Apr 082013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 8-6 @ Buffalo,
6:05 p.m.
Rosenbaum (8-10, 3.94 @ AA) vs.
Redmond (8-11, 3.63)
Harrisburg Won, 5-4
(11 inn.)
vs. Bowie,
2:00 p.m.
Karns (8-4, 2.26 @ A+) vs.
TBD
Potomac Lost, 11-6 vs. Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Turnbull (4-5, 5.16 @ A-) vs.
Aguilera (1-3, 4.42 @ SS-A)
Hagerstown Lost, 2-1 @ Lakewood,
6:35 p.m.
Encarnacion (0-1, 6.06) vs.
Mecias (0-2, 2.16 @ GCL)

Syracuse 8 Lehigh Valley 6
• Perry 5IP, 9H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 2K
• Crotta (W, 1-0) 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Brown 2-5, 2R, 2HR. 4RBI
• Walters 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Rhymes 2-4, R, BB, 2RBI

Two-run homers by Zach Walters (third of the year) and Corey Brown (second of the game), turned a 6-4 deficit into the eventual 8-6 decision as Syracuse took two of three from Lehigh Valley. Jeff Mandel and Mike Crotta combined for four scoreless innings in relief of starter Ryan Perry, who gave up all six Iron Piugs runs on nine hits and two walks over the first five innings. Eury Perez extended his hit streak to 21 games with an infield single in the 9th.

Harrisburg 5 Bowie 4 (11 inn.)
• Clay 5IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 4K, HR
• Krol 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Lehman 2IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 1K
• Goodwin 1-3, R, 2BB, HBP
• Bloxom 2-4, R

The Senators broke up a combined no-hit bid in the 8th, rallied for three in the 9th, then took a gift-wrapped 5-4 win from Bowie in the 11th. Ricky Hague, who had broken up the no-no with an infield single, reached on an error (#5 for the Baysox) with two outs, took second on a single by Brian Goodwin, third on a wild pitch, and scored the gamewinner on a single by Sean Nicol. Aaron Barrett, who tossed a scoreless top of the 11th, got the win following five combined shutdown innings from Ian Krol, Rob Wort, and Pat Lehman. Senators starter Caleb Clay gave up all four Bowie runs on eight hits and and two walks in five innings.

Lynchburg 11 Potomac 6
• Cole (ND) 5⅓ IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 7K
• Self (BS, 1; L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 3H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 1K, HR
• Martinson 2-3, R, BB, HR, 2RBI, SB
• Burns 1-2, 3BB
• Sacnhez 2-4, 3B, BB, RBI
• Ramsey 2-4, R, RBI

Lynchburg did all it could to lose, but Potomac was a too-gracious host on Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge

Delmarva 2 Hagerstown 1
• Pena 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 2K
• Dupra 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Miller 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Martinez 1-3, BB
• Rest of lineup 0-for-20

Delmarva pitchers walked eight, but allowed just three hits in a 2-1 pitcher’s duel in Salisbury, Maryland. Just five Hagerstown batters reached second, two by stolen base, as only Estarlin Martinez and Brandon Miller hit safely, with Miller’s solo shot in the 7th accounting for the lone Suns run. Hagerstown starter Ronald Pena gave up the first Shorebirds run on three hits and two walks over the first five innings. Brian Dupra followed with three scoreless frames before giving way to Travis Henke. Delmarva got the gamewinner on a leadoff single, sacrifice, and another single with two outs.

Apr 072013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-4
(11 inn.)
@ Lehigh Valley,
1:35 p.m.
Perry (1-1, 4.50) vs
Martin (5-0, 3.18 @ AA)
Harrisburg Won, 6-1 vs. Bowie,
2:00 p.m.
Clay (3-3, 4.61) vs.
Gamboa (8-4, 3.33)
Potomac Lost, 10-6 vs. Lynchburg,
1:05 p.m.
Cole (0-7, 7.82) vs.
Pope (7-8, 6.13)
Hagerstown Won, 5-3;
Lost, 7-3
@ Delmarva,
2:05 p.m.
Pena (1-0, 2.84 @ SS-A) vs.
Kline (0-0, 4.50 @ SS-A)

Lehigh Valley 5 Syracuse 4 (11 inn.)
• Maya (ND) 6⅓ IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 4K
• Davis 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Tatusko (L, 0-1) ⅓ IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 1K
• Kobernus 3-4, R, HR, 3RBI, CS, E (in LF)
• Owings 2-4

After a wild ninth in which the Chiefs scored a run to tie without hitting the ball out of the infield, the Iron Pigs had the last laugh. Syracuse reliever Ryan Tatusko loaded the bases with three straight one-out walks then gave up the gamewinner when a grounder trickled through a drawn-in infield to give Lehigh Valley a 5-4 win in 11 innings. Jeff Kobernus homered and drove in three to pace the Chiefs’ offense, which struggled with RISP at 1-for-12. Yunesky Maya pitched into the 7th, allowing seven hits and a walk while striking out four.

Harrisburg 6 Bowie 1
• Demny (W, 1-1) 5IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 6K
• Holder (SV, 1) 4IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Nicol 2-4, R, 2B
• Souza 1-3, R, BB, HR, 2RBI, OF assist at 3B
• Hague 1-3, BB, 2RBI

The Senators put up three straight crooked numbers with two-run rallies in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings and cruised to a 6-1 win over the Baysox. Steven Souza got the barrage going with a two-run shot as he rocked this pitch over the wall in left-center. It was, however, an all-or-nothing night on offense as Harrisburg also struck out 13 times. Paul Demny’s return to the starting rotation was a good one: an unearned run on two hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Trevor Holder went the rest of the way for a four-inning save, his first as a professional. Geoff Morrow of the Patriot-News is reporting that Matt Skole will go on the D.L. with “a wrist sprain with a small fracture” with a roster move expected sometime today.

Lynchburg 10 Potomac 6
• Jordan (ND) 6IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Meza 4BF, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 0K, HR
• Bates (L, 0-1) 3BF, 1H, 3R, 0ER, BB, 0K, 1-1 IR-S
• Burns 3-5, R, 3B, SB
• Martinson 2-5, R, 2B, 3B, 2RBI
• 14K’s by Potomac hitters

After six strong innings from Taylor Jordan, the wheels came off the bus in the seventh inning
Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 5 Delmarva 3 — GAME ONE
• Mooneyham 4IP, 3H, R, ER, 4BB, 2K
• Schwartz (W, 1-0) 3IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 5K, HR
• McQuillan 2-3, R, RBI
• Renda 2-4, 2R, 2B
• Lopez 2-4,

The Suns took full advantage of the Shorebirds’ miscues with two unearned runs being the difference in a 5-3 win over Delmarva. Table-setters Tony Renda and Mike McQuillan combined to go 4-for-7 with three runs scored to lead the Hagerstown “O.” Brett Mooneyham went four innings but also walked four, allowing a run on three hits while fanning two. Blake Schwartz got the win in relief, though he allowed two-run shot in the last of the 6th to cut a 4-1 lead to 4-3 before the Suns tacked on an insurance run in the 7th.

Hagerstown 3 Delmarva 7 — GAME TWO
• Pineyro (L, 0-1) 3IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 3K, 3WP
• Harper 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Martinez 1-2, R, 2BB, RBI, CS
• Miller 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Perez 2-3, R

Ivan Pineyro’s Low-A debut was an ugly one, as the 21-year-old Dominican was rocked for four runs on five hits and a walk as the Suns dropped the nightcap, 7-3. Estarlin Martinez reached base three times, scored a run, and drove in a run while Brandon Miller singled and doubled as all three Hagerstown runs came in the last at-bat in the 7th.

Apr 062013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 11-0 @ Lehigh Valley,
6:35 p.m.
Maya (11-10, 3.88) vs.
Morgan (4-1, 3.53 @ AA)
Harrisburg Lost, 15-7 vs. Bowie,
7:00 p.m.
Demny (6-8, 5.46) vs.
Gausman (0-1, 6.00 @ A+)
Potomac Won, 12-1 vs. Lynchburg,
6:35 p.m.
Jordan (3-4, 4.05 @ A-) vs.
Holland (5-9, 4.04 @ A-)
Hagerstown Postponed @ Delmarva,
4:35 p.m.
Mooneyham (2-2, 4.55 @ SS-A) and
Pineyro (3-2, 5.50 @ SS-A) vs.
Taylor (5-7, 4.33) and
Blackmar (4-3, 3.57 @ SS-A)

Syracuse 11 Lehigh Valley 0
• Roark (W, 1-0) 6IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 7K
• Mandel 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Costanzo 3-4, 2R, HR, BB, 4RBI (GS)
• Walters 2-5, R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Perez 2-5, 3R, 3B, SB, 2RBI

The Chiefs continued their butchery of Iron Pigs’ pitching with another 11-run outburst for their second straight win, 11-0. Tanner Roark pitched six no-hit innings and was perfect for 3⅔ before giving up the first of his two walks in the 4th. Jeff Mandel lost the no-no by giving up a leadoff single in the 7th but turned in the first of three scoreless frames from the ‘pen to preserve the shutout. Zach Walters homered again while Mike “Don’t Call Me George” Constanzo hit a grand slam to cap a five-run 6th.

Bowie 15 Harrisburg 7
• Treinen (L, 0-1) 2⅓ IP, 9H, 8R, 8ER, BB, K, 0HR
• Barrett 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Hood 2-4, R
• Skole 1-2, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI

Bowie scored on Harrisburg in eight of nine innings en route to a 15-7 stabbing. Starter Blake Treinen took the brunt of it, giving up eight runs on nine hits and a walk in his AA debut. Aaron Barrett was the sole Senator pitcher to go unscathed, tossing a 1-2-3 ninth. Destin Hood led the Harrisburg offense with a 2-for-4 night. Matt Skole doubled in two in the 1st inning and walked in the 7th but left in the 8th after a collision at first base with a Bowie baserunner. Mayflies and Big Flies has the details plus some color from a real weenie shrinker cold night on City Island.

Potomac 12 Lynchburg 1
• Ray (W, 1-0) 5IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 5K
• Holt 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Martinson 1-3, R, HR, RBI, 3BB
• Dykstra 3-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Oduber 3-5, 2R, 2RBI

Potomac’s 2013 home opener turned out to be a laugher Last Night In Woodbridge

HAGERSTOWN — PPD
The heavy rains that swept through eastern Maryland on Thursday night into Friday morning rendered the playing field at Perdue Stadium unplayable, forcing a doubleheader on Saturday.

Apr 052013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 11-2 @ Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Roark (6-17, 4.39) vs.
Familia (4-1, 2.55)
Harrisburg Won, 4-3 vs. Bowie,
7:00 p.m.
Treinen (7-7, 4.37 @ A+) vs.
Pettit (11-3, 3.86)
Potomac OFF DAY vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Ray (4-12, 6.56) vs.
Moore (8-3, 3.86 @ A-)
Hagerstown Lost, 4-3 @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Pineyro (3-2, 5.50 @ SS-A) vs.
Blackmar (4-3, 3.57 @ SS-A)

Syracuse 11 Lehigh Valley 2
• Ohlendorf (W, 1-0) 6IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Romero 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Kobernus 3-4, 2R, 2BB, RBI
• Owings 2-6, 2R, HR, 4RBI
• Marrero 1-3, R, 2BB, 2RBI, SF
• Rosenbaum PH BB, R

Highlighted by a back-to-back jacks from Micah Owings and Zach Walters, Syracuse broke open a 1-0 game with a five-run 3rd and cruised to an 11-2 opening night win. Ross Ohlendorf tossed six shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walks while striking out four. Jeff Kobernus led the 14-hit parade with a trio of singles and a pair of walks, followed by Owings and Eury Perez, who both went 2-for-6. RHP Chris Young has re-signed with the Nats while RHP Christian Garcia successfully threw from 60 feet; both will report to Viera with the goal of getting to Syracuse later this month, per WaPo’s James Wagner.

Harrisburg 4 Bowie 3
• Broderick 5IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 5K, 2HR
• Krol 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Souza 3-4, 2R, 2B, SB
• Rendon 1-2, R, 2BB

Destin Hood’s two-run single in the bottom of the 8th sealed the deal as Harrisburg cut down Bowie, 4-3. Rob Wort got the win in relief while Pat Lehman earned the save as each turned in a 1-2-3 frame with a strikeout. Brian Broderick got the start and pitched five mediocre innings, giving up three runs on six hits including a pair of solo shots in the 4th and 5th innings. Steve Souza paced the offense with a 3-for-4 night, including a double and a stolen base while Anthony Rendon also reached base three times with a single and two walks.

Delmarva 4 Hagerstown 3
• Anderson 5IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 4K, HBP
• Rauh (BS, 1; L, 0-1) 3IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 3K, BK, WP
• McQuillan 2-5, R, BB, RBI
• S. Perez 2-4

Delmarva seemed determined to give this one away, committing two errors in the Suns’ three-run 5th and a third in the 9th, but held on to hand Hagerstown a 4-3 loss. Dixon Anderson got the start and turned in a career-high five innings, a good sign for the 2011 ninth-rounder in his recovery from shoulder woes, allowing two runs on four hits and no walks. He hit a batter but struck out four. Brian Rauh finished the game but took the loss, giving up single runs in the 7th and 8th innings on two hits and two walks. Mike McQuillan led the seven-hit attack with a pair of singles and a walk, followed closely by Stephen Perez’s 2-for-4 night.

Apr 042013
 

Finally. Three of the Nats’ four full-season affiliates begin play today, with Syracuse visiting Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg hosting Bowie, and Hagerstown visiting Delmarva. Provided the rains aren’t too heavy, Potomac hosts Lynchburg tomorrow night.

Team Today’s Game Pitching Matchup (’12 Stats at Level)
Syracuse @ Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Ross Ohlendorf (5-4, 4.52) vs.
Tyler Cloyd (12-1, 2.35)
Harrisburg vs. Bowie,
7:00 p.m.
Brian Broderick (2-0, 3.99) vs.
Mike Wright (5-3, 4.91)
Hagerstown @ Delmarva,
7:00 p.m.
Dixon Anderson (1-1, 2.79) vs.
Parker Bridwell (0-3, 7.06)

Because it’s a common misnomer, I’ll trot out the annual reminder that these are not the team’s #1 starters, but rather, how the organization wants to align pitchers for future promotions and assignments.

For those wondering about the rotations, here’s what I have found, been told, or am predicting for the next four games:

Team Friday Saturday Sunday Monday
SYRACUSE Roark Maya Perry Rosenbaum
HARRISBURG Treinen Demny Clay Karns
POTOMAC Ray Jordan Cole Turnbull
HAGERSTOWN Pineyro Mooneyham Pena Encarnacion

A couple of small surprises… Demny back in the Sens rotation after finishing 2012 in the ‘pen… Pena, a 16th rounder last June who made just two appearances in Auburn and threw only 12⅓ innings total, assigned to the Suns.

Potomac has only announced its first three starters, Turnbull is the best guess based on age and prior usage for the one of the remaining two spots. As mentioned in the P-Nats roster reveal last week, Taylor Hill and Matt Grace are the other two likely candidates.

News & Notes, the daily rundown and highlights from the previous day’s action, starts back up tomorrow.

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.