Winter Leagues Recap: Four Hits for Howard and Hernandez

In the Australian Baseball League today, Adelaide split a doubleheader, with both games going extra innings. In game one, the Bite pulled out a 2-1 victory in 11 innings. Three Pirates players were in the starting lineup, Stefan Welch at third base, Justin Howard as the DH and Dylan Child behind the plate. Welch had a rough game, going 0-for-5, with two strikeouts. Child went 0-for-2, before he was pinch hit for in the eighth inning. Justin Howard went 2-for-5, with his tenth RBI.

In game two, Adelaide lost 6-5 in ten innings. Rinku Singh ended up taking the loss, giving up the winning run on a walk-off double. He came in during the ninth inning and struck out the first batter he faced, then allowed a game-tying single, before ending the inning with a fly out to center field. In the tenth, Singh allowed a lead-off single, then after recording an out on a failed sacrifice attempt, he allowed the game-winning double.

Stefan Welch broke out of his slump in game two, driving in three runs on two hits, including his sixth double of the year. Justin Howard continued his hot hitting, recording two more hits. That makes it six out of the last eight games in which he has picked up at least two hits. He has gone 15-for-32 during that stretch.

In Perth, Sam Kennelly came in on defense during the sixth inning of his team’s 10-2, seven-inning win in game one of their doubleheader. He grounded out to shortstop in his only AB. Kennelly played shortstop for the first time, though he had no chances in the field as the Perth pitchers recorded all six outs over the last two innings by strikeout. He did not play in the night cap.

In the Dominican from last night, Kris Johnson allowed his first runs of the DWL season, but still pitched well. He went 4.2 innings, giving up two runs(one earned) on four hits and one walk, while striking out two batters. Johnson has pitched 13.2 inning so far this year, allowing seven hits and just that one earned run.

Anderson Hernandez capped off a strong night with a walk-off single in the 16th inning of his team’s 4-3 victory. He finished the night going 4-for-8, with three singles and his tenth double. Hernandez raised his batting average to .292 through 43 games.

For Estrellas de Oriente, Felix Pie and Alex Valdez had a rough night at the top of the lineup. Pie went 0-for-5, with two strikeouts and Valdez had two strikeouts as well during his 1-for-4 night. Pie saw his average drop to .237 through 38 games, though he has still drawn 24 walks.

In Venezuela, Nate Baker pitched for the second night in a row, allowing one run in one inning of work. He came in during the third inning, with his team down 3-0 and men on first and second. Baker immediately got a double play to end the inning. In the fourth, he allowed a lead-off double, then got a groundout that ended his night. That double eventually came around to score after he left the game. Baker has worked 4.1 innings in his five appearances, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out four batters.

John Dreker

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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