PBL Scores, 8/29/15

A couple of thrilling walkoff wins highlight today’s slate of games.  You won’t want to miss this action!

Knoxville SmokiesJacksonville DragonsKNOXVILLE SMOKIES 7, JACKSONVILLE DRAGONS 6

Today’s game between the Knoxville Smokies and the Jacksonville Dragons had twists and turns worthy of a summer blockbuster.  The Smokies got a surprisingly poor start from their ace, but managed to take an early lead nonetheless.  Then their normally reliable bullpen stumbled, putting the game in danger.  But the Eastern leaders stormed back at the end to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, claiming a 7-6 win to claim another series win against the Dragons.

“Hot damn, we’re good!” said Smokies manager Snuff Wallace.  “Any other team would have given up and lost this game, but we’re different.  We don’t stop fighting until we win.  Like Vince Lombardi said, ‘Winning ain’t everything, it’s the only thing.’”

For most of the season, a start from lefty Elicio Santana has meant a Knoxville win.  But Santana wasn’t his usual dominant self today, as the Dragons hit him freely.  The lefty managed to stagger through the first 4 innings without giving up a run, despite allowing six hits.  Knoxville’s defense bailed out their stumbling ace repeatedly, turning three double plays, catching a runner trying to steal, and making a perfect throw from the outfield to nail another runner at the plate.

The roof finally caved in for Santana in the 5th.  He allowed a leadoff triple to Dragons 3B Emerson Taliaferro, followed by an RBI single by CF Alfonso Leon.  DH Berry Canez then sent a 1-1 fastball into the stands in left, and Wallace sent Santana to the showers.

Despite his subpar outing, Santana managed to leave with a lead, as the Smokies rocked Jacksonville starter Juan Sarmiento.  Knoxville RF Jackson Campo got things going with a three-run homer in the 1st.  DH Eddie Battin added a solo shot in the 4th, and 1B Malcolm Bryant came through with an RBI single in the 5th to make it 6-5.

“It sounded like the 1812 Overture out there,” quipped Dragons C Judson Teachout.  “Cannons going off one after the other.”

After Santana’s departure, Wallace brought in long reliever Jerry Tile.  The unheralded journeyman has been one of the league’s best relievers, but he was unable to put out the fire today.  He allowed three hits over the 5th and 6th without giving up a run, but after three straight singles to open the 7th, Tile exited with runners on the corners and a 5-4 score.

Right-hander Rick Wilkins was up next for the Smokies, and he immediately allowed a Teachout sac fly to tie the score.  Dragons 1B Jake Kapoor then smoked a liner to the right side that looked like trouble, but Knoxville 2B Jeremiah Campo made a tremendous leaping grab, then fired to first to complete the double play and extinguish the threat.  Once again, the Smokies’ defense bailed out its pitching staff.

“That’s why we win all the damn time,” said Wallace.  “Because we’re awesome in all areas of the game.  We’re awesome at starting pitching, we’re awesome at relief pitching, we’re awesome at hitting, and we’re awesome at fielding.  Even if one side’s having a bad day, the rest of the squad’s there to clean up the mess.”

But even Knoxville’s fine defense couldn’t bail out Wilkins in the 8th.  He allowed a leadoff single to Dragons RF Roderick Hopps on an 0-2 pitch, and then allowed a double in the gap to LF Rob Hartley to give Jacksonville its first lead of the game.

The game headed to the bottom of the 9th with the Dragons still ahead, and the Smokies three outs from defeat and facing Jacksonville closer Blueberry Jackson.   That’s when Knoxville’s offense rode to the rescue one last time.  After recording the first out, Jackson (8-4) allowed back-to-back singles and then fell behind CF Joe Blair.  Jackson grooved a fastball, and Blair smacked a grounder that hugged the first-base line and rolled down into the right-field corner for a double, bringing in the winning runs to score.

“Story of the season,” grumbled Dragons manager Harlan Davidson.  “[The Smokies] did everything but slap a big bow on this game and hand it to us, and we still couldn’t take it.”

The Smokies (79-49) now travel down to Orlando to face the Calrissians.  The Dragons (63-66) head for home to take on the Jackson Hammerheads.

 

8/29/2015, JAX15-KNX15, Rocky Top Park
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Dragons           0  0  0  0  3  0  2  1  0     6 17  0     4  1
2015 Smokies           3  0  0  1  1  0  0  0  2     7 11  0     5  5
 
Dragons              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Smokies              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Teachout          c   4  0  1  1  .318    Blair             cf  5  0  2  2  .300
Kapoor            1b  4  0  2  0  .311    Campo             2b  4  1  1  0  .302
Hopps             rf  4  1  2  0  .272    Bryant            1b  4  1  2  1  .283
Hartley           lf  4  0  1  1  .259    Campo             rf  4  1  1  3  .292
 Parker           lf  0  0  0  0  .201    Moriarty          ss  4  0  0  0  .277
Taliaferro        3b  3  1  2  0  .252    Battin            dh  3  1  1  1  .307
Leon              cf  4  1  1  1  .243    Aceuedo           3b  3  0  0  0  .275
Canez             dh  4  2  3  2  .239    Carlo             c   4  1  1  0  .218
Herdt             ss  4  1  3  1  .237    Johnson           lf  4  2  3  0  .323
Mount             2b  4  0  2  0  .245                         35  7 11  7
                     35  6 17  6
 
Dragons                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Sarmiento                        5.1  6  5  5  2  3  90  56  5.59
Abbas                            2.2  2  0  0  0  1  29  21  4.47
Jackson          BS 5, L 8-4     0.1  3  2  2  0  0  14   6  2.78
                                 8.1 11  7  7  2  4 133  83 
 
Smokies                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Santana                          4.0  9  3  3  0  1  49  32  3.15
Tile                             2.0  6  2  2  0  1  36  23  1.83
Wilkins          BS 2, W 6-2     3.0  2  1  1  0  3  30  21  3.55
                                 9.0 17  6  6  0  5 115  76 
 
JAX: Parker inserted at lf in the 8th
 
2B-Hopps(21), Hartley(35), Taliaferro(18), Canez(9), Blair(26). 
3B-Taliaferro(5). HR-Canez(15), Campo(29), Battin(27). RBI-Teachout(59), 
Hartley(101), Leon(50), Canez 2(42), Herdt(51), Blair 2(81), Bryant(87), 
Campo 3(108), Battin(96). CS-Mount. K-Hartley, Leon 2, Canez, Herdt, Campo, 
Moriarty, Battin 2. BB-Battin, Aceuedo. SH-Taliaferro. SF-Teachout. 
WP-Sarmiento. 
GWRBI: Blair
Temperature: 77, Sky: clear, Wind: left to right at 22 MPH.

 

California SharksSilver City OutlawsCALIFORNIA SHARKS 4, SILVER CITY OUTLAWS 3

The California Sharks came into today’s game hungry to complete their sweep of the Silver City Outlaws and to stay hot on Milwaukee’s heels in the West race.  So when Sharks 3B Karl Mote committed a costly error that helped put the Sharks in an early hole, he worried that he might have cost his team a crucial game.  But Mote’s teammates came up to him in the dugout after the inning with a simple message: We’ll pick you up.

It took a while, but after steadily chipping away at the deficit throughout the game, a walkoff homer by SS Rubin Smyth lifted California to a 4-3 win that gave them the sweep they wanted.

“Thank God these guys were here to save my worthless carcass,” said Mote.  “We need all these games down the stretch, and I couldn’t live with knowing I blew us one.”

Mote’s gaffe occurred in the top of the 1st.  With two outs and a runner on second, Outlaws RF Nathaniel Wason hit a slow roller to third that should have ended the inning.  But the ball took a funny hop and bounced off Mote’s chest.  The California third sacker recovered and picked up the ball, but he rushed the throw, despite Wason not being a fast runner.  As a result, he pulled 1B Johnie Oller off the bag, and Wason made it aboard safely.

“I just panicked like the big dumb rockhead I am,” said Mote.  “If I’d have taken my time and made a good throw, we’re out of there.  Instead, we’re still going.”

The next batter was Outlaws 1B Muzz Elliott.  Sharks starter Stu Palmeiro battled Elliott to a full count, but Elliott dug out a Palmeiro slider and put it five rows deep in left, giving Silver City a 3-0 lead and making Mote feel “like I wanted to crawl into a hole.”

For his part, Palmeiro absolved Mote of blame.  “He shouldn’t feel so bad,” said Palmeiro.  “Yeah, he booted one, but I’m the one who gave up the homer.  This was on me.”

After that, the California lefty dug in and didn’t allow another run for the rest of his 8 innings of work.  “I was determined I wasn’t going to let that [home run] beat us,” said Palmeiro.

Meanwhile, the Sharks bats went to work against Silver City starter Cloyce Benson.  They got one back in the bottom of the 1st when Smyth singled,  stole second, and then scored on DH Eddie Nix’s double.  They got another back in the 3rd when RF Jessie Corona led off with a triple and Smyth singled him home.

But despite having several further chances, they couldn’t push the tying run against Benson.  In the 3rd, Smyth got caught wandering off first base, costing the Sharks a shot at a big inning.  In the 5th, Smyth smacked a one-out triple, but the Sharks couldn’t bring him in.  In the 6th, C Thaddeus Lockley led off with a single; California moved him all the way to third, but CF Santiago Suarez grounded out to end the inning.

Despite the frustration, the Sharks remained calm and determined to pick up Mote and win the game.

They finally tied the game in the 8th against Outlaws knuckleballer Cliff Humphrey, as Oller belted a solo shot out to left.  Calfiornia reliever Jan Arzola (2-2) pitched a scoreless 9th, giving the home team a chance for the walkoff win.

Silver City called on their closer, Go Matsumoto.  With one out in the inning, Smyth came to the plate.  He’d gone 4-for-4 on the day, and was hoping to keep that streak going.  “Honestly, I just wanted to get on base,” said Smyth.

Matsumoto (1-3) threw a 1-1 fastball, and Smyth hit a high fly ball to left.  As he left the plate, he slung his bat away.  “I thought I’d gotten under it,” said Smyth.

But Outlaws LF Tex Whittier kept going back, to the warning track, to the wall… Finally, Whittier made a leap, but the ball just cleared his glove and landed in the stands for a walkoff homer.  The Sharks stormed out of the dugout to meet Smyth at home.  Mote was the first one to greet him.  His teammates had picked him up after all.

The Sharks (77-51) now head to Milwaukee to take on the first-place Bear Claws.  The Outlaws (59-71) enjoy a day off.

 

8/29/2015, SCO15-CAL15, Blue Note Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Outlaws           3  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0     3  5  0     5  0
2015 Sharks            1  0  1  0  0  0  0  1  1     4 12  1     9  0
 
Outlaws              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Sharks               AB  R  H BI   AVG
Barkan            2b  4  1  2  0  .255    Corona            rf  5  1  1  0  .321
Brewmaker         3b  4  0  0  0  .254    Smyth             ss  5  2  5  2  .367
Jeffreys          c   4  0  0  0  .179    Mader             lf  3  0  0  0  .326
Wason             rf  4  1  1  0  .276    Nix               dh  4  0  2  1  .338
Elliott           1b  4  1  1  3  .276    Lockley           c   4  0  2  0  .296
Whittier          lf  4  0  0  0  .227    Oller             1b  2  1  1  1  .278
Hintz             dh  3  0  0  0  .203    Mote              3b  4  0  0  0  .213
Cardona           cf  3  0  0  0  .231    Suarez            cf  4  0  1  0  .233
Burt              ss  2  0  1  0  .209    Strachan          2b  2  0  0  0  .261
                     32  3  5  3           Ortiz            ph  1  0  0  0  .271
                                           Puffer           2b  1  0  0  0  .130
                                                               35  4 12  4
 
Outlaws                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Benson                           6.0  8  2  2  0  4  96  65  5.28
Humphrey         BS 1            2.0  3  1  1  0  3  34  24  4.91
Matsumoto        L 1-3           0.1  1  1  1  0  1   9   5  2.15
                                 8.1 12  4  4  0  8 139  94 
 
Sharks                           INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Palmeiro                         8.0  5  3  0  3  8 120  76  3.73
Arzola           W 2-2           1.0  0  0  0  0  1  14   9  1.58
                                 9.0  5  3  0  3  9 134  85 
 
CAL: Ortiz batted for Strachan in the 7th
     Puffer inserted at 2b in the 8th
 
E-Mote. 2B-Nix(27). 3B-Corona(22), Smyth(18). HR-Elliott(26), Smyth(18), 
Oller(30). RBI-Elliott 3(87), Smyth 2(93), Nix(77), Oller(90). SB-Smyth(17). 
CS-Smyth. K-Brewmaker 3, Jeffreys, Elliott 2, Whittier 2, Cardona, Corona, 
Mader, Nix, Lockley, Oller, Mote, Strachan, Puffer. BB-Hintz, Cardona, Burt. 
SH-Oller. HBP-Mader, Oller. PB-Jeffreys. HB-Benson, Humphrey. 
GWRBI: Smyth
Temperature: 76, Sky: clear, Wind: right to left at 2 MPH.

 

Jackson HammerheadsOrlando CalrissiansJACKSON HAMMERHEADS 4, ORLANDO CALRISSIANS 1

Jackson Hammerheads starter Jordan Bergman has had a fascinating season.  The 33-year-old righty looks like he should be playing beer-league softball, not pro baseball.  He barely made the Hammerheads out of spring training, and was inserted into the rotation more out of desperation than anything else.  He has proceeded to turn in one of the Patriot League’s best records.

And although, as many observers pointed out, his early-season wins were a credit to impressive run support than to great pitching, he has been getting better as the season has gone on.  Today, with his team angling for a sweep of the Orlando Calrissians, Bergman turned in a brilliant complete-game performance and picked up a 4-1 win.

“I’m doing this for the average Joes out there,” said Bergman.  “I’m no Adonis and no one’s confusing me for Cy Young.  I’m just an average guy who accidentally wound up playing pro ball.  As long as they’ll let me, I’m going to keep doing whatever I can.”

Bergman (15-4) kept the Calrissians in check all game long.  Through the first 8 innings, he limited Orlando to four hits.  As he tired in the 9th, he allowed three straight singles to load the bases, but still came within one out of a shutout, with Calrissians CF Monte Carquinez’s sac fly delivering Orlando’s lone run.

“I know the bullpen’s burnt lately,” said Bergman.  “I knew they needed a day off, so I told myself I needed to get as far as possible.”

When Bergman loaded the bases in the final frame, interim manager Eddie Harris visited the mound to see if he needed to bring in a reliever.  But Bergman shook his head and insisted he could finish it.

“The way he said it, I knew I could trust him,” said Harris.  Bergman vindicated Harris’ faith by getting C Herschel Lesher to pop out to short, ending the game.

The Hammerheads offense scratched out runs the old-fashioned way against Calrissians starter Nate McGowan (4-16). They used a hit batter, two singles, a stolen base, and a sac fly to produce two runs in the 3rd.  RF Erin Arispe singled in another run in the 6th, and three more singles produced Jackson’s last run in the 7th.

“Just the way I drew it up,” said Hammerheads owner/whiz-kid GM Steven Butler.

The Hammerheads (73-57) travel to Tesla Field tomorrow for a series with the Jacksonville Dragons.  The Calrissians (44-85) prepare to host the Knoxville Smokies.

 

8/29/2015, ORL15-JCK15, Cash Carter Downs
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Calrissians       0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1     1  7  1     8  0
2015 Hammerheads       0  0  2  0  0  1  1  0  x     4  9  0     9  0
 
Calrissians          AB  R  H BI   AVG    Hammerheads          AB  R  H BI   AVG
Hartl             lf  4  0  0  0  .286    Deason            cf  5  1  2  0  .301
Defoor            1b  4  0  0  0  .238    Westerberg        ss  2  1  0  1  .346
Buendia           ss  3  0  1  0  .288    Sisco             lf  4  0  2  1  .311
Law               rf  4  1  1  0  .289    Fleitas           3b  3  1  2  1  .283
Figeroa           3b  4  0  1  0  .256    Jaramillo         dh  4  0  0  0  .265
Crofoot           2b  4  0  1  0  .203    Doyle             c   4  0  1  0  .321
Nabors            dh  3  0  1  0  .246    Lassen            1b  4  0  1  1  .214
Elias             cf  2  0  1  0  .190    Arispe            rf  3  0  0  0  .279
 Maben            ph  1  0  1  0  .205    Righter           2b  1  1  1  0  .344
 Carquinez        cf  0  0  0  1  .220                         30  4  9  4
McCormack         c   2  0  0  0  .193
 Lesher           c   2  0  0  0  .233
                     33  1  7  1
 
Calrissians                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
McGowan          L 4-16          7.2  9  4  4  4  4 134  75  4.70
Quesara                          0.1  0  0  0  0  1   4   3  5.03
                                 8.0  9  4  4  4  5 138  78 
 
Hammerheads                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Bergman          W 15-4          9.0  7  1  1  1  5 130  83  3.84
                                 9.0  7  1  1  1  5 130  83 
 
ORL: Lesher inserted at c in the 5th
     Maben batted for Elias in the 7th
     Carquinez inserted at cf in the 7th
 
E-McCormack. 2B-Figeroa(12), Elias(12), Maben(3), Fleitas(25). 
RBI-Carquinez(9), Westerberg(79), Sisco(43), Fleitas(111), Lassen(20). 
SB-Deason(36), Sisco(21). CS-Righter 2. K-Crofoot 3, Elias, Lesher, Deason, 
Doyle 2, Lassen, Arispe. BB-Buendia, Westerberg, Fleitas, Arispe, Righter. 
SF-Carquinez, Westerberg. HBP-Nabors, Righter 2. HB-McGowan 2, Bergman. 
GWRBI: Westerberg
Amos McCormack was injured for this game only
Temperature: 81, Sky: clear, Wind: out to left at 13 MPH.

 

Milwaukee Bear ClawsSalt Lake SamuraiMILWAUKEE BEAR CLAWS 12, SALT LAKE SAMURAI 3

After spending the last two days struggling against the last-place Salt Lake Samurai, the Milwaukee Bear Claws finally got what they needed: a nice, easy blowout win.  The Bear Claws manhandled the Samurai by a 12-3 margin.

“We can all breathe a little easier today,” said Milwaukee manager Poss Horton.  “That was a first-place game.”

Starter “Stormin’” Patrick McNorman (14-9) turned in 8 strong innings to pace the Bear Claws.  McNorman allowed a 3rd-inning solo shot to Samurai 3B Chris Davidson, his third homer in as many days.  He also ran into a spot of trouble in the 5th, and allowed a two-run single to DH Jamar Whitworth.  But he settled down and cruised the rest of the way.

The Bear Claws ambushed Salt Lake starter Jonathan Fernandez in the 4th inning, stroking five straight singles to drive him out of the game.  They put the game out of reach in the 7th by hanging six runs on relievers Lucas Henderson and Jimmy Okamura.  They set a Patriot League record by belting six triples in the inning, each of them down the right-field line.

“I was worried about Wally there,” said Horton, referring to RF Wally Trumbauer, who hit the second triple in the inning.  “He kind of runs like an ox anyway, and I know his knees have been barking.  I look up and I see him chugging for third, and I’m thinking, ‘For God’s sake, Wally, stop!’  I love him, but he’s all heart and no brain sometimes.”

The game was so one-sided that even perpetually upbeat Samurai manager Johnny Dugan struggled to think of something positive to say.  “Overall, I feel good about this series,” Dugan finally said.  “We played ‘em tough two games out of three.  But yeah, today we got stomped like a Burgundy grape.”

The Bear Claws (83-47) now prepare for a showdown with the second-place California Sharks.  The Samurai (39-91) enjoy a much-needed day off.

 

8/29/2015, MIL15-SLC15, Desert Edge Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Bear Claws        0  1  1  3  1  0  6  0  0    12 19  0    11  1
2015 Samurai           0  0  1  0  2  0  0  0  0     3  6  0     5  0
 
Bear Claws           AB  R  H BI   AVG    Samurai              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Petitt            ss  6  1  3  1  .323    Motonari          ss  3  0  0  0  .259
Iddings           2b  5  1  3  2  .264    Whitworth         dh  4  0  1  2  .273
 Anthony          ph  0  0  0  0  .500    Cosgrove          cf  4  0  0  0  .277
Mateo             1b  4  1  0  0  .337    Martinez          rf  3  0  1  0  .249
Suzuki            3b  6  0  2  3  .290    Thomas            1b  4  0  0  0  .220
Mealey            lf  5  2  2  0  .308    Sparks            lf  4  1  1  0  .245
 Dipalma          ph  1  0  0  0  .200    Turnbull          c   4  0  1  0  .168
Raine             dh  4  2  2  0  .262    Gaytan            2b  4  0  0  0  .263
Trumbauer         rf  4  2  3  4  .248    Davidson          3b  2  2  2  1  .202
Maxwell           cf  4  2  3  1  .308                         32  3  6  3
Champney          c   5  1  1  1  .150
                     44 12 19 12
 
Bear Claws                       INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
McNorman         W 14-9          8.0  5  3  3  3  6 109  67  4.03
Juens                            1.0  1  0  0  0  2  18  12  4.91
                                 9.0  6  3  3  3  8 127  79 
 
Samurai                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Fernandez        L 3-13          3.2  9  5  5  1  1  69  47  5.78
Henderson                        2.2  7  6  6  2  0  56  26  4.70
Okamura                          0.1  0  1  1  1  1   9   3  5.61
Sater                            1.1  2  0  0  2  2  35  20  3.92
Cruzado                          1.0  1  0  0  0  0  12   9  7.27
                                 9.0 19 12 12  6  4 181 105 
 
MIL: Anthony batted for Iddings in the 9th
     Dipalma batted for Mealey in the 9th
     Anthony moved to 2b in the 9th
     Dipalma moved to lf in the 9th
 
2B-Petitt(41), Raine 2(25). 3B-Suzuki(17), Mealey(11), Trumbauer(5). 
HR-Iddings(15), Davidson(7). RBI-Petitt(66), Iddings 2(80), Suzuki 3(96), 
Trumbauer 4(63), Maxwell(49), Champney(5), Whitworth 2(51), Davidson(33). 
SB-Iddings(14). CS-Petitt. K-Iddings, Raine, Champney 2, Whitworth, Cosgrove, 
Martinez 2, Sparks 2, Turnbull, Gaytan. BB-Mateo 2, Raine, Trumbauer, 
Maxwell, Anthony, Motonari, Martinez, Davidson. 
GWRBI: Trumbauer
Temperature: 98, Sky: clear, Wind: left to right at 13 MPH.

 

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