Latimore Shines In Australian Debut

Adelaide Bite� 8,� Melbourne Aces� 1

Pirates’ farmhand LF Quincy Latimore singled twice, doubled twice, and scored twice as Adelaide chomped on Melbourne in their Australian Baseball League season opener.� Former Altoona Curve pitcher Paul Mildren made the start for the Bite, pitching 7 shut-out innings to earn his team’s first win.� Mildren worked around 6 hits and a walk, and a couple of errors (each team committed 4 errors), and he also picked a runner off base.� In the last three innings he pitched, only one batter reached base, on a single.� Melbourne’s only run came in the 8th, off reliever Chris Lawson, and that one was unearned, coming on a throwing error, a single, and a double play.

The Bite were able to take advantage of the Aces’ errors.�� They scored one run in the 2nd inning on a walk, a fielding erorr, and a single.� In the 4-run 4th inning, two errors made the Bite’s job easier.� Two lead-off walks and a single brought in the first run.� A throwing error and an RBI single plated 2 more runs.� A fielding error and another RBI single added the fourth run of the inning.

Latimore singled in the 1st inning and walked in the 3rd inning for Adelaide, but did not score.� In the 4th, Latimore struck out — his only plate appearance when he did not reach base.� In the 6th, Latimore started the Bite’s rally with a single, then stole second base and scored on an RBI double by DH Ben Wigmore.� A single, a double, and an RBI ground out gave Adelaide their seventh run in the 7th inning.� Latimore led off the 8th with a walk, then scored on Wigmore’s 2-run homer.

The Bite’s roster page lists pitcher Mitch Fienemann as being “reassigned”, and C Dylan Child (and infielder Dayle Child) as being “reserve”.�� I can understand the “reserve” part, but I’m not sure what or where Fienemann might have been reassigned to.

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Australians’ New League; Cedeno and Milledge Do Some Hitting

The Australians are beginning their third iteration of the Australian Baseball League this weekend.� The Aussies have had two leagues before — both had to shut down due to financial issues.� This time, the ABL is going to be a partnership between MLB and the Australian Baseball Federation.� MLB has been sponsoring the Australian Academy Program since 2001, and several Pirates’ farmhands (Jarryd Sullivan, Mitch Fienemann) have participated.� This academy works with young Australian and Asian players, similar to the work done by the Dominican and other Caribbean academies.

The new ABL has six teams:� the Adelaide Bite (think: shark), the Brisbane Bandits, the Canberra Cavalry, the Melbourne Aces, the Perth Heat, and the Sydney Blue Sox.� The season will run into January, with each team playing 40 games.� Of course Australian players will be featured, but there are some other “imports” as well.� Here’s the official ABL site, and you can see the resemblance to many other US minor league sites.

The good news:� some Pirates’ farmhands are going to be playing

Adelaide Bite:� RHP Mitch Fienemann, LHP Paul Mildren (former Altoona Curve), C Dylan Child, OF Quincy Latimore;� the team manager is Pirate international scout Tony Harris.� Also on the team is a second baseman named Dayle Child…. I’m guessing he’s Dylan’s brother, but I’ve not confirmed it.� The Bite play their first game on Thursday.

Canberra Cavalry: LHP Rinku Singh

Sydney Blue Sox: RHP Jarryd Sullivan

The Calvalry and Blue Sox open on Saturday Nov 6th at 7:30 AEST in Sydney… which is 4:30 am EST in the US, as best as I can tell.� (I will not be up.)

And on to Friday evening’s winter league games:

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Gonzalezes Power Up With Homers

The West Virginia Power had their last late-morning game of the season today.� The rest of the Pirates’ lower minor affiliates play this evening.

West Virginia Power� 12,� Rome Braves� 4 …��� (box)

The Power hammered away at the Braves, scoring in every inning after the 1st, doubling up the Braves in hits.� Jarek Cunningham and LF Rogelios Noris led the way with 3 hits each.� 2B Rome got off to a good start with a solo home run to begin the 2nd inning.� The Power came right back in the bottom of the inning, when 1B Aaron Baker walked and scored on RF Jose Hernandez’s double off the right field wall.� A ground out pushed Hernandez to third base, and he scored on Noris’ line drive single inot left field.� 3B Elevys Gonzalez added another run with a lead-off homer on the first pitch of the 3rd inning (his 4th of the season).� Noris crushed a ball off the top of the left field wall with one out in the 4th inning, cruising into third base for a stand-up triple.� He scored moments later on SS Benji Gonzalez’s first home run of the season.

Power starter Brett Lorin had allowed that homer in the 2nd, and gave up singles in the 1st and 3rd, plus two walks in the 4th.� The Braves got to him in the top of the 5th, though.� With two outs, Lorin hit a batter, then gave up a double and a 3-run homer.� That brought Rome within one run of the Power, 5-4. But that was all the scoring the Power pitchers intended to let the Braves do.� Maurice Bankston relieved Lorin to pitch 2 scoreless innings, allowing only a single in the 7th.� Jhonathan Ramos, just promoted from State College, celebrated his return to the Power with two perfect innings, including 3 strikeouts.

The Power added some insurance runs in the bottom of the 5th inning.�� Jarek Cunningham led off with a single, and he advanced to second base on a wild pitch.� CF Evan Chambers walked, then when the Braves changed pitchers, Cunningham and Chambers greeted the new hurler by pulling off a double steal.� Hernandez lined a single into right field, scoring Cunningham, and C Ramon Cabrera’s sacrifice fly brought in Chambers.� Noris lined into center field, and when Hernandez tried to make it to third base, the throw in from the outfield got past the Rome third baseman.� Hernandez scrambled for the plate, but the third baseman recovered the ball quickly, and Hernandez was out at the plate.� Noris was credited with only a single on the play, and the Power had a 7-4 lead.

Three more runs scored in the 6th.� Benji Gonzalez singled and stole second base, and Cunningham tripled off the center field wall to bring him in.� Chambers walked and also stole second base, then Baker doubled, plating both Cunningham and Chambers.� DH Andy Vasquez added a solo home run in the 7th inning.� Then the Power loaded the bases in the 8th on a walk to Cunningham, Chambers being hit by a pitch, and a single by Baker.� A sacrifice fly by Hernandez brought Cunningham across the plate for the Power’s 12th run of the game.

The South Atlantic League announced their post-season All-Star Team today, but no Power players were named to the team.

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Curve Shut Out; Power Over-powering

Monday’s action with the Pirates’ lower minor league affiliates….

Bowie Baysox� 2,� Altoona Curve� 0 ..� (box)

The Curve out-hit the Baysox 7-5, but were still shutout in Bowie.� 3B Josh Harrison and RF Miles Durham each had two hits, including a double for Harrison, while 2B Chase d’Arnaud, 1B Matt Hague, and LF Jim Negrych had one hit each.� Harrison’s double was the only extra-base hit for the Curve.� In addition, Negrych walked three times, and two Curve batters, C Kris Watts and pinch-hitter Jose De Los Santos, were hit by pitches.� That all adds up to 10 Curve batters left on base.

The Curve had two runners on in the 3rd inning, when d’Arnaud singled and Harrison doubled, sending d’Arnaud to third with two outs.� A strikeout ended that inning.� Two Curve were on base in the 4th also, when Negrych walked for the second time and Durham singled, but Negrych was picked off second base.� In the 8th, Hague singled and Negrych walked for the third time, but again a strikeout ended the inning.� The Curve’s best chance at scoring came in the 7th inning, when they loaded the bases on back-to-back singles by Negrych and Durham, and then Watts was hit by a pitch.� A strikeout and a fly out ended that inning with all three runners still on base.

Justin Wilson suffered the loss.� He threw 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, but with 5 walks and 4 strikeouts.� Bowie scored their first run in the bottom of the 1st without needing a hit:� a walk, a ground out, a stolen base, and a sacrifice fly.� A single and a double brought in their second run in the 3rd.� Mike Colla pitched the last 3 innings for the Curve.� He gave up only one hit, a double in the 7th, and retired the other 9 batters he faced, including 3 strikeouts.

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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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