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 142013
 


Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 27-37, 6th place I.L. North, 10 games behind

Good Tanner Roark 2-0, 2.36 ERA/2.76 FIP/0.93 WHIP as a reliever
Bad Micah Owings 63K in 49G
Interesting 19 holds, 2nd in I.L.



HARRISBURG SENATORS 35-31, T1st place E.L. West, 2½ games ahead

Good Taylor Jordan (duh) 5-0, 0.66ERA, 1.49FIP, 0.78WHIP
Bad Brian Goodwin .182/.308/.333 in last 10G
Interesting 171 BB fewest in E.L., 38 HBP 2nd most in E.L.



POTOMAC NATIONALS 39-26, 1st place C.L. North, 4.5 games ahead (clinched)

Good Caleb Ramsey .333/.360/.458 in June
Bad David Fischer 17BB in 14⅓ IP
Interesting .975 FA best in Carolina League


HAGERSTOWN SUNS 35-28, 2nd place Sally North, 1 game behind

Good Will Piwinica-Worms .294/.415/.441 in June
Bad Nick Lee 1.61 WHIP in first five appearances
Interesting Eight team shutouts, T1st Sally League


DSL NATIONALS 8-3, 1st Boca Chica South, 2 games ahead

Good 18-y.o. Luis Reyes 1.86 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 11K in first two starts
Bad 18-y.o. Thomas Alvarez .212 OPS in 29PA
Interesting 18-y.o. Kelvin Gutierrez .371/.488/.543 in 10G
Jun 142013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 9-7 vs. Toledo,
7:00 p.m.
Torra (0-3, 6.23) vs.
Alvarez (5-4, 2.42)
Harrisburg Won, 9-0 @ New Britain,
6:35 p.m.
Clay (5-3, 3.69) vs.
Darnell (5-5, 2.90)
Potomac Won, 8-0 @ Frederick,
5:05 p.m.
TBD and TBD vs.
TBD and TBD
Hagerstown Postponed vs. Lakewood,
7:05 p.m.
Lee (1-2, 5.79) vs.
Musser (1-2, 3.60)
DSL Nationals Won, 9-5 @ DSL Rojos,
10:30 a.m.
Reyes (0-0, 1.86) vs.
Bautista (0-1, 8.53)



Toledo 9 Syracuse 7
• Rosenbaum 4IP, 9H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 2K
• Accardo 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Perez 2-5, 3R, HR, RBI
• Brown 1-3, R, BB, 2RBI
• Moore 1-4, R, 2B, 4RBI, OF assist at 3B

Syracuse put up a pair of crooked numbers early, scoring three runs in each of the first two innings, but couldn’t keep Toledo at bay and fell, 9-7. Starter Danny Rosenbaum gave up four runs on nine hits and three walks. Mike Crotta suffered the loss as the bullpen gave up five runs, three by him, two by Ryan Perry. Eury Perez homered and scored three runs while recently demoted Tyler Moore drove in four while going 1-for-4.
Roster moves: RHP Ryan Tatusko reassigned from Harrisburg; 2B Danny Espinosa assigned from Washington on MLB Rehab

Harrisburg 9 Richmond 0
• Jordan (W, 5-0) 9IP, 5H, 0R, BB, 11K; 2-3, 3R, BB, RBI
• Goodwin 1-3, R, 3B, BB, 2RBI
• Leon 1-3, R, BB
• Nicol 1-2, 2R, 2BB

Taylor Jordan tossed the second nine-inning shutout of the season, as the Senators blanked the Flying Squirrels, 9-0 and vaulted Harrisburg into a three-way tie for first. Jordan allowed just five hits and one walk while striking out 11. At the plate, the 24-y.o. went 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, and three runs scored. Brian Goodwin and Justin Bloxom both tripled and drove in two runs as the Senators scored nine times on just eight hits and six walks.
Roster move: RHP Marcos Frias activated from the 7-Day DL and reassigned to Potomac.

Potomac 8 Frederick 0
• Cole (W, 4-2) 7IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 10K
• Holt 2IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Martinson 3-5, 3R, 3HR, 4RBI
• Keyes 2-5, R
• Leonida 2-3, R, HR, BB, RBI

Jason Martinson homered three times while A.J. Cole and Greg Holt combined on a five-hit shutout for an 8-0 Potomac win over Frederick. The victory clinched the C.L. North Division crown for the first time since 2008. Cole put up double digits in the K column for the second straight start, walking two and giving up four hits. Greg Holt preserved the shutout with two scoreless frames, allowing a hit and two walks while striking out two. Cole Leonida also homered and went 2-for-3 with a walk.
Roster moves: IF Francisco Soriano reassigned from Harrisburg, IF Cutter Dykstra, RHPs Cameron Selik and Colin Bates placed on the 7-Day DL

Hagerstown vs. Lakewood — PPD
Rain postponed the start of the final series of the first half. It will be made up tomorrow as part of a doubleheader. First-place Hickory edged Delmarva, 5-4 to lower the magic number to clinch to two with three games to play as the Suns now trail the Crawdads by a full game.

DSL Nationals 9 DSL Rojos 5
• Valerio (W, 1-0) 5IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 5K
• Aguero 3-5, R, 2B, 3B, RBI
• Alvarez 2-3, 2R, 2BB, SB
• Corredor 2-4, 2R, BB, RBI

A five-run 7th broke open a 2-1 game as the D-Nat held off a late charge from the D-Rojos for a 9-5 win. Maximo Valerio got his first win in his third start, allowing an unearned run on two hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. “Fred” Aguero was a homer shy of the cycle while going 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Proof that perhaps I needed this vacation is that the DSL season was overlooked for nearly two weeks. I’ve gone back and edited the daily N&N’s to add the scores back in for those inclined to peruse them.

Jun 132013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY vs. Toledo,
7:00 p.m.
Rosenbaum (5-3, 3.44) vs.
Misch (2-3, 4.58)
Harrisburg Won, 2-1 vs. Richmond,
7:00 p.m.
Jordan (4-0, 0.84) vs.
Rogers (4-2, 5.14)
Potomac Won, 13-11 @ Frederick,
7:15 p.m.
Cole (3-2, 4.62) vs.
Wager (0-0, 11.25)
Hagerstown Won, 10-3;
Won, 6-5 (9 inn.)
vs. Lakewood,
7:05 p.m.
Lee (1-2, 5.79) vs.
Musser (1-2, 3.60)



Syracuse Chiefs — OFF DAY
Syracuse resumes its eight-game homestand with a four-game set against the Toledo Mud Hens.
Roster moves: RHP Ross Ohlendorf recalled to Washington; RHP Ryan Tatusko reassigned to Harrisburg.

Harrisburg 2 Richmond 1
• Tatusko 7IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, 4BB, 4K
• Barrett 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Souza 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Hood 2-3, R

Making a spot start because of all the rainouts, Ryan Tatusko gave the Senators seven strong innings as they edged the Flying Squirrels, 2-1. Tatusko walked four and gave up an unearned run on four hits while striking out four. Neil Holland and Aaron Barrett both turned in a scoreless inning to earn the hold and save respectively. Steve Souza homered in the first while Destin Hood singled and scored in the second, as the two combined for four of the six Harrisburg hits.
Roster moves: RHP Nathan Karns optioned from Washington.

Potomac 13 Carolina 11
• Rauh 3IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, BB, K
• Mirowski 2IP, 3H, 3R, 0ER, 0BB, K, 3-0 IR-S
• Wort (SV, 3) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K, 1-0 IR-S
• Burns 4-6, 3R, SB
• Ramsey 5-6, 3R, 2B, 4RBI

Neither team score in just two of nine innings as the P-Nats outlasted the Mudcats for a 13-11 win. Rob Wort was the only pitcher to go unscathed, picking up the save, while Richie Mirowski got the win in relief. Starter Brian Rauh was knocked from the box with four runs on six hits and a walk in his high-A debut. Tablestters Billy Burns and Caleb Ramsey combined for five runs and a nine hits. With the win, Potomac has reduced its magic number to two with five games to play.
Roster moves: IF Jean Valdez reassigned to Auburn; IF Mike Gilmartin, signed as a FA by Washington, assigned to Potomac.

Hagerstown 10 Hickory 3 — GAME ONE
• Mooneyham (W, 2-1) 5IP, 2H, R, ER, 3BB, 5K, HR
• Henke 2IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Pleffner 3-4, R
• Piwinica-Worms 2-4, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Manuel 2-3, R, 2B, RBI

A three-run 4th followed by a four-run 5th put this one away as Hagerstown cruised to a 10-3 win in the opener. Starter Brett Mooneyhamd gave up a run on a home run, and two hits total over five innings. He walked three and struck out five. Shawn Pleffner led the 11-hit attack with three singles, followed by Will Piwinica-Worms and Craig Manuel, who both doubled and singled and scored a run.

Hagerstown 6 Hickory 5 — GAME TWO
• Encarnacion ⅔ IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 0K, 2HR
• Mendez (W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Perez 2-4, RBI
• Severino 2-4, RBI, PB, PO

An error on a sacrfice in the 9th completed the doubleheader sweep as the Suns took the second game, 6-5. Pedro Encarnacion’s night was over early has he gave up two home runs and four hits in just 2/3rds of an inning. Gilberto Mendez, the fifth reliever of the night, got the win with two scoreless innings, walking one and striking out four. The offense tallied 14 hits total, as every batter collected at least one and five had two.
The doubleheader sweep split the four-game series and pulls the Suns back to within a ½ game of Hickory.

Jun 122013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-3 OFF DAY N/A
Harrisburg Won, 1-0 vs. Richmond,
7:00 p.m.
Tatusko (1st AA start of ’13) vs.
Teller (1-1, 2.38)
Potomac Lost, 11-3;
Won, 3-1
@ Carolina,
7:15 p.m.
Rauh (1st A+ start) vs.
Radeke (0-1, 13.50)
Hagerstown Lost, 6-2;
Lost, 1-0
vs. Hickory,
6:05 p.m.
Mooneyham (1-1, 2.20) and
Encarnacion (5-3, 2.14) vs.
Smith (4-4, 6.75) and
Bores (2-1, 3.66)
DSL Nationals Won, 6-5 @ DSL Cubs,
10:30 a.m.
J. Ramirez (0-0, 15.43) vs.
J. Hernandez (0-0, 0.00)



Syracuse 4 Pawtucket 3
• Maya (W, 2-3) 5IP, 4H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Garcia (H, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Walters 2-3, R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Costanzo 1-4, R, HR, RBI

On another rainy day, the two teams waited out a long delay to finish just the one game, as Syracuse edged Pawtucket, 4-3. Yunesky Maya got the win with one run allowed, albeit on a home run, four hits given up, no walks and two strikeouts. Mike “Don’t Call Me George” Costanzo and Zach Walters smacked back-to-back jacks in the 4th while Corey Brown and Tyler Moore each drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Roster move: Washington assigned RHP Mark Lowe to Syracuse.

Harrisburg 1 Richmond 0
• Demny 5IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 7K
• Swynenberg (W, 1-0) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Grace (H, 1) 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Barrett (SV, 9) 1⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Johnson 1-1, R, HR, RBI
• Leon 2-2, BB

Josh Johnson’s pinch-hit HR was all the offense Harrisburg could muster, but all that they would need as four pitchers combined on a four-hit, 1-0 shutout of Richmond. Matt Swynenberg got the win in relief while Aaron Barrett got the save thanks to Steve Souza gunning down Richmond’s Javier Herrera at the plate in the 9th. Sandy Leon reached base three times with two singles and a walk as the Senators were also held to just four hits total. Roster moves: IF Josh Johnson activated from TIL; IF Francisco Soriano assigned from Syracuse.

Carolina 11 Potomac 3 — GAME ONE
• Schwartz (L, 5-2) 1IP, 5H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 1K, HR
• Holt 2IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 1BB, 0K
• Ramsey 2-3, R, HR, 2RBI
• Leonida 1-3, R, HR, RBI

Blake Schwartz suffered his second loss in his worst outing as Carolina roughed him up for five runs on five hits in the 1st en route to an 11-3 smackdown in the opener. Brian Dupra avoided the same fate for an inning before the Mudcats hung a five-spot on him in the 3rd. Caleb Ramsey and Cole Leonida both homered in the 6th to make the score look closer than it was.

Potomac 3 Carolina 1 — GAME TWO
• Ray (W, 5-2) 7IP, 2H, R, ER, 4BB, 7K, HR
• Dykstra 2-3
• Martinson 1-3, BB, RBI
• Nieto 1-3, R, 2B, BB

Robbie Ray no-hit eight of the nine Mudcats as the P-Nats salvaged the nightcap with a 3-1 win. Paddy Matera homered and singled off the 21-y.o. southpaw to ruin any chance of a shutout, but he did go the distance, walking four and striking out seven for his second complete game and fifth win. Every Potomac batter got a hit, as Potomac pounded out 10 total in the win. The split combined with losses the past two nights by Frederick has lowered Potomac’s magic number to clinch the first half title to three with six games to play.

Hickory 6 Hagerstown 2 — GAME ONE
• Purke (L, 0-1) 4⅔ IP, 6H, 5R, 4ER, 2BB, 8K, 2HR, HBP
• Harper 2⅓ IP, H, R, ER, 2BB, K, HR, 1-0 IR-S
• Renda 2-3, 2B
• Miller 1-3, R, 2B, RBI

Matt Purke gave up two home runs and suffered his first loss as Hickory tripled up Hagerstown, 6-2. The 22-y.o. Texan allowed five runs total on six hits and two walks as he struck out eight and hit a batter. Tony Renda and Brandon Miller both doubled in the loss, combining for three of the Suns’ five hits.

Hickory 1 Hagerstown 0 — GAME TWO
• Anderson (L, 4-4) 5⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, 3BB, 11K
• Davis 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Pleffner 1-3, K
• Miller 1-3, 2K

A one-out walk followed by a triple did in Dixon Anderson and the Suns as the Crawdads took the nightcap, 1-0. The walk was the third Anderson allowed, the hit the second, over five and 2/3rds innings to go with 11 strikeouts. Hagerstown was held to just two hits by Shawn Pleffner and Brandon Miller. The two losses dropped Hagerstown’s elimination number to three with six games to play; they would be eliminated with another doubleheader sweep tonight.

DSL Nationals 6 DSL Cubs 5
• Torres 4⅓ IP, 7H, 4R, 3ER, 0BB, 4K
• Aquino (W, 2-0) 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Tillero 2-3, R, 2B, BB
• Pilier 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI

Big-ticket IFA Neivy Pilier’s first professional home run was a walkoff in the 9th to give the D-Nats a 6-5 win over the D-Cubs. It made a winner out of Jonathan Aquino, who pitched a scoreless and hitless inning, issuing a walk but striking out a batter, too. Luis Torres gave up four runs on seven hits over four and a 1/3rd innings with no walks and four strikeouts. Jorge Tillero also had a multihit game, going 2-for-3 with a double.

Jun 112013
 

Rain For NPP

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Postponed vs. Pawtucket,
10:30 a.m.
Mandel (1-2, 6.08) and
Maya (1-4, 4.96) vs.
Aceves (2-1, 3.52) and
S. Wright (2-3, 4.99)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-0
(6 inn., rain)
vs. Richmond,
7:00 p.m.
Demny (4-4, 3.98) vs.
Snodgrass (5-1, 2.04)
Potomac Postponed @ Carolina,
5:00 p.m.
Schwartz (5-1, 1.29) and
Ray (4-2, 2.32) vs.
Pasquale (0-3, 4.62) and
Anderson (5-3, 2.85)
Hagerstown Postponed vs. Hickory,
6:05 p.m.
Anderson (4-3, 2.80) and
Purke (0-0, 2.08) vs.
Lopez (1-0, 0.00) and
Faulkner (1-0, 2.84)
DSL Nationals Won, 7-3 (8 inn.) vs. DSL Cubs,
10:30 a.m.
Torres (0-0, 4.50) vs.
Zapata (0-0, 0.00)



Pawtucket vs. Syracuse — PPD
This was the final game of the night to get called, but like the rest, it’ll be made up today with a doubleheader rather than turn a four-game series in August into a five-game set.

Reading 6 Harrisburg 0 (6 inn., rain)
• Treinen (L, 5-6) 4IP, 5H, 3R, 1ER, 1BB, 7K, WP
• McCoy 2IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Van Ostrand 1-3
• Bloxom 1-1

The only thing that saved the day from being a complete washout in the U.S. was the 9:30 a.m. start for the Harrisburg-Reading contest. Even then the rain shortened it, perhaps mercifully, as the Senators were shut out, 6-0 in six innings. Blake Treinen took the loss with three runs allowed, one earned, on five hits and a walk. He struck out seven. Jimmy Van Ostrand and Justin Bloxom accounted for the two Harrisburg hits.. and three of the four errors committed (Treinen was the fourth).

Potomac vs. Carolina — PPD
Heavy rains soaked the field at Five County Stadium yesterday afternoon, prompting officials to postpone the game more than two hours before game time (how novel) as the two teams will play a doubleheader this evening.
Roster moves: RHP Brian Rauh reassigned from Hagerstown; LHP Sammy Solis placed on the 7-Day DL (undisclosed).

Hickory vs. Hagerstown — PPD
The blanket of storms that made their way up I-95 found their way up I-81, too, as the Suns and Crawdads were rained out, creating a pair of doubleheaders today and tomorrow.
Roster moves: RHP Ronald Pena placed on the 7-Day DL; LHP Christian Meza, RHP Gilberto Mendez reassigned from XST.

DSL Nationals 7 DSL Yankees1 3 (8 inn.)
• Yrizarri (W, 1-0) 5IP, 4H, 0R, BB, 5K
• Salazar (SV, 1) 1IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 2K
• Lora 1-2, 2R, RBI, 2BB, SB
• Gutierrez 1-2, 2R, 2BB

Rain, of course, shortened this one to just eight innings, but the D-Nats took advantage of five D-Yankees1 errors for a 7-3 win. Deibi Yrizarri got the win in his second start, throwinf five shutout frames with four hits and one walk allowed while striking out five. Melvin Salazar got the save, allowing an unearned run in the 8th on a hit and a walk while striking out one. Edwin Lora and Kelvin Gutierrez paced the offense, which had just three hits but drew eight walks, with a single and two walks apiece.

Jun 102013
 

It’s that time of year again, as I hit the road for some minor-league baseball while experiencing the sights, sounds, and small towns… on a low budget!

North Carolina is the destination this year, with stops in Zebulon (vs. the P-Nats, weather permitting), Winston-Salem, Kannapolis, Hickory, Greensboro, and Durham over the next six days.

I’ll also be researching the great debate of Eastern-style (vinegar-based) vs. Western-style (tomato-based) Carolina barbecue along with visits to museums and other tourist traps.

The goal, as always, is to keep the site running as best as I can from the free WiFi of cheap inexpensive motels, but there’s always the chance that the News & Notes might be abbreviated, and responses to queries and comments a bit more sporadic.

For folks interested in seeing some of the places I’ve been before, the “Road Trips” page has been rebuilt.

Jun 102013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-3 vs. Pawtucket,
7:00 p.m.
Mandel (1-2, 6.08) vs.
Aceves (2-1, 3.52)
Harrisburg Won, 8-2 @ Reading,
9:35 a.m.
Treinen (5-5, 3.97) vs.
Wright (0-3, 11.51)
Potomac Lost, 7-6 @ Carolina,
7:15 p.m.
Schwartz (5-1, 1.29) vs.
Pasquale (0-3, 4.62)
Hagerstown Won, 4-1 vs. Hickory,
7:05 p.m.
Purke (0-0, 2.08) vs.
Lopez (1-0, 0.00)
DSL Nationals OFF DAY vs. DSL Yankees1,
10:30 a.m.
Yrizarri (0-0, 0.00) vs.
F. Jose (0-0, 9.00)



Pawtucket 5 Syracuse 3
• Torra (L, 0-3) 5⅔ IP, 11H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K, 2HR
• Accardo 2IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 1K
• Brown 2-4, RBI, SB
• Owings 2-4, R, HR, RBI

Pawtucket went deep twice against Syracuse starter Matt Torra in the first two innings to put the Chiefs in a 4-0 hole as the PawSox cruised to a 5-3 win. Torra was peppered with 11 hits total over five and 2/3rds, walking two and striking out two while losing for the third time in three starts. Veterans Corey Brown and Micah Owings both went 2-for-4 with and RBI, with Brown swiping his 6th base and Owings smacking his 6th home run. Roster moves: 1B Chris Marrero recalled to Washington; OF-1B Tyler Moore optioned to Syracuse.

Harrisburg 8 Reading 2
• Gilliam (W, 2-1) 5IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 5K
• Grace 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Souza 3-5, 3R, SB
• Head 4-5, 4R, 2B, 2HR, 4RBI

Rob Gilliam was perfect for five innings while Jared Head was a triple shy of cycle as Harrisburg pounded Reading, 8-2. Manager Matt LeCroy claimed an organizational directive of five innings or eighty pitches (whichever came first) is why the 25-year-old was lifted after just 57 pitches. By then, the offense had built a 7-0 lead, thanks to a pair of two-run HRs by Head. Steve Souza Jr. singled three times to lead the hit column as Harrisburg notched 14 hits total. Four relievers each turned in an inning to finish the game.

Frederick 7 Potomac 6
• Hill 6IP, 3H, 0R, 2BB, 5K
• Bates (BS, 2; L, 2-4) 1IP, 4H, 6R, 0ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Burns 2-5, SB(30)
• Nieto 2-4, 2R, 2-2B, PB(12)
• Miller 2-4, R, 3B, 3RBI

Potomac’s luck finally ran out on a Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 4 West Virginia 1
• Pineyro (W, 5-3) 6IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Henke (SV, 2) 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Harper 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Manuel 1-3, R, BB
• Difo 1-2, BB, RBI, SB

If you missed the 6th, you missed all the scoring as Hagerstown put up four in the top half and West Virginia answered with one in the bottom half for the game’s final outcome of 4-1. Ivan Pineyro tied fellow Dominican for the team lead in wins (5) with six strong innings, allowing the Power run on a two-out solo shot, the third and final hit he gave up while walking one and fanning four. Two errors, two walks, two doubles, and two sacrifice flies accounted for the Suns runs as Hagerstown sent 10 men to the plate in the inning.
It’s a battle for the first half title as first-place Hickory comes to the Muni for four games in three days this week, with just a ½ game separating the top two teams (and the Power lurking in third place, 1½ games behind second-place Hagerstown).

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
The D-Nats won five of six in the first full week of the 2013 season, losing to the DSL Yankees1 squad on Saturday. This week, it’s home games against the Yankees1, the Cubs, y Los Rojos (nee the DSL Reds), and road games against the Cubs, Rojos, and the Orioles2.

Jun 092013
 

It takes more than a little luck to win ten games straight, but the luck ran out on Potomac in a 7-6 loss to Frederick this afternoon.

Truth be told, both teams did their best to give this one away. The box score will say just four errors, but sloppy defense was the name of the game in the final three innings as a 1-0 game turned into a 7-6 battle of who could field less.

Potomac starter Taylor Hill got the no-decision despite tossing six shutout innings, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out five for the game. He turned the game over to Colin Bates in the 7th, and while a 1-0 game is by no means a gimme, it didn’t take long for folks to wonder if maybe Hill might have been given the hook one inning too soon.

Frederick put on the first two men with a double and a single to set up first and third. A tapper back to the mound looked like the break Bates was looking for, as he fired over to Cutter Dykstra to catch the man at third leaning but dropped the ball for an error in the rundown, following the tag while trying for a second out, which allowed the original man at first to advance to third.

A controversial steal (looked like the runner overslid second and was tagged) took away the double-play setup and then the next batter hit one to Dykstra, who committed a second error to load up the bases. Bates induced a popup for the inning’s second out, but if you’re a fan of the game, you already know that the Keys would take advantage of the two extra chances.

A two-out walk tied the game at 1-1. The leak sprung with a two-run single by Jason Esposito, who had came off the bench in the first when Jerome Pena got tossed for arguing a called third strike, giving Frederick a 3-1 lead.

The levee broke with a three-run shot by Brenden Webb, who had entered the game in the fourth when Nicky Delmonico got tossed for arguing a called third strike. The big fly pushed the Keys lead to 6-1.

Ordinarily, have two of the opponents’ starters ejected might be a good thing, but perhaps the P-Nats might have wished the umps were more mature patient, as the replacements combined to go 2-for-5 with a walk and five RBI.

Potomac got single runs in the 7th and 8th innings, earning the first one with a Michael Taylor triple in the 7th followed by an RBI groundout by Jason Martinson, but getting a gift run in the 8th with a two-out error that extended the frame and allowed Potomac within striking distance at 7-3 after eight innings.

Another error in the 9th and some poor glovesmanship led to three more unearned runs in the 9th, but the equalizer never made it into scoring position as Billy Burns, batting righthanded, rolled one to short for the game’s final out.

The loss keeps the Potomac magic number to clinch at six with eight games to play. Frederick is in second place, three games back and Lynchburg, with a doubleheader split today, is in third place at four games back.

The P-Nats finish on the road, beginning with a three-game set in Zebulon, followed five in Frederick as the first half winds down next Sunday.

Jun 092013
 

It took nearly five hours to play 13 innings of baseball, but the folks that endured the Potomac bullpen woes were rewarded with a pair of one-run victories — 8-7 in the opener, 4-3 in the nightcap as the P-Nats won their ninth and tenth consecutive games.

Ross Detwiler took the hill on a rehab start in Game One and went four innings. Shaking off the rust is the point, of course, and the southpaw scattered seven hits (all singles) over three and 2/3rds innings. Thirty-eight of sixty pitches went for strikes, as the 27-year-old struck out four but walked none.

The offense, which has shown a proclivity for the big inning, got started early with a four-spot in the 1st, highlighted by a triple-double-single sequence from the 4-5-6 batters Jason Martinson, Adrian Nieto, and Kevin Keyes.

Brian Dupra followed Detwiler out of the ‘pen, but was lit up for multiple runs for the third time in his last four appearances as Frederick rallied for two in the 5th and two in the 6th to tie the game at five.

Since this unbeaten streak has begun, the dirty little secret is that Potomac has been able to hit their way out of any pitching mistakes. In 11 games, they’ve scored 74 runs (that’s counting the five scored in the suspended game on Thursday), an average of 6.72 runs per game.

That trend continued as the P-Nats rallied for three in the last of the 6th, as Adrian Sanchez singled, took third on an errant pickoff and trotted home on a Billy Burns triple. Michael Taylor sent in Burns with his big fly that went deep into the woods beyond left field to put up Potomac, 8-5.

The rally helped make a winner out of Richie Mirowski, who had blown the save (his 5th) by letting in two runners he had inherited from Greg Holt, though he served up a two-run homer following an error to make things close, 8-7.

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Having used three relievers in seven-inning game, the P-Nats needed strong start from A.J. Cole in the second game of the doubleheader… and got one. The 21-year-old put on a show, striking out 11 over six innings with just two walks allowed. He allowed just three hits, but one of them left the yard for a solo shot that gave Frederick a 1-0 lead in the 3rd.

Frederick’s Trent Howard, who’s mostly been used as a reliever, kept the Potomac bats quiet for four innings before turning over the ball to Matt Price in the 5th. Price let up a double and a walk in the 5th, then walked Martinson to lead off the 6th.

As is so often in single-A ball, one mistake can turn an ordinary inning into something special (or awful, depending on your point of view). A grounder to third that looked like a 5-4-3 DP with the lumbering Keyes was dropped at second. Instead of two out and nobody on, it was two on and nobody out.

The Keys called on David Walters to clean up the mess, but the 25-year-old veteran only made things worse. He got Sanchez out on a tapper to the mound that was hit too slowly for a twin-killing, but then had trouble hitting the backstop (well, the one with the glove) as he let in Martinson with the first of four wild pitches, then gave up an RBI triple to Justin Miller, an RBI double to Cole Leonida.

After Oduber flied out to right for the inning’s second out, the second wild pitch moved up Leonida. Billy Burns broke his bat and rolled one to short that never saw the infield dirt, as Burns easily beat it out to cap the four-run binge.

Up 4-1, Derek Self was given the ball in the 7th and struck out the first batter. Then, like last call at a singles bar, things got ugly fast. Self walked three of the next four batters, with a single interrupting the string while throwing a wild pitch. (If you’ve lost count, that was the seventh of the game between the two teams).

Rob Wort was summoned with the bases loaded and a 4-2 lead and promptly issued the fourth bases on balls to cut the lead to one at 4-3. He narrowly avoided the fifth walk with a strikeout on a full count then got the grounder to short that Martinson gunned across to end it.

With the doubleheader sweep, and a split between Lynchburg and Salem, Potomac’s magic number is now six with nine games to play in the first half. Taylor Hill (4-2, 3.78) has the dial and will try to set the amp for 11 with Frederick’s Tim Berry (3-3, 4.63) opposing him in the series finale.

Jun 092013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-3 vs. Pawtucket,
5:00 p.m.
Torra (0-2, 6.19) vs.
Workman (5-1, 3.43)
Harrisburg Won, 1-0;
Lost, 2-1
@ Reading,
1:35 p.m.
Gilliam (1-1, 5.65) vs.
Buchanan (2-6, 4.67)
Potomac Won, 8-7;
Won, 4-3
vs. Frederick,
1:05 p.m.
Hill (4-2, 3.78) vs.
Berry (3-3, 4.63)
Hagerstown Lost, 1-0 @ West Virginia,
2:05 p.m.
Pineyro (4-3, 3.33) vs.
Glasnow (3-1, 3.21)
DSL Nationals Lost, 8-6 OFF DAY N/A



Syracuse 4 Pawtucket 3
• Rosenbaum 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, BB, K, PO
• Garcia (W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 3K
• Perez 2-4, 3B, 2RBI
• Soriano 2-3, R, 2RBI

Eury Perez’s two-run triple capped off a three-run 7th as the Chiefs came back from a 2-1 deficit to edge the PawSox, 4-3. Rehabbing Christian Garcia got the win in relief, giving up a run over two innings on a hit and two walks while fanning three. Starter Danny Rosenbaum turned in a quality start with six innings pitched, two runs allowed on four hits and a walk, but struck out just one. Michael Broadway got the save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Harrisburg 1 Reading 0 — GAME ONE
• Jordan (W, 4-0) 7IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 7K
• Leon 1-3, R, HR, RBI
• Nicol 1-2, BB

Taylor Jordan outdueled Phillies top pitching prospect Jesse Biddle as Harrisburg shut out Reading, 1-0. Both pitchers went the distance, allowing four hits and striking out seven over seven innings but Jordan was just a little finer, walking none to Biddle’s three and needing just 84 pitches versus 111. The difference of course was the solo HR that batterymate Sandy Leon hit to lead off the seventh.

Reading 2 Harrisburg 1 — GAME TWO
• Clay (L, 5-3) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 5K
• Herron 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Van Ostrand 1-2, R, HR, BB, RBI
• Hague 1-1, 2B, BB

Harrisburg got just a solo HR in the nightcap, but Caleb Clay couldn’t toss the shutout as the Fightin’ Phils landed a 2-1 punch on the Senators to split the doubleheader. Clay gave up both Reading runs on five hits over five innings, walking none and setting down five on strikes. Jimmy Van Ostrand homered and walked, going 2-for-4 with two walks for the night to account for the lone Harrisburg run.

Potomac 8 Frederick 7 — GAME ONE
• Detwiler 3⅔ IP, 7H, R, ER, 0BB, 4K
• Mirowski (BS, 5; W, 4-3) 1⅔ IP, 2H, 2R, 1ER, BB, 2K, HR, 2-2 IR-S
• Burns 3-4, 2R, 3B, RBI, SB
• Martinson 2-4, R, 3B, RBI
• Taylor 1-3, 2R, HR, 2RBI, BB, SB

Potomac 4 Frederick 3 — GAME TWO
• Cole (W, 3-2) 6IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 11K, HR
• Wort (SV, 2) ⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K, 3-1 IR-S
• Burns 2-4, RBI
• Miller 1-3, R, 3B, RBI
• Leonida 1-3, R, 2B, RBI

Took nearly five hours to play 13 innings Last Night In Woodbridge.

West Virginia 1 Hagerstown 0
• Lee (L, 1-2) 6IP, 7H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K
• Davis 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Harper 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Martinez 1-3, SB
• Severino 1-3

Three Hagerstown pitchers combined to limit West Virginia to seven hits, but the one run given up was enough as the Power shorted the Suns, 1-0. Nick Lee gave up all seven safeties over six innings pitched with no walks and three strikeouts but suffered the loss. Cody Davis and Bryan Harper each turned in a 1-2-3 inning. Estarlin Martinez and Pedro Severino were the only two Suns to reach base, both singling, with Martinez the long Hagerstown batter to reach second base.

DSL Yankees1 8 DSL Nationals 6
• Reyes 5IP, 2H, 3R, 2ER, 4BB, 3K
• A. Ramirez (BS, 1; L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, K
• Lora 3-4, 2R, BB, RBI
• Gutierrez 2-4, R, 2B, 3RBI

A four-run 6th stopped the D-Nats win streak at five as the D-Yankees1 squad dropped them, 8-6. Luis Reyes went five innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and four walks in start no. 2. Algenis Ramirez blew the save and took the loss, charged with all four runs on five hits over 2/3rds of an inning. 17-y.o. Edwin Lora led the offense with a 3-for-4 game, scoring two runs, drawing a walk, and driving in one.