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 282012
 

Rosters for the 2012 Eastern League All-Star Game were announced today, and for the second straight year, five Harrisburg Senators made the squad:
• LHP Danny Rosenbaum

• RHP Kevin Pucetas

• 2B Jeff Kobernus

• OF Eury Perez

• OF Chris Rahl

The 2012 game, officially known as the Baseballtown All-Star Classic, will be played at the Reading Phillies home stadium on Wednesday, July 11th.

For the 28-year-old Rahl, this is his third All-Star game nomination, having represented Mobile in the 2009 Southern League All-Star game and Lancaster in the 2006 California-Carolina League All-Star game while a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.

This the second staight All-Star nod for Kobernus, who was named as an alternate to Destin Hood for the 2011 California-Carolina League All-Star game. Rosenbaum is also making his second trip to a midseason exhibition, having represented Hagerstown in the 2010 South Atlantic League All-Star game. Likewise, this appears to be the second All-Star nod for Pucetas, who represented San Jose in the 2008 California-Carolina League All-Star game as a member of the San Francisco Giants organization.

Finally, this is the first All-Star honors for Eury Perez since coming to the United States in 2009 (note: the GCL has no All-Star Game).

Jun 282012
 

Strong pitching? Check.
Decent offense? Check.
Solid defense? Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

The Potomac Nationals closed out their seven-game homestand with a 4-3 mark and a 7-4 victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks to earn a series split.

Trevor Holder pitched into the eighth inning for the second time in his last three starts and did not issue a walk while striking out six, tying a season high. The veteran righthander now leads the staff in wins and has the lowest ERA, WHIP, and FIP among the starting pitchers.

Donning their red alternates for good luck, the P-Nats posted a picket fence in the first three innings, scoring on a wild pitch (1st), two-out single by Kevin Keyes (2nd), and a solo HR by Rick Hague (3rd). They broke through with three in the fourth when Randolph Oduber smacked a triple into the LCF gap and
came in when the relay made its way into the Blue Rock dugout.

As the lede suggests, the defense was porous — three errors in the first five innings, which, if you’ll recall is even worse than it looks when you consider that most minor-league scorekeepers (read: I’ve seen this tendency elsewhere across multiple levels, not just the Pfitz) have a hazy idea as to what “ordinary effort” means in Rule 10.05(3).

Despite taking a line drive to the gut in the 5th, Holder would retire eight of the last nine batters he faced and was lifted with two outs in the eighth after throwing 106 pitches, 72 for strikes, and gave way to Adam Carr.

This time out, Carr looked more comfortable and much more like his old self — especially when he dialed up to 94 to strike out the first batter he faced (Wilmington cleanup hitter Brett Eibner). The 28-year-old then set down the Blue Rocks in order for his first save of the 2012 season.

Potomac now hits the road for a pair of three-game series against the Salem Red Sox and the Carolina Mudcats before returning home for the annual Fourth of July festivities (you know, in case you hadn’t heard ;-).

Jun 282012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-3 @ Durham,
7:05 p.m.
Maya (5-5, 3.55) vs.
Paduch (4-5, 4.18)
Harrisburg Won, 5-2 vs. Altoona,
7:00 p.m.
Perry (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Cumpton (7-6, 3.43)
Potomac Won, 7-4 @ Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Grace (4-7, 6.27) vs.
Barnes (5-1, 2.17)
Hagerstown Won, 8-4 @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Hansen (1-0, 2.13) vs.
Rodriguez (2-3, 3.29)
Auburn Won, 7-0 vs. Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
Jordan (0-0, 5.40) vs.
Warner (1-0, 1.38)
GCL Nationals Postponed @/vs. GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
TBD and TBD vs.
TBD and TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 3-0 @ Pirates2,
10:30 a.m.
J. Rodriguez (0-1, 3.38) vs.
R. Rodriguez (0-1, 6.14)

Durham 4 Syracuse 3
• Roark (L, 4-10) 5⅔ IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, 5K
• Arnesen (BS, 1) 1IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 3-3 IR-S
• Brown 2-5, 2B, RBI
• Teahen 4-5, R

The Durham Bulls rallied for three in the 6th and snapped the Syracuse Chiefs’ win streak at nine with a 4-3 win. Erik Arnesen came on with the bases loaded with two outs in the 6th and was tagged for back-to-back singles to blow the save and peg starter Tanner Roark with his tenth loss. Roark had given up six hits and three walks and struck out five. Corey Brown and Carlos Rivero both extended their hit streaks to 15 games, while Mark Teahen went 4-for-5 to lead the Syracuse offense. Roster move: RHP Henry Rodriguez was transferred to Harrisburg.

Harrisburg 8 Altoona 3
• Demny (W, 6-4) 7IP, 5H, R, ER, BB, 9K, 2-0 IR-S
• H. Rodriguez 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• E. Perez 3-4, R, 2SB
• J. Valdez 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Ivany 1-3, R, BB, 2RBI

With a pair of two-run rallies early and another strong outing from Paul Demny, the Senators flattened the Curve, 5-2 yesterday afternoon. Harrisburg put double digits in the hit column for the third straight game (all wins), with Eury Perez leading the charge with a 3-for-4 afternoon. Demny struck out nine and walked one while giving up just a run on five hits over seven innings. Henry Rodriguez turned in another scoreless inning on his rehab tour, issuing a walk while striking out two.

Potomac 7 Wilmington 4
• Holder (W, 5-2) 7⅔ IP, 5H, 4R, 2ER, 0BB, 6K
• Carr (SV, 1) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Hague 2-4, 2R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Taylor 2-4, 2R, 2SB

The P-Nats were strong in two out of three phases of the game Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 8 Delmarva 4
• Hill (W, 8-4) 6IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Holt 2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, K
• Ortega 2-4, 2R
• J. Miller 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB, RBI
• Skole 1-4, R, HR, 3RBI

Taylor Hill won his eighth game with his third quality start, as Hagerstown doubled up Delmarva, 8-4. Matt Skole’s league-leading 18th home run highlighted a five-run 8th as the Suns rallied from a 3-2 deficit to take an 8-3 lead. Greg Holt followed Hill with an unearned run over two frames while Colin Bates shut the door with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Hagerstown now stands at 5-2, tied with Kannapolis for the Sally North Division lead.

Auburn 7 Jamestown 0
• Encarnacion (W, 1-0) 6IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 5K
• Rauh (SV, 1) 3P, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Kieboom 2-3, R, BB, 3RBI
• Ramos 2-3, 2R, 2B, BB
• Norfork 2-4, 3R

Pedro Encarnacion and Brian Rauh combined on five-hit shutout as Auburn completed a three-game sweep of Jamestown, 7-0. Encarnacion gave up just three hits and a walk over the first six inning for the win while Rauh gave up just two hits over the last three frames for the save. J.R. Higley got the scoring started with a bang, smacking a grand slam in the 3rd to drive in the 7-8-9 batters Khayyan Norfork, Wander Ramos, and Spencer Kieboom. The bottom third of the Doubleday lineup combined to go 6-for-10 with six runs scored and drove in the other three Auburn runs.

GCL Nationals — PPD
Inclement weather postponed yesterday’s game. Weather permitting, it will be made up today with a doubleheader.

DSL Nationals 3 DSL “Redbacks” 0
• Suero (W, 4-0) 6IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• K. Rodriguez (SV, 5) 3IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Read 2-4, R, SB
• Atencio 2-4, 2B

Wander Suero threw six no-hit innings to lead the DSL Nationals past the DSL Arizona/Cincinnati squad, 3-0. Suero walked just one and struck out three to earn his fourth win. Kelvin Rodriguez allowed two hits over the last three to earn his fifth save. Raudy Read and Miguel Atencio both went 2-for-4 to pace the D-Nats offense.

Jun 272012
 

Rosters for the 2012 International League All-Stars were announced today for the Triple-A All Star-Game and two of the Syracuse Chiefs made the cut.

Corey BrownCorey Brown, who has the third-most HRs in the International League despite a callup and being slotted atop the Chiefs’ lineup, is currently riding a career-best 14-game hit streak. He’s also third in the I.L. with 37 extra-base hits and fourth in slugging percentage at .578. Brown was acquired along with Henry Rodriguez in a Dec. 2010 trade with Oakland for OF Josh Willingham.

Zach DukeZach Duke, who represented Pittsburgh in the 2009 MLB All-Star game, leads the I.L. in wins with nine, three of them coming in his last three starts. The 29-year-old signed in late March as a free agent after getting released by Houston in Spring Training. Last season, Duke went 3-4 in 21 appearances with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The 25th annual clash between the IL and PCL will take place on July 11th in Buffalo, with the winner getting home-field advantage for the Triple-A National Championship Game on Sept. 18 in Durham, N.C.

Jun 272012
 

With three straight three-run innings, Wilmington broke open a 2-1 game and pummeled Potomac for an 11-2 win.

Robbie Ray took the loss, walking a season-high six batters over four and 2/3rds innings and giving up five runs on just four hits. For the second start, Ray struggled early, allowing two first-inning runs and walking the leadoff batter in each of the first three innings. But as the six walks suggests, he struggled to find the strike zone.

It would be tempting to blame this one on a botched double play, with Stephen King failing to scoop out a low throw from Adrian Sanchez that would have ended the 5th with just one run in. But this was King’s seventh career game at 1B and his misplay was hardly the only one as each of the infielders had similar hiccups.

Instead, blame/credit needs to go the offense, which seems to have taken its first-half road show home, scoring just two runs and stranding six runners over the first five before going lifeless over the last four frames — a pair of singles, with the last eight batters retired in order.

The loss drops Potomac to .500 at 3-3 in the second half. The two teams finish their four-game series tonight with Trevor Holder (4-2, 3.67) the scheduled starter for the P-Nats versus the ubiquitous To Be Determined.

Jun 272012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 3-2
(12 inn.)
@ Durham,
7:05 p.m.
Roark (4-9, 4.37) vs.
Pendleton (3-2, 3.52)
Harrisburg Won, 8-3 vs. Altoona,
12:00 p.m.
Demny (5-4, 5.62) vs.
McPherson (1-1, 4.91)
Potomac Lost, 11-2 vs. Wilmington,
7:05 p.m.
Holder (4-2, 3.67) vs.
TBD
Hagerstown Won, 9-3 @ Delmarva,
10:35 a.m.
Hill (7-4, 3.98) vs.
Davies (2-2, 4.03)
Auburn Won, 8-3 vs. Jamestown,
7:05 p.m.
Encarnacion (0-0, 2.08) vs.
Milroy (0-0, 4.50)
GCL Nationals Lost, 8-7;
Lost, 4-1
vs. GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 19-3 @ DSL Ariz./Cin.,
10:30 a.m.
Suero (3-0, 3.68) vs.
Basora (0-4, 3.52)

Syracuse 3 Durham 2 (12 inn.)
• Lannan 6⅓ IP, 5H, R, ER, 5BB, 3K (107-54 P-K)
• Lehman 2⅓ IP, H, 0R, 2BB, 3K
• Negrych 3-5, 2B, RBI
• Rivero 2-5, BB, SB, RBI (13-gm hit streak)
• Brown 2-5, 2R, HR, SAC, RBI (14-gm hit streak)

Jim Negrych’s infield single in the 12th gave the Syracuse Chiefs a 3-2 win in the 12th inning over the Durham Bulls for a season-high ninth straight win. Carlos Rivero and and Corey Brown both extended their hit streaks, while Brett Carroll lost his in an unsuccessful pinch-hit appearance. Hassan Pena got the win despite giving up a run in the 11th while Christian Garcia turned in another 1-2-3 final frame for his second save. As noted yesterday, RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx was transferred fro Syracuse to Harrisburg.

Harrisburg 8 Altoona 3
• Bibens-Dirkx 4IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Zinicola (W, 1-1) 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 2-0 IR-S
• Nelo (SV, 8) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Walters 3-5, 2R, 2B,
• Watts 2-3, 2-2B, 3RBI
• Bloxom 2-5, R, 2RBI

Despite the long bus ride from New Hampshire, the Senators had the pep and the pop to bang out 15 hits in an 8-3 win over Altoona. Zach Walters let the offense with a 3-for-5 night, including a double and two runs scored to pace the offense, which saw every position player get a hit. Austin Bibens-Dirkx struggled through four innings (70 pitches), and would-be starter Rob Gilliam got knocked for two runs in the sixth after a scoreless fifth. Zech Zinicola got the win as the more effective reliever with one and 2/3rds scoreless innings. Hector Nelo got the save, his 8th, by getting the last out of the 8th and pitching a scoreless 9th. Roster moves: OF Destin Hood was activated from the DL, while IF Jose Lozada was placed on the DL.

Wilmington 11 Potomac 2
• Ray (L, 3-4) 4⅔ IP, 4H, 5R, 5ER, 6BB, 3K
• Testa 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Hague 2-3, R, BB, RBI
• Freitas 1-4, 2B, RBI

Three straight three-run innings did in Potomac Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 9 Delmarva 3
• Turnbull (W, 3-4) 5⅔ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 4K
• Barrett (SV, 10) 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Dykstra 2-5, R, 3RBI
• Burns 2-3, R, 2BB, RBI
• J. Miller 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB, RBI

After allowing the Shorebirds to pull within one at 4-3, the Suns scored five unanswered runs for a 9-3 blowout win. Kylin Turnbull fell an out short of a quality start, allowing all three Delmarva runs on five hits and three walks over five and 2/3rds innings while striking out four. Billy Burns singled twice and drew two walks to lead the 12-hit, six-walk offense. Aaron Barrett struck out three of the five batters he faced over one and 2/3rds to notch save #10 (3rd best in the Sally League).

Auburn 8 Jamestown 3
• Monar 4⅓ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 5BB, 5K
• Self (W, 1-1) 2⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Renda 1-3, 2R, 2B, 2BB, 2RBI
• Norfork 1-4, 2B, 3RBI

Auburn put up a four-spot early and a three-spot in the 7th en route to an 8-3 win over Jamestown, moving into a first-place tie with Brooklyn. Tony Renda drove in two during the 1st-inning rally while Khayyan Norfork cleared the bases with a double to account for the runs in the 7th. Blake Monar got the start but couldn’t go the requisite five, allowing two runs on three hits and five walks while striking out five over four and a 1/3rd innings. Derek Self got the win in relief with two and 2/3rds scoreless innings.
C Sandy Leon was assigned to Auburn as an MLB rehab and went 0-for-1 with a walk and three out the only runner that attempted to steal against him.

GCL Marlins 8 GCL Nationals — GAME ONE
• Pineyro 3⅔ IP, 7H, 4R, 3ER, BB, 5K, HR
• Santana (H, 2) 2⅓ IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 2K. 2-0 IR-S
• Heredia (BS, 1; L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 3H, 3R, ER, 0BB, K
• Foat 2-2, 2R, 2BB, 2RBI
• Nix 3-4, R, RBI

Two two-out errors enabled the GCL Marlins to rally from a 7-5 deficit in the last of the 7th to take Game One, 8-7. Inocencio Heredia took the loss, giving up three runs on three hits while getting just two outs in the final inning. NDFA Matt Foat reached base four times to pace the offense, singling twice and walking twice while driving in two.

GCL Marlins 4 Nationals 1 — GAME TWO
• Hudgins (L, 0-1) 2IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, K
• DiCharry 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Jennings 1-3, K
• J.C. Valdez 1-2, BB
• W. Rodriguez 1-2, BB

The G-Marlins completed the doubleheader sweep with a 4-1 win in the second game. Twenty-second rounder Will Hudgins got the start, but took the loss with an unearned run given up on two hits over two innings. 19-y.o. Hayden Jennings batted ninth and went 1-for-3 with a strikeout while Jean Carlos Valdez and Wilman Rodriguez both went 1-for-2 with a walk.

DSL Nationals 19 DSL “Redbacks” 3
• Silvestre (W, 2-0) 7IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 8K, HR
• Dilone 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Read 3-5, R, 2B, BB, 3RBI, CS
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-5, 2R, 2B, BB, 3RBI
• Cerda 2-5, 2R, 2B, 2RBI
• Bautista 2-3, 2R, 2SB, CS

After breaking open a 2-2 game with six-run 5th, the D-Nats knocked out 10 in the 8th for a 19-3 beatdown of the DSL Arizona/Cincinnati squad. Hector Silvestre turned in quality start with three runs on five hits and no walks over seven innings. He also struck out eight. Raudy Read led the 19-hit parade with a 3-for-5 effort, including a walk, a double, a run scored, and three RBI.

Jun 262012
 

After two shaky innings from rehabbing Cole Kimball and five strong innings from veteran Adam Olbrychowski, folks started to wonder if the zero under the “H” column would remain. After a single and two walks loaded the bases, thoughts quickly went from “can they get no-hitter?” to to “are they gonna lose this?”

With three in the 8th and four in the 9th, the P-Nats ‘pen answered that question, turning a 2-0 shutout into a 7-3 blowout

Rob Wort took the loss, blowing his third save opportunity of the year and failing to record a strikeout for just the second time this season. Neil Holland, who hadn’t allowed a run in 12 of his 13 previous appearances, gave up a three-run shot in the 9th.

In fairness to Wilmington’s 21-year-old flamethrower Yordano Ventura, he basically made one mistake: throwing one too many fastballs to Kevin Keyes, who turned on the third straight heater and deposited it over the LF wall for his second big fly in as many games. He retired the leadoff batter in all seven innings pitched and allowed just one baserunner over the final four.

As aforementioned, Cole Kimball got the start as part of his rehab and while effective, he was not dominant. The righthander did not break 90 mph consistently (if at all) and if he did, it was his signature throw in the dirt. The command, which has never been his hallmark, was spotty at best.

Olbrychowski’s efforts were easy to overlook because there were three baserunners in his first five innings of work, two by a walk and a third by a virtue of a passed ball by rehabbing Carlos Maldonado (the first of two). Even with the bullpen blowup, the 25-year-old still posted a decent line of two runs on a hit and three walks over five and a 1/3rd innings.

With the loss, Potomac falls to 3-2 in the second half, a game off the pace in the Carolina League North. Robbie Ray (3-3, 4.84) gets the start tonight, his second of the homestand, opposed by the Blue Rocks’ Brookes Pounders (0-2, 5.25).

Jun 262012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 10-6 @ Durham,
7:05 p.m.
Lannan (6-6, 4.66) vs.
Torra (6-6, 4.70)
Harrisburg Won, 9-8 vs. Altoona,
7:00 p.m.
Bibens-Dirkx (0-0, 3.00) vs.
G. Cole (1-0, 3.60)
Potomac Lost, 7-3 vs. Wilmington,
7:05 p.m.
Ray (3-3, 4.84) vs.
Pounders (0-2, 5.25)
Hagerstown Won, 7-3 @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Turnbull (2-4, 4.84) vs.
Taylor (2-4, 3.98)
Auburn Won, 7-2 vs. Jamestown,
7:05 p.m.
Monar (0-1, 9.00) vs.
Newell (0-0, 4.50)
GCL Nationals Postponed @/vs. GCL Marlins,
11:00 a.m.
TBD and TBD vs.
TBD and TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 11-7 vs. DSL Ariz./Cin.,
10:30 a.m.
Silvestre (1-0, 3.00) vs.
Aybar (0-3, 5.06)

Syracuse 10 Gwinnett 6
• Atkins (W, 6-5) 5IP, 7H, 5R, 4ER, 4BB, K, HR
• Mandel (H, 3) 3IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Teahen 3-3, 2R, 2B, 2BB
• Komatsu 2-5, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Marrero 2-5, R, 2RBI

Syracuse completed another four-game sweep, stretching the streak to eight games as they chopped Gwinnett, 10-6. The Chiefs racked up 15 hits, including a pinch hit by Zach Duke, with Seth Bynum the only position player not to get a hit. Mitch Atkins got the Jack Morris special with five runs allowed on seven hits and four walks with just a single strikeout. Jeff Mandel followed with just a run over three innings while Christian Garcia tossed a 1-2-3 ninth.

Harrisburg 9 New Hampshire 8
• Pucetas (W, 6-2) 5⅔ IP, 8H, 8R, 6ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Davis (H, 4) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Van Ostrand 2-3, R, 2B
• Valdez 2-5, R, 3B, 2RBI
• Bloxom 2-4, 2R, BB, HR, RBI

The Senators opened up a big lead with an eight-run 2nd and withstood three big innings to weasel past the Fisher Cats, 9-8. Kevin Pucetas got the win like a Yankees fifth starter, allowing all eight New Hampshire runs (six earned, thanks to two Zach Walters throwing errors) on eight hits and a walks over five and 2/3rds innings. Justin Bloxom’s first career AA home run in the 5th proved to be the difference, though Harrisburg’s hitters did rack up 11 hits total. Patriot-News beat writer Geoff Morrow is reporting that Austin Bibens-Dirkx will make a spot start tonight, as it appears Rob Gilliam’s shoulder soreness has returned (Gilliam missed two starts in late May/early June).

Wilmington 7 Potomac 3
• Kimball 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Olbrychowski (ND) 5⅓ IP, 1H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 5K
• Wort (BS, 3; L, 1-3) ⅔ IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 0K
• Hague 2-4, 2B
• Keyes 1-4, R, HR, 2RBI

A no-no turns to “Oh, NO!” Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 7 Delmarva 3
• McKenzie 4IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Hawkins (W, 3-0) 3IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 5K
• Smoker (SV, 1) 2IP, H, 0R, BB, K
• Ramsey 3-3, R, 3B, BB, RBI
• Dykstra 2-5, 2B, RBI
• Leonida 1-3, R, HR, 2RBI

The Suns ‘pen locked down the Shorebirds with five scoreless innings in a 7-3 win. Ben Hawkins got the win with three scoreless frames in relief of starter Chris McKenzie, who gave up all three Delmarva runs on five hits and a walk over four innings. Josh Smoker notched the save with just a hit and a walk allowed in the 8th and 9th innings. The offense went just 2-for-17 with RISP, but still scored in six of nine innings on 11 hits, with Caleb Ramsey leading the hit column with a 3-for-3 night.

Auburn 7 Jamestown 2
• Baez (W, 1-0) 5IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 5K
• Fischer (H, 1) 3IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Montilla 3-4, R
• Ramos 2-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI
• Higley 1-3, R, BB, 2RBI

Like Harrisburg, Auburn put up a big inning early. Unlike the Senators, the Doubledays cruised to a 7-2 win. Gregory Baez became the first Auburn starter to go five innings, allowing an unearned run on four hits and two walks. He struck out five. Angel Montilla paced the offense with a 3-for-4 night, as the Doubledays took advantage of three Jamestown errors and six walks to score seven times on just eight hits (no HR). Roster move: OF J.R. Higley was activated from Potomac DL and assigned to Auburn. Jeremy Houghtaling, sportswriter for the Auburn Citizenreports that Hood is on his way back to Harrisburg today, and has the skinny on when recently signed 3rd-rounder Brett Mooneyham will work next.

GCL Nationals — PPD
Tropical storm Debbie postponed seven of eight GCL contests yesterday. With a 50% chance or greater of precipitation over the next 24 hours or so, today’s games are also likely to be postponed.

DSL Giants 11 DSL Nationals 7
• P. Valdez (L, 0-1) 3IP, 6H, 7R, 7ER, 7BB, 0K, 0HR
• Acevedo 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Cerda 3-5, R, 2B, HR, 4RBI
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-5, 2R, 2B, RBI
• Novas 2-5, 2B

The D-Giants put up crooked numbers in each of the first four innings en route to an 11-7 win over the D-Nats. Philips Valdez took the loss, giving up seven runs on six hits and seven walks in just three innings of work. The 4-5-6 combo of Kevin Cerda, Jose “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz, and Randy Novas combined to go 7-for-15 with three runs scored, two doubles, a home run (Cerda) and five RBI.

Jun 252012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 5-2 vs. Gwinnett,
7:00 p.m.
Atkins (5-5, 4.46) vs.
Junge (4-7, 4.71)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-3 @ New Hampshire,
7:05 p.m.
Pucetas (5-2, 1.93) vs.
Hernandez (1-4, 3.65)
Potomac Won, 7-1 vs. Wilmington,
7:05 p.m.
Kimball (rehab) vs.
Ventura (3-5, 3.10)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-3 @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
McKenzie (2-2, 7.28) vs.
Bridwell (2-5, 5.77)
Auburn Won, 6-5
(10 inn.)
vs. Jamestown,
7:05 p.m.
Baez (0-0, 11.25) vs.
Hope (0-0, 2.25)
GCL Nationals OFF DAY vs. GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
Marcelino (0-0, 6.75) vs.
Garcia (0-0, 4.91)
DSL Nationals OFF DAY @ DSL Giants,
10:30 a.m.
P. Valdez (0-0, 6.75) vs.
C. Diaz (1-1, 7.84)

Syracuse 5 Gwinnett 2
• Duke (W, 9-3) 8IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 2K
• H. Rodriguez (SV, 2) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, K
• Komatsu 4-5, 3R, HR, 2RBI
• Brown 2-5, R, 2B
• Marrero 2-4, RBI

After waiting out a 117-minute rain delay, the Syracuse Chiefs ran their win streak to seven with a 5-2 triumph over the Gwinnett Braves. Zach Duke improved to 9-3 with eight strong innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks. Henry “El Infarto” Rodriguez worked around two walks in the 9th to notch the save. Carlos Rivero, Brett Carroll, and Corey Brown each extended their hit streaks to 13 games, with Erik Komatsu leading the hit parade with a 4-for-5 night.

New Hampshire 5 Harrisburg 3
• Rosenbaum (l, 7-4) 7IP, 8H, 5R, 4ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Frias 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Perez 2-4, 3B, SB, RBI, OF assist at 2B
• Walters 2-4, R, HR, RBI

With a 5-3 loss to New Hampshire, the Harrisburg Senators fell to .500 at 37-37. Danny Rosenbaum bounced back from his worst outing of the season with a seven-inning effort, giving up five runs on eight hits and a walk and striking out four. Zach Walters smacked his first AA home run in the 9th while Eury Perez went 2-for-4 with an RBI triple and a stolen base.

Potomac 7 Wilmington 1
• Karns 8IP, 2H, R, ER, 3BB, 11K
• Carr 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Keyes 3-4, R, HR, 3RBI
• Sanchez 2-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Freitas 2-4, 2-2B, BB, 2RBI

Nathan Karns was sensational Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge.

Lakewood 5 Hagerstown 3
• Meyer (L, 6-4) 6⅔ IP, 3H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 11K, HR
• Meza 2⅓ IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Souza 1-4, R, HR, RBI
• Skole 1-1, R, HR, RBI

One bad inning combined with stifling opposing pitcher were too much for Alex Meyer and Hagerstown to overcome as the Suns ace and Hagerstown lost, 5-3. The BlueClaws knocked Meyer around for four runs (three on a HR) in the first, then couldn’t touch him for the next five and 2/3rds, as the 22-y.o. allowed just two baserunners and struck out a career-high 11 batters. His opponent, Ethan Stewart, was just as untouchable and allowed just an unearned run over six. Steve Souza and Matt Skole both hit solo HRs as the Suns were held to just six hits. After a 2-2 homestand, it’s a nine-game road trip to Delmarva and Lakewood before returning home on July 4. Roster move: LHP Josh Smoker was activated from the Potomac DL and transferred to Hagerstown.

Auburn 6 Williamsport 5 (10 inn.)
• Medina 4IP, 1H, R, ER, 2BB, 3K
• Mirowski (W, 1-0) 2⅔ IP, H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Kieboom 2-3, R, BB, SAC
• Schill 2-4, 2R, 2B, BB
• Poole 2-5, R, 2B

The Doubledays went to extras again, but this time they won in the 10th, 6-5 over the Crosscutters. The lead changed hands five times through the first six innings before the game became a battle of the ‘pens. Wes Schill doubled in the 10th, took 3rd on a sacrifice by Spencer Kieboom, and came around to score on Tony Renda’s one-out single. Richie Mirowski got the win with a 1-2-3 tenth inning. After playing five of their first even on the road, Auburn returns home for a six-game homestand vs. Jamestown and Williamsport.

GCL Nationals — OFF DAY
The G-Nats are 4-2 after their first week, tied with the GCL Cardinals in the four-team GCL East.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
The D-Nats are 12-7, tied for second place with today’s opponent, the DSL Giants.

Jun 242012
 

Folks are champing at the bit for the next wave to come to Potomac. This afternoon, Nathan Karns may have just reminded folks to appreciate what has come here so far.

The 24-year-old allowed just five baserunners over eight innings, racking up 11 strikeouts — career highs in both categories — as the Potomac Nationals pounded the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 7-1.

This was Karns’s fourth start since his promotion from Hagerstown on June 4 and the progression has rather quick all things considered: from seven runs over one and 2/3rds innings to two runs over four and 2/3rds to six and 2/3rds shutout innings to one run over eight innings today. Is his next start going to be a complete-game shutout? Probably not, but he’s shown enough that it might not be too optimistic to expect another quality start.

That’s because Karns showed that he can do what good pitchers do: make in-game adjustments. After weathering two walks and what was ruled an infield single in the 2nd, Karns bore down and got the groundouts he needed to turn what could have been a big inning into just a single run.

Then he found his groove.

After getting out of the second with minimal damage, Karns retired the side in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings, striking out five out nine and 11 straight overall before giving up a long double to center. He then retired another eight in a row before issuing a two-out walk (his third) in the 8th.

Everyone wants to know how hard a given pitcher is throwing, but from my perch, the improvement I’m seeing from Karns is that he’s gotten more separation from the heat to his breaking stuff, especially his changeup. Seemed like at least half the Ks came on batters that were WAY AHEAD of his offering.

Offensively, Potomac did its best imitation of Winston-Salem by scoring in each of the first four innings, highlighted Kevin Keyes’s opposite-field blast in the second that turned a 2-1 game into a 4-1 game. Like two nights before, there’s some reason to be concerned as the P-Nats left 12 on and went just 3-for-16 with RISP, but perhaps that’s just nitpicking.

With the win, Potomac improves to 3-1 in the second half. Game two of the four-game series will feature Adam Olbrychowski (2-6, 5.47) versus Yordano Ventura (3-5, 3.10) tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m.