (8.33R/G) and second in pitching with just 16 runs allowed (2.67R/G).

Altoona 5 Harrisburg 4
• Demny (L, 1-1) 6IP, 7H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 4K, 2HR
• Holder 2IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Rendon 2-3, R, BB, HR, RBI
• Hague 3-4, R, 2B, RBI

Make that four losses in a row for Harrisburg, which dropped a 5-4 decision to Altoona on Thursday night. Starter Paul Demny gave up all five runs on seven hits, including two home runs. He walked two and struck out four. Trevor Holder did his part to flatten the Curve with two scoreless innings, but pinch hitter Jose Lozada grounded into a double play to quash yet another 9th-inning rally in a Senators loss. Anthony Rendon got off the interstate with a 2-for-3 night, including his first home run of the season while Ricky Hague led the hit column with a double and two singles.

Potomac — OFF DAY
It’s a six-game road swing through southwestern Virginia, as the P-Nats rematch against the Lynchburg Hillcats this weekend for three, then head west to take on the Salem Red Sox on Monday through Wednesday.

Delmarva 7 Hagerstown 4 (10 inn.)
• Pineyro 5IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 7K, HR
• Dupra 4IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Schill 2-4, R
• Manuel 1-3, R, BB

Suns closer Robert Benincasa was roughed up for three runs in the top of the 10th as Hagerstown fell in its home opener, 7-4. Starter Ivan Pineyro went the first five innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out seven. Like Holder in Harrisburg, Brian Dupra shut the door for the next four innings, letting up just two hits. Doubles by Brandon Miller and Tony Renda accounted for the first three Suns runs while Delmarva gave the equalizer in the bottom of the 8th on an Estarlin Martinez single followed by a wild pitch and an errant throw into left field on Martinez’s steal of third. Wes Schill led the seven-hit attack with a 2-for-4 night.
Roster moves: OF Wander Ramos placed on 7-Day DL with what Byron Kerr is reporting to be a hamstring pull; OF Will Piwinica-Worms assigned from XST to take Ramos’s place on the Hagerstown roster.

Apr 112013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Postponed OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Lost, 17-5 @ Altoona,
6:30 p.m.
Demny (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Sadler (1-0, 1.80)
Potomac Lost, 7-2 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Won, 6-0 vs. Delmarva,
6:35 p.m.
Pineyro (0-1, 12.00) vs.
Blackmar (0-1, 4.50)

Syracuse vs. Buffalo — PPD
The rains that shortened Tuesday night’s game also put the kibosh on the Wednesday afternoon finale between Syracuse and Buffalo. It will be made up with a doubleheader on August 12. The Chiefs return to action tomorrow as they open their home schedule against Lehigh Valley with an afternoon game at Alliance NBT Bank Stadium.

New Britain 17 Harrisburg 5
• Treinen (L, 0-2) 5⅓ IP, 7H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Lozada 1-3, R, BB, HR, RBI; 1IP, 2H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 0K, 2HR
• Head 2-4
• Bloxom 2-4, 2B

The Rock Cats pounded the Senators for 17 hits (including seven HRs) to complete the three-game sweep with a 17-5 win. The Harrisburg ‘pen gave up 15 of the 17 runs over the last four frames, with four charged to utility/mopup man Jose Lozada in get-it-over-with ninth inning. Starter Blake Treinen, who couldn’t make it out of the third in his previous outing, took the loss with five runs on seven hits (three HR) over five and a 1/3rd innings. Jerad Head and Justin Bloxom both went 2-for-4 to pace the Sens offense.

Salem 7 Potomac 2
• Ray (L, 1-1) 6IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 7K, HR
• Self 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Dykstra 2-4, R
• Oduber 2-4, 2B

The P-Nats offense was held to less than six runs for the first time this season in a 7-2 loss to Salem that capped off a 2-4 homestand. Starter Robbie Ray gave up three runs (two earned, all in the 5th) on five hits (including a solo HR) and a walk over six innings but was charged with the loss. Randolph Oduber singled and doubled in place of Billy Burns as the leadoff man while Cutter Dykstra singled twice as the two combined for four of the six P-Nats hits.

Hagerstown 6 Lakewood 0
• Schwartz (W, 2-0) 5IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 6K
• Harper 2⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Henke (SV, 1) 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 3-3 IR-S
• Schill 2-3, 3RBI, SB
• Lopez 2-4, R, 2B, BB
• McQuillan 2-4, R, BB, SB

Three Suns pitchers combined on four-hit shutout as Hagerstown blanked Lakewood 6-0 to complete a three-game sweep. Starter Blake Schwartz won his second straight start with two hits let up over five frames with no walks and six set down on strikes. Bryan Harper followed with two strong innings before running into trouble in the 8th, loading the bases with one out. Travis Henke escaped the jam with a strikeout and flyout and set ’em down in order in the 9th for his first save. Lakewood pitchers probably want no more of Wes as Schill struck them for two singles and three RBI to lead the Suns attack.

Apr 102013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 8-2
(5 inn.)
@ Buffalo,
1:05 p.m.
Roark (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Ortiz (0-0, 3.60)
Harrisburg Lost, 9-7 vs. New Britain,
7:00 p.m.
Treinen (0-1, 30.86) vs.
May (0-1, 1.80)
Potomac Won, 12-4 vs. Salem,
10:35 a.m.
Ray (1-0, 1.80) vs.
M. Pena (0-1, 4.50)
Hagerstown Won, 6-3 @ Lakewood,
6:35 p.m.
Schwartz (1-0, 6.00) vs.
Warner (0-0, 3.60)

Syracuse 8 Buffalo 2
• Ohlendorf (W, 2-0) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K
• Marrero 2-3, 2R, 3B, HR, 3RBI
• Costanzo 2-3, R, HR, 2RBI
• Brown 2-3, 2B

Chris Marrero tripled and homered as Syracuse pounded out 11 hits in a rain-shortened 8-2 win over Buffalo. Ross Ohlendorf got his second win in as many starts, allowing both Bison runs on five hits and three walks and four strikeouts. Mike Costanzo also homered, while Eury Perez singled twice to extend his hitting streak to 23 games dating back to last August.

New Britain 9 Harrisburg 7
• Broderick 6IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K
• Lehman (L, 0-1) 1⅓ 5H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 0K
• Hood 3-5, R, 3B, 3RBI
• Bloxom 2-4, BB, 2RBI
• Souza 1-1, 4BB

Destin Hood’s bases-loaded triple in the 7th capped off a four-run rally to tie at 5-5, but the Rock Cats matched the “4” on the board in the 9th then held off the Senators in the last of the 9th to hand Harrisburg a 9-7 loss. Starter Brian Broderick turned in a quality start with three runs on eight hits and no walks, but Neil Holland and Pat Lehman were hit hard over the final three, giving up six runs and eight hits combined. Hood led the hit column with a 3-for-5 night, followed by Justin Bloxom at 2-for-4, while Steve Souza reached base five times with a single and four walks.

Potomac 12 Salem 4
• Hill 5IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Bates 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Burns 3-4, R, BB
• Martinson 1-2, 3R, BB, HR, 3RBI, HBP
• Kelso 3-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Oduber 1-4, R, HR, 4RBI, 3K

Offense is not the problem for Potomac as the Carolina League’s #1 lineup put up 12 runs on 17 hits en route to a 12-4 win over Salem. Caleb Ramsey went deep for the second night in a row, Jason Martinson smacked big fly #3, while the Groovin’ Aruban made his first of the season a grand affair to punctutate a seven-run third. Taylor Hill got the win with five innings pitched, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk. Christian Meza rebounded from his not-so-special Saturday night with a run on two hits and two walks over two innings while Colin Bates slammed the door shut with six straight outs to finish.

Hagerstown 6 Lakewood 3
• Anderson (W, 1-0) 6IP, 4H, R, ER, BB, 5K
• Fischer (SV, 1) 3IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, K
• Lopez 3-4, 2R, 2B, RBI
• Higley 2-4, 2B
• McQuillan 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI

Errors were the difference in this one, as the Suns capitalized on five of ’em by Lakewood score four unearned runs in a 6-3 win. Dixon Anderson got the win with six innings of one-run ball, letting up four hits, walking one, but setting down five on strikes. David Fischer went the rest of the way for the save. Carlos Lopez led the Suns offense with a 3-for-4 night, scoring twice and driving in a run, followed by J.R. Higley’s 2-for-4 effort, while Mike McQuillan hit his first round-tripper with a two-run shot in the 1st.

Apr 092013
 

Photo Credit: Gary Dize (Potomac Nationals)

The good news is that the P-Nats scored six runs for the third straight game. The bad news is that wasn’t enough to stop them for suffering their third straight loss, as Salem edged Potomac 7-6 on Monday.

The bullpen wasn’t to blame for this one — Ben Hawkins and Richie Mirowski hosed the Sox for four and 2/3rds of scoreless relief… with a little help from Michael Taylor, who gunned down top prospect Deven Marrero from shallow centerfield to end the top of the 7th.

Instead, it was the struggles of starter Kylin Turnbull, who had difficulty locating his fastball and was touched for nine hits — five going for extra bases — over just four and a 1/3rd innings. The big blow came in the top of the second when he gave up singles to three of the first four batters he faced before surrendering a three-run shot to the No. 9 batter Felix Sanchez.

The Salem right fielder also figured in the first and last Potomac runs, unable to track down a wind-blown flyball off the bat of Kevin Keyes in the 2nd and dropping a drive to the warning track off the bat of Jason Martinson in the 8th.

Those miscues, however, were something of a wash as the P-Nats ran into two outs that minimized the damages in the 5th as the Red Sox played like a team that was up big (7-1) and used the P-Nats aggression against them.

Singles by Cutter Dykstra, Adrian Sanchez, and Randolph Oduber loaded the bases with one out (a strikeout by Caleb Ramsey). Billy Burns doubled to left to plate Dykstra and Sanchez but Oduber was gunned down for the second out, trying to score from first. Likewise, Taylor followed with a single to right that sent in Burns for the third run but ended the rally when the Sox catcher reversed a throw to the on-deck circle with a seed to second get Taylor for the third out.

Ramsey atoned for his whiff with a homer in the 7th while Martinson cashed in the Salem Sanchez’s error by scampering home on a wild pitch.

Adrian Nieto would lead off the 9th with a walk, giving way to pinch-runner Francisco Soriano but a Dykstra strikeout and a Sanchez GIDP ended the game.

With the loss, Potomac falls to 1-3 on the young season. Taylor Hill, who apparently was doing his side session as a relief appearance (unusual, but not unprecedented) on Friday, gets the start tonight against William Cuevas for Salem.

Apr 092013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 8-1 @ Buffalo,
6:05 p.m.
Ohlendorf (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Germano (1-0, 7.94)
Harrisburg Lost, 9-2 vs. New Britain,
7:00 p.m.
Broderick (0-0, 5.40) vs.
Darnell (0-0, 0.00)
Potomac Lost, 7-6 vs. Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Hill (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Cuevas (8-2, 1.40 @ SS-A)
Hagerstown Won, 7-6
(10 inn.)
@ Lakewood,
6:35 p.m.
Anderson (0-0, 3.60) vs.
Guth (0-1, 9.00)

Syracuse 8 Buffalo 1
• Rosenbaum (W, 1-0) 5IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Tatusko (H, 1) 3IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 4K
• Van Ostrand 4-5, 2R, 2B
• Kobernus 3-5, 2R, 2B, 3B, RBI
• Perez 2-6

Danny Rosenbaum tossed five shutout innings to win his AAA debut as the Chiefs stampeded the Bisons, 8-1. A four-run first also gave Rosenbaum room to breathe, as the 25-year-old gave up just four hits and two walks while striking out two. Jeff Kobernus was a homer shy of the cycle while going 3-for-5, while Jimmy Van Ostrand went 4-for-5 as eight of the nine Syracuse batters hit safely in the 16-hit assault. Ryan Tatusko rebounded from a rough outing on Saturday to turn in three bullpen-saving innings and earn his first hold of the season. Roster moves: RHP Jeremy Accardo was placed on the 7-Day DL; LHP Bobby Bramhall was assigned from XST

New Britain 9 Harrisburg 2
• Karns (L, 0-1) 3⅔ IP, 7H, 7R, 7ER, 3BB, 3K, 2HR
• Frias 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Goodwin 2-5, R, 3B, OF assist at 3B
• Johnson 2-5, 2B, RBI

Nathan Karns’s AA debut was one to forget as the 2012 Nats Minor League Pitcher of the Year was torched for seven runs on seven hits, including a pair of home runs in just three and 2/3rds innings in a 9-2 Harrisburg loss to New Britain. Elevated fastballs and poor command was to blame, said manager Matt LeCroy in the Patriot-News gamer. Brian Goodwin and Josh Johnson combined for four of the five Senators hits, including a leadoff triple in the ninth by Goodwin followed by an RBI single by Johnson for the final Harrisburg run.

Salem 7 Potomac 6
• Turnbull (L, 0-1) 4⅓ IP, 9H, 7R, 6ER, BB, K, HR
• Hawkins 2⅔ IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 2K, 1-1 IR-S
• Mirowski 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Burns 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Oduber 2-3

The bullpen put out the fire, but damage was done early Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 7 Lakewood 6 (10 inn.)
• Encarnacion (ND) 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K
• Hudgins (BS, 1; W, 1-0) 1IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, 0HR
• Benincasa (SV, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Manuel 2-4, 3R, BB, RBI
• Perez 2-3, R, 2B, 2BB, SB

A 10th-inning rally took the edge off a 9th-inning meltdown as the Suns won in extras, 7-6. Hagerstown starter Pedro Encarnacion allowed just a run on three hits and two walks while striking out five and was in line for a win when the BlueClaws rallied for three in the 9th to tie at 6-6. Craig Manuel led off the 10th with a single, took second on a walk by Stephen Perez and was bunted over to third by Mike McQuillan. Lakewood intentionally walked the next batter to set up a double play but after a strikeout, Wes Schill drew a two-out walk to force in Manuel. Robert Benincasa set down the side in the 10th to earn the save and “give” Will Hudgins the dreaded blown-save-win.

Apr 082013
 

Walking WoundedAs first reported by the Patriot News’ Geoff Morrow, Harrisburg 1B-3B Matt Skole has indeed gone on the D.L. with hairline fracture of his left wrist, as the Harrisburg Senators announced today, along with the corresponding move of activating veteran minor-league OF Jerad Head from extended spring training and assigning him to the AA club.

Skole was injured on Friday night when Bowie’s Ty Kelly collided with him on an infield single in the 8th inning.

On Sunday, Baseball America issued its weekly update on transactions, most of which had been previously reported, with the exception of two more signings…

…RHP Mike Broadway, originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 4th Round of the 2005 Draft, but released following a single season with the San Diego Padres at AA San Antonio, pitching in 33 games but posting a 6.35 ERA and 1.613 WHIP, though he struck out 45 in 39⅔ innings — the second straight season he had averaged 10+ K/9IP.

…C Sean McCauley, another local sign as the 2007 graduate of Osbourn High School appears to be resurrecting his professional career after three seasons (2007-2009) in the Kansas City Royals system.

Apr 082013
 

The light of day didn’t change the horror of the night before as the Potomac bullpen imploded again for an 11-6 loss to Lynchburg.

Seven unanswered runs — three in the 8th, four in the 9th — was the black mark on the report card and the scorebook, with Derek Self bearing the brunt of the beating with four runs charged on three hits, including a home run in the ninth sandwiched between two walks. Greg Holt was also victimized by the big fly in the final frame after striking out the first batter he faced.

To make matters worse, the Hillcats pitchers weren’t much better. They walked eleven batters, doing their part for the concession sales to stretch this game to 3 hours and 36 minutes.

The difference was that they were able to get the double play ball (three of ’em) and work around their mistakes as the Potomac hitters were held to a 2-for-15 mark with RISP. Keeping the ball in the yard — one vs. three — also made a wee bit of difference.

Billy Burns and Jason Martinson continue to wreak havoc from the leadoff and No. 3 spots in the lineup, with Burns reaching base four times out of five plate appearances and Martinson going 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI, and also drew a walk and stole a base. Conversely, Michael Taylor and Kevin Keyes — the No. 2 and No. 4 batters — have struggled mightily, a 3-for-26 combined with nine strikeouts over the first three games.

It’s early, of course, but that kind of uneven production in top half of the lineup will become much more noticeable once the P-Nats face better pitching.

Uneven is also the word to describe the season debut of A.J. Cole. The lean righthander struck out the side in the first but then was ambushed for no-doubt-about-it blast to center on a first-pitch fastball by Lynchburg cleanup man Robby Hefflinger. Cole then went away from the heat and walked the next batter then stumbled to give up two more runs in the second frame.

Cole righted himself with three strong innings in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th but a third look by the middle-of-the-order Hillcats produced a pair of doubles and another run. He was lifted with one out in the 6th after surrendering the inning’s third hit. His final line: 5⅓ innings, seven hits, four runs (all earned), one walk, seven strikeouts.

With the loss, Potomac falls to 1-2 on the season with the Salem Red Sox coming to town for the next three. Kylin Turnbull is slated to pitch tonight, but there’s a little intrigue as the tall southpaw is the only pitcher on the active roster that hasn’t pitched yet, perhaps indicating that a roster move (or two) will make way for tomorrow night’s starter.

Apr 082013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 8-6 @ Buffalo,
6:05 p.m.
Rosenbaum (8-10, 3.94 @ AA) vs.
Redmond (8-11, 3.63)
Harrisburg Won, 5-4
(11 inn.)
vs. Bowie,
2:00 p.m.
Karns (8-4, 2.26 @ A+) vs.
TBD
Potomac Lost, 11-6 vs. Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Turnbull (4-5, 5.16 @ A-) vs.
Aguilera (1-3, 4.42 @ SS-A)
Hagerstown Lost, 2-1 @ Lakewood,
6:35 p.m.
Encarnacion (0-1, 6.06) vs.
Mecias (0-2, 2.16 @ GCL)

Syracuse 8 Lehigh Valley 6
• Perry 5IP, 9H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 2K
• Crotta (W, 1-0) 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Brown 2-5, 2R, 2HR. 4RBI
• Walters 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Rhymes 2-4, R, BB, 2RBI

Two-run homers by Zach Walters (third of the year) and Corey Brown (second of the game), turned a 6-4 deficit into the eventual 8-6 decision as Syracuse took two of three from Lehigh Valley. Jeff Mandel and Mike Crotta combined for four scoreless innings in relief of starter Ryan Perry, who gave up all six Iron Piugs runs on nine hits and two walks over the first five innings. Eury Perez extended his hit streak to 21 games with an infield single in the 9th.

Harrisburg 5 Bowie 4 (11 inn.)
• Clay 5IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 4K, HR
• Krol 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Lehman 2IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 1K
• Goodwin 1-3, R, 2BB, HBP
• Bloxom 2-4, R

The Senators broke up a combined no-hit bid in the 8th, rallied for three in the 9th, then took a gift-wrapped 5-4 win from Bowie in the 11th. Ricky Hague, who had broken up the no-no with an infield single, reached on an error (#5 for the Baysox) with two outs, took second on a single by Brian Goodwin, third on a wild pitch, and scored the gamewinner on a single by Sean Nicol. Aaron Barrett, who tossed a scoreless top of the 11th, got the win following five combined shutdown innings from Ian Krol, Rob Wort, and Pat Lehman. Senators starter Caleb Clay gave up all four Bowie runs on eight hits and and two walks in five innings.

Lynchburg 11 Potomac 6
• Cole (ND) 5⅓ IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 7K
• Self (BS, 1; L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 3H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 1K, HR
• Martinson 2-3, R, BB, HR, 2RBI, SB
• Burns 1-2, 3BB
• Sacnhez 2-4, 3B, BB, RBI
• Ramsey 2-4, R, RBI

Lynchburg did all it could to lose, but Potomac was a too-gracious host on Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge

Delmarva 2 Hagerstown 1
• Pena 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 2K
• Dupra 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Miller 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Martinez 1-3, BB
• Rest of lineup 0-for-20

Delmarva pitchers walked eight, but allowed just three hits in a 2-1 pitcher’s duel in Salisbury, Maryland. Just five Hagerstown batters reached second, two by stolen base, as only Estarlin Martinez and Brandon Miller hit safely, with Miller’s solo shot in the 7th accounting for the lone Suns run. Hagerstown starter Ronald Pena gave up the first Shorebirds run on three hits and two walks over the first five innings. Brian Dupra followed with three scoreless frames before giving way to Travis Henke. Delmarva got the gamewinner on a leadoff single, sacrifice, and another single with two outs.