PBL Scores, 9/11/15

It’s getting down to the wire for the division races.  Click on and see what went down…

Jackson HammerheadsKnoxville SmokiesJACKSON HAMMERHEADS 9, KNOXVILLE SMOKIES 7

The Jackson Hammerheads entered this pivotal three-game series against the Knoxville Smokies with one goal in mind: Just win, baby.  This is the Hammerheads’ last head-to-head matchup against the Smokies, and their best shot to whittle down Knoxville’s imposing lead in the East.  The Heads took care of business today, racing out to a big lead early and surviving a late Knoxville rally to secure a 9-7 victory.

“It wasn’t too pretty,” admitted Hammerheads manager Eddie Harris, “but there’s no style points in this game.  We’ll take it.”

Jackson came out firing against an old friend, Smokies starter Sylvester Lighty (11-10).  The Hammerheads posted four runs in the 1st, highlighted by an upper-deck three-run blast off the bat of C Clarence Doyle.  They chased Lighty and pushed a couple more across in the 2nd, making it a 6-1 contest.

Jackson stayed well out front through most of the game.  When they added two runs in the 6th on an RBI triple by 2B Homer Righter and a wild pitch by Knoxville reliever Tom Trane, the score stood at 8-2 and the home team felt victory was all but secure.

“We took our foot off the gas,” admitted Doyle.  That nearly cost the Hammerheads dearly.

Jackson ace Henry Jones (15-8) had cruised through the first 6 innings, but ran into trouble in the 7th.  Knoxville loaded the bases with no outs on two singles and a walk.  Jones got 2B Jeremiah Campo to hit a tapper to first that turned into a 3-2-3 double play, getting within an out of escaping.  But DH Malcolm Bryant belted a flat slider off the wall in left-center, scoring two runs, and then RF Jackson Campo laced a single back up the middle to score Bryant.  Suddenly, Jones was headed to the showers, and Jackson’s lead was cut in half.

“There’s no let-up in that lineup,” said Jones.  “They’ve got so many guys that can hurt you in a lot of different ways.”

In the 8th, Hammerheads reliever Butch Turnbull allowed Knoxville to score twice more, on a sac fly from C Ricky Bossard and a single by CF Joe Blair.  Suddenly, Jackson’s seemingly insurmountable lead was cut to one.

“We were yelling at each other in the dugout,” said Doyle.  “We came too damn far to let this slip away.”

The Hammerheads pushed across a crucial insurance run in the bottom of the 8th, getting singles from Righter and SS Octavio Westerberg followed by a sac fly from LF Ezra Sisco.  Closer Rick Sheen finished the job in the 9th, nailing down his 26th save.

“Eh, no problem,” said Smokies manager Snuff Wallace.  “We’ve got two more games to finish these bastards off.”

The Hammerheads (80-62) send knuckleballer Todd Warrant to the mound against his old team tomorrow.  The Smokies (85-56) offer up right Jack Jacques.

 

9/11/2015, KNX15-JCK15, Cash Carter Downs
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Smokies           1  0  0  0  1  0  3  2  0     7 10  0     7  1
2015 Hammerheads       4  2  0  0  0  2  0  1  x     9 15  3     7  1
 
Smokies              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Hammerheads          AB  R  H BI   AVG
Blair             cf  5  2  4  1  .300    Deason            cf  5  1  2  0  .300
Campo             2b  4  0  0  1  .296    Westerberg        ss  5  1  4  1  .350
Bryant            dh  5  1  1  2  .285    Sisco             lf  4  1  1  2  .313
Campo             rf  5  0  2  2  .289    Fleitas           3b  5  1  1  1  .283
Moriarty          ss  5  0  0  0  .276    Jaramillo         dh  4  0  0  0  .262
Battin            1b  3  1  1  0  .300    Doyle             c   4  1  1  3  .317
Aceuedo           3b  4  1  1  0  .270    Lassen            1b  4  0  2  0  .239
Carlo             c   2  1  0  0  .201    Arispe            rf  4  1  1  0  .286
 Gomez            ph  1  0  1  0  .237    Righter           2b  4  3  3  1  .351
 Bossard          c   0  0  0  1  .219                         39  9 15  8
Johnson           lf  1  1  0  0  .319
                     35  7 10  7
 
Smokies                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Lighty           L 11-10         1.0  6  6  6  0  0  33  22  4.23
Tile                             2.0  1  0  0  0  1  25  20  2.39
Trane                            3.0  4  2  2  0  4  50  32  8.49
Wilkins                          2.0  4  1  1  0  2  37  26  3.58
                                 8.0 15  9  9  0  7 145 100 
 
Hammerheads                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Jones            W 15-8          6.2  8  5  3  3  9 127  76  3.85
Turnbull         H 13            1.0  2  2  2  1  0  19   9  3.89
Sheen            S 26            1.1  0  0  0  0  2  18  12  3.83
                                 9.0 10  7  5  4 11 164  97 
 
KNX: Gomez batted for Carlo in the 7th
     Bossard inserted at c in the 7th
 
E-Deason 2, Fleitas. 2B-Blair(33), Bryant(14). 3B-Righter(12). HR-Doyle(9). 
RBI-Blair(85), Campo(61), Bryant 2(95), Campo 2(116), Bossard(35), 
Westerberg(86), Sisco 2(48), Fleitas(120), Doyle 3(62), Righter(53). 
SB-Deason(37). K-Campo, Bryant, Campo 2, Moriarty 3, Battin 2, Aceuedo, 
Carlo, Deason, Sisco, Fleitas, Jaramillo 2, Lassen, Arispe. BB-Battin, 
Johnson 3. SF-Campo, Bossard, Sisco. WP-Trane, Turnbull. 
GWRBI: Doyle
Temperature: 90, Sky: clear, Wind: out to left at 7 MPH.

 

Milwaukee Bear ClawsSilver City OutlawsMILWAUKEE BEAR CLAWS 7, SILVER CITY OUTLAWS 2

Milwaukee Bear Claws manager Poss Horton won’t admit that his team is looking ahead to the playoffs yet.  But with his team having all but clinched the West, it’s hard for Horton to conceal his excitement.  “Oh, we’re gonna have us a wingding after we clinch,” said the Milwaukee skipper.  “Right now, we’re staying focused and trying not to do anything stupid or get anybody hurt.”

The Bear Claws followed Horton’s instructions today, staying healthy and using a five-run 7th to break open a close game and notch a 7-2 win over the Silver City Outlaws.

“Nothing like a little good old-fashioned country hardball,” grinned Horton.  “I think we’re right where we want to be right now.”

Heading into the 7th, Milwaukee trailed 2-1 on the strength of solo shots from Outlaws RF Nathaniel Wason and SS Carrol Burt.  Silver City starter Cloyce Benson had been unusually effective, limiting Milwaukee to a run on three hits through the first six frames.  But the Bear Claws remained confident of their chances.

“It’s all smoke and mirrors with that guy,” said Bear Claws RF Wally Trumbauer of Benson.  “He can only fool you for so long.”

By their own admission, Milwaukee hitters had been doing Benson a favor, expanding the strike zone and swinging at pitches well off the plate.  So the Bear Claws came into the inning determined to make Benson throw strikes.  The approach paid off, as Benson quickly loaded the bases on two singles and a walk.  He then walked 2B Richard Iddings on four pitches to force in the tying run and bring up Milwaukee’s toughest hitter, 1B Felipe Mateo.

“I was licking my chops,” said Mateo.  “I felt like he had to throw me one down the middle, and I was ready.”

Sure enough, Benson started the at-bat with a fastball down the pipe, and Mateo ended it by blasting the ball ten rows deep to right field for a grand slam.  Benson crumpled to his knees as the Pabst Blue Ribbon clock in left field flashed while Mateo circled the bases.

“I thought Hoss gave us a good game,” said Outlaws manager John Jarha.  “Ran out of steam there at the end, but that’s on me too, because I didn’t go get him before it all went to hell.”

Milwaukee right-hander “Stormin’” Patrick McNorman (16-9) fired a complete-game five-hitter with six strikeouts to pick up the win.  “I’m in a pretty good groove right now,” said McNorman.  “I think we’re peaking at the right time.  We struggled a little in the middle of the season, but we’re playoff-ready right now.”

The Bear Claws (91-50) look to clinch the division tomorrow behind lefty Benicio Torrenueva.  The Outlaws (64-77) counter with kid sensation Pedro Rodriguez.

 

9/11/2015, SCO15-MIL15, High Life Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Outlaws           0  1  0  0  1  0  0  0  0     2  5  2     3  1
2015 Bear Claws        1  0  0  0  0  0  5  1  x     7  7  0     6  1
 
Outlaws              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Bear Claws           AB  R  H BI   AVG
Barkan            2b  4  0  0  0  .249    Petitt            ss  3  2  1  0  .326
Brewmaker         3b  4  0  1  0  .254    Iddings           2b  3  1  0  2  .269
Jeffreys          c   4  0  1  0  .188    Mateo             1b  3  1  1  4  .329
Wason             rf  3  1  1  1  .281    Suzuki            3b  4  0  0  0  .292
Elliott           1b  4  0  0  0  .274    Mealey            lf  4  0  1  0  .305
Whittier          lf  3  0  1  0  .234    Raine             dh  2  2  0  0  .261
Hintz             dh  3  0  0  0  .209    Trumbauer         rf  4  0  2  0  .249
Cardona           cf  3  0  0  0  .229    Maxwell           cf  4  1  2  1  .308
Burt              ss  3  1  1  1  .209    Champney          c   4  0  0  0  .148
                     31  2  5  2                               31  7  7  7
 
Outlaws                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Benson           L 9-16          6.2  5  6  6  4  5 100  56  5.74
Menard                           1.1  2  1  1  1  0  24  11  2.77
                                 8.0  7  7  7  5  5 124  67 
 
Bear Claws                       INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
McNorman         W 16-9          9.0  5  2  2  1  6 109  70  4.05
                                 9.0  5  2  2  1  6 109  70 
 
E-Wason, Burt. 2B-Brewmaker(25). 3B-Petitt(6). HR-Wason(52), Burt(5), 
Mateo(49). RBI-Wason(105), Burt(39), Iddings 2(91), Mateo 4(153), 
Maxwell(58). K-Wason, Elliott 3, Whittier, Hintz, Petitt, Mealey, Trumbauer, 
Maxwell, Champney. BB-Wason, Petitt, Iddings, Mateo, Raine 2. SH-Petitt. 
GWRBI: Mateo
Temperature: 54, Sky: partly cloudy, Wind: right to left at 6 MPH

 

Salt Lake SamuraiCalifornia SharksSALT LAKE SAMURAI 6, CALIFORNIA SHARKS 3

The California Sharks have their dorsal fins to the wall.  After dropping two of three in their head-to-head matchup against first-place Milwaukee, they came into Desert Edge Stadium to face the last-place Salt Lake Samurai needing a sweep to maintain any hope of contention.  But after coming apart in the 5th and dropping the series opener 6-3, the Sharks find themselves in a most uncomfortable position.  One more loss, or one more Milwaukee win, and the Sharks are eliminated.

“This is not where we wanted to find ourselves,” said California manager Eduardo Aponte.  “But it is what it is.”

The Sharks started this game the right way, building a 3-0 advantage on a two-run homer off the bat of SS Rubin Smyth and a sac fly by 1B Max Ortiz.  But starter Brian Goreman, who has faded badly in the second half, crumbled exactly when California needed him to perform.

Goreman (7-12) was unable to make it out of the 5th.  In that inning, he allowed a single, two doubles, a triple, two walks, and four runs.  The Samurai batted around in the inning, and by the time they were done, the Sharks’ early lead was gone.

“I don’t know what happened,” said Goreman.  “I knew I wasn’t really as good as I looked when I was killing it in the first half, and I know I’m not as bad as I look now.  Hopefully next year I won’t be so streaky.”

California relievers Milan Constant and Boss Walker combined to cough up two more runs in the 8th, which gave Salt Lake an extra cushion.

Samurai lefty Jonathan Fernandez (5-13) went 7 innings and collected the victory.  Relying on pitching to contact rather than overpowering hitters, Fernandez needed only 94 pitches to make it through, despite allowing eight hits.

“At this point in the year and in my career, I’m pitching for a contract,” said the veteran southpaw.  “I’m fighting to make sure I have a spot on somebody’s roster next year.  The way everything went wrong for me earlier this year, I thought I might be facing the end of the line.  But I worked hard and battled back, and I hope I’ve shown enough to get another shot.  I think I have.”

After reliever Miguel Bautista worked through the heart of California’s order in the 8th, closer Dean Gamble recorded the final four outs for his 29th save.

There was one more piece of bad news for the Sharks in today’s game.  Ortiz strained his hamstring running out a single in the 7th inning and had to leave the game.  It’s not clear whether the veteran infielder will make it back before the end of the season.  Ortiz was a feel-good story for the Sharks.  After spending most of the season rotting on the bench in Knoxville, California picked him up and the deadline.  He thrived in a platoon role, batting over .300 in a Sharks uniform and playing a solid first base.

“I’m sorry for it to end this way,” said Ortiz.  “But Mr. Aponte has said he likes me and wants to bring me back.  I love it here, and I hope I can help bring us a championship next year.”

The Samurai (44-97) send lefty Grant Fore to the hill tomorrow.  The Sharks (83-58) will look to righty Kevin Conner to keep hope alive.

 

9/11/2015, CAL15-SLC15, Desert Edge Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Sharks            0  0  2  0  1  0  0  0  0     3  9  0     5  0
2015 Samurai           0  0  0  0  4  0  0  2  x     6 14  0    12  0
 
Sharks               AB  R  H BI   AVG    Samurai              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Corona            rf  4  0  1  0  .314    Motonari          ss  5  2  1  1  .255
Smyth             ss  4  1  2  2  .361    Whitworth         dh  5  0  2  0  .268
Mader             lf  4  0  0  0  .319    Cosgrove          cf  5  1  3  2  .281
Oller             2b  4  0  2  0  .280    Martinez          rf  4  0  1  1  .259
Nix               dh  4  0  1  0  .330    Thomas            1b  3  1  0  0  .222
Lockley           c   4  0  0  0  .287    Sparks            lf  5  0  2  2  .261
Mote              3b  3  0  0  0  .212    Turnbull          c   3  0  1  0  .163
 Gonzalez         ph  1  0  0  0  .200    Gaytan            2b  4  0  1  0  .259
Suarez            cf  4  1  1  0  .232    Davidson          3b  4  2  3  0  .202
Ortiz             1b  2  1  2  1  .300                         38  6 14  6
 Novick           pr  0  0  0  0  .184
 Carpenter        c   0  0  0  0  .257
                     34  3  9  3
 
Sharks                           INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Goreman          L 7-12          4.2  9  4  4  2  3  99  59  4.93
Constant                         2.2  4  2  2  1  1  50  32  9.56
Walker                           0.2  1  0  0  1  1  18  11  4.18
                                 8.0 14  6  6  4  5 167 102 
 
Samurai                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Fernandez        W 5-13          7.0  8  3  3  0  1  94  60  5.44
Bautista         H 5             0.2  1  0  0  0  1   6   5  2.87
Gamble           S 29            1.1  0  0  0  0  0   7   7  4.99
                                 9.0  9  3  3  0  2 107  72 
 
CAL: Novick ran for Ortiz in the 7th
     Carpenter inserted at c in the 7th
     Lockley moved to 1b in the 7th
     Gonzalez batted for Mote in the 9th
 
2B-Corona(25), Smyth(32), Ortiz(8), Cosgrove 2(31), Sparks(24), Davidson(10). 
3B-Suarez(13), Sparks(7). HR-Smyth(21). RBI-Smyth 2(101), Ortiz(8), 
Motonari(44), Cosgrove 2(56), Martinez(67), Sparks 2(50). CS-Novick. K-Mader, 
Suarez, Whitworth, Cosgrove, Thomas, Gaytan 2. BB-Martinez, Thomas 2, 
Turnbull. SF-Ortiz. 
GWRBI: Sparks
Max Ortiz was injured for this game and 7 more days
Temperature: 93, Sky: partly cloudy, Wind: left to right at 7 MPH.

 

Jacksonville DragonsOrlando CalrissiansJACKSONVILLE DRAGONS 4, ORLANDO CALRISSIANS 1

Jacksonville Dragons manager Harlan Davidson has been, shall we say, stingy with his praise this year.  The cantankerous old skipper hasn’t hesitated to lob verbal grenades at his team when they’ve struggled, but he’s been slow to dole out compliments when things are going well.

After today’s game, though, Davidson credited starter Randy Cannon, who carried a shutout into the 8th inning in today’s 4-1 win over the Orlando Calrissians.

“It took me a long time to see what I had in Randy Cannon,” said Davidson.  “All the hype before the season was saying he was going to be a star, and when he didn’t live up to that, I was pretty annoyed.  But eventually, I figured out that he gave us something else: an innings-eater.  He pitches deep into games, he’s consistent, reliable, and he doesn’t run around partying all night.  When he’s starting, I’m not on suicide watch.  He’s not the best, he’s not the worst, but he’s OK.  And on our pitching staff, ‘OK’ is pretty great.”

Cannon laughed when told of Davidson’s comments.  “I’m OK, huh?  That’s pretty high praise from the boss,” said the lefty.  “I think I was better than OK today, but Harley’s like your grandfather: he only tells you he loves you on Christmas.  Tell him I think he’s an OK manager.”

Cannon (12-10) did a good job keeping the ball down, getting the Calrissians to hit into 16 groundball outs to go with his five whiffs.  He scattered five singles through the first 7 innings, and almost made it through the 8th unscathed as well.  But he threw a high fastball to RF Bart Law, who belted it just fair down the right-field line to score Orlando’s lone run.

“I was getting tired, and I tend to elevate my pitches when I get tired, especially the fastball,” said Cannon.  “That was a good sign that it was time to get me out of there.”

Closer Blueberry Jackson worked a scoreless 9th to record his 15th save.

Calrissians ace Nathan Nunb (13-12) couldn’t quite match Cannon’s brilliance, but he was strong through the first 5 innings, allowing a single run on an RBI groundout by Dragons LF Rob Hartley.  He tired a bit later on, allowing single runs in the 6th and 7th before yielding a massive blast to Hartley in the 8th.  The blast sailed down the left-field line and struck a ribbon board on the facing of the upper deck, destroying a square of pixels.

“Rob’s hit some mighty shots,” said Dragons 1B Jake Kapoor.  “But I don’t think he’s ever broken a stadium before.”

The Dragons (70-71) look to right-hander Kyle Palmer to get them back to the .500 mark tomorrow.  The Calrissians (49-93) give the start to veteran righty  Charles McNally.

 

9/11/2015, JAX15-ORL15, Bespin
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Dragons           1  0  0  0  0  1  1  1  0     4  7  1     5  0
2015 Calrissians       0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0     1  6  1     7  0
 
Dragons              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Calrissians          AB  R  H BI   AVG
Teachout          c   4  1  2  1  .310    Gilmartin         ss  3  0  1  0  .235
Kapoor            1b  3  1  2  0  .307     Buendia          ph  1  0  0  0  .296
Hopps             rf  4  0  1  1  .275    Hartl             lf  4  0  2  0  .292
Hartley           lf  4  1  1  2  .263    Law               dh  3  1  1  1  .281
 Parker           lf  0  0  0  0  .201    Larson            rf  4  0  0  0  .290
Taliaferro        3b  3  0  0  0  .254    Crofoot           2b  4  0  0  0  .200
Leon              cf  4  0  0  0  .243    Defoor            1b  4  0  1  0  .247
Canez             dh  4  1  1  0  .246    Figeroa           3b  4  0  1  0  .260
Herdt             ss  4  0  0  0  .235    Lesher            c   4  0  0  0  .231
Mount             2b  4  0  0  0  .241    Elias             cf  3  0  0  0  .198
                     34  4  7  4                               34  1  6  1
 
Dragons                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Cannon           W 12-10         8.0  6  1  1  1  5  96  63  4.21
Jackson          S 15            1.0  0  0  0  0  0  12   8  2.69
                                 9.0  6  1  1  1  5 108  71 
 
Calrissians                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Numb             L 13-12         9.0  7  4  3  2  6 123  78  4.62
                                 9.0  7  4  3  2  6 123  78 
 
JAX: Parker inserted at lf in the 8th
ORL: Buendia batted for Gilmartin in the 8th
     Buendia moved to ss in the 9th
 
E-Herdt, Defoor. 2B-Kapoor(45), Hopps(25). HR-Hartley(37), Law(24). 
RBI-Teachout(68), Hopps(104), Hartley 2(118), Law(64). K-Kapoor, Leon, Canez, 
Herdt, Mount 2, Hartl, Larson, Crofoot, Figeroa, Lesher. BB-Kapoor, 
Taliaferro, Law. 
GWRBI: Hartley
Temperature: 70, Wind: none.

 

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