Jun 202012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-3 vs. Pawtucket,
7:00 p.m.
Atkins (5-5, 4.31)
vs. Germano (8-3, 2.49)
Harrisburg Lost, 14-0 @ Portland,
7:00 p.m.
Pucetas (4-2, 1.63) vs.
Britton (1-0, 1.10)
Potomac ALL STAR BREAK ALL STAR BREAK N/A
Hagerstown ALL-STAR BREAK ALL-STAR BREAK N/A
Auburn Won, 8-7 @ Batavia,
7:05 p.m.
Monar (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Cuda (0-0, 0.00)
GCL Nationals Won, 9-8 @ GCL Cardinals,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Won, 14-5 @ DSL Mets1,
10:30 a.m.
Silvestre (1-0, 2.81) vs.
Almeida (0-1, 11.25)

Syracuse 4 Pawtucket 3
• Duke (W, 8-3) 6IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 0K, 2HR
• H. Rodriguez (H, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, 0WP, 0HBP
• Pena (SV, 3) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Brown 3-4, 2R, 2B
• Komatsu 2-4

Zach Duke danced with the devil in the pale moonlight danger in each of the first four innings, walking four in the first two innings and stranding eight in the first four, but left the game with a slim 4-3 lead. Despite an appearance by rehabbing Henry Rodriguez, the Syracuse ‘pen got the “W” for Duke with three scoreless innings of relief. Corey Brown and Erik Komatsu combined to go 5-for-8 while rehabbing Chris Marrero delivered an RBI single in four at-bats. FA catcher Koyie Hill was assigned to Syracuse. Jeremy Mayo is a good bet to be transferred in the next couple of days.

Portland 14 Harrisburg 0
• Rosenbaum (L, 7-3) 3+ IP, 7H, 9R, 7ER, 4BB, 3K, HR(GS)
• Rahl 2-2, 2B
• Walters 1-3, BB, E

A grand slam chased Danny Rosenbaum from the game in the 4th as part of a nine-run inning as Portland pounded Harrisburg, 14-0. Rosenbaum was charged with nine runs (seven earned) on seven hits and four walks over three-plus innings. In his last six starts, he’s gone 2-2 but with an ERA of 5.94 and a WHIP of 1.74 (contrasted to 5-1, 0.86, 0.73 in his first eight starts). Chris Rahl singled and doubled to lead the offense. Zach Walters and Justin Bloxom both made their AA debuts, with Walters going 1-for-3 with a walk and Bloxom going 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Potomac — ALL-STAR BREAK
David Freitas doubled, walked, scored a run, and drove a run but failed to stop any of the five stolen base attempts against him in the Carolina League’s 9-1 win over the California League last night in Winston-Salem. Rob Wort also appeared, giving up a hit but striking out speedster Billy Hamilton (80SBs in 66G) to end the game.

Hagerstown — ALL-STAR BREAK
The Sally League Northern Division beat the Southern, 3-2 last night in Charleston. Matt Skole went 0-for-3 coming off the bench and made an error while playing 3B in the 9th. Caleb Ramsey relieved the starting CF and went 1-for-2 with a run scored. Aaron Barrett got the save, but gave up both Sally South runs (one earned) on two hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

Auburn 8 Batavia 7
• Baez 4IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 2K, HR
• Henke (W, 1-0) 2⅓ IP, H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Mirowski (SV, 1) 1IP, H, 0R, BB, K
• B. Miller 1-2, 3R, HR, 2BB, 3RBI
• Montilla 2-4, R, 2B, RBI
• S. Perez 2-4, R, 2B

In a back-and-forth contest, Auburn won the battle of attrition with Batavia on a sacrifice fly, 8-7. The Muckdogs scored in each of the first four innings and outhit the Doubledays 15-9, but committed three errors and hit into three double plays. Starter Gregory Baez was lit up for five runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out two. Travis Henke got the win in relief with two and a 1/3rd scoreless innings while Richie Mirowski got the save despite letting two baserunners on in the 9th. Angel Montilla, Steven Perez, and Spencer Kieboom each went 2-for-4 while Brandon Miller drove in three with a first-inning HR.
RHP Pedro Encarnacion was transferred from Hagerstown to Auburn.

GCL Nationals 9 GCL Marlins 8
• Kimball 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Marcelino 4IP, 7H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 4K
• Santana (BS, 1; W, 1-0) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K, HBP, 3-3 IR-S
• Difo 2-4, 3R, 3B, 2RBI
• Mesa 1-2, 3R, 2B, BB, HBP, RBI
• McQuillan 3-4, BB, 2RBI

After blowing an 8-5 lead in the top of the 9th, the G-Marlins couldn’t stand the prosperity and gave it right back for a 9-8 walkoff win by the G-Nats. A walk, a hit batsmen, balk, and a throwing error turned the trick. Rehabbing Cole Kimball got the “start” and tossed a scoreless inning, followed by Anthony Marcelino who was knocked around for four runs on seven hits and and two walks while striking out four. Andy Santana got the blown-save-win by giving up a bases-clearing double to the first batter he faced before retiring three of the next four batters. 33rd-rounder Mike McQuillan led the eight-hit attack with three singles and a walk while driving in two.

DSL Nationals 14 DSL Mets1 5
• P. Valdez 5IP, 6H, 5R, 1ER, 3BB, 4K, 0HR
• Aquino (W, 2-0) 4IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Aguero 3-5, R, 2RBI
• Read 2-4, 3R, 2HR, BB, 4RBI
• Bautista 2-2, 3R, 2BB, SB

The D-Nats scored 14 unanswered runs in a 14-5 decision over the D-Mets1 squad. 18-y.o. Raudy Read continues to flash serious power, smacking HRs #4 and #5 while driving in four to push his slugging percentage to .517 (lg. avg. is .341). Philips Valdez got the no-decision but went five innings, giving up five runs (one earned) on six hits and three walks while striking out four. 17-y.o. Jonathan Aquino got the win with four scoreless innings of relief, with just two hits allowed and four set down by way of the K.

Jun 192012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 11-7 vs. Pawtucket,
7:00 p.m.
Duke (7-3, 3.77) vs.
Mathis (5-3, 4.10)
Harrisburg OFF DAY @ Portland,
7:00 p.m.
TBD vs.
Hernandez (3-6, 2.89)
Potomac ALL STAR BREAK ALL STAR BREAK N/A
Hagerstown ALL-STAR BREAK ALL-STAR BREAK N/A
Auburn Won, 6-5 vs. Batavia,
7:05 p.m.
Baez (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Melling (0-0, 0.00)
GCL Nationals Won, 6-1 vs. GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals Lost, 6-4 vs. DSL Mets1,
10:30 a.m.
Moscat (0-1, 6.75) vs.
Reyes (0-0, 0.00)

Syracuse 11 Pawtucket 7
• Maya (ND) 6+IP, 6H, 5R, 5ER, BB, 3K, 2HR
• Severino (BS, 2; W, 2-0) 1IP, 1H, R, ER, BB, K, HR, 2-2 IR-S
• Garcia (SV, 1) ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 2-0 IR-S
• Carroll 3-4, 2R, 2B, BB, RBI
• Paul 3-4, 3R, HR, BB, 3RBI
• Rivero 2-5, 2R, 2B, 2RBI

After blowing a 4-1 lead, the Chiefs rallied for five in the 7th and held on in the 9th to take down the first-place Pawtucket PawSox, 11-7. Atahualpa Severino got the dreaded blown-save-win, coughing up a three-run HR to the first batter he faced. Yunesky Maya lost the quality start on the gopherball, giving up five runs on six hits and walk, though two of the six were HRs. Christian Garcia struck out the only batter he faced in the 9th for his first career AAA save. Brett Carroll and Xavier Paul both went 3-for-4, and combined for five runs scored and four RBI while Syracuse made hay when it mattered with an 8-for-17 mark with RISP.

Harrisburg — OFF DAY
After a long bus ride from central PA to southern ME, the Senators make their sole road trip to New England to play the Portland Sea Dogs for the next three games, then the New Hampshire Fisher Cats for four over the weekend.

Potomac — ALL-STAR BREAK
C David Freitas and RHRP Rob Wort are the sole two representatives for Potomac at the annual Carolina-California League All-Star Game to be held tonight in Winston-Salem.

Hagerstown — ALL-STAR BREAK
C Adrian Nieto, 3B Matt Skole, OF Caleb Ramsey, and RHP Aaron Barrett are the four representatives for the Suns at the Sally League All-Star game to be held tonight in Charleston, SC. Skole was a finalist in the HR derby, with the semifinals held yesterday on the deck of the U.S.S. Yorktown.

Auburn 6 Batavia 5
• Jordan 1⅓ IP, 3H, 3R, 1ER, BB, 2K
• Medina 5⅓ 2H, 0R, BB, 7K, 2-0 IR-S
• S. Perez 2-4, R, 3B, HR, 4RBI, E
• Ramos 2-4, R

Stephen Perez drove in the last four Doubleday runs, including two on a triple in the 9th to break a 4-4 tie as Auburn edged Batavia, 6-5. Perez also homered while going 2-for-4 on the night but committed one of the three Doubleday errors. Starter Taylor Jordan lasted just an inning and a third (no mention of injury in any of the local coverage, so perhaps he was on a pitch count) after giving up three runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk while striking out two. Silvio Medina tossed five and a 1/3rd innings in relief (another indication that Jordan’s outing was limited) with just a walk and two hits allowed. Seven of the nine Auburn batters got a hit, with Wander Ramos joining Perez as the second multihit Doubleday.

GCL Nationals 6 GCL Marlins 1
• Mieses 4IP, 4H, R, ER, 0BB, K
• Carr 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• E. Perez 3-5, RBI, 2SB
• Selsor 1-3, 2R, BB
• Difo 0-2, 2R, 3BB, SB

The G-Nats opened up the 2012 campaign with a 6-1 victory over the G-Marlins. Adalberto Mieses got the start and gave up a run on four hits and no walks. Adam Carr got the win in his first regular-season appearance since having shoulder surgery, tossing two scoreless frames. Josh Smoker made his first appearance since April with a pair of goose eggs following Carr. Rehabbing Eury Perez went 3-for-5 with two stolen bases, while OF/P Casey Selsor went 1-for-3 with two runs scored as the DH.

DSL Cubs2 6 DSL Nationals 4
• Valerio (ND) 5IP, 4H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K
• E. Gomez (BS, 1; L, 1-1) 2IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, K
• Atencio 3-4, R, RBI
• Marmolejos-Diaz 2-5, R, 2B, 3B, RBI
• Bautista 2-4, R, 2SB

For the second straight outing, 17-y.o. Maximo Valerio gave up one run over five, but the ‘pen couldn’t hold the 2-1 lead as the D-Nats fell to the D-Cubs2, 6-4. 20-y.o. zurdo Elisaul Gomez took the loss, giving up the tying run in his first inning of work, and three more in his second inning on a total of six hits and two walks. Miguel Atencio led the hit column with three singles, while “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz doubled and tripled and Rafael Bautista singled twice and stole two bases.

Jun 182012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-2 vs. Pawtucket,
7:00 p.m.
Maya (4-5, 3.38) vs.
Cook (3-0, 1.89)
Harrisburg Lost, 4-0 OFF DAY N/A
Potomac Lost, 5-0 ALL STAR BREAK N/A
Hagerstown Lost, 5-3 ALL-STAR BREAK N/A
Auburn N/A @ Batavia,
7:05 p.m.
Jordan (0-0, 0.00) vs.
Freeman (0-0, 0.00)
GCL Nationals N/A @GCL Marlins,
12:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
DSL Nationals OFF DAY vs. DSL Cubs2,
10:30 a.m.
Valerio (0-2, 7.04) vs.
Araujo (1-0, 1.80)

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 6 Syracuse 2
• Roark (L, 3-9) 6IP, 10H, 6R, 6ER, 0BB, 8K, HR
• Arnesen 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Brown 2-4, 2-3B
• Rivero 2-4, 2B, RBI

The Yankees got to Tanner Roark early with three runs in the 1st and cruised to a 6-2 win to take three of four at “home.” Roark allowed all six runs on 10 hits, including a solo HR in the 5th to suffer his 9th loss. Corey Brown and Carlos Rivero went 4-for-8 combined, with a double and two triples, but the Chiefs were otherwise held in check with six hits total. RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx was essentially loaned to Harrisburg, transferred to and from the Senators before and after the game. C James Skelton and RHP Ryan Perry were transferred to Harrisburg.

Trenton 4 Harrisburg 0
• Tatusko (L, 1-3) 5IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 2K
• Bibens-Dirkx 3IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 4K
• Rahl 1-2, BB
• Pahuta 1-3

Four Thunder hurlers combined on a four-hit shutout as the Senators lost, 4-0. Ryan Tatusko took the loss, giving up three runs on five his and two walks while striking out two. Chris Rahl was the sole Harrisburg player to reach base twice. Roster Moves: SS Chris McConnell was released following the game while IF Stephen King was demoted to Potomac. OF Destin Hood was transferred to Auburn for rehab purposes. LHP Mike Ballard was placed on the DL with elbow discomfort.

Myrtle Beach 5 Potomac 0
• Olbrychowski (L, 2-6) 5IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB, 5K, HR
• Demmin 2IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Walters 2-4
• Sanchez 2-4, 2CS

Potomac was shut out for the 10th time this season by Myrtle Beach by a 5-0 count. Adam Olbrcyhowski suffered the loss with the first three runs given up (two earned) on four hits and three walks over five innings. Zach Walters and Adrian Sanchez both went 2-for-4 to account for half of the P-Nats eight hits. If you guessed that the moves in Harrisburg meant promotions from Potomac, say goodbye to SS Zach Walters and 1B Justin Bloxom. If you’re hoping for news about which Suns are on the way to replace them, you’re going to have to champ at the bit because both Potomac and Hagerstown are coming back from half-ending road trips that had them rolling into town as late as 6:00 a.m. this morning

West Virginia 5 Hagerstown 3
• Meyers 5IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 9K
• Encarnacion (L, 0-1) 2⅓ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K
• Goodwin 3-4, R, HR, BB, 2RBI, CS
• Dykstra 1-3, R, 2B, BB, 2SB (19,20), E(5)

Alex Meyer struck out a career-high nine batters, but left the game down 3-0 after five innings. Brian Goodwin’s two-run shot tied in the top of the 7th, but the ‘pen faltered for a 5-3 loss to finish the half. The Suns offense struggled in the clutch, going 0-for-8 with RISP and stranding eight baserunners. Goodwin led the attack with a 3-for-4 afternoon. Matt Skole and Jason Martinson are two obvious candidates to replace Walters and Bloxom, but as Brian Oliver noted this a.m. during a Twitter exchange, folks need to consider how the Suns roster will be restocked. As seen with King, demotions are possible – as are backfills via several players for which a release or an assignment is unknown

Auburn Doubledays — OPENING DAY
The 2011 N.Y-Penn League finalists open the 2012 campaign with a home-and-home series against the Batavia Muckdogs.

GCL Nationals — OPENING DAY
With the departure of the GCL Mets, it’s Marlins, Cardinals, Astros, home and away for 60 games this season (20 games vs. each), starting with the Marlins.

DSL Nationals — OFF DAY
The second-place D-Nats host the D-Cubs2 and D-Giants today and Saturday while playing home-and-home’s against the Mets1, and first-place Yankees1 from Tuesday through Friday.

Jun 152012
 

The Auburn Doubledays have announced its 2012 roster and it’s not as 2012-pick-laden as you might think. Eleven of the 29 are this year’s picks, including five for the first ten rounds (pay no attention to teams’ using the 4th-through-10th rounds this year on signable college seniors to game the new CBA.)

Second-rounder Tony Renda is obviously the premier player, continuing in the tradition of Danny Espinosa and Jeff Kobernus of Rizzo draftees: modest tools but a “dirt dog,” grinding mentality that the organization covets.

The bad news, of course, is that it’s going to be a day or two more until we know how the GCL is going to shake out. BA’s latest transaction post does not include the expected bloodbath of releases, but it’s only through Monday of this week.

A reminder: SpringfieldFan is going to be busy as all this shakes out, so please be patient with her as she updates the Big Board over next couple of weeks.

Without further ado, here’s the rest of the Auburn roster:
Bold = Watchlist Italics = DSL Graduate
PITCHERS
Gregory Baez
Cody Davis
David Fischer (18th)
Bryan Harper
Travis Henke
Nick Lee
Silvio Medina
Richie Mirowski
Blake Monar
John Peters
Brian Rauh (11th)
Derek Self (9th
Jason Smith
Elliott Waterman (13th)

CATCHERS
Spencer Kieboom (5th)
Craig Manuel (10th)
Andruth Ramirez

INFIELDERS
IF Carlos Alvarez
3B Carlos Lopez (12th)
UTI Estarlin Martinez
2B Khayyan Norfork
SS Stephen Perez (8th)
1B Shawn Pleffner
2B Tony Renda (2nd)
SS Wes Schill

OUTFIELDERS
Brandon Miller (4th)
Angel Montilla
Jordan Poole (14th)
Wander Ramos

Oct 132011
 

After wading through the worst affiliate last week, it’s time to look at and reflect on what was — on won-loss basis anyways — the best. It’s also a yardstick of sorts for the 2011 draft*, which was decidedly tilted towards college players in general (36 of 51 drafted, 26 of 30 signed) and seniors in particular (13 of those 26). Consequently, the Auburn team was the second-oldest in the league and that does in part explain some of their success.

*I’m no draft expert and am quite honest in my distaste for discussing it, but it’s not lost on me that this emphasis on upperclassmen isn’t ideal — especially when the new normal for player advancement is one level per year. It’s great that Washington is putting more money into the D.R. and getting more players to come stateside, but that can’t be the only source of teenage talent. I can understand shying away from drafting high school pitchers (before you chime in with Peacock, Cole, or Ray, remember McGeary, Smoker, and Willems) but it just seems to me that now might be the time to start taking chances again on some high school hitters.

As we’ve done the two reviews prior, let’s take a look at how Auburn compared to the rest of the league…
HITTING
PITCHING
Too old or not, the Auburn Doubledays were the class of the New York-Penn League on offense, leading the league in runs scored, hits, doubles, RBI, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging. They could also run, finishing third in the league in total steals with 95 but were caught just 16 times for an 85.5% success rate.

The pitching was pretty close to league average in nearly every stat, with the rather notable exception of HRs allowed (fewest in the league), strikeouts (11th of 14 teams), and hits allowed (4th least). Unlike last season, the pitching didn’t take a nosedive. Of course, it helped to get some rehab innings from Brad Meyers, eight starts from the MIA in ’09 and ’10 Nathan Karns, and 18 innings from a AA reclamation project in the person of Christian Garcia.

As before, I’m listing the Top 12 hitters and pitchers in terms of plate appearances and innings pitched and using defensive games played for the listing of position. The full statistics for the team can be found here.
(* = 2010 Draft Pick   ** = DSL Graduate   Italics = 2009 or earlier Draft Pick)

Defensively this looks like a poor bunch, but the Doubledays were actually second in the league in terms of fielding percentage, fourth in terms of fewest errors committed. Unfortunately, the catchers were abysmal at throwing out runners, with a team rate of 23% and Nieto showing serious rust (14%) before returning to form in Hagerstown (36%).

Five of these twelve hitters were assigned to the FIL (Skole, Burns, Ramsey, Ortega, Nieto). Last year, I was fooled into thinking that at least one of them might skip over Hagerstown, and even though three of them will turn 23 this fall, I will make no such assertion for 2012. But I will repeat the guess that the Suns offense should be decent again.

On to the pitchers…
This year’s draft picks made 26 of 75 starts, a marked increase from the 11 of 74 the year before (hey that rhymes!). Unfortunately, much of this can be attributed to the aforementioned upperclassmen taken. None of the starters were lights-out — Brian Dupra had the lowest ERA and WHIP of 3.46 and 1.207 respectively among the Top Five — and a fair amount of relief innings (134) came from guys with ERAs above 4.00. Ultimately, when you have a team that can mash, the pitching need only be mediocre for the team to be a winner and that’s pretty much what it was.

OBLIGATORY TOP FIVE LISTS
For the second straight year, I was able to make it to the NYPL, so it’s not completely sight unseen as it is with the GCL and DSL. Without further ado…

Top 5 Batters
1. Bryce Ortega
2. Matt Skole
3. Hendry Jimenez
4. Adrian Nieto
5. Billy Burns

Top 5 Pitchers
1. Wirkin Estevez
2. Taylor Hill
3. Brian Dupra
4. Manny Rodriguez
5. Christian Meza*

* This is a tough choice because I’m disinclined to choose an older player simply for the sake of have five players ranked. Digging deeper into his numbers, what jumped at me was the differential between his ERA (5.68) and FIP (3.31). Considering his age (turned 21 in August) and low HR and BB rates, I’m giving him the edge over older players (e.g. Colin Bates) or players that weren’t among the Top 12 in usage (e.g. Richie Mirowski).

Sep 142011
 

The Staten Island Yankees took a 2-1 decision from the Auburn Doubledays, sweeping the best-of-three New York-Penn League Championship Series two games to none.

Nathan Karns was the losing pitcher, giving up a solo home run to Zachary Wilson in the second inning as one of the two hits he allowed over three innings. He also walked three and struck out four.

Manager Gary Cathcart began to empty the bullpen after lifting Karns, as Manny Rodriguez, Christian Meza, and Alex Kreis each threw a scoreless inning. The offense, however, continued to sputter as they were unable to solve Staten Island’s Matt Tracy. The lefthander shut out the Doubledays over his six innings, allowing three hits and no walks while setting down four on strikes.

Aaron Barrett was the final Doubleday pitcher of the evening and retired the Yankees 1-2-3 in the seventh but two singles and a wild pitch led to the second Staten Island run in the eighth and a 2-0 lead for the Yankees.

Auburn got the run back in the top of the ninth on a Carlos Alvarez single (his second on a 2-for-4 evening), an error that sent Alvarez to third, and a sacrifice fly by Justin Miller. Matt Skole, who reached on the error, never got into scoring position as back-to-back grounders by Angel Montilla and Caleb Ramsey ended the game and the season for the Doubledays.

Including the playoffs, Auburn was 47-33 for the 2011 season, its first as a Washington Nationals affiliate and the best record for a Nats’ New York-Penn League entry since the team was relocated to DC in the 2004-05 offseason.

Sep 132011
 

Team Pitching Star Hitting Star #1 Hitting Star #2
Potomac
L, 3-2
Trevor Holder
3⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 4K
Brian Peacock
1-4, R, HR, RBI
Zach Walters
1-4, R, 2B
Auburn
L, 9-2
Manny Rivera
1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
Billy Burns
2-4, R, 2B, SB
Wilfri Pena
1-4, 2B, RBI

The Frederick Keys got three runs in the bottom of the first and made them stand up for a 3-2 win over the Potomac Nationals in Game Five to advance to the 2011 Mills Cup Finals against the Kinston Indians.

The Potomac bullpen trio of Trevor Holder, Marcos Frias and Neil Holland tossed seven and a 1/3rd scoreless and hitless innings of relief to keep this game close, but the P-Nats bats were largely silent — just four hits and three walks total, though Brian Peacock did connect on a solo shot in the 9th to likely finish his five-season odyssey on a high note.

Meanwhile, the Auburn Doubledays dropped Game One of the best-of-three New York-Penn League Championship Series, 9-2 to the Staten Island Yankees. With the next two in New York City, they’ll have to beat the team with the best regular-season record overall and the second-best home record at 24-12 — twice.

Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez was not sharp, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk over five innings with several deep counts early in the game but struck out six, including four in the second thanks to a wild pitch. The bullpen imploded in the last two frames, as Richie Mirowski. Ben Hawkins and Travis Henke gave up six runs on six hits and four walks.

Sep 122011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Harrisburg Lost, 2-1 ELIMINATED N/A
Potomac Won, 6-1 @ Frederick,
7:00 p.m.
Paul Demny or Mitchell Clegg vs.
Nick Haughian or Jacob Petit
Auburn OFF DAY vs.
Staten Island,
7:05 p.m.
Wirkin Estevez (6-3, 4.01) vs.
Taylor Morton (0-1, 5.40)

The Harrisburg Senators were swept from the Eastern League playoffs with a 2-1 loss to Richmond. While the flooding that delayed the series two days and shifted it to entirely in Richmond didn’t help, the lack of offense was more to blame. The Sens had just five hits yesterday and 18 for the series, batting a .175 overall, .143 with RISP, and 23 runners left on base. The starting pitching was sensational, with Erik Arnesen, Shairon Martis, and Tanner Roark each going seven innings and the trio striking out 29 batters combined while allowing just five runs total.

The Potomac Nationals decided to wait until the next-to-last chance they had on a Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge to beat the Keys and force a Game Five in the Northern Division Championship Series tonight in Frederick. The winner will meet Kinston for the 2011 Mills Cup.

It’s the final home game of the 2011 season in Auburn, New York as the Doubledays play host to the Staten Island Yankees in Game One of the best-of-three New York-Penn League Championship Series. The two teams split the only two games they played during the regular season. Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez gets the start against 2010 9th-round pick 19-year-old Taylor Morton, who threw all but five of his 55 innings in the regular season in the GCL.

Sep 112011
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Harrisburg Lost, 4-2 @ Richmond,
1:05 p.m.
Tanner Roark (9-9, 4.69) vs.
Justin Fitzgerald (9-9, 3.51)
Potomac Lost, 5-1 vs. Frederick,
1:05 p.m.
Adam Olbrychowski (5-7, 4.16) vs.
Ryohei Tanaka (9-5, 3.33)
Auburn OFF DAY OFF DAY N/A

Two losses on Saturday night have pushed both Harrisburg and Potomac to the brink of elimination in the best-of-five format, with the Senators trailing Richmond in its series 2-0 and the P-Nats down 2-1 to Frederick. Both teams could be finished by late this afternoon.

Harrisburg fell 4-2 to Richmond in 11 innings, blowing a 2-0 lead in the 8th. Like the night before, clutch hitting was not to be found as the Senators went 0-for-6 with RISP and stranded seven runners. Derek Norris accounted for the first Harrisburg run and lone RBI while Tyler Moore scored on a wild pitch.

Shairon Martis walked four batters but allowed just one hit and no runs over seven innings while setting down nine on strikes. Rafael Martin let in the tying runs (both unearned) on two hits. Pat Lehman took the loss in the 11th by loading the bases with nobody out after pitching a scoreless 10th. Cory VanAllen couldn’t strand them and the Sens couldn’t get them back in their half of the 11th.

Potomac was held to just three hits total while Frederick’s two true prospects were both outstanding Last Night In Woodbridge. It needs to be mentioned somewhere that despite the deluge of rain on Thursday, the field was restored to playable condition on Friday and Saturday and was not a factor in the game.

Finally, the Staten Island Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Cyclones by the slimmest of margins, 1-0. They will play the Doubledays in Auburn for Game One of the New York-Penn League Championship, then return to New York City on Tuesday for Games Two and Three (if necessary).

Sep 102011
 


Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Harrisburg Lost, 6-0 @ Richmond,
7:05 p.m.
Shairon Martis (8-6, 3.05) vs.
Jason Stevenson (1-0, 1.29)
Potomac Won, 8-0 vs. Frederick,
6:35 p.m.
Evan Bronson (5-5, 3.64) vs.
Scott Copeland (3-2, 2.14)
Auburn Won, 7-2 OFF DAY N/A

Two of out three Nats playoff teams won last night, with Harrisburg dropping the opener, Potomac evening its series, and Auburn advancing to the New-York Penn League Championship Series.

The lack of clutch hitting that bedeviled the Senators late in the season returned with a vengeance as Harrisburg went just 1-for-11 with RISP and stranded 10 baserunners in the loss. The Sens managed just seven hits total in the loss, with Chris Rahl, Tyler Moore and Leonard Davis each going 2-for-4.

Erik Arnesen was more than adequate with three runs given up on eight hits and no walks over seven innings while striking out 10 batters, tying his season high. Jimmy Barthmaier put on the first two runners in the eighth and was lifted for Oliver Perez who gave up two straight singles to let them in, the 3-0 deficit extended to 5-0. Hassan Pena let up back-to-back doubles to make the final score 6-0.

In Frederick, the P-Nats used the longball to put this game away early, as Brian Peacock hit a two-run shot in the 1st and Francisco Soriano smacked a three-run blast in the 2nd en route to an 8-0 shutout of the Keys. Eury Perez scored four runs while going 3-for-4 with a double and a stolen base as Potomac pounded out ten hits total.

Sammy Solis walked just one, the 20th batter he faced, but a tight strike zone pushed his pitch count to 91 and prompted manager Matt LeCroy to call upon Neil Holland to escape a two-out, first-and-third jam in the 5th. Holland retired Manny Machado to preserve the shutout and went two more innings to earn the win. Joe Testa and Cameron Selik combined to shut down the keys over the final two frames, with Selik striking out the side in the 9th.

Finally, the Auburn Doubledays scored early and often, building a 7-2 lead after three that four relievers combined to stifle the Vermont Lake Monsters over the last six innings for the win and a berth in the NYPL finals. Brian Dupra got the start but was lifted with two outs in the fourth after allowing six hits and three walks. Alex Kreis got the win with an inning and a third pitched as the first man out of the ‘pen. Carlos Alvarez and Angel Montilla each had three hits in the 10-hit attack, while Bryce Ortega and Matt Skole each drove in two.

Which team and where the Doubledays will play on Monday will be determined tonight, as the Staten Island Yankees and the Brooklyn Cyclones face off in Game Three of the “Battle of the Boroughs.” If Staten Island wins, Auburn hosts Game One, with the series returning to NYC for the deciding game(s); if Brooklyn wins, the Cyclones play host first and the Doubledays get the home field for the rest of the series.