Sep 082014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Potomac Won, 3-0 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown OFF DAY @ Asheville,
7:05 p.m.
Pivetta (13-8, 4.22) vs. TBD
Wade (8-8, 3.61)



Potomac 3 Myrtle Beach 0
• Bacus (W, 1-0) 5⅔ IP, 2H, 0R, 3BB, 5K, HBP
• M. Rodriguez 2⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 1-0 IR-S
• Mendez (SV, 3) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Wooten 2-3, R, HR, BB, 3RBI
• Severino 1-3, 2B

Three Potomac pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout while John Wooten connected for a three-run HR as the P-Nats evened the Mills Cup series at 1-1 with a 3-0 win over the Pelicans. Dakota Bacus got the start and pitched into the 6th, working around a total of six baserunners with two hits, a hit batsman, and three walks while striking out five. Manny Rodriguez was greeted by a double in relief of Bacus but worked out of the second-and-third-with-two-out jam with a lineout to Shawn Pleffner at first base. After a scoreless 7th and 8th, Rodriguez turned it over to Gilberto Mendez in the 9th, and the 21-y.o. from Santo Domingo shook off a two-out double to earn his third postseason save.

Hagerstown — OFF DAY
The South Atlantic League’s Championship Series begins tonight in Asheville. The two teams met just twice this season, with the Suns taking three of four at McCormick Field in late May and the Tourists taking two of three at Municipal Stadium in late August. Absent an official announcement, Hagerstown’s probable pitchers will be Nick Pivetta tonight and Wander Suero tomorrow night, and presumably — since he’ll be on five days rest — Reynaldo Lopez on Thursday. Beyond that, it would be either Travis Ott or Robbie Dickey, assuming neither has been shut down for the season given their age (19) or workload (120 combined IP between pro and college) respectively.

UPDATE: The Suns have announced the probables for the first three games and it is indeed Pivetta-Suero-Lopez.

Sep 072014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Potomac Lost, 2-0 @ Myrtle Beach,
6:05 p.m.
Bacus (7-6, 4.41) vs.
Payano (5-8, 4.58)
Hagerstown OFF DAY OFF DAY N/A



Myrtle Beach 2 Potomac 0
• Dickson (L, 0-1) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 6K, HR
• P. Encarnacion 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Pleffner 3-4
• Wooten 2-3, BB

Light-hitting infielder Edwin Garcia hit his first home run of 2014, supplying the offense for Myrtle Beach in a 2-0 win over Potomac in Game One of the Mills Cup Championship Series. Starter and loser Ian Dickson made but one mistake (duh) over his five innings of work, finishing with both Pelicans runs allowed on five hits and two walks while striking out six. Pedro Encarnacion followed with two scoreless innings while Travis Henke denied the Pelicans an insurance run with a zero in the 8th to keep Potomac within striking distance.

The P-Nats outhit the Pelicans 8-6, loading the bases with one out in the 1st on a pair of singles by Tony Renda and Shawn Pleffner and a walk by John Wooten. Alas, in what would be a harbinger for the night to come, Stephen Perez rolled into the first of three double plays on the night to end the inning. The second came after Khayyan Norfork’s leadoff walk was erased with Brandon Miller DP in the 5th while the third came in the 8th when Renda’s dying quail was snared when rightfielder Ryan Cordell laid out, then threw in to first to double off Pedro Severino, who took off on contact trying to set up 1st and 3rd for the heart of the order.

Pleffner and Perez were both caught looking on 3-2 pitches in the 9th. In between, Wooten singled for the second time. Randolph Oduber missed the game-tying home run by just a few feet, doubling off the base of the left field wall to put both runners in scoring position for what would be pinch-hitter Mike McQuillan. Alas, the sparkplug from Evergreen, IL couldn’t get the ninth hit (or the draw the third walk) of the night and grounded out to short to end it and give Myrtle Beach a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Hagerstown — OFF DAY
Just as the Carolina League will not rematch the 2013 finalists, neither will the South Atlantic League. Asheville spared Hagerstown a trip to Savannah by holding on to a 2-1 lead when play was suspended on Friday night. With a runner on 2nd and two out in the bottom of the 8th, the Sand Gnats drew a walk, then got a wild-pitch-whiff to load the bases, but their luck ran out with a grounder to first. Both teams went in order in the 9th, sending the Tourists back to North Carolina for a pair of games against the Suns at McCormick Field on Monday and Tuesday.

Sep 062014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 7-6 END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac OFF DAY @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Bacus (7-6, 4.41)
Dickson (5-9, 4.37) vs.
Bell (6-3, 3.52)
Hagerstown Won, 6-2 OFF DAY N/A


Pawtucket 7 Syracuse 6
• Lively 3⅔ IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 3K
• Grace (BS 1; L, 0-1) 1IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K
• Burriss 4-5, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Skole 0-1, 4BB
• Rhymes 2-3, 2R, 2B, 2BB, 2RBI, 2E

The Chiefs led 4-0 early but the bullpen couldn’t stop the PawSox, who rallied for three in the 7th for a 7-6 win and a 3-0 series sweep.
Matt Skole got things started for Syracuse in the 2nd with the first of his four walks drawn, followed by a single by Eury Perez. Will Rhymes busted a double down the right field line for the first two runs, then trotted in ahead of Emmanuel Burriss’s home run for the aforementioned 4-0 advantage. The joy was short-lived as starter Mitch Lively issued four walks in the 3rd to give two runs back, then gave up a leadoff single then a two-out double in the 4th to end his night. Sam Runion got the last out to preserve the 4-3 lead. The Chiefs answered with a run in the bottom of the 4th to take a 5-3 lead and responded again in the 6th when the PawSox got a run in the top of the 6th to go up 6-4. Matt Grace got one quick out by way of the K to start the 7th but then was peppered with a single-double-single sequence, then the second Rhymes error. After a second whiff by former Chief Corey Brown, Grace gave up the gamewinner on an infield single to deep short. Syracuse threatened in the 7th and 8th with two baserunners in each inning but couldn’t get the equalizer. Roster moves: UT Jeff Kobernus recalled to Washington, OF Quincy Latimore reassigned from Harrisburg.

Potomac — OFF DAY
Folks hoping for a rematch of the 2013 Mills Cup matchup will get 2008 instead, as Myrtle Beach shut out Salem, 5-0 to advance to the Carolina League Championship series against Potomac. The Pelicans and the P-Nats, both double-half winners, were the only two teams to finish above .500 in the eight-team circuit. Myrtle Beach won 11 of the 19 meetings, including a three-game sweep in late July at the Pfitz. However, six of Potomac’s eight wins were at BB&T, which was hardly unusual as the team had a better road record (39-26) than at home (39-32), including a 22-9 mark in the second half. The P-Nats have not officially announced a starter, but they have yet to deviate from the previous turn through rotation, hence Dakota Bacus as the probable listed above.

Hagerstown 6 Greensboro 2
• R. Lopez 6IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 10K
• Johns (BS, 2; W, 1-0) 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-2 IR-S
• Napoli (SV, 1) 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 1-0 IR-S
• Difo 3-4, 2R, 2B, RBI
• Masters 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

The Hagerstown ‘pen couldn’t match its brilliance of Game One, blowing a 2-0 lead, but were bailed out when the bats broke out for four runs over the final two innings in a 6-2 win that puts the Suns back in the Sally League Finals for the second straight season. Starter Reynaldo Lopez played entomologist, putting the pin in the Grasshoppers for six shutout innings, with just two hits and a walk allowed while striking a career-best 10 batters. The Suns, however, were only able to get two runs for him, taking advantage of Greensboro error for a run in the 1st, then converted a Wilmer Difo leadoff double into the second score with a pair of flyouts. Nick Lee had more wild pitches (2) than outs (1) when manager Patrick Anderson pulled the plug on him after giving up a single and a walk in the space of three batters. Lee’s replacement, Samuel Johns, couldn’t keep the tying run from scoring with the third wild pitch and a two-out double to tie things at 2-2. The Grasshoppers unwisely hit Difo to start the 8th and Anderson played small ball with a sacrifice, which Spencer Kieboom plated with an RBI single to take a 3-2 lead. Johns gave up a double to begin the last of the 8th when Greensboro made another critical mistake: running into the first out of the inning at third on a grounder to short. Anderson called on southpaw David Napoli to face the left-handed Carlos Lopez, who grounded out to the right-handed Carlos Lopez at first base, then got the next batter on a tapper back to the mound. The Suns broke it open with three in the 9th to put the game away, while Napoli shook off a single to start the bottom of the 9th with a 6-4-3 DP and got the final out on the flyball to center. Hagerstown will head south over the weekend, but won’t know if it’s to Georgia or North Carolina, as the Tourists-Sand Gnats game was suspended in the bottom of the 8th with Asheville, who won Game One, leading 2-1.

Sep 052014
 

Our final look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues. Repeats from 2013 are in italics.

SYRACUSE CHIEFS
81-62, 1st place International League North, 2½ games ahead

Good Bat: Steve Souza .350/.432/.590, 18HR, 75RBI, 26SB in 96G
Arm: Taylor Hill 11-7, 1SV, 2.81 ERA, 1.56 BB/9, 144 IP
Bad Bat: Josh Johnson .622 OPS in 90G
Arm: Josh Roenicke 5.45 ERA, 1.71 WHIP in 23 appearances, 15 starts (79⅓ IP)
Interesting Bat: Emmanuel Burriss .300/.377/.412, 22SB, 22E in 116G
Arm: Rafael Martin 1-1, 10 SV, 0.80 ERA, 0.80 WHIP in 33⅔ IP


HARRISBURG SENATORS
53-89, 6th place Eastern League Western Division, 26 games behind

Good Bat: Michael Taylor .313/.396/.539, 22HR, 34SB in 98G
Arm: A.J. Cole 6-3, 2.92/2.58/1.32, 61K in 14GS (71IP)
Bad Bat: Adrian Sanchez .568 OPS, 11E in 89G
Arm: Zach Kroenke 3-9, 6.72 ERA, 1.82 WHIP, 13HR in 83IP
Interesting Bat: Kevin Keyes .740 OPS, 20HR in 114G
Arm: Matt Grace 3-1, 3SV, 1.02 ERA, 1.25 WHIP in 22 appearances (35⅓ IP)


POTOMAC NATIONALS
40-27 in 2nd half, 1st place Carolina League Northern Division, 7 games ahead
38-31 in 1st half, 1st place, 4½ games ahead
78-58 overall

Good Bat: Tony Renda .307/.381/.377, 10SB in 107G
Arm: Matt Spann 9-5, 3.81/4.09/1.38, 4HR in 106⅓ IP
Bad Bat: Justin Miller .625 OPS, 53K in 62G
Arm: Brett Mooneyham 2-4, 7.36 ERA, 2.12 WHIP in 33IP (10 appearances, 7 starts)
Interesting Bat: Pedro Severino .308/.379/.477 in 2nd half, .199/.246/.335 in 1st half
Arm: Ian Dickson 3-4, 2.64 ERA in 2nd half, 1-4, 6.25 in 1st half


HAGERSTOWN SUNS
43-27 in 2nd half, T1st place South Atlantic League Northern Division, won on tiebreaker
44-26 in 1st half, T1st place, lost on tiebreaker
87-53 overall

Good Bat: Wilmer Difo .315/.360/.470, 14HR , 49SBs in 136G
Arm: Lucas Giolito 10-2, 2.20/3.16/1.00 in 98IP (20 starts)
Bad Bat: David Masters .522 OPS, 7E in 51G
Arm: Jake Johansen 5-6, 5.19/4.05/1.74 in 100⅔ IP (29 appearances, 18 starts)
Interesting Bat: Rafael Bautista .290/.341/.382, 69SB in 134G
Arm: Reynaldo Lopez 4-1, 1.33/2.91/0.80 in 47&8531; IP (nine starts)


AUBURN DOUBLEDAYS
34-41, 3rd Place Pinckney Division of New York-Penn League, 13½ games behind

Good Bat: Raudy Read .281/.332/.462, 6HR in 57G
Arm: Travis Ott 1-2, 3.05/3.98/1.24 in 44&⅓ IP (10 starts)
Bad Bat: Osvaldo Abreu .584 OPS, 20E in 58G
Arm: David Ramos 1-2, 1SV, 7.97 ERA, 1.82 WHIP in 15 appearances
Interesting Bat: Jose “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz .265/.341/.385 in 65G
Arm: 19-y.o. Mario Sanchez 6-1, 3.50 FIP, 1.17WHIP in 35IP (18 appearances)


GCL NATIONALS
25-35, T3rd place Gulf Coast League East Dvision, 12 games behind

Good Bat: 18-y.o. Jakson Reetz .274/.429/.368 in 43G
Arm: 19-y.o. Jean Ramirez 3-1, 1SV, 3.41/3.60/1.45 in 31⅔ IP (14 appearances)
Bad Bat: Darryl Florentino .195/.222/.273 in 43G
Arm: Deibi Yrizarri 2-4, 9.08 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, 10HBP in 36⅔ IP
Interesting Bat: 18-y.o. Aldrem Corredor .411 OBP, 25BB, 18K in 32G
Arm: 20-y.o. John Feliz 3-1, 1.08 ERA, 0.72 WHIP in 10 appearances (promoted to Auburn)


DSL NATIONALS
42-28, 3rd place, Boca Chica South Division of Dominican Summer League, 8½ games behind

Good Bat: 17-y.o. Davinson Pimentel .350/.443/.550 in 55G
Arm: 19-y.o. Joan Baez 4-1, 1.15/2.96/1.00 in 71⅓ IP (15 appearances, 14 starts – promoted to GCL)
Bad Bat: 18-y.o. Neivy Pilier .171/.265/.205 in 37G
Arm: 18-y.o. Jose Nunez 0-0, 8.25ERA, 2.50 WHIP in 24IP (12 appearances, 4 starts)
Interesting Bat: 17-y.o. Telmito Agustin .300/.413/.495, 25SB in 60G
Arm: 17-y.o. Yonathan Ramirez 3-0, 2SV, 2.63/2.59/0.91 in 27⅓ IP (11 appearances)
Sep 052014
 

P-Nats-CLDS-2014

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-2 vs. Pawtucket,
7:00 p.m.
Lively (5-2, 3.86) vs.
Owens (3-1, 4.03)
Potomac Won, 4-3 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown OFF DAY @ Greensboro,
7:00 p.m.
R. Lopez (4-1, 1.33) vs.
Sadberry (4-1, 2.65)


Pawtucket 8 Syracuse 2
• McGregor (L, 0-1) 5IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 2K
• Rivero 1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, K, BK, 32 pitches-17 strikes
• Kobernus 1-2, R, 2B, BB
• Hood 1-3, BB, RBI

With a three-run rally in the 1st, the PawSox continued their domination of the Chiefs as they cruised to an 8-2 win and took a 2-0 lead in the Governor’s Cup semifinals. Starter and loser Scott McGregor gave up four hits and a walk to the seven batters he faced in the 1st, escaping only when Garin Cecchini was dumb enough to try for third with two outs, never mind against the arm of Michael Taylor. McGregor recovered to put up four zeroes in innings two through five. His counterpart, Matt Barnes, stifled the Syracuse bats for seven innings, allowing just two singles and a double. The PawSox showed exactly what happens when late-season AAA team faces an inexperienced AA pitcher, as they torched Felipe Rivero for three runs in the 6th to put the game away. Syracuse got four free passes in the 8th to score twice on just one hit and avoid the shutout. The series shifts to NBT Bank Park for its first-ever playoff game tonight.

Potomac 4 Lynchburg 3
• Rauh (W, 1-0) 6IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Mendez (SV, 2 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Ballou 2-3, 2R, BB, HR, SF, 2RBI
• Renda 2-4, 2B, BB, RBI
• 0-for-10 RISP, 10 LOB

Isaac Ballou led off the game with a solo HR in the 1st, hit the second of two sacrifice flies in the 4th, and scored on Tony Renda’s two-out double in the 6th as the P-Nats held off a late charge by the Hillcats to take the game, 4-3, and the series 2-0 to advance to the Mill Cup finals for the third time in five years. Brian Rauh made but one mistake in his six innings of work, as Jose Martinez went deep for just the third hit Rauh allowed (hey, that rhymes!). The 23-y.o. walked two and struck out two and was credited with the win. Kylin Turnbull took over in the 7th but struggled, giving up two hits and a walk in the space of four batters. He would be charged with two runs. Bryan Harper let in one of two runners he inherited from Turnbull with a sacrifice fly but struck out the next batter to preserve the 4-3 lead. Lynchburg threatened again in the 8th, getting the tying run to second with two outs on pair of singles. Gilberto Mendez was called upon to put out the fire and got a huge assist from Brandon Miller, who gunned down Kevin Ahrens at the plate for the second straight night. Mendez worked around a one-out error in by Renda to close out the game in the 9th. Myrtle Beach, who lost Game One of the Southern CLDS on a controversial HR, evened it up with a 4-1 win and force a decisive Game Three. Potomac will travel to the winner tomorrow and visit for the first two games of the best-of-five Mills Cup champonship.

Hagerstown vs. Greensboro
Game Two of the Sally North Division series is tonight in Greensboro with Hagerstown needing to to win just one of two possible games. With Lucas Giolito out for the season, Reynaldo Lopez assumes the label of staff ace label and will get the start. Greensboro will send 2014 6th Rd. pick Chris Sadberry to oppose Lopez, who shut out the Grasshoppers for six innings on August 19th.

Sep 042014
 

Two out of three

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 2-1 (10 inn.) @ Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
McGregor (1-2, 3.91) vs.
Barnes (8-9, 3.95)
Potomac Won, 4-2 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
Hagerstown Won, 3-2 OFF DAY N/A


Pawtucket 2 Syracuse 1
• Hill 6IP, 7H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K, HBP
• Delcarmen (L, 0-1) 1+ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, K, WP
• Mattheus 0IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K, 2-1 IR-S
• Solano 3-3, 2B
• Laird 1-4, R, HR, RBI

Gerald Laird tied the game with two out in the top of the 9th, but the sixth Syracuse hit was its final as the PawSox got to the Chiefs ‘pen in the 10th for a 2-1 walkoff win. Taylor Hill got the start and gave up the first Pawtucket run on seven hits and two walks over six innings. Matt Grace followed with two scoreless in the 7th and 8th innings. After failing to convert a leadoff single off Manny Delcarmen in the 9th, the PawSox went one better with a leadoff double in the 10th. Delcarmen spared them the trouble of another sacrifice with a wild pitch, then walked the next batter to set up 1st and 3rd with no outs. Ryan Mattheus was brought in and got neither the K nor a popup as he walked the first batter load the bases, then gave up the game-winning single to center field. Jhonatan Solano singled twice and doubled once while the rest of the Syracuse lineup went 3-for-31 with no walks (despite Matt Skole starting at 1B) and eight whiffs.

Potomac 4 Lynchburg 2
• Silvestre (W, 1-0) 7IP, 5H, R, ER, 3BB, 5K
• M. Rodriguez (H, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Mendez (SV, 1) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, K
• Ballou 1-1, 2R, 2BB, SB, CS, HBP
• Wooten 2-4, 2B, RBI

Hector Silvestre tossed seven strong innings, the offense made hay with the Hillcat bullpen, and the P-Nats relievers weathered a late comeback bid in a 4-2 win. Silvestre gave up one run on five hits and three walks while striking out five. More importantly, he kept the ball in the yard to improve his 2014 record in homerless starts (13) to 5-1 with a 1.37 ERA (vs. 3-8, 6.61 in 12GS). After a hit batsman, a stolen base, and an error plated Isaac Ballou in the 1st for a 1-0 lead, Lynchburg tied with a run in the 6th on a two-out double and a single. Silvestre let up a third straight hit but Brandon Miller and Pedro Severino prevented a second Hillcat run with a 9-2 putout to the end the inning. Randolph Oduber broke the 1-1 tie with a solo shot golfed over the LF fence in the bottom of the 6th. The P-Nats pushed the lead to 4-1 with a Severino double, singles by Ballou and Tony Renda, and an RBI groundout by John Wooten. Manny Rodriguez set ‘em down in order in the 8th while Gilberto Mendez wobbled a bit in the 9th, allowing a single and a double for the second Hillcat run before getting pinch-hitter Levi Hyams to tap out to first to end it and earn the save.
Roster moves: 1B Shawn Pleffner activated from 7-Day DL, UT Cody Dent reassigned to Hagerstown.

Hagerstown 3 Greensboro 2
• Suero 4IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 3K, 2WP
• Thomas 3IP, 3H, 0R, IBB, 2K
• Napoli (W, 1-0) 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• W. Rodriguez 2-4, R, 2-2B, RBI, SB
• Bautista 2-5, RBI

The Suns were three outs away from getting a 2-0 Columbia necktie, but rallied for three in the bottom of the 9th to pull one of out their ascot and shock the Grasshoppers, 3-2. A three-base error got things going as Carlos Lopez’s would-be flyout was turned into a Little League triple. Lopez scored on a groundout to second by Jimmy Yezzo. David Masters, who had struck out three times in three previous at-bats, drew a walk to restart the offense. Wilman Rodriguez sent him home on his second double of the night to tie it while Rafael Bautista’s second single plated Rodriguez to win it. The comeback made a winner out of David Napoli, who tossed the fifth of five scoreless innings by the Hagerstown bullpen in the top of the 9th. Wander Suero started but was dinged for two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks over four uneven innings. Justin Thomas followed with three goose eggs while Jake Johansen posted his fifth relief appearance without a run scoring in the 8th. Bautista’s single was the lone hit in 14 chances with RISP, including an 0-for-7 mark following doubles by Drew Ward, Rodriguez, Spencer Kieboom, and Lopez.
Roster moves: UT Cody Dent reassigned from Potomac, IF Austin Davidson placed on the reserve list.

Sep 032014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY @ Pawtucket,
6:35 p.m.
Hill (11-7, 2.81) vs.
Escobar (0-2, 4.28)
Potomac OFF DAY vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
Hagerstown OFF DAY vs. Greensboro,
7:05 p.m.
Suero (4-1, 2.13) vs.
German (9-3, 2.48)


Syracuse vs. Pawtucket — I.L. Division Series
While there has been angst about the Syracuse players “lost” due to callups or being shut down, the Nationals reinforced the Chiefs roster with 1B-3B Matt Skole, LHP Felipe Rivero, RHP Tyler Herron from the 2003 Tigers Harrisburg Senators, and added MLB rehab Ross Ohlendorf. It should also be noted that Tyler Moore hasn’t exactly been a key cog in the Chiefs offense for quite some time (.682OPS since the All-Star break, .621 in August) while Blake Treinen made but three starts in August (1-1, 4.32), in which Syracuse went 19-12 with much of the rag-tag rotation they’re bringing into the playoffs (Hill-McGregor-Lively-Laffey-Espino). The PawSox and Chiefs split their 16 games, including a four-game sweep in late May. Over the past two months, Pawtucket has taken six of nine, though the games have been close: six were decided by two runs or less. The series begins in Rhode Island with the first two and concludes in New York in the best-of-five matchup.

Potomac vs. Lynchburg — C.L. Division Series
It’s a rematch of the 2013 first round series, which the P-Nats won 2-0 but both games were tight, one-run games won in walkoff fashion — 2-1 in 14 innings, 3-2 in regulation. Potomac took 12 of 19 games this season, including the last three on the road in Lynchburg. Pitching matchups have not yet been announced, but if the most recent rotation is used, it’ll be Hector Silvestre, Ian Dickson, and Brian Rauh for the series. Dickson and Matthew Spann have been both red-hot lately (3-1, 1.44 and 2-0, 1.08 respectively over their last five starts) but the hope is that only one will be needed (in theory, Spann could be used on three days’ rest on Friday, though we’re more likely to get an update on Brian Goodwin’s injury) to advance to the Mills Cup where the defending champions (Salem) or the other double-half winner (Myrtle Beach) await.

Hagerstown vs. Greensboro — S.A.L. Division Series
This is third straight playoff appearance for the Suns and the second time they’ve drawn the Grasshoppers as their first-round opponent. Thanks to the Sally League’s travel-influenced schedule, the two teams have played just 11 times despite being in the same division (contrasted to the 204 times they played Lakewood and Delmarva, give or take 150). Hagerstown took six of those eleven, but only one of four games played in the first half, which led to Greensboro’s first-half title and vice-versa as the two teams tied both halves with records of 44-26 and 43-27. Wander Suero gets the ball tonight at the Muni, followed by Reynaldo Lopez in Game 2 on Friday, and Nick Pivetta in Game 3 on Saturday in North Carolina. Should the Suns advance, they could potentially rematch against the defending Sally Lg. champs, Savannah, which plays Asheville in the Southern division series.

Sep 022014
 


Hagerstown Suns first baseman Jimmy Yezzo has been named the South Atlantic League’s Player of the Week for August 25th to September 1st.

The 22-y.o. smacked two doubles and three home runs during the week and scored six runs while driving in eight. Overall, Yezzo posted a line of .435/.458/.913 with one walk and just three strikeouts.

The New Jersey native was drafted in the 7th Round of the 2013 Draft out of the University of Delware. Yezzo finished the 2014 season with 126 hits, including 22 doubles, a triple, and 13 home runs — second-best on the Suns behind Sally League MVP Wilmer Difo (14) — while driving in 56 in 123 games played.

Sep 022014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-2 END OF SEASON N/A
Harrisburg Won, 3-0 END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac Won, 6-1 END OF SEASON N/A
Hagerstown Lost, 9-8 END OF SEASON N/A
Auburn Won, 4-3 END OF SEASON N/A


Buffalo 8 Syracuse 2
• Laffey (L, 12-6) 4IP, 13H, 6R, 6ER, 0BB, 3K, WP
• Runion 3IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K
• Dobbs 2-4, 2B
• Hood 1-4, 2B, RBI

The Syracuse pitching staff presented few challenges to Buffalo in an 8-2 regular -season finale loss. With one out in the 1st, the Bisons loaded the bases on three singles before Matt Hague singled in Darin Mastroianni. After recording the first two outs in the 2nd, starter and loser Aaron Laffey allowed five hits, including two doubles. Among the thirteen hits Laffey allowed on the night and the twenty hits the Chiefs staff allowed, the biggest blow was a Brett Wallace double to left that scored Mastroianni and Cole Gilespie and put Syracuse down, 4-0. The Chiefs responded with an RBI double by Alabaman Destin Hood that scored Greg Dobbs. Laffey would give up two more runs on four hits and a sacrifice fly in the 4th before departing down 6-1. Sam Runion came on to start the 5th and was rudely greeted by a single, a double, and two more singles that put Syracuse down 8-1 before they put some lipstick on the pig with a Greg Dobbs ground-rule double and Will Rhymes RBI single off Brandon Morrow in the 9th.
Roster moves: Activated C Jeff Howell from 7-Day DL, CF Eury Perez from 3-Day TIL; Washington recalled C Sandy Leon, 1B-OF Tyler Moore, RHPs Blake Treinen, Aaron Barrett, LHP Xavier Cedeno; OF Steven Souza removed from roster, MLB rehab assignment ended (activated from MLB 15-Day DL).

Harrisburg 3 Portland 0
• Demny 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Simmons (W, 3-4) 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K, HBP
• Bates (SV, 3) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Tejeda 2-3, 2R, BB, CS
• Latimore 2-5, R, SB

Harrisburg avoided a tie for its worst record ever with a 3-0 whitewash of Portland in the season finale. Five Senators relievers combined on the shutout the Sea Dogs, beginning with Paul Demny, who threw three innings with two hits and two whiffs. Harrisburg scored an unearned run in the 2nd when Oscar Tejeda walked, took second on an error as Portland 2B Sean Coyle dropped the throw from the catcher, and scored on an RBI single by Adrian Sanchez. Tejeda and Sanchez teamed up again in the 4th as Oscar singled with one out to start the rally and Adrian beat out a double-play ball for his second RBI. James Simmons went the next three innings and earned the win by working around a one-out double in the 4th, an error in the 5th, and two-out double in the 6th. The Sens got their final tally of the 2014 campaign with a Drew Vettleson RBI single to score Quincy “The Dude” Latimore in the 7th. Robert Benincasa put up a zero the 8th to earn his first hold while Colin Bates closed it out in the 9th for his third save.

Potomac 6 Frederick 1
• Spann 3IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Henke (W, 5-2) 4IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, BB, K
• Martinez 3-4, R
• Oduber 2-4, R, RBI, SB
• Norfork 2-5, RBI

The Frederick fans that waited out the 104-minute rain delay might have left soon afterwards as the Keys relievers were unlocked for six runs over their first three full innings of work in a 6-1 loss to Potomac. P-Nats starter Matthew Spann threw three no-hit innings, needing just 23 pitches to go through the Frederick lineup once, as the one baserunner he allowed (walk) was erased on a double play. Travis Henke took over after the rain stopped play with one out in the top of the 4th and went the next four frames, giving up a run on five hits and a walk to earn his fifth win. Estarlin Martinez went 3-for-4 to lead the hit column while Pedro Severino went deep with a two-run blast to break the 0-0 deadlock in the 5th.
Roster move: RHP Ross Ohlendorf removed from roster, assignment with Potomac completed.

Lakewood 9 Hagerstown 8
• Cooper 3IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, 2HR
• Johns (BS, 3; L, 3-2) 1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, HR
• Kieboom 2-3, 2R, 2HR, 2RBI
• Yezzo 3-4, 2R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Mesa 3-5, 2R, 2B, RBI

In an apparent effort to keep the starters rested, the Suns used all relievers and blew a 7-3 lead to lose the final game of the regular season, 9-8. Andrew Cooper was barreled up for three runs on a pair of 2nd-inning homers and four hits total over three innings. Spencer Kieboom got two runs back via solo HRs as Hagerstown piled up five runs over 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings to take the aforementioned 7-3 lead. Ryan Ullmann gave up three in the 7th and 8th innings while Samuel Johns was pinched for the final three Lakewood runs for his second loss and third blown save. James Yezzo and Narciso Mesa combined for six hits, four runs, two doubles, a homer (Yezzo) and four RBI to lead the Hagerstown offense.

Auburn 4 Batavia 3
• Bourque (W, 3-5) 5IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 4K, HBP, WP
• Bach (H, 5) 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Gardner 3-4, 2B, CS
• Abreu 2-3, 2R, SB(10)

The Doubledays rallied from an early 3-1 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the 3rd and neutered the Muckdogs over the final six innings for a 4-3 win to close out the season. Starter James Bourque gave up all three Batavia runs on five hits and a walk while striking out four to earn his third win. Connor Bach followed with three scoreless innings for his fifth hold while Tyler Mapes worked around a hit in the ninth to notch his fifth save. Jeff Gardner singled twice and doubled once to lead Auburn’s 11-hit parade.

Sep 012014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-3 vs. Buffalo,
2:00 p.m.
TBD vs. Copeland (2-1, 2.00)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-2 @ Portland,
2:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
Potomac Won, 6-5;
Won, 5-4
@ Frederick,
2:00 p.m.
Spann (9-5, 3.92)
vs. Brault (2-0, 0.69)
Hagerstown Won, 5-2 vs. Lakewood,
1:05 p.m.
Cooper (7-4, 5.78) vs.
Prosinski (5-5, 3.50)
Auburn Lost, 7-6 vs. Batavia,
2:05 p.m.
Bourque (2-5, 4.03) vs.
Smigelski (2-1, 4.66)


Syracuse 4 Buffalo 3
• Espino 6⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 4K
• Mattheus (H, 7) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 2K, 2-0 IR-S
• Delcarmen (BS, 3)(W, 4-4) 1IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 0K
• Hood 2-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Moore 2-4, R, 2-2B
• Solano 2-3, R 2B, 2RBI

The Chiefs followed up their division-clinching road victory Saturday with a thrilling 4-3 walkoff win Sunday over the Bisons. Syracuse jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 2nd with a Tyler Moore double followed by two-out doubles from Greg Dobbs and Jhonatan Solano. The Chiefs then loaded the bases with one out in the 4th on a Brandon Laird single, Destin Hood double and Greg Dobbs walk. Solano kept the line moving with a single that scored Moore, but Jose Lozada grounded into an inning-ending double play. Buffalo tied the game up with an RBI double by Brett Wallace in the 7th off starter Paolo Espino, an RBI double by Dalton Pompey off reliever Ryan Mattheus in the 8th, and an RBI single off Manny Delcarmen in the 9th. Order was restored when Destin Hood led off the 9th against Chris Hynes with his tenth homer to end the proceedings.
Roster moves: RHP Paolo Espino reassigned from Harrisburg; RHP A.J. Cole transferred to GCL Nationals roster.

Portland 6 Harrisburg 2
• Kroenke (L, 3-9) 5IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Benincasa 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Canham 2-3, RBI
• Vettleson 2-4, R

The Harrisburg Senators suffered through a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Portland Sea Dogs yesterday. Mike Miller hit a homer to put Portland up 1-0 with one out in the 1st. After Jason Martinson and Drew Vettleson singled, Mitch Canham tied the score at 1-1 with a sacrifice fly that drove home Martinson. Miller continued his devastation against Harrisburg with a bases-clearing double in the 5th that scored Ryan Dent, Heiker Meneses and Shannon Wilkerson against starter and loser Zach Kroenke. Neil Holland gave up two more runs on an RBI double to Jonathan Roof and a sacrifice fly double play where Caleb Ramsey gunned down Roof trying to advance to third. Portland’s Mike McCarthy made things interesting in the 9th when Harrisburg loaded up the bases and scored a run on a one-out RBI single by Ramsey. Portland closer Noe Ramirez was then summoned to record his eighteenth save, which came on a Quincy Latimore double play.

Potomac 6 Frederick 5 — GAME ONE
• Ohlendorf 3IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Harper (W, 2-0) 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K, 1-0 IR-S
• Mendez (SV, 15) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Ballou 2-4, R, 2B, BB
• Renda 2-3, R, 2BB, SB
• McQuillan 2-2, R, 2BB

After a 92-minute rain delay, the P-Nats racked up four in the 1st and held on for a 6-5 win in the opener. Ross Ohlendorf came out of witness protection to pitch three shutout innings, with two hits and a walk given up and two set down on strikes. Pedro Encarnacion blew a 5-0 lead with five runs allowed over an inning and 2/3rds in relief. The game-winning run came on a double-play ball in the 6th after Khayyan Norfork walked and took third on Mike McQuillan’s second single of the game. Bryan Harper, who stranded the go-ahead run in the 5th, got the win while Gilberto Mendez racked up his 15th save with four-out save. Tony Renda singled twice and walked twice to pace the Potomac offense.

Potomac 5 Frederick 4 — GAME TWO
• Bacus (W, 7-6) 5IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, K, HR
• M. Rodriguez (SV, 1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Wooten 2-2, R, 3B, BB, 2RBI
• Martinez 1-3, R, 3B, 2RBI

In the nightcap, the two teams traded punches in the 2nd and 3rd innings with the P-Nats outpointing the Keys, 5-4 to sweep the doubleheader and eliminate Frederick from the playoffs. Estarlin Martinez smacked a two-run triple and scored on a wild pitch to open the barrage in the 2nd, while John Wooten’s one-out triple drove in the fourth and fifth Potomac runs in the 3rd. Dakota Bacus weathered one run in the 2nd (HR), and three in the 3rd, but made it through five innings to earn his seventh win. Manny Rodriguez spun two scoreless innings in his Carolina League debut to earn the save.
Roster moves: RHP Ross Ohlendorf assigned from Washington for MLB rehab.

Hagerstown 5 Lakewood 2
• Pivetta 5IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K, HBP, WP
• Lee (W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• C. Lopez 2-3, 2B, BB
• Chubb 1-2, R, 2BB
• Masters 1-3, 2R, 2B, RBI

The Suns rallied for three in the bottom of the 8th for a 5-2 sportswriter’s win that secured the Sally North second half title (and not much else, thanks to the Sally League’s playoff procedures). Nick Pivetta got the start and let in two over five innings on six hits, no walks and three whiffs. Jake Johansen turned in his first scoreless outing in three weeks with doughnuts in the 6th and 7th innings while Nick Lee got the win with a pair of zeroes in the 8th and 9th. Carlos Lopez reached base three times with a walk, a single, and a double while Wilmer Difo hit home run no. 14 to lead the Hagerstown attack.

Batavia 7 Auburn 6
• Reyes 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K
• McDowell (L, 1-3) ⅔ IP, 6H, 6R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Read 2-5, 2-2B, 3RBI, PB(10)
• Abreu 2-5, R, E(20)
• Gardner 2-5, R, 2B, E(4)

For the second straight night, the Auburn bullpen melted down for a six-run 8th inning. This time, however, the offense had only built a 6-1 lead and thus fell 7-6 to Batavia. Two critical errors aided in the train wreck, rendering five of the six runs charged to Chase McDowell as unearned, though the 23-y.o. did give up six hits in the space of nine batters. The implosion erased five innings of one-run ball by starter Luis Reyes, who allowed three hits, no walks, and struck out three.