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 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.

Jun 242012
 

It wasn’t until the ninth inning and the fifth Potomac pitcher that Winston-Salem couldn’t put up a run last night, as the Dash demolished the P-Nats, 16-6.

The Dash pounded out 20 hits over the first eight innings, including three doubles and four home runs. Perhaps the biggest mystery might be why cleanup hitter Dan Black only went 1-for-6.

Starter Matt Grace suffered the worst of the beating, giving up 10 runs — all earned — on 12 hits over three and 1/3rd innings. The outing pushed his ERA from 5.24 in 6.27 in little more than an hour.

The team’s other Matt (Swynenberg) didn’t fare much better, taking a boot to the [prosterior] with four runs over two innings, but answering the question as to which starter was the odd man out when Potomac dropped from a six-man rotation to the usual five after playing multiple doubleheaders in the last two weeks before the All-Star break.

Joe Testa and Ryan Demmin were both roughed up before Rob Wort, who hadn’t pitched in eight days, was summoned for the final frame. The closer struck out the side in a 1-2-3 ninth.

Offensively, Potomac fared fairly well, especially with a pair of rehabbing major-leaguers that brought the donuts (0-for-7 combined) and hustled like DMV clerks. Conversely, Randolph Oduber and Adrian Sanchez each had three hits, with the Groovin’ Aruban beating out two infield hits and tripling to the right-center gap and Sacnhez doubling to the left-center gap.

Jason Martinson capped off the Potomac scoring with a solo shot in the last half inning.

The loss drops Potomac to 2-1 in the second half and back into second place behind Lynchburg.

Wilmington comes to town for four, with today’s start time pushed from 1:05 to 4:05 to accommodate the Blue Rocks’ coming in from Zebulon, NC after a doubleheader. Nathan Karns (1-2, 4.15) is slated to take the hill against Tyler Sample (1-8, 5.86).

Jun 242012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 12-4 vs. Gwinnett,
5:00 p.m.
Duke (8-3, 3.83) vs.
Lugo (1-2, 3.72)
Harrisburg Lost, 2-1 @ New Hampshire,
1:35 p.m.
Rosenbaum (7-3, 2.57) vs.
Jenkins (3-6, 5.20)
Potomac Lost, 16-6 vs. Wilmington,
4:05 p.m.
Karns (1-2, 4.15) vs.
Sample (1-7, 5.65)
Hagerstown Won, 10-8 vs. Lakewood,
1:05 p.m.
Meyer (6-3, 3.33) vs.
Stewart (3-6, 3.76)
Auburn Lost, 3-2
(10 inn.)
@ Williamsport,
5:05 p.m.
Medina (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Joaquin (0-0, 0.00)
GCL Nationals Lost, 4-1 OFF DAY N/A
DSL Nationals Lost, 7-3 OFF DAY N/A

Syracuse 12 Gwinnett 4
• Maya (W, 5-5) 5⅓ IP, 4H, 4R, 1ER, 2BB, 3K, HR, BK
• Arnesen (H, 1) 1⅔ 1H, 0R, 0BB, 4K, 2-2 IR-S
• Teahen 2-3, 3R, 2-2B, 2RBI
• Marrero 2-5, 2R, RBI
• Carroll 1-3, R, 2B, BB, RBI

A six-run 8th ended any hopes of Gwinnett coming back from an early 5-0 deficit as Syracuse tripled them up, 12-4. The Chiefs made the most out of their 10 hits and six walks, leaving just four baserunners on, with Mark Teahen pacing the offense with a pair of doubles and two RBI. Yunesky Maya evened his record with five strong innings and shaky 1/3rd, giving up a home run, a walk and a single to the last three batters he faced. Both Syracuse errors came in the 6th, rendering three of Maya’s runs unearned. Marrero’s rehab stint was ended yesterday with his reinstatement from the DL and immediate optioning to Syracuse.

New Hampshire 2 Harrisburg 1
• Perry 3IP, H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Tatusko 3IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 3K
• Zinicola (L, 0-1) 2IP, 5H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K
• Walters 1-3, 2B, BB
• Bloxom 1-3, BB

The Fisher Cats scored single runs in the 7th and 8th innings to edge the Senators, 2-1. Ryan Perry tossed three innings of one-hit ball in his first professional start after 212 career relief appearances. Harrisburg was held to just five hits and had two runners thrown out at home. The sole run was scored with Eury Perez leading off the 6th, stealing 2nd, and coming in to score on an RBI single by Jeff Kobernus.
Roster moves: Perez was activated from the DL, while LHP Cory VanAllen was placed on it.

Winston-Salem 16 Potomac 6
• Grace 3⅓ IP, 12H, 10R, 10ER, 2BB, 3K, HR
• Wort 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Oduber 3-3, R, 3B, BB
• Sanchez 3-5, R, 2B,
• Martinson 2-4, 2R, HR, BB, 2RBI

It was a good, old-fashioned ass-kicking Last Night In Woodbridge.

Hagerstown 10 Lakewood 8
• Hansen (W, 1-0) 5⅔ IP, 9H, 3R, ER, 2BB, 3K
• Barrett (SV, 9) ⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, 1-1 IR-S
• Goodwin 4-5, 3R, 2HR, 4RBI
• Dykstra 2-5, 2R, HR, RBI
• Skole 1-3, 2R, HR, BB, 3RBI

The Suns held off a late charge from Lakewood to take a 10-8 decision. Bobby Hansen Jr. got the win with five and 2/3rds innings pitched, scattering nine hits with the help of a pair of double plays behind him, giving up three runs (one earned) while walking two and striking out three. Brian Goodwin went deep twice, driving in four while Matt Skole and Cutter Dykstra also homered and combined to drive in four. Aaron Barrett came on in the 9th to get the save, bailing out Bobby Lucas, who was torched for four runs on three hits and a walk.

Williamsport 3 Auburn 2 (10 inn.)
• Jordan 2IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 3K
• Lee 4IP, 4H, R, ER, 0BB, 4K
• Montilla 2-4
• Manuel 2-4, RBI

The Doubledays dropped their second straight, falling 3-2 in extras to the Crosscutters. Taylor Jordan, working his way back from TJ surgery, started and went the first two innings, giving up an unearned run while striking out three. Angel Montilla and Craig Manuel both went 2-for-4 to pace the Auburn offense, while rehabbing Destin Hood went 1-for-4 with a walk. Derek Self took the loss in the 10th when the first three batters reached base on a walk, sacrifice, and a double.

GCL Astros 4 GCL Nationals 1
• Mieses (L, 0-1) 5IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 5K, HR
• Hollins 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• J.C. Valdez 3-4
• McQuillan 2-4, R, BB
• Lippincott 2-4

The rematch didn’t go so well yesterday in Viera as the GCL Astros beat the GCL Nationals, 4-1. Adalberto Mieses lost his second start of the week, giving up three runs on seven hits, including a two-run HR in the Astros’ three-run 5th, but walked none and struck out five. Jean Carlos Valdez led the hit sheet with three singles, but the offense as whole sputtered with 10 runners left on and a 1-for-9 mark with RISP.

DSL Giants 7 DSL Nationals 3
• Valerio (L, 0-3) 3IP, 7H, 7R, 5ER, 2BB, 4K
• Dilone 5⅔ IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 6K
• Atencio 1-3, BB
• Aguero 1-3, R, BB

The DSL Giants got to Maximo Valerio with three in the 2nd and four in the 3rd, cruising to a 7-3 win over the DSL Nationals. The 17-y.o. Valerio gave up seven hits and two walks but struck out four. Angelo Dilone followed with five and 2/3rds scoreless innings of relief, setting down six on strikes. The D-Nats managed just six hits total, but strung together three of them in the three-run 7th.

Jun 232012
 

With 13 walks given up, there wasn’t much doubt that Winston-Salem would lose, the only question was by how much.

The answer was 6-2 as Potomac only mustered five hits but got seven strong innings from starter Trevor Holder and a scoreless inning apiece from sidewinders Jimmy Barthmaier and Joe Testa.

It was the second straight start that Holder pitched seven or more innings as the 25-year-old veteran has become the anchor, if not the ace, of the P-Nats rotation. He didn’t walk a single batter but more importantly (for him), he kept the ball down. Thirteen of the 21 outs he got came via groundballs, which is his hallmark when things are going well.

Winston-Salem did get to Holder early, with Dan Black roping a two-out single to right that plated Marcus Semien, who had led off the game with a double down the LF line. Black would be next batter to reach base as Holder retired nine in a row.

Potomac left ‘em loaded in the first (would you believe on three walks?) but tied it in the second. Michael Taylor led off with a bunt single and took third when the catcher’s throw to first ended up in the bullpen down the RF line. Kevin Keyes made the error moot with a wall-ball double that would have scored Taylor from any base.

The P-Nats took the lead in the third as Jason Martinson singled in Rick Hague who had… wait for it… walked earlier in the inning.

Raindrops began to fall in the fourth, and for a few moments, it seemed like it was only a matter of time that game might be called. But strangely, once the game became official as Holder worked around a one-out single in the fifth, that’s when things took a turn for the worse for the Dash pitchers.

Winston-Salem’s Jon Bachanov issued walk nos. five, six, and seven to load the bases and get the hook. J.R. Ballinger struck out rehabbing Carlos Maldonado for out #2 of the frame, then walked in a run to put Potomac up 3-1. Taylor drove in two more with a single to left.

It would be tempting to write “and the rout was on,” but lost in all these walks were the 11 strikeouts the P-Nats piled up — on a night when the Dash pitchers couldn’t find a Starbucks in Seattle, much less the strike zone. Potomac left 12 baseunners on, and should have broken into double digits in the “R” column.

With the win, the P-Nats improve to 2-0 in the second half. The chance for a sweep is in the hands of Matt Grace (4-6, 5.24), opposed by Jake Petricka (4-4, 5.34).

Jun 232012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 6-2 vs. Gwinnett,
7:00 p.m.
Maya (4-5, 3.67) vs.
Teheran (5-3, 3.24)
Harrisburg Won, 8-1 @ New Hampshire,
7:05 p.m.
Perry (1st AA start) vs.
Pino (4-2, 3.25)
Potomac Won, 6-2 vs. Winston-Salem,
6:35 p.m.
Grace (4-6, 5.24) vs.
Petricka (4-4, 5.34)
Hagerstown Won, 5-1 vs. Lakewood,
7:00 p.m.
Hansen (0-0, 2.57) vs.
Kleven (4-5, 3.80)
Auburn Lost, 13-8 @ Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
Jordan (0-0, 13.50) vs.
Warner (1-0, 0.00)
GCL Nationals Won, 9-3 vs GCL Astros,
12:00 p.m. (DH)
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 9-3 vs. DSL Giants,
10:30 a.m.
Valerio (0-2, 4.97) vs.
Flores (1-1, 1.65)

Syracuse 6 Gwinnett 2
• Roark (W, 4-9) 6IP, 5H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K
• Bibens-Dirkx (H, 5) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Paul 3-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Rivero 2-4, R, RBI, SB
• Bynum 2-4, R

A pair of two-run rallies late pushed Syracuse past Gwinnett for a 6-2 win and a .500 record — the first since April 17, 2011. Tanner Roark got the win with a run on five hits and two walks over six innings. Xavier Paul lef the hit parade with two singles and a double, with a run scored and an RBI.
Roster move: OF Jason Michaels was placed on the 7-Day DL

Harrisburg 8 New Hampshire 1
• Demny (W, 5-4) 7IP, 7H, R, ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Davis 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Walters 2-5, 2B, 2RBI
• Van Ostrand 2-5, R, HR, BB, RBI
• Kobernus 2-5, R

A five-run 6th broke open a 2-1 game as the Senators weathered a 38-minute rain delay for an 8-1 win. Paul Demny got the win with seven hits allowed over seven innings, the run coming on a solo HR in the 2nd. Eight of the nine batters got a hit as the Senators pounded out twelve for the contest, with Zach Walters, Jimmy Van Ostrand, Sean Nicol, and Jeff Kobernus each getting two hits.

Potomac 6 Winston-Salem 2
• Holder (W, 4-2) 7IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 5K, HR
• Barthmaier 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Taylor 2-4, R, 2RBI
• Martinson 1-4, BB, 2RBI

Lots of walks and strikeouts Last Night In Woodbridge.
Prior to the game, C Sam Palace was transferred to Potomac from Hagerstown with LHP Paul Applebee placed on the 7-Day DL to make room on the roster.

Hagerstown 6 Lakewood 1
• Kimball 1IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Hill (W, 7-4) 7IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 4K
• Dykstra 3-4
• Souza 2-4, R, 2B
• Skole 1-3, R, BB, HR, RBI

With HRs by Brian Goodwin and Matt Skole, the Suns put the pinch on the BlueClaws for a 5-1 win. Taylor Hill got the win in relief of Cole Kimball, his 7th, with an unearned run allowed on four hits and a walk over seven innings. Kimball started the game and struck out two while giving up a hit in the first inning. Cutter Dykstra led the hit column with three singles, followed by Steve Souza’s 2-for-4 effort.
Kimball was transferred from the GCL to the Suns as an MLB rehab assignment, while C Jeremy Mayo was transferred from Syracuse to replace Palace.

Williamsport 13 Auburn 8
• Smith (L, 1-1) 4⅔ IP, 7H, 8R, 6ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Montilla 3-6, R, 2RBI
• Pleffner 2-5, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI
• Schill 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

A five-run 5th broke a 5-5 tie as Williamsport took an axe to the Auburn ‘pen for a 13-8 win. Jason Smith took the brunt of the beating, giving up eight runs on seven hits and two walks over four and 2/3rds innings. Three relievers followed and none went unscathed. Angel Montilla led the Doubleday offense with a 3-for-6 night and 2RBI. Rehabbing Destin Hood was just 1-for-6 (a double) with three strikeouts.

GCL Nationals 9 GCL Astros 3
• Schwartz 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Selsor ⅔ IP, 1H, 3R, 0ER, 0BB, 1K, 1HR
• Chubb 2-2, R, HR, 4RBI
• D. Eusebio 1-2, 3RBI

With three runs in the 3rd, five in the 4th, and four more in the 9th, the GCL Nationals scored 12 unanswered runs in a 12-3 rout of the GCL Astros. Five pitchers were used with Blake Schwartz getting the start and OF/DH Casey Selsor making his mound debut, getting tagged for a HR but also striking out #1 overall draft pick Carlos Correa. The G-Nats pounded out 14 hits, with four G-Nats colecting multiple hits, highlighted by Austin Chubb, who went 2-for-4 with a HR and four RBI. Lots of substitutions, so folks looking for first appearances (e.g. Deion Williams) ought to click through to the box score.
Roster move: RHP Anthony Marcelino was released on Thursday.

DSL Yankees1 9 DSL Nationals 3
• J. Rodriguez (L, 0-1) 4IP, 4H, 5R, 4ER, BB, 4K, 2HR
• Acevedo 4IP, 4H, 4R, 2ER, 2BB, 2K, 2HR
• Mercedes 2-5, R
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-4, R, 2-2B, RBI

The DSL Yankees1 squad battered the DSL Nationals for four HRs in a 9-3 win to reclaim 1st place in the Boca Chica South Division of the DSL. Starter Jefry Rodriguez took the loss with five runs on four hits and a walk over the first four innings while giving up two HRs. Reliever Miguel Acevedo wasn’t much better, giving up four runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks over the last four innings while coughing up two HRs. “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz doubled twice to pace the seven-hit offense.

Jun 222012
 

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

SYRACUSE CHIEFS 36-37, 5th place I.L. North, 8½ games behind

Good Carlos Rivero .323/.375/.446 in June
Bad Mitch Atkins 6.65ERA, 1.62WHIP in June
Interesting 433 Team Pitching Ks = 14th in I.L., 215 BB’s, 4th

HARRISBURG SENATORS 36-35, 2nd place E.L. West, 8½ games behind

Good Kevin Pucetas 3-1, 2.42ERA, 0.89WHIP in first four starts
Bad Danny Rosenbaum 2-2, 5.94ERA, 1.77WHIP in last six starts
Interesting 34HRs is 8th in 10-team E.L.

POTOMAC NATIONALS 1-0, T1st place C.L. North Division, ½ game ahead (31-39, 1st half)

Good Randolph Oduber .298/.328/.404 in June
Bad Matt Swynenberg 1.95WHIP since CG on April 29
(65H, 13BB, 5HR in 40IP)
Interesting 108 doubles is 7th in 8-team C.L. (leader is 153)

HAGERSTOWN SUNS 0-1, T5th place Sally League North Divison, 1 games behind (42-27, 1st half)

Good Brian Goodwin .345/.441/.483, 7SB in June
Bad Kylin Turnbull 0-1, 5.48ERA in June
Interesting 64HRs T1st in Sally League

DSL NATIONALS 12-5, T1st Place Boca Chica South Division, 2 games ahead

Good 19 y.o. Elisaul Gomez 3.38ERA, .224OBA in six appearances
Bad 20 y.o. Philips Valdez 6.75ERA, .324OBA in four appearances
Interesting 17 y.o. Armando Echinique .353/.389/.412 in 7G