PBL Scores, 7/24/15

A number of big innings and surprising performances in today’s action.  Click on, click on…

Knoxville SmokiesCalifornia SharksKNOXVILLE SMOKIES 4, CALIFORNIA SHARKS 1

Knoxville Smokies knuckleballer Todd Warrant admits that his performances often look a little sloppy.  “It’s the nature of the knuckler,” said Warrant.  “A lot of days, when my pitch is at its best, I give up a ton of walks because the ball’s just jumping all over the place.”  Warrant’s knuckler was in top form today, and indeed, he gave up four walks, a wild pitch, and a balk.  But he also didn’t give up a lot of contact, allowing the Smokies to rally late to beat the California Sharks, 4-1.

“Todd marches to the beat of his own drummer, and so do his pitches,” said Smokies manager Snuff Wallace.  “I watch his pitches come wobbling in there, and I just start laughing, ‘cause I know the other guys ain’t got a prayer.”

Despite Warrant’s effectiveness, though, it was the Sharks that got on the board first in a strange opening inning.  California CF Santiago Suarez slapped a one-out single to right.  The speedy Suarez is always a threat to run, and Warrant kept a close eye on him.  Before Suarez even had a chance to go, however, Warrant was called for a balk, which Wallace protested vigorously.

“I still have no idea what the hell he supposedly did,” said Wallace.  “He looked over at first, bent down, straightened up, and all of a sudden it’s ‘Balk!’  If we’d wound up losing by a run, I’d have been seriously pissed.”

Warrant worked a full count against the next batter, LF Kenneth Mader.  The Sharks slugger then hit a high bouncer to short.  By the time the ball got to SS Armand Moriarty, Mader had nearly arrived at first with an unlikely infield single.  DH Eddie Nix came up next, and hit a 2-2 popup in foul ground behind third.  Moriarty came over to snag the ball, but lost it in the sun, allowing the at-bat to continue.  Nix wound up walking to load the bases.  Because there was now only one out instead of two, 3B Karl Mote’s fly ball to left didn’t end the inning, but instead allowed Suarez to race home.  Warrant struck out 2B Johnie Oller to avoid any further damage.

That was the only run Warrant would allow, and two of only four hits he wound give up.  Still, the liveliness of his knuckler meant more walks and higher pitch counts, which led to his coming out after only 6 2/3 innings, which cost him a shot at a win.  Right-hander Rick Wilkins (3-1) worked the final 2 1/3 innings for Knoxville.

Meanwhile, Sharks starter Kevin Conner (7-7) had another solid outing, but wound up tiring toward the end.  Through the first 6 innings, Conner matched Warrant by allowing only one run, which came in the 4th when Knoxville strung together three singles.  In the bottom of the 7th, Smokies 1B Eddie Battin’s RBI double but the home team ahead.  In the 8th, LF Ezra Sisco led off with a single and came around to score on a stolen base and a pair of sac flies.  DH Malcolm Bryant then homered to close the scoring.

“Kevin did what I wanted him to do,” said Sharks manager Eduardo Aponte.  “It was our offense that could not come through.”

The Smokies (57-38) open a series against the Salt Lake Samurai tomorrow.  The Sharks (56-37) head south to face the Orlando Calrissians.

 

7/24/2015, CAL15-KNX15, Rocky Top Park
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Sharks            1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0     1  5  0     8  2
2015 Smokies           0  0  0  1  0  0  1  2  x     4  9  1     3  1
 
Sharks               AB  R  H BI   AVG    Smokies              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Corona            rf  4  0  1  0  .296    Blair             cf  4  0  0  0  .283
Suarez            cf  3  1  1  0  .227    Campo             2b  3  1  1  1  .305
Mader             lf  4  0  1  0  .329    Bryant            dh  4  1  2  1  .302
Nix               dh  2  0  1  0  .341    Campo             rf  4  1  1  0  .290
Mote              3b  3  0  0  1  .222    Moriarty          ss  3  0  2  1  .280
Oller             2b  4  0  1  0  .292    Battin            1b  3  0  1  1  .299
Gerke             1b  2  0  0  0  .183    Bossard           c   3  0  0  0  .236
Carpenter         c   3  0  0  0  .250     Carlo            c   0  0  0  0  .161
 Gonzalez         ph  1  0  0  0  .250    Aceuedo           3b  3  0  1  0  .290
Puffer            ss  4  0  0  0  .134    Sisco             lf  3  1  1  0  .287
                     30  1  5  1                               30  4  9  4
 
Sharks                           INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Conner           L 7-7           8.0  9  4  4  0  4 110  76  4.96
                                 8.0  9  4  4  0  4 110  76 
 
Smokies                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Warrant                          6.2  4  1  0  4  7 118  68  2.35
Wilkins          W 3-1           2.1  1  0  0  1  2  29  15  2.70
                                 9.0  5  1  0  5  9 147  83 
 
CAL: Gonzalez batted for Carpenter in the 9th
KNX: Carlo inserted at c in the 8th
 
E-Moriarty. 2B-Battin(21). HR-Bryant(19). RBI-Mote(60), Campo(35), 
Bryant(58), Moriarty(60), Battin(77). SB-Campo(7), Sisco(15). K-Mader 3, 
Mote, Oller 2, Carpenter, Puffer 2, Campo, Campo 2, Battin. BB-Suarez, Nix 2, 
Gerke 2. SF-Mote, Campo. WP-Warrant. BALK-Warrant. 
GWRBI: Battin
Temperature: 99, Sky: partly cloudy, Wind: left to right at 8 MPH.

 

Silver City OutlawsJacksonville DragonsSILVER CITY OUTLAWS 5, JACKSONVILLE DRAGONS 0

The Jacksonville Dragons’ 10-game winning streak is no more.  The Dragons were shut out by the Silver City Outlaws, not a surprising outcome given the strength of the Outlaws’ rotation.  The surprise, though, was who threw it.  Fifth starter Cloyce “Hoss” Benson, who has been the weak link in Silver City’s rotation this season, came through with a complete-game effort in the Outlaws’ 5-0 win.

“Nice to see Hoss put it together,” said Outlaws manager John Jarha.  “We never lost faith in him, but he sure has struggled.  I knew he had this kind of outing in him.”

Benson (6-11), a veteran right-hander, required only 82 pitches to dispatch the red-hot Dragons.  He allowed just four hits, only one of which went for extra bases (a 5th-inning double from DH Berry Canez).  He did not try to overpower the Jacksonville hitters, recording only three strikeouts, but instead pitched to contact and let his fielders do the work.

“I know at my age with my velocity, I’m not going to be blowing it past a lot of guys,” said Benson.  “Fortunately, there are eight other guys paid to stand on the field with me and help me out.  They definitely did today.”

Meanwhile, Dragons starter Kyle Palmer (4-9) had an unexpected clunker of an outing, getting knocked out in the 4th.  The Outlaws teed off on his pitches as if they knew what was coming.  Outlaws CF Javier Cardona got Silver City on the board in the 2nd with an RBI triple.  In the 3rd, both 3B Rusty Brewmaker and RF Nathaniel Wason hit dingers off of Palmer.

Observers noted that Palmer’s velocity was down slightly from his usual rate, a possible sign of concern for a pitcher who went on the DL with shoulder issues.  Palmer himself, though, says it’s expected.  “My arm’s not back up to 100% strength yet after my injury,” said the right-hander.  “I get fatigued more easily and that causes my speed to fall off.  I’m not concerned.”  Palmer said that he and the team would keep an eye on it, however.

DH Marlon Hintz also homered for Silver City, with a solo shot in the 6th against reliever Razor Corridon.

One bright spot for the Dragons was the performance of reliever Juan Pascos.  The 28-year-old Venezuelan native, who was called up after start Tony Harris went on the DL, made his Patriot League debut in today’s game, pitching a scoreless 8th and 9th.

“I am honored and excited for the opportunity,” said Pascos.  “I am sorry we could not win it, but lately we have won a lot.  I look forward to helping us win later.”

The Outlaws (48-47) head to Mississippi next for a series with the Jackson Hammerheads.   The Dragons (44-49) will play host to the Milwaukee Bear Claws.

 

7/24/2015, SCO15-JAX15, Tesla Field
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Outlaws           0  1  3  0  0  1  0  0  0     5  9  2     6  2
2015 Dragons           0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0     0  4  0     4  2
 
Outlaws              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Dragons              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Barkan            2b  4  0  0  0  .265    Leon              cf  4  0  1  0  .248
Brewmaker         3b  3  1  1  1  .258    Kapoor            1b  4  0  1  0  .312
Jeffreys          c   4  1  1  0  .215    Hopps             rf  4  0  0  0  .283
Wason             rf  3  1  1  2  .296    Hartley           lf  4  0  0  0  .249
Elliott           1b  4  0  1  0  .283    Esquivel          c   3  0  1  0  .261
Whittier          lf  4  0  1  0  .263    Canez             dh  3  0  1  0  .220
Hintz             dh  3  2  2  1  .204    Herdt             ss  3  0  0  0  .221
Cardona           cf  4  0  2  1  .227    Taliaferro        3b  3  0  0  0  .262
Burt              ss  4  0  0  0  .209    Popejoy           2b  3  0  0  0  .218
                     33  5  9  5                               31  0  4  0
 
Outlaws                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Benson           W 6-11          9.0  4  0  0  0  3  82  56  5.16
                                 9.0  4  0  0  0  3  82  56 
 
Dragons                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Palmer           L 4-9           3.0  6  4  4  2  2  68  40  4.38
Avallone                         2.0  0  0  0  2  1  29  14  4.71
Corridon                         2.0  1  1  1  1  0  22  13  5.30
Pascos                           2.0  2  0  0  0  0  27  17  0.00
                                 9.0  9  5  5  5  3 146  84 
 
E-Brewmaker, Wason. 2B-Canez(6). 3B-Cardona(9). HR-Brewmaker(17), Wason(40), 
Hintz(4). RBI-Brewmaker(58), Wason 2(87), Hintz(11), Cardona(48). CS-Wason. 
K-Brewmaker, Jeffreys, Elliott, Leon, Hopps, Canez. BB-Barkan, Brewmaker 2, 
Wason, Hintz. 
GWRBI: Cardona
Temperature: 70, Wind: none.

 

Jackson HammerheadsSalt Lake SamuraiJACKSON HAMMERHEADS 6, SALT LAKE SAMURAI 3

Jackson Hammerheads starter Jordan Bergman can’t explain his gaudy record.  The journeyman righty’s underlying statistics are solid but unspectacular.  And yet, somehow, he keeps reeling off wins.  “I mean, maybe the devil made a deal with me that he didn’t tell me about,” said Bergman with a smile.  “I assume at the end of the season, there’s going to be a big puff of smoke and I’m going to have to have a fiddle battle with Satan for my soul or something.”

Whatever the cause, Bergman got the job done again, surviving a rocky 1st inning and getting some help from the Hammerheads’ bats to run his record to a league-best 12-2 in a 6-3 win over the Salt Lake Samurai.

“I think it’s voodoo,” said Hammerheads manager Lou Brown.  “That’s the only way I can explain it.”

Either voodoo or a devil’s bargain would be a plausible explanation for how Bergman wiggled out of a jam in the 1st.  Samurai SS Mori Motonari opened the game with a double.  Bergman plunked the next hitter, DH Jamar Whitworth.  CF Lee Cosgrove then laid down a bunt to move the runners over, but Hammerheads 3B Kim Fleitas was unable to pick up the ball cleanly, loading the bases with nobody out.

Another pitcher might have crumbled.  Not Bergman.  He got RF Romeo Martinez to hit a grounder to short, too slow for a double play but enough to record one out as a run scored.  1B Neal Thomas hit a high pop-up at the plate.  “Uh oh, Tommy, I don’t think this one’s got the distance,” said C Clarence Doyle as he caught the pop-up for the second out.

LF Chip Sparks crushed the next pitch for a towering fly ball that would have been a home run at any other Patriot League park.  In cavernous Cash Carter Downs, though, CF Damian Deason was able to run the ball down at the track for the third out.

“I have no idea how I only gave up one run in that situation,” said Bergman.  “Whatever it is, I’ll take it.”

For a while, it looked like Samurai ace Toshiie Maeda (6-11) might be able to make that lone run stand up.  He cruised through the first 5 innings with a three-hit shutout.

The 6th changed everything, though.  Deason opened the fireworks with a leadoff triple.  Maeda recorded the next two outs without allowing Deason to score, and it looked for a minute like the ace was going to pull an escape.  But DH Alex Jaramillo walked on four pitches, and C Clarence Doyle dumped a single into right center to tie the game.  2B Homer Righter walked to load the bases, and 1B Lacy Wilczynski knocked a single to put the Hammerheads in the lead.

That brought LF Track Johnson to the plate.  Maeda started him off with a fastball, and Johnson slaughtered it.  Even Cash Carter Downs wasn’t able to contain Johnson’s blast, a grand slam that knocked the Samurai ace out of the game and caused the home crowd to erupt with delight.

“Wasn’t anything to it,” said Johnson.  “I came up hacking, and he fired it right into my wheelhouse.  As soon as it left my bat, I knew it was gone.”

Now having some room to play with, Bergman immediately gave up a two-run homer to Samurai 3B Chris Davidson in the top of the 7th.  “Maybe I got a little careless with a big lead,” said Bergman.  “Or maybe my luck was catching up to me.”

Bergman held on through 8, and then Hammerheads closer Rick Sheen pitched a perfect 9th to collect his 15th save.

The Hammerheads (53-42) now prepare to take on the Silver City Outlaws.  The Samurai (28-68) hop over to Knoxville to do battle with the Smokies.

 

7/24/2015, SLC15-JCK15, Cash Carter Downs
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Samurai           1  0  0  0  0  0  2  0  0     3  4  0     5  0
2015 Hammerheads       0  0  0  0  0  6  0  0  x     6  8  1     4  0
 
Samurai              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Hammerheads          AB  R  H BI   AVG
Motonari          ss  4  1  1  0  .250    Deason            cf  4  1  2  0  .309
Whitworth         dh  3  0  0  0  .274    Westerberg        ss  3  0  1  0  .356
Cosgrove          cf  3  0  0  0  .275    Fleitas           3b  4  0  1  0  .288
Martinez          rf  3  0  0  1  .262    Jaramillo         dh  3  1  0  0  .241
Thomas            1b  3  0  0  0  .221    Doyle             c   4  1  1  1  .320
Sparks            lf  4  0  0  0  .251    Righter           2b  3  1  1  0  .359
Turnbull          c   4  1  1  0  .156    Wilczynski        1b  4  1  1  1  .244
Gaytan            2b  4  0  1  0  .249    Johnson           lf  2  1  1  4  .329
Davidson          3b  3  1  1  2  .187    Arispe            rf  3  0  0  0  .256
                     31  3  4  3                               30  6  8  6
 
Samurai                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Maeda            L 6-11          5.2  7  6  6  3  3  84  53  5.16
Henderson                        2.1  1  0  0  0  3  27  18  3.96
                                 8.0  8  6  6  3  6 111  71 
 
Hammerheads                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Bergman          W 12-2          8.0  4  3  2  1  2 105  63  4.19
Sheen            S 15            1.0  0  0  0  0  0  13   9  4.17
                                 9.0  4  3  2  1  2 118  72 
 
E-Fleitas. 2B-Motonari(15), Turnbull(4), Deason(42). 3B-Deason(10). 
HR-Davidson(3), Johnson(9). RBI-Martinez(39), Davidson 2(20), Doyle(41), 
Wilczynski(39), Johnson 4(68). SB-Fleitas(11). CS-Righter. K-Thomas, Gaytan, 
Jaramillo 2, Doyle 3, Arispe. BB-Martinez, Jaramillo, Righter, Johnson. 
SH-Cosgrove, Westerberg. HBP-Whitworth, Thomas. HB-Bergman 2. WP-Bergman. 
GWRBI: Wilczynski
Temperature: 104, Sky: clear, Wind: in from right at 11 MPH.

 

Orlando CalrissiansMilwaukee Bear ClawsORLANDO CALRISSIANS 7, MILWAUKEE BEAR CLAWS 2

Despite the Milwaukee Bear Claws’ underwhelming second-half performance, they’ve generally been able to count on their ace, Lou Mallory.  “Lou’s our rock,” said Bear Claws manager Poss Horton.

Today, with a series hanging in the balance, Milwaukee hoped that Mallory could come through the way he so often has.  Instead, though, Mallory surrendered a pair of homers in the 1st inning, and the Bear Claws suffered a stunning 7-2 loss in the rubber match against the Orlando Calrissians.

This is the second straight game in which the Bear Claws gave up multiple runs in the opening frame, a trend that Horton wants to see come to a quick end.  “This ain’t how we got ourselves into first,” said the Milwaukee skipper.  “We’re supposed to be the one who jump out ahead early and make the other team come back.  It’s nothing to panic about, but it’s not something I want us making a habit of.”

The Bear Claws had felt good about the top of the 1st, as 1B Felipe Mateo’s 36th homer gave Milwaukee an early 2-0 lead.  But Mallory was off course from the beginning.  He allowed a leadoff single to Calrissians LF Lauren Hartl, followed by a two-run blast from 1B Brooks Defoor.  He then walked SS Jose Buendia and allowed another two-run bomb to RF Bart Law, the second in as many days for the 19-year-old.

Mallory (9-4) allowed yet another homer to Law in the 3rd, and wound up being unable to make it out of the 5th.  “That’s not me,” said the Bear Claws ace.  “The team counts on me to come through when the chips are down, and I just didn’t have it today.  I’m disappointed in myself.”

Meanwhile, Orlando starter Nate McGowan (3-11) bounced back after his rough first inning, shutting Milwaukee out the rest of the way in a complete-game effort.

“It’s nice to have the team bail me out for a change,” said McGowan, who has been plagued all season long by poor run support.  “When we put up a big number in the bottom of the 1st, I vowed to myself that I was going to make the lead stand up.”

The Bear Claws have now gone 7-12 in the second half, and a Western race that seemed all but over at the All-Star Break now seems invitingly wide open for the second-place California Sharks.  Horton continues to insist that there is no reason for alarm, although he acknowledged that his team has looked less than sharp lately.

“Every team goes through slumps and skids, and we were probably due for one,” said Horton.  “If we’d gone 2-17 or 0-19, then we’d be having another conversation, but this is pretty normal.  Even so, California’s a damn good team, and if we try to sleepwalk our way to the title, they’ll be ready to pounce.  So like I said about the big innings, we better not let this become a habit.”

The Calrissians (30-64) now prepare to host those Sharks.   The Bear Claws (62-33) will head across Florida to face the Jacksonville Dragons.

 

7/24/2015, MIL15-ORL15, Bespin
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Bear Claws        2  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0     2  8  1     7  1
2015 Calrissians       4  0  1  0  1  0  1  0  x     7 10  1     5  1
 
Bear Claws           AB  R  H BI   AVG    Calrissians          AB  R  H BI   AVG
Petitt            ss  4  0  0  0  .304    Hartl             lf  4  1  1  0  .276
Iddings           2b  3  1  0  0  .258    Defoor            1b  3  2  1  2  .233
Mateo             1b  4  1  2  2  .358    Buendia           ss  2  1  1  0  .284
Suzuki            3b  4  0  2  0  .309    Law               rf  4  3  4  3  .290
Mealey            lf  4  0  0  0  .302    Figeroa           3b  3  0  2  1  .268
Raine             dh  4  0  1  0  .241    Crofoot           2b  4  0  1  1  .209
Trumbauer         rf  4  0  0  0  .238    Nabors            dh  4  0  0  0  .187
McGuigan          c   4  0  2  0  .294    Elias             cf  4  0  0  0  .178
Maxwell           cf  4  0  1  0  .313    McCormack         c   3  0  0  0  .181
                     35  2  8  2                               31  7 10  7
 
Bear Claws                       INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Mallory          L 9-4           4.2  8  6  6  2  1  78  50  3.43
Karnik                           1.1  1  0  0  0  0  13   9  4.83
Almon                            2.0  1  1  0  2  0  28  16  2.83
                                 8.0 10  7  6  4  1 119  75 
 
Calrissians                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
McGowan          W 3-11          9.0  8  2  2  1  3 117  79  4.48
                                 9.0  8  2  2  1  3 117  79 
 
E-McGuigan, Figeroa. 3B-Suzuki(13). HR-Mateo(36), Defoor(19), Law 2(15). 
RBI-Mateo 2(108), Defoor 2(53), Law 3(38), Figeroa(54), Crofoot(85). 
CS-Buendia. K-Petitt, Iddings, McGuigan, Hartl. BB-Iddings, Defoor, Buendia, 
Figeroa, McCormack. CI-Buendia. 
GWRBI: Law
Temperature: 70, Wind: none.

 

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