Friday’s action with the Pirate’s lower minor league teams — the brief version, as we’re on the road:
The Bradenton Marauders are off for the Florida State League’s All-Star weekend. The 50th FSL All-Star Game will be played on Saturday, in Clearwater, FL. Representing the Marauders: C Ramon Cabrera and INF Aaron Baker and Jarek Cunningham. Kyle McPherson and Brett Lorin were also named to the team but won’t be participating because McPherson was promoted to AA, and Lorin is injured.
The Pirates have signed Jon Schwind (41st round pick), and he will report to the GCL Pirates. Schwind was listed as a catcher when drafted, but he also plays some infield and out field.
Williamsport Crosscutters 7, State College Spikes 0
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Not the way the Spikes wanted to start the season. Starter Nick Kingham had two good innings, allowing only a single, but things fell apart in the 3rd. That inning began with a lead-off homer, then after one out, a single and a stolen base put a runner on second. After the second out, an RBI single drove in the second run of the inning. A walk and a 3-run homer made it 5-0. Joely Rodriguez took over for Kingman in the 4th, and gave up an unearned run on a double, a wild pitch, and a passed ball. Rodriguez also loaded the bases in the 5th, but got out of the jam with a fly out. Vince Payne pitched the next two innings, allowing only two singles. Joan Montero took the bottom of the 8th, and gave up the final Williamsport run on a hit batter, a walk, and an RBI double.
The Spikes collected 6 hits. C Samuel Gonzalez singled and doubled, and RF Carlos Mesa singled twice, while two newly signed draft picks, CF Taylor Lewis and DH Derek Trent, each singled. The Spikes threatened in the 3rd inning, when 3B Walker Gourley was hit by a pitch, then Trent reached base on a fielding error by the Williamsport left fielder. Gourley came around from first and tried to score on the play, but was tagged out at the plate. They had another chance in the 4th, when LF Exicardo Cayonez was hit by a pitch and Gonzalez doubled, moving Cayonez to third, but both were left on base.
The Indianapolis Indians have a scheduled day off today (Wednesday). A few bits of news for an off-day:
P Jose Ascanio and C Wyatt Toregas have cleared waivers and both will be assigned to the Indians. Anthony Claggett was returned to the Altoona Curve.
The Pirates have signed four of their recent draft picks:
SS Brian Sharp (24th round) from California Baptist University
SS Kirk Singer (29th round) from Long Beach State
RHP Matt Benedict (30th round) from Western Carolina University
C Derek Trent (31st round) from East Tennessee State
Here’s the list of all the draft picks, which will be updated with the signings as they occur.
Sharp, Singer, and Trent are listed on the State College roster. The State College Spikes begin their season on Friday.
The Pirates also signed LHP Robbie Kilcrease, an undrafted free agent from Texas Tech. The redshirt junior made 12 starts this year for Texas Tech. He had a total of 63.1 innings, with a 5.97 ERA.
On to Wednesday evening’s action:
West Virginia Power 3, Greensboro Grasshoppers 0
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The Power did all the scoring they needed in their first at-bats, as three Power pitchers combined for a shutout. With one out in the top of the 1st, 2B Andy Vasquez lined a single into center field, then stole second base. He scored on RF Dan Grovatt’s double lined into right field. Grovatt stole third base, and he scored on 1B Justin Howard’s RBI ground out. CF Mel Rojas added one more insurance run for the Power in the 4th inning with a solo home run.
After the homer, the Power lost some of their power. They managed only 3 hits over the rest of the game — a single by Rojas in the 6th, a double by DH Jairo Marquez in the 7th, and a single by 3B Eric Avila in the 9th.
Brandon Cumpton worked around a walk and a single in the bottom of the 1st, then gave up two more singles in the 3rd, but got out of that jam too, partly due to a double play. Cumpton also gave up lone singles in the 4th and 5th, but still did not let the runners come around to score. He began the 6th with a walk and a double play, then loaded the bases with a single, a hit batter, and a walk. Kevin Decker came on in relief of Cumpton, and Decker ended the inning with a fly out, still not letting a run score.
Decker pitched 2 more scoreless innings, though he gave up a walk and two singles in the 7th, and another single in the 8th. Jason Townsend pitched the 9th, also giving up a walk and erasing the runner with a double play. Cumpton earned his 7th win of the season, and Townsend earned his 6th Save.
The Power played a double-header this afternoon, and the Curve and Marauders have evening games:
Lexington Legends 4, West Virginia Power 2 Game 1
Jameson Taillon suffered his first pro loss this afternoon, as the Power were one-hit in the first game of their double-header. Taillon began by giving up a solo homer in the bottom of the 1st. Lexington scored two more in the 2nd inning with a single, a double, then an RBI ground out and an fielder’s choice and throwing error by 3B Eric Avila. Taillon had to work around another fielding error, this one by 1B Matt Curry, and a single in the 3rd inning, but he kept Lexington from scoring. A single, a stolen base, and another single drove in the Legends’ 4th run in the 4th inning. Taillon gave up a total of 7 hits, no walks, for 4 runs (3 earned) in his 4 innings, and he struck out 4 batters.
The Power threatened in the 2nd inning, when both RF Justin Howard and DH Jairo Marquez walked, but a double play got the Legends out of that inning. LF Andy Vasquez reached base in the 5th when he was hit by a pitch, but he was picked off first base. The Power scored their only runs in the 6th, on only one hit. 2B Kevin Mort and LF Rogelios Noris both walked to lead off the inning, then SS Drew Maggi singled to load the bases. CF Mel Rojas’s grounder force out with a throwing error by the Legends’ shortstop let Mort and Noris score. Curry also walked, but two strikeouts ended the inning.
Power 9, Legends 3 Game 2
Apparently the Power were saving up their hits and runs for the second game. They put up 14 hits on the way to 9 runs, while holding Lexington to just 5 hits. DH Dan Grovatt, 1B Matt Curry, and C Kawika Emsley-Pai each had 3 hits, with homers by Grovatt, Curry, and LF Rogelios Noris.
The Power jumped out to a 5-run lead in the top of the 1st. With one out, CF Mel Rojas and Grovatt singled, then Curry brought them in with his 3-run homer. Emsley-Pai singled up the middle, and Noris added his 2-run homer for a 5-0 lead.
Curry led off the 3rd with a single, and he scored from first on Emsley-Pai’s double. Noris tripled, plating Emsley-Pai, and a wild pitch let Noris come across the plate. Power up 8-0. Dan Grovatt made it 9-0 with a solo home run in the top of the 4th.
Tyler Waldron made the start in Game 2. Waldron buzzed through the first two innings, retiring 6 Legends in order. He loaded the bases in the 3rd, on a walk and two singles, but got a double play to end the frame. The lead-off batter in the bottom of the 4th homered for the only run Waldron surrendered. Kevin Decker relieved Waldron to begin the 5th. He retired the side with two strikeouts and a fly out in that inning, but gave up 2 more runs in the 6th. A double, a single, and a walk loaded the bases for Lexington. A sacrifice fly brought in one run, and a throwing error by Decker allowed the second run of the inning to score. Decker also retired the side in order in the 7th, earning the win.
The Altoona Curve had a scheduled day off on Monday….
West Virginia Power 9, Kannapolis Intimidators 8
Late inning rallies for a total of 7 runs gave the Power the win over Kannapolis. 1B Matt Curry got the scoring started with a solo home run to begin the bottom of the 2nd. That run was overwhelmed, though, when the Intimidators exploded for 6 runs in the top of the 3rd. Power starter Zack Von Rosenberg had allowed only one walk over the first two innings, but that fell apart in the 3rd inning. A single, a walk, and a triple brought in two runs. A sacrifice fly gave Von Rosenberg the first out of the inning, but it also scored the runner from third, for a 3-1 lead. Two more singles, another triple, and another single brought in 3 more runs, for a 6-1 lead, and sent Von Rosenberg to the showers. Zac Fuesser relieved Von Rosenberg, and Fuesser’s first move was to pick off the runner on first base and get him out in a run-down. A walk and a strikeout ended the inning.
The Power got one of the runs back in the bottom of the 3rd, on 3B Eric Avila’s double and a fielding error on LF Dan Grovatt’s bouncer to short. Fuesser gave up a pair of walks and a single in the 4th, but a timely double play kept any runs from scoring. He also gave up a pair of singles in the 5th, but was aided by an outfield assist from Grovatt. Kannapolis scored again in the 6th, with a two-out ground-rule double and an RBI single. Two more doubles gave Kannapolis another run in the top of the 7th, for an 8-2 lead.
Then the Power burst out with 7 unanswered runs over their last two at-bats to take the lead and the win. With one out, DH Jairo Marquez lined a single into left field, and Avila drove him in with a triple. SS Drew Maggi’s ground out plated Avila. 2B Kevin Mort singled and pinch-hitter Rogelios Noris walked, but they did not score in that inning. The Power continued the surge right where they left off in the 8th. RF Justin Howard led off with a double and CF Mel Rojas was hit by a pitch. C Kawika Emsley-Pai loaded the bases with a walk. Marquez drove in Howard with a single grounded into right field, leaving the bases still loaded. Avila bounced to short, for a force out at second base, but Rojas scored the second run of the inning on the play. After an out, Mort singled, plating Emsley-Pai, then Noris tripled in both Avila and Mort, for the tying and go-ahead runs.
Zach Foster relieved Fuesser for the final two innings. Foster allowed a double and hit a batter with a pitch in the 8th, but two strikeouts left them stranded. He also walked a batter in the 9th, but got two more strikeouts to preserve the Power lead and earned his first win of the season.
The Curve played a (mostly) morning game today; the Marauders and the Power play in the evening.
Altoona Curve 13, Harrisburg Senators 2
The Curve had a great morning today, blasting away at the Senators with 13 runs on 18 hits. All but one of the starting lineup had at least one hit, and that one was not starting pitcher Jeff Locke. Locke singled twice and came around to score, doing his share, and reliever Anthony Claggett also had a hit. CF Starling Marte, SS Jordy Mercer, and 1B Miles Durham each had 3 hits, and two of Mercer’s hits were home runs. Mercer contributed 5 RBI, while Durham and RF Jose Hernandez each had 3 RBI.
The game actually began in Harrisburg’s favor. Marte doubled in the top of the 1st, then moved to third base on a wild pitch, but got no further. In the bottom of the inning, Locke began by hitting the lead-off man with a pitch, then gave up a single to give Harrisburg runners on the corners. An RBI ground out brought in the first run, then an RBI single added a second run. After another single, Locke finished the inning with a tapper back to the mound.
After that inning, it was all Altoona. Locke shut down the Senators, retiring the next 12 batters in order. He gave up a single and a double in the 6th, but left both runners in scoring position. Locke threw 79 pitches (57 strikes) in earning his second win of the season.
The Curve put their hitting shoes on in the 3rd. Locke and 2B Brock Holt led off with back-to-back singles. That chased the Senators’ starter, and brought in former Indy Indian and Curve Jimmy Barthmaier. Barthmaier got Marte to ground into a force out at second, but could not get the double play. Marte stole second base, then Mercer blatsed his first homer, a 3-run shot over the left field wall, to give the Curve a 3-2 lead.
Locke singled again in the 4th inning, though he was left on base. Marte singled to begin the 5th, and was moved to second on LF Quincy Latimore’s sacrifice bunt. Mercer singled, and Marte came around from second base to score. Mercer stole second, and he scored on C Eric Fryer’s double. Then Fryer scored on Durham’s 2-run homer for a 4-run inning, giving the Curve a 7-2 lead. Holt singled and came around to score on Latimore’s RBI single in the 6th.
The Curve put up another 4-run inning in the 7th. 3B Jeremy Farrell, the only Curve position player without a hit in the game, was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, and Fryer reached base on a fielding error. Durham doubled, driving in Farrell, then Hernandez’s 3-run homer gave the Curve a 12-2 lead. Mercer’s second home run, a solo homer, provided the Curve with their final run in the 8th.
Anthony Claggett relieved Locke in the 7th inning. He pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, then worked around a hit batter and a single in the 8th, to keep the Senators from scoring again. Tim Alderson finished the game for the Curve, with a perfect 9th inning.