PBL Scores, 6/4/15

An extra-inning tilt and a late comeback highlight today’s results.  The details are just a click away…

Milwaukee Bear ClawsJacksonville DragonsMILWAUKEE BEAR CLAWS 5, JACKSONVILLE DRAGONS 3 (12 INNINGS)

The ending of this game seemed inevitable for the Jacksonville Dragons.  They fought the Milwaukee Bear Claws valiantly to a draw, one that persisted through 9 innings and beyond.

“It’s games like this that make you wish there were ties in baseball,” said Dragons 3B Jake Kapoor.

But there are no ties; someone has to win.  And once the game became a battle of the bullpens, the odds shifted decisively in the Bear Claws’ favor.  Milwaukee’s bullpen has been a key strength all season long, a pillar on which the Bear Claws have built their success.  Jacksonville’s, to put it mildly, hasn’t been.  So even though the Dragons kept up the fight through 12 grinding innings, they couldn’t hold off the inevitable.  It arrived in the form of a two-run Felipe Mateo homer that powered the Bear Claws’ 5-3 triumph.

“This is what happens when you don’t have a back end you can rely on,” said Dragons manager Harlan Davidson.  “Unless we put the game away early, it’s a ticking time bomb.”

Most of the game’s scoring occurred in the 1st inning.  Dragons 2B Alexis Popejoy opened the game by bungling a grounder from Bear Claws SS Red Petitt.  After that, a double, a triple, and an RBI groundout put three runs in the Bear Claws’ bank.

Dragons starter Biggs McGee was probably reeling a bit after the early fireworks.  But he settled in after that, not allowing another hit over his 7 innings of work, although he did issue five free passes.

“Another chapter in the birth of a legend,” was McGee’s typically immodest appraisal of his performance.  “A big strong team like Milwaukee, and they had my head underwater trying to drown me.  But I fought back and singlehandedly kept us in the game, even without my best stuff.  I wish there were two of me, so I could shake my hand and say, ‘Damn, son, you did good today.’”

Jacksonville got on the board in the bottom of the 1st when C Judson Techout smacked a two-run tater off of Bear Claws ace Lou Mallory.  But the big right-hander held the Dragons down from there, and it looked like Milwaukee’s one-run lead might hold.

That changed when Dragons RF Roderick Hopps launched a solo shot with two outs in the 6th to tie it up.  “I got a little careless there,” admitted Mallory.  “Hopps is a dangerous hitter, and I should have pitched him more carefully.”  Jacksonville followed up the Hopps blast with back-to-back singles, but Mallory retired SS Alan Herdt to end the inning.

The Dragons had a golden opportunity to win the game in the 9th.  With Mallory still pitching, LF Willis Parker opened the inning with a double.  Bear Claws pitching coach Zane Stafford ambled out to see if the ace still had anything left in the tank.  Mallory assured him that he was fine.  They agreed on an intentional walk to SS Alan Herdt, setting up a possible force play.  But 1B Berry Canez hit a grounder to the right side that advanced the runners, setting Jacksonville up with runners on second and third with only one out.

“My gut told me that Lou was my guy,” said Bear Claws manager Poss Horton.  “But my head said he was running on fumes.  So I gave Zane a little look like, ‘Should I pull him?’  Zane looked me dead in the eye and said, ‘Trust Lou.’  So I did.”

The next batter was Popejoy, and Davidson had called for him to lay down a suicide squeeze in hopes of bringing in the winning run.  Mallory started him with a high fastball, and Popejoy popped up his bunt.  The Bear Claws ace darted off the mound, nabbed the pop-up in the air, and fired to third, doubling off Parker and ending the Jacksonville threat.

“Thank God he did try to bunt,” said Mallory.  “I gave him the best high fastball I had left, but that wasn’t much.  If he’d been swinging, I’d probably have caught a liner to the teeth.”

With Jacksonville’s walkoff bid thwarted, the game went into extra innings.  Milwaukee had a fabulously deep and effective relief corps at its disposal, while the Dragons relied on a ragtag crew that was already depleted after starter Tony Harris’ early exit in yesterday’s game.

Left-hander Blueberry Jackson pitched 1 2/3 shutout innings in relief of McGee.  Closer Razor Corridon followed Jackson; while he can be hit-or-miss at times, he was surprisingly effective in this one.  But as the innings wore on and his pitch count mounted, it seemed like only a matter of time before he blinked.  Mateo’s homer came on Corridon’s 41st pitch.

“I knew he was on borrowed time,” said Davidson.  “But who the hell else am I gonna bring in?  There’s nobody I can trust.”

Meanwhile, the Bear Claws’ bullpen performed exactly as expected.  Lefty Olen Abernathy pitched a perfect 10th inning.  Righty Timmy Almon (7-2) worked the 11th and got the win.  Closer Oscar Buenaventura set the Dragons down in order for his 14th save.

The Bear Claws (40-16) try for the sweep behind left-hander Benicio Torrenueva tomorrow.  The Dragons (21-31) will try to salvage the final game of the series behind right-hander Samir Khan.

 

6/4/2015, MIL15-JAX15, Tesla Field
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Bear Claws        3  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  2     5  5  0     9  2
2015 Dragons           2  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  0  0  0     3  8  3     7  0
 
Bear Claws           AB  R  H BI   AVG    Dragons              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Petitt            ss  4  2  1  0  .317    Leon              cf  6  0  1  0  .269
Iddings           2b  4  1  1  1  .247    Kapoor            3b  4  1  0  0  .319
Mateo             1b  4  2  2  3  .349    Teachout          c   5  1  2  2  .381
Suzuki            3b  6  0  0  1  .297    Hopps             rf  4  1  2  1  .294
Mealey            lf  6  0  0  0  .302    Hartley           dh  5  0  1  0  .248
Raine             dh  5  0  0  0  .221    Parker            lf  4  0  2  0  .218
Trumbauer         rf  5  0  0  0  .258    Herdt             ss  4  0  0  0  .242
McGuigan          c   5  0  0  0  .270    Canez             1b  5  0  0  0  .207
Maxwell           cf  5  0  1  0  .311    Popejoy           2b  5  0  0  0  .217
                     44  5  5  5                               42  3  8  3
 
Bear Claws                       INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Mallory                          9.0  7  3  3  2  5 109  66  3.66
Abernathy                        1.0  0  0  0  0  2  10   9  2.95
Almon            W 7-2           1.0  1  0  0  0  1  16  10  1.67
Buenaventura     S 14            1.0  0  0  0  0  1  12   8  1.51
                                12.0  8  3  3  2  9 147  93 
 
Dragons                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
McGee                            7.0  2  3  2  5  4  97  52  3.59
Jackson                          1.2  1  0  0  0  1  22  14  1.82
Corridon         L 1-3           2.2  2  2  2  1  1  41  23  5.76
Rosado                           0.2  0  0  0  0  1   9   6  8.25
                                12.0  5  5  4  6  7 169  95 
 
E-Kapoor, Herdt, Popejoy. 2B-Iddings(12), Leon(7), Parker(3). 3B-Mateo(7). 
HR-Mateo(23), Teachout(2), Hopps(14). RBI-Iddings(28), Mateo 3(70), 
Suzuki(43), Teachout 2(24), Hopps(42). SB-Petitt 2(13). K-Iddings 2, Suzuki, 
Mealey 2, McGuigan, Maxwell, Leon, Kapoor 2, Teachout 2, Hopps, Hartley 2, 
Parker. BB-Petitt 2, Iddings 2, Mateo 2, Kapoor, Herdt. HBP-Hopps, Parker. 
HB-Mallory 2. 
GWRBI: Mateo
Temperature: 70, Wind: none.

 

California SharksOrlando CalrissiansCALIFORNIA SHARKS 10, ORLANDO CALRISSIANS 6

This was the tale of two contests.  If today’s game had ended after 5 innings, the Orlando Calrissians would have walked away with a comfortable 6-2 win.  Unfortunately for them, however, the game lasted the usual 9 innings, and the California Sharks reeled off eight unanswered runs over the final four frames to secure a 10-6 comeback victory.

“Admittedly, we showed up late today,” said Sharks manager Eduardo Aponte.  “But better to have that that not to show up at all.”

The Calrissians jumped out in front early thanks to a rare poor start from California ace Pierre LaRue.  The typically reliable LaRue was knocked out in the 3rd, having allowed five runs, including a pair of two-run homers by 1B Brooks Defoor and 3B Curt Figueroa.

“My breaking pitches didn’t have any bite today,” said LaRue.  “I couldn’t get my curve over for a strike, and my slider was hanging.  So I wound up falling back on my fastball, and when you’ve only got one pitch, the hitters catch up to you pretty fast.”

Figueroa went deep again the 4th off Sharks reliever Ty Shive, and it looked like Orlando might be able to deliver right-hander Nate McGowan a rare win.

But McGowan stumbled in the 6th and coughed up four runs, capped off by a three-run blast from California 1B Johnie Oller.  It was Oller’s only hit of the day, but he made it count, tying up the game for the Sharks.

Once McGowan departed, the game was in the hands of Orlando’s suspect bullpen, with predictable results.  Lefty Ruben Quesara (0-2) gave up a double to SS Rubin Smyth and an RBI single to LF Kenneth Mader.  Righty Barrett Turbevile gave up a double to C Thaddeus Lockley and an RBI single to RF Jessie Corona.  Mader put an exclamation point on California’s win in the 9th, launching a two-run bomb off of Turbeville.  It was Mader’s second homer of the game and his 13th of the year.

“Everybody in this locker room is all in right now,” said Mader, who raised his average to .352 with a 4-for-5 day at the plate.  “We know Milwaukee’s going to be tough to beat, but we believe that we can win any game.  No deficit is too deep for us to overcome.”

Mader also gave credit to the Sharks bullpen, which kept California in the game.  Shive (2-0) pitched 4 strong innings in relief of LaRue for the win.  Boss Walker, Jan Arzola, and Eugene Grace shut out the Calrissians over the last three innings to secure it.

The Sharks (31-20) will count on right-hander Kevin Conner to keep the good times rolling tomorrow.  The Calrissians (16-38) will hope that lefty Oscar Morton can blunt California’s momentum.

 

6/4/2015, CAL15-ORL15, Bespin
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Sharks            0  1  1  0  0  4  1  1  2    10 13  1     7  0
2015 Calrissians       2  0  3  1  0  0  0  0  0     6 10  1     8  0
 
Sharks               AB  R  H BI   AVG    Calrissians          AB  R  H BI   AVG
Corona            rf  5  0  1  1  .314    Hartl             lf  4  1  2  0  .288
Suarez            cf  5  0  1  0  .263    Defoor            1b  5  1  1  2  .235
Smyth             ss  5  3  3  1  .388    Buendia           ss  5  1  0  0  .284
Mader             lf  5  3  4  4  .352    Law               rf  4  1  2  1  .287
Nix               dh  5  0  1  0  .300    Figeroa           3b  5  2  2  3  .265
Mote              3b  5  1  1  1  .249    Crofoot           2b  4  0  1  0  .220
Oller             1b  5  1  1  3  .318    Nabors            dh  4  0  1  0  .220
 Lassen           1b  0  0  0  0  .160    Elias             cf  2  0  0  0  .200
Lockley           c   4  1  1  0  .281    McCormack         c   4  0  1  0  .202
Strachan          2b  2  1  0  0  .247                         37  6 10  6
                     41 10 13 10
 
Sharks                           INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
La Rue                           2.0  6  5  4  1  0  55  30  3.79
Shive            W 2-0           4.0  4  1  1  2  1  62  32  5.26
Walker           H 1             1.0  0  0  0  0  1  10   7  8.59
Arzola           H 4             1.2  0  0  0  0  1  20  12  1.45
Grace                            0.1  0  0  0  0  0   1   1  4.54
                                 9.0 10  6  5  3  3 148  82 
 
Calrissians                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
McGowan                          5.1  6  6  5  2  2  91  53  4.86
Quesara          L 0-2           1.2  2  1  1  1  3  38  22  6.04
Turbeville                       1.0  4  3  3  0  2  28  22  6.47
Filippi                          1.0  1  0  0  0  0  13   9  2.31
                                 9.0 13 10  9  3  7 170 106 
 
CAL: Lassen inserted at 1b in the 9th
 
E-Smyth, Defoor. 2B-Smyth(15), Lockley(10), Nabors(4). HR-Mader 2(13), 
Oller(9), Defoor(12), Figeroa 2(10). RBI-Corona(22), Smyth(49), Mader 4(51), 
Mote(42), Oller 3(34), Defoor 2(34), Law(16), Figeroa 3(41). CS-Hartl. 
K-Corona, Suarez, Mote, Oller 2, Lockley, Strachan, Crofoot 2, Elias. 
BB-Lockley, Strachan 2, Hartl, Elias 2. HBP-Law. HB-Arzola. 
GWRBI: Mader
Temperature: 70, Wind: none.

 

Silver City OutlawsJackson HammerheadsSILVER CITY OUTLAWS 7, JACKSON HAMMERHEADS 3

It had to end sometime.  The last undefeated starter in the Patriot League wasn’t Pedro Rodriguez or Pierre LaRue or any of the league’s aces.  Instead, it was Jordan Bergman, a minimum-salary journeyman who barely made the Jackson Hammerheads’ rotation out of spring training.  The 33-year-old Bergman has become a folk hero among fans as he ran his record all the way to 8-0 despite relying far more on guile and pluck than a blazing fastball or an impressive arsenal of pitches.

But as much fun as Bergman’s undefeated streak was, it was destined to end eventually.  Today, Bergman’s ride ended with a thud, as the Silver City Outlaws knocked him around on the way to a 7-3 win.

“Yeah, it hurts a bit to lose,” said Bergman.  “But I’m not going to kid myself.  You’re not looking at a Sandy Koufax or a Lou Mallory here.  I’m just a run-of-the-mill guy who worked hard and got lucky.  I’m not crying about it.  I’ll have a couple beers tonight to ease the pain, but I’ll be ready the next time my turn comes up.”

The ball was flying at Cash Carter Downs in this game – it was 97 degrees at first pitch – and Bergman (8-1) got burned by that.  He allowed homers to Outlaws C Toby Watson and CF Javier Cardona.  He also allowed a long double to Cardona, and a triple to RF Nathaniel Wason that missed clearing the wall by inches.

“My last couple of starts, I’ve scuffled,” said Bergman.  “Combine that with how the ball jumps when it’s hot, and you get a start like this.”

Unfortunately for Bergman, the end of his winning streak may soon be followed by the end of his tenure in Jackson’s rotation.  The Hammerheads recently acquired starter Yu Chen, and once his mechanics are straightened out, the team will likely want to start him.  Bergman and left-hander Luke Danton are the most likely candidates to be bumped when Chen is added.

“I don’t want Jordan to read anything into this,” said Hammerheads manager Lou Hayes.  “He’s one of the guys who got us here.”

Outlaws ace Rob Tildon (7-4) put up 8 strong innings for the win.  He wasn’t perfect – Hammerheads LF Track Johnson hit a solo shot against him, and 3B Kim Fleitas and RF Erin Arispe stroked doubles that led to other Jackson runs – but he kept the ball down and beat the heat.

“To tell you the truth, this kind of weather doesn’t bother us,” Tildon said.  “We’ve been dealing with temps like this since April.  The humidity is annoying, but we’re pretty immune to heat at this point.”

The Outlaws (33-23) will look to right-hander Juan Carlos Lopez to complete the sweep tomorrow.  The Hammerheads (35-20) will turn to ace Henry Jones to snap their three-game slide.

 

6/4/2015, SCO15-JCK15, Cash Carter Downs
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Outlaws           1  2  0  0  1  1  0  1  1     7 12  1     6  1
2015 Hammerheads       0  0  0  1  1  0  1  0  0     3  9  0     8  1
 
Outlaws              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Hammerheads          AB  R  H BI   AVG
Barkan            2b  3  2  1  0  .277    Deason            cf  4  0  2  1  .311
Burt              ss  4  0  0  0  .244    Westerberg        ss  4  0  0  0  .350
Brewmaker         3b  5  0  3  2  .273    Fleitas           3b  4  1  1  0  .306
Wason             rf  4  1  1  1  .302    Jaramillo         dh  4  0  0  0  .250
Elliott           1b  4  0  1  1  .302    Doyle             c   4  0  2  1  .345
Ivey              lf  4  0  2  0  .255    Righter           2b  4  0  1  0  .344
Cardona           cf  3  2  2  1  .238    Wilczynski        1b  4  0  0  0  .275
Watson            c   4  1  1  2  .192    Johnson           lf  4  2  2  1  .319
Whittier          dh  4  1  1  0  .348    Arispe            rf  4  0  1  0  .253
                     35  7 12  7                               36  3  9  3
 
Outlaws                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Tildon           W 7-4           8.0  8  3  3  2  4 134  87  3.15
Menard                           0.2  1  0  0  0  0   8   6  3.91
Matsumoto                        0.1  0  0  0  0  0   4   3  2.66
                                 9.0  9  3  3  2  4 146  96 
 
Hammerheads                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Bergman          L 8-1           7.0  8  6  6  2  4 113  68  4.81
Turnbull                         1.2  4  1  1  0  0  25  16  4.09
Sheen                            0.1  0  0  0  0  1   6   3  3.74
                                 9.0 12  7  7  2  5 144  87 
 
E-Elliott. 2B-Cardona(11), Deason(25), Fleitas(14), Arispe(10). 
3B-Brewmaker(2), Wason(6). HR-Cardona(11), Watson(7), Johnson(5). 
RBI-Brewmaker 2(40), Wason(54), Elliott(46), Cardona(27), Watson 2(25), 
Deason(43), Doyle(20), Johnson(34). K-Brewmaker, Wason 2, Watson 2, Fleitas, 
Jaramillo 2, Doyle. BB-Barkan, Cardona, Deason, Westerberg. SH-Barkan, Burt. 
SF-Wason. 
GWRBI: Wason
Temperature: 97, Sky: clear, Wind: in from right at 6 MPH.

 

Knoxville SmokiesSalt Lake SamuraiKNOXVILLE SMOKIES 9, SALT LAKE SAMURAI 2

Whirl is king for the Knoxville Smokies.  Owner/GM Jeremiah Mills is perpetually tinkering with his team, seeking the elusive perfect balance, and the Smokies have had far more roster turnover than any other team in the league.  By this point, the players have become accustomed to seeing their teammates come and go.  But after the Smokies swung a couple major trades this week – including one the morning before this game – there are a lot of new faces in the locker room.

“You can’t tell the players without a scorecard,” joked Smokies DH Marlon Bryant about the near-constant clubhouse turnover.

One of the new faces was today’s starter, Sylvester Lighty, recently acquired from Jackson and making his first start in a Smokies uniform.  The veteran right-hander introduced himself in fine fashion, pitching 6 1/3 strong innings and collecting a 9-2 win over the Salt Lake Samurai.

“I’m like an appliance,” said Lighty (5-2).  “Plug me in wherever and I’ll work.”

With the Hammerheads, Lighty went back and forth between the bullpen and the rotation without complaint, although he was vocal about his preference to start.  Assured of that role in Knoxville, Lighty set out to prove himself worthy.  He carried a no-hitter into the 5th inning before surrendering a single to Samurai LF Chip Sparks.  And he had a shutout going until 1B Neal Thomas broke it up with a two-out homer in the 7th.

“I think Sylvester’s gonna fit in around here real fine,” said Smokies manager Snuff Wallace.

Lighty was relieved by an even newer arrival, Rick Wilkins, who was picked up from Salt Lake this morning.  Wilkins collected his first save with 2 2/3 scoreless innings against his former team.

The Smokies’ hitters, both new and old, had a field day against the Samurai.  RF Jackson Campo led the charge, going 3-for-5 with a homer and 3 RBI.  Pinch hitter Victor Gomez, who has languished on Knoxville’s bench, contributed a key two-RBI double that chased Salt Lake starter Logan Morris (3-6).  The Samurai righty gave up five runs on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings.

Salt Lake reliever Jimmy Okamura made his Patriot League debut, after being called up in the wake of this morning’s trade.  Unfortunately, Okamura’s outing was one to forget, as he coughed up four runs, including Campo’s three-run blast, while recording only two outs.

“Tough day for Jimmy,” said Samurai manager Johnny Dugan.  “But he’ll have plenty of other opportunities to prove himself.”

The Smokies (31-22), with the chance to complete the sweep, will start knuckleballer Todd Warrant tomorrow.  The Samurai (11-47) offer up righty Davey Skargard.

 

6/4/2015, SLC15-KNX15, Rocky Top Park
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Samurai           0  0  0  0  0  0  2  0  0     2  3  1     3  0
2015 Smokies           2  0  0  0  1  0  2  4  x     9 13  1    11  0
 
Samurai              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Smokies              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Motonari          ss  4  0  1  0  .248    Blair             cf  4  1  2  0  .291
Whitworth         dh  4  0  0  0  .269    Campo             2b  3  1  1  1  .287
Cosgrove          cf  4  0  0  0  .270    Bryant            dh  4  2  1  0  .292
Martinez          rf  4  1  0  0  .271    Campo             rf  5  4  3  3  .268
Thomas            1b  4  1  1  2  .249    Battin            1b  4  0  1  2  .258
Sparks            lf  3  0  1  0  .242    Moriarty          ss  4  0  2  1  .268
Regner            c   3  0  0  0  .145    Carlo             c   3  0  0  0  .170
Gaytan            2b  2  0  0  0  .237     Gomez            ph  1  0  1  2  .226
Davidson          3b  3  0  0  0  .192     Bossard          c   1  0  0  0  .325
                     31  2  3  2          Aceuedo           3b  5  0  0  0  .318
                                          Sisco             lf  4  1  2  0  .294
                                                               38  9 13  9
 
Samurai                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Morris           L 3-6           6.2  9  5  4  4  4 118  73  5.54
Okamura                          0.2  3  4  4  1  0  24  15 54.00
Cruzado                          0.2  1  0  0  1  0  10   4  9.58
                                 8.0 13  9  8  6  4 152  92 
 
Smokies                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Lighty           W 5-2           6.1  2  2  1  1  4  93  61  3.48
Wilkins          S 1             2.2  1  0  0  0  0  27  18  4.84
                                 9.0  3  2  1  1  4 120  79 
 
KNX: Gomez batted for Carlo in the 7th
     Bossard inserted at c in the 8th
 
E-Davidson, Aceuedo. 2B-Campo(12), Bryant(2), Moriarty(15), Gomez(4). 
HR-Thomas(17), Campo(14). RBI-Thomas 2(41), Campo(18), Campo 3(49), 
Battin 2(30), Moriarty(31), Gomez 2(6). SB-Campo 3(4). K-Whitworth, Regner 2, 
Davidson, Battin, Moriarty 2, Carlo. BB-Gaytan, Blair, Campo 2, Bryant, 
Battin, Moriarty. 
GWRBI: Battin
Temperature: 68, Sky: clear, Wind: left to right at 11 MPH.

 

 

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