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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Indians Postponed; McPherson’s First AA Win

The Indianapolis Indians’ game in Rochester was postponed today — because the Indians were not there!  The team was supposed to fly to Rochester this morning, but due to mechanical problems, their flight was delayed.  There were not any other flights available to get the team to Rochester in time for the game.  The Indians and the Red Wings will play two games on Saturday, the first at 1 pm, and the second at 7 pm.  Both will be 9-inning games.  

The Pirates have signed two more draft picks:  3B Dan Gamache from Auburn U. and OF Taylor Lewis from University of Maine- Orono.  My guess is that they will be heading to State College, but no definite word yet.

The State College Spikes begin their season tomorrow, on the road at Williamsport.  The GCL Pirates will begin their 2011 season on Monday.
 
Don’t forget to vote for the All-Stars:
Eastern League All-Star Voting is here
AAA (International and Pacific Coast Leagues) All-Star Voting is here
 

Thursday’s action:

Altoona Curve  3,  New Britain Rock Cats  1
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Kyle McPherson allowed the New Britain a solo home run in the top of the 1st, and then he and the bullpen shut the Rock Cats down for the rest of the game.  McPherson pitched 6 innings and scattered 3 more runs and a walk over the remaining 5 innings for his first win at the AA level.  Two singles came in the 3rd, but McPherson left runners on the corners.  He left two runners in scoring position in the 6th after a walk and a single.  McPherson also struck out 4 batters.  

The Curve came back with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st.  LF Anthony Norman led off with a single lined into right field, and 2B Brock Holt followed with a grounder into right for a second single, moving Norman to third base.  Norman scored on a ground out by SS Jordy Mercer.  Holt came in on CF Quincy Latimore’s RBI single, to give the Curve a 2-1 lead.  

The Curve went down in order over the next three innings.  They added an insurance run in the 5th, when C Tony Sanchez and DH Jose Hernandez hit back-to-back singles.  Sanchez moved to third base on Hernandez’s hit, then scored on RF Brad Chalk’s sacrifice fly.  1B Matt Curry blasted a triple into right field in the 7th inning, but he was left on base.  The Curve threatened again in the 8th, when Chalk and Norman both singled, and Holt walked.  They left the bases loaded, though, when a strikeout and a ground out ended the inning.  

Matt McSwain pitched two perfect innings in relief after McPherson was done for the evening.  Anthony Claggett, who was moved back to the Curve when Jose Ascanio was assigned to Indianapolis, pitched the 9th inning.  The first batter of the inning reached on a fielding error by Norman in left.  After two fly outs, a single, a wild pitch, and a walk loaded the bases.  But Claggett got a tapper back to the mound to end the inning.  

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Power Shut Out ‘Hoppers; Curve Have A Hit-Fest In 10th Inning Win

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.  

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Tough Night for Morris, Miller; Taillon Strikes Out 8

All of the Pirates’ minor league affiliates lost on Tuesday evening…..

New Britain Rock Cats  10,  Altoona Curve 4
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It was a tough night for Curve starter Bryan Morris, who gave up 7 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks in 4 innings of work.  Morris got into trouble in the top of the 1st.  He gave up a lead-off single, then set down the next two batters on fly outs.  Three straight singles and his own throwing error on the final single (a bunt) brought in two runs.  The top of the 2nd was worse — three singles and three walks, with a throwing error by LF Quincy Latimore, and an RBI ground out brought in another 5 runs for New Britain, for a 7-0 lead.  Morris gave up a single in each of the next two innings, but retired those two runners with a pair of double plays.  

The Curve got three of the runs back in the 3rd inning.  DH Jose Hernandez doubled, and scored on RF Brad Chalk’s single.  Chalk came in on 2B Brock Holt’s triple, then SS Jordy Mercer doubled, plating Holt.  That cut the Rock Cats’ lead to 7-4.  

But the Rock Cats added to their lead with 3 runs off reliever Tim Alderson.  A single, a ground out, and a wild pitch put the lead-off batter on third in the 5th, and two more walks and a wild pitch brought him in.  A walk, another wild pitch, an RBI single and an RBI double gave the Rock Cats 2 more runs in the 6th, for a 10-3 lead.  

The Curve put base runners on in most of the remaining innings of the game, but they were left stranded.  Holt singled and CF Starling Marte walked with two outs in the 5th, and the Curve did not put two runners on base again until the 9th. 1B Matt Curry walked to begin the 9th, and 3B Jeremy Farrell singled.  Curry went to third on the hit, and he scored on Hernandez’s sacrifce fly.  

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Homers By Anderson And Chambers Not Enough; Castro’s US Debut

The Altoona Curve had a scheduled day off on Monday….

Greensboro Grasshoppers  5,  West Virginia Power  0
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The Power were held to just one hit — a single by CF Mel Rojas, which came in the 5th inning.  The only other Power base runner was SS Drew Maggi, who walked to lead off the 4th, but was quickly picked off first base.  After Rojas’ two-out single in the 5th, the remaining 13 batters were retired in order.  It took three Grasshopper pitchers to do it, and their starter, Kyle Winters, pitched 7 one-hit innings, with 7 strikeouts, including striking out the side in his final inning.  

Greensboro did all the damage they needed in the bottom of the 1st.  A pair of doubles started the inning, and after a fly out, a 2-run homer gave the ‘Hoppers a 3-0 lead.  Tyler Waldron had only one batter reach base in the next two innings, and that was on a fielding error by LF Rogelios Noris in the 3rd.  That runner was erased with an inning-ending double play.  Waldron gave up 2 more runs in the 4th.  Two singles and a wild pitch put two runners into scoring position.  A sacrifice fly and an RBI single drove in the two runs.  

Victor Black relieved Waldron and ptiched a scoreless inning, with two walks and two strikeouts.  Then 19-year old Orlando Castro made his US debut with 3 scoreless innings of work.  The Honduras native gave up a 2-out single in the 6th, and a lead-off single and a walk in the 7th.  The lead-off runner was eliminated in a double play.  Then he retired the side in the bottom of the 8th.  

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