Saturday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 6-0 @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre,
4:05 p.m.
Hill (11-7, 2.81 in ’14) vs.
Tracy (1-6, 4.45 in ’14)
Harrisburg Won, 3-2 (11 inn.) vs. Altoona,
6:00 p.m.
Espino (6-5, 3.98 in ’14) vs.
Glasnow (12-5, 1.74 @ Hi-A in ’14)
Potomac Postponed vs. Lynchburg,
2:05 p.m.
Rauh (2-4, 4.39 in ’14) and
Schwartz (2-1, 4.40 in ’14) vs.
Plutko (4-9, 4.08 in ’14) and TBD
Hagerstown Won, 14-4 @ Hickory,
6:00 p.m.
Reyes (0-1, 2.62 @ SS-A) vs.
Garrett (6-1, 4.06 @ SS-A)


Syracuse 6 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 0
• Jordan (W, 1-0) 6IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 5K
• Grace 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Ramsey 3-3, R, SF, 3RBI
• Martinson 2-3, 2R, BB, RBI, OF assist at 2B
• Gwynn 2-5, R

Caleb Ramsey had three hits and drove in three while three Chiefs pitchers combined on a… wait for it… three-hit shutout for 6-0 triumph over the RailRiders. Taylor Jordan allowed just, um, three baserunners as he gave up two hits and a walk over six innings to earn the win. Jason Martinson went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored and threw out a runner trying to stretch a single into a double to end the 2nd inning. Tony Gwynn Jr. also notched multiple hits as Syracuse racked up 11 total.

Harrisburg 3 Altoona 2 — 11 inn.
• Ross 4IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 6K
• Demny (W, 1-0) 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Renda 3-5, R
• Skole 1-4, R, BB, HR, RBI

Matt Skole’s leadoff walkoff home run ended this one after 11 innings as the Senators straightened the Curve, 3-2. Joe Ross struggled early, giving up single runs in the 1st and 2nd innings and finished with six hits and two walks allowed over four innings (78 pitches). Derek Self, Robert Benincasa, and Paul Demny combined for eight shutout innings of relief, with Demny getting the win. Tony Renda singled three times in five trips to the plate but the rest of the lineup was just 3-for-29 with three walks as Harrisburg had just five RISP chances and left six runners on over eleven turns at bat.

Lynchburg vs. Potomac — PPD
Wet grounds were cited for the postponement of Game Two of the Lynchburg-Potomac series. It will be made up today with a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.

Hagerstown 14 Hickory 4
• Bach 4IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 3K, HR, WP, HBP
• Ullmann (W, 1-0) 4IP, 2H, R, ER, 2BB, 4K
• Masters 3-3, 2R, 3B, 2BB, 3RBI
• Read 2-4, 4R, 2BB, HR, 2RBI, SB
• DeBruin 3-5, 2R, 2B, 3RBI

Hagerstown went to town on Hickory in the middle innings, scoring 10 runs in the 4th, 5th, and 6th combined in a 14-4 win. Connor Bach got the start and went the first four innings, letting in two runs on five hits and two walks. Ryan Ullmann earned the win with four innings of one-run relief, allowing two hits and two walks. Raudy Read capped off the scoring with a two-run shot in the 9th and was 2-for-4 with four runs scored while David Masters and Grant DeBruin both registered three hits and three RBI to pace the Suns’ 16-hit attack.

Trea Turner Update
Turner went 0-for-4 in a 1-0 San Antonio Missions win, which he helped preserve on defense by throwing out a runner at home to end the 2nd.

Friday’s News & Notes

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 8-3 @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre,
7:05 p.m.
Jordan (0-2, 4.06 in ’14) vs.
Long (7-2, 2.35 @ AA in ’14)
Harrisburg Lost, 1-0 vs. Altoona,
6:30 p.m.
Ross (2-0, 3.60 in ’14) vs.
Creasy (8-9, 3.93 @ A+ in ’14)
Potomac Lost, 8-6 vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Rauh (2-4, 4.39 in ’14) vs.
Plutko (4-9, 4.08 in ’14)
Hagerstown Lost, 5-2 @ Hickory,
7:00 p.m.
Bach (0-0, 3.52 in ’14) vs.
L. Ortiz (0-0, 1.29 in ’14)


Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 8 Syracuse 3
• Cole 5IP, 8H, 2R, ER, 0BB, 3K, HR, WP
• Rivero (BS, 1; L, 0-1) 1⅓ IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, BB, K
• Burriss 2-4, R, BB, RBI, E
• D. Robinson 0-2, 2R, 2BB, SB

The wheels came off the bus in the 7th and 8th innings as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre put up three-spots in both frames to turn a 3-2 deficit into an 8-3 win over Syracuse. Felipe Rivero took the loss, retiring just one of six batters in the 7th after a 1-2-3 sixth. A.J. Cole started and gave up two runs, one earned, on eight hits over five innings. Emmanuel Burris was the sole Chief to notch multiple hits as Syracuse managed just six singles but did draw seven walks on the night.
Roster moves: C Jeff Howell, IF Jose Lozada, OF Brian Goodwin activated from XST, placed on 7-Day DL

Altoona 1 Harrisburg 0
• Voth 6IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 7K, WP
• De Los Santos (L, 0-1) 1IP, 1H, R, ER, 2BB, K
• Vettleson 1-4, 2B
• Keyes 1-3, BB

It was a Star Trek convention on the Metro Bank scoreboard (all zeroes) until the 9th inning when Altoona scored the game’s only run to shut out Harrisburg, 1-0. Austin Voth threw six scoreless innings and allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out seven. A walk, sacrifice, and an intentional walk set up the game-winning single off Abel De Los Santos in the 9th. Drew Vettleson doubled to lead off the 5th (and break up the no-hitter) and took third on Shawn Pleffner’s subsequent single but a 5-3 lineout DP off the bat of Pedro Severino killed the only true threat of the night. The Sens were held to just five hits and two walks total.
Roster move: Player-coach Andruth Ramirez reassigned to Potomac.

Lynchburg 8 Potomac 6
• Pivetta (L, 0-1) 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 7K
• Johansen 2⅔ IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 4K, HR
• Bostick 1-3, R, BB
• Wooten 1-4, R, 2RBI, 3K

Potomac scored six times in the 9th with two outs. On any other night, that would probably be a walkoff, but down 8-0 it was merely prolonging the agony as Lynchburg held on for an 8-6 win. Early on, it was a pitcher’s duel as Nick Pivetta matched goose eggs with Dylan Baker, who no-hit the P-Nats for five innings. Pivetta would take the loss on just one run allowed over five innings on three hits and two walks while fanning seven. Four of the five Potomac hits and three of five walks came in the 9th, with Chris Bostick the sole P-Nat to reach base twice. Roster moves: RHPs Ian Dickson and Ronald Pena, LHPs Kylin Turnbull and Hector Silvestre activated from XST and placed on the 7-Day DL; OF Jayson Werth assigned from Washington for MLB rehab.

Hickory 5 Hagerstown 2
• Williams (L, 0-1) 4IP, 6H, 3R, 1ER, 0BB, 2K, WP
• Johns 2IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 0K, WP
• Carey 1-4, R, HR, RBI, 3K
• Marmolejos-Diaz 1-3, R, HR, 2K

The scoring difficulties extended all the way to Low-A, as the Suns could only manage just three hits in a 5-2 loss to the Crawdads. Two of them left the yard with “Orange” Marmolejos-Diaz homered in the 2nd and D.K. Carey left the band yard and went solo in the 4th. Austen Williams was dinged for three runs, one earned, on six hits over for innings and was charged with the loss.
Roster moves: LHP Brett Mooneyham, RHP Wirkin Estevez, 3B Jake Mayers activated from XST and placed on the 7-Day DL

Trea Turner Update
Turner went 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts in a 10-4 San Antonio Missions loss.

Opening Day!


It’s a full slate today for minor-league Opening Day for the second straight season as the Chiefs visit the RailRiders, the Senators host the Curve, the P-Nats host the Hillcats, and the Suns visit the Crawdads.

Well, weather permitting. Again. The first-pitch forecast is 47 degrees and a 50% chance of rain in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; 50 and 45% in Harrisburg, 55 and 35% chance in Woodbridge, and 75 and 85% in Zebulon, NC.

Team Today’s Game Pitching Matchup (’14 Stats at Level)
Syracuse @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre,
7:05 p.m.
Cole (6-3, 2.92) vs.
Mitchell (4-2, 3.67)
Harrisburg vs. Altoona,
6:30 p.m.
Voth (1-3, 6.52) vs.
A. Sanchez (0-2, 4.32)
Potomac vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Pivetta (13-8, 4.22 @ Low-A) vs.
Baker (3-3, 4.05)
Hagerstown @ Hickory,
7:00 p.m.
A. Williams (4-3, 4.66 @ SS-A) vs.
Jurado (2-1, 1.62 @ AZL)


Just the annual reminder: These pitchers are not necessarily the team’s #1 starter. They are, within a slot or two, how the Nationals would like the starters to align from Low-A to MLB in the event of promotions or injuries.

Based on what I’ve been able to gather (or been told, H/T Mayflies’ Mick Reinhard), here’s how the rest of the starting rotations will round out:

TEAM Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5
Syracuse Jordan Hill McGregor Billings
Harrisburg Ross Espino Alderson Swynenberg
Potomac Rauh Schwartz TBD TBD
Hagerstown Bach L. Reyes TBD TBD


Obviously, there’s some intrigue as to who will start Games 4 and 5 for the “A” teams. Potomac, for example, has Nick Lee, Matthew Spann, Dakota Bacus, and Wander Suero as candidates while Hagerstown has R.C. Orlan, Drew Van Orden, and Andrew Cooper. As the press release cycle starts up, we’ll know more.

And another reminder: These rotations are very likely to be short-lived, especially with the likes of Reynaldo Lopez, Robbie Dickey, Jefry Rodriguez, and some other guy expected to arrive within three weeks or so.

Nationals Affiliates Announce Rosters

Yesterday, the Washington Nationals affiliates officially announced the 2015 Opening Day rosters. Let’s take a look at who landed where to begin the season.

SYRACUSE
Watchlist Pitchers — A.J. Cole, Felipe Rivero, Taylor Hill, Matt Grace
Watchlist Position Players — Cutter Dykstra

HARRISBURG
Watchlist Pitchers — Abel de Los Santos, Bryan Harper, Gilberto Mendez, Joe Ross, Austin Voth
Watchlist Position Players — Pedro Severino, Stephen Perez, Tony Renda, Matt Skole, Shawn Pleffner, Drew Vettleson

POTOMAC
Watchlist Pitchers — Jake Johansen, Nick Pivetta, Matt Spann, Wander Suero, Justin Thomas, Jake Walsh
Watchlist Position Players — Spencer Kieboom, Chris Bostick, Wilmer Difo, Drew Ward, John Wooten, James Yezzo, Isaac Ballou, Rafael Bautista

HAGERSTOWN
Watchlist Pitchers — None
Watchlist Position Players — Raudy Read, Austin Davidson, Jose Marmolejos-Diaz, D.K. Carey

M.I.A. — Robbie Dickey, Ian Dickson, Lucas Giolito, Cody Gunter, Brian Goodwin, Reynaldo Lopez, Jefry Rodriguez, Hector Silvestre, Sammy Solis, John Simms, Kylin Turnbull.

Obviously, there are more that fall into that last batch… but for the sake of expediency, I’m limiting my analysis to the watchlist.

• For those of you who haven’t heard, Giolito and Lopez are both being held back in XST, and that’s presumably the case with most of the other pitchers.

• If indeed Lopez and Giolito are activated in late April, the best bet is for them to debut at the Pfitz during the midweek games of the first homestand in May.

• That Brian Goodwin isn’t ready is in line with our suspicion that he’s much further behind in his recovery than team officials have stated, which is hardly a shock given the amount of time it took for them to divulge that he had labrum surgery at all.

• It’s interesting that players on the DL have not yet been identified. While not a surefire indicator, it’s a least a hint as to where they might end up.

• Folks shouldn’t read too much into Hagerstown having no watchlist pitchers — they do have five 2014 draft picks, and one of the flaws of the watchlist is that short-season guys can (and do) get shortchanged if they don’t succeed right away in the GCL or the NYPL.

• It’s tough to make out what the plans are for Matt Skole with his placement at Harrisburg, but it may be more of a comment on the club’s wanting Ian Stewart and Kila Ka‘aihue in Syracuse and available as replacements for Ryan Zimmerman and/or Anthony Rendon.

• Felipe Rivero is not starting for Syracuse; the team announced a rotation of Cole-Jordan-Hill-McGregor-Billings.

• Austen Williams is the only other Opening Day starter that’s been announced.

• Finally, longtime Nats/Expos farmhand Devin Ivany is listed as a coach for the Senators.

As always, feel free to discuss in the comments. Opening Night — weather permitting 🙁 — is tomorrow!

Tourists Win Sally League Finale, 4-1

The Tourists scored in the 1st, built a 4-0 lead after four innings, and cruised to a 4-1 win to take the 2014 South Atlantic League Championship, three games to two. It was the second title in three years for Asheville, and back-to-back Finals losses for Hagerstown.

Nick Pivetta was more effective than he was in Game One, making it through five frames, but allowed all four Tourist runs (three earned, though the error was his) on six hits and two walks while striking out five. His counterpart, Konner Wade, was just as brilliant as before — tossing seven scoreless innings to run his total to 12 for the series.

The Suns were limited to six hits — all singles — and one walk. The lone, unearned run came in the bottom of the 8th as Rafael Bautista reached on an error, took third on a Wilmer Difo safety, and scored on a groundout by Narciso Mesa. Drew Ward was the sole Hagerstown batter to reach base twice, singling in the 7th and drawing a leadoff walk in the 9th.

Hagerstown finished the 2014 season with 87 wins in the regular season and 91 wins overall, both the most since the Suns joined the South Atlantic League in 1993. They’ll start the 2015 campaign on the road in Hickory, NC on April 9th and open at home against Lakewood on April 16th.

Hagerstown Forces A Game Five With A 6-3 Comeback Win

Asheville built a 3-0 lead on a pair of home runs to send 19-y.o. starter Travis Ott to the showers after just two and 1/3rd innings. With no tomorrow, Hagerstown manager Patrick Anderson turned to former starter Jake Johansen — who was removed from the rotation in late July, and quite frankly, wasn’t any less ineffective as a reliever — to eat innings and hope for the bats to come alive.

The comeback came three innings later with some “help” from the Tourists defense, as Jimmy Yezzo connected for a two-out, two-run triple, then tied it up on error by third baseman Ryan McMahon. Cody Dent, who had homered once in his professional career prior to last night, got his second to give the Suns an improbable 5-3 lead. I’ve heard there’s a family history of this.

But perhaps more unexpected was the performance that Johansen turned in. During the regular season, he was scored upon in all 18 starts and either gave up an inherited runner or one of his own in 10 of 11 relief outings. That one other scoreless outing, however, was against last-place Lakewood.

A reasonable expectation: one or two runs over three or four innings. Instead, Johansen shut down the league’s most potent offense for three and 2/3rds innings with just one hit allowed, no walks, and two strikeouts.

Hagerstown would get an insurance run in the 7th, again with the help of some defensive incompetence. A dropped third strike following back-to-back two-out singles loaded the bases for Yezzo, who delivered another RBI knock with a single to plate the sixth and final Suns run. Yezzo would finish the night at 3-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI to lead Hagerstown’s 12-hit attack.

The run wouldn’t be needed as Justin Thomas, who took over for Johansen in the 7th, faced the mininum of nine over three innings with three strikeouts to earn the save.

Nick Pivetta (13-8, 4.22) and Konner Wade (8-8, 3.61) will rematch in Game Five, and will likely be a lower score than the 16-7 result in Game One.

Hagerstown Pushed To The Brink With 4-1 Loss

The 20-y.o. righthander was brilliant, pitching into the 9th with just five hits allowed. Unfortunately, his name was Zach Jemioloa, not Reynaldo Lopez, as the Asheville Tourists took Game Three of the South Atlantic League Championship Series, 4-1.

Lopez, who has become the hottest Nationals prospect not named Lucas Giolito, was instead human last night. After turning in two scoreless inning to begin the game, he gave up back-to-back-to-back singles to open up a 1-0 deficit in the 3rd, then fell behind 3-1 on a two-run home run after issuing a leadoff walk in the 4th.

The Dominican righty wobbled through the 5th a pair of walks and was saved from further damage when Corelle “Optimus” Prime’s single struck David Dahl between second and third to for the third out and quash a possible fourth run allowed. Manager Patrick Anderson pulled the plug after two outs in the 6th and inserted Nick Lee.

Lopez’s final was 5⅔ IP, 8H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 4K, HR, WP, 2PO (both at 1B).

The Tourists got their fourth and final run in the 7th on a two-out triple by Dahl off Lee, who finished the game for Hagerstown with the one run allowed on four hits, no walks, and six strikeouts.

Offensively, the Suns were held to just six hits, though four of them were doubles. The lone run came in the bottom of the 3rd as David Masters doubled to lead off the inning, took third on grounder to third, and scored on Rafael Bautista’s single (literally) off Jemiola.

The Suns threatened in the 9th as Wilmer Difo led off with a double and Austin Chubb walked with one out to bring the tying run to the plate in the person of Drew Ward, who popped up to short for the second out. Carlos Lopez, who had doubled twice earlier in the game, grounded out to the mound to end it.

The Suns will give the ball to a well-rested (last pitched on August 28) Travis Ott (0-2, 7.59) in Game Four, opposed by Antonio Senzatela (15-2, 3.11) who last pitched on August 30th.

Wednesday’s News & Notes — Playoff Edition

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.

Saturday’s News & Notes — Playoff Edition

Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 7-6 END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac OFF DAY @ Myrtle Beach,
7:05 p.m.
Bacus (7-6, 4.41)
Dickson (5-9, 4.37) vs.
Bell (6-3, 3.52)
Hagerstown Won, 6-2 OFF DAY N/A


Pawtucket 7 Syracuse 6
• Lively 3⅔ IP, 4H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 3K
• Grace (BS 1; L, 0-1) 1IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 0BB, 2K
• Burriss 4-5, 2R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Skole 0-1, 4BB
• Rhymes 2-3, 2R, 2B, 2BB, 2RBI, 2E

The Chiefs led 4-0 early but the bullpen couldn’t stop the PawSox, who rallied for three in the 7th for a 7-6 win and a 3-0 series sweep.
Matt Skole got things started for Syracuse in the 2nd with the first of his four walks drawn, followed by a single by Eury Perez. Will Rhymes busted a double down the right field line for the first two runs, then trotted in ahead of Emmanuel Burriss’s home run for the aforementioned 4-0 advantage. The joy was short-lived as starter Mitch Lively issued four walks in the 3rd to give two runs back, then gave up a leadoff single then a two-out double in the 4th to end his night. Sam Runion got the last out to preserve the 4-3 lead. The Chiefs answered with a run in the bottom of the 4th to take a 5-3 lead and responded again in the 6th when the PawSox got a run in the top of the 6th to go up 6-4. Matt Grace got one quick out by way of the K to start the 7th but then was peppered with a single-double-single sequence, then the second Rhymes error. After a second whiff by former Chief Corey Brown, Grace gave up the gamewinner on an infield single to deep short. Syracuse threatened in the 7th and 8th with two baserunners in each inning but couldn’t get the equalizer. Roster moves: UT Jeff Kobernus recalled to Washington, OF Quincy Latimore reassigned from Harrisburg.

Potomac — OFF DAY
Folks hoping for a rematch of the 2013 Mills Cup matchup will get 2008 instead, as Myrtle Beach shut out Salem, 5-0 to advance to the Carolina League Championship series against Potomac. The Pelicans and the P-Nats, both double-half winners, were the only two teams to finish above .500 in the eight-team circuit. Myrtle Beach won 11 of the 19 meetings, including a three-game sweep in late July at the Pfitz. However, six of Potomac’s eight wins were at BB&T, which was hardly unusual as the team had a better road record (39-26) than at home (39-32), including a 22-9 mark in the second half. The P-Nats have not officially announced a starter, but they have yet to deviate from the previous turn through rotation, hence Dakota Bacus as the probable listed above.

Hagerstown 6 Greensboro 2
• R. Lopez 6IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 10K
• Johns (BS, 2; W, 1-0) 1IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-2 IR-S
• Napoli (SV, 1) 1⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, 1-0 IR-S
• Difo 3-4, 2R, 2B, RBI
• Masters 2-4, R, 2B, RBI

The Hagerstown ‘pen couldn’t match its brilliance of Game One, blowing a 2-0 lead, but were bailed out when the bats broke out for four runs over the final two innings in a 6-2 win that puts the Suns back in the Sally League Finals for the second straight season. Starter Reynaldo Lopez played entomologist, putting the pin in the Grasshoppers for six shutout innings, with just two hits and a walk allowed while striking a career-best 10 batters. The Suns, however, were only able to get two runs for him, taking advantage of Greensboro error for a run in the 1st, then converted a Wilmer Difo leadoff double into the second score with a pair of flyouts. Nick Lee had more wild pitches (2) than outs (1) when manager Patrick Anderson pulled the plug on him after giving up a single and a walk in the space of three batters. Lee’s replacement, Samuel Johns, couldn’t keep the tying run from scoring with the third wild pitch and a two-out double to tie things at 2-2. The Grasshoppers unwisely hit Difo to start the 8th and Anderson played small ball with a sacrifice, which Spencer Kieboom plated with an RBI single to take a 3-2 lead. Johns gave up a double to begin the last of the 8th when Greensboro made another critical mistake: running into the first out of the inning at third on a grounder to short. Anderson called on southpaw David Napoli to face the left-handed Carlos Lopez, who grounded out to the right-handed Carlos Lopez at first base, then got the next batter on a tapper back to the mound. The Suns broke it open with three in the 9th to put the game away, while Napoli shook off a single to start the bottom of the 9th with a 6-4-3 DP and got the final out on the flyball to center. Hagerstown will head south over the weekend, but won’t know if it’s to Georgia or North Carolina, as the Tourists-Sand Gnats game was suspended in the bottom of the 8th with Asheville, who won Game One, leading 2-1.

Thursday’s News & Notes — Playoff Edition

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.