PBL Scores, 5/15/15

In today’s action, we had a couple costly errors, a lot of tight games, and a new division leader!  All the details await below…

Milwaukee Bear ClawsSilver City OutlawsMILWAUKEE BEAR CLAWS 8, SILVER CITY OUTLAWS 7 (12 INNINGS)

It seemed as though all the elements were in place for the Silver City Outlaws to win today.  On the batting side, RF Nathaniel Wason clubbed three home runs, leading a powerful Silver City attack that built a large lead.  On the mound, 19-year-old Pedro Rodriguez had a no-hitter going; even an hour-plus rain delay couldn’t slow him down.  And yet, it was the elements that ultimately betrayed the Outlaws.  A second rain delay forced Rodriguez out of the game, and the Silver City bullpen imploded.  Despite a 9th-inning rally to tie the game, the Outlaws ultimately fell 8-7 in 12 excruciating, miserable innings.

“This is what it feels like to gun yourself down,” said Outlaws manager John Jarha.  “This game is going to stick in my craw for a while.”

Early on, it looked like the game would be a Silver City blowout.  Wason launched a three-run homer off Milwaukee starter Herculez Mendoza in the 1st inning to get Silver City on the board.  When Mendoza left after the first rain delay in the middle of the 3rd, Wason greeted reliever Chris Karnik with a solo bomb.  Karnik balked in another run later in the inning to make it 5-0 Outlaws.  With Rodriguez on the top of his game, Silver City was poised for a badly-needed victory.

“It’s really amazing to watch him throw,” said Outlaws C Toby Watson of Rodriguez.  “It’s hard to remember that he’s only 19.  He has the poise and confidence of a veteran.  And he’s not just winning with speed; he changes speeds like a master.  He just toys with batters.”

But when the rain forced another hour-plus delay in the bottom of the 4th, Jarha had no choice but to remove his starter.  Rodriguez argued vehemently to remain in the game, but the manager stood firm.

“I know Pedro said he wanted to go back out,” said Jarha.  “I want him to think like that; I love that kind of spirit and fight.  But I’m not about to take a chance on risking an injury.  I want him slinging BBs for us for 15 years; I’m not going to wreck his arm for one game.”

Unfortunately for Jarha and the Outlaws, the Silver City bullpen wasn’t ready to take the torch.  Jamaal Sapp got them through the 5th and 6th unscathed, but left-handed knuckleballer Cliff Humphrey made a mess of the 7th.  After the game, Humphrey admitted that the conditions probably played a role.

“Trying to throw a knuckler with a wet ball is like trying to catch a fish with your bare hands,” said Humphrey.  “I asked for a new ball a bunch of times, but there’s only so many times you can go to that well.”

Humphrey’s stat line underscored the truth of his words: he allowed three hits, including a double, plunked two Milwaukee batters, and allowed three runs over 1 1/3 innings.

“I had no control whatsoever,” said Humphrey.  “It was just all over the lot.”

Humphrey was followed by left-hander Aurelio Menard, who gave up two singles, a double, and a run without recording an out in the 8th.  Closer Go Matsumoto followed Menard and got the Outlaws out of the 8th, but not before allowing a game-tying sac fly to Bear Claws CF DeRonde Maxwell.

Wason homered off Milwaukee reliever Olen Abernathy in the bottom of the 8th to retake the lead, but Matsumoto stumbled again, allowing a two-run blast to 1B Felipe Mateo.

“I should have just pitched underhand,” said Matsumoto.  “Maybe then they wouldn’t have hit it so far.”

Incredibly, the Outlaws picked themselves up off the mat yet again, as DH Teddy Olivas led off the bottom of the 9th with a homer off Bear Claws closer Oscar Buenaventura.  And Matsumoto redeemed himself with shutout frames in the 10th and 11th.  But Silver City couldn’t score in those innings, either.

Jarha called on right-hander Trip Hawkins for the 12th.  Hawkins (0-1) is not Jarha’s favorite reliever, and he demonstrated why in this game, surrendering three hits, including an RBI double to Maxwell.  Bear Claws long reliever Avery Lavine (2-0) shut the Outlaws down in the bottom of the 12th for the win.

It was a terribly-timed loss for Silver City, which has dropped 11 of its last 15 and fell 6 1/2 games behind the Bear Claws with this defeat.  “We’re choking on Milwaukee’s dust,” said Jarha.  “They’re about to vanish in the distance unless we can find a way to catch up.

The Bear Claws (27-11) will open a series at home against the Salt Lake Samurai tomorrow.  The Outlaws (20-17) host the California Sharks for a three-game set.

 

5/15/2015, MIL15-SCO15, The Corral
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Bear Claws        0  0  0  0  0  0  3  2  2  0  0  1     8 13  0    11  2
2015 Outlaws           3  0  2  0  0  0  0  1  1  0  0  0     7 10  0     4  0
 
Bear Claws           AB  R  H BI   AVG    Outlaws              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Petitt            ss  7  1  2  0  .309    Barkan            2b  6  1  2  0  .300
Iddings           2b  4  1  1  0  .261    Burt              ss  4  0  1  0  .252
Mateo             1b  6  1  2  4  .322     Jeffreys         ph  1  0  0  0  .158
Suzuki            3b  4  0  1  0  .292     Cipolla          ss  1  0  0  0  .100
Mealey            lf  6  2  2  0  .298    Brewmaker         3b  4  1  0  0  .272
Raine             dh  6  2  3  1  .296    Wason             rf  4  3  3  5  .333
Trumbauer         rf  6  0  1  0  .281    Elliott           1b  5  1  1  0  .287
McGuigan          c   5  1  0  0  .275    Ivey              lf  4  0  1  0  .259
Maxwell           cf  3  0  1  3  .302     Whittier         lf  1  0  0  0  .000
                     47  8 13  8          Watson            c   4  0  0  0  .201
                                          Olivas            dh  5  1  1  1  .205
                                          Cardona           cf  5  0  1  0  .206
                                                               44  7 10  6
 
Bear Claws                       INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Mendoza                          2.2  2  3  3  2  3  43  26  5.23
Karnik                           3.1  4  2  2  0  1  38  26  6.75
Almon                            1.0  1  0  0  0  1  19  11  1.33
Abernathy                        1.0  1  1  1  0  0  17   8  2.16
Buenaventura     BS 3            2.0  1  1  1  1  1  28  16  1.50
Lavine           W 2-0           2.0  1  0  0  0  2  29  18  7.04
                                12.0 10  7  7  3  8 174 105 
 
Outlaws                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Rodriguez                        4.0  0  0  0  2  3  60  35  0.98
Sapp                             1.2  1  0  0  1  0  25  15  1.08
Humphrey         H 1             1.1  3  3  3  0  0  20  12  3.72
Menard                           0.0  3  2  2  0  0  19  13  4.86
Matsumoto        BS 2            4.0  3  2  2  0  1  46  32  3.12
Hawkins          L 0-1           1.0  3  1  1  0  1  16  11 27.00
                                12.0 13  8  8  3  5 186 118 
 
SCO: Whittier inserted at lf in the 9th
     Jeffreys batted for Burt in the 9th
     Cipolla inserted at ss in the 10th
 
2B-Mealey(7), Raine(5), Maxwell(11). HR-Mateo(13), Wason 3(20), Olivas(13). 
RBI-Mateo 4(38), Raine(13), Maxwell 3(19), Wason 5(40), Olivas(20). 
SB-Barkan 2(5). K-Petitt, Iddings, Mateo, Trumbauer, Maxwell, Barkan, Burt 2, 
Elliott, Watson, Olivas 2, Cipolla. BB-Suzuki 2, Maxwell, Brewmaker, Wason, 
Watson. SF-Maxwell 2. HBP-Iddings 2, McGuigan. HB-Rodriguez, Humphrey 2. 
BALK-Karnik. 
GWRBI: Maxwell
Herculez Mendoza was removed after a rain delay
Pedro Rodriguez was removed after a rain delay
Temperature: 89, Field: wet, Sky: threatening, Wind: in from right at 17 MPH, 
Rain Delays: 66 and 73 minutes.

 

Salt Lake SamuraiCalifornia SharksSALT LAKE SAMURAI 4, CALIFORNIA SHARKS 3

California Sharks starter Deke Slate has had a disappointing season so far.  Hoping to change his luck, Slater decided to vary up his pregame routine, incorporating yoga exercises and visualization into his usual stretching.

“A limber mind leads to a limber spine,” said Slater.

The change paid some dividends, as Slater pitched a better-than-usual game.  Next time, though, he might want to invite his fielders to limber up with him.  Two Sharks errors led to unearned runs, dooming California to a 4-3 defeat to the Salt Lake Samurai.

“I still feel too much negative energy around me,” said Slater (2-5).  “I need to lose myself in my pitching in order to find myself.”

In the 1st inning, with two outs and two runners in scoring position, Samurai 1B Neal Thomas hit a grounder that should have ended the inning.  But the ball clanked off 3B Karl Mote’s glove, allowing the first run of the game to score.

Then in the 7th, with the game tied at 3, Slater and the Sharks faced a similar situation: two down, runners on the corners.  LF Chip Sparks hit what shoulder have been an inning-ending roller to second, but it got by 2B Palmer Strachan as the winning run scored.

Slater declined to blame the errors for his loss.  “Blaming your teammates is bad karma,” Slater said.  “Besides, if I hadn’t let those guys get on base to start with, [the errors] wouldn’t have made any difference.  It starts with me.”

Sharks manager Eduardo Aponte praised both his pitcher’s attitude and his improved performance.  “I would much rather see Deke point the finger at himself, so that is good,” Aponte said.  “But I also do not want him to forget that he took a step forward today.  Overall, our pitching is better.”

The California miscues made a winner of Salt Lake starter Davey Skargard (2-5), who tossed 8 strong innings and allowed only five hits.  His only problem inning was the 4th, when he allowed back-to-back jacks to LF Kenneth Mader and DH Eddie Nix.

“Davey’s been pitching well,” said Samurai manager Johnny Dugan.  “I’m glad we could put together enough runs to get him the W, because he deserved it.”

In another good-news story for Salt Lake, closer Dean Gamble pitched a scoreless 9th for his fifth save of the season.

This game marks the first time all season that the Samurai have beaten the Sharks, a development that pleased Dugan greatly.  “It’s just another step for us,” said the manager.  “Now that we’ve proven we can beat anybody, the next thing is to start making it a habit.”

The Samurai (8-30) travel to Milwaukee next for a battle with the first-place Bear Claws.  The Sharks (20-14) are off to the Corral for a showdown with the Silver City Outlaws.

 

5/15/2015, SLC15-CAL15, Blue Note Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Samurai           1  0  0  0  2  0  1  0  0     4  9  1    10  2
2015 Sharks            0  0  0  3  0  0  0  0  0     3  5  2     2  0
 
Samurai              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Sharks               AB  R  H BI   AVG
Motonari          ss  5  1  1  0  .253    Corona            rf  4  0  1  0  .316
Whitworth         dh  2  1  0  0  .244    Suarez            cf  4  0  0  0  .191
 Davidson         ph  2  0  1  0  .209    Smyth             ss  4  1  1  0  .372
Norden            rf  3  2  2  0  .200    Mader             lf  4  1  1  2  .336
Cosgrove          cf  5  0  1  1  .295    Nix               dh  4  1  1  1  .353
Thomas            1b  5  0  0  1  .257    Mote              3b  2  0  0  0  .258
Sparks            lf  3  0  0  0  .257     Gonzalez         ph  1  0  0  0  .222
Turnbull          c   4  0  2  0  .161    Oller             1b  3  0  1  0  .313
Gaytan            2b  4  0  1  0  .232    Lockley           c   2  0  0  0  .284
Poncilar          3b  4  0  1  0  .091    Strachan          2b  3  0  0  0  .240
                     37  4  9  2                               31  3  5  3
 
Samurai                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Skargard         W 2-5           8.0  5  3  3  1  2  85  57  4.17
Gamble           S 5             1.0  0  0  0  0  0  11   8  4.91
                                 9.0  5  3  3  1  2  96  65 
 
Sharks                           INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Slater           L 2-5           8.0  9  4  2  2  1 130  80  5.98
Bond                             1.0  0  0  0  1  1  12   6  4.82
                                 9.0  9  4  2  3  2 142  86 
 
SLC: Davidson batted for Whitworth in the 7th
CAL: Gonzalez batted for Mote in the 7th
     Gonzalez moved to 3b in the 8th
 
E-Gaytan, Mote, Strachan. 2B-Cosgrove(11), Turnbull(1), Smyth(9). 
HR-Mader(8), Nix(6). RBI-Cosgrove(17), Thomas(27), Mader 2(28), Nix(16). 
SB-Motonari(2), Gaytan(2). CS-Norden. K-Thomas, Poncilar, Suarez, Strachan. 
BB-Whitworth, Norden, Sparks, Lockley. HBP-Norden. HB-Slater. 
Temperature: 59, Sky: partly cloudy, Wind: in from right at 4 MPH.

 

Jackson HammerheadsKnoxville SmokiesJACKSON HAMMERHEADS 6, KNOXVILLE SMOKIES 3

It’s a new day in the Patriot League’s Eastern division.  For the first time this season, someone other than the Knoxville Smokies is on top.  And that’s not the only first marked by this 6-3 win for the Jackson Hammerheads.  It’s the first time Smokies starter Jack Jacques has lost in a Knoxville uniform.  And it’s the first time that the Smokies have lost five games in a row.

“What is this, Opposite Day?” said Smokies manager Snuff Wallace.  “This ain’t a result I recognize.”

It certainly was a surprising result for Jacques, the Haitian native who has gotten better with each subsequent start for Knoxville – until this one.  In many ways, actually, this was a typically effective outing for Jacques: he threw 7 hitless innings and struck out 5.

But he and the Smokies were tripped up by one bad inning: the 3rd.  After allowing a single to open the inning, Jacques struck out Jackson RF Lacy Wilczynski and got CF Damian Deason to hit a potential double-play grounder.  But Deason beat the relay throw, which is when the inning began to unravel.

The brash Deason, who gave himself the nickname “Black Hammer” for his exploits on and off the diamond, bolted for second on Jacques’ first pitch, sliding in easily ahead of C Prince Carlo’s throw.  As Deason popped up safely, he waved his batting glove at Jacques.

“I bought a hundred of these,” Deason explained of his glove ritual.  “One for every base I’m gonna steal.”

If Deason intended to rattle Jacques with his move, it appears to have worked.  Jacques wound up walking SS Octavio Westerberg, then fell behind 3B Kim Fleitas 3-1.  Not wanting to walk the bases loaded, Jacques grooved a fastball.  Fleitas deposited it over the left-field fence for a three-run homer.  Adding insult to injury, the next batter, DH Erin Arispe, swatted another tater.

Those were the only runs Jacques (3-2) would allow.  They were enough.

Hammerheads lefty Kiko Walton (4-1) has struggled with inconsistency this season, and today was no exception.  In many ways, Walton struggled more than Jacques; he lasted only 6 innings and gave up 7 hits, including two doubles, a triple, and two homers.  But he was fortunate enough to spread the hits out such that he gave up only three runs.

“He’s the luckiest bastard in baseball,” said Knoxville’s Wallace of Walton.  “The way he was pitching, he should have given up 10 runs.  We were raining hits on his [expletive].  But he made it through by the skin of his teeth.  Whereas my guy has one bad inning, and he loses.  Baseball is a filthy whore.”

The Hammerheads gave themselves a little breathing room in the 9th, collecting two more runs off reliever Tobias Dennis.  Meanwhile, the Jackson pen locked the game down.  Righty Butch Turnbull pitched around a tough error in the 7th, and closer Rick Sheen posted 1 2/3 perfect innings for his fifth save.

Wallace had a warning for the new division leaders.  “[The Hammerheads] better not get too comfortable up there,” the Knoxville skipper said.  “First place belongs to us, and we’ll be along to reclaim it real soon.”

The Hammerheads (23-14) wing their way down to Orlando next to face the Calrissians, while the Smokies (22-15) will try to pull themselves together in Jacksonville against the Dragons.

 

5/15/2015, JCK15-KNX15, Rocky Top Park
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Hammerheads       0  0  4  0  0  0  0  0  2     6  5  1     4  0
2015 Smokies           1  0  1  0  1  0  0  0  0     3 10  0     9  0
 
Hammerheads          AB  R  H BI   AVG    Smokies              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Deason            cf  5  1  0  0  .265    Blair             cf  5  2  3  1  .296
Westerberg        ss  3  1  0  0  .313    Campo             2b  4  0  1  0  .305
Fleitas           3b  2  1  1  3  .347    Campo             rf  5  1  2  2  .236
Arispe            dh  4  1  1  1  .206    Bryant            1b  3  0  0  0  .298
Doyle             c   4  0  0  0  .299    Moriarty          ss  4  0  0  0  .285
Righter           2b  4  0  0  0  .273    Jaramillo         dh  4  0  0  0  .287
Battin            1b  3  1  0  0  .241    Aceuedo           3b  4  0  2  0  .312
Johnson           lf  3  1  2  0  .292    Sisco             lf  4  0  2  0  .293
Wilczynski        rf  4  0  1  2  .325    Carlo             c   4  0  0  0  .146
                     32  6  5  6                               37  3 10  3
 
Hammerheads                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Walton           W 4-1           6.0  7  3  3  2  3  98  60  5.89
Turnbull         H 1             1.1  3  0  0  0  1  22  15  4.26
Sheen            S 6             1.2  0  0  0  0  1  20  14  4.05
                                 9.0 10  3  3  2  5 140  89 
 
Smokies                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Jacques          L 3-2           8.0  3  4  4  3  5 117  66  4.12
Dennis                           1.0  2  2  2  1  0  23  13  5.09
                                 9.0  5  6  6  4  5 140  79 
 
E-Deason. 2B-Johnson(7), Sisco 2(5). 3B-Blair(4). HR-Fleitas(9), Arispe(3), 
Blair(8), Campo(8). RBI-Fleitas 3(39), Arispe(14), Wilczynski 2(20), 
Blair(26), Campo 2(30). SB-Deason(10). CS-Blair. K-Deason, Doyle 2, Battin, 
Wilczynski, Campo, Campo 2, Aceuedo, Carlo. BB-Westerberg, Fleitas 2, Battin, 
Campo, Bryant. HBP-Johnson. HB-Jacques. BALK-Walton. 
GWRBI: Fleitas
Temperature: 72, Sky: clear, Wind: left to right at 7 MPH.

 

Orlando CalrissiansJacksonville DragonsORLANDO CALRISSIANS 4, JACKSONVILLE DRAGONS 2

The Jacksonville Dragons are trying their hardest to get back in the Eastern Division race.  After a stumbling starter left them in a deep hold behind Jackson and Knoxville, the Dragons have been trying to piece together a winning streak that might propel them back into contention.  Coming into this game, they had the opportunity to sweep the basement-dwelling Orlando Calrissians and extend their winning streak to four games.  But a painful error by C Jan Esquivel cost the Dragons a shot at the win, as the Calrissians posted a 4-2 victory.

Esquivel’s gaffe occurred in the 5th inning, with the Dragons ahead 2-0.  DH Arnoldo Nabors drew a one-out walk, and CF Monte Carquinez decided to try bunting him into scoring position.  It was a poor bunt, traveling only a couple feet away from the plate, and Esquivel saw a chance to make a double play.  Unfortunately, he airmailed the throw over 2B Will Mount’s head, and by the time CF Alfonso Leon retrieved the ball and threw it back in, the runners had advanced to second and third.  One out later, 1B Brooks Defoor’s single plated them both.

“I shouldn’t have gotten greedy,” said Esquivel.  “I should have taken the out they were giving.”

Two innings later, Dragons starter Kyle Palmer (1-6) turned the tie game into a loss when he surrendered a two-out, two-run double to Defoor.

“I’m just so tired of this,” said Palmer.  “I’m better than this.  We’re better than this.”

On the other side, Calrissians ace Nathan Nunb (4-3) tossed 7 solid innings, yielding only two runs.  He credited new Orlando pitching coach John Smoltz with teaching him a new and improved slider grip, which enabled him to get some key outs.

“John is a wonderful teacher,” said Nunb.  “I haven’t fully mastered the new grip yet, but I believe it is a new weapon that will make me much more effective.”

The struggling Orlando bullpen came through in the clutch as well.  Barrett Turbeville pitched a scoreless 8th, and closer Caddington Smith rebounded from yesterday’s disastrous outing by striking out the side, notching his third save.

The Calrissians (12-24) will try to keep the good times rolling against the Jackson Hammerheads.  The Dragons (13-20) will try to start a new winning streak against the Knoxville Smokies.

 

5/15/2015, ORL15-JAX15, Tesla Field
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Calrissians       0  0  0  0  2  0  2  0  0     4  7  1     5  0
2015 Dragons           0  1  0  1  0  0  0  0  0     2  7  1    11  1
 
Calrissians          AB  R  H BI   AVG    Dragons              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Hartl             lf  3  1  1  0  .274    Leon              cf  5  0  1  0  .270
Defoor            1b  3  0  2  4  .233    Kapoor            3b  1  0  1  1  .318
Buendia           ss  4  0  1  0  .288    Esquivel          c   5  0  1  0  .281
Crofoot           2b  4  0  1  0  .230    Hopps             rf  5  0  0  0  .248
Law               rf  4  0  1  0  .276    Hartley           dh  3  0  1  0  .240
Figeroa           3b  4  0  0  0  .252    Herdt             ss  4  1  1  0  .263
McCormack         c   4  0  0  0  .200    Canez             1b  4  0  0  1  .205
Nabors            dh  3  1  0  0  .213    Parker            lf  4  0  1  0  .292
Carquinez         cf  4  2  1  0  .169    Mount             2b  2  1  1  0  .208
                     33  4  7  4                               33  2  7  2
 
Calrissians                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Numb             W 4-3           7.0  7  2  2  5  5 123  73  4.45
Turbeville       H 1             1.0  0  0  0  0  0   8   7  6.06
Smith            S 3             1.0  0  0  0  1  3  18  11  6.06
                                 9.0  7  2  2  6  8 149  91 
 
Dragons                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Palmer           L 1-6           9.0  7  4  2  3  5 119  78  4.85
                                 9.0  7  4  2  3  5 119  78 
 
E-Crofoot, Esquivel. 2B-Defoor(7), Esquivel(8). 3B-Herdt(1). 
RBI-Defoor 4(21), Kapoor(24), Canez(12). SB-Leon(1), Mount(6). K-Hartl, 
Crofoot 2, Law, Nabors, Leon 3, Esquivel 2, Hopps, Hartley, Parker. BB-Hartl, 
Defoor, Nabors, Kapoor 3, Hartley, Mount 2. SF-Kapoor. 
GWRBI: Defoor
Temperature: 94, Sky: clear, Wind: out to left at 6 MPH.

 

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