PBL Scores, 6/7/15

Today’s games are highlighted by a pair of pitchers turning their seasons around.  See who’s getting the job done below the fold…

Salt Lake SamuraiOrlando CalrissiansSALT LAKE SAMURAI 6, ORLANDO CALRISSIANS 3

You can see a difference in Toshiie Maeda’s body language.  When the Salt Lake Samurai ace was going wrong at the beginning of the year, his postgame interviews all looked the same: eyes cast toward the ground, shoulders slumped, hands folded in his lap.  But since he’s gotten things turned around, he has a whole new look: his shoulders are straight, he looks his interviewers in the eye, and he even smiles and sometimes jokes during interviews.

Maeda had a lot to smile about after today’s game, his third straight strong outing and his third straight win, 6-3 over the Orlando Calrissians.

“I feel that perhaps now I am worth the money that I am being paid,” said Maeda, referring to his $4,000,000 salary.  “I no longer feel that I am stealing this money.”

Maeda (3-7) is finally pitching like the ace that Salt Lake expected.  In 8 innings today, he allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out seven.  He struggled a bit with the longball, allowing solo shots to Orlando SS Jose Buendia and SS Erasmo Crofoot, but otherwise had another excellent outing.

“It makes me so happy to see Toshiie doing well,” said Samurai manager Johnny Dugan.  “He’s such a conscientious and hard-working young man, and I know it was weighing him down not to be performing well.  He seems so much happier now, like there’s a weight lifted off his back.”

Dugan was particularly proud that when Maeda allowed a run on a controversial balk call in the 5th, he didn’t allow it to affect his pitching.  “Earlier in the season, that would have derailed him,” said Dugan.  “But this time, he just kept chugging.”

It no doubt helped Maeda’s mind to know that he was pitching with a large lead, courtesy of the Salt Lake offense.  The Samurai hitters chased Calrissians starter Chuck Weaver after 3 2/3 innings.  3B Chris Davidson and SS Mori Motonari hit back-to-back homers in the 3rd, and Motonari went deep again in the 4th for a two-run blast.  It was Davidson’s first homer of the year, and Motonari doubled his season homer total in one game.

“I never figured we’d see Mori going deep twice in one game,” joked Samurai 1B Neal Thomas, the team’s home run leader.  “He’s been eating his Wheaties, I can tell you that.”

One bright spot for the Calrissians was a rare strong outing from their bullpen.  Young lefties Aron Filippi and Ian Grazier combined to throw 4 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Weaver.  Filippi in particular has been a revelation for an Orlando team that’s woefully thin in the pitching department.  The 21-year-old was called up from the minors last month and has quickly evolved into the Calrissians’ most reliable pitcher, pitching to a 2.10 ERA.

“Aron has been a blessing for us,” said Calrissians manager Logan Bothan.  “He’s the one guy I can plug into any role or any situation and trust that he’ll do well.  I foresee him getting more key opportunities for us in the future.”

The Samurai (12-49) and the Calrissians (17-40) will play the rubber match of their series tomorrow.  Salt Lake’s newly acquired starter, Grant Fore, will face off against Orlando’s Charles McNally.

 

6/7/2015, ORL15-SLC15, Desert Edge Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Calrissians       0  0  1  1  1  0  0  0  0     3  8  0     9  0
2015 Samurai           2  2  0  2  0  0  0  0  x     6 12  2     6  1
 
Calrissians          AB  R  H BI   AVG    Samurai              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Hartl             lf  5  0  3  0  .286    Motonari          ss  4  2  2  3  .249
Defoor            1b  4  0  0  0  .231    Whitworth         dh  3  1  0  0  .273
Buendia           ss  5  1  2  1  .286    Cosgrove          cf  4  1  2  1  .266
Law               rf  3  0  0  0  .295    Martinez          rf  4  0  3  1  .270
Figeroa           3b  4  0  1  0  .267    Thomas            1b  4  0  0  0  .245
Crofoot           2b  3  1  1  1  .219    Sparks            lf  4  0  2  0  .251
Nabors            dh  3  0  0  0  .202    Regner            c   4  0  1  0  .170
Elias             cf  4  0  0  0  .212    Gaytan            2b  4  0  0  0  .237
McCormack         c   4  1  1  0  .196    Davidson          3b  4  2  2  1  .206
                     35  3  8  2                               35  6 12  6
 
Calrissians                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Weaver           L 0-5           3.2 10  6  6  1  2  67  42  7.07
Filippi                          2.1  2  0  0  0  0  34  23  2.10
Grazier                          2.0  0  0  0  0  1  18  16  9.64
                                 8.0 12  6  6  1  3 119  81 
 
Samurai                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Maeda            W 3-7           8.0  7  3  2  3  6 123  81  5.34
Gamble           S 7             1.0  1  0  0  0  0  10   7  5.34
                                 9.0  8  3  2  3  6 133  88 
 
E-Davidson 2. 2B-Hartl 2(8), Figeroa(4), Sparks(13). 3B-Cosgrove(2). 
HR-Buendia(5), Crofoot(24), Motonari 2(4), Davidson(1). RBI-Buendia(30), 
Crofoot(56), Motonari 3(26), Cosgrove(22), Martinez(17), Davidson(12). 
SB-Buendia(2). CS-Regner. K-Hartl, Law 2, Nabors, Elias 2, Martinez, Regner, 
Gaytan. BB-Law, Crofoot, Nabors, Whitworth. SH-Defoor. BALK-Maeda. 
GWRBI: Cosgrove
Temperature: 92, Sky: clear, Wind: out to center at 17 MPH.

 

California SharksJacksonville DragonsCALIFORNIA SHARKS 6, JACKSONVILLE DRAGONS 2

California Sharks right-hander Deke Slater is feeling some good vibrations.  After having his best start of the season last time out, Slater threw another gem today to stifle the Jacksonville Dragons, 6-2.

After his last start, Slater talked about the importance of letting go and allowing his pitching to flow.  It sounds as though those Zen-like practices stuck with him this time.  “I’ve finally started to hang loose out there,” said Slater.  “I’ve been able to clean out that junk that was clouding up my mind on the mound.  I’ve been able to just go out there and think about nothing expect the ball and the catcher’s mitt.  It’s just like surfing.  Let the wave come to you, and it’ll love you like your mama does.”

Slater (4-7) pitched a complete-game eight-hitter, striking out five and walking three.  Whenever he needed a big pitch to get out of a tough situation, he usually got it.  And after each inning, he and C Thaddeus Lockley engaged in a complicated, multi-step handshake/high-five that Slater said was a good-luck ritual.

“When Deke is pitching well, he has a child’s joy,” said Sharks manager Eduardo Aponte.  “It is a thing of pleasure to watch.”

Slater’s moment of truth came in the 4th inning, when Dragons LF Willis Parker roped a one-out double.  The hit seemed to snap Slater’s concentration, and he proceeded to walk the next two hitters, loading the bases.  The right-hander stepped off the mound, looked up at the sky, and took a couple deep breath.

“Those bad thoughts were buzzing around my head like bees,” Slater said.  “But I took a step back and brushed them away and told myself, ‘This is your wave, kahuna.’”

The pitcher stepped back onto the mound, retired the next two Jacksonville hitters, and escaped the inning with only one run allowed.  “After that, I knew the game was in the bag,” Slater said.

Dragons left-hander Randy Cannon (3-5) also pitched a complete game, but he had a much rougher ride than Slater.  The Sharks touched him for 6 runs on 13 hits, including three homers.  SS Rubin Smyth led the charge for California, going 4-for-4 with a pair of homers and 3 RBI.  Smyth pushed his league-leading average to .390 with his perfect performance.  DH Eddie Nix also went deep for his 11th round-tripper of the season.

“Randy didn’t have a great game,” said Jacksonville manager Harlan Davidson, “but we were better off with him than our horror show of a bullpen.  God knows how many they might have scored if I took Cannon out.”

The Sharks (33-21) will turn to right-hander Brian Goreman to capture the series.  The Dragons (22-33) will hope that right-hander Tony “Packo” Harris can pick up the victory.

 

6/7/2015, JAX15-CAL15, Blue Note Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Dragons           0  0  0  1  0  0  1  0  0     2  8  1    10  1
2015 Sharks            2  2  0  1  1  0  0  0  x     6 13  1     7  0
 
Dragons              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Sharks               AB  R  H BI   AVG
Leon              cf  5  0  1  0  .272    Corona            rf  5  1  2  1  .321
Kapoor            3b  5  1  1  0  .315    Suarez            cf  4  0  1  1  .261
Teachout          c   5  0  2  1  .383    Smyth             ss  4  2  4  3  .390
Hopps             rf  3  0  0  0  .287    Mader             lf  4  0  1  0  .347
Hartley           dh  4  0  1  0  .253    Mote              3b  4  0  0  0  .238
Parker            lf  4  1  1  0  .217    Lockley           c   3  0  0  0  .272
Herdt             ss  3  0  2  0  .256    Oller             1b  4  1  1  0  .299
Canez             1b  3  0  0  0  .219    Nix               dh  4  1  2  1  .319
Popejoy           2b  4  0  0  1  .211    Puffer            2b  4  1  2  0  .170
                     36  2  8  2                               36  6 13  6
 
Dragons                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Cannon           L 3-5           8.0 13  6  6  1  7 138  85  4.80
                                 8.0 13  6  6  1  7 138  85 
 
Sharks                           INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Slater           W 4-7           9.0  8  2  2  3  5 133  84  5.86
                                 9.0  8  2  2  3  5 133  84 
 
E-Kapoor, Smyth. 2B-Parker(6), Herdt(10), Corona(8), Oller(7). 3B-Kapoor(1). 
HR-Smyth 2(10), Nix(11). RBI-Teachout(28), Popejoy(7), Corona(24), 
Suarez(38), Smyth 3(55), Nix(31). SB-Smyth 2(4). K-Leon, Teachout, Hopps, 
Parker, Canez, Suarez, Mader 2, Mote 2, Nix, Puffer. BB-Hopps, Herdt, Canez, 
Lockley. 
GWRBI: Smyth
Temperature: 79, Sky: clear, Wind: right to left at 7 MPH.

 

Milwaukee Bear ClawsJackson HammerheadsMILWAUKEE BEAR CLAWS 11, JACKSON HAMMERHEADS 5

The Jackson Hammerheads had cause to feel good about this game, for exactly half an inning.  The Hammerheads jumped on Milwaukee Bear Claws starter Zack Perriman in the top of the 1st.  Thanks to a pair of back-to-back doubles and a homer from a player making his debut, Jackson put three runs on the board, and seemed well on their way to snapping their losing streak.

The Bear Claws soon provided a rude awakening, however.  By the end of the 1st, Milwaukee had taken the lead.  By the end of the 2nd, the Hammerheads’ starter was out of the game.  And the Bear Claws were well on their way to an 11-5 rout that sent the Hammerheads to their sixth straight loss.

“God, if You can hear me, just send me one win,” said Hammerheads manager Lou Hayes.  “That’s all I ask.  And if You can’t grant me that… well, You might as well just strike me dead, right here and now.”

The one Hammerheads player who will have fond memories of this game is DH Monty Walcott.  Called up from the minors to replace injured Alex Jaramillo, Walcott stepped to the plate for his first PBL at-bat with one out and a runner on second.  Perriman’s first offering was a slider that bounced C Frances McGuigan for a wild pitch, and his second was a curve that was nowhere close to the zone.

“I knew he wouldn’t want to put me on,” said Walcott, “so I figured he had to throw me a fastball.  So I got in position and waited.”

Perriman’s next pitch was indeed a fastball, and Walcott struck it cleanly.  As it soared down the left-field line, Walcott was afraid it would curl foul.  “I thought I’d gotten out in front of it too much,” he said, “and I’d blown my shot.”

But it stayed just fair, and Walcott flipped his bat and pumped his fist as he circled the bases.  “I was almost shaking,” Walcott said.  “It’s the kind of thing you dream about as a kid, and here it was in real life.”

Of course, if this really were a kid’s dream, Walcott’s blast would have been the game-winner.  Unfortunately for him and the Hammerheads, the Bear Claws have no interest in storybook endings.  In the bottom of the first, they ambushed Jackson starter Jason Wallace for four runs, including a three-run bomb off the bat of 1B Felipe Mateo.

Not content to stop there, Milwaukee piled out three more runs in the second, knocking Wallace (4-6) out of the game.  It was the worst start of the season for the Jackson right-hander.  “You know the old saying about bringing a knife to a gun fight?” said Wallace.  “Today, I brought a rubber band to a gun fight.”

Perriman (8-2) was also far from sharp; he allowed 5 runs on 10 hits over 5+ innings.  But be hung in long enough for the win, and as usual, the Bear Claws’ bullpen held the fort.  Relievers Chris Karnik, Olen Abernathy, and Avery Lavine combined to blank the Hammerheads over the final 4 innings.

Jackson had a brief scare went LF Track Johnson left the game in the 6th inning favoring his right leg.  But his ailment was diagnosed as a cramp, and Johnson is expect to play tomorrow

The Bear Claws (43-16) will try for the sweep tomorrow behind right-hander “stormin’” Patrick McNorman.  The Hammerheads (35-23) counter with lefty Luke Danton.

 

6/7/2015, JCK15-MIL15, High Life Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Hammerheads       3  0  0  0  0  2  0  0  0     5 10  2     7  1
2015 Bear Claws        4  3  0  2  0  0  2  0  x    11 15  0    15  1
 
Hammerheads          AB  R  H BI   AVG    Bear Claws           AB  R  H BI   AVG
Deason            cf  4  0  0  0  .300    Petitt            ss  5  2  3  2  .323
Westerberg        ss  5  1  2  0  .353    Iddings           2b  4  1  0  0  .250
Fleitas           3b  4  1  2  1  .305    Mateo             1b  4  2  2  3  .360
Walcott           dh  4  1  1  2  .250    Suzuki            3b  5  3  2  1  .308
Doyle             c   3  0  1  0  .333    Mealey            lf  6  1  3  0  .303
Righter           2b  4  1  1  0  .336    Raine             dh  4  2  2  3  .228
Wilczynski        1b  4  1  1  1  .267    Trumbauer         rf  4  0  2  1  .253
Johnson           lf  3  0  2  0  .318    McGuigan          c   4  0  0  1  .259
 Johnson          pr  0  0  0  0  .000    Maxwell           cf  4  0  1  0  .309
 Thomasson        1b  1  0  0  0  .111                         40 11 15 11
Arispe            rf  4  0  0  0  .246
                     36  5 10  4
 
Hammerheads                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Wallace          L 4-6           1.2  4  7  5  2  0  47  29  4.11
Seeman                           1.2  6  2  2  2  1  41  21  5.40
Sircy                            1.1  1  0  0  3  1  34  16  1.66
Turnbull                         0.1  0  0  0  0  0   2   1  3.91
Sheen                            0.2  0  0  0  1  0  10   5  4.21
Silcox                           2.1  4  2  2  2  1  39  23  5.00
                                 8.0 15 11  9 10  3 173  95 
 
Bear Claws                       INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Perriman         W 8-2           5.0 10  5  5  0  1  71  48  3.09
Karnik           H 2             0.2  0  0  0  0  0   6   3  5.97
Abernathy        H 6             1.1  0  0  0  1  1  19  12  2.49
Lavine                           2.0  0  0  0  0  1  18  12  6.94
                                 9.0 10  5  5  1  3 114  75 
 
JCK: Johnson ran for Johnson in the 6th
     Thomasson inserted at 1b in the 6th
     Wilczynski moved to lf in the 6th
 
E-Fleitas 2. 2B-Westerberg(18), Fleitas(16), Righter(5), Mealey(9), 
Trumbauer(11). HR-Walcott(1), Mateo(25). RBI-Fleitas(64), Walcott 2(2), 
Wilczynski(30), Petitt 2(30), Mateo 3(74), Suzuki(49), Raine 3(22), 
Trumbauer(29), McGuigan(21). SB-Petitt(14). K-Doyle, Righter, Thomasson, 
Mateo 2, Maxwell. BB-Fleitas, Petitt, Iddings 2, Mateo 2, Suzuki, Raine, 
Trumbauer, McGuigan, Maxwell. HBP-Deason, Doyle. HB-Perriman, Karnik. 
WP-Perriman. 
GWRBI: Raine
Track Johnson was injured for this game only
Temperature: 65, Sky: clear, Wind: left to right at 11 MPH.

 

Knoxville SmokiesSilver City OutlawsKNOXVILLE SMOKIES 10, SILVER CITY OUTLAWS 6

The Knoxville Smokies were in a take-no-prisoners mood today.  “We didn’t feel like sweating this one out,” said manager Snuff Wallace.  “We were already doing enough sweating in this damn heat.”

The Smokies ensured they wouldn’t have to worry about the outcome by building a 9-0 lead over the first 4 innings.  After that, they were able to glide their way to a 10-6 win.

“They took us out back of the saloon and pistol-whipped us,” said Outlaws manager John Jarha.  “No other way to put it.”

After scoring one in the 1st on DH Malcolm Bryant’s sac fly, Knoxville blistered Silver City starter Cloyce “Hoss” Benson (5-7) for three runs in the 2nd, a rally that was aided when Benson fumbled a routine grounder to the mound that allowed a run to score.  C Ricky Bossard thumped a two-run homer in the 3rd that chased Benson and ran the Smokies’ lead to 6-0.  RF Jackson Campo completed the assault with a three-run tater in the 4th against reliever Zeke Foster.  It was the first of two homers for Campo on the day, who would finish 3-for-5 with 4 RBI.

“We didn’t just beat ‘em,” crowed Wallace.  “We kicked ‘em in the nuts, broke their backs, then stomped on their throats ‘til they suffocated.”

With the huge lead that Knoxville had amassed, it didn’t matter that starter Jack Jacques (4-4) fell apart in the 6th inning.  He allowed as many hits in that inning alone (five) as he had in the five that preceded it.  Former Salt Lake teammates Oliver Jones and Rick Wilkins combined to get Knoxville through the 7th and 8th while allowing only one run, and closer Charlie Pasternak worked the final four outs for his 14th save.

“My only wish for this game is that Jack had kept it together all game,” said Wallace.  “That way, I could have napped through the whole thing.  All that walking back and forth to the mound ain’t good for a man my age.”

On the Silver City side, Jarha singled out reliever Aurelio Menard for praise after he pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings.  “There ain’t a lot of glory in mopping up,” said Jarha.  “But someone’s got to pitch those innings, and if you’re a professional, you go out and do your work right no matter what.  Aurelio was a real professional today, and I tip my cap to him.  I notice these things, and that’s the kind of performance that’ll get you more chances down the road.”

The Smokies (33-24) and the Outlaws (35-24) both have an off day tomorrow.

 

6/7/2015, KNX15-SCO15, The Corral
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Smokies           1  3  2  3  0  0  0  0  1    10 15  1     7  1
2015 Outlaws           0  0  0  0  0  5  1  0  0     6 11  2     9  2
 
Smokies              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Outlaws              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Blair             cf  4  1  1  1  .292    Barkan            2b  4  0  2  1  .287
Campo             2b  4  1  2  1  .295    Burt              ss  4  1  1  0  .242
Bryant            dh  4  1  1  1  .295    Brewmaker         3b  4  1  1  0  .279
Campo             rf  5  2  3  4  .278    Wason             rf  4  1  2  1  .302
Moriarty          ss  5  0  2  0  .271    Elliott           1b  5  1  3  0  .309
Battin            1b  4  2  2  0  .266    Ivey              lf  4  1  1  2  .264
Bossard           c   5  2  2  2  .348    Cardona           cf  4  1  1  1  .237
 Carlo            c   0  0  0  0  .165    Watson            c   4  0  0  1  .195
Aceuedo           3b  5  1  0  1  .304    Whittier          dh  2  0  0  0  .281
Sisco             lf  4  0  2  0  .299     Jeffreys         ph  1  0  0  0  .250
                     40 10 15 10                               36  6 11  6
 
Smokies                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Jacques          W 4-4           5.2 10  5  5  2  3  97  60  4.62
Jones            H 3             0.1  0  1  1  2  0  11   2  6.41
Wilkins          H 3             1.2  0  0  0  1  2  24  14  4.50
Pasternak        S 14            1.1  1  0  0  0  1  17   9  3.52
                                 9.0 11  6  6  5  6 149  85 
 
Outlaws                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Benson           L 5-7           2.2  8  6  4  0  1  56  40  5.00
Foster                           1.2  5  3  3  2  2  45  26 10.13
Menard                           3.2  1  0  0  1  2  48  30  3.38
Sapp                             1.0  1  1  1  0  0  19  13  3.79
                                 9.0 15 10  8  3  5 168 109 
 
KNX: Carlo inserted at c in the 9th
SCO: Jeffreys batted for Whittier in the 8th
 
E-Aceuedo, Benson, Sapp. 2B-Moriarty(16), Battin(11), Elliott 2(20), 
Cardona(12). HR-Campo 2(16), Bossard(2). RBI-Blair(39), Campo(20), 
Bryant(37), Campo 4(55), Bossard 2(6), Aceuedo(27), Barkan(11), Wason(55), 
Ivey 2(23), Cardona(30), Watson(28). CS-Barkan. K-Campo, Moriarty, Battin, 
Bossard, Aceuedo, Barkan, Wason, Cardona, Watson 2, Jeffreys. BB-Blair, 
Campo, Battin, Barkan, Burt, Brewmaker, Wason, Whittier. SF-Bryant, Ivey. 
GWRBI: Bryant
Temperature: 104, Sky: clear, Wind: none.

 

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