PBL Scores, 9/12/15

We crown a division champion today!  See who’s taken the crown below…

Milwaukee Bear ClawsSilver City OutlawsMILWAUKEE BEAR CLAWS 7, SILVER CITY OUTLAWS 3

The Milwaukee Bear Claws are the champions of the Patriot League’s Western division.  Needing only a win or a California loss to clinch, the Bear Claws roughed up the Silver City Outlaws’ brilliant young starter Pedro Rodriguez early, then exploded again late to break a tie and seal a 7-3 win.

“God, I’m so glad we made it!” said Bear Claws manager Poss Horton.  “I’m so proud of the boys in this locker room.  I love ‘em all.  They all, each and every one of ‘em, down to the 25th man, helped us get to this.  I feel like a proud papa.”

Milwaukee opened this game in aggressive fashion.  After SS Red Petitt walked to lead off the 1st, he promptly stole second base.  Rodriguez then plunked 2B Richard Iddings, although the Outlaws argued vociferously that Iddings leaned into the pitch.  Petitt and Iddings then pulled off a double steal, getting themselves into scoring positions.

“They called that one themselves,” said Horton.  “I give those two maniacs a green light as long as they don’t do anything stupid.  God, it’s fun watching ‘em scamper around the bases.”

A rattled Rodriguez then grooved a fastball to Bear Claws 1B Felipe Mateo, who spanked the ball off the wall in center for a double that scored both Petitt and Iddings.  Mateo later came around to score on an Arthur Mealey groundout that made it 3-0 Milwaukee.

Rodriguez settled down after his shaky 1st, and the Outlaws rallied to pull even.  3B Rusty Brewmaker’s sac fly in the 3rd got Silver City on the board, and RF Nathaniel Wason belted a two-run bomb in the 6th to tie it up.  The blast raised Wason’s league-leading homer total to 53.

But the Bear Claws came roaring back in the 8th.  Iddings got things going by beating out an infield single, then distracted Rodriguez with a series of feints and starts toward second.  The young Silver City lefty wound up walking Mateo after a long at-bat featuring repeated pickoff throws.  After retiring 3B Ikaru Suzuki, Rodriguez got to an 0-2 count on Mealey, then tried to finish him with a slider.  Mealey reached down and poked the ball into shallow center, but it wound up eluding the Outlaws outfielders and rolling to the wall.  Mealey wound up with a triple, Milwaukee scored two more runs, and Rodriguez (11-11) headed to the showers.

A two-run single by Milwaukee C Frances McGuigan off of Outlaws reliever Jamaal Sapp gave the Bear Claws a comfortable cushion.

Bear Claws right-hander Timmy Almon (10-6), who pitched a hitless 8th and 9th, picked up the win in relief of starter Benicio Torrenueva.

Befitting the fact that they play in America’s beer capital, the Bear Claws doused each other with Miller High Life to celebrate their division title.  To Horton, the beer shower had a symbolic meaning.  “We’re a blue-collar team and we play in a blue-collar town, so it’s only right that we’d be dumping beer on each other.”  He paused and added with his trademark sly grin, “Besides, you know what they say: Beer today, champagne tomorrow.”

The Bear Claws (92-50) will send righty Herculez Mendoza out for the series finale tomorrow.  The Outlaws (64-78) counter with veteran Linus Pauling.

 

9/12/2015, SCO15-MIL15, High Life Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Outlaws           0  0  1  0  0  2  0  0  0     3  7  2     5  1
2015 Bear Claws        3  0  0  0  0  0  0  4  x     7  8  0     5  1
 
Outlaws              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Bear Claws           AB  R  H BI   AVG
Barkan            2b  4  0  0  0  .247    Petitt            ss  3  1  0  0  .323
Brewmaker         3b  3  0  0  1  .255    Iddings           2b  3  2  2  0  .269
Jeffreys          c   3  1  0  0  .193    Mateo             1b  2  2  1  2  .328
Wason             rf  3  1  2  2  .284    Suzuki            3b  4  0  0  0  .291
Elliott           1b  4  0  0  0  .270    Mealey            lf  4  0  2  3  .308
Whittier          lf  3  0  1  0  .235    Raine             dh  3  1  0  0  .257
Hintz             dh  4  0  0  0  .204    Trumbauer         rf  4  1  1  0  .249
Cardona           cf  4  1  2  0  .229    McGuigan          c   4  0  1  1  .293
Burt              ss  3  0  2  0  .212    Maxwell           cf  4  0  1  0  .305
                     31  3  7  3                               31  7  8  6
 
Outlaws                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Rodriguez        L 11-11         7.1  7  6  6  3  6 131  77  3.03
Sapp                             0.2  1  1  0  1  0  11   5  7.75
                                 8.0  8  7  6  4  6 142  82 
 
Bear Claws                       INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Torrenueva                       7.0  7  3  3  2  3 110  65  3.34
Almon            W 10-6          2.0  0  0  0  1  2  24  14  3.87
                                 9.0  7  3  3  3  5 134  79 
 
E-Whittier, Burt. 2B-Mateo(39), Trumbauer(37). 3B-Mealey(13). HR-Wason(53). 
RBI-Brewmaker(86), Wason 2(107), Mateo 2(155), Mealey 3(81), McGuigan(57). 
SB-Cardona(11), Burt(13), Petitt 2(40), Iddings(15). CS-Wason. K-Brewmaker, 
Jeffreys, Elliott, Hintz 2, Petitt, Suzuki, Mealey, Raine, Trumbauer, 
Maxwell. BB-Jeffreys, Wason, Whittier, Petitt, Mateo 2, Raine. SF-Brewmaker. 
HBP-Iddings. HB-Rodriguez. 
GWRBI: Mealey
Temperature: 57, Sky: partly cloudy, Wind: in from center at 2 MPH.

 

Knoxville SmokiesJackson HammerheadsKNOXVILLE SMOKIES 8, JACKSON HAMMERHEADS 4

The Eastern Division is still up for grabs.  But the first-place Knoxville Smokies dealt a serious blow to the second-place Jackson Hammerheads’ contention hopes today, as they battered ex-teammate Todd Warrant and cruised to an 8-4 win.

“Y’all better get ready,” said Smokies manager Snuff Wallace in his postgame press conference.  “I know y’all hate us and can’t stand the idea of me being a champion, but y’all ain’t gonna have a choice pretty soon.”

Wallace was a loud critic of Warrant when he was with Knoxville, despite the fact that the knuckleballer had the best ERA among Smokies starters.  The manager claimed that the ERA was “a fraud” and that “you can’t survive throwing softballs.”

The Knoxville manager felt vindicated by Warrant’s performance today.  The knuckleballer got off to a dreadful start in the 1st.  He walked CF Joe Blair on four pitches, then fell behind 2B Jeremiah Campo 3-1.  He then threw a get-me-over fastball that Campo crushed over the head of Hammerheads CF Damian Deason for an RBI double, going to third when Deason bobbled the ball.  Warrant then walked DH Malcolm Bryant and allowed a sac fly to RF Jackson Campo and a run-scoring single to 1B Eddie Battin, putting Jackson in an early 3-0 hole.

Warrant (13-7) made matters worse in the 2nd by allowing a two-run moon shot to Bryant.  In the end, he couldn’t make it out of the 3rd.

“I called it,” said Wallace.  “I told y’all that Warrant wouldn’t hold up.  His little fairy-boy flutter balls couldn’t withstand contact with a powerful lineup like ours.  He’s a damn fraud and he’s gonna lose 20 games next year, mark my words.”

Informed of Wallace’s remarks, Warrant said, “I’m not surprised.  Let’s just say I’m not sorry I’m not playing for him anymore.”  Asked to elaborate, Warrant said, “I’m going to take the high road.  I think Snuff’s actions and remarks speak for themselves.”

The Hammerheads’ struggles didn’t end after Warrant departed, either.  Sloppy fielding and pitching allowed the Smokies to tack on two unearned runs.  1B John Lassen and SS Octavio Westerberg made ugly errors on consecutive grounders, and pitcher Eric Seeman contributed a walk and a wild pitch.

“When it’s crunch time, you want to be playing your best ball,” said Hammerheads interim manager Eddie Harris.  “Today, we went to the zoo.”

Smokies starter Jack Jacques (12-10) pitched a typically solid complete game for the win.  Apart from allowing back-to-back jacks to Hammerheads C Clarence Doyle and Lassen in the 2nd, Jacques allowed very little in the way of hard contact.

“See?  That’s what a real man pitcher looks like,” said Wallace.

The Smokies (86-56) can clinch the series tomorrow behind ace Elicio Santana and send the Hammerheads (80-63) to elimination.  Jackson will count on lefty Luke Danton to deliver in a must-win game.

 

9/12/2015, KNX15-JCK15, Cash Carter Downs
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Smokies           3  2  0  0  2  0  1  0  0     8 11  1     9  1
2015 Hammerheads       0  2  0  0  0  1  0  0  1     4  8  3     5  1
 
Smokies              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Hammerheads          AB  R  H BI   AVG
Blair             cf  4  1  1  0  .299    Deason            cf  4  0  1  0  .303
Campo             2b  4  2  2  0  .300    Westerberg        ss  4  1  1  0  .349
Bryant            dh  2  3  1  2  .286    Sisco             lf  3  0  0  0  .310
Campo             rf  4  2  1  1  .292    Fleitas           3b  3  0  0  0  .281
Moriarty          ss  5  0  1  1  .280    Jaramillo         dh  4  0  1  1  .260
Battin            1b  5  0  4  2  .302    Doyle             c   4  2  2  1  .316
Aceuedo           3b  5  0  1  0  .267    Lassen            1b  4  1  1  1  .241
Carlo             c   5  0  0  0  .199    Arispe            rf  2  0  0  0  .284
Johnson           lf  4  0  0  0  .317     Cianciarulo      ph  1  0  0  0  .219
                     38  8 11  6           Walcott          rf  1  0  1  1  .274
                                          Righter           2b  4  0  1  0  .347
                                                               34  4  8  4
 
Smokies                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Jacques          W 12-10         9.0  8  4  4  2  4 119  75  4.59
                                 9.0  8  4  4  2  4 119  75 
 
Hammerheads                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Warrant          L 13-7          2.1  6  5  5  2  2  58  31  2.98
Seeman                           1.2  1  2  0  1  1  29  15  6.19
Turnbull                         2.0  0  0  0  0  0  24  15  3.79
Sheen                            1.0  2  1  1  0  1  15  13  3.84
Pollan                           2.0  2  0  0  2  2  32  16  9.00
                                 9.0 11  8  6  5  6 158  90 
 
JCK: Cianciarulo batted for Arispe in the 7th
     Walcott inserted at rf in the 8th
 
E-Moriarty, Deason, Westerberg, Lassen. 2B-Blair(34), Campo(26), Aceuedo(29), 
Doyle(34), Walcott(8). HR-Bryant(32), Doyle(10), Lassen(4). RBI-Bryant 2(98), 
Campo(118), Moriarty(96), Battin 2(103), Jaramillo(85), Doyle(63), 
Lassen(25), Walcott(18). SB-Bryant(7), Campo(15). K-Blair, Campo, Moriarty, 
Aceuedo, Johnson 2, Deason, Fleitas, Lassen, Arispe. BB-Blair, Campo, 
Bryant 3, Sisco, Fleitas. SF-Campo. WP-Seeman. 
Temperature: 87, Sky: cloudy, Wind: right to left at 14 MPH.

 

California SharksSalt Lake SamuraiCALIFORNIA SHARKS 8, SALT LAKE SAMURAI 6

On the day that they were officially eliminated, the California Sharks at least managed to post a win over the surprisingly pesky Salt Lake Samurai.  After getting out front early, the Sharks held on for an 8-6 win.

“There is nothing to be ashamed about in our season,” said Sharks manager Eduardo Aponte.  “Our team played strong, competitive baseball, and we lost to an excellent team.  We should not hang our heads.”

The Sharks got to Samurai starter Grant Fore in the 1st inning, hanging four runs on Salt Lake in an inning that featured back-to-back triples by LF Kenneth Mader and 2B Johnie Oller.  That big inning gave California a lead it would not relinquish.

Fore (3-12) hung in through 6 innings, despite allowing five runs on five hits and seven walks.  The young lefty, who Salt Lake hoped could resurrect his career after being acquired from Knoxville in midseason, appears to be regressing as the season wears on.  Samurai manager Johnny Dugan said that he isn’t concerned.

“I think for both Grant and Toshiie [Maeda], the offseason’s going to be a good thing,” said Dugan.  “They both get a couple more starts, then they can take a few months off to recuperate and get right mentally so they can come back strong next season.  I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”

California starter Kevin Conner (15-8) got the win despite one of his rockier starts in recent memory, allowing five runs and 10 hits over 7 innings.  Ex-Samurai southpaw Boss Walker worked a perfect 8th, and closer Eugene Grace survived a wobbly 9th to record his 30th save.

The game took a bit of a strange turn in the 8th, when Salt Lake reliever Miguel Bautista was ejected by home plate umpire Tony Palazzo, allegedly for complaining about balls and strikes.  The ejection surprised both teams, as the mild-mannered Bautista has no reputation as a complainer.  Palazzo had called an inconsistent strike zone throughout the game, to the frustration of both the Sharks and Samurai.  The ump had been hearing it from both benches throughout the game, which may have led Palazzo to have a hair-trigger attitude.

With two outs in the 8th, Bautista threw a full-count slider to California SS Rubin Smyth that Palazzo called ball four, although replays seemed to indicate that it caught the corner.  Bautista slapped his glove against his thigh, and Palazzo tossed him.  Dugan rushed out to defend his pitcher, and Palazzo sent him to the showers too.  The Samurai, who had not been warming anyone up, were forced to bring in a cold Norman Sater, who promptly allowed an RBI triple to Mader.

“I absolutely think it was an overreaction on the umpire’s part,” said Dugan.  “Miguel is such a sweet, polite guy.  He was frustrated with himself for allowing a walk there, and the ump apparently thought he was protesting the call.  I thought it was ridiculous.”

“I don’t know what happened,” said Bautista.  “I gave up a walk, and I’m trying to focus on the next hitter.  Next thing I know, I’m getting thrown out.  I didn’t do anything.”

Palazzo was not made available for comment after the game.

The Sharks (84-58) will try to claim the rubber match tomorrow behind lefty Stu Palmeiro.  The Samurai (44-98) will turn to right-hander Logan Morris.

 

9/12/2015, CAL15-SLC15, Desert Edge Stadium
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Sharks            4  0  0  0  1  0  2  1  0     8  9  1    10  2
2015 Samurai           2  0  0  0  1  1  1  0  1     6 12  1     6  0
 
Sharks               AB  R  H BI   AVG    Samurai              AB  R  H BI   AVG
Corona            rf  5  1  1  0  .313    Motonari          ss  5  1  1  1  .255
Smyth             ss  2  2  0  0  .358    Whitworth         dh  4  2  3  0  .269
Mader             lf  3  2  2  3  .322     Backus           pr  0  0  0  0  .263
Oller             2b  5  1  1  1  .277    Cosgrove          cf  5  1  2  0  .282
 Puffer           2b  0  0  0  0  .130    Martinez          rf  4  0  0  1  .255
Nix               1b  4  1  2  1  .330    Thomas            1b  4  0  2  0  .222
Carpenter         dh  3  1  1  0  .259    Sparks            lf  4  1  2  2  .262
Lockley           c   2  0  1  1  .289    Turnbull          c   4  0  0  0  .159
Mote              3b  5  0  1  1  .210    Gaytan            2b  3  1  0  1  .257
Suarez            cf  5  0  0  0  .229    Davidson          3b  4  0  2  0  .204
                     34  8  9  7                               37  6 12  5
 
Sharks                           INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Conner           W 15-8          7.0 10  5  5  1  1 115  73  4.17
Walker           H 9             1.0  0  0  0  0  0   4   3  4.59
Grace            S 30            1.0  2  1  1  1  0  21  12  4.13
                                 9.0 12  6  6  2  1 140  88 
 
Samurai                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
Fore             L 3-12          6.0  5  5  5  7  4  98  49  6.34
Bautista                         1.2  2  3  2  2  1  32  19  3.04
Sater                            1.1  2  0  0  1  0  23  11  3.52
                                 9.0  9  8  7 10  5 153  79 
 
CAL: Puffer inserted at 2b in the 8th
SLC: Backus ran for Whitworth in the 9th
 
E-Lockley, Martinez. 2B-Whitworth(17), Sparks(25). 3B-Mader 2(14), Oller(6). 
RBI-Mader 3(114), Oller(98), Nix(86), Lockley(60), Mote(81), Motonari(45), 
Martinez(68), Sparks 2(52), Gaytan(29). SB-Motonari 2(19). K-Mote, Suarez 4, 
Thomas. BB-Smyth 3, Mader 2, Nix, Carpenter, Lockley 3, Whitworth, Gaytan. 
SH-Carpenter. 
GWRBI: Mader
Miguel Bautista was ejected from this game
Temperature: 90, Sky: clear, Wind: out to left at 12 MPH.

 

Orlando CalrissiansJacksonville DragonsORLANDO CALRISSIANS 5, JACKSONVILLE DRAGONS 4

Orlando Calrissians starter Charles McNally isn’t a nice guy.  You can’t hang on to a major-league career by your fingernails, battling the effects of age and alcoholism, if you’re a nice guy.  Even though the 37-year-old righty is in the twilight of his career, playing out the string for an uninspired Orlando Calrissians team that hasn’t contended all season, McNally freely admits that what fuels him is personal: grudges, vengeance, the desire to prove skeptics wrong.

“When you’re my age and you’ve been through the hell that I have,” said McNally, “life ain’t pretty.  It’s about survival for me.  And when you’re looking for a motivation to survive and thrive, nothing fuels you like hate.”

McNally’s greatest animosity is aimed toward the Jacksonville Dragons, the team that cut him at the end of spring training.  McNally thought he’d made the Dragons’ rotation, only to find himself thrown over for a talented but tormented young reliever, John Longroofan.  Other players might have accepted the move as just the business of baseball; others probably would have let the grudge go when they landed with another team.  But McNally won’t forgive, and he won’t forget.

“When I pitch against them,” said McNally of the Dragons, “it’s always personal.  I’m showing them that they [expletive] up.”

McNally showed the fire and gumption of a younger man against the Dragons today, carrying a shutout into the 8th inning and emerging with a 5-4 Calrissians win.

“I don’t think I’d want Charles watching my kids,” said Orlando C Amos McCormack.  “But if I was in a back-alley brawl or if I had to play a do-or-die game for my life, I’d want him on my side.”

Believe it or not, the game was a pitcher’s duel through the first 6 innings.  Calrissians 1B Brooks Defoor hit a solo shot off Dragons ace Biggs McGee in the 1st, but that was the only time either pitcher blinked over the next five frames.

“It was interesting to see Biggs and Charles dueling it out,” said Dragons 1B Jake Kapoor.  “It was like a contest to see whether ego and self-confidence is more powerful than revenge, or vice versa.”

After limiting Jacksonville to a cheap single over the first 5 innings, McNally ran into his first hiccup in the 6th, when 2B Will Mount smoked a triple to the gap in left center.  But the next batter, C Judson Teachout, hit a sizzling liner right at Orlando 3B Curt Figueroa, who snared it and tagged the bag to complete an inning-ending double play.  As McNally stalked off the field, he screamed at the Jacksonville dugout while flashing his middle finger.

In the 7th, McGee (12-12), who was pitching on only one day’s rest for unknown reasons, came unglued.  After loading the bases on two singles and a walk, he grooved a fastball to McCormack, who thumped it out to right for a grand slam.

“Well, hell,” said McGee.  “Nobody told me he could hit.”

McNally (7-14) finally allowed the Dragons on the board when SS Alan Herdt hit a sac fly in the 8th.  He ran out of gas in the 9th, allowing back-to-back singles before LF Rob Hartley ambushed him and lauched a titanic upper-deck home run shot.  Orlando closer Caddington Smith came in and collected the final two out for his 24th sve.

The Calrissians (50-93) try for a series win tomorrow behind right-hander Nate McGowan.  The Dragons (70-72) send right-hander Kyle Palmer to the hill.

 

9/12/2015, JAX15-ORL15, Bespin
 
                       1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     R  H  E   LOB DP
2015 Dragons           0  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  3     4  6  0     2  1
2015 Calrissians       1  0  0  0  0  0  4  0  x     5  8  0     4  2
 
Dragons              AB  R  H BI   AVG    Calrissians          AB  R  H BI   AVG
Teachout          c   4  0  0  0  .304    Hartl             lf  1  0  0  0  .289
Kapoor            1b  4  1  1  0  .308     Maben            lf  3  0  0  0  .189
Hopps             rf  3  1  2  0  .277    Defoor            1b  3  1  2  1  .249
Hartley           lf  4  1  1  3  .261    Buendia           ss  4  0  1  0  .297
Taliaferro        3b  3  1  0  0  .255    Law               rf  4  0  0  0  .279
Leon              cf  4  0  1  0  .241    Figeroa           3b  4  0  1  0  .258
Canez             dh  3  0  0  0  .244    Crofoot           2b  4  1  1  0  .199
Herdt             ss  2  0  0  1  .234    Nabors            dh  1  1  0  0  .240
Mount             2b  3  0  1  0  .240    Elias             cf  3  1  1  0  .198
                     30  4  6  4          McCormack         c   3  1  2  4  .194
                                                               30  5  8  5
 
Dragons                          INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
McGee            L 12-12         6.1  6  5  5  3  1  89  51  3.48
Abbas                            1.2  2  0  0  0  1  13  10  4.28
                                 8.0  8  5  5  3  2 102  61 
 
Calrissians                      INN  H  R ER BB  K PCH STR   ERA
McNally          W 7-14          8.1  6  4  4  0  1  92  69  6.40
Smith            S 24            0.2  0  0  0  0  1   9   5  3.42
                                 9.0  6  4  4  0  2 101  74 
 
ORL: Maben inserted at lf in the 2nd
 
3B-Mount(2). HR-Hartley(38), Defoor(28), McCormack(2). RBI-Hartley 3(121), 
Herdt(59), Defoor(84), McCormack 4(18). K-Taliaferro, Leon, Law, Crofoot. 
BB-Defoor, Nabors 2. SF-Herdt. HBP-Hopps, Taliaferro. PB-McCormack. 
HB-McNally 2. 
GWRBI: Defoor
Lauren Hartl was injured for this game and 2 more days
Temperature: 83, Sky: partly cloudy, Wind: out to left at 9 MPH.

 

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