Mar 302013
 

The official press release is not yet in hand, but per MASN’s Byron Kerr, here’s a look at the 2013 Hagerstown Suns (watchlist players in bold, notables in italics):

PITCHERS INFIELDERS OUTFIELDERS CATCHERS
Dixon Anderson Carlos Lopez J.R. Higley Craig Manuel
Robert Benincasa Mike McQuillan Estarlin Martinez Pedro Severino
Brian Dupra Khayyan Norfork Brandon Miller
Pedro Encarnacion Stephen Perez Wander Ramos
David Fischer Tony Renda
Bryan Harper Wes Schill
Travis Henke
Will Hudgins
Brett Mooneyham
Ronald Pena
Ivan Pineyro DISABLED LIST
Brian Rauh Wirkin Estevez Spencer Kieboom Narciso Mesa
Blake Schwartz Matt Purke Todd Simko Dean Weaver

Well, the gang’s all here. Just four of the 25 active players here didn’t play for the Auburn Doubledays last summer.

However, like Potomac, there’s a question of who’s gonna start and who’s gonna relieve. Nine of the 13 were starting pitchers for significant periods of time in Auburn, Hagerstown, and the GCL. Sight unseen, and without knowing folks’ health, it’s tough to guess… especially if the Nats do what they did last year with Nathan Karns and begin one of the guys coming off surgery (e.g. Dupra, Anderson) in the bullpen to keep the innings count down in the early going.

Health, of course, is going to probably be a theme with these guys… injuries shortened the already short seasons of Miller and Perez — how will they do over the course of a full season? Matt Purke; ’nuff said.

Of course, it bears repeating that even though this largely the same team that racked up .605 winning percentage in the New York-Penn League, it’s no guarantee that they’ll do the same in the Sally. But if the pitching improves as much as the hitting declines, it could be another playoff run for this group.

Feb 152013
 

I hope folks enjoyed this little exercise this week — picking which pitchers will begin where in 2013 — as it finishes today with Low-A Hagerstown.

The lowest full-season roster is an estimation as to who did well enough the previous summer in the New York-Penn League to get promoted and who either didn’t do well enough, won’t win the numbers game, or needs more time from last year’s Suns. Jumps from the GCL do happen, but they are rare.

Here’s how I guessed it last February:

STARTERS SWINGMEN RELIEVERS
Bobby Hansen Chris McKenzie Greg Holt
Wirkin Estevez Taylor Hill Blake Monar
Christian Meza Colin Bates Ben Hawkins
Nathan Karns Kylin Turnbull Aaron Barrett
Matt Purke Tyler Hanks
Luis Chirinos
Jack McGeary

Like Potomac, I was only completely wrong on a handful, getting 12 of 17 right if you’re willing to look the other way on Hawkins and Purke (in purple), who began in Hagerstown, albeit in late April and late May respectively. Where I wasn’t so good was picking who’d be starting and who’d be relieving, but such is the nature with the small sample sizes of short-season ball (e.g. Meza, who relieved in 9 of 11 appearances in 2010, but started in 10 of 13 in 2011).

So as we finish up, here’s my take on who will pitch for Hagerstown to begin this year:

STARTERS SWINGMEN RELIEVERS D.L.
Blake Schwartz Dixon Anderson Leonard Hollins Wirkin Estevez
Brian Rauh David Fischer Cody Davis  
Nick Lee   Derek Self  
Blake Monar   Robert Benincasa  
Pedro Encarnacion   Michael Boyden  
Brett Mooneyham      

If you’re inclined to ask “What about________?” after seeing all four parts, remember that getting information about players’ injuries and health is very difficult. It doesn’t help that the Nats aren’t very forthcoming in this department (though hardly a shock, given how tone-deaf the PR folks can be sometimes).

I will joke about this during the season, so if you’re new here… understand I’m not being callous so much as I’m mocking the farce of being so secretive (this isn’t hockey or football) while simultaneously playing roster games (e.g. that pitcher on the DL warming up the right fielder between innings).

Now, we return to the wait-and-see mode until the Spring Training games begin.

Oct 222012
 

On the field, the Hagerstown Suns improved upon a successful 2011 campaign with an 82-55 overall record. They missed the first half by three games with a 42-27 mark, but won the second with slightly worse record of 40-28, only to get swept in the playoffs with a pair of 2-run losses (3-1, 7-5). Some may blame the late promotion of Matt Skole at the very late date of August 15 — two months too late, if you ask some folks — for the quick playoff exit, the more objective take is that the pitching just wasn’t there, much like Auburn.

Off the field, the Suns entered the 2012 season with the spectre of the team leaving for Winchester and the rumblings of a new stadium being built in Hagerstown, culminating in a rather bold move of the team opening the kimono by giving a tour of Municipal Stadium, ostensibly to demonstrate that renovation is a not an option. The move may have prevented the team from losing its PDC through 2014, but it’s hard not to infer that threat of the team leaving is to blame for the huge drop in attendance from 2011 to 2012 (1,931 per game to 1,366 — a 29.3% decrease).

Back to the review… Let’s take a look at how the Suns compared to the rest of the South Atlantic League:
HITTING

PITCHING



Like 2011, the Suns were among the league leaders in runs and homers (2nd), hits and stolen bases (3rd), and walks (1st). I’ll go out on a limb and say this will probably be true for 2013, too. Unfortunately, some of the reason for this is that the team was among the oldest in the league, with multiple players repeating the level.

Pitching, which had been the organization’s strong suit for years, is now becoming one of its weaknesses. This the fourth of the seven affiliates, and all four levels have given up runs above the league average. This is not to say there weren’t bright spots in Hagerstown — obviously, a couple of examples stand, um, head & shoulders above the others — but it does seem like there was a Mr. Hyde for every Dr. Jekyll. When you can outslug your competition, it often goes unnoticed (well, at least until the playoffs), but this the last level where that’s the case.

Turning back to the bats, we now look at the Top 12 hitters in terms of plate appearances. As always, full statistics for the team can be found here, and the key for the asterisks is one * for the 2011 draft picks and two ** for the DSL graduates.
Like Auburn, there is really little to complain about in terms of overall offensive production. Just three of the top 12 produced below the league average, and three produced Nintendo-like numbers for both Gross Production Average and Isolated Power. The problem, of course, is that quite a few of these players were playing a level behind where they should have, as my Hagerstown guy put it in his review.

The only beacon of hope is that maybe, just maybe, one or two of the position players that were promoted from here to Potomac will be challenged with Harrisburg rather than resuming 2013 in Woodbridge. I know that sounds harsh, but perhaps an offseason “leapfrog” might serve as both an incentive to the Low-A guys and reminder to the High-A guys that moving up to the next level isn’t a foregone conclusion. The large number of six-year FA pitchers that were brought in at AA and AAA this year is an example of that line of thinking.

Speaking of pitchers…
For all the bitching and moaning discontent over the lack of promotions in the system, Hagerstown was interesting case when it came to pitchers. Four pitchers were promoted from Hagerstown to Potomac, and four pitchers were promoted to the Hub City — but two of those came not from Auburn but from the GCL. And three were 2012 picks.

It’s the skipping over that’s unusual. Ordinarily, one would expect a sequence like Blake Schwartz going from Viera to Auburn and Blake Monar going from Auburn to Hagerstown. Likewise for Leonard Hollins and, say, Travis Henke. It may be just be an anomaly, but it’s worth noting nonetheless.

For the second straight year, eleven pitchers made at least five starts for the Suns. Ineffectiveness and promotions were more to blame than injuries this year, with one starter dropping down from Potomac and two moving up midseason and one very late. Five pitchers went up and back to Viera for fine-tuning (most notably, Turnbull and Estevez) and a sixth went out for the year and under the knife (Brian Dupra).

Once again, I’ll refer you to my eyes on the field for Hagerstown’s hurlers.

OBLIGATORY TOP FIVE LISTS
Before blasting me for not listing Karns, remember that he pitched more innings for Potomac and I’m trying to avoid double-listing guys, which gets more difficult as we hit the upper levels. There isn’t a set number of spots to fill for the watchlist, after all. If it means fewer guys and shorter lists at the upper levels, so be it.

Position Players
1. Brian Goodwin
2. Matt Skole
3. Billy Burns
4. Jason Martinson
5. Steve Souza
HM: Caleb Ramsey

Pitchers
1. Alex Meyer
2. Christian Meza
3. Aaron Barrett
4. Brian Rauh
5. Blake Schwartz
HM: Ben Hawkins

Sep 232012
 

A little bit of a lull here, with not quite enough material for a full-fledged post or even a hold-me-over “Morning Reading.” But I’m going to be away for a few days, so I think it’s best to put something up here until I have a better news peg.

My friend Shawn attended the tour at Municipal Stadium, which is a rather bold move. Not because it’ll threaten the extension of the PDC — once Lexington signed with Kansas City, Hagerstown became the last man standing in the South Atlantic, all but ensuring that Washington will renew since it’s extremely unlikely the Nationals will leave for the Midwest League — but because it boxes them into new stadium or bust. (For those interested in some of the details of what’s known as the affiliate dance, Bluebird Banter had a story about it last week).

As we discussed earlier this year, events in Wilmington, NC and Lynchburg, VA bear watching. Wilmington has approved the lease for a new stadium, but not the means to pay for it, which goes to the voters in November. The Braves have reportedly promised to help with City of Lynchburg replace the Hillcats, which of course creates an opening. Kinston did not replace the Indians with a collegiate summer league team, so it doesn’t take too much imagination to envision a scenario where one or both of those cities could be a destination for the franchise to be moved — especially if they have two full years to work on it.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Sep 082012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Auburn Lost, 5-4 @ Tri-City,
7:05 p.m.
Fischer (3-3, 4.96) vs.
Rodgers (7-2, 2.89)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-5 ELIMINATED N/A

Tri-City 5 Auburn 4
• Mooneyham 5IP, 4H, 4R, 2ER, 3BB, K
• Boyden (L, 0-1) 3IP, 3H, R, ER, BB, K
• Renda 2-4, SB
• Ramos 1-3, R, 3B, BB, OF assist at 3B
• Kieboom 1-4, 2B, 2RBI

A pinch-hit double by the league’s oldest player put the tying run for Auburn in the bottom of the 9th, but despite a pair of walks and three pitching changes, the clutch hit eluded the Doubledays for a 5-4 loss to Tri-City. Auburn scored a first-inning run but gave it back in the 3rd and fell behind with three in the 4th, a pair of errors turning might have been one-run frame into a crooked number. The Doubledays got a couple back with a two-run double off the bat of Spencer Kieboom, then had the miscues evened out with an error and a balk in the 5th to plate the tying run.

The ValleyCats got the go-ahead run in the 7th with three singles, the only hits that Michael Boyden gave up, but it stood up for the win. Boyden took the loss with one run over three innings, while starter Brett Mooneyham gave up four runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks over the first five innings. Auburn outhit TriCity 8-7, with Tony Renda leading the hit column with a 2-for-4 effort.

The series shifts to Troy, NY for Game Two tonight with Auburn needing to win to force a deciding Game Three in the best-of-three format.

Greensboro 7 Hagerstown 5
• Estevez 2⅓ IP, 3H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 3K, 2HR
• Turnbull (L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 0K
• Hawkins 2⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 0K, 3-0 IR-S
• Burns 2-3, R, BB, SB
• Ramsey 2-4, R

Two big innings powered Greensboro to a 7-5 win to eliminate Hagerstown and advance to Sally League Finals to defend their 2011 title. The Grasshoppers went deep twice against Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez for all four runs scored in the 3rd inning to chase the 20-year-old from the game. The Suns responded with four of their own in the top of the 5th to tie the game, only to see Greensboro take the lead right back with two in the bottom of the inning. Hagerstown got within one with a run in the 8th, but gave it right back with a run in the 8th and went in order in the 9th.

Estevez got the no-decision with the four runs allowed over two and a 1/3rd innings on three hits (a double and two home runs) and a walk while striking out three. Kylin Turnbull took the loss with two runs given up on four hits and a walk in 2/3rds of an inning in the 6th. Richie Mirowski and Ben Hawkins combined for four scoreless innings of relief following Estevez and Turnbull. Billy Burns and Caleb Ramsey both singled twice and scored a run as Hagerstown made the most of its chances with a 4-for-6 night with RISP and just two runners left on base.

Sep 062012
 
Team Yesterday Tomorrow Announced Starters
Auburn Lost, 8-4 vs. Tri-City,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
Hagerstown Lost, 3-1 @ Greensboro,
7:05 p.m.
Estevez (5-2, 5.76) vs.
Esch (1-3, 3.13)

Williamsport 8 Auburn 4
• Pineyro (L, 3-2) 2⅔ IP, 9H, 7R, 7ER, BB, K, 0HR
• Hudgins 2⅓ IP, H, 0R, BB, K
• McQuillan 2-3, 2R, 3B, RBI
• Ramos 1-3, R, BB, RBI

A six-run 3rd put this one away early for Williamsport as they doubled up Auburn, 8-4 in the regular-season finale. Ivan Pineyro gave up seven of the eight Crosscutter runs, allowing nine hits and a walk with just one strikeout over two and 2/3rds. Mike McQuillan singled and tripled and scored twice to lead the Doubleday offense. It’s an off day today as Auburn learned its first-round opponent: The Tri-City Valleycats, which became the No. 2 seed after losing to the Hudson Valley Renegades, 3-2. In case folks missed the correction to yesterday’s story, Auburn hosts Game One tomorrow before heading east across the Thruway for Games Two and Three (if necessary) on Saturday and Sunday in Troy, NY.
Roster moves: LHP Blake Monar placed on the DL; LHP Andrew Wall activated from the DL.

Greensboro 3 Hagerstown 1
• Schwartz (L, 0-1) 5IP, 7H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Meza 1IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 2K, WP
• Ortega 2-2, R, BB, SB
• Burns 2-4, SB, CS

Greensboro’s Andrew Heaney shut down Hagerstown for seven scoreless innings as the Grasshoppers took Game One of the Sally League Northern Division Series, 3-1. The Suns mustered just four singles against the 21-year-old southpaw, Miami’s No. 1 draft pick this past June, and drew one walk one while whiffing eight times. Blake Schwartz took the loss with a first-inning run that came when Hagerstown botched a rundown play after a two-out single enabled the Grasshoppers to score a runner from first base. Schwartz gave up seven singles total with no walks and no K’s over five innings.

Christian Meza was touched for two runs on three hits in the 6th, only one of which left the infield as a drag bunt, a single to right, and a single to second base combined with a throwing error sent in the first run, while a wild pitch two batters later sent in the insurance run. All three Grasshopper runs scored with two outs and without an RBI.

Gregory Holt and Colin Bates combined for three innings of scoreless relief, but the Hagerstown offense didn’t have as much pluck, scoring just once in the bottom of the eighth as Bryce Ortega and Billy Burns, who combined for four of the five Suns hits, got on base to start the inning but needed a wild pitch and Cutter Dykstra to beat out a double-play ball to break up the shutout.

The two teams will rematch on Friday night in Greensboro, as the defending Sally League Champions will have two chances to win once and advance to the Finals. Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez (5-2, 5.76), who tossed four scoreless against the Grasshoppers last week, is the announced starter for Hagerstown, with Jake Esch (1-3, 3.13) scheduled to take the hill for Greensboro.

Sep 042012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-4 END OF SEASON N/A
Harrisburg Lost, 7-2 END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac Won, 3-0
(5½ inn.)
END OF SEASON N/A
Hagerstown Lost, 3-2 END OF SEASON N/A
Auburn Won, 5-3 @ Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
Monar (2-3, 2.96) vs.
Joaquin (1-4, 4.14)

Rochester 6 Syracuse 4
• Maya (L, 11-10) 7⅓ IP, 11H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• MacDougal ⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Brown 2-4, R, HR(25), 2RBI
• Carroll 2-3, RBI

Rochester opened up a 4-0 lead early with a pair of runs in each of the first two innings and held off Syracuse late for a 6-4 win. Yunesky Maya gave up all six runs on 11 hits over seven and a 1/3rd innings, walking two and striking out two. Corey Brown smacked his 25th home run and drove in two (nos. 70, 71), both of which led the Chiefs in 2012. Syracuse finished the season 70-74, 14½ games off the pace in 5th place in the I.L. North.

Bowie 7 Harrisburg 2
• Olbrychowski (L, 0-1) 4⅔ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 5K
• Rendon 2-3, R, HR, RBI
• Bloxom 1-4, R, HR, RBI

The Baysox got three runs early off recently promoted Adam Olbrychowski and pounded the Sens late for a 7-2 win. Adam Olbrychowski allowed three runs on five hits and two walks and struck out five in his first career AA start, but suffered the loss. Anthony Rendon and Justin Bloxom hit back-to-back home runs with two out in the 9th to break up the shutout. Harrisburg dropped 36 of its last 52 games to fall from 1st to 5th, ending the season at 64-78 and 18½ games behind.

Potomac 3 Wilmington 0 (5frac12; inn.)
• Hill (W, 1-1) 5IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Keyes 1-3, R, HR(21), 2RBI

Rain shortened this one to five and a 1/2 innings, with Potomac shutting out Wilmington for the second straight game, 3-0. Taylor Hill got the win in his third Carolina League start, allowing just one walk and three hits while striking out six. Kevin Keyes drove in two with his 21st HR in the 4th to lead the P-Nats offense. Potomac won six of its last ten but finished the second half 33-36 and went 64-75 overall.

Asheville 3 Hagerstown 2
• Jordan (L, 3-4) 4IP, 10H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K
• Holt 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Newsome 3-4, 2R, 2-2B
• Dykstra 2-4, SB(32)
• Jimenez 2-4, 2-2B, RBI

Asheville peppered the field with ten hits over the first four innings, scoring three times en route to a 3-2 victory over Hagerstown in the regular-season finale for both playoff-bound teams. Taylor Jordan took the loss, giving up the aforementioned three on ten over four with no walks and three strikeouts. Brett Newsome led the 11-hit Suns attack with a single and two doubles, scoring both Suns runs. Hagerstown won the 2nd half with a 40-28 mark and went 82-55 overall, two games better than 1st-half champion Greensboro and third-best overall in the South Atlantic League.

Auburn 5 Batavia 3
• Lee (W, 3-1) 5⅓ IP, 6H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 5K
• Benincasa (H, 3) 2⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-1 IR-S
• Self (SV, 14) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Pleffner 3-4, 2R, HR, BB, RBI
• Ramos 3-4, 2B, RBI

Home runs by Shawn Pleffner and Estarlin Martinez highlighted a three-run 6th, as Auburn stopped Batavia’s nine-game win streak with a 5-3 triumph to put themselves in the driver’s seat for the Pinckney Division title. The win gives the Doubledays the first division-title tiebreaker (head-to-head, 7-5), effectively lowering the magic number to clinch at one. Nick Lee earned the win with two runs allowed on six hits and three walks over five and a 1/3rd. Derek Self withstood a pair of two-out doubles to record his 14th save. Pleffner and Ramos both went 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead the 12-hit Auburn offense. The Doubledays wrap up their 10-game road trip (and the regular season) with a pair of games in Williamsport.

Sep 032012
 

The strike zone and the Hagerstown hurlers had a hard time getting along last night, as they walked nine in a 7-3 loss to the Asheville Tourists.

Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez struck out the first batter, then walked the bases loaded in the top of the first. He struck out the fifth batter in the lineup and appeared headed for a Nuke LaLoosh inning (3BB, 3K) when Cutter Dykstra was able to knock down a grounder but unable to get a throw off, as two Tourists made the return trip home for a 2-0 lead.

Estevez settled down in the 2nd, walking just one, but gave up two more free passes in the 3rd as Asheville connected for a one-run single and a two-run double to push their advantage to 5-0. The 20-year-old Dominican would finish the night with six walks allowed, and as the old saw goes, that’s what killed him as five of the six base on balls came around to score.

Meanwhile, the Suns offense plodded along for a pedestrian three runs on seven hits. The first run came in the fourth with a leadoff walk by Dykstra and an error that was ruled a hit by Adrian Nieto to set up a first-and-third with no outs. Caleb Ramsey grounded into a double play to break up the shutout bid.

An inning later, Bryce Ortega led off with a double to center and took third on an infield hit by Hendry Jimenez. It would be the lone hit in 11 tries with a runner in scoring position. Billy Burns plated Ortega with a groundout to short for the second Suns run.

Ramsey would atone for his GIDP with a HR off the RF billboards in the sixth to for the third straight one-run inning. The Suns put on two in the 7th, one in the 8th, but went down in order in the 9th.

Three Hagerstown relievers followed Estevez out of the ‘pen, combining for five innings of one-run pitching with six strikeouts but walking three.

Hagerstown finishes up the regular season with an afternoon tilt, with Taylor Jordan taking the hill (3-3, 3.75) against Tyler Gagnon (0-0, 2.84). They will host the Game One of the Sally League Divisional Series on Wednesday against Greensboro, with Game Two in North Carolina on Friday (and Game Three on Saturday, if necessary).

Sep 032012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 8-7 @ Rochester,
1:05 p.m.
Maya (11-9, 3.72) vs.
Martis (3-3, 5.40)
Harrisburg Lost, 11-5 vs. Bowie,
2:00 p.m.
Olbrychowski (1st AA start
of ’12) vs. TBD
Potomac Won, 4-0
(11 inn.)
@ Wilmington,
1:35 p.m.
Hill (0-1, 7.20) vs.
Ridings (6-1, 2.67)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-3 vs. Asheville,
1:05 p.m.
Jordan (3-3, 3.75) vs.
Gagnon (0-0, 2.84)
Auburn Lost, 8-7 @ Batavia,
1:05 p.m.
Lee (2-1, 3.97) vs.
O’Shea (3-2, 2.91)

Syracuse 8 Rochester 7
• Atkins 5IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, 0BB, 5K, HR
• Davis (W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Garcia (SV, 14) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Valdez 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• Marrero 2-4, R, 2RBI
• Walters 2-4, R, RBI

The Chiefs rallied from a 6-0 deficit to win their home finale, 8-7 over the Red Wings. Erik Davis got the win in relief, his first in AAA, while Christian Garcia threw a 1-2-3 ninth for his 14th save. Every Syracuse batter hit safely with Jesus Valdez, Chris Marrero, and Zach Walters each going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Roster moves: LHP Zach Duke and RHP Christian Garcia recalled to Washington.

Harrisburg 11 Bowie 5
• Holder (W, 4-3) 7IP, 6H, R, ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Frias 2IP, 2H, 4R, 1ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Hood 3-5, 2R, RBI
• Lozada 2-3, 2R, 2B, HR, BB, 3RBI

The Senators filibustered for nine runs en route to an 11-5 win over the Baysox. Trevor Holder closed out 2012 with seven strong innings, giving up a run on six hits with no walks and one K for his fourth win. Destin Hood led the hit column with a 3-for-5 afternoon, scoring twice and driving in one. Roster moves: RHP Adam Olbrychowski promoted from Potomac; LHP Danny Rosenbaum placed on the 7-Day DL. Manager moves: Anthony Rendon was benched for not running out a fly ball.

Potomac 4 Wilmington 0 (11 inn.)
• Grace 8IP, 6H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Holland (W, 7-1) 2⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Barrett (SV, 1) ⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, 3-0 IR-S
• Souza 1-5, R, HR, 4RBI, OF assist at HP

Steve Souza’s grand slam in the 11th broke up a 0-0 tie as the P-Nats finally won a game in Delaware with 4-0 shutout of the Blue Rocks. Matt Grace, Neil Holland and Aaron Barrett combined on the eight-hit shutout, with Holland earning his 7th win and Barrett earning his first Hi-A save.

Asheville 7 Hagerstown 3
• Estevez 4IP, 5H, 5R, 5ER, 6BB, 2K
• Meza 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Burns 1-4, RBI, SB
• Ramsey 1-4, R, HR, RBI

Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez labored through four innings Last Night In Hagerstown.

Batavia 8 Auburn 7
• Encarnacion 3⅔ IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 4K
• Medina 1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 0K, 2HR
• Kieboom 2-4, R, RBI
• Alvarez 1-3, R, 2RBI

The Doubledays couldn’t stop the hottest team in the minors, losing 8-7 to the Muckdogs — the 9th straight win by Batavia and 19th triumph in 21 games. Silvio Medina gave up two home runs in the 7th to turn a 6-5 lead into an 8-6 deficit. Auburn got the tying run to second with no outs in the 9th, but lined out and struck out twice to end it. The loss drops Auburn into a tie with Batavia for the Pinckney Division lead, and three-way tie with Brooklyn for the wild card. Brooklyn holds the tiebreakers with both Auburn and Batavia in the event of a tie for the wild card; Auburn holds a 6-5 advantage in head-to-head play going into today’s game but it’s not clear how that would be resolved in the event of a Batavia win today and tie at the end of the season.

Sep 022012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-4 vs. Rochester,
7:00 p.m.
Duke (15-5, 3.51) vs.
Blackburn (3-1, 3.12)
Harrisburg Lost, 8-5;
Won, 4-0
vs. Bowie,
2:00 p.m.
Holder (3-3, 4.17)
vs. TBA
Potomac Lost, 5-1 @ Wilmington,
1:35 p.m.
Grace (9-12, 5.13) vs.
Ferguson (4-2, 3.34)
Hagerstown Won, 2-1 vs. Asheville,
7:05 p.m.
Jordan (3-3, 3.75) vs.
Winkler (10-10, 4.49)
Auburn Won, 11-3 @ Batavia,
5:05 p.m.
Encarnacion (5-1, 4.01) vs.
Cuda (7-1, 3.97)

Rochester 8 Syracuse 4
• Roark 5⅔ IP, 5H, R, ER, 2BB, 3K
• Arnesen 2IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, K
• Valdez 2-3, R, BB, 2RBI
• Teahen 2-5, R, HR, RBI

A three-run 7th deleted an early 3-1 lead and a four-run 9th broke a 4-4 tie as Rochester doubled up Syracuse, 8-4, ending a modest four-game win streak. Erik Arnesen took the loss, giving up the four last-inning tallies on five hits after pitching a scoreless eighth. Starter Tanner Roark went the first five and 2/3rds and gave up five hits and two walks while striking out three. Jesus VAldez reached base three times on a pair of singles and a walk and drove in two to lead the Chiefs offense. Roster moves: LHP John Lannan, CF Eury Perez, C Sandy Leon recalled to Washington; C James Skelton promoted from Harrisburg, IF Manny Mayorson activated from 7-Day DL.

Bowie 8 Harrisburg 5 — GAME ONE
• Wang (L, 1-5) 2IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, BB, 2K, 2HR
• Barthmaier 3IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 1K
• Hood 2-4, R, RBI
• Nicol 2-2, 2B, BB, RBI

Chien-Ming Wang finished up his reign of error rehab tour by giving up six runs on seven hits—two of which can’t be blamed on the defense as they cleared the outfield wall—and a walk in an 8-5 loss to Bowie. Sean Nicol singled, doubled, and walked as the Senators racked up nine hits but struggled with RISP with a 4-for-15 mark and left eight runners on base.

Harrisburg 4 Bowie 0 — GAME TWO
• Tatusko (W, 4-5) 5IP, 5H, 0R, 2BB, 5K
• Zinicola 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Van Ostrand 3-3, R, HR, 2RBI
• Bloxom 2-3
• Rendon 1-2, 2R, HR, RBI

Ryan Tatusko and Zech Zinicola combined on a seven-hit shutout to split the doubleheader as the Senators took the second game, 4-0. Tatusko tossed five scoreless innings, letting up five hits and two walks, but keeping the ball on the ground for nine of the 15 outs, including a pair of double play balls.
Jimmy Van Ostrand’s two-run home run and Anthony Rendon’s second AA home run powered the Harrisburg offense. Roster moves: C Jhonatan Solano optioned to Harrisburg from Washington following his activation from the MLB 15-Day DL.

Wilmington 5 Potomac 1
• Ray 5IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 4BB, 4K
• Testa (L, 1-1) 2IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 3K, 2HR
• Skole 2-4, 2-2B, RBI
• Ramirez 1-3

Robbie Ray turned his string of rough outings around, but a four-run 6th sent the P-Nats to their eighth straight defeat in Wilmington, 5-1. Ray walked four and struck out four but gave up just one hit and one run over five innings. Joe Testa was taken deep twice in the 6th to take the loss. Potomac managed just three hits, with Matt Skole doubling twice in four at-bats and driving in the sole Potomac run.

Hagerstown 2 Asheville 1
• Anderson (W, 1-1) 5IP, 1H, 0R, 3BB, 6K
• Turnbull (H, 1) 3IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Kreis (SV, 3) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Dykstra 3-4, R
• Miller 2-4, 2B, 3B, 2RBI

Justin Miller’s RBI triple in the 1st and RBI double in the 8th supplied the offense while three Hagerstown pitchers stifled Asheville for a 2-1 win. Dixon Anderson won his first Sally League game with five scoreless frames, giving up just a hit and walking three while striking out six. Kylin Turnbull made his first Suns appearance since July 16 with three goose eggs, two hits allowed, a walk and three K’s. Alex Kreis weathered a pair of doubles in the 9th to record his third save. Cutter Dykstra led the hit column, collecting three of the Suns six hits.

Auburn 11 Mahoning Valley 3
• Mooneyham 6IP, 5H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 5K
• Henke (W, 6-1) 2IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, K
• Renda 3-6, R, RBI
• McQuillan 2-4, 3R, BB, 3RBI
• Ramos 2-3, R, HR, BB, 2RBI

Auburn scored nine unanswered runs in the final two innings to turn a 3-2 nailbiter into an 11-3 laugher over Mahoning Valley. The second-place Muckdogs racked up their eighth straight win to stay just one back and set up the chance to overtake the Doubledays as the two Pinckney Division rivals face off today and tomorrow in Batavia. Travis Henke won his sixth game in relief of Brett Mooneyham, who turned in a quality start with two runs allowed on five hits and two walks over the first six innings. Auburn pounded out 12 hits with leadoff man Mike McQuillan leading the way with three runs scored, three runs driven in, two singles and a walk.