PBL Scores, 5/18/15

For the first time in Patriot League history, four teams all had a shot at a sweep on the same day.  Who finished the job, and who came up short?  Find out below!

Jacksonville DragonsKnoxville SmokiesJACKSONVILLE DRAGONS 10, KNOXVILLE SMOKIES 4

The Knoxville Smokies have been stuck in a perplexing, aggravating nosedive for the past week.  One of the most distressing parts of the slide is that once-reliable parts of their team have been falling apart at the seams.  One of the keys to the Smokies’ early success was their lights-out bullpen.  But the firemen have faltered lately, and today they suffered a collapsed in particularly dramatic fashion on the way to a gruesome 10-4 loss, the eighth in a row for Knoxville.

“It’s Groundhog Day crossed with Friday the 13th,” said Smokies manager Snuff Wallace.  “Same nightmare, over and over again.”

Struggling Smokies starter Yu Chen had five decent innings and one terrible one.  In the painful 2nd, the Dragons stroked five hits, including a double, and put up four runs.  That one tough inning put Knoxville in a deep hole, especially given their offensive struggles of late.  The entire lineup has been mired in a slump, and they spent the first 4 innings shooting blanks against Jacksonville starter Tony “Packo” Harris, making only his second start with the team.

“To tell you the truth, that kind of hole had me worried,” said Smokies 1B Malcolm Bryant.  “If our offense was playing like normal, I’d have figured no sweat.  But lately…”

As it turned out, the first baseman’s worries were overblown, as the middle innings of the game belonged to the Smokies.  Knoxville finally solved Harris in the 5th, as CF Joe Blair and Bryant both went yard and cut the deficit to one.  In the 6th, C Ricky Bossard’s RBI single off reliever Samir Khan tied the game.  The Smokies’ defense was on its game two, cutting down two Jacksonville runners at home plate and keeping the game in reach.  The Knoxville dugout began buzzing with excitement for the first time in a week.

“We really felt like we were going to win the game and break out of our slide,” said Bossard.  “The momentum was all flowing our way.”

Then came the 7th inning.  Chen left the game, replaced by Sheldon Follis, one of Knoxville’s most reliable relievers.  But not today.  Within the span of seven pitches, Follis (1-1) had loaded the bases on three singles and Wallace was on his way out to take the ball.

“I definitely wasn’t up to my usual standards,” said Follis.  “But none of the balls was really hard-hit, and I felt like I could have gotten out of it if I’d stayed in.”

In a curious move, Wallace brought in left-hander Tobias Dennis, who has been underwhelming of late, to pitch to right-handed DH Rob Hartley.  Dennis got Hartley to hit a dribbler to second, a sure out and perhaps even a double play with luck.  But 2B Pete Cianciarulo seemed to freeze as the ball came to him.  He scooped it up, started to throw home, reconsidered, then double-clutched his throw to first.  Hartley beat it out for an infield single, and the Dragons had the lead back.

Things only got worse from there for and the Smokies.  Dennis battled LF Willis Parker to a full count, but threw a flat sinker that Parker smacked to right field, bringing in two more runs.  The next Jacksonville hitter was light-hitting SS Alan Herdt.  Dennis threw him a fastball down the middle, and Herdt crushed it out to left for his first homer of the season.  Suddenly, Knoxville trailed by six runs and still hadn’t recorded an out in the inning.  The dugout buzz collapsed into an awkward silence.

“It was unbelievable,” said Bryant.  “We went from feeling like we were about to win to being dead, just like that.”

Dragons reliever Blueberry Jackson (3-0) stifled his former team over the last three innings for the win.

To add injury to insult for the Smokies, 2B Jeremiah Campo left the game clutching his wrist after an awkward swing in the 5th inning.  MRIs revealed no structural damage, but the fragile second sacker is expected to miss at least a week.

The Dragons (16-20) have a day off to celebrate their sweep.  The Smokies (22-18) will try to turn things around against the Orlando Calrissians.

 

5/18/2015, KNX15-JAX15, Tesla Field
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Smokies           0  0  0  0  3  1  0  0  0     4 10  2     7  0
2015 Dragons           0  4  0  0  0  0  6  0  x    10 17  0     9  1
 
Smokies              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Dragons              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Blair             cf  5  1  1  1  .295    Leon              cf  5  1  2  1  .280
Campo             2b  3  0  2  0  .296    Kapoor            3b  4  1  2  2  .329
 Cianciarulo      2b  2  0  0  0  .152     Taliaferro       3b  0  0  0  0  .173
Gomez             rf  4  1  2  0  .209    Teachout          c   5  1  4  0  .389
Bryant            1b  3  1  1  2  .298    Hopps             rf  5  1  1  0  .260
Moriarty          ss  4  0  1  0  .286    Hartley           dh  5  1  1  1  .239
Maben             lf  4  0  0  0  .000    Parker            lf  5  2  3  2  .351
Ortiz             3b  3  1  2  0  .400    Herdt             ss  4  2  2  3  .254
Jaramillo         dh  4  0  0  0  .277    Canez             1b  4  0  2  1  .221
Bossard           c   4  0  1  1  .353    Mount             2b  4  1  0  0  .198
                     36  4 10  4                               41 10 17 10
 
Smokies                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Chen                             6.0  9  4  4  1  1 102  60  5.45
Follis           L 1-1           0.0  3  3  3  0  0   7   5  2.89
Dennis                           2.0  5  3  3  1  1  32  19  6.86
                                 8.0 17 10 10  2  2 141  84 
 
Dragons                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Harris                           4.2  8  3  3  1  2  85  53 11.05
Khan                             1.1  2  1  1  0  0  19  12  3.86
Jackson          W 3-0           3.0  0  0  0  1  1  35  22  2.30
                                 9.0 10  4  4  2  3 139  87 
 
KNX: Cianciarulo inserted at 2b in the 5th
JAX: Taliaferro inserted at 3b in the 8th
 
E-Maben, Ortiz. 2B-Moriarty(14), Ortiz(1), Kapoor(15), Teachout 2(8). 
HR-Blair(10), Bryant(7), Herdt(1). RBI-Blair(28), Bryant 2(29), Bossard(4), 
Leon(19), Kapoor 2(28), Hartley(27), Parker 2(7), Herdt 3(12), Canez(13). 
K-Bryant, Moriarty, Bossard, Leon, Teachout. BB-Bryant, Ortiz, Kapoor, Herdt. 
PB-Bossard. 
GWRBI: Hartley
Jeremiah Campo was injured for this game and 8 more days
Temperature: 92, Sky: clear, Wind: in from right at 15 MPH.

 

Silver City OutlawsCalifornia SharksSILVER CITY OUTLAWS 6, CALIFORNIA SHARKS 4

Today’s game was bookended by a pair of homers for the Silver City Outlaws against the California Sharks.  The first, a three-run 1st-inning shot by 1B Muzz Elliott, erased an early California lead.  The second, a two-run job in the 9th inning by RF Nathaniel Wason, broke a tie and enabled Silver City to escape with a sloppy 6-4 win that snapped their five-game slide.

“A game this ugly, nobody really deserves to win,” said Outlaws manager John Jarha.  “But we needed one bad, so I’ll take it.”

It was a third straight brutally hot game (103 degrees at first pitch), which may have contributed to the shaky play on both sides.  The Sharks scored one of their first-inning runs when Outlaws 3B Rusty Brewmaker let a routine grounder scoot under his glove.  California blew a chance for a bigger opening inning when LF Kenneth Mader unwisely tried to score from second on a shallow single and was gunned down at the plate.  The Outlaws got their first run when SS Carrol Burt stole third and C Thaddeus Lockley’s throw overshot the bag and wound up in left field.

“Nobody covered themselves in glory today,” said Sharks manager Eduardo Aponte.  “If there are any films of this game, I intend to burn them.”

Both starters, California’s Kevin Conner and Silver City’s Linus Pauling, were far from sharp.  Each gave up 10 hits over the course of the game.  But after the 1st, neither team seemed capable of coming through with the key hit with men on base.  The Outlaws, in particular, seemed to have runners in scoring position in virtually every inning, but couldn’t put them across.

“It was a battle of exhaustion,” joked Conner.  “Hey, you try playing a good game inside an oven.”

With both teams trading zeroes, it looked as though the Outlaws’ 4-2 lead might hold up.  But with two outs in the 7th, 2B Dominique Barkan stumbled while fielding a routine grounder and allowed Sharks SS Rubin Smyth to reach base.  Pauling then grooved a fastball to Mader, who made up for his earlier goof by sending the ball into orbit for a two-run, game-tying homer.

“That was the worst,” said Brewmaker.  “Nobody wanted to play extra innings on a day like this.”

But it looked like that’s exactly where the game was headed.  In the 8th, both teams got a runner to third with only one out, but neither could push him across.

In the bottom of the 9th, Sharks closer Eugene Grace (1-2) entered the game.  He struck out pinch hitter Marlon Jeffreys to open the inning, then walked Brewmaker on four pitches.  That brought Wason to the plate, with a single thought on his mind.

“I wanted to get the [expletive] game over with,” the outfielder said.

He decided Grace’s 1-0 fastball looked good enough to take a shot.  He hit a high fly ball that initially looked as though it might die at the warning track.  He actually slammed his bat down in disgust.  But the ball kept carrying in the hot, thin air, and it wound up clearing the wall just above Sharks RF Jessie Corona’s glove.

Wason pumped his fist and circled the bases with his head down.  This wasn’t out of a desire to avoid showing up Grace.  Rather, “I was too tired to do anything else,” Wason said.

Reliever Jamaal Sapp (1-0), who recorded the final out in the top of the 9th when Pauling finally tapped out after 135 pitches, got the victory for the Outlaws.

“That bastard vultured my win,” grumbled Pauling playfully.  “I slaved away in the hot sun for three hours, and this SOB shows up, throws one pitch, and gets the W.  The bastard owes me one.”

The Outlaws (21-19) now head for the cooler climes of Salt Lake for a series with the Samurai.  The Sharks (22-15) return to Long Beach to host the first-place Milwaukee Bear Claws.

 

5/18/2015, CAL15-SCO15, The Corral
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Sharks            2  0  0  0  0  0  2  0  0     4 10  2    10  0
2015 Outlaws           4  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  2     6 11  2     9  1
 
Sharks               AB  R  H BI   AVG    Outlaws              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Corona            rf  3  1  0  0  .313    Barkan            2b  5  0  2  0  .289
Suarez            cf  4  0  0  0  .200    Burt              ss  4  1  2  0  .259
Smyth             ss  4  2  1  0  .367     Jeffreys         ph  1  0  0  0  .182
Mader             lf  5  1  3  3  .340    Brewmaker         3b  4  2  0  0  .270
Nix               dh  5  0  1  0  .343    Wason             rf  4  2  2  2  .344
Mote              3b  4  0  0  0  .245    Elliott           1b  4  1  2  3  .297
Oller             1b  4  0  2  0  .360    Ivey              lf  4  0  1  0  .260
Lockley           c   4  0  1  0  .299    Cardona           cf  4  0  1  0  .199
Strachan          2b  4  0  2  0  .234    Watson            c   4  0  1  0  .207
                     37  4 10  3          Olivas            dh  3  0  0  0  .186
                                                               37  6 11  5
 
Sharks                           INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Conner                           8.0 10  4  3  2  6 120  81  5.24
Grace            L 1-2           0.1  1  2  2  1  1  12   5  5.01
                                 8.1 11  6  5  3  7 132  86 
 
Outlaws                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Pauling                          8.2 10  4  1  4  5 135  83  2.44
Sapp             W 1-0           0.1  0  0  0  0  0   1   1  0.87
                                 9.0 10  4  1  4  5 136  84 
 
SCO: Jeffreys batted for Burt in the 9th
 
E-Smyth, Lockley, Barkan, Brewmaker. 2B-Strachan(4), Elliott(10). 
HR-Mader(9), Wason(22), Elliott(12). RBI-Mader 3(35), Wason 2(44), 
Elliott 3(34). SB-Burt 2(4), Ivey(5), Cardona(3). K-Suarez, Mote 2, 
Lockley 2, Barkan, Wason, Elliott, Ivey, Olivas 2, Jeffreys. BB-Corona 2, 
Suarez, Smyth, Brewmaker, Wason, Olivas. WP-Pauling. 
GWRBI: Wason
Temperature: 103, Sky: clear, Wind: right to left at 5 MPH.

 

Milwaukee Bear ClawsSalt Lake SamuraiMILWAUKEE BEAR CLAWS 4, SALT LAKE SAMURAI 2

It looked like the stars were aligned for Salt Lake Samurai starter Toshiie Maeda to finally capture his first win of the season.  For five innings, Maeda finally pitched like the ace the Samurai thought they were getting when they signed him to a 5-year, $20 million deal.  For five innings, he limited the mighty Milwaukee Bear Claws to a lone single.  With Salt Lake’s popgun offense producing just enough for the lead, Maeda was cruising along.

But then, a controversial call shook Maeda’s poise and triggered the downward spiral that sent him and the Samurai to a stinging 4-2 defeat.

“We saw the real Toshiie today,” said Samurai manager Johnny Dugan sadly.  “Too bad we couldn’t quite finish the job.”

Before the fateful bottom of the 6th, it looked the Bear Claws would be singing the tune of the one that got away.  Milwaukee had their ace, Lou Mallory, on the hill and pitching well.  But he gave up a bases-loaded walk in the 4th to snap the scoreless tie, and an error by SS Red Petitt brought in a second run.

“That’s not how you want to lose a game,” said Bear Claws manager Poss Horton.  “But Maeda was dealing, and I felt sure those runs were gonna beat us.”

The bottom of the 6th changed all that.  RF Wally Trumbauer led off the inning by singling off an 0-2 pitch.  Maeda calmly retired CF DeRonde Maxwell for the first out.  Petitt came to the plate next.  As Maeda prepared to deliver a pitch, Trumbauer feinted toward second.  Maeda flinched but did not throw.  Home plate umpire Trent Capps called a balk, moving Trumbauer to second.

The call flummoxed Maeda, who appeared to have no idea what he had done.  Dugan protested from the dugout, but to no avail.  The Salt Lake ace tried to gather himself and get on with the inning, but he seemed to lose focus afterward.

“I honestly cannot say what I did to balk,” said Maeda after the game. “I have not seen film, so perhaps there was something.  But I was very much confused and upset by this call.  It caused me to question my mechanics, and this was my downfall.”

Maeda had a hard time getting back on track after that.  He walked Petitt on four pitches, and 2B Richard Iddings on five, loading the bases.  He stepped off the mound and took several deep breaths in an attempt to regain his composure.  1B Felipe Mateo followed by sneaking a single through the right side, bringing in the tying runs.  The next batter, 3B Ikaru Suzuki, rolled a grounder to first.  Samurai 1B Neal Thomas picked it up and fired home, but the speedy Iddings slid in ahead of the throw to put Milwaukee ahead.

“I was destroyed by this turn of events,” said Maeda.  “I believed I had put together the puzzle, but this undid all of the work I had done.  It was most hurtful.”

Maeda (0-6) got DH Gilberto Fleitas to hit into a double play to stop the bleeding.  But he immediately disappeared up the tunnel, followed quickly by Dugan.  Teammates said that they hard Maeda sobbing.  The manager stood and talked quietly to his pitcher for a long time, with his hands on Maeda’s shoulders.

“That’s personal,” said Dugan when asked what he and Maeda talked about.  “I’m not going to give you a transcript.  But Toshiie really beats up on himself when things go wrong, and I reminded him of all the good things he’d done in this game.  I didn’t want that getting lost because of one bad inning.”

Maeda returned to finish the last two innings and reverted to his earlier form, allowing only one more hit.  Unfortunately, that hit was a Trumbauer home run.

Meanwhile, Mallory (5-0) pitched a clean 7th before giving way to his bullpen.  Olen Abernathy pitched a perfect 8th, while Timmy Almon overcame some wildness in the 9th for his second save.

The Bear Claws (30-11) depart for sunny Southern California to square off with the Sharks.  The Samurai (8-33) head back home to entertain the Silver City Outlaws.

 

5/18/2015, SLC15-MIL15, High Life Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Samurai           0  0  0  1  0  1  0  0  0     2  5  0     9  1
2015 Bear Claws        0  0  0  0  0  3  1  0  x     4  5  1     4  1
 
Samurai              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Bear Claws           AB  R  H BI   AVG
Motonari          ss  4  0  0  0  .259    Petitt            ss  3  1  0  0  .303
Whitworth         dh  5  0  0  0  .228    Iddings           2b  2  1  1  0  .262
Norden            rf  3  2  1  0  .214    Mateo             1b  4  0  1  2  .327
Cosgrove          cf  4  0  3  0  .298    Suzuki            3b  4  0  0  1  .282
Thomas            1b  3  0  0  0  .248    Fleitas           dh  4  0  0  0  .100
Sparks            lf  2  0  0  1  .247    Raine             lf  3  0  0  0  .300
Turnbull          c   4  0  0  0  .149    Champney          c   3  0  0  0  .265
Gaytan            2b  4  0  1  0  .237    Trumbauer         rf  3  2  2  1  .292
Poncilar          3b  2  0  0  0  .098    Maxwell           cf  3  0  1  0  .318
 Davidson         ph  1  0  0  0  .208                         29  4  5  4
                     32  2  5  1
 
Samurai                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Maeda            L 0-6           8.0  5  4  4  3  4 103  67  6.75
                                 8.0  5  4  4  3  4 103  67 
 
Bear Claws                       INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Mallory          W 5-0           7.0  4  2  1  3  3  99  56  3.05
Abernathy        H 5             1.0  0  0  0  0  0   9   5  1.93
Almon            S 2             1.0  1  0  0  1  0  16   9  1.29
                                 9.0  5  2  1  4  3 124  70 
 
SLC: Davidson batted for Poncilar in the 7th
     Davidson moved to 3b in the 7th
 
E-Petitt. 2B-Cosgrove(12). HR-Trumbauer(6). RBI-Sparks(14), Mateo 2(41), 
Suzuki(29), Trumbauer(19). SB-Mateo(1). K-Motonari 2, Thomas, Petitt 2, 
Mateo, Champney. BB-Motonari, Norden, Sparks 2, Petitt, Iddings 2. 
HBP-Thomas, Davidson. HB-Mallory, Almon. WP-Almon. BALK-Maeda. 
GWRBI: Suzuki
Temperature: 51, Sky: clear, Wind: right to left at 10 MPH.

 

Jackson HammerheadsOrlando CalrissiansJACKSON HAMMERHEADS 9, ORLANDO CALRISSIANS 5

The Jackson Hammerheads don’t do anything in a small way.  They like big wins and big innings.  With a chance to sweep the Orlando Calrissians today, the Hammerheads dropped a big 4th inning and survived a late Orlando rally to post a big win, 9-5, and strengthen their grip on first place in the East.

“We’re really hot!” exulted Eddie Battin.  “We’re burning up, and no one can stop us.  That’s because we’re so cool under pressure.  We’re like… hot ice!”

There were signs of life for the Calrissians early on.  LF Lauren Hartl launched a two-run homer in the 2nd, stopping the Hammerheads’ string of scoreless innings at 23.  Jackson got a run back in the 3rd on SS Octavio Westerberg’s double, but still trailed heading into the 4th.

What happened in that inning was a microcosm of what the Hammerheads have been doing to opponents all season.  After 2B Homer Righter grounded out to short to start the inning, Jackson nearly batted around before recording another out.  They lit up Calrissians starter Nate McGowan (1-7) with four singles, two doubles, and a walk.  They stole three bases in the inning, including an audacious double steal.

“I got dizzy watching those guys circle the bases,” said McGowan.

When all was said and done, Jackson had hung six runs on McGowan and the Calrissians.  CF Damian “Black Hammer” Deason’s bases-clearing double was the biggest blow.

“They’re just relentless,” said Calrissians 1B Brooks Defoor.  “There’s no soft spots in that lineup, no letdown.  They just grind you into submission.”

Hammerheads starter Jordan Bergman wasn’t at his sharpest in this game.  Although he was handed a sizable lead, Bergman came close to coughing it up.  He allowed a 6th-inning triple to Orlando 3B Curt Figueroa, who scored on C Amos McCormack’s groundout.  In the 7th, 2B Erasmo Crofoot smacked a two-run bomb off of him.  But he held it together well enough to get the win, running his record to 7-0 on the season.

“Pitching for this team is awesome!” laughed Bergman.  “I can pitch like crap and still get a win.  How cool is that?”

Reliever Hilton Sircy shut the Calrissians down over the final 2 1/3 innings to get his first save.  “It’s nice to pitch for a team that has a shot at something,” said Sircy, who was dealt from Orlando to Jackson for Crofoot earlier this month.  “It’s also nice to have a chance to pitch in important spots like this.  I’m happy to be here.”

The Hammerheads (26-14) have an off day tomorrow.  The Calrissians (12-27) face off against the reeling Knoxville Smokies tomorrow.

 

5/18/2015, JCK15-ORL15, Bespin
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Hammerheads       0  0  1  6  0  0  0  1  1     9 12  1     8  0
2015 Calrissians       0  2  0  0  0  1  2  0  0     5  7  1     7  0
 
Hammerheads          AB  R  H BI   AVG    Calrissians          AB  R  H BI   AVG
Deason            cf  4  2  3  3  .281    Hartl             lf  5  2  2  2  .277
 Johnson          pr  0  1  0  0  .000    Defoor            1b  4  0  0  0  .228
Westerberg        ss  4  1  2  2  .311    Buendia           ss  5  0  1  0  .290
Fleitas           3b  4  1  1  1  .325    Crofoot           2b  4  1  1  2  .233
Wilczynski        rf  5  0  2  0  .337    Law               rf  4  0  1  0  .276
Doyle             c   3  0  1  1  .313    Figeroa           3b  4  1  1  0  .245
Righter           2b  5  0  0  0  .292    McCormack         c   4  1  1  1  .182
Battin            1b  5  2  2  1  .245    Nabors            dh  2  0  0  0  .182
Johnson           lf  4  1  0  0  .283    Carquinez         cf  3  0  0  0  .150
Arispe            dh  4  1  1  0  .211                         35  5  7  5
                     38  9 12  8
 
Hammerheads                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Bergman          W 7-0           6.2  7  5  5  4  4 106  61  3.81
Sircy            S 1             2.1  0  0  0  0  2  28  15  0.77
                                 9.0  7  5  5  4  6 134  76 
 
Calrissians                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
McGowan          L 1-7           7.0 11  8  7  4  2 135  81  5.02
Turbeville                       1.0  0  0  0  0  0   6   4  7.65
Geis                             1.0  1  1  1  0  1  14  10  2.45
                                 9.0 12  9  8  4  3 155  95 
 
JCK: Johnson ran for Deason in the 8th
     Johnson moved to cf in the 8th
 
E-Westerberg, Defoor. 2B-Deason 2(16), Westerberg 2(10). 3B-Figeroa(1). 
HR-Battin(6), Hartl(2), Crofoot(18). RBI-Deason 3(31), Westerberg 2(25), 
Fleitas(41), Doyle(11), Battin(23), Hartl 2(10), Crofoot 2(45), McCormack(5). 
SB-Deason(11), Fleitas(4), Wilczynski(2). K-Fleitas, Doyle, Battin, Defoor, 
Crofoot 2, Figeroa, Nabors, Carquinez. BB-Deason, Fleitas, Doyle, Johnson, 
Defoor, Nabors 2, Carquinez. SH-Westerberg. SF-Doyle. PB-McCormack. 
GWRBI: Deason
Damian Deason was injured for this game only
Temperature: 79, Sky: partly cloudy, Wind: in from left at 16 MPH.

 

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