PBL Scores, 8/13/15

Your regular writer is back in the saddle again today.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  Decide for yourself below!

Knoxville SmokiesMilwaukee Bear ClawsKNOXVILLE SMOKIES 4, MILWAUKEE BEAR CLAWS 3 (12 INNINGS)

If the Knoxville Smokies and the Milwaukee Bear Claws, the current division leaders, wind up meeting the Patriot League championship, today’s game offered a tantalizing glimpse at how great that matchup could be.  Milwaukee got to show off its deep and talented bullpen and its strong top-to-bottom lineup.  Knoxville displayed its surprisingly strong rotation and its ability to get out of jams.  The fans got to enjoy a tense, thrilling contest that lasted until the 12th, when the Smokies were able to walk off with a 4-3 victory.

“You know how they say ‘Always bet on black’?” said Smokies manager Snuff Wallace.  “Well, orange is the new black.  You can’t bet against us.  Well, you can, but only if you enjoy losing your money.”

Smokies starter Jack Jacques, acquired from Jacksonville in a seemingly minor midseason deal, has evolved into a mainstay in a Knoxville rotation that can make a strong case as the league’s best.  While this was far from Jacques’ best or sharpest game – he allowed an astounding 14 hits – he demonstrated the talents that have made him so valuable: a rubber arm and an ability to stay calm in difficult situations.

His unflappable demeanor was most on display in the 9th inning.  With the score knotted at 3, the Bear Claws mounted a strong two-out rally, banging out two singles and a walk to load the bases for a dangerous hitter, 3B Ikaru Suzuki.  After Jacques fell behind 3-1, Smokies C Ricky Bossard walked toward the mound to give Jacques a breather (or perhaps to buy time for the bullpen to get warm), but the starter waved Bossard back behind the plate with a flick of his glove.  Jacques then retired Suzuki on a harmless popup to end the threat.

“Jack is a cold-blooded son of a gun,” said Wallace.  “A lotta pitchers would have run and hid with all the trouble he got himself in.  But he didn’t even flinch.”

By the time Jacques finally tapped out in the 11th inning, he had thrown 134 pitches, had posted five straight scoreless innings and was working on a sixth.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee’s Chris Karnik made his third straight fill-in start in place of the injured Zack Perriman.  For the third straight time, he didn’t make it out of the 5th inning, having been tagged for three runs on five hits.  Fortunately, though, the Bear Claws bullpen came riding to the rescue.  Timmy Almon, Avery Lavine, Olen Abernathy, and Owen Pellegrin combined to throw 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing only three hits between them.

“Don’t sleep on our pen,” said Bear Claws manager Poss Horton.  “You get into the playoffs, when everyone’s got good starters, and it matters that you’ve got guys who can hold a lead or keep the other guys off the board.  If we wind up taking the whole thing, they’ll be a big reason why.”

It was inevitable that one side would have to blink first, and it finally came in the 12th.  Milwaukee had a shot against Smokies closer Charlie Pasternak (4-4), but came up agonizingly short.  Bear Claws 2B Richard Iddings got things rolling with a smart single up the middle.  It looked like 1B Felipe Mateo was set to keep the line moving by blistering a 2-1 fastball to the right side, but Smokies 2B Jeremiah Campo made a fantastic leaping catch, and then caught Iddings wandering too far off first for a double play.  Pasternak then walked Suzuki, but when the Milwaukee third sacker tried to put himself in scoring position by swiping second, he was gunned down by Bossard.

“Hell yes, we were aggressive,” said Horton.  “When it gets that late in the day, you gotta be.  Game’s got to end sometime.  We took our shot, and it didn’t work.  No regrets.”

In the bottom of the 12th, the Bear Claws stuck with Pellegrin (0-1), a rarely used lefty who had already worked 2 1/3 innings.  He retired Campo on a grounder to third and worked a 1-2 count on DH Malcolm Bryant.  But Pellegrin’s 46th pitch caught more of the plate than he intended, and Bryant belted it deep to left.  As the ball struck the facing of the upper deck, the home crowd exploded with joy.  The long battle was over, and their team had won.

The Bear Claws (72-42) will hope that right-hander “Stormin’” Patrick McNorman can claim the rubber match tomorrow.  The Smokies (68-44) will trot out their ace, Elicio Santana.

 

8/13/2015, MIL15-KNX15, Rocky Top Park
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Bear Claws        1  0  0  0  2  0  0  0  0  0  0  0     3 15  1    10  2
2015 Smokies           0  0  2  1  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1     4  9  1    10  3
 
Bear Claws           AB  R  H BI   AVG    Smokies              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Petitt            ss  6  1  4  0  .320    Blair             cf  5  1  1  0  .292
Iddings           2b  5  0  2  0  .250    Campo             2b  5  0  2  1  .294
Mateo             1b  5  1  1  1  .346    Bryant            dh  5  1  1  2  .302
Suzuki            3b  5  0  1  1  .298    Campo             rf  3  0  1  0  .288
Mealey            lf  5  0  2  0  .313    Moriarty          ss  5  0  0  0  .275
Raine             dh  5  0  1  1  .253    Battin            1b  4  1  2  0  .308
Trumbauer         rf  5  0  2  0  .242    Carlo             c   3  0  1  0  .199
McGuigan          c   5  0  0  0  .290     Gomez            ph  1  0  0  0  .221
Maxwell           cf  5  1  2  0  .301     Bossard          c   1  0  0  0  .222
                     46  3 15  3          Aceuedo           3b  5  0  0  1  .268
                                          Sisco             lf  4  1  1  0  .301
                                                               41  4  9  4
 
Bear Claws                       INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Karnik                           4.1  5  3  3  1  1  66  38  4.79
Almon                            2.2  2  0  0  1  2  36  21  3.75
Lavine                           0.0  1  0  0  0  0   1   1  4.03
Abernathy                        1.2  0  0  0  1  0  17   8  4.13
Pellegrin        L 0-1           2.2  1  1  1  1  2  46  32  1.23
                                11.1  9  4  4  4  5 166 100 
 
Smokies                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Jacques                         10.1 14  3  3  1  3 134  81  4.19
Pasternak        W 4-4           1.2  1  0  0  1  0  16   6  2.92
                                12.0 15  3  3  2  3 150  87 
 
KNX: Gomez batted for Carlo in the 8th
     Bossard inserted at c in the 9th
 
E-Suzuki, Aceuedo. 2B-Petitt(36), Mateo(32), Trumbauer(26), Campo(20), 
Battin 2(26). HR-Bryant(25). RBI-Mateo(127), Suzuki(86), Raine(59), 
Campo(44), Bryant 2(78), Aceuedo(47). SB-Campo(12). CS-Suzuki. K-Iddings 2, 
Mateo, Campo, Campo, Moriarty 2, Aceuedo. BB-Mateo, Suzuki, Blair, Campo, 
Campo, Battin. SH-Iddings. SF-Bryant. HBP-Campo, Sisco. HB-Karnik 2. 
GWRBI: Bryant
Temperature: 86, Sky: clear, Wind: right to left at 7 MPH.

 

California SharksJackson HammerheadsCALIFORNIA SHARKS 8, JACKSON HAMMERHEADS 7

After yesterday’s wild affair, an extra-inning contest punctuated by a bench-clearing brawl, it was hard to imagine what the California Sharks and Jackson Hammerheads might manage for an encore.  But the highly prestigious Chum Bucket is a powerful lure, and the Patriot League’s two aquatically-inclined teams didn’t let yesterday’s shenanigans slow them down.  Today’s game was another slugfest in which the teams traded blows – with bats instead of fists this time – but in this one, the visiting Sharks held on for an 8-7 win.

“There was definitely blood in the water,” said California manager Eduardo Aponte, “but today we were the apex predator.”

The Sharks tore Hammerheads starter Yu Chen (5-7) to ribbons, torching him for 6 runs and 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings.  “I’m tired and I want to go to bed,” said Chen, whose status in the Jackson rotation only grew more tenuous with this outing.

Meanwhile, it was a good news/bad news story for California.  The good news: They got another solid outing from starter Kevin Conner (10-8), who continued his recent resurgence.  The young righty went 6 innings and allowed three runs, striking out four.  The Sharks also got good outings from two struggling members of the lineup, CF Santiago Suarez (3-for-5) and 3B Karl Mote (4-for-5 with a two-run homer).

The bad news: their bullpen encountered rough sailing once again, and nearly saw themselves swallowed by Jackson’s rapacious offense.  Boss Walker, Herman Moret, Ty Shive, and David Watts each surrendered a run, imperiling the 7-3 lead the Sharks had upon Conner’s departure.

“The relief corps has been a bit of a concern,” admitted Aponte.  With the trade deadline looming, it seems possible that California might have its line in the water to see if they can land some help.

The Sharks tacked on a much-needed run in the top of the 9th against Hammerheads reliever Marquis Silcox, as SS Rubin Smyth led off with a double and wound up getting in on a Mote single.

The Hammerheads nearly walked off the Sharks for the second straight night.  Watts opened the 9th on the mound for California.  He walked Jackson SS Octavio Westerberg to begin the inning.  3B Kim Fleitas smoked a liner that went right to Sharks 1B Jamal Gerke for the first out.  DH Alex Jaramillo hit a slow roller to the right side and somewhat inexplicably beat it out for a hit.  Aponte wasted no time in calling for righty Jan Arzola to replace Watts, and Jackson manager Lou Hayes counted by bringing in his ace, Henry Jones, to pinch-run for Jaramillo.  C Clarence Doyle grounded the ball to first, recording the second out but advancing the runners.  Arzola then walked 2B Homer Righter to load the bases.

That left it up to 1B Lacy Wilczynski, who snapped at Arzola’s first pitch and dropped a single to shallow center.  Westerberg scored easily, and Hammerheads third-base coach Duke Temple decided to Gamble, sending Jones and challenging Suarez’s excellent arm.  The gamble didn’t pay off, as Suarez fired a perfect strike to C Thaddeus Lockley, who tagged Jones to end the game.

“We snatched victory from the jaws of defeat,” said Aponte.  “That is the kind of performance you need if you are to capture the highly prestigious Chum Bucket.”

The Sharks (65-47) will aim to snag the series behind lefty Stu Palmeiro tomorrow.  The Hammerheads (65-49) counter with right-hander Jordan Bergman.

 

8/13/2015, CAL15-JCK15, Cash Carter Downs
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Sharks            0  0  2  1  2  0  2  0  1     8 15  1     7  0
2015 Hammerheads       0  0  0  3  0  0  2  1  1     7 12  0     9  1
 
Sharks               AB  R  H BI   AVG    Hammerheads          AB  R  H BI   AVG
Corona            rf  5  0  1  0  .307    Deason            cf  1  0  0  0  .305
Suarez            cf  5  2  3  1  .238     Johnson          cf  4  0  0  0  .143
Smyth             ss  5  2  3  1  .354    Westerberg        ss  4  1  2  0  .348
Mader             lf  4  1  1  0  .328    Fleitas           3b  5  1  1  0  .291
 Puffer           2b  0  0  0  0  .134    Jaramillo         dh  5  1  3  0  .266
Mote              3b  5  1  4  4  .220     Jones            pr  0  0  0  0  .000
Lockley           c   5  1  1  0  .292    Doyle             c   5  0  0  0  .318
Oller             2b  4  0  0  0  .281    Righter           2b  3  0  0  1  .352
 Novick           lf  0  0  0  0  .167    Wilczynski        1b  5  2  3  2  .245
Nix               dh  3  0  0  0  .340    Johnson           lf  2  1  2  1  .324
Gerke             1b  4  1  2  1  .191    Arispe            rf  4  1  1  2  .275
                     40  8 15  7                               38  7 12  6
 
Sharks                           INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Conner           W 10-8          6.0  7  3  3  0  4  91  64  4.58
Walker                           0.0  0  1  1  1  0   4   0  5.57
Moret            H 2             1.0  2  1  1  0  1  16  13  6.57
Shive            H 4             0.2  1  1  0  0  0  15  10  5.63
Watts            H 1             0.2  1  1  1  2  0  23  11 11.37
Arzola           S 5             0.2  1  0  0  1  0   9   4  1.82
                                 9.0 12  7  6  4  5 158 102 
 
Hammerheads                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Chen             L 5-7           6.1 10  6  6  1  3  80  57  5.80
Sircy                            0.0  1  1  1  1  0   7   2  3.17
Sheen                            0.2  1  0  0  0  1  11   7  4.14
Silcox                           1.1  3  1  1  0  1  23  16  8.10
Slinger                          0.2  0  0  0  0  0   3   3  3.42
                                 9.0 15  8  8  2  5 124  85 
 
CAL: Novick inserted at lf in the 9th
     Puffer inserted at 2b in the 9th
JCK: Johnson inserted at cf in the 2nd
     Jones ran for Jaramillo in the 9th
 
E-Watts. 2B-Smyth(27), Gerke(4), Westerberg 2(34), Jaramillo(15). 
3B-Smyth(14). HR-Mote(21), Arispe(14). RBI-Suarez(69), Smyth(83), Mote 4(70), 
Gerke(18), Righter(41), Wilczynski 2(48), Johnson(77), Arispe 2(72). 
SB-Suarez 2(19), Wilczynski(6). CS-Suarez. K-Corona, Suarez, Mader, 
Lockley 2, Fleitas 2, Jaramillo, Doyle, Righter. BB-Mader, Nix, Westerberg, 
Righter, Johnson 2. SF-Righter. WP-Chen. 
GWRBI: Mote
Keneth Mader was injured for this game only
Damian Deason was injured for this game only
Temperature: 90, Sky: cloudy, Wind: left to right at 2 MPH

 

Salt Lake SamuraiJacksonville DragonsSALT LAKE SAMURAI 5, JACKSONVILLE DRAGONS 4

The Salt Lake Samurai did their damage early in this game.  They scored all five of their runs in the 3rd inning, then withstood a slow but steady rally from the Jacksonville Dragons to emerge with a 5-4 win.

“That’s one of the reasons I love these guys,” said Samurai manager Johnny Dugan.  “They don’t let anything get them down.  You throw a punch at them, and they get right back up off the mat and keep going.”

A day after their bats were virtually silenced by never-silent Dragons ace Biggs McGee, Salt Lake was eager to avoid a repeat against Kyle Palmer (5-11).  After going quietly in the first two innings, the Samurai opened the 3rd with a double by 2B Quincy Gaytan.  The slim second sacker was nearly stranded as the next two hitters grounded out, but DH Jamar Whitworth worked a four-pitch walk, and then RF Romeo Martinez lifted a full-count fastball from Palmer just deep enough to clear the wall in right for a three-run homer.  Dragons manager Harlan Davidson argued vigorously with crew chief Dale Mettery that the ball had gone foul, to no avail.  (Replays suggested that Davidson may have had a point, although they were ultimately inconclusive.)

Revived by their second chance, the Samurai proceeded to pound out three straight hits to plate a fourth run, and then Palmer issued two straight walks, forcing in another.

“That was pretty much the ballgame right there,” said Davidson.  “Everything turned on that crap home run call.”

Samurai starter Davey Skargard (6-10) was able to take it from there, putting up 8 solid innings to capture the win.  He did struggle with the bottom of the order, particularly 2B Will Mount.  The Dragons second baseman was expected to be a top table-setter for Jacksonville this year, but plunged into a funk for much of the first half, until he lost his starting job to Alexis Popejoy.  Given another chance by Davidson in recent weeks, Mount has sought to make the most of it.  Today, he went 3-for-3 and served as a virtual one-man rally for the Dragons.

Mount got Jacksonville on the board in the bottom of the 3rd with an RBI single to drive in SS Alan Herdt.  After 3B Berry Canez launched a solo shot in the 4th, Mount came through with a longball of his own in the 5th, his second of the season.  In the 7th, he stroked another RBI single to plate Canez.

“This is the kind of performance I expected from myself all along,” said Mount.  “I’m glad that I’ve finally got the opportunity to show what I can do and prove my value to the team.

Unfortunately for Jacksonville, the batting order didn’t quite roll around to give him another shot in the 9th.  Samurai closer Dean Gamble allowed a two-out single to Dragons CF Alfonso Leon to offer a ray of hope, but Herdt grounded out to end the game, leaving Mount stranded in the on-deck circle.  Gamble earned his 24th save.

“I have no doubt I would have gotten that run home if I’d had the chance,” said Mount.

The Samurai (35-79) will hope that veteran southpaw Jonathan Fernandez can capture tomorrow’s rubber match.  The Dragons (54-59) welcome flame-throwing righty Juan Sarmiento back from injury tomorrow.

 

8/13/2015, SLC15-JAX15, Tesla Field
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Samurai           0  0  5  0  0  0  0  0  0     5  8  0     8  0
2015 Dragons           0  0  1  1  1  0  1  0  0     4  8  1     4  0
 
Samurai              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Dragons              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Motonari          ss  5  0  0  0  .256    Teachout          c   4  0  0  0  .322
Whitworth         dh  3  1  0  0  .281    Kapoor            1b  4  0  0  0  .297
Martinez          rf  4  1  1  3  .261    Hopps             rf  4  0  0  0  .269
Sparks            lf  5  1  1  0  .240    Hartley           lf  4  0  0  0  .238
Thomas            1b  4  1  1  1  .233    Esquivel          dh  4  0  1  0  .264
Rains             cf  4  0  3  0  .276    Canez             3b  4  1  2  1  .217
Turnbull          c   3  0  0  0  .147    Leon              cf  4  1  1  0  .240
Gaytan            2b  3  1  2  1  .263    Herdt             ss  4  1  1  0  .226
Davidson          3b  4  0  0  0  .188    Mount             2b  3  1  3  3  .230
                     35  5  8  5                               35  4  8  4
 
Samurai                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Skargard         W 6-10          8.0  7  4  4  0  4 114  76  4.47
Gamble           S 24            1.0  1  0  0  0  1  14   9  4.97
                                 9.0  8  4  4  0  5 128  85 
 
Dragons                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Palmer           L 5-11          3.1  6  5  5  4  2  77  42  4.39
Abbas                            3.2  1  0  0  0  1  36  23  4.67
Jackson                          1.2  1  0  0  1  1  27  19  2.66
Winslow                          0.1  0  0  0  0  1   4   3  9.26
                                 9.0  8  5  5  5  5 144  87 
 
E-Herdt. 2B-Sparks(21), Gaytan(13), Herdt(15). HR-Martinez(13), Canez(12), 
Mount(2). RBI-Martinez 3(54), Thomas(78), Gaytan(27), Canez(29), Mount 3(22). 
SB-Martinez(4). K-Whitworth, Martinez, Sparks, Thomas, Turnbull, Teachout 2, 
Kapoor, Esquivel 2. BB-Whitworth 2, Martinez, Turnbull, Gaytan. WP-Jackson. 
GWRBI: Martinez
Temperature: 93, Sky: partly cloudy, Wind: in from center at 4 MPH.

 

Silver City OutlawsOrlando CalrissiansSILVER CITY OUTLAWS VS. ORLANDO CALRISSIANS – POSTPONED

The scheduled game between the Silver City Outlaws and the Orlando Calrissians was postponed due to a power failure at Bespin.  Crews are working around the clock to ensure that the pleasure dome in Central Florida is up and running as soon as possible.  Assuming that the fix is completed promptly, the Outlaws and Calrissians plan to play a doubleheader tomorrow.

 

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