Heredia’s Debut, SAL All-Star Game; 3 Homers In One Inning For The Marauders

Tuesday’s action:

The Pirates have signed their 4th round draft pick, Colten Brewer.  Brewer is a right-handed pitcher who was drafted out of high school in Canton.  He will likely report to the GCL Pirates to begin his pro career.   All of the Pirates’ draft picks, and the ones who have signed, are listed here.  

GCL Pirates  10,  GCL Blue Jays  7
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Sixteen-year-old Luis Heredia made his pro debut this afternoon, with a start for the GCL Pirates.  Heredia made a good showing.  He had a batter reach base on a fielding error by SS Alen Hanson in the 1st, but he retired the other three batters in that inning.  He gave up a walk in the 2nd, but again retired the other three batters he faced.  Heredia had some trouble in the 3rd, when he allowed 2 runs.  He began the inning with two ground outs, then hit a batter with a pitch.  That runner stole both second and third bases, then Heredia walked the next two batters to load the bases.  A single lined into left field brought in two runs.  Heredia was relieved by Robert Kilcrease, who finished the inning with a ground out.

Kilcrease gave up another 2 runs in the 4th.  Back-to-back singles with one out and a walk loaded the bases with Jays.  A sacrifice fly brought in one run, then an RBI single brought in the second, giving the Blue Jays a 4-0 lead. 

The Pirates were relatively quiet over the first 3 innings, but they broke out in the bottom of the 4th.  With one out, 3B Yhonathan Barrios beat out a bunt for a hit, then moved to second and on to third on two wild pitches.  He scored on LF Jose Osuna’s RBI single.  1B Jared Lakind walked, then DH Jon Schwind doubled in Osuna.  C Joey Schoenfeld tapped back to the mound, where the Jays’ pitcher tried for a fielder’s choice — but failed, allowing Lakind to score, and leaving Pirate runners on the corners.  Hansen’s 3-run homer brought in Schwind and Schoenfeld, giving the Pirates a 6-4 lead.  

The Blue Jays also homered in the top of the 5th, but it was a solo shot off Pirates’ reliever Diomedes Mateo.  In the bottom of the 5th, RF Gregory Polanco walked and stole second base, then scored on Barrios’ triple lined into right field.   Pirates ahead, 7-5.  Mateo also gave up 2 more runs in the top of the 6th.  A single, a hit batter, and a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third bases.  A fielding error by Barrios allowed both runners to cross the plate, tying the score at 7-7.  

The Pirates went down in order in the 6th and 7th innings.  Mateo gave up a single in the top of the 7th, but erased that runner with a double play.  He also allowed a walk in the 7th, and a single in the 8th.  Then the Pirates broke the tie in the bottom of the 8th.  Osuna walked and was replaced by pinch-runner Junior Sosa.  Lakind’s sacrifice bunt put Sosa on second, but Lakind was also safe at first.  Schwind also bunted, and was safe at first to load the bases.  Schoenfeld’s single brought in Sosa, then Hanson’s double lined into left scored both Lakind and Schwind.  That gave the Pirates a 10-7 lead.  2B Jodaneli Carvajal was hit by a pitch, loading the bases again for the Pirates.  Schoenfeld tried for the steal of home but didn’t make it, and that was the first out of the inning.  A strikeout and a ground out ended the frame, but the Pirates had the lead.  

Joe Parsons relieved Mateo on the mound to begin the top of the 9th.  He loaded the bases with two outs, on a hit batter, a walk, and a single.  Parsons got a pop out to end the game, and the Pirates had the win.  

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State College Season Begins; Von Rosenberg Wins #3

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.  

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2011 Prospect Watching: Sullivan, Rodriguez, And Friends

Continuing to look at Pirates’ pitchers in the lower levels of the organization:

Jarryd Sullivan  –  R/R,  6′ 0″,  181 lb
The 21-year-old Sullivan came to the Pirates out of the new Australian Baseball Academy.  He has a fastball in the high 80′s, a curve, and a strong changeup.  Sullivan made his US debut in 2010, and after extended spring training, he began the short season at State College.  He made 3 appearances there, for 3 innings, but allowed 5 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits and 4 walks, for an 8.10 ERA.  He went down to the GCL for the rest of the season, and pitched better there, making 5 starts and 7 relief appearances.  In 35 innings, Sullivan gave up 16 earned runs on 40 hits, for a 4.11 ERA.  He walked only 3 batters, and struck out 15.  Over the winter, Sullivan returned to his native Australia and pitched for the Sydney Blue Sox in the Australian Baseball League.  He made 5 relief appearances for the Blue Sox, for a total of 7.2 innings without allowing a run.  He did give up 4 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 7 batters.  Sullivan should get another try at State College to begin 2011.

Joely Rodriguez  –  L/L,  6′ 1″,  175 lb
Rodriguez is a 19-year-old Dominican, who made his US debut in 2010 after one year in the Dominican Summer League.  He made 9 starts for the GCL Pirates, for a total of 47.1 innings.  He allowed 44 hits and 21 earned runs, including 10 homers.  He walked only 7 batters, while striking out 26 batters.  That’s a little high on the homers and a little low on the strikeouts, but the latter could improve with some more work on his off-speed pitches.  He gets a lot of ground-ball outs.  At the end of the season, Rodriguez was promoted to State College, where he appeared in 2 games.  The first was tough, as he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk, in one inning.  The second appearance went better — one unearned run on 2 hits and a walk in 3 innings.  Rodriguez should be back in State College for 2011.

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Curve and Spikes Fall Short

Just two late games on Sunday, with one week to go …� The Bradenton Marauders and the West Virginia Power both have a scheduled day off today.

Richmond Flying Squirrels� 5,� Altoona Curve� 4 ..�� (box)

Richmond broke a 4-4 tie with a run in the top of the 9th, and the Curve could not answer back.� With Ramon Aguero on the mound to begin the 9th, a walk and a single put Richmond runners on the corners with no outs.� Aguero got a strikeout, then gave up an RBI single to first.� A double play, 2B Jordy Mercer to SS Chase d’Arnaud to 1B Matt Hague, ended the inning without the Squirrels scoring again.� The Curve got one runner on base in the 9th, when pinch-hitter Jim Negrych singled to lead off the inning.� CF Jose De Los Santos’ sacrifice bunt moved Negrych to second base, but a fly out and a ground out ended the inning before Negrych could get any further.

The Curve had cracked the scoreboard first, with a run in the bottom of the 1st.� D’Arnaud led off with a single, but was out at second on 3B Josh Harrison’s grounder force out.� Harrison stole both second and third base, then scored on C Hector Gimenez’s RBI single.

Richmond took a 2-1 lead in the 2nd, with a lead-off homer.� A fielding error by d’Arnaud, and a single put two runners on base.� Another 4-6-3 double play moved the lead runner to third, and an RBI single drove in the run.� Curve starter Jared Hughes gave up two more runs in the 3rd inning, with a hit batter, a triple, and a double.

The Curve tied the score in the 5th with a walk by Hughes, then back-to-back home runs by Chase d’Arnaud and Josh Harrison.� It was d’Arnaud’s 5th homer of the season, and Harrison’s 4th blast.

Hughes pitched 6 innings and allowed those 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits and a walk.� He also struck out 2 batters.� Bryan Morris, in the bullpen to keep his inning count down for the remainder of the season, pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing a lone single in each and striking out a batter in each.

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Mercer Gets 4 Hits And Walk-Off; Cunningham Homers In The 12th

Less action than planned on Tuesday for the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates, mostly due to rain in the Bradenton area.� The Marauders’ game against the St. Lucie Mets was postponed.� They will try for two tomorrow.� Yesterday’s game between the Fort Myer Miracle and the Marauders was also rained out, as well as the game that they tried to start on Sunday (but only got into the second inning).� Those games will not be made up.� The GCL Braves at GCL Pirates games were washed out yesterday.� They tried to play two today, but only got one of the games in.

GCL Braves� 5,� GCL Pirates� 1 ..� (box)

Each team had 6 hits this afternoon, but the one that counted was the Braves’ walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 7th.� The Pirates began the scoring with a run in the 3rd inning.� SS Kevin Mort led off with a double, then advanced to third base on DH Justin Howard’s single into right field.� The two pulled off a double steal, with Mort scoring on the steal of home.� The Braves tied the score in the bottom of the 4th with a solo home run.

The Pirates loaded the bases in the 5th, on singles by Howard and CF Junior Sosa, and a walk by 2B Jorge Bishop. A strikeout ended that threat.� Sosa also singled in the 1st inning and stole second base.� LF Exicardo Cayonez also singled in the 4th, but was thrown out trying to steal second.� 1B Jared Lakind made his pro debut, but went 0-for-3 at the plate.

Joely Rodriguez pitched 5 innings in his start, and scattered 3 hits, no walks.� One of those hits was the solo homer in the 4th.� Ryan Hafner also made his pro debut, pitching the 6th inning.� He gave up a lead-off single in the 6th, then got a grounder force out and struck out the next two batters to end the inning and continue the tie.� Hafner began the 7th inning with a single and a walk.� Fraylin Campos relieved Hafner, but he hit the first batter he faced to load the bases.� That set up Braves’ 3B Brandon Drury for the game-winning grand slam.

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