PBL Scores, 7/17/15

The league’s basement dwellers are hot, while the first-place teams have gone cold.  Take a look into this topsy-turvy world below…

Salt Lake SamuraiMilwaukee Bear ClawsSALT LAKE SAMURAI 4, MILWAUKEE BEAR CLAWS 3

Salt Lake Samurai LF Chip Sparks isn’t much of a power hitter.  Coming into this game, he’d hit four longballs all season long.  But it seems only fitting, with the Samurai enjoying their unlikely recent run of success, that Sparks would go deep twice in a single game.  That’s what he did today, and the team survived a late rally to post a 4-3 win and complete a stunning three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Bear Claws.

“I could tell in BP that I was locked in today,” said Sparks with a chuckle.  “But I didn’t think I was going to do anything like this.”

Sparks’ performance was emblematic of the problem that Milwaukee starter “Stormin’” Patrick McNorman (10-5) faced in this game.  The broad-shouldered righty pitched an effective game, throwing strikes and not allowing too many baserunners.  However, he had trouble with the gopher ball.

“I’m just a big dumb donkey sometimes,” said McNorman.  “I know perfectly well that I’ve got to keep the ball down if I’m going to succeed.  Today, when I fell behind, I left too many pitches up in the zone, and I got burned for it.  Hopefully I don’t let it again.”

In addition to Sparks’ two homers, Samurai DH Jamar Whitworth also touched McNorman for a two-run bomb.  Whitworth’s blast came on a 2-0 count; Sparks hit his on 2-0 and 3-2 counts.

“Patty was trying to muscle up and be a hero when he found himself in touch counts,” said Bear Claws pitching coach Zane Stafford.  “But that’s not really his game.  It’s a tempting impulse, but a man’s got to know his limitation.”

But McNorman’s performance wasn’t the prime reason for the Bear Claws’ defeat.  Rather, the credit should go to the strong outing from Samurai ace Toshiie Maeda (6-10).  The tone of today’s game was set in the 1st inning.  Milwaukee SS Red Petitt and 2B Richard Iddings led off the game with back-to-back singles.  They later pulled off a double steal, and after Maeda walked 3B Ikaru Suzuki, the Bear Claws had the bases loaded and nobody out.  Maeda retired the next two hitters, and the Samurai got out of the inning with no runs allowed.

That established the pattern: Maeda wasn’t at his sharpest (allowing eight hits and five walks), but he kept working out of jams, shutting Milwaukee out until the 8th, when LF Arthur Mealey’s solo shot finally got the Bear Claws on the board.

Salt Lake closer Dean Gamble, who has been pitching much more effectively of late, nearly threw the game away in the 9th.  He allowed a one-out double to Bear Claws 1B Felipe Mateo, followed by a single and a walk to load the bases.  He then walked DH Rodolfo Raine to load the bases, and allowed a sac fly to Trumbauer that plated another run and moved the tying tally to third.  C Frances McGuigan then smoked a hard grounder to short, but Samurai SS Mori Motonari stabbed it and touched second base to end the game and nail down Gamble’s 19th save.

Samurai manager Johnny Dugan stood by his decision to leave Gamble in despite his struggles.  “I want Dean to know we have confidence in him,” said Dugan.  “He’s our closer, come what may.  I believe that our faith will be rewarded.”

The Samurai (27-64) and the Bear Claws (60-30) now enjoy a day off.

 

7/17/2015, MIL15-SLC15, Desert Edge Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Bear Claws        0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  2     3 10  0    14  1
2015 Samurai           0  1  0  0  0  2  1  0  x     4  7  0     2  1
 
Bear Claws           AB  R  H BI   AVG    Samurai              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Petitt            ss  5  0  1  0  .315    Motonari          ss  4  0  0  0  .245
Iddings           2b  4  0  1  0  .270    Whitworth         dh  4  1  2  2  .277
Mateo             1b  4  1  2  0  .358    Cosgrove          cf  4  0  1  0  .281
Suzuki            3b  4  1  1  0  .306    Martinez          rf  3  0  0  0  .270
Mealey            lf  4  1  1  1  .301    Thomas            1b  3  0  0  0  .224
Raine             dh  3  0  1  1  .244    Sparks            lf  3  2  2  2  .262
Trumbauer         rf  4  0  0  1  .247    Turnbull          c   3  0  1  0  .158
McGuigan          c   4  0  1  0  .282    Gaytan            2b  3  0  1  0  .238
Maxwell           cf  3  0  2  0  .314    Davidson          3b  2  1  0  0  .185
                     35  3 10  3                               29  4  7  4
 
Bear Claws                       INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
McNorman         L 10-5          8.0  7  4  4  1  4  96  65  3.72
                                 8.0  7  4  4  1  4  96  65 
 
Samurai                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Maeda            W 6-10          8.0  8  1  1  5  5 128  77  4.97
Gamble           S 19            1.0  2  2  2  2  0  19   8  5.08
                                 9.0 10  3  3  7  5 147  85 
 
2B-Mateo(22), Maxwell(21), Turnbull(3). HR-Mealey(7), Whitworth(8), 
Sparks 2(6). RBI-Mealey(48), Raine(45), Trumbauer(42), Whitworth 2(27), 
Sparks 2(36). SB-Petitt(19), Iddings(9). CS-Motonari. K-Petitt, Suzuki, 
Raine, Trumbauer, Maxwell, Motonari, Cosgrove, Martinez, Thomas. BB-Iddings, 
Mateo, Suzuki, Mealey, Raine 2, Maxwell, Davidson. SF-Trumbauer. 
HBP-McGuigan. HB-Maeda. 
GWRBI: Sparks
Temperature: 97, Sky: partly cloudy, Wind: left to right at 1 MPH.

 

Jacksonville DragonsKnoxville SmokiesJACKSONVILLE DRAGONS 6, KNOXVILLE SMOKIES 4

Today’s game was a good-news/bad-news story for the Jacksonville Dragons.  The good news is that they recorded a 6-4 win over the Knoxville Smokies, their third straight win over Knoxville and their fourth in a row overall.  The bad news is that their rapidly swelling injured roll grew again, this time claiming starter Tony Harris.

“It kind of feels like a curse,” said Dragons 1B Jake Kapoor.  “We keep winning, but the gods keep claiming victims in exchange.  It makes you worry about who will be next.”

Harris, who was invited to “hit the road” by manager Harlan Davidson after stumbling in his last start, came out in the 3rd inning of this game after complaining of elbow pain.  Although he made it through 2 2/3 innings without allowing a hit, his velocity had dipped noticeably and he experienced discomfort throughout the start, frequently stepping off the mound and fussing with his arm.  He was later diagnosed with a partially-torn elbow ligament.  He said that he plans to try a plan of rest and rehabilitation rather than undergoing season-ending and perhaps career-ending surgery.

“At my age, I’m not going under the knife unless I have to,” said the 36-year-old Harris.  “If I can rest it and get back out there, fine; if not, maybe it is time to hit the road.”

Davidson seemed a bit abashed about his earlier harsh criticism of Harris, in light of the injury diagnosis.  “Obvious, I had no idea he was pitching hurt,” said Davidson.  “All I knew was what I saw on the field, which looked like a guy at the end of the road.”

Fortunately, Jacksonville reliever Samir Khan (5-3) was able to come to the rescue, putting up 4 1/3 solid innings to win the game for the Dragons.  The only runs allowed by Khan were back-to-back jacks by 2B Jeremiah Campo and DH Malcolm Bryant in the 4th.

“Samir saved our bacon,” said Kapoor.  “He’s been a rock for us, especially out of the pen.”

Jacksonville’s bats thrashed Smokies ace Elicio Santana (12-3).  The Dragons pounded out three doubles and put up four runs in the 2nd, and tacked on two more in the 7th on an RBI single from 2B Alexis Popejoy and a Kapoor sac fly.

After being nearly unbeatable through most of the first half, Santana had a subpar outing in the All-Star Game and has been roughed up a couple times in the second half.  But Smokies manager Snuff Wallace isn’t concerned about his top southpaw.  “Last time I checked, we’re still in first,” said Wallace.  “Long as that’s true, we ain’t got any problems.”

The Dragons (38-48) will try to complete the sweep tomorrow on the arm of their ace, Biggs McGee.   The Smokies (53-35) will look to right-hander Sylvester Lighty to salvage the final game.

 

7/17/2015, JAX15-KNX15, Rocky Top Park
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Dragons           0  4  0  0  0  0  2  0  0     6  9  0     5  2
2015 Smokies           0  0  0  2  0  0  0  2  0     4  6  0     3  0
 
Dragons              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Smokies              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Leon              cf  5  0  2  0  .253    Blair             cf  3  1  1  2  .292
Kapoor            1b  2  0  0  1  .303    Campo             2b  3  1  1  1  .304
Hopps             rf  4  0  1  0  .284    Bryant            dh  4  1  2  1  .304
Hartley           lf  4  0  0  0  .242    Campo             rf  4  0  1  0  .284
 Parker           lf  0  0  0  0  .203    Moriarty          ss  4  0  0  0  .279
Esquivel          c   4  1  2  0  .253    Battin            1b  4  0  0  0  .303
Canez             dh  3  1  0  0  .223    Bossard           c   3  1  1  0  .253
Herdt             ss  4  1  1  1  .226    Aceuedo           3b  3  0  0  0  .299
Taliaferro        3b  3  2  1  2  .243    Sisco             lf  3  0  0  0  .291
Popejoy           2b  4  1  2  2  .230                         31  4  6  4
                     33  6  9  6
 
Dragons                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Harris                           2.2  0  0  0  2  0  31  19  6.23
Khan             W 5-3           4.1  3  2  2  0  0  57  37  5.48
Jackson                          2.0  3  2  2  1  1  34  19  3.44
                                 9.0  6  4  4  3  1 122  75 
 
Smokies                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Santana          L 12-3          6.0  7  6  6  3  5 106  63  2.65
Tile                             3.0  2  0  0  0  2  34  30  1.74
                                 9.0  9  6  6  3  7 140  93 
 
JAX: Parker inserted at lf in the 8th
 
2B-Esquivel(12), Herdt(14), Taliaferro(8), Bryant(6), Bossard(7). 
HR-Blair(17), Campo(2), Bryant(18). RBI-Kapoor(52), Herdt(31), 
Taliaferro 2(16), Popejoy 2(18), Blair 2(58), Campo(29), Bryant(55). 
SB-Taliaferro(3). CS-Kapoor. K-Leon, Kapoor, Hopps 2, Canez 2, Popejoy, 
Aceuedo. BB-Kapoor, Canez, Taliaferro, Blair, Campo, Bossard. SF-Kapoor. 
HBP-Kapoor. HB-Santana. 
GWRBI: Herdt
Tony Harris was injured for this game and 20 more days
Temperature: 101, Sky: clear, Wind: left to right at 16 MPH.

 

Orlando CalrissiansJackson HammerheadsORLANDO CALRISSIANS 9, JACKSON HAMMERHEADS 6

The Jackson Hammerheads locker room was utterly silent after today’s game.  There was no music playing, no conversations, nothing but the hiss of the shower heads and the occasional scrape of a stool against the floor.  After the first-place Knoxville Smokies lost another game today, the Hammerheads had a golden opportunity to gain some ground.  But an early 6-2 lead came unraveled, and the Hammerheads suffered a painful 9-6 loss, their second straight against the last-place Orlando Calrissians.

“We’re still within striking distance,” said Jackson 3B Kim Fleitas.  “But we can’t lose games like this.  We just can’t.”

Earlier in the game, it looked like the Hammerheads would have something to celebrate.  They took advantage of a key opportunity in the 2nd, capitalized on a muffed fly ball by Calrissians LF Lauren Hartl to score five unearned runs and drive Orlando starter Chuck Weaver out of the game.  When they brought in another run against reliever Aron Filippi in the 3rd, it appeared that Jackson was set to cruise.

Unfortunately, the shaky pitching that has undermined the Hammerheads all season came back to bite them yet again.  Starter Yu Chen had another mediocre outing, lasting only 5 2/3 innings and allowing five runs on 11 hits.  Reliever Butch Turnbull (1-3) provided no help, allowing a pair of runs on four hits, including a homer by Calrissians RF Magnus Larson, in only 2/3 of an inning.  Rarely-use lefty Eric Seeman actually turned in a solid performance, putting in a scoreless inning, but had to come out of the game after aggravating his shoulder while striking out Hartl.  He was diagnosed with inflammation and may or may not be placed on the DL.  Closer Rick Sheen followed Seeman, and surrendered a two-run homer to Orlando C Herschel Lesher to push a comeback even farther out of reach.

“We’ve blown way too many big leads this year,” said Hammerheads pitching coach Eddie Harris.  “It’s embarrassing.  It’s going to take more than voodoo, or even good old-fashioned prayer, for us to turn this around.”

Meanwhile, the Calrissians succeeded where the Hammerheads failed.  Despite having a relief corps with a similarly suspect reputation, Orlando’s firemen stepped up when Weaver exited early.  Five Calrissians pitchers combined to throw 7 1/3 innings, allowing only one run on four hits.

“That was huge for us, huge,” said Calrissians manager Logan Bothan.  “We could have seen this game get out of hand in a hurry.  But our guys knew they needed to perform, and they came through for us in a big way.  Gold stars for all of them!”

The Calrissians (27-60) will try to take three of four behind right-hander Charles McNally. The Hammerheads (50-39) will hope that righty Jordan Bergman can help them salvage a split.

 

7/17/2015, ORL15-JCK15, Cash Carter Downs
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Calrissians       0  0  2  2  0  1  2  0  2     9 17  2     9  2
2015 Hammerheads       0  5  1  0  0  0  0  0  0     6  7  0     5  2
 
Calrissians          AB  R  H BI   AVG    Hammerheads          AB  R  H BI   AVG
Gilmartin         ss  4  1  2  0  .265    Deason            cf  5  1  1  1  .308
 Buendia          ph  1  0  0  0  .281    Westerberg        ss  3  0  0  0  .362
Hartl             lf  5  0  2  3  .272    Fleitas           3b  4  0  1  2  .292
Law               dh  5  0  2  0  .278    Jaramillo         dh  4  0  0  0  .251
Larson            rf  5  1  2  3  .298    Doyle             c   4  2  2  0  .322
Crofoot           2b  5  1  2  0  .212    Righter           2b  3  1  1  0  .352
Defoor            1b  4  1  3  0  .238     Jones            pr  0  0  0  0  .000
Figeroa           3b  5  0  2  0  .260    Wilczynski        1b  4  1  1  1  .245
Lesher            c   4  3  2  3  .215    Johnson           lf  3  0  0  1  .322
Elias             cf  2  2  0  0  .182    Arispe            rf  3  1  1  0  .257
                     40  9 17  9                               33  6  7  5
 
Calrissians                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Weaver                           1.2  3  5  0  2  0  39  24  5.90
Filippi                          2.1  2  1  1  0  2  33  21  3.18
Grazier          W 1-2           2.0  1  0  0  0  0  26  15  7.92
Quesara          H 5             1.0  0  0  0  1  1  13   7  5.95
Turbeville       H 6             1.0  1  0  0  0  0   8   6  6.75
Smith            S 9             1.0  0  0  0  0  0  14   8  5.80
                                 9.0  7  6  1  3  3 133  81 
 
Hammerheads                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Chen                             5.2 11  5  5  2  2 107  69  5.71
Turnbull         BS 4, L 1-3     0.2  4  2  2  0  0  19  12  4.28
Seeman                           1.0  0  0  0  1  1  19   9  5.83
Sheen                            1.2  2  2  2  0  0  29  19  4.42
                                 9.0 17  9  9  3  3 174 109 
 
ORL: Buendia batted for Gilmartin in the 7th
     Buendia moved to ss in the 7th
JCK: Jones ran for Righter in the 8th
     Jones moved to 2b in the 9th
 
E-Hartl, Crofoot. 2B-Figeroa(7), Wilczynski(11). HR-Larson(20), Lesher(11). 
RBI-Hartl 3(25), Larson 3(43), Lesher 3(20), Deason(58), Fleitas 2(86), 
Wilczynski(37), Johnson(57). K-Hartl 2, Law, Westerberg, Fleitas, Johnson. 
BB-Elias 3, Westerberg, Righter, Arispe. SH-Defoor. SF-Lesher, Johnson. 
HBP-Westerberg. HB-Weaver. 
GWRBI: Lesher
Eric Seeman was injured for this game and 8 more days
Homer Righter was injured for this game and 1 more days
Temperature: 87, Sky: partly cloudy, Wind: out to left at 3 MPH.

 

California SharksSilver City OutlawsCALIFORNIA SHARKS 10, SILVER CITY OUTLAWS 6

After yesterday’s gonzo slugfest between the California Sharks and the Silver City Outlaws, both teams were back at it again today with another high-scoring tilt.  This time, though, the scoring was confined to the first half of the game.  Also, it was a happier ending for the home team, as the Sharks held on for a 10-6 victory.

“I am glad that all the craziness was to our benefit this time,” said Sharks manager Eduardo Aponte.

California hammered Outlaws starter Linus Pauling (7-8), chasing him one batter into the 3rd inning.  Sharks CF Santiago Suarez launched a grand slam against Pauling, accounting for the bulk of the six runs that the veteran righty surrendered.

3B Karl Mote poured it on in the 3rd, launching a three-run bomb against Silver City reliever Jamaal Sapp.  In the 4th, SS Rubin Smyth lofted a sac fly that wound up scoring two runs when Outlaws RF Nathaniel Wason airmailed his throw to the plate.

“We dug our own grave in this one, and then we laid down in it and let them pile dirt on us,” said Outlaws manager John Jarha.  “I’m not busting on Linus or our pitching, ‘cause they’ve carried us all year.  But we shot ourselves in the foot something good on this one.”

The California tidal wave swamped another productive day from the struggling Silver City offense.  The Outlaws chased Sharks starter Brian Goreman in the 3rd, after both C Marlon Jeffreys and DH Tex Whittier homered in a four-run inning.

“After that inning, it seemed like we were still in it,” said Wason.  “But then California got three more [runs] in the bottom, and we were finished.”

To relieve Goreman, Aponte called on closer Eugene Grace (3-4), who allowed a couple unearned runs over his 3 1/3 innings of work.

“Eugene has been the glue that holds our bullpen together,” said Aponte.  “He has the skill to be a fine closer, but he has the durability to be excellent in long relief as well.  He has taken to both roles without complaint and has excelled.  I am grateful for him.”

Once Grace had done his work, Aponte called on Jan Arzola for the finale.  The righty has been exceptional this season, and today he was perfect, retiring the final nine Silver City hitters in a row, striking out six and picking up his third save of the season.

The Sharks (52-33) have ace Pierre LaRue ready to go for tomorrow’s series finale.  The Outlaws (45-43) will rely on right-hander Cloyce “Hoss” Benson.

 

7/17/2015, SCO15-CAL15, Blue Note Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Outlaws           0  0  4  1  1  0  0  0  0     6  8  2     6  1
2015 Sharks            0  5  3  2  0  0  0  0  x    10 13  2     8  0
 
Outlaws              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Sharks               AB  R  H BI   AVG
Brewmaker         3b  5  1  0  0  .254    Corona            rf  4  2  2  0  .288
Cardona           cf  4  0  1  1  .231    Suarez            cf  5  2  2  4  .234
Wason             rf  5  1  1  0  .297    Smyth             ss  4  0  2  1  .366
Elliott           1b  4  1  1  0  .293    Mader             lf  3  1  2  0  .331
Whittier          dh  4  2  1  3  .283    Nix               dh  3  2  1  0  .328
Ivey              lf  3  0  1  0  .266    Mote              3b  5  2  2  3  .226
Burt              ss  4  0  1  0  .209    Oller             2b  4  1  1  0  .297
Barkan            2b  4  0  1  1  .276     Puffer           2b  0  0  0  0  .161
Jeffreys          c   4  1  1  1  .240    Lockley           c   3  0  1  0  .289
                     37  6  8  6          Gerke             1b  4  0  0  1  .204
                                                               35 10 13  9
 
Outlaws                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Pauling          L 7-8           2.0  7  6  6  1  4  53  35  3.32
Sapp                             2.1  4  4  4  2  0  39  20  5.31
Humphrey                         1.1  1  0  0  2  1  25  14  3.71
Foster                           2.1  1  0  0  1  1  24  11  6.06
                                 8.0 13 10 10  6  6 141  80 
 
Sharks                           INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Goreman                          2.2  4  4  4  2  2  49  24  4.08
Grace            W 3-4           3.1  4  2  0  0  3  50  34  4.05
Arzola           S 3             3.0  0  0  0  0  6  38  26  1.13
                                 9.0  8  6  4  2 11 137  84 
 
CAL: Puffer inserted at 2b in the 9th
 
E-Wason, Jeffreys, Smyth, Mote. 2B-Suarez(10), Smyth(21), Mader(15), 
Lockley(17). 3B-Cardona(8). HR-Whittier(5), Jeffreys(3), Suarez(8), Mote(18). 
RBI-Cardona(47), Whittier 3(21), Barkan(15), Jeffreys(7), Suarez 4(58), 
Smyth(70), Mote 3(57), Gerke(15). CS-Corona. K-Brewmaker, Wason 2, Elliott 3, 
Whittier, Ivey 2, Burt, Jeffreys, Suarez, Smyth, Mader, Lockley, Gerke 2. 
BB-Cardona, Ivey, Corona, Mader 2, Nix 2, Lockley. SF-Smyth. 
GWRBI: Gerke
Temperature: 73, Sky: clear, Wind: right to left at 6 MPH.

 

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