Curve Are Two-Hit; Power Scratch Out 1-0 Win
West Virginia Power 1, Augusta GreenJackets 0
An RBI ground out by CF Andy Vasquez in the 7th inning took care of all of the scoring in this pitching duel. The Power posted just 4 hits — singles by SS Drew Maggi, 3B Eric Avila, and 1B Matt Curry, and a double by Curry. Curry’s double opened the 7th, then a wild pitch let him advance to third base. DH Dan Grovatt walked (his third walk of the game), then Vasquez bounced to second base. Grovatt was forced out at second, but Vasquez was safe at first, allowing Curry to score. C Elias Diaz also walked, but both he and Vasquez were left on base.
Grovatt was the only Power batter to reach base in the first three innings, with his first walk in the 2nd inning. He was thrown out trying to steal second base. Maggi singled to begin the 4th, but was erased when 2B Kevin Mort bounced into a double play. RF Justin Howard and Grovatt worked back-to-back walks in the 5th, and moved up a base each on Vasquez’s sacrifice bunt, but two quick outs left them stranded. Avila’s single opened the 6th, but he was doubled off first when Maggi lined out to the Augusta first baseman. Curry singled in the 9th and stole second base, but when the Augusta catcher’s throw sailed into center field and Curry tried for third, he was tagged out on the throw in to third base.
Zack Dodson pitched 5 scoreless innings in his start for the Power. He gave up 5 hits and a walk, and struck out 5 batters. He had to work around at least one runner on base in each of those 5 innings, but force outs, a double play, and those strikeouts got him out of trouble. The biggest threat came in the 5th. With two outs, a single and a wild pitch put a runner on second base. A second single had that runner from second rounding third and heading for home. LF Rogelios Noris fired in to the plate, where Diaz made the tag to end the inning.
Brooks Pounders took over for the next 3 innings. He struck out 4 batters and gave up a single and a walk. The walk, a stolen base, and a hit batter put an Augusta runner on third in the 6th inning, but Pounders struck out two batters to end the inning. A single and another hit batter put two runners on in the 8th, but an unusual double play helped Pounders out of the jam — a fly out to center field, then an on-target throw in from Vasquez to Avila at third to get the runner as he tried to tag up and advance from second base. Pounders was credited with the win. Jason Townsend earned his first Save with a perfect 9th inning.
Charlotte Stone Crabs 6, Bradenton Marauders 4
The Stone Crabs beat the Marauders in the second game of this 3-game series, with 13 hits and despite 3 errors. The first of those errors, a fielding blunder by the Crabs’ first baseman, gave the Marauders an unearned run in the bottom of the 1st. SS Benji Gonzalez reached base on the error, then two outs later, Gonzalez stole second base. He scored on 1B Aaron Baker’s single up the middle.
Starter Nate Baker had to work around two Crabs’ runners on base in each of the first two innings (two walks in the 1st, and two singles in the 2nd). The third inning began with a single, an RBI triple, and an RBI single off Baker. A walk and a single loaded the bases, and after two outs were recorded, another RBI single gave Charlotte a 3-1 lead. Baker retired the side in order in the 4th, then gave way to Jhonathan Ramos to begin the 5th. Ramos pitched 3 scoreless frames, allowing a single and a double in the 6th. Porfirio Lopez gave up two walks in the 8th, but left those runners on base for another scoreless inning. Then he got into trouble in the top of the 9th. The first three batters of the inning reached base on hits: a triple, an RBI single, an another single. A double steal put two runners into scoring position, and two sacrifice fly outs brought both in to score, for a 6-1 lead.
After the first inning, the Marauders’ bats went quiet for a few innings. C Ramon Cabrera singled in the 2nd, but was erased in a double play, and the Marauders did not get a runner on base again until the 6th. Benji Gonzalez singled and CF Evan Chambers doubled in the 6th. Aaron Baker was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs, but a grounder force out ended the inning without a run scoring. The Marauders rallied again in the bottom of the 9th. Chambers began the rally by being hit with a pitch. He stole second base and Aaron Baker walked. After a strikeout by DH Calvin Anderson, Cabrera singled into right field. Chambers raced around from second toward the plate as the throw came in from right field, relayed by the Crabs’ second baseman. The catcher could not hold onto the ball though, and Chambers scored. 3B Elevys Gonzalez’ grounder to short let Baker score, and RF Adalberto Santos singled, plating Cabrera, bringing the score to 6-4. LF Cole White also singled, but Benji Gonzalez lined out to end the rally and the game.