PBL Scores, 6/14/15

It was a good day for the league’s last-place ballclubs.  See why below the fold!

Salt Lake SamuraiJackson HammerheadsSALT LAKE SAMURAI 6, JACKSON HAMMERHEADS 5

The day after snapping their 11-game losing skid, the Jackson Hammerheads were hoping to put the doldrums of the last couple weeks firmly in the rear-view mirror.  With one more chance to face the cellar-dwelling Salt Lake Samurai, the Hammerheads unleashed their fury early, building a 5-0 lead after 3 innings.  But Jackson fell apart late in the game, and closer Rick Sheen stumbled again as a seemingly certain victory turned into a 6-5 loss.  The Hammerheads now join the Orlando Calrissians in ignominy as the only teams to lose a series to the Samurai this season.

“This team has completely lost its focus,” said Hammerheads manager Lou Hayes in disgust.  “I don’t know what it will take to get their attention.  Take away the team plane?  Hot water in the showers?”

Jackson started the game on a high note, pounding Samurai starter Grant Fore, who looks just as hopeless as he did in Knoxville.  Fore lasted 3 innings and surrendered five runs on five hits, including a towering homer to center by Hammerheads C Clarence Doyle.

Although Fore’s ERA now sits at 9.22 after his latest flop, Salt Lake manager Johnny Dugan insisted that the young lefty will remain in the rotation.  “We knew Grant was a work in progress,” said Dugan.  “It’s not like we expected him to magically turn things around when he got here.  Fortunately, we have the luxury of patience, since we’re not exactly in the thick of it.  We’re going to keep working with Grant and help him realize his potential.”

Salt Lake reliever Lucas Henderson, who lost his spot in the rotation to Fore, stepped in and shut out the Hammerheads over the next 4 innings, allowing only one hit.  Asked if he felt he deserved to be starting, Henderson brushed aside the question.  “I’m just glad I’m playing,” said Henderson.  “If they want me starting, I’ll do that.  If they want me to relieve, no problem.  If they want me to play the outfield, I’m in.  Whatever!  I’m not making waves.”

Jackson starter Jordan Bergman, who has struggled badly in recent starts, looked strong in the early going but came unglued in the 6th.  With two on and one out, Samurai C Winston Regner hit a grounder to first that looked like a double-play ball.  But Hammerheads 1B Lacy Wilczynski, who is still adjusting to his new position, let the ball clank off his mitt.

Instead of perhaps escaping the inning, Bergman now faced a bases-loaded situation, and he responded poorly.  He walked 2B Quincy Gaytan to force in a run, then allowed a two-RBI single to 3B Chris Davidson.  Hayes was forced to go to his bullpen, earlier than he would have liked.

After the game, Bergman admitted that he let the error derail him.  “It’s one of those things that just kind of breaks your back,” said Bergman.  “You’ve already recorded the out in your head, and then it’s over.  Not blaming Lacy; I should have been able to pick him up.  But instead, I let it get to me.  That’s what happens when you’re going bad.”

Hammerheads relievers Hilton Sircy and Butch Turnbull combined to preserve the lead through the 6th and 7th.  But when Turnbull allowed a one-out walk in the 8th, Hayes wasted no time in going to his closer, Rick Sheen.  This turned out to be a mistake.

Sheen, whose struggles with alcohol are well documented, apparently spent last night celebrating the end of Jackson’s losing streak in a local nightclub.  He arrived at the ballpark today in less-than-clearheaded condition.

“I thought the damn Mormon ran this town,” said Hayes.  “I didn’t even know you could get liquor around here.  But of course, Rick would find a way.”

Sheen entered and promptly gave up a liner back through the box for a single by SS Mori Motonari.  The ball narrowly missed Sheen’s head, although the closer didn’t seem to notice.  The next batter, DH Jamar Whitworth, slammed a Sheen gopher ball out to center for what proved to be a game-winning three-run homer.

Sheen (0-3) has now blown six saves this season.  Hayes indicated that the closer would face discipline for his drinking, although he will remain the closer.

Salt Lake reliever Rene Cruzado (1-1), who worked a scoreless 8th, got the victory.  Closer Dean Gamble succeeded where Sheen had failed for his ninth save of the season.

The Samurai (14-52) will host the Knoxville Smokies next.  The Hammerheads (36-29) will try to get thing turned around against the Silver City Outlaws.

 

6/14/2015, JCK15-SLC15, Desert Edge Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Hammerheads       0  3  2  0  0  0  0  0  0     5  8  2    10  1
2015 Samurai           0  0  0  0  0  3  0  3  x     6 11  1    11  1
 
Hammerheads          AB  R  H BI   AVG    Samurai              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Deason            cf  5  0  0  0  .298    Motonari          ss  4  1  1  0  .247
Westerberg        ss  3  1  1  0  .348    Whitworth         dh  5  1  3  3  .305
Fleitas           3b  4  0  0  0  .311    Cosgrove          cf  5  0  1  0  .272
 Cianciarulo      ph  1  0  0  0  .146    Martinez          rf  5  1  3  0  .290
Walcott           dh  2  0  0  1  .233    Thomas            1b  5  0  1  0  .236
Doyle             c   5  2  2  1  .326    Sparks            lf  2  1  1  0  .259
 Jones            pr  0  0  0  0  .000    Regner            c   4  1  0  0  .164
Righter           2b  4  1  3  0  .344    Gaytan            2b  3  0  0  1  .234
Wilczynski        1b  4  1  2  1  .260    Davidson          3b  3  1  1  2  .200
Johnson           lf  2  0  0  1  .312                         36  6 11  6
Arispe            rf  3  0  0  1  .249
                     33  5  8  5
 
Hammerheads                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Bergman                          5.1  7  3  2  2  1  88  49  5.02
Sircy            H 3             1.1  0  0  0  1  0  10   5  1.42
Turnbull         H 5             0.2  1  1  1  2  1  24  11  4.28
Sheen            BS 6, L 0-3     0.2  3  2  2  0  0  16  10  4.70
                                 8.0 11  6  5  5  2 138  75 
 
Samurai                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Fore                             3.0  5  5  5  2  1  58  32  9.22
Henderson                        4.0  1  0  0  2  2  59  34  5.16
Bautista                         0.0  2  0  0  1  0  15   7  3.44
Cruzado          W 1-1           1.0  0  0  0  0  0   6   3  9.28
Gamble           S 9             1.0  0  0  0  1  0  18  12  5.40
                                 9.0  8  5  5  6  3 156  88 
 
JCK: Cianciarulo batted for Fleitas in the 9th
     Jones ran for Doyle in the 9th
 
E-Wilczynski 2, Regner. 2B-Wilczynski(7). HR-Doyle(2), Whitworth(3). 
RBI-Walcott(6), Doyle(23), Wilczynski(31), Johnson(39), Arispe(32), 
Whitworth 3(15), Gaytan(19), Davidson 2(14). SB-Westerberg(4), Righter(12). 
K-Walcott, Doyle, Wilczynski, Regner 2. BB-Westerberg, Walcott 2, Righter, 
Johnson 2, Motonari, Sparks 2, Gaytan, Davidson. SF-Walcott. HBP-Westerberg, 
Arispe. HB-Fore, Henderson. 
GWRBI: Whitworth
Temperature: 104, Sky: clear, Wind: right to left at 10 MPH.

 

Orlando CalrissiansMilwaukee Bear ClawsORLANDO CALRISSIANS 5, MILWAUKEE BEAR CLAWS 3

The Orlando Calrissians, who were the Patriot League’s weakest offensive team in the first month of the season, have discovered a newfound affinity for the longball.  A pair of round-trippers, one by their teenage hitting prodigy and one by their journeyman home run machine, helped the Calrissians salvage a split with the Milwaukee Bear Claws by a 5-3 margin.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they ask our guys to start peeing in cups,” joked Orlando manager Logan Bothan.

Calrissians RF Bart Law is only 19 years old, and his game remains raw; he strikes out too often and occasionally makes amateurish errors in the field.  But his talent as a hitter is undeniable, and he clearly has a bright future in the league.

His first at-bat in this game was a microcosm of his strengths and weaknesses.  Milwaukee starter “Stormin’” Patrick McNorman got Law to swing at a pair of change-ups in the dirt, and made him look foolish.  But with an 0-2 count, McNorman tried to sneak an inside fastball by him for the strikeout, and Law got his revenge, crushing the pitch into the “Lando’s Commandos” rooting section in the right-field bleachers.

McNorman was more admiring than angry about Law’s blast.  “I don’t even know how you hit that pitch that far,” said the Bear Claws starter.  “He should have popped it up on the infield.  But he just muscled that ball right out.  He’s a powerful young man.”

Orlando 2B Erasmo Crofoot has played in leagues all over the world.  The 31-year-old finally got a crack at the majors with Jackson coming out of spring training, before coming to the Calrissians in a midseason trade.  Crofoot isn’t much of a fielder, he strikes out a ton, and he doesn’t hit for a high average.  What he does do, though, is hit home runs at a truly astounding rate.

When Crofoot came to bat in the 4th, Orlando had runners on the corners, and the slugger had one goal in mind.  McNorman started him with a fastball, and Crofoot annihilated it, launching a drive that passed just inside the left-field foul pole.

Asked about Crofoot’s unique offensive game, Bothan laughed and shook his head.  “To tell you the truth, I don’t even know if he’s a good hitter or not,” Bothan said.  “But God, he’s fun to watch.”

Those homers were two of the only four hits that McNorman (8-2) allowed, but they were enough to beat him.  “Last time we played these guys, they didn’t scare you,” said Bear Claws manager Poss Horton.  “Suddenly, they’ve busted these homers out of nowhere.  They’re no pushover anymore.”

Calrissians starter Chuck Weaver (1-5) had his strongest outing of the season, going 7 innings and yielding only 2 runs on 7 hits.  Struggling closer Caddington Smith struck out the side in the 9th for his fourth save.

The Calrissians (18-44) are off to the West Coast to lock horns with the California Sharks.  The Bear Claws (46-19) prepare to host Orlando’s cross-state rivals, the Jacksonville Dragons.

 

6/14/2015, ORL15-MIL15, High Life Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Calrissians       2  0  0  3  0  0  0  0  0     5  4  0     0  1
2015 Bear Claws        0  0  1  0  0  1  0  1  0     3  9  0     9  1
 
Calrissians          AB  R  H BI   AVG    Bear Claws           AB  R  H BI   AVG
Hartl             lf  3  0  0  0  .277    Petitt            ss  5  0  0  0  .317
Defoor            1b  4  1  1  0  .234    Iddings           2b  5  1  1  0  .268
Buendia           ss  3  1  0  0  .289    Mateo             1b  5  2  4  0  .370
Law               rf  4  1  1  2  .281    Suzuki            3b  4  0  2  1  .313
Figeroa           3b  4  1  1  0  .259    Mealey            lf  1  0  0  0  .313
Crofoot           2b  3  1  1  3  .218    Raine             dh  4  0  1  2  .227
Nabors            dh  3  0  0  0  .189    Trumbauer         rf  4  0  0  0  .248
Elias             cf  3  0  0  0  .202    McGuigan          c   4  0  0  0  .263
McCormack         c   3  0  0  0  .194    Maxwell           cf  3  0  1  0  .304
                     30  5  4  5                               35  3  9  3
 
Calrissians                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Weaver           W 1-5           7.0  7  2  2  2  0  97  63  6.57
Quesara                          0.0  2  1  1  1  0  10   3  6.18
Turbeville       H 4             1.0  0  0  0  0  0   6   4  6.48
Smith            S 4             1.0  0  0  0  1  3  16   9  7.62
                                 9.0  9  3  3  4  3 129  79 
 
Bear Claws                       INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
McNorman         L 8-2           7.1  4  5  5  1  1  93  59  3.45
Karnik                           1.2  0  0  0  0  0  11   6  5.30
                                 9.0  4  5  5  1  1 104  65 
 
2B-Mateo 2(12). HR-Law(9), Crofoot(26). RBI-Law 2(21), Crofoot 3(62), 
Suzuki(53), Raine 2(28). K-Law, Petitt, Iddings, Mateo. BB-Buendia, Mealey 3, 
Maxwell. HBP-Hartl. HB-McNorman. 
GWRBI: Law
Temperature: 70, Sky: cloudy, Wind: right to left at 11 MPH.

 

Knoxville SmokiesCalifornia SharksKNOXVILLE SMOKIES 6, CALIFORNIA SHARKS 0

Knoxville Smokies starter Elicio Santana doesn’t shy away from bold statements.  His team entered this game with a chance to sweep the California Sharks and extend their lead in the East, but the Sharks had ace Pierre LaRue ready to halt the Smokies’ momentum.

Santana has emerged as Knoxville’s de facto ace, but he certainly lacks the reputation of a top starter like LaRue.  So when a reporter asked if Santana viewed this game as a measuring stick of his progress this season, the left-hander replied, “I don’t care about measuring things, I care about winning.”

The reporter then asked Santana if he felt he had a good shot to beat LaRue.  The response: “Well, suppose I go throw a shutout.  That ought to give me a good shot to beat him, right?”

Santana then went out and backed up his words with a six-hit complete game, as the Smokies swept the Sharks with a 6-0 victory.

“God, I love an attitude like that,” said Smokies manager Snuff Wallace.  “Calls a shutout, then goes out and throws it.  Perfect.  Anybody still think we ain’t gonna be league champs?”

Santana (9-1) started the game by retiring the first 11 California batters consecutively.  When the Sharks finally did start getting runners on base, Santana didn’t let it rattle him.  If he needed an out or even a double play to get out of a jam, he always got it.

After the game, Santana addressed the same reporter, saying, “To answer your question: Yes, I think I can beat him.”

LaRue (8-2) had an unusually rough day against the Smokies, allowing 5 runs on 10 hits over 6 2/3 innings.  “Knoxville’s a damn good team,” said LaRue.  “You make a mistake, they’ll make you pay.  And I made too many today.”

1B Eddie Battin led the parade for the Smokies, going 4-for-5 with two double and a triple.  As usual, he served as the postgame victory DJ, selecting the song “Dani California” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which features the line “California, rest in peace.”

“Seemed appropriate, you know?” said Battin.

The Smokies (38-25) now prepare to take on the Salt Lake Samurai.  The Sharks (37-24) have a three-game set upcoming against the Orlando Calrissians.

 

6/14/2015, KNX15-CAL15, Blue Note Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Smokies           1  0  0  0  3  0  1  0  1     6 13  0     8  1
2015 Sharks            0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0     0  6  0     7  2
 
Smokies              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Sharks               AB  R  H BI   AVG
Campo             2b  5  1  2  0  .308    Corona            rf  4  0  1  0  .309
Battin            1b  5  2  4  1  .274    Suarez            cf  4  0  0  0  .242
Bryant            dh  4  2  2  0  .286    Smyth             ss  4  0  2  0  .377
Campo             rf  4  1  2  2  .281    Mader             lf  4  0  1  0  .363
Moriarty          ss  5  0  1  3  .264    Mote              3b  3  0  1  0  .240
Maben             lf  4  0  0  0  .105    Lockley           c   4  0  0  0  .253
Ortiz             3b  3  0  1  0  .318    Oller             2b  4  0  0  0  .302
Carranza          cf  4  0  1  0  .300    Nix               dh  2  0  1  0  .337
Bossard           c   4  0  0  0  .313    Gerke             1b  3  0  0  0  .273
 Carlo            c   0  0  0  0  .164                         32  0  6  0
                     38  6 13  6
 
Smokies                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Santana          W 9-1           9.0  6  0  0  2  6 119  75  2.24
                                 9.0  6  0  0  2  6 119  75 
 
Sharks                           INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
La Rue           L 8-2           6.2 10  5  5  3  5 108  60  4.03
Shive                            2.1  3  1  1  0  0  22  15  4.95
                                 9.0 13  6  6  3  5 130  75 
 
KNX: Carlo inserted at c in the 8th
 
2B-Battin 2(13), Moriarty(19). 3B-Campo(2), Battin(4), Mote(1). 
RBI-Battin(37), Campo 2(58), Moriarty 3(39). SB-Bryant(2). K-Battin, Maben, 
Ortiz, Carranza 2, Suarez, Mader 3, Mote, Lockley. BB-Bryant, Campo, Ortiz, 
Mote, Nix. WP-La Rue. 
GWRBI: Campo
Temperature: 72, Sky: clear, Wind: left to right at 9 MPH.

 

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