Sep 112014
 

2014-Mills-Cup-Championship
After a wire-to-wire run in the regular season, the 2014 Potomac Nationals got it done in the postseason with a 5-1 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to capture the Mills Cup Championship Series, three games to one.

Unlike four years ago
, the eventual outcome was apparent early. The first inning to be exact. Tony Renda got the rally started with a one-out walk, which looked like it might go for naught when Shawn Pleffner weakly flied out to left on a first-pitch swing.

Then Mills Cup MVP John Wooten singled to right, sending Renda to third to bring up veteran outfielder Randolph Oduber. Luis Parra couldn’t groove his fastball past the Aruban, but was able to drop a couple of lollipop curves to work the count to 2-2. The third time was not the charm, as Oduber was waiting on that sucker and smashed it over the left field fence for a 3-0 lead.

Hector Silvestre, the lone Potomac pitcher to win twice in the playoffs, faltered in the 2nd, giving up a double to start the frame. The Sea Rats did him a favor and unwisely tried to advance to third on a smash back to the Dominican southpaw, who threw over to get the runner and the first out. He would give it back with a walk to the next batter. After a popup to the no. 8 batter, the Pelicans’ 17-y.o. shortstop Michael De Leon delivered again with an RBI single to cut the lead to 3-1.

Silvestre gave up two more hits in the 3rd but got help from 3B Khayyan Norfork who called his own number for the unassisted putout at third base to end the inning. The 21-y.o. southpaw then retired the next nine batters in a row, finishing with a flourish as he struck out the side in the 6th.

His final line: 6IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 6K

Meanwhile, Potomac responded to the lone Myrtle Beach run in the bottom of the 2nd with a leadoff double by Stephen Perez and an RBI double by Pedro Severino to reclaim the three-run advantage. They put on single runners in the 3rd and 4th innings, two in the 5th, and another in the 6th but could not score.

Just as he started the P-Nats’ scoring in the 1st, Renda finished it in the 7th. The All-Star second baseman tripled to lead off the inning, then trotted in as fellow All-Star Pleffner singled to short center to push the P-Nats lead to the eventual outcome of 5-1. The big fella would steal second and take third on Oduber’s second hit of the night, a single to right. Norfork, however, would get doubled up to end the inning and Potomac went in order in the 8th.

Manny “Doble Nacionales Codo” Rodriguez took over for Silvestre in the 7th and spun two perfect innings. Though not a save situation, ace reliever Gilberto Mendez was called upon in the 9th close things out and completed the string of 18 straight Pelicans retired with a popup sandwiched between two strikeouts, the last one on a check swing to create just the slightest anticlimax.

The win was the third league championship (2008, 2010) since the team became an affiliate of the Washington Nationals in 2005 and the fifth in franchise history (1982, 1989). The three titles are also the only ones won by a Nationals affiliate north of Florida, a distinction that Hagerstown can take away by winning the South Atlantic League. Game Three of that best-of-five series resumes tonight at the Muni, with hot prospect Reynaldo Lopez scheduled to pitch for the Suns.

Sep 102014
 

The Potomac Nationals rallied from a 7-2 deficit with ten unanswered runs to take Game Three, 12-7 and a 2-1 lead in the of the Mills Cup Championship Series.

And, believe it or not, it all started with a little bit of hustle.

After taking a 2-0 lead on John Wooten’s second HR of the series, a two-run shot over the LF wall with two outs in the 1st, the mood at the Pfitz went from jubilation to despair less than two innings later as the Pelicans chased starter Matt Spann on the eighth hit he allowed, a two-out grand slam that turned a 2-1 lead into a 5-2 deficit.

Kylin Turnbull came on and was immediately greeted with a sharp single to left, and a two-run dagger off the bat of twelv…er, 17-y.o. Michael De Leon to make it 7-2 in favor of the Sea Rats. He would get the final out on a lineout to short, but like the health club after the holidays, things were not looking pretty.

Turnbull set the Pelicans down in order in the 4th, putting up a badly needed zero after a quashed rally in the bottom of the 3rd. Mike McQuillan got thing going in the of the 4th with a leadoff double, while Stephen Perez plated him with a single to center to make it 7-3. After a walk to Khayyan Norfork, Pedro Severino laid down a sacrifice bunt to set up 2nd and 3rd with one out for Isaac Ballou.

Ballou cashed them both in with a triple to right to pull the P-Nats to within two at 7-5. Tony Renda, who had gotten thrown out at third to end the third, missed his shot at redemption with a groundout to third.

Shawn Pleffner followed with a high-hop grounder to the 3/4 hole. Like most first basemen, Pleffner isn’t going to win very many footraces, but he did win this on against Pelican starter Sam Wolff for an RBI infield single that made it 7-6.

That little bit of hustle set up Wooten, who jumped on Wolff for another two-run shot to put Potomac ahead 8-7 and knocked the Myrtle Beach starter out of the game.

Buoyed by the lead, Turnbull followed his zero in the 4th with one in the 5th. And the 6th. And the 7th. And the 8th. The 24-y.o. got the win with just the two runs allowed — HR in the 3rd — over five and a 1/3rd innings with one walk and eight K’s. Jake Walsh danced around a double and a two-out walk in the 9th to close it out for the 12-7 win.

Potomac will try for its third Carolina League title in five seasons with Hector Silvestre (1-0, 1.29) taking the hill against Luis Parra (1-0, 1.59). Silvestre did not face the Pelicans during the regular season while Parra was the winning pitcher for Myrtle Beach in an 8-6 victory over Potomac on July 29th.

Sep 102014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Potomac Won, 12-7 vs. Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Silvestre (1-0, 1.29) vs.
Parra (1-0, 1.59)
Hagerstown Won, 4-3 (10 inn.) OFF DAY N/A



Potomac 12 Myrtle Beach 7
• Spann 2⅔ IP, 8H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 3K, HR(GS)
• Turnbull (W, 1-0) 5⅓ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 8K, HR
• Pleffner 3-5, 2R, RBI
• Oduber 3-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Wooten 2-5, 2R, 2HR, 4RBI
• McQuillan 2-5, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI

Ten unanswered runs began with just a little bit of hustle Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 4 Asheville 3 (10 inn.)
• Suero 5⅔ IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 5K
• Thomas (BS, 1) 2IP, 1H, 0R, IBB, 0K, 2-2 IR-S
• Napoli (W, 2-0) 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Difo 3-5, 2R, 2B, 2HR, 2RBI
• Ward 2-4, 2R, 2-2B
• Mesa 2-5

Wilmer Difo lived up to his title as the Sally League’s MVP, homering with two down in the 10th inning to push Hagerstown past Asheville, 4-3 and even the Sally League Finals at 1-1. It was Difo’s second solo shot of the night, as the 22-y.o. racked 10 total bases while going 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored. The Mr. Hyde version of the Suns ‘pen appeared briefly, as Justin Thomas let up a two-run single to tie the game at 3-3 in the 6th to hang a no-decision on starter Wander Suero, who was ultimately charged with all three Tourist runs on four hits and two walks over five and 2/3rds innings. The Dr. Jekyll version appeared thereafter, as Thomas, Jake Johansen, and winning pitcher David Napoli shut out Asheville for four innings from the 7th to the 10th with one hit (Johansen) and one walk (Napoli) allowed.

Sep 092014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Potomac OFF DAY vs. Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Spann (9-5, 3.81) vs.
Wolff (9-5, 3.37)
Hagerstown Lost, 16-7 @ Asheville,
7:05 p.m.
Suero (4-1, 2.13) vs.
Jiminian (14-6, 3.99)



Potomac — OFF DAY
The goal of the road team in a 2-3 playoff format is to win at least one and come home with the usual goal of winning two out of three at home. Mission accomplished for the P-Nats, who achieved the feat in 2008 and 2010 as well en route to successful Mills Cup runs. Matthew Spann makes his first postseason start tonight for Potomac against Sam Wolff for Myrtle Beach.

Asheville 16 Hagerstown 7
• Pivetta (L, 0-1) 2⅓ IP, 6H, 5R, 4ER, BB, 4K
• Ullmann 3IP, 6H, R, ER, BB, 2K
• Bautista 3-5, SB
• Chubb 2-2, R, 2B, 2RBI
• Ward 2-4, R, 2-2B, BB, RBI

Asheville got two touchdowns in the 2nd quarter and tackled the Hagerstown QB in the 3rd before the Suns finally answered with a TD in the 4th for a 16-7 Tourists win in Game One of the Sally League Championship Series. Football-score jokes aside, Asheville pounded five Hagerstown pitchers for 23 hits, but only one went over the short porch in right (297′). Nick Pivetta was charged with the loss, knocked from the box in the 3rd with five runs charged to him on six hits and a walk over two and 2/3rds innings. Robbie Dickey was indeed available, but not effective as he was lit up for the remaining three runs in Tourists’ eight-run 3rd. Rafael Bautista led the Suns 12-hit attack with a 3-for-5 night from the leadoff spot while Drew Ward (two doubles), Carlos Lopez (single, double) and Austin Chubb (ditto), also notched multiple hits.

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.