Losses for all of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates today.
GCL Tigers �7, �GCL Pirates �1 (box)
Colton Cain allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 5 batters in his 4-inning start this afternoon, but that was enough to earn the loss, as the Pirates were held to just one run. �Cain gave up back-to-back doubles for the first run in the 2nd inning, then gave up another run on two walks and an RBI single in the 3rd.
The Pirates cut the Tigers’ lead in half when C Elias Diaz smacked his first home run of the season in the bottom of the 4th, and the score went to 2-1. �But that was all the scoring the Pirates would do. �They managed only two hits and two walks for the rest of the game: �a single by RF Gregory Polanco in the 7th (he was picked off), a walk to 1B Dylan Child in the 8th, and a walk to CF Junior Sosa and a single by Diaz in the 9th.
Shen-Cin Hong kept the Tigers scoreless in the 5th and 6th innings, but got into trouble in the 7th. �The inning began with a man reaching base on a fielding error by 3B Kevin Mort. A single and a walk loaded the bases, and another single drove in one run. �A throwing error allowed a second run to score. �Hong was relieved by Dinesh Patel, who gave up a single to the first batter he faced, which brought in two more runs. �Patel then finished the inning with a strikeout and two groundouts. �He gave up a run in the 8th on a double and two singles. �Rinku Singh pitched a scoreless 9th for the Pirates. �The first batter reached base on a fielding error, but Singh erased him with a double play.
Indy Indians’�SS Brian Friday, who has not played in several weeks since spraining his ankle, made his first rehab appearance in this game. �He went 0-for-3 at the plate, and made a fielding error.
Bradenton catcher Eric Fryer, who was hit in the face by a pitch on Thursday night, has broken facial bones around his eye. �That will require surgery to fix — get the bones properly aligned and stabilized. �He’s going to be out of action for at least several weeks and possibly for the rest of the season. �This is the same type of injury that Paul Maholm had years ago, though his injury occurred when he was hit in the face by a line drive while on the mound.
Friday night’s action:
State College Spikes �5, �Williamsport Crosscutters �4 (box)
Late inning rallies gave the Spikes the walk-off win over Williamsport. � The Spikes got on the scoreboard in the 3rd inning when C Matt Skirving singled and SS Gift Ngoepe blasted his first home run of the season, a 2-run homer. �Williamsport tied it up in the top of the 5th. �The first run, off starter Tyler Waldron, came on a double and a single. �A throwing error and a sacrifice fly brought in an unearned run to tie the score.
Waldron pitched 5 innings and allowed the two runs (one earned) on 6 hits, no walks, with 3 strikeouts. �He was relieved by Trent Stevenson, who pitched the next 3 innings. �He gave up a run in the 6th, on a single, a stolen base with a throwing error, and a double, to give the Crosscutters the go-ahead run. �The Spikes caught up and tied the score again in the bottom of the inning. �Singles by Ngoepe and LF Adalberto Santos and a walk to 3B Chase Lyles loaded the bases. �1B Gerlis Rodriguez drove in Ngoepe with a sacrifice fly.
Williamsport took the lead yet again in the top of the 7th with an unearned run. �A throwing error by Stevenson put the lead-off runner on base, and he scored on a triple. �Rodriguez tied it up again in the bottom of the 8th with a solo home run.
Justin Ennis took the mound for the Spikes for the 9th, and he mantained the tie with a scoreless inning, allowing only a walk while striking out two batters. �That gave the Spikes the chance in the bottom of the inning. �The first two Spikes’ batters struck out. �CF�Kyle Saukko kept the inning going with a line drive into left field for a single. �A passed ball put Saukko on second base. �Ngoepe worked a walk, and a wild pitch put both runners into scoring position. �2B Walker Gourley grounded towards first base, and when he was safe on a fielding error, Saukko scored to win the game.
Williamsport Crosscutters �5, �State College Spikes �3 (box)
The Spikes opened their season on the road tonight, unfortunately on the losing end. �Starter Zack Von Rosenberg, who had pitched just one inning in the 2009 season, was charged with the loss. �He pitched 4 innings, and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits and a walk, with 2 strikeouts.
Williamsport struck first, with a run in the bottom of the 1st inning, on two doubles. �The Spikes took the lead in the top of the 3rd, with a 2-out rally. �SS Walker Gourley doubled, and 2B Gift Ngoepe singled, driving in Gourley. �Ngoepe stole second base, and he scored on 3B Chase Lyles’ RBI single (his first professional hit), giving the Spikes a 2-1 lead.
A 2-run homer, followed by a walk and an RBI double gave the Crosscutters 3 more runs and the lead in the 4th inning. �Another single nearly brought in another run, but RF Andury Acevedo’s throw in to the plate to C Miguel Mendez had the lead runner out at the plate. �Those 4 Williamsport runs were all charged to Von Rosenberg.
The Spikes got within one run again in the 6th. �DH Kelson Brown and CF Justin Bencsko’s each collected his first professional hit — a single for Brown, and an RBI triple for Bencsko.
Ryan Beckman took over on the mound for Von Rosenberg for the 5th inning. �He gave up a single and hit a batter, but did not allow a run to score. �Eliecer Navarro pitched the next 2 innings. �He loaded the bases in the 6th with a walk and two singles, but struck out the next batter to end the inning without a run scoring. �Navarro gave up a solo home run in the 7th, giving the Crosscutters an insurance run. �Justin Ennis made his pro debut with a perfect 8th inning — a strikeout and two ground outs.
Friday night business…. the State College Spikes (Short-season A level) begin their season two weeks from today. �The Gulf Coast League Pirates, who will share McKechnie Field with the Marauders, begin their season on June 21st.
While the team rosters have not been formally announced yet, there have been some player moves: �C/INF Andrew Walker and INF Anthony Norman have been moved from the Marauders to the State College roster. � LHP Eliecer Navarro has been moved onto the Marauders’ roster from the GCL Pirates’ roster. �Also, Marauders’ INF Greg Picart has been reactivated from the disabled list (hand injury).
Altoona Curve �6, �New Hampshire Fisher Cats �1 (box)
The Curve began their series in New Hampshire with a win, boosting their lead in the Eastern League Western Division to 9 games over Bowie, Harrisburg, and Richmond, who are all tied for second place.
SS Chase d’Arnaud and CF Gorkys Hernandez got the Curve off to a good start with back-to-back singles in the top of the 1st. �3B Josh Harrison grounded into a double play which erased Hernandez but moved d’Arnaud to third base, and 1B Matt Hague’s single through the hole into left field scored d’Arnaud with the first run of the game. �They added another run in the 2nd on a one-out triple by LF Alex Presley and a double by DH Shelby Ford.
The game picked up some controversy in the 4th inning, when Fisher Cats’ 3B Shawn Bowman led off with a long fly ball that seemed to fly over the left field wall… but then bounced back onto the field of play. �Home run or a bounce off the top of the fence? �The umpires ruled it a homer, and Curve manager Matt Walbeck was ejected when he argued a little too vociferously. �Walbeck got his revenge in the 5th, when CF Danny Perales hit another long fly, this one to right field, for what he thought was a game-tying home run. �But while Perales had slowed to a home-run trot, the umpires ruled that this ball had hit the wall and so was still in play. �Curve RF Miles Durham threw the ball in to the infield, catching Perales by surprise between second and third bases, where he was tagged out after a brief run-down.
After that, it was all Altoona. �The Curve loaded the bases in the 6th on walks to Hague and 2B Jordy Mercer, and a single by C Hector Gimenez. Presley’s RBI ground out brought in Hague, and Durham walked to load the bases again. �Ford greeted the New Hampshire reliever with a line drive into center field, driving in both Mercer and Gimenez to give the Curve a 5-1 lead. �After another grounder force out, Hernandez walked, loading the bases for the third time in the inning. �The third time was not a charm, though, as a fly out ended the inning.
Hernandez added an insurance run in the top of the 9th when he led off with his first home run of the season. �The Curve recorded 12 hits, including 2 each from d’Arnaud (single and double), Hernandez (single and homer), Gimenez, Presley (single and triple), and Ford (single and double).
Rudy Owens earned his 6th win for the Curve, going 6.1 innings and allowing only that solo home run plus 4 other hits and 3 walks. �He did not have more than one Fisher Cats’ base runner on base at one time until the 7th inning, when he struck out the first batter, then gave up a walk and a single. �That was the point at which he was relieved by Derek Hankins. Hankins threw a wild pitch to move the runners to second and third bases, then walked a batter to load the bases with two outs. �But he got a ground out to first to end the inning without letting any of those three runners to score. �Hankins allowed just one single over the next two innings, as he earned his first save of the season.