AFL/Offseason Update: Oct. 15, 2016

andrew-stevenson-10-14-16It was a light night for the Nats in last night’s 8-7 loss by Glendale to Scottsdale.

Andrew Stevenson was the only prospect to appear, as the 22-y.o. started, batted ninth, and played left field for the Desert Dogs. At the plate, he went 0-for-4 while grounding into a double play. In the field, he had two putouts and fielded four singles.

The loss drops Glendale to .500 with a 2-2 mark. They’ll close out Week 1 with a home game this afternoon against Salt River.
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Despite having exhausted his rookie eligibility – the generally accepted, least arbitrary way to end prospect status – Baseball America continued its practice of ignoring this standard when it suits them to name Trea Turner the #1 “prospect” in the International League. A.J. Cole, who turns 25 in January, came in at #20.

Still the slow season as folks await the World Series to end for full-fledged free agency to begin…
• Signed – OF Yadiel Hernandez (scouting report)
• Re-signed – IF Adrian Sanchez
• Released – RHP Bronson Arroyo

It’s too early to list any stats, but for those desperate for something to talk about…
• Mexico – 1B-3B Matt Skole,
• Venezuela – RHPs Mitch Lively, Greg Ross, and Boone Whiting


We’re now in the full-season territory, where the sample sizes are larger and (Auburn excepted) there’s some actual local media coverage. I have a spy in Hagerstown, who has made posts about the Suns hitters and pitchers upon my request.

Disclosure: Shawn is not a fan of Washington teams, which is perfectly fine because only the Nielsen folks consider Western Maryland part of the DC-Baltimore market. I can relate, having grown up in Western Massachusetts, where some folks were fans of NY teams (particularly in football and hockey, thanks to Hartford and its top AHL team being in Springfield) because that’s who you could see if you didn’t have cable TV.

The Suns got back on the horse and played winning baseball from wire-to-wire, winning the first half by slimmest possible margin (½ game) and finishing second in the second half by five games to the Blue Claws, who swept them in the first round, two games to none.

Hagerstown was the #1 offense in the Sally League (4.77 R/G), buoyed by the likes of Victor Robles and Max “For Those About To” Schrock, and got league-average pitching from a mixed bag of pitchers and league-average defense (one interesting caveat: Hagerstown allowed the least number of stolen bases while throwing out 35% of those that did attempt to steal).

Now, for the obligatory Top 5’s…

1. Victor Robles, CF
.297 GPA, .459 SLG%
1. Jorge Pantoja, RHRP
2.63/2.67/1.15, 1.65 BB/9
2. Max Schrock, 2B
.286 GPA, 22BB, 20K in 67G
2. Tommy Peterson, RHRP
2.11/2.85/0.89, 0.70 BB/9
3. Kelvin Gutierrez, 3B
.259 GPA, 19SB in 96G
3. Grant Borne, LHRP
3.34/3.35/1.20, 4.18 K:BB ratio
4. Austin Davidson, 3B/2B
.283 GPA, .473 SLG%
4. Andrew Lee, RHSP
3.71/3.15/1.24, 1HR in 51 IP
5. Ian Sagdal, 2B
.281 GPA, .303 BA, 30 doubles
5. Taylor Guilbeau, LHP
3.61/3.15/1.32, 8.3 K/9

Obviously, I’m probably giving short shrift to Rhett Wiseman again, but I also thought it’d be specious to skip over Schrock simply because he’s no longer in the organization. Had I gotten to see him in person, perhaps I might have slotted him ahead of the older, less talented players, i.e. like I did with Gutierrez.

It’s also worth noting that the tilt towards relievers on this list is an argument regarding performance vs. potential. The Nats kept giving the ball to the Dominican trio of Joan Baez, Jefry Rodriguez, and Pedro Avila—who started 72 games and went 23-25, 4.17 ERA combined—for a reason.

Again, this where we need to remind ourselves that development is the goal, and winning is nice but not necessary. As always, folks interested in seeing the full stats, are directed here.

Hagerstown, Potomac Eliminated From the Playoffs

So LongBoth Potomac and Hagerstown lost last night and were eliminated from the playoffs to close the books on the 2016 Washington Nationals minor league season.

Lynchburg 3 Potomac 1
• Crownover (L, 0-1) 6+ IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 4K
• Orlan 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Abreu 2-4, R, 2B
• Page 1-3, BB

The P-Nats never led this one, falling behind 1-0 after four innings and 3-0 after seven. They got the tying runs to the plate in both the 8th and 9th innings, but plated just one run with Bryan Mejia’s two-out double in the 9th. For the game, Potomac was 1-for-9 with RISP and left on seven. Osvaldo Abreu was the sole batter not to whiff as the P-Nat batters fanned 12 times total, including three times swinging in the 1st.

Matthew Crownover did his part, pitching into the 7th and giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks while striking out four, but was saddled with the loss. Gilberto Mendez came on with a runner on first that reached on Raudy Read error and retired just one of three batters before Lynchburg sent him packing with a two-run homer that proved to be the difference. R.C. Orlan got the last five outs in as many batters faced, but the offense couldn’t match his effort.

The loss was the first time Potomac had failed to reach the Mills Cup finals since 2011, when the P-Nats fell to the Keys 3-2 in the then (much more fair) best-of-five Divisional series. Lynchburg will now face the defending Carolina League champs Myrtle Beach, which upset (well, see previous parenthetical) Salem to win both Game 3 and the C.L. South Division series, 2-1.

Lakewood 5 Hagerstown 2
• Watson (L, 0-1) 4⅔ IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K
• Peterson 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Sagdal 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Beckwith 2-3, RBI

Likewise, Hagerstown fell behind 2-0 before they even came to bat and were never able to catch Lakewood, which took the game, 5-2 and swept the series, 2-0. Tyler Watson, who was making just his fifth Low-A start, was predictably knocked around for three runs on six hits and two walks over four and 2/3rds innings to wear the “L.” Jake Johansen got the last out of the 5th and pitched into the 7th before he ran out of gas. He left with runners on first and second but Mariano Rivera could not strand them as he gave up a two-out, two-run triple that effectively put the game out of reach.

Offensively, the Suns did little after Ian Sagdal led off the game with a HR to cut the deficit to 2-1. Blake Perkins followed with a single but a double play stopped the momentum, as did twin-killings in the 5th and 6th innings. Hagerstown managed just seven hits total and drew just one walk. The heart of the lineup – nos. three through seven – went 0-for-17 and accounted for four of the six batting strikeouts and both runners stranded in scoring position with two outs.

The first-round exit was the first for Hagerstown since 2012, when they were also swept by Greensboro. Lakewood gets an extra day off as they await the outcome of the Sally South series, which was tied up when Rome blew a 3-0 lead and lost 4-3 to Charleston to force a Game 3 tonight.

Thursday’s News & Notes — Playoff Edition

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Potomac Won, 7-0
(7 inn.)
@ Lynchburg,
6:30 p.m.
Silvestre (0-0, 2.08) vs.
Lugo (8-5, 4.04)
Hagerstown Lost, 6-1 OFF DAY N/A

Potomac 7 Lynchburg 0 (7 inn.)
• Whiting (W, 1-0) 7IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Gutierrez 3-4, R, 2B, RBI
• Carey 2-3, R, 3B, RBI
• Page 2-4, 2R, 2B, 2RBI

Rain delayed the start and ended it early, but in between, Potomac dominated Lynchburg for a 7-0 shutout in seven innings. Staff ace Boone Whiting went the distance, allowing just two hits and a walk while fanning three to get the win. Kelvin Gutierrez led the 13-hit parade with two singles and a double, as eight of the starting nine batters hit safely while the beer man (Bryan Mejia) contributed with a pair of sacrifices.

The series now shifts to Lynchburg, where Potomac will have two chances to win one game to advance to the Carolina League Finals for the third time in four seasons. Roster move: C Jake Lowery activated from the TIL.

Lakewood 6 Hagerstown 1
• Rodriguez (L, 0-1) 4+ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 4K, WP
• Guilbeau 2⅓ IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 1K, 2-2 IR-S
• Sagdal 1-3, BB
• Perkins 0-2, R, 2BB

The BlueClaws limited the Suns to just four hits and came up big in the middle innings for a 6-1 victory in the SLDS opener. Jefry Rodriguez pitched into the 5th, giving up a double and a walk then wild-pitching them over to 2nd and 3rd before giving way to the ‘pen. Taylor Guilbeau couldn’t get an out on his own until the third batter he faced, as he gave up a single and a sacrifice before getting a strikeout. He issued an intentional walk to load the bases then surrendered a two-run double to let in both of Rodriguez’s runs and the first of four charged to him. Hagerstown’s offense drew just four walks while striking out 12 times. Ian Sagdal (single, walk) and Blake Perkins (two walks) were the only two batters to reach base twice.

After a mandated travel day, the series resumes on Friday in Hagerstown, with the Suns needing to win both Games 2 and 3 to return to the Sally League Finals, where they lost in five games to the Tourists in 2014. Roster move: C Adderling Ruiz reassigned from Potomac.

Wednesday’s News & Notes — Playoff Edition

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Potomac OFF DAY vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Whiting (11-3, 3.45) vs.
Esparza (2-4, 3.92)
Hagerstown OFF DAY @ Lakewood,
7:05 p.m.
Rodriguez (7-11, 4.96) vs.
Tirado (7-1, 3.90)

Potomac vs. Lynchburg – C.L. Division Series
For the third time in three seasons, the Hillcats and P-Nats will square off in the first round of the Carolina League Playoffs. In 2013 and 2014, Potomac prevailed 2-0 in the best-of-three series, but also had home-field advantage as double-half winners. This season, it’s just the opener in Woodbridge, then Game 2 and Game 3 (if necessary) in Lynchburg. The Hillcats took 12 of the 22 games between the two teams, but the P-Nats won five of nine in the second half. Pitching matchups have not yet been announced beyond tonight, but if the rotation is not altered, it’ll be Hector Silvestre in Game 2 and Matt Crownover in Game 3.

Hagerstown vs. Lakewood – S.A.L. Division Series
Like Potomac, Hagerstown makes its first playoff appearance since 2014. The Suns have been on the road since August 29, but like most 80+ game winners, have played well both home and away (44-26 vs. 39-31). Hagerstown dominated Lakewood early (11-0) but won just four of the last 11 games against the Phillies affiliate. According to, the playoff rotation will be Jefry Rodriguez, Tyler Watson, and (if necessary) Joan Baez. Roster moves: RHP Luis Reyes placed on the 7-Day DL.

Tuesday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-3
(10 inn.)
Harrisburg Won, 5-4 END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac Won, 3-1 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown Won, 9-5 OFF DAY N/A
Auburn Lost, 4-3 END OF SEASON N/A

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 4 Syracuse 3 (10 inn.)
• Ross 3IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Voth (L, 7-9) 6⅔ IP, 4H, 3R, 1ER, 5BB, 7K
• Solano 2-3, 3RBI
• N. Soto 3-5, R
• Martinson 2-5, 2R

Syracuse secured the worst record in the I.L. with a 4-3 loss in 10 innings to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in the season finale. MLB Rehab Joe Ross went the first three frames, giving up a run on a home run and three hits total over the first three innings. Austin Voth followed and took the loss, pitching the final six and 2/3rds and charged with three runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks (two intentional) while striking out seven. Jhonatan Solano drove in all three Chiefs runs while Neftali Solo singled three times to lead the Syracuse offense. Roster moves: IF Wilmer Difo reassigned from Harrisburg.

Harrisburg 5 Hartford 4
• J. Martin 8IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 3K; 0-1, 2SAC
• Ross (W, 5-1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Bautista 4-5, 2B, 2RBI, SB
• A. Sanchez 3-4, 2R
• Marmolejos 3-5, RBI

The Sens rallied for three in the 9th for a 5-4 walkoff win against the Yard Goats. Alas, it was too little, too late as Altoona beat out Harrisburg by one game for the playoffs. J.D. Martin replaced Erick Fedde and went the first eight innings, giving up all four Hartford runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three. Greg Ross got the “W” with a scoreless 9th. The Sens singled six times in seven at-bats in the final frame with Jose “Orange” Marmolejos driving in the deciding run on his third single of the afternoon. Rafael Bautista led the hit parade with three singles and a double, finishing September with a 15-for-36 flourish. Roster Moves: RHP J.D. Martin reassigned from Potomac, IF Khayyan Norfork reassigned from Syracuse.

Potomac 3 Myrtle Beach 1
• Mayberry (W, 4-4) 7IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 9K
• Mendez (H, 4) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Davidson 2-4, R, RBI
• Robles 3-4

Potomac won its third second-half title in four seasons behind a masterful outing by Whit Mayberry on a Monday Afternoon in Woodbridge.

Roster moves: RHPs Wirkin Estevez, Dakota Bacus activated from the 7-Day DL; C Adderling Ruiz reassigned from Hagerstown; C Jake Lowery placed on the 3-Day TIL.

Hagerstown 9 Asheville 5
• Borne (W, 5-2) 5IP, 5H, R, ER, 0BB, 5K
• Peterson 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Wiseman 4-5, R, 2RBI
• Noll 4-5, 2R, 2B, RBI
• Reetz 2-4, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI

The Suns battered Tourist pitchers for 19 hit as they took the season finale, 9-5. Grant Borne won his fifth game with five innings of one-run ball on five hits and no walks while striking out five. Beers were on Angelo La Bruna as the only Hagerstown batter to go hitless with Jake Noll and Rhett Wiseman leading the attack with eight hits, three runs, and three RBI combined.

Batavia 4 Auburn 3
• Sharp 5IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K
• Ramirez (L, 4-3) 1⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 1K
• J. Soto 2-4, R, 2B, E(2)
• Ripken 2-4, 2B, RBI

Auburn completed its 0-for-September with its seventh straight loss, 4-3 to Batavia. ABC News 5 Anchorman Sterling Sharp got the callup from the GCL to make one more start and let in three runs on six hits and no walks over five innings for a no-decision. Yonathan Ramirez gave up the deciding run in the 7th to take the loss, his third. Juan Soto and Ryan Ripken both singled and doubled to lead the Doubledays offense, which managed nine hits but was 0-for-7 with RISP. Roster move: RHP Sterling Sharp reassigned from the GCL.

Monday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-4 @ Scranton/WB,
12:05 p.m.
J. Ross (0-2, 3.48) vs.
Bleier (2-3, 3.61)
Harrisburg Won, 6-3 vs. Hartford,
1:30 p.m.
Fedde (2-1, 3.99) vs.
Howard (5-6, 4.10)
Potomac Lost, 11-4 vs. Myrtle Beach,
1:05 p.m.
J. Martin (1-2, 5.96) vs.
Hagerstown Won, 10-5 @ Asheville,
2:05 p.m.
Reyes (0-2, 2.81) vs.
Johnson (7-4, 4.23)
Auburn Lost, 1-0;
Lost, 6-5
@ Batavia,
1:05 p.m.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 5 Syracuse 4
• Laffey 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 5K, HR
• Self (BS, 1) 2⅔ IP, 4H, 2R, 2BB, 0K
• DeFratus (L, 2-3) 1IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 2K, 1-0 IR-S
• den Dekker 2-5, R, RBI
• Ramsey 3-4, 2RBI

The RailRiders scored twice in the 8th and once in the 9th to turn a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 win over the Chiefs. Aaron Laffey got the start and turned in five innings of two-run ball on five hits, including a two-run HR in the 2nd. He walked none and struck out five. Derek Self was pushed an inning too far as he blew the save in his third inning of work with two runs let in. Justin DeFratus coughed up the gamewinner in the 9th on a hit and two walks. Tablesetters Matt den Dekker and Caleb Ramsey combined for five of the ten Syracuse hits. Roster moves: RHP Reynaldo Lopez recalled to Washington; RHP Russell Harmening, LHP David Ramos reassigned from Auburn.

Harrisburg 6 Hartford 3
• Valdez (W, 6-4) 7+ IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 6K
• Benincasa (SV, 3) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• A. Sanchez 2-3, BB
• Stevenson 2-4, 2R, BB, RBI, CS
• Bautista 2-5, R, 3B, SB(55), CS

Harrisburg scored in each of the first four innings while doubling up Hartford, 6-3. Phillips Valdez pitched into the 8th for the fourth straight start, and earned his sixth win (12th overall) with three runs allowed on six hits and two walks. Nick Lee and Mitch Lively divvied up the 8th to each earn a hold while Rober Benincasa worked around a one-out single to get his third save. Andrew Stevenson and Adrian Sanchez both reached base three times to pace the Sens’ 11-hit, four-walk offense. Thanks to a third straight loss by the Curve, the Senators were not eliminated from the playoffs but need to win again while Altoona loses again to become the E.L. West wildcard.

Myrtle Beach 11 Potomac 4
• Williams (L, 4-6) ⅔ IP, 4H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 0K, HR, HBP
• Sanchez 6IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 5K
• Davidson 2-3, 2-2B, 2R, BB
• Robles 2-4, 2B

Mario Sanchez turned in six strong innings of pitching with two runs allowed on five hits and a walk while striking out five. The problem is that it came in relief after the P-Nats dug themselves into a 9-2 hole en route to a third straight loss to the Pelicans, 11-4. Austen Williams hit the 40-pitch-in-one-inning limit in the 1st as he retired just two of eight batters faced, giving up six runs on four hits and a walk and hitting a batter. Austin Davidson doubled twice and scored twice while Victor Robles singled and doubled to lead the Potomac offense. Playoff update: The Hillcats lost yet again to the Red Sox, 5-4 in 12 innings, to keep the P-Nats’ hopes of a 2nd half title alive.

Hagerstown 10 Asheville 5
• Baez (W, 9-7) 6IP, 3H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, 0K, HBP, 4WP
• Held (SV, 1) 3IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K, WP
• Sagdal 4-5, 3R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• DeBruin 4-5, R, RBI
• Noll 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI

Hagerstown put up five in the 4th and four in the 8th as they outslugged Asheville, 10-5. Joan Baez managed to give up four runs on three hits and three walks over six innings. He struck out none while winning his ninth game. Sam Held closed it out with one run over the last three innings for the save. Ian Sagdal and Grant DeBruin both went 4-for-5 while and Jake Noll both homered as the Suns pounded out 16 hits total.

Batavia 1 Auburn 0 – COMP.
• Dunning (L, 1-2) 9IP, 6H, R, ER, BB, 8K
• J. Soto 1-3
• Dulin 1-3, 3B, BB

Dane Dunning picked up where he left off 22 days ago and threw another six innings for a complete-game, 1-0 Doubledays’ loss to the Muckdogs. Dalton Dulin was the only Auburn batter to reach base twice, going 1-for-3 with a walk as Batavia’s Sam Perez held the Doubledays to just three hits over seven innings of “relief.”

Batavia 6 Auburn 5 – GAME TWO
• Fuentes 4IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 7K
• Mooney (L, 0-2) ⅓ IP, 4H, 5R, 4ER, 2BB, 0K, 0HR
• J. Soto 2-3, R, 2B, BB
• A. Martinez 0-1, BB, 2HBP
• 1-for-16 RISP; 11 LOB

Batavia did all it could to give it away with six errors, but Auburn insisted on being a good guest by blowing a 5-1 lead in the 7th and final inning for a 6-5 walkoff loss. Steven Fuentes tossed four scoreless innings to start, while Hayden Howard followed with an unearned run over the next two innings. Kevin Mooney retired just one of seven batters faced in the final frame as he was lit up for five runs on four hits and two walks for his second loss.

Sunday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 2-1 @ Scranton/WB,
1:05 p.m.
Laffey (6-6, 3.83) vs.
Wotherspoon (2-0, 1.37)
Harrisburg Lost, 3-2;
Won, 3-0
vs. Hartford,
1:30 p.m.
Valdez (5-4, 4.69) vs.
Jemiola (8-9, 4.27)
Potomac Lost, 5-4
(14 inn.)
vs. Myrtle Beach,
6:05 p.m.
Williams (4-5, 4.75) vs.
Pugliese (6-5, 3.87)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-2 @ Asheville,
7:05 p.m.
Baez (8-7, 3.91) vs.
Palacios (1-5, 5.92)
Auburn Lost, 5-0 @ Batavia,
4:05 p.m.
Dunning (3-1, 2.36) and
Fuentes (2-1, 3.97) vs.

Pawtucket 2 Syracuse 1
• Hill (L, 6-13) 7IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 4K
• E. Davis 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Collier 1-3, BB
• Lombardozzi 2-4

Syracuse broke up the shutout in the 6th but couldn’t draw to a tie, losing the series finale to Pawatucket, 2-1. Taylor Hill let in both PawSox runs on five hits and two walks over seven innings but lost for the organization-leading 13th time. Jason Martinson’s RBI double accounted for the lone tally as the Chiefs were a woeful 1-for-10 with RISP. Steve Lombardozzi led the hit column with two singles. Roster move: OF Matt den Dekker outrighted from Washington.

Hartford 3 Harrisburg 2 – GAME ONE
• Mapes (L, 12-10) 7IP, 8H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 1K, HBP
• Bautista 4-4, R, SB

Tyler Mapes went the distance in the opener for the Sens but the offense couldn’t do their part in a 3-2 loss in the opener. Mapes gave up eight hits and two walks and hit a batter while fanning one as he lost for the tenth time. Rafael Bautista singled four times, scored a run, and stole a base, but the rest of the line up mustered just three hits and a walk.

Harrisburg 3 Hartford 0 – GAME TWO
• Simms (W, 8-5) 5IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 4K, HBP; 0-0, 2BB
• Suero (SV, 4) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• A. Sanchez 2-3, R, 2-2B, RBI
• Rickles 2-3, R, HR, RBI

John Simms and Wander Suero cobmined on six-hit shutout to split the doubleheader with a 3-0 win for the Senators. Simms went the first five and allowed four hits and hit a batter while striking out four to win his eighth decision. Suero worked around two singles in the 6th then set the side down in order in the 7th for his fourth save. Adrian Sanchez doubled twice, drove in a run, and scored a run while Nick Rickles singled and homered to lead the Harrisburg attack. Playoff update: Akron also won to push Harrisburg to the brink of elimination; the RubberDucks must lose twice and the Senators must win twice to make the playoffs.

Myrtle Beach 5 Potomac 4 (14 inn.)
• Crownover 6IP, 7H, 4R, 3ER, BB, 9K, HR
• Thomas 3IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Orlan (L, 5-6) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 1K, 2WP
• Read 3-7, 2B, RBI, PB(19)
• Mejia 3-6, R

Potomac got a ton of solid pitching and a pound of adequate catching as they gave away this one in 14 innings, 5-4. A passed ball in the 6th let in the tying run after the P-Nats battled back from 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead. In the 14th, a wild pitch took away the double play and allowed the winning run to get to 3rd with just one out. R.C. Orlan took the loss as he gave up the final Pelicans run on two singles and no walks. Matt Crownover recovered from a three-run HR in the 1st to turn in six strong innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk while striking out nine. Raudy Read and Bryan Mejia both had three hits to pace the P-Nats attack. Playoff update: Lynchburg lost again to Mills Cup favorite Salem, 9-3, to preserve the first-place tie in the C.L. North.

Asheville 5 Hagerstown 2
• Watson (L, 1-1) 5IP, 9H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K, WP
• Bourque 3IP, 4H, R, ER, BB, 2K, HBP, WP
• Beckwith 2-4, 2-2B
• Reetz 2-4

The Tourists burned the Suns for four runs in the middle innings for 5-2 win. Tyler Watson suffered the loss with four runs allowed on nine hits and two walks over five innings. Tyler Beckwith doubled twice, Jakson Reetz singled twice, and Rhett Wiseman homered to lead the eight-hit, no-walk offensive effort.

West Virginia 5 Auburn 0
• W. Davis (L, 3-6) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 4K
• Ortiz 1-3, BB

Three West Virginia pitchers combined on a one-hit shutout to complete the three-game sweep of Auburn with a 5-0 win. Weston Davis dropped his sixth game while tossing five innings of two-run ball on five hits and two walks. He struck out four. Oliver Ortiz broke up the no-hitter with two out in the 4th and drew one of the four Doubledays’ walks.

Saturday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 1-0
(10 inn.)
@ Pawtucket,
6:05 p.m.
Hill (6-12, 4.75) vs.
O’Sullivan (8-6, 4.14)
Harrisburg Won, 4-3
(13 inn.)
vs. Hartford,
6:00 p.m.
Simms (7-5, 3.49) and
Mapes (12-9, 3.16) vs.
Burke (0-0, 2.89) and
Wade (1-3, 5.20)
Potomac Lost, 2-1 vs. Myrtle Beach,
6:35 p.m.
Crownover (4-4, 4.27) vs.
Leal (10-4, 2.98)
Hagerstown Won, 5-1 @ Asheville,
6:05 p.m.
Watson (1-0, 3.60) vs.
Killian (11-6, 3.94)
Auburn Lost, 7-4 vs. West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
W. Davis (3-5, 2.57) vs. TBD

Syracuse 1 Pawtucket 0 (10 inn.)
• Giolito 8IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 5K
• DeFratus (W, 2-2) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Self (SV, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Collier 0-3, R, BB, SB
• Bostick 1-4, RBI

Lucas Giolito went a career-high eight shutout innings, combining with two relievers for the Chiefs’ three-hit, ten-inning shutout of the PawSox, 1-0. The 22-y.o. walked one and struck out five while giving up a single and a double. Justin DeFratus and Derek Self each turned in a goose egg to earn the win and save respectively. Zach Collier drew a leadoff walk in the 10th, stole second, took third on groundout to second, and scored on Chirstopher Bostick’s RBI single for the fifth and final hit by Syracuse on the night. Roster moves: RHP Mat Latos, LHP Sean Burnett added to 40-man roster; OF Matt den Dekker designated for assignment; Washington recalled – LHPs Burnett, Matt Grace, RHPs Latos, Trevor Gott, Rafael Martin, C Pedro Severino, OF Brian Goodwin; IF Khayyan Norfork, C Brian Jeroloman, RHP Derek Self reassigned from Harrisburg.

Harrisburg 4 Hartford 3 (13 inn.)
• Brady 7IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 8K, HR
• Runion (W, 2-1) 3IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K; SAC
• Difo 3-6, R, HR, 2RBI
• Stevenson 2-4, R, 2BB, SB

Harrisburg finally cashed in on its numerous chances to score in extras to walk off in 13, 4-3 and keep pace with Akron, which took both ends of a twinbill from Bowie. Michael Brady got the start and gave up all three Yard Goat runs on six hits and a walk while fanning eight over seven innings. The win went to Sam Runion, who combined with Nick Lee and Andrew Robinson for six scoreless innings of relief. Stephen Perez and Spencer Kieboom both walked to lead off the 13th, were moved up 90′ with a sacrifice bunt by Runion, and Perez scored on Rafael Bautista’s RBI single. Roster moves: RHP Michael Brady, C Spencer Kieboom activated from the 7-Day DL.

Myrtle Beach 2 Potomac 1
• Silvestre 5IP, 2H, 0R, 4BB, 2K
• Pantoja (BS, 3) 1IP, 1H, R, ER, 2BB, K
• Holland (L, 1-4) 2IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K
• Robles 3-4, R, 2SB
• Page 1-3, E

The P-Nats and Pelicans matched up in a pitcher’s duel with the C.L. South leader edging the C.L. North, 2-1. Hector Silvestre got the start but struggled with his command, issuing four walks over five scoreless innings, though he gave up just two hits. The loss went to Neil Holland who gave up a one-out double that came around to score when Matt Page cricket-wicketed the would-be third out of the 8th. Victor Robles singled three times, stole two bags, and scored the lone run but the rest of the team managed just two hits and a walk. Lynchburg also lost, keeping the two teams in a tie for first place.

Asheville 8 Hagerstown 2
• Guilbeau (W, 5-2) 5⅔ IP, 5H, R, ER, 3BB, 7K
• Johansen (H, 2) 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K, WP, 2-0 IR-S
• Noll 2-4, R, RBI
• Wiseman 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI
• DeBruin 2-5, R, 2B

Hagerstown put up three in the 5th and cruised to a 5-1 win over Asheville. Taylor Guilbeau pitched into the 6th for his sixth straight start, giving up the lone Tourist run on five hits and three walks while striking out seven for his fifth win. Jake Johansen stranded two runners for Guilbeau then pitched two more scoreless innings to earn the hold. The Suns collected 11 hits total, with Rhett Wiseman leading the charge with a single and his 12th HR while driving in two.

West Virginia 7 Auburn 4
• Bogucki (L, 0-6) 4IP, 7H, 6R, 5ER, 3BB, 2K
• Pirro 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• J. Soto 2-3, R, 2B, 2BB
• Banks 2-3, R, 2BB

The Black Bears mauled A.J. Bogucki for six runs over the first four innings and went on to a 7-4 win over the Doubledays in Game Two of the three-game series. Bogucki walked three and surrendered seven hits while losing for the sixth time in 12 appearances. Juan Soto and Nick Banks both went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks to pace the Auburn offense.

Friday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 2-1 @ Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
Giolito (1-2, 2.76) vs.
Elias (10-5, 3.78)
Harrisburg Won, 8-6 vs. Hartford,
7:00 p.m.
Potomac Won, 3-1 vs. Myrtle Beach,
7:00 p.m.
Silvestre (0-0, 3.38) vs.
Underwood (C.L. debut)
Hagerstown Lost, 8-2 @ Asheville,
6:35 p.m.
Guilbeau (4-2, 3.72) vs.
Tinoco (3-7, 5.83)
Auburn Lost, 6-2 vs. West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Bogucki (0-5, 7.66) vs.
Beddes (5-3, 2.48)

Syracuse 2 Pawtucket 1
• Espino (W, 8-11) 8IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 8K
• R. Martin (S, 22) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Lombardozzi 3-4, R, RBI
• Skole 2-4, R, HR, RBI

Paolo Espino turned in eight strong innings and Rafael Martin didn’t blow the save as Syracuse edged Pawtucket, 2-1. Espino let in one unearned run on four hits and two walks while fanning eight to tie A.J. Cole for the team lead in wins with eight. Martin tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for his 22nd save. Matt Skole singled and homered while Steve Lombardozzi went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI to lead the Chiefs’ offense.

Harrisburg 8 Bowie 6
• Blackmar (W, 4-5) 7+ IP, 4H, 5R, 5ER, 4BB, 3K, HR
• Benincasa (H, 1) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K, 2-1 IR-S
• Jeroloman 3-5, R, RBI
• Pleffner 2-4, 2-2B, BB, RBI
• Bautista 2-5, 2R, 3B, 2RBI

The Sens put up crooked numbers in three straight innings to win an 8-6 slugfest versus the BaySox. Mark Blackmar pitched into the 8th and was charged with five runs on four hits and four walks while striking out three to win his fourth AA game. Robert Benincasa let in one of two inherited runners in the 8th but earned the hold while Mitch Lively was credited with the save in the 9th for preserving the lead despite giving up a run. Brian Jeroloman singled three times while Shawn Pleffner doubled twice to lead the Harrisburg hit parade.
The RubberDucks fell to the Seawolves again and now lead the Sens in the loss column by just one game.

Potomac 3 Frederick 1
• Whiting (W, 11-3) 6⅓ IP, 5H, R, ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Sanchez (SV, 2) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Drew 1-1, 2B, 2RBI, 2BB
• Abreu 1-3, BB, RBI, CS(10)

Rehabbing Steven Drew doubled in two (hey, that rhymes!) to lead Potomac to a 3-1 victory that, coupled with a Lynchburg loss, put the P-Nats back in a first place tie in the C.L. North. Boone Whiting pitched into the seventh for the ninth time in 23 starts, giving up the lone Frederick run on five hits and a walk while striking out four to earn his team-leading 11th win. Robert Orlan and Mario Sanchez both recorded four outs to close out the game and earn the hold and save, respectively. Raudy Read led off the 5th with a triple and Osvaldo Abreu followed with a single to account for the third Potomac run. The P-Nats managed just four hits total, but drew seven walks. Roster moves: IF Stephen Drew assigned from Washington for MLB rehab; OF Alec Keller placed on the 7-Day DL; OF Narciso Mesa reassigned from Hagerstown.

Charleston 8 Hagerstown 2
• Rodriguez (L, 7-11) 1⅔ IP, 4H, 7R, 7ER, 7BB, 0K
• VanVossen 3⅓ IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, 3K, HR
• La Bruna 2-4, R, CS
• Wiseman 2-4

The RiverDogs jumped on Jefry Rodriguez for seven runs in the first two innings to cruise to an 8-2 win over the Suns in the series finale. Rodriguez walked seven and gave up four hits over just an inning and 2/3rds to lose his 11th game. Angelo La Bruna and Rhett Wiseman both went 2-for-4 to pace the Hagerstown offense. Roster move: OF Telmito Agustin activated from the 7-Day DL.

West Virginia 6 Auburn 2
• Mills (L, 4-5) 5⅓ IP, 5H, 6R, 4ER, 2BB, 5K, HR(GS)
• Mooney 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K
• J. Soto 2-4, RBI
• Ortiz 1-4, R, 2B

West Virginia’s Albert Baur smacked a grand slam in the 6th to snap a 2-2 tie and Auburn had no answer, losing 6-2. McKenzie Mills gave up the gamewinner with one out in the 6th and was charged with all six BlackBear runs (four earned) on five hits and two walks while fanning five. Juan Soto picked up where he left off in the GCL and singled twice and drove in one to lead the Doubleday offense. Roster move: OF Juan Soto promoted from the GCL.

Thursday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 4-3 @ Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
Latos (1-0, 1.29)
B. Johnson (5-6, 4.33)
Harrisburg Won, 5-4
(10 inn.)
@ Bowie,
7:05 p.m.
Blackmar (3-5, 5.22) vs.
Hess (5-12, 5.31)
Potomac Won, 11-5 @ Frederick,
7:00 p.m.
Whiting (10-3, 3.58) vs.
Keller (0-2, 3.18)
Hagerstown Lost, 6-5 @ Charleston,
6:35 p.m.
Rodriguez (7-10, 4.51) vs.
Rosa (1-5, 3.32)
Auburn Lost, 9-2 vs. West Virginia,
7:05 p.m.
Mills (4-4, 3.38) vs.
Marvel (4-6, 4.58)

Abbreviated writeups until I get back up to speed…
Rochester 4 Syracuse 3
• Ross 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Voth 6IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 5K
• Gott (BS, 2; L, 3-3) 6BF, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 0K
• Goodwin 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Soto 2-4, R

A 3-1 lead was too small for Trevor Gott to hold as he failed to retire the six batters he faced in the 9th to give the RedWings a 4-3 victory.

Harrisburg 5 Bowie 4 (10 inn.)
• Fedde 6IP, 4H, R, ER, BB, 12K
• Lee (W, 3-1) ⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Robinson (SV, 9) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Sanchez 2-3, R, BB, SB
• Ballou 2-4, RBI

Erick Fedde struck out a career-high of 12 but the Harrisburg ‘pen couldn’t preserve the win for him as they blew it in the 9th. Rafael Bautista walked, stole second (#53), took third on an Andrew Stevenson bunt single, and scored on a Wilmer Difo sac fly in the 10th for the 6-5 tally that was the game’s final score. Akron lost to narrow the gap between the two wildcard contenders to 1½ games.

Potomac 11 Frederick 5
• Martin (W, 1-2) 7⅔ IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 2BB, 5K, HR
• Brinley 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Abreu 3-5, 3R
• Vettleson 2-3, 2R, 2B, 2BB, RBI
• Mejia 1-2, R, HR, 3SF, 5RBI

The P-Nats finally clinched a playoff spot with an 11-5 dismantling of the Keys, led by Bryan Mejia’s five RBI. Lynchburg, however, also won to maintain its one-game advantage on Potomac in the C.L. North 2nd half title race.

Charleston 6 Hagerstown 5
• Reyes (L, 0-2) 5IP, 9H, 6R, 3ER, 2BB, 4K
• Held 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• DeBruin 2-5, 2-2B, RBI
• Beckwith 2-3, R, 2B, BB, SB

Charleston chewed up Luis Reyes for all six runs and held off a late Hagerstown rally to win, 6-5.

Brooklyn 9 Auburn 2
• Acevedo (L, 2-5) 3IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 0K
• Pirro 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Johnson 2-4, R, 2B, 3B, BB
• Ortiz 2-3, 2B, BB, RBI

The Cyclones blew through the Doubledays pitchers for 14 hits and nine unanswered runs in a 9-2 win to take the series finale.