Wednesday’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor leaguers:
The West Virginia Power have a day off today, wrapping up their All-Star break. The Altoona Curve and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats had their game postponed tonight, due to rain. They will try for a double header tomorrow, beginning at 6:05 pm.
Jordy Mercer was named the Eastern League’s Player of the Week for last week. Mercer had an RBI in each of six games he played in last week, with a total of 9 RBI. He hit 3 doubles and 2 homers last week, and earned a .381 average for the week. Mercer is hitting .267 overall for the season, with 17 doubles, 13 homers, and 48 RBI.
The Pirates have signed two more draft picks: LHP Josh Poytress (18th round) and RHP David Jagoditsch (32nd round). Both were college pitchers, and could be assigned to State College. The list of all of the Pirates’ draft picks, including who has signed, is here.
Bradenton Marauders 5, Jupiter Hammerheads 4
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The Marauders wrapped up the first half of the Florida State League season with an early afternoon win over Jupiter. Brett Sinkbeil pitched 6 innings for Bradenton and allowed one run on two hits, with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. The only run he allowed came on a solo homer to lead off the top of the 3rd. He allowed a single to begin the 2nd inning but erased the runner with a double play. The walks came in the 5th and 6th inning; one of those runners was left on base and the other was thrown out by C Carlos Paulino as he tried to steal second base.
The Marauders also began their scoring with a solo home run — by 1B Aaron Baker to lead off the bottom of the 2nd. SS Kelson Brown began the bottom of the 3rd with a triple into center field. After a walk by RF Robbie Grossman, 2B Jarek Cunningham grounded a high chopper to third, which forced out Grossman at second but allowed Brown to score. Cunningham stole second base, then both DH David Rubinstein and Baker worked back-to-back walks to load the bases. 3B Elevys Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly brought in Cunningham and CF Evan Chambers’ line drive back through the box brought in Rubinstein, giving the Marauders a 4-1 lead.
The Marauders added an unearned run in the 5th. With two outs, Elevys Gonzalez walked and stole second base. Chambers grounded to short, but a throwing error by the Jupiter shortstop let Chambers reach safely and let Gonzalez score. Paulino also had two singles in the game, in the 2nd and 6th innings, but did not score.
Jason Erickson relieved Sinkbeil to begin the 7th inning. The lead-off batter smacked a ground-rule double, but the next three batters flied out, and the runner did not leave second base. Erickson began the 8th inning with a ground out and a solo homer, then had a batter reach base on a fielding error by SS Brown. Ryan Beckman came on in relief, but he gave up a single and another ground-rule double, driving in a run. The third run of the inning scored on an RBI ground out, to bring Jupiter within a run of the Marauders, 5-4. Beckman got a strikeout to end the inning, then retired the side in order in the 9th, to hold on to the win. Beckman earned his 5th Save, and Sinkbeil earned his first win of the season.
Continuing to look at some of the pitchers in the Pirates’ lower minor league organization. Today we consider five more of the Pirates’ 2010 draft picks.
Stetson Allie — R/R, 6′ 4″, 225 lb
Allie was the second round pick in the draft, coming out of high school in Cleveland. He signed at the last moment, so he did not get into any games in the regular season. He did go to Fall Instrux, where he again impressed the Pirates’ management with his velocity and also with his maturity. He has a fastball that reached into the 100’s several times toward the end of his high school career, but he has better control of it when it’s in the mid 90’s. He also throws a slider and needs work on a changeup. Control, along with the slider and the changeup, are what Allie is going to need to work on as he makes his pro debut. He has been pitching in the minor league spring training camp and has struggled a bit as he faced more experienced players. Allie seems to be slated to do more work in Extended Spring Training before beginning the 2011 season in State College.
James Archibald – Bats L / Throws R, 6′ 1″, 190 lb
Archibald came to the Pirates in the 36th round of the draft. He got signed and got down to business in the GCL, at first working out of the bullpen. He did well in 3 relief appearances, allowing 5 hits and one run (a homer) in 5 relief innings, for a 1.80 ERA, with 3 strikeouts and no walks. Archibald was moved to the starting rotation, and in 8 starts, he had more trouble. His first two starts went well, as he allowed one run in 3 innings and one run in 5 innings. The next three were a little shakier, with 5 runs on 15 hits over 12.2 innings. His best game was on August 7th, when he struck out 7 batters in 5 innings. Archibald’s last 3 starts were very tough. He allowed 14 runs on 19 hits in 9.1 innings, ballooning his total ERA to 5.40 for the season. Archibald will be 21 years old in May. He might spend some more time in the GCL before heading to State College in 2011.
Lots of action for the Pirates’ minor league affiliates on Thursday….
Richmond Flying Squirrels� 9,� Altoona Curve� 6�� (Game 1)..� (box)
This was the wrap-up of a suspended game from… awhile back.� 2B Jordy Mercer had 3 hits in the game with an RBI, and LF Jim Negrych had a single, a double, and an RBI for the Curve.� The Curve scored first, with 3 runs in the bottom of hte 1st, on a double by 3B Shelby Ford, an RBI single by Mercer, walks to both C Kris Watts and LF Brandon Jones (back when he was still on the team), and a 2-RBI single by RF Miles Durham.
Richmond came back to tie the score with 3 runs in the top of the 2nd, on four singles and a throwing error by 1B Matt Hague. Then they took the lead with another 3 runs in the top of the 3rd, on a walk and three doubles.� Starter Tim Alderson was responsible for 6 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and a walk over 3 innings.� Dustin Molleken took over for Alderson, and retired the side in the top of the 4th inning.� The Curve began the bottom of the inning with a walk to Durham, a single by CF Anthony Norman, and a sacrifice bunt by Molleken, to put both runners into scoring position.� That was when play was halted.� When the game resumed, SS Chase d’Arnaud singled, scoring Durham.� PH/3B Josh Harrison grounded to short, which let Norman score also.� Mercer singled again, but was left on base.� The Curve had closed the gap, 6-5
Derek Hankins took over for Molleken after the restart.� He pitched 5 innings, scattering two hits and a walk over the first four of those innings.� The Curve also put runners on base in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings, but did not score.
In the top of the 9th, Hankins gave up a single and an RBI double, then three more singles, increasing Richmond’s lead to 9-5.� The Curve got one of the runs back in the bottom of the 9th, when Hague walked, and moved to third on a fielding error that also put Watts on base.� Jim Negrych singled into left field, bringing in Hague from third.� Watts also tried to score, coming from second base, but he was out at the plate on the throw in from left field, ending the game.
Curve� 5,� Flying Squirrels� 1�� (Game 2)..� (box)
The Curve turned the tables in the second game, which was scheduled for only 7 innings.� Rudy Owens buzzed through 6 scoreless innings, allowing only 2 hits and one walk, while striking out 5 batters.� He surrendered a single in the 2nd and a double in the 4th, then a walk in the 6th.� It was Owens’ 11th win of the season.� Daniel Moskos wrapped things up in the 7th inning.� He loaded the bases with two walks and a single.� A grounder force out brought in Richmond’s only run, but then Moskos ended the game with a strikeout.
2B Jordy Mercer’s bat was still hot, as he collected another 2 hits.� He and LF Jim Negrych both singled in the 4th, then C Hector Gimenez reached on a throwing error, which brought in Negrych with the first run of the game.� A walk to 3B Josh Harrison and singles by 1B Matt Hague and Mercer scored Harrison with another run in the 5th.� SS Chase d’Arnaud added three more runs with a 3-run homer in the 6th, also plating CF Anthony Norman, who had walked, and pinch-hitter Andrew Lambo, who had singled.
Pirates’ lower minor leaguers on Saturday…
Altoona Curve� 10,� Binghamton Mets� 4 (box)
The Curve posted 14 hits, with two big innings, as all but one member of the starting line-up had at least one hit in the game, as starter Rudy Owens earned his 10th win of the season.� SS Jordy Mercer doubled three times and 1B Matt Hague doubled twice, with 4 RBI.� Even Owens doubled, walked, and scored twice.
Owens got off to a little bit of a shaky start on the mound.� He gave up a double, a single, and a sacrifice fly to begin the bottom of the 1st.� A single and a double gave the Mets a second run in the 3rd.� Owens settled in after that, and allowed just one hit in each of the 4th and 5th.
The Curve got one run back in the top of the 4th, after putting runners on base in each of the first three innings but failing to score.� In the 4th,� Mercer hit his first double, and he scored on RF Miles Durham’s RBI single.� Then they broke through in the 5th.� Owens led off the inning with a walk.� LF Jose De Los Santos singled, then 3B Josh Harrison bunted both runners into scoring position.� 2B Jim Negrych was intentionally walked to load the bases.� Hague cleared the bases with a double into left field, then Mercer hit his second double (this one was a ground-rule double), plating Hague.� The Curve had a 5-2 lead.
The next inning began with a solo home run by Miles Durham.� One out later, Owens doubled, and De Los Santos singled.� A fielding error on a ball hit to third by Harrison let Owens score.� Negrych brought in both Owens and De Los Santos with another double, and Hague made it three doubles in the inning with his 26th of the season, bringing in Negrych with the fifth run of the inning.� The Curve were up, 10-2.
Mike Colla relieved Owens to begin the 6th.� He gave up a solo homer in that inning, and another solo homer in the 8th, but retired the other 12 batters he faced in 4 innings.� Owens earned his 10th win of the season, and Colla earned his first save.
Saturday’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates…� The West Virginia Power and Lexington Legends were rained out tonight.� They will go for two tomorrow.
State College� 1,� Aberdeen IronBirds� 0 (box)
Pitchers Tyler Waldron, Ryan Beckman, and Brooks Pounders combined to one-hit the IronBirds tonight.� Waldron made the start with 5 nearly-perfect innings.� The first IronBirds batter of the game was the only one to reach base against Waldron, and he got on when C Matthew Skirving dropped strike three, then made a throwing error when he fired the ball down to first base.� Waldron immediately erased that base runner in a double play, then retired all the rest of the batters he faced, including one more strikeout.
Beckman took the 6th inning, and he also retired the side in order.� Pounders pitched the final three innings.� He gave up back to back walks with one out in the 7th, but left both runners stranded.� Pounders also retired the side in order in the 8th.� The no-hitter was lost in the 9th, when the first batter of the inning doubled into right field.� Pounders retired the next three batters in order, leaving the runner on second base.� Waldron earned his 3rd win of the season, and Pounders earned his first save.
The Spikes batters collected 6 hits and 4 walks, but fell victim to double plays and outfield assists, so they scored only one run.� In the 2nd inning, 1B Matt Curry walked, but was erased in a double play, and LF Pat Irvine singled, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.� Curry walked again in the 4th, but was caught stealing.� SS Gift Ngoepe singled in the 9th, but was thrown out trying for two bases. The lone Spikes’ run came in the 6th inning.� With one out, CF Mel Rojas worked a walk, then DH Gerlis Rodriguez drove a triple into center field, scoring Rojas.� Curry walked for the third time in the game in the 9th, and RF Cole White singled, but both were left on base.� White was the only Spikes’ batter to have two hits.� 2B Kelson Brown also singled.