PBL Scores, 6/12/15

A couple of one-run battles today, plus the longest homer the league has ever seen.  All that and more in today’s action!

Salt Lake SamuraiJackson HammerheadsSALT LAKE SAMURAI 7, JACKSON HAMMERHEADS 6

The Jackson Hammerheads can’t win for losing, it seems.  They unleashed some of their vintage late-inning lightning against the Salt Lake Samurai, storming back from a 5-2 deficit to take a lead in the 9th inning.  But closer Rick Sheen came unraveled in the bottom of the 9th, and that doomed the Hammerheads to their 11th straight loss, 7-6.

“We’d probably save everyone a good deal of time and trouble if we went out and shot ourselves,” said Hammerheads manager Lou Hayes.

Jackson was hoping that a series against the league-worst Samurai would be the perfect prescription, but instead the cure may be worse than the disease.  Salt Lake roughed up Hammerheads starter Jason Wallace, chasing him after only 4 2/3 innings.  CF Lee Cosgrove’s three-run homer in the 4th erased an early Jackson lead, and RF Romeo Martinez knocked Wallace out with a two-run single in the bottom of the 5th.

“Really loved what we saw out of our offense today!” said Samurai manager Johnny Dugan.  “I give our boys a ton of credit; they’re still out there fighting.”

Salt Lake starter Jonathan Fernandez continued his recent run of strong play, largely stifling the Hammerheads over the first 7 innings.  But in the 8th, the left-hander ran out of gas, giving up two singles and an RBI double before Dugan finally pulled him and brought in closer Dean Gamble.

Of course, based on his spotty track record, bringing in Gamble isn’t much safer of an option than sticking with an exhausted starter.  Before he could get out of the 8th, the Samurai closer allowed a game-tying single to Jackson DH Monty Walcott, as the visiting dugout went wild.

In the 9th, the Hammerheads dinged gamble again to take the lead.  2B Homer Righter hit a leadoff double and came around to score on a groundout and a sac fly.  The Hammerheads bench exploded with high-fives and chest bumps.  Surely, they figured, their skid was about to be vanquished.

“We really thought we’d done it,” said Hammerheads C Clarence Doyle.  “I was already thinking about the postgame celebration.”

But Jackson still needed to get three outs, and closer Rick Sheen isn’t nicknamed “Wild Thing” for nothing.  With one out, Sheen gave up a walk to Samurai SS Mori Motonari.  On the first pitch to the next batter, DH Jamar Whitworth, Motonari bolted for second base.  Doyle’s throw came in on two hops, and Motonari slid in safely.  Doyle and Sheen decided to put Whitworth on intentionally to set up the double play.

Sheen then got ahead of Cosgrove 1-2, but left a slider out over the plate.  Cosgrove spanked it to left for a single, bringing in the tying run.  To make matters worse, LF Track Johnson’s throw home overshot the plate, allowing the runners to move into scoring position.  Samurai RF Romeo Martinez then put Sheen (0-2) and the Hammerheads out of their misery by dumping a walkoff single over the infield.

On his way back to the clubhouse, Sheen destroyed several lightbulbs in the tunnel by slamming his glove into them.  He declined to speak to the media after the game.

Asked about Sheen’s hold on the closer role, Hayes said only, “We’ll shape him up.”

The Samurai (14-51) will hope that ace Toshiie Maeda can continue his recent three-game winning streak in tomorrow’s game.  The Hammerheads (35-28) will give Korean lefty Yu Chen his first start since coming over from Knoxville last month.

 

6/12/2015, JCK15-SLC15, Desert Edge Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Hammerheads       0  0  2  0  0  0  0  3  1     6  9  1     3  0
2015 Samurai           0  0  3  0  2  0  0  0  2     7 13  1     8  1
 
Hammerheads          AB  R  H BI   AVG    Samurai              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Deason            cf  4  1  1  1  .308    Motonari          ss  4  2  1  0  .247
Westerberg        ss  4  1  2  2  .350    Whitworth         dh  4  2  3  0  .297
Fleitas           3b  3  0  1  0  .316    Cosgrove          cf  5  2  3  4  .274
Walcott           dh  4  0  1  1  .250    Martinez          rf  4  0  2  3  .275
Doyle             c   4  0  0  0  .317    Thomas            1b  4  0  1  0  .238
Righter           2b  4  1  1  0  .337    Sparks            lf  4  0  1  0  .257
Wilczynski        1b  3  0  0  0  .259    Regner            c   4  0  1  0  .167
Johnson           lf  3  1  1  1  .319    Gaytan            2b  4  0  0  0  .241
Arispe            rf  4  2  2  0  .256    Davidson          3b  4  1  1  0  .200
                     33  6  9  5                               37  7 13  7
 
Hammerheads                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Wallace                          4.2  9  5  5  0  2  84  58  4.40
Seeman                           2.1  2  0  0  0  0  29  17  4.95
Sircy                            1.0  0  0  0  0  0  15   9  1.50
Sheen            BS 5, L 0-2     0.1  2  2  1  2  0  22  10  4.30
                                 8.1 13  7  6  2  2 150  94 
 
Samurai                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Fernandez                        7.1  7  5  4  1  0  92  55  6.71
Gamble           BS 6, W 2-6     1.2  2  1  1  0  0  16  10  5.57
                                 9.0  9  6  5  1  0 108  65 
 
E-Johnson, Martinez. 2B-Westerberg(19), Righter(6), Arispe(12), Motonari(11), 
Cosgrove(17). 3B-Deason(8). HR-Cosgrove(2). RBI-Deason(47), Westerberg 2(40), 
Walcott(5), Johnson(37), Cosgrove 4(26), Martinez 3(22). SB-Motonari(5). 
CS-Regner. K-Thomas, Regner. BB-Fleitas, Motonari, Whitworth. SH-Wilczynski. 
SF-Johnson. HBP-Martinez. HB-Seeman. 
GWRBI: Martinez
Temperature: 89, Sky: clear, Wind: out to center at 10 MPH.

 

Knoxville SmokiesCalifornia SharksKNOXVILLE SMOKIES 5, CALIFORNIA SHARKS 4

Now that the Knoxville Smokies are back in first place in the East, they have no intention of letting go of their perch.  Today’s game was a tense back-and-forth with the surging California Sharks, but the Smokies blasted a pair of late-inning homers to seal a 5-4 come-from-behind win.

“I don’t know who the hell’s gonna stop us now,” crowed Smokies manager Snuff Wallace.  “Jackson’s finished, and the other two in our division are flatlining.  Might as well crown us now and get it over with.”

Smokies starter Woody Flowers scuffled through 6 1/3 innings.  He didn’t give up a lot of hits, but when the Sharks did get their bats on the ball, they tended to do damage.  LF Kenneth Mader launched his 14th homer of the season in the 4th inning to get California on the board.  The next inning, DH Eddie Nix smacked a triple, and scored on 1B Jamal Gerke’s groundout.  A pair of ugly errors by Knoxville SS Armand Moriarty in the 6th allowed the Sharks to score an unearned run.  RF Jessie Corona’s RBI double in the 7th put California ahead and drove Flowers out of the game.

“I really wasn’t as strong as I could have been today,” said Flowers.  “I’m glad that the team could clean up my mess.”

Reliever Rick Wilkins entered to a difficult situation, as California had runners on second and third with only one out.  The Smokies drew in their infield, a gamble that paid off when CF Santiago Suarez hit a grounder to second and Knoxville managed to cut the runner down at the plate.  Wilkins (1-0) then got SS Rubin Smyth to hit a tapper back to the mound to end the inning.

“That was the turning point right there, when Rick came in and shut things down without giving up a run,” said Wallace.  “That’ll get you an attaboy right there.   That’s huge.”

Sharks starter Deke Slater (4-8) pitched a strong game, but ran out of gas in the late innings.  With two outs in the 8th, Smokies 3B Ronnie Aceuedo launched a homer to left to tie up the game.  CF Joe Blair followed up with the game-winning tater to center to lead off the 9th.

California manager Eduardo Aponte took responsibility for the loss, saying that he left Slater in too long.

“Deke pitched magnificently today,” said Aponte.  “I let him down.  It is his responsibility to pitch as well as he can, and it is my responsibility to know when to thank him for the job and bring in another pitcher.  I failed to remove him in time.”

Knoxville closer Charlie Pasternak set the Sharks down in order in the bottom of the 9th for his 16th save.

The Smokies (36-25) will send right-hander Jack Jacques to the bump tomorrow.  The Sharks (37-22) will counter with reliable righty Brian Goreman.

 

6/12/2015, KNX15-CAL15, Blue Note Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Smokies           0  0  1  0  2  0  0  1  1     5 11  2    10  0
2015 Sharks            0  0  0  1  1  1  1  0  0     4  6  1     6  0
 
Smokies              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Sharks               AB  R  H BI   AVG
Blair             cf  5  2  3  2  .297    Corona            rf  5  0  1  1  .312
Campo             2b  4  1  4  0  .307    Suarez            cf  4  0  0  0  .250
Bryant            dh  5  0  0  0  .283    Smyth             ss  4  1  0  0  .373
Campo             rf  4  0  1  1  .277    Mader             lf  4  1  2  1  .358
Moriarty          ss  5  0  1  1  .261    Mote              3b  4  0  1  0  .242
Battin            1b  4  0  0  0  .267    Lockley           c   4  0  0  0  .259
Bossard           c   3  0  0  0  .339    Oller             2b  4  1  1  0  .317
 Gomez            ph  1  0  0  0  .236    Nix               dh  4  1  1  0  .337
 Carlo            c   0  0  0  0  .164    Gerke             1b  2  0  0  1  .000
Aceuedo           3b  4  1  1  1  .300                         35  4  6  3
Sisco             lf  4  1  1  0  .288
                     39  5 11  5
 
Smokies                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Flowers                          6.1  5  4  3  1  3 106  62  3.35
Wilkins          W 1-0           1.2  1  0  0  0  2  20  12  4.10
Pasternak        S 16            1.0  0  0  0  0  1  13   8  3.20
                                 9.0  6  4  3  1  6 139  82 
 
Sharks                           INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Slater           L 4-8           8.0  9  5  5  2  5 137  82  5.84
Arzola                           1.0  2  0  0  0  2  25  12  1.09
                                 9.0 11  5  5  2  7 162  94 
 
KNX: Gomez batted for Bossard in the 8th
     Carlo inserted at c in the 8th
 
E-Moriarty 2, Mote. 2B-Campo(5), Corona(10), Mote(9). 3B-Nix(5). 
HR-Blair(13), Aceuedo(9), Mader(14). RBI-Blair 2(41), Campo(56), 
Moriarty(36), Aceuedo(29), Corona(27), Mader(54), Gerke(1). SB-Campo(5), 
Sisco(8), Smyth(5). K-Bryant, Campo 2, Battin, Bossard, Sisco 2, Suarez, 
Smyth, Mote 2, Lockley, Gerke. BB-Campo, Battin, Gerke. HBP-Campo, Gerke. 
HB-Flowers, Slater. 
GWRBI: Blair
Temperature: 64, Sky: clear, Wind: left to right at 1 MPH.

 

Jacksonville DragonsSilver City OutlawsJACKSONVILLE DRAGONS 5, SILVER CITY OUTLAWS 1

Jacksonville Dragons DH Rob Hartley is a physical marvel.  A dedicated weightlifter, Hartley can bench-press over 300 pounds.  His teammates have nicknamed him “Mountain Man,” in part because he grew up in Colorado, but largely because “he’s built like one,” according to 3B Jake Kapoor.  “If he ever gets tired of baseball,” said manager Harlan Davidson, “he’d have a hell of a career as a bar bouncer.”

His teammates make a point of watching him take batting practice, just to watch him rake moon shots.  “He hits balls farther than anyone I’ve ever seen,” said Kapoor.

Physics dictates that the faster a ball comes in, the farther it travels going out.  And Silver City Outlaws starter Pedro Rodriguez lights up the radar guns with triple-digit speed.   So when Hartley crushed a Rodriguez fastball for a grand slam in the 1st inning of today’s game, it was no ordinary longball.  Aided by the thin New Mexico air and the gametime 112-degree heat, the ball sailed deep, over the bleachers in left center, and out of The Corral entirely.  By the time the ball came down and bounced off a butte, it had traveled an estimated 547 feet, the longest ball ever hit in Patriot League history.

“When he hit it, the entire stadium went quiet,” said Dragons C Judson Teachout.  “It’s like he sucked all the air out of the place.  I think everybody was in shock.  Everybody on the field, both benches, the fans, everybody.  Nobody could believe he’d hit it that far.”

Although there was still a lot of game left, Hartley’s blast seemed to break the competitive spirit of the Outlaws.  Silver City had to go through the motions for another 8 innings before the 5-1 loss could be recorded, but for all intents and purposes, the game was over right then.

Even after the game, Outlaws manager John Jarha could talk about little except Hartley’s blast.  “You know how people are awestruck by the scenery out West, because it reminds them of how puny they are and how majestic the world is?” Jarha said.  “That home run was like that.  Majestic.  Monumental.  I’m not sure if [Hartley is] really human, or if he’s a force of nature.”

Thanks to the Hartley homer, Rodriguez (7-3) had by far his worst start in an Outlaws uniform.  The 19-year-old wunderkind looked decidedly mortal today, lasting only 5 innings and being tagged for 5 runs on 4 hits.  Dragons RF Roderick Hopps also took him deep, although that was a much more pedestrian shot.  It did keep Hopps tied with Hartley for the team lead in homers; both have 15.

Jacksonville starter Juan Sarmiento (4-4) rolled up 7 1/3 strong innings against the stunned Outlaws, allowing one run on six hits and fanning six.  The only real blemish on his performance came in the 5th, when Outlaws CF Javier Cardona tagged him for a triple and scored on 3B Rusty Brewmaker’s single.

“I had fire shooting from my fingertips today,” said Sarmiento.  “But no one will remember what I did today, because everyone will think of Rob’s home run.  But they should, because it was that awesome.”

The Dragons (25-34) will start lefty Randy Cannon tomorrow.  The Outlaws (37-25) will turn to right-hander Juan Carlos Lopez.

 

6/12/2015, JAX15-SCO15, The Corral
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Dragons           4  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0     5  5  2     4  1
2015 Outlaws           0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  0     1  6  1     9  0
 
Dragons              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Outlaws              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Leon              cf  3  0  0  0  .263    Barkan            2b  5  0  1  0  .284
Kapoor            1b  2  1  1  0  .328    Cardona           cf  4  1  1  0  .243
Teachout          c   4  1  1  0  .374    Brewmaker         3b  4  0  2  1  .289
Hopps             rf  4  2  2  1  .296    Wason             rf  3  0  1  0  .303
Hartley           lf  4  1  1  4  .252    Elliott           1b  4  0  1  0  .306
 Parker           lf  0  0  0  0  .206    Whittier          dh  3  0  0  0  .268
Esquivel          dh  4  0  0  0  .268     Jeffreys         ph  0  0  0  0  .273
Herdt             ss  4  0  0  0  .244    Ivey              lf  3  0  0  0  .266
Taliaferro        3b  4  0  0  0  .172    Burt              ss  3  0  0  0  .229
Popejoy           2b  4  0  0  0  .211    Watson            c   4  0  0  0  .190
                     33  5  5  5                               33  1  6  1
 
Dragons                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Sarmiento        W 4-4           7.1  6  1  1  2  6 117  76  4.21
Avallone                         0.2  0  0  0  1  0   7   3  5.09
Jackson                          1.0  0  0  0  0  0  18  11  2.36
                                 9.0  6  1  1  3  6 142  90 
 
Outlaws                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Rodriguez        L 7-3           5.0  4  5  4  2  5  87  52  1.45
Sapp                             4.0  1  0  0  1  0  49  31  3.00
                                 9.0  5  5  4  3  5 136  83 
 
JAX: Parker inserted at lf in the 8th
SCO: Jeffreys batted for Whittier in the 9th
 
E-Teachout, Popejoy, Burt. 2B-Elliott(22). 3B-Cardona(5). HR-Hopps(15), 
Hartley(15). RBI-Hopps(45), Hartley 4(46), Brewmaker(45). K-Leon 2, Teachout, 
Taliaferro 2, Cardona, Brewmaker 2, Ivey, Watson 2. BB-Leon, Kapoor 2, Wason, 
Ivey, Jeffreys. CI-Burt. PB-Teachout. 
GWRBI: Hartley
Temperature: 112, Sky: clear, Wind: right to left at 6 MPH.

 

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