Oct 262014
 

BooneRendaKieboom102614The AFL passed its midpoint with yesterday’s game, which saw Mesa demolish Surprise, 14-0. Thanks to the vagaries of a three-team division and sharing it with the league’s best team, the Solar Sox won’t be playing in the title game, though it should be noted that also means Nats fans won’t have to listen to Tom Verducci or someone of his ilk parrot the press guide while calling the title game on MLB Network.

Felipe Rivero, who left his previous start with a turned ankle per our Arizona correspondent, continues to struggle as he was strafed for five runs on Friday in a 9-4 loss to raise his pitcher’s line to 9.00/5.53/1.85.

Tony Renda, who was hitless in his first five games, has quietly put together a six-game hit streak to raise his batting average to something resembling a starter instead of a pitcher.

Catchers Spencer Kieboom and Pedro Severino, who are splitting time with Toronto’s Sean Ochinko, are both hitting (.273 and .375 respectively) despite their limited game action.

Relievers Derek Self, Matt Grace, and Neil Holland aren’t being used terribly often, but they’ve combined for six scoreless innings over four appearances this past week.

WINTER LEAGUE SIGHTINGS
As noted a couple of weeks ago, the Dominican Winter League has started up and with it have come the following sightings of Nats players and farmhands:

Emmanuel Burriss, Oscar Tejeda (Cibao)
Jhonatan Solano, Manny Delcarmen (Licey)
Pedro Florimon (Escogido)
Tyler Moore (Este)

And the following players have also surfaced in the Venezuelan Winter League:

Mitch Lively (Magallanes)
Sandy Leon, Adrian Sanchez (Zulia)

POTOMAC NATIONALS
Season-ticket holders in Woodbridge (*ahem*) have been treated to quite a run over the past eight seasons: five playoff appearances (2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014), four trips to the Mills Cup Finals (2008, 2010, 2013, 2014), and three championships (2008, 2010, 2014). Only once in that span did they have a losing season (2012) while the 2009 club won 42 games in the second half while falling four games short to the Blue Rocks in a furious finish.

Unfortunately, those three titles remain the only ones won by a Nationals full-season affiliate. Hagerstown has come oh-so-close the past two seasons while Harrisburg has fallen in the first round three times (2010, 2011, 2013). The narrative hope with any league championship is that the spirit of winning is instilled and will carry on as the baby Nats grow up into big Nats, which will be badly needed as some of the 2014 Potomac guys head to Harrisburg in 2015.

The 78-win P-Nats were not statistical monsters: 3rd in the league offensively, 5th in pitching, 3rd defensively. Their hallmark was the walkoff win, which they did 14 times, and they were phenomenal in one-run games (32-13). But most importantly, once they got the lead, they held onto it: 50-1 when leading after eight innings, 55-2 when they were ahead after the seventh. That combination of (p)luck enabled them to outperform their Pythagorean projection (69-67) by an astounding nine games and carried over into the playoffs where they took three of four from a team that had beaten them five out of the previous six meetings and 11 of 19 overall.

And now I present to you the obligatory Top 5’s:

TOP 5 BATS TOP 5 ARMS
1. Tony Renda, 2B, .266 GPA, .980 FA 1. Ian Dickson, RHP, 4.37/4.20/1.32, 2.64 ERA in 2nd half
2. Stephen Perez, SS, .249 GPA, 27SB 2. Gilberto Mendez, RHP, 3.14/3.21/0.89, 8.54 K/9, 1.57 BB/9
3. Pedro Severino, C, .237 GPA, 36 CS% 3. John Simms, RHP, 4.36/3.13/1.23, 2HR in 49⅔ IP
4. John Wooten, 3B/1B/OF, .263 GPA, .473 SLG% 4. Matt Spann, LHP, 3.81/4.09/1.38, 70.1 LOB%
5. Isaac Ballou, CF, .256 GPA, .991FA 5. Bryan Harper, LHP, 2.66/3.52/1.14, .198 OBA


Honorable mentions go to Shawn Pleffner and Kylin Turnbull, a pair of 24-year-olds who turned 25 in August and September respectively. As mentioned last week, we have a hit a point where we can no longer gloss over the advanced age of some of these players, which is necessarily their fault as the Nats do have a tendency to both draft collegiate ballplayers while conservatively moving them up the ladder (though 2014 did see a handful of three-level players). Folks interested in viewing the exploits of all 63 players (including 10 rehab assignments) can see them here.

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



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

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

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

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

Sep 072014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Potomac Lost, 2-0 @ Myrtle Beach,
6:05 p.m.
Bacus (7-6, 4.41) vs.
Payano (5-8, 4.58)
Hagerstown OFF DAY OFF DAY N/A



Myrtle Beach 2 Potomac 0
• Dickson (L, 0-1) 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 6K, HR
• P. Encarnacion 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Pleffner 3-4
• Wooten 2-3, BB

Light-hitting infielder Edwin Garcia hit his first home run of 2014, supplying the offense for Myrtle Beach in a 2-0 win over Potomac in Game One of the Mills Cup Championship Series. Starter and loser Ian Dickson made but one mistake (duh) over his five innings of work, finishing with both Pelicans runs allowed on five hits and two walks while striking out six. Pedro Encarnacion followed with two scoreless innings while Travis Henke denied the Pelicans an insurance run with a zero in the 8th to keep Potomac within striking distance.

The P-Nats outhit the Pelicans 8-6, loading the bases with one out in the 1st on a pair of singles by Tony Renda and Shawn Pleffner and a walk by John Wooten. Alas, in what would be a harbinger for the night to come, Stephen Perez rolled into the first of three double plays on the night to end the inning. The second came after Khayyan Norfork’s leadoff walk was erased with Brandon Miller DP in the 5th while the third came in the 8th when Renda’s dying quail was snared when rightfielder Ryan Cordell laid out, then threw in to first to double off Pedro Severino, who took off on contact trying to set up 1st and 3rd for the heart of the order.

Pleffner and Perez were both caught looking on 3-2 pitches in the 9th. In between, Wooten singled for the second time. Randolph Oduber missed the game-tying home run by just a few feet, doubling off the base of the left field wall to put both runners in scoring position for what would be pinch-hitter Mike McQuillan. Alas, the sparkplug from Evergreen, IL couldn’t get the ninth hit (or the draw the third walk) of the night and grounded out to short to end it and give Myrtle Beach a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.

Hagerstown — OFF DAY
Just as the Carolina League will not rematch the 2013 finalists, neither will the South Atlantic League. Asheville spared Hagerstown a trip to Savannah by holding on to a 2-1 lead when play was suspended on Friday night. With a runner on 2nd and two out in the bottom of the 8th, the Sand Gnats drew a walk, then got a wild-pitch-whiff to load the bases, but their luck ran out with a grounder to first. Both teams went in order in the 9th, sending the Tourists back to North Carolina for a pair of games against the Suns at McCormick Field on Monday and Tuesday.

Sep 052014
 

P-Nats-CLDS-2014

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-2 vs. Pawtucket,
7:00 p.m.
Lively (5-2, 3.86) vs.
Owens (3-1, 4.03)
Potomac Won, 4-3 OFF DAY N/A
Hagerstown OFF DAY @ Greensboro,
7:00 p.m.
R. Lopez (4-1, 1.33) vs.
Sadberry (4-1, 2.65)


Pawtucket 8 Syracuse 2
• McGregor (L, 0-1) 5IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 2K
• Rivero 1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, K, BK, 32 pitches-17 strikes
• Kobernus 1-2, R, 2B, BB
• Hood 1-3, BB, RBI

With a three-run rally in the 1st, the PawSox continued their domination of the Chiefs as they cruised to an 8-2 win and took a 2-0 lead in the Governor’s Cup semifinals. Starter and loser Scott McGregor gave up four hits and a walk to the seven batters he faced in the 1st, escaping only when Garin Cecchini was dumb enough to try for third with two outs, never mind against the arm of Michael Taylor. McGregor recovered to put up four zeroes in innings two through five. His counterpart, Matt Barnes, stifled the Syracuse bats for seven innings, allowing just two singles and a double. The PawSox showed exactly what happens when late-season AAA team faces an inexperienced AA pitcher, as they torched Felipe Rivero for three runs in the 6th to put the game away. Syracuse got four free passes in the 8th to score twice on just one hit and avoid the shutout. The series shifts to NBT Bank Park for its first-ever playoff game tonight.

Potomac 4 Lynchburg 3
• Rauh (W, 1-0) 6IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Mendez (SV, 2 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Ballou 2-3, 2R, BB, HR, SF, 2RBI
• Renda 2-4, 2B, BB, RBI
• 0-for-10 RISP, 10 LOB

Isaac Ballou led off the game with a solo HR in the 1st, hit the second of two sacrifice flies in the 4th, and scored on Tony Renda’s two-out double in the 6th as the P-Nats held off a late charge by the Hillcats to take the game, 4-3, and the series 2-0 to advance to the Mill Cup finals for the third time in five years. Brian Rauh made but one mistake in his six innings of work, as Jose Martinez went deep for just the third hit Rauh allowed (hey, that rhymes!). The 23-y.o. walked two and struck out two and was credited with the win. Kylin Turnbull took over in the 7th but struggled, giving up two hits and a walk in the space of four batters. He would be charged with two runs. Bryan Harper let in one of two runners he inherited from Turnbull with a sacrifice fly but struck out the next batter to preserve the 4-3 lead. Lynchburg threatened again in the 8th, getting the tying run to second with two outs on pair of singles. Gilberto Mendez was called upon to put out the fire and got a huge assist from Brandon Miller, who gunned down Kevin Ahrens at the plate for the second straight night. Mendez worked around a one-out error in by Renda to close out the game in the 9th. Myrtle Beach, who lost Game One of the Southern CLDS on a controversial HR, evened it up with a 4-1 win and force a decisive Game Three. Potomac will travel to the winner tomorrow and visit for the first two games of the best-of-five Mills Cup champonship.

Hagerstown vs. Greensboro
Game Two of the Sally North Division series is tonight in Greensboro with Hagerstown needing to to win just one of two possible games. With Lucas Giolito out for the season, Reynaldo Lopez assumes the label of staff ace label and will get the start. Greensboro will send 2014 6th Rd. pick Chris Sadberry to oppose Lopez, who shut out the Grasshoppers for six innings on August 19th.

Sep 042014
 

Two out of three

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 2-1 (10 inn.) @ Pawtucket,
7:05 p.m.
McGregor (1-2, 3.91) vs.
Barnes (8-9, 3.95)
Potomac Won, 4-2 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
Hagerstown Won, 3-2 OFF DAY N/A


Pawtucket 2 Syracuse 1
• Hill 6IP, 7H, R, ER, 2BB, 5K, HBP
• Delcarmen (L, 0-1) 1+ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, K, WP
• Mattheus 0IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K, 2-1 IR-S
• Solano 3-3, 2B
• Laird 1-4, R, HR, RBI

Gerald Laird tied the game with two out in the top of the 9th, but the sixth Syracuse hit was its final as the PawSox got to the Chiefs ‘pen in the 10th for a 2-1 walkoff win. Taylor Hill got the start and gave up the first Pawtucket run on seven hits and two walks over six innings. Matt Grace followed with two scoreless in the 7th and 8th innings. After failing to convert a leadoff single off Manny Delcarmen in the 9th, the PawSox went one better with a leadoff double in the 10th. Delcarmen spared them the trouble of another sacrifice with a wild pitch, then walked the next batter to set up 1st and 3rd with no outs. Ryan Mattheus was brought in and got neither the K nor a popup as he walked the first batter load the bases, then gave up the game-winning single to center field. Jhonatan Solano singled twice and doubled once while the rest of the Syracuse lineup went 3-for-31 with no walks (despite Matt Skole starting at 1B) and eight whiffs.

Potomac 4 Lynchburg 2
• Silvestre (W, 1-0) 7IP, 5H, R, ER, 3BB, 5K
• M. Rodriguez (H, 1) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K
• Mendez (SV, 1) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, K
• Ballou 1-1, 2R, 2BB, SB, CS, HBP
• Wooten 2-4, 2B, RBI

Hector Silvestre tossed seven strong innings, the offense made hay with the Hillcat bullpen, and the P-Nats relievers weathered a late comeback bid in a 4-2 win. Silvestre gave up one run on five hits and three walks while striking out five. More importantly, he kept the ball in the yard to improve his 2014 record in homerless starts (13) to 5-1 with a 1.37 ERA (vs. 3-8, 6.61 in 12GS). After a hit batsman, a stolen base, and an error plated Isaac Ballou in the 1st for a 1-0 lead, Lynchburg tied with a run in the 6th on a two-out double and a single. Silvestre let up a third straight hit but Brandon Miller and Pedro Severino prevented a second Hillcat run with a 9-2 putout to the end the inning. Randolph Oduber broke the 1-1 tie with a solo shot golfed over the LF fence in the bottom of the 6th. The P-Nats pushed the lead to 4-1 with a Severino double, singles by Ballou and Tony Renda, and an RBI groundout by John Wooten. Manny Rodriguez set ‘em down in order in the 8th while Gilberto Mendez wobbled a bit in the 9th, allowing a single and a double for the second Hillcat run before getting pinch-hitter Levi Hyams to tap out to first to end it and earn the save.
Roster moves: 1B Shawn Pleffner activated from 7-Day DL, UT Cody Dent reassigned to Hagerstown.

Hagerstown 3 Greensboro 2
• Suero 4IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, 2BB, 3K, 2WP
• Thomas 3IP, 3H, 0R, IBB, 2K
• Napoli (W, 1-0) 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• W. Rodriguez 2-4, R, 2-2B, RBI, SB
• Bautista 2-5, RBI

The Suns were three outs away from getting a 2-0 Columbia necktie, but rallied for three in the bottom of the 9th to pull one of out their ascot and shock the Grasshoppers, 3-2. A three-base error got things going as Carlos Lopez’s would-be flyout was turned into a Little League triple. Lopez scored on a groundout to second by Jimmy Yezzo. David Masters, who had struck out three times in three previous at-bats, drew a walk to restart the offense. Wilman Rodriguez sent him home on his second double of the night to tie it while Rafael Bautista’s second single plated Rodriguez to win it. The comeback made a winner out of David Napoli, who tossed the fifth of five scoreless innings by the Hagerstown bullpen in the top of the 9th. Wander Suero started but was dinged for two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks over four uneven innings. Justin Thomas followed with three goose eggs while Jake Johansen posted his fifth relief appearance without a run scoring in the 8th. Bautista’s single was the lone hit in 14 chances with RISP, including an 0-for-7 mark following doubles by Drew Ward, Rodriguez, Spencer Kieboom, and Lopez.
Roster moves: UT Cody Dent reassigned from Potomac, IF Austin Davidson placed on the reserve list.

Sep 032014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse OFF DAY @ Pawtucket,
6:35 p.m.
Hill (11-7, 2.81) vs.
Escobar (0-2, 4.28)
Potomac OFF DAY vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
Hagerstown OFF DAY vs. Greensboro,
7:05 p.m.
Suero (4-1, 2.13) vs.
German (9-3, 2.48)


Syracuse vs. Pawtucket — I.L. Division Series
While there has been angst about the Syracuse players “lost” due to callups or being shut down, the Nationals reinforced the Chiefs roster with 1B-3B Matt Skole, LHP Felipe Rivero, RHP Tyler Herron from the 2003 Tigers Harrisburg Senators, and added MLB rehab Ross Ohlendorf. It should also be noted that Tyler Moore hasn’t exactly been a key cog in the Chiefs offense for quite some time (.682OPS since the All-Star break, .621 in August) while Blake Treinen made but three starts in August (1-1, 4.32), in which Syracuse went 19-12 with much of the rag-tag rotation they’re bringing into the playoffs (Hill-McGregor-Lively-Laffey-Espino). The PawSox and Chiefs split their 16 games, including a four-game sweep in late May. Over the past two months, Pawtucket has taken six of nine, though the games have been close: six were decided by two runs or less. The series begins in Rhode Island with the first two and concludes in New York in the best-of-five matchup.

Potomac vs. Lynchburg — C.L. Division Series
It’s a rematch of the 2013 first round series, which the P-Nats won 2-0 but both games were tight, one-run games won in walkoff fashion — 2-1 in 14 innings, 3-2 in regulation. Potomac took 12 of 19 games this season, including the last three on the road in Lynchburg. Pitching matchups have not yet been announced, but if the most recent rotation is used, it’ll be Hector Silvestre, Ian Dickson, and Brian Rauh for the series. Dickson and Matthew Spann have been both red-hot lately (3-1, 1.44 and 2-0, 1.08 respectively over their last five starts) but the hope is that only one will be needed (in theory, Spann could be used on three days’ rest on Friday, though we’re more likely to get an update on Brian Goodwin’s injury) to advance to the Mills Cup where the defending champions (Salem) or the other double-half winner (Myrtle Beach) await.

Hagerstown vs. Greensboro — S.A.L. Division Series
This is third straight playoff appearance for the Suns and the second time they’ve drawn the Grasshoppers as their first-round opponent. Thanks to the Sally League’s travel-influenced schedule, the two teams have played just 11 times despite being in the same division (contrasted to the 204 times they played Lakewood and Delmarva, give or take 150). Hagerstown took six of those eleven, but only one of four games played in the first half, which led to Greensboro’s first-half title and vice-versa as the two teams tied both halves with records of 44-26 and 43-27. Wander Suero gets the ball tonight at the Muni, followed by Reynaldo Lopez in Game 2 on Friday, and Nick Pivetta in Game 3 on Saturday in North Carolina. Should the Suns advance, they could potentially rematch against the defending Sally Lg. champs, Savannah, which plays Asheville in the Southern division series.

Sep 022014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-2 END OF SEASON N/A
Harrisburg Won, 3-0 END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac Won, 6-1 END OF SEASON N/A
Hagerstown Lost, 9-8 END OF SEASON N/A
Auburn Won, 4-3 END OF SEASON N/A


Buffalo 8 Syracuse 2
• Laffey (L, 12-6) 4IP, 13H, 6R, 6ER, 0BB, 3K, WP
• Runion 3IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K
• Dobbs 2-4, 2B
• Hood 1-4, 2B, RBI

The Syracuse pitching staff presented few challenges to Buffalo in an 8-2 regular -season finale loss. With one out in the 1st, the Bisons loaded the bases on three singles before Matt Hague singled in Darin Mastroianni. After recording the first two outs in the 2nd, starter and loser Aaron Laffey allowed five hits, including two doubles. Among the thirteen hits Laffey allowed on the night and the twenty hits the Chiefs staff allowed, the biggest blow was a Brett Wallace double to left that scored Mastroianni and Cole Gilespie and put Syracuse down, 4-0. The Chiefs responded with an RBI double by Alabaman Destin Hood that scored Greg Dobbs. Laffey would give up two more runs on four hits and a sacrifice fly in the 4th before departing down 6-1. Sam Runion came on to start the 5th and was rudely greeted by a single, a double, and two more singles that put Syracuse down 8-1 before they put some lipstick on the pig with a Greg Dobbs ground-rule double and Will Rhymes RBI single off Brandon Morrow in the 9th.
Roster moves: Activated C Jeff Howell from 7-Day DL, CF Eury Perez from 3-Day TIL; Washington recalled C Sandy Leon, 1B-OF Tyler Moore, RHPs Blake Treinen, Aaron Barrett, LHP Xavier Cedeno; OF Steven Souza removed from roster, MLB rehab assignment ended (activated from MLB 15-Day DL).

Harrisburg 3 Portland 0
• Demny 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Simmons (W, 3-4) 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K, HBP
• Bates (SV, 3) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Tejeda 2-3, 2R, BB, CS
• Latimore 2-5, R, SB

Harrisburg avoided a tie for its worst record ever with a 3-0 whitewash of Portland in the season finale. Five Senators relievers combined on the shutout the Sea Dogs, beginning with Paul Demny, who threw three innings with two hits and two whiffs. Harrisburg scored an unearned run in the 2nd when Oscar Tejeda walked, took second on an error as Portland 2B Sean Coyle dropped the throw from the catcher, and scored on an RBI single by Adrian Sanchez. Tejeda and Sanchez teamed up again in the 4th as Oscar singled with one out to start the rally and Adrian beat out a double-play ball for his second RBI. James Simmons went the next three innings and earned the win by working around a one-out double in the 4th, an error in the 5th, and two-out double in the 6th. The Sens got their final tally of the 2014 campaign with a Drew Vettleson RBI single to score Quincy “The Dude” Latimore in the 7th. Robert Benincasa put up a zero the 8th to earn his first hold while Colin Bates closed it out in the 9th for his third save.

Potomac 6 Frederick 1
• Spann 3IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Henke (W, 5-2) 4IP, 5H, 1R, 1ER, BB, K
• Martinez 3-4, R
• Oduber 2-4, R, RBI, SB
• Norfork 2-5, RBI

The Frederick fans that waited out the 104-minute rain delay might have left soon afterwards as the Keys relievers were unlocked for six runs over their first three full innings of work in a 6-1 loss to Potomac. P-Nats starter Matthew Spann threw three no-hit innings, needing just 23 pitches to go through the Frederick lineup once, as the one baserunner he allowed (walk) was erased on a double play. Travis Henke took over after the rain stopped play with one out in the top of the 4th and went the next four frames, giving up a run on five hits and a walk to earn his fifth win. Estarlin Martinez went 3-for-4 to lead the hit column while Pedro Severino went deep with a two-run blast to break the 0-0 deadlock in the 5th.
Roster move: RHP Ross Ohlendorf removed from roster, assignment with Potomac completed.

Lakewood 9 Hagerstown 8
• Cooper 3IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, 2HR
• Johns (BS, 3; L, 3-2) 1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K, HR
• Kieboom 2-3, 2R, 2HR, 2RBI
• Yezzo 3-4, 2R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Mesa 3-5, 2R, 2B, RBI

In an apparent effort to keep the starters rested, the Suns used all relievers and blew a 7-3 lead to lose the final game of the regular season, 9-8. Andrew Cooper was barreled up for three runs on a pair of 2nd-inning homers and four hits total over three innings. Spencer Kieboom got two runs back via solo HRs as Hagerstown piled up five runs over 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings to take the aforementioned 7-3 lead. Ryan Ullmann gave up three in the 7th and 8th innings while Samuel Johns was pinched for the final three Lakewood runs for his second loss and third blown save. James Yezzo and Narciso Mesa combined for six hits, four runs, two doubles, a homer (Yezzo) and four RBI to lead the Hagerstown offense.

Auburn 4 Batavia 3
• Bourque (W, 3-5) 5IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 4K, HBP, WP
• Bach (H, 5) 3IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Gardner 3-4, 2B, CS
• Abreu 2-3, 2R, SB(10)

The Doubledays rallied from an early 3-1 deficit with three runs in the bottom of the 3rd and neutered the Muckdogs over the final six innings for a 4-3 win to close out the season. Starter James Bourque gave up all three Batavia runs on five hits and a walk while striking out four to earn his third win. Connor Bach followed with three scoreless innings for his fifth hold while Tyler Mapes worked around a hit in the ninth to notch his fifth save. Jeff Gardner singled twice and doubled once to lead Auburn’s 11-hit parade.

Sep 012014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 4-3 vs. Buffalo,
2:00 p.m.
TBD vs. Copeland (2-1, 2.00)
Harrisburg Lost, 6-2 @ Portland,
2:00 p.m.
TBD vs. TBD
Potomac Won, 6-5;
Won, 5-4
@ Frederick,
2:00 p.m.
Spann (9-5, 3.92)
vs. Brault (2-0, 0.69)
Hagerstown Won, 5-2 vs. Lakewood,
1:05 p.m.
Cooper (7-4, 5.78) vs.
Prosinski (5-5, 3.50)
Auburn Lost, 7-6 vs. Batavia,
2:05 p.m.
Bourque (2-5, 4.03) vs.
Smigelski (2-1, 4.66)


Syracuse 4 Buffalo 3
• Espino 6⅔ IP, 2H, R, ER, BB, 4K
• Mattheus (H, 7) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 2K, 2-0 IR-S
• Delcarmen (BS, 3)(W, 4-4) 1IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 0K
• Hood 2-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Moore 2-4, R, 2-2B
• Solano 2-3, R 2B, 2RBI

The Chiefs followed up their division-clinching road victory Saturday with a thrilling 4-3 walkoff win Sunday over the Bisons. Syracuse jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 2nd with a Tyler Moore double followed by two-out doubles from Greg Dobbs and Jhonatan Solano. The Chiefs then loaded the bases with one out in the 4th on a Brandon Laird single, Destin Hood double and Greg Dobbs walk. Solano kept the line moving with a single that scored Moore, but Jose Lozada grounded into an inning-ending double play. Buffalo tied the game up with an RBI double by Brett Wallace in the 7th off starter Paolo Espino, an RBI double by Dalton Pompey off reliever Ryan Mattheus in the 8th, and an RBI single off Manny Delcarmen in the 9th. Order was restored when Destin Hood led off the 9th against Chris Hynes with his tenth homer to end the proceedings.
Roster moves: RHP Paolo Espino reassigned from Harrisburg; RHP A.J. Cole transferred to GCL Nationals roster.

Portland 6 Harrisburg 2
• Kroenke (L, 3-9) 5IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• Benincasa 1IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Canham 2-3, RBI
• Vettleson 2-4, R

The Harrisburg Senators suffered through a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Portland Sea Dogs yesterday. Mike Miller hit a homer to put Portland up 1-0 with one out in the 1st. After Jason Martinson and Drew Vettleson singled, Mitch Canham tied the score at 1-1 with a sacrifice fly that drove home Martinson. Miller continued his devastation against Harrisburg with a bases-clearing double in the 5th that scored Ryan Dent, Heiker Meneses and Shannon Wilkerson against starter and loser Zach Kroenke. Neil Holland gave up two more runs on an RBI double to Jonathan Roof and a sacrifice fly double play where Caleb Ramsey gunned down Roof trying to advance to third. Portland’s Mike McCarthy made things interesting in the 9th when Harrisburg loaded up the bases and scored a run on a one-out RBI single by Ramsey. Portland closer Noe Ramirez was then summoned to record his eighteenth save, which came on a Quincy Latimore double play.

Potomac 6 Frederick 5 — GAME ONE
• Ohlendorf 3IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Harper (W, 2-0) 1IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K, 1-0 IR-S
• Mendez (SV, 15) 1⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Ballou 2-4, R, 2B, BB
• Renda 2-3, R, 2BB, SB
• McQuillan 2-2, R, 2BB

After a 92-minute rain delay, the P-Nats racked up four in the 1st and held on for a 6-5 win in the opener. Ross Ohlendorf came out of witness protection to pitch three shutout innings, with two hits and a walk given up and two set down on strikes. Pedro Encarnacion blew a 5-0 lead with five runs allowed over an inning and 2/3rds in relief. The game-winning run came on a double-play ball in the 6th after Khayyan Norfork walked and took third on Mike McQuillan’s second single of the game. Bryan Harper, who stranded the go-ahead run in the 5th, got the win while Gilberto Mendez racked up his 15th save with four-out save. Tony Renda singled twice and walked twice to pace the Potomac offense.

Potomac 5 Frederick 4 — GAME TWO
• Bacus (W, 7-6) 5IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, K, HR
• M. Rodriguez (SV, 1) 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Wooten 2-2, R, 3B, BB, 2RBI
• Martinez 1-3, R, 3B, 2RBI

In the nightcap, the two teams traded punches in the 2nd and 3rd innings with the P-Nats outpointing the Keys, 5-4 to sweep the doubleheader and eliminate Frederick from the playoffs. Estarlin Martinez smacked a two-run triple and scored on a wild pitch to open the barrage in the 2nd, while John Wooten’s one-out triple drove in the fourth and fifth Potomac runs in the 3rd. Dakota Bacus weathered one run in the 2nd (HR), and three in the 3rd, but made it through five innings to earn his seventh win. Manny Rodriguez spun two scoreless innings in his Carolina League debut to earn the save.
Roster moves: RHP Ross Ohlendorf assigned from Washington for MLB rehab.

Hagerstown 5 Lakewood 2
• Pivetta 5IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 3K, HBP, WP
• Lee (W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• C. Lopez 2-3, 2B, BB
• Chubb 1-2, R, 2BB
• Masters 1-3, 2R, 2B, RBI

The Suns rallied for three in the bottom of the 8th for a 5-2 sportswriter’s win that secured the Sally North second half title (and not much else, thanks to the Sally League’s playoff procedures). Nick Pivetta got the start and let in two over five innings on six hits, no walks and three whiffs. Jake Johansen turned in his first scoreless outing in three weeks with doughnuts in the 6th and 7th innings while Nick Lee got the win with a pair of zeroes in the 8th and 9th. Carlos Lopez reached base three times with a walk, a single, and a double while Wilmer Difo hit home run no. 14 to lead the Hagerstown attack.

Batavia 7 Auburn 6
• Reyes 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K
• McDowell (L, 1-3) ⅔ IP, 6H, 6R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Read 2-5, 2-2B, 3RBI, PB(10)
• Abreu 2-5, R, E(20)
• Gardner 2-5, R, 2B, E(4)

For the second straight night, the Auburn bullpen melted down for a six-run 8th inning. This time, however, the offense had only built a 6-1 lead and thus fell 7-6 to Batavia. Two critical errors aided in the train wreck, rendering five of the six runs charged to Chase McDowell as unearned, though the 23-y.o. did give up six hits in the space of nine batters. The implosion erased five innings of one-run ball by starter Luis Reyes, who allowed three hits, no walks, and struck out three.

Aug 312014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 6-2 vs. Buffalo,
6:30 p.m.
Espino (1st AAA start of ’14)
vs. Valdes (5-5, 3.82)
Harrisburg Lost, 5-1 @ Portland,
2:00 p.m.
Kroenke (3-8, 6.69) vs.
Rodriguez (5-8, 3.71)
Potomac Lost, 4-3 @ Frederick,
4:00 p.m.
TBD and TBD vs.
TAylor (6-2, 3.13) and TBD
Hagerstown Lost, 7-4 vs. Lakewood,
5:05 p.m.
Pivetta (13-8, 4.24) vs.
Imhof (0-2, 4.10)
Auburn Won, 12-7 @ Batavia,
5:05 p.m.
Reyes (0-1, 2.84) vs.
Farnworth (1-1, 3.71)


Syracuse 6 Pawtucket 2
• Lively (W, 5-2) 6IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 11K, BK
• Grace (H, 8) 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Taylor 2-4, 2R, HR, RBI, SB
• Souza 2-4, 2B, 3RBI, SB

The Syracuse Chiefs are now your International League North Division Champions following a professional 6-2 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox. After Michael “BATMAN” Taylor’s first home run for Syracuse in the 1st, Pawtucket scored its only two runs against starter Mitch Lively when Bryce Brentz doubled in Justin Henry and Alex Hassan. The Chiefs tied it up in the 4th at 2-2 when Taylor singled, stole second, and scored on Steven Souza’s RBI single. Souza would steal second and advance to third on a wild pitch, but PawSox starter and loser Matt Barnes, who recorded ten strikeouts without a walk, struck out the next three to keep the game tied. Syracuse put this away in the top of the 5th when two Chiefs snuck grounders into right and Jeff Kobernus loaded the bases on a bunt single. With two outs, Barnes threw a wild pitch to score Leon and Steven Souza doubled in Will Rhymes and Kobernus to give the Chiefs a 5-2 lead. Greg Dobbs homered to start the ninth for Syracuse, and Rafael Martin pitched the scoreless ninth that clinched the division for Syracuse.

Portland 5 Harrisburg 1
• Rivero (L, 2-7) 4⅔ IP, 3H, 5R, 1ER, 2BB, 8K, HR
• Self 2⅓ IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K, 2-0 IR-S
• Sanchez 2-3
• Skole 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI

History, bad defense, and the Portland Sea Dogs defeated the Harrisburg Senators, 5-1. Sean Coyle hit a solo shot off tough-luck starter and loser Felipe Rivero to give Portland a 1-0 lead in the 4th. Following a leadoff walk in the 5th, Rivero’s teammates declined to support him defensively in the 5th. First, third baseman Mitch Canham allowed a runner to reach on his fielding error. After a sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position, Jason Martinson’s error at shortstop allowed the Sea Dogs to take a 2-0 lead, and put runners on first and third. Drew Vettleson’s two-base error in right field allowed two more runs to score. Portland finally scored a run without an error when Sean Coyle doubled in Ryan Dent to conclude the scoring. The final tally: three errors, four unearned runs, and a 5-0 deficit. The Senators avoided a shutout when Matt Skole doubled in Quincy Latimore with two outs in the 8th.

Frederick 4 Potomac 3
• Rauh (L, 2-4) 6IP, 5H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, 1K
• Walsh 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Norfork 2-4, RBI
• Wooten 1-4, R, HR, RBI

Potomac’s playoff-clinching hangover continued with a third straight loss, this one by a 4-3 score to Frederick. The Keys hung a three-spot on starter Brian Rauh, who finished with all four Frederick runs allowed on five hits and three walks with one strikeout. The P-Nats scored had the tying run gunned down at the plate when John Wooten was unable to follow Isaac Ballou home on Khayyan Norfork’s two-out, one-run single in the 8th. Norfork led the hit column with two singles while Wooten homered in the 6th. With a Hillcats loss, the Keys are tied for second place and can make the playoffs if they win out. The Blue Rocks dropped a doubleheader to the Red Sox, who clinched a berth in the Southern Division, and will be eliminated with either their next loss or a win by Lynchburg or Frederick.
Roster moves: RHP Manny Rodriguez reassigned from Hagerstown.

Lakewood 7 Hagerstown 4
• Lopez 5IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 5K
• Thomas (L, 3-5) 3IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K, HR
• Bautista 3-4, 2R, 2B, 2SB, CS
• Yezzo 2-4, R, CS

The longball was the Suns’ downfall Last Night In Hagerstown.
Roster moves: RHP Andrew Cooper activated from the 7-Day DL.

Auburn 12 Mahoning Valley 7
• A. Williams (W, 4-3) 5IP, 4H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K, HBP
• Webb 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K
• Eusebio 3-5, 2R, 2HR, 6RBI
• Read 3-5, 3R, 3-2B, RBI
• Mejia 2-5, 2R, HR, 3RBI

Diomedes Eusebio homered twice and drove in six as the Doubledays dumped the Scrappers, 12-7. Auburn pounded out 12 hits total with seven extra-base hits, including three doubles by Raudy Read and homers by Bryan Mejia and Jeff Gardner. Austen Williams got the win with five innings of one-run ball, giving up four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Joseph Webb and Mario Sanchez both spun two scoreless innings of relief while David “Mi Hermano es Wilson” Ramos was smoked for the remaining six runs as he failed to retire the six batters he faced in the 8th, serving up a pair of home runs.

Aug 302014
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 2-1 @ Pawtucket,
6:05 p.m.
Cole (7-0, 3.43) vs.
Barnes (8-8, 3.80)
Harrisburg Lost, 3-2 @ Portland,
6:00 p.m.
Rivero (2-6, 4.38) vs.
Haley (2-2, 1.47)
Potomac Lost, 2-0 @ Frederick,
6:00 p.m.
Rauh (2-3, 4.37) vs.
Bridwell (6-10, 4.51)
Hagerstown Won, 10-4 vs. Lakewood,
7:05 p.m.
Lopez (4-1, 1.49) vs.
Casimiro (5-9, 4.97)
Auburn Lost, 5-2 @ Mahoning Valley,
7:05 p.m.
A. Williams (3-3, 5.08) vs.
Santana (1-8, 4.58)


Pawtucket 2 Syracuse 1
• McGregor (L, 1-2) 4IP, 7H, 2R, 2ER, BB, 3K, HR
• Runion 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Leon 1-2, BB
• Laird 1-4, R, HR, RBI

The Syracuse offense failed to rise up to the task of clinching a playoff spot in last night’s 2-1 loss to Pawtucket. The Chiefs managed just three hits and three walks. The right field defense delivered in the bottom of the 2nd when Steven Souza threw out Ryan Lavarnway at home. The bullpen delivered with four shutout innings, including two perfect innings from Aaron Barrett. Sadly, starter and loser Scott McGregor did not deliver and only lasted four innings and eighty pitches. He gave up a single by Bryce Brentz and a homer to Lavarnway to start out the 4th. Brandon Laird’s solo shot (18th homer) to start the 5th was Syracuse’s only response. Following Souza’s strikeout and a Tyler Moore walk, PawSox reliever Dalier Hinojosa retired the final two Chiefs and recorded his third save.
Roster moves: OF Eury Perez placed on 3-Day Temporary Inactive List; UT Jose Lozada activated from TIL.

Portland 3 Harrisburg 2
• Poveda (L, 1-3) 5IP, 8H, 3R, 1ER, BB, 7K
• Bates 3IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Martinson 3-4, R, 3B
• Keyes 2-4, RBI

History scored another victory against Harrisburg when the Portland Sea Dogs defeated the Senators 3-2. In the 1st, Portland jumped out to a 1-0 lead on two singles and an RBI double by Keury De La Cruz that scored Shannon Wilkerson. Starter and tough-luck loser Omar Poveda struck out the final two batters, however, and escaped further damage. Poveda’s luck went from bad to horrible when Matt Skole’s error from third base extended the 4th inning. Sean Coyle then snuck a grounder into left for a single that resulted in two unearned runs for Poveda and a 3-0 deficit. In the 6th, the Sens edged closer with a Quincy Latimore double and an RBI single by Kevin Keyes. Harrisburg narrowed the deficit to 3-2 when Jason Martinson tripled to lead off the 9th and scored on a Noe Ramirez balk. Ramirez then rebounded to strike out two of the next three Senators and record his seventeenth save.

Wilmington 2 Potomac 0
• Dickson (L, 5-9) 6⅔ IP, 5H, R, ER, 0BB, 7K, WP
• Harper 1⅓ IP, 1H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K, HR, 1-0 IR-S
• Martinez 1-3
• Dent 1-2, SAC

Fighting for their playoff lives, Wilmington shut out Potomac for a second straight by a 2-0 count. Starter Ian Dickson fired another quality start (6th in 15GS) with one run let in on five hits but was saddled with the loss. He walked none and struck out seven over six and 2/3rds innings. Bryan Harper got the last out of the 7th but was greeted by the first batter in the 8th with a big fly to give the Blue Rocks a critical insurance run. Stephen Perez doubled to lead off the P-Nats 9th and took third on a Tony Renda groundout to second, but couldn’t score on flyball to center for the second out, and watched from 90′ away as Randolph Oduber became the 14th strikeout for the Blue Rocks pitchers. Lynchburg and Frederick both won to keep pace with Wilmington.
Roster moves: UT Cody Dent reassigned from Hagerstown.

Hagerstown 10 Lakewood 4
• Dickey 4IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, 5BB, 2K
• Valdez (W, 2-0) 3IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Bautista 3-5, 3R, 2B, RBI
• Yezzo 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 3RBI
• Davidson 1-4, R, BB, HR, 3RBI

Hagerstown responded to a two-run top of the 1st with three in the bottom of the 1st and piled on four more in the 2nd as they cruised to a 10-4 win over Lakewood. Robbie Dickey wobbled through four innings and thus couldn’t get the Jack Morris win as he allowed all four BlueClaws runs on six hits and five walks with just two strikeouts. Philips Valdez and David Napoli combined for five shutout innings to earn the win and save respectively. Austin Davidson homered in his Low-A debut, hitting a three-run bomb in the 2nd and was followed two batters later by James Yezzo with a solo shot. Rafael Bautista led the Suns’ 13-hit parade with a double, two singles, and three runs scored. Roster moves: OF Austin Davidson reassigned from Auburn.

Mahoning Valley 5 Auburn 2
• Torres (L, 1-2) 3IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 2K
• Mapes 1⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Langlois 2-4, R, 2B
• Gunter 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Read 2-4, 2B

Mahoning Valley scored three runs early and held off a late Auburn charge for a 5-2 win. Starter and loser Luis Torres was dinged for the aforementioned three runs on six hits over three innings. He struck out two and walked none. Robert Orlan was effective early, but the Scrappers got to him for two runs in his fourth inning of work on a pair of one-out singles and a double before Tyler Mapes came on to roll a double play. Brian Langlois, Cody Gunter, and Raudy Read all went 2-for-4 with a single and a double, but the clutch hit eluded the Doubledays as they finished with a 1-for-7 mark with RISP.