Negrych Sparks Two Rallies; Sanchez Homers

Erie SeaWolves 6, �Altoona Curve 5 (box)

DH Jim Negrych did his best to be the hero for the Curve in the afternoon game against the SeaWolves in Erie. �He tied the game with a 2-run homer in the 8th inning. �He hit a key 2-run double in the top of the 9th to give the Curve the lead. �But Erie’s C Max St. Pierre was having a better day. �On St. Pierre’s 30th birthday, he hit two home runs, including a walk-off blast in the bottom of the 9th to give the SeaWolves the win.

With Rudy Owens on the mound for his second start of the season, Erie took an early 2-run lead in the 3rd inning. �Owens had allowed only one hit over the first two innings, but the 3rd began with three consecutive singles, including one by St. Pierre, to bring in one run. �An RBI grounder brought in the second run. �C Kris Watts ended the inning when he threw out a runner trying to steal second base.

The Curve threatened in the top of the 3rd when LF Alex Presley and 2B Shelby Ford opened the inning with back-to-back walks. �A bunt moved them both up a base. �CF Gorkys Hernandez bounced to short for a fielder’s choice, and Presley appeared to slide in under the tag at the plate, but was called out. �Altoona did�get one of the runs back in the top of the 5th, when 1B Matt Hague led off the 5th inning with the first Curve hit of the game, a double down the left field line. �He went to third on a ground out, and Ford was hit by a pitch, making it runners on the corners. �SS Jose De Los Santos grounded to second base, for what should have been a double play. �But the speedy De Los Santos beat out the relay throw to first base, and the Hague scored from third base.

St. Pierre’s first home, a solo blast, run led off the 5th inning, to give the SeaWolves a 3-1 lead. �That lead lasted until the top of the 8th, when the Curve finally got another hit. �Gorkys Hernandez led off with a single, deflected off the glove of the Erie pitcher. �Jim Negrych hit a long fly ball down the right field line… but as the crowd held their breath, the ball drifted foul just at the last second. �Negrych came right back with another long ball, this one to right center where it had no chance of drifting foul. �This bomb was a 2-run homer to tie the game, Negrych’s first homer of the season.

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Sanchez and Holt Lead Marauders in Rout; Power Win Home Opener

Bradenton Marauders 14, �St. Lucie 5 (box)

The Marauders posted 14 hits and 14 runs on their way to an overwhelming victory of the St. Lucie Mets in Bradenton on Friday night. �SS Brock Holt, who joined the team late out of spring training due to injury, celebrated his first game of the 2010 season by going 3-for-5 with a double and 4 RBI. �DH Tony Sanchez went 3-for-4, and had a single, a double, and a homer, plus 3 RBI. �LF Quincy Latimore had “only” 2 hits, but his grand slam gave him 4 RBI. �Only 1B Calvin Anderson had a tough night, as he went hitless and committed 3 fielding errors at first base.

After a quiet 1st inning, Tony Sanchez and Quincy Latimore got the party started in the bottom of the 2nd with back-to-back singles. �Two outs later, C Eric Fryer singled, scoring Sanchez. �2B Greg Picart walked to load the bases, and Brock Holt picked up his first two RBI with a line drive single into center. � Three doubles, by CF Starling Marte, Sanchez, and 3B Jeremy Farrell added two more runs in the 3rd inning. �In the 4th, RF Robbie Grossman singled, stole second, and stole third. �A walk to Marte and Sanchez being hit by a pitch loaded the bases for Latimore. �His grand slam gave the Marauders a 9-1 lead.

A St. Lucie fielding error and singles by Holt and Marte (RBI) contributed one run in the 5th inning. �Then Bradenton added 4 more runs in the 7th. �Fryer led off with a double, Picart reached base on a fielding error, and Holt doubled both of them in. �Sanchez’s 2-run homer capped the night for the Marauders.

Aaron Pribanic made the start for Bradenton. �He sailed through the first two innings, and Calvin Anderson’s first fielding error was no big deal. �In the 3rd inning, a single, a double, and a passed ball by Eric Fryer gave the Mets one unearned run. �Anderson made another error in the 4th inning, but a double play eliminated that problem. �In the 5th inning with one out, Pribanic gave up a double and a 2-run homer, and he was relieved by Tyler Cox. Cox finished the 5th with a strikeout, then retired the next six batters he faced, including 3 more strikeouts. �That earned him his 3rd win of the season. �Diego Moreno gave up a lone single in the scoreless 8th inning. �Noah Krol took the mound for the 9th, when St. Lucie made a last desperate effort to catch up. �Krol gave up a walk and a double to begin the inning. �With two outs, a wild pitch let the runner from third base score and the runner from second move up to third. �Anderson’s third fielding error allowed the next run to score, though it clearly did not make much difference in the outcome. �A ground out ended the game.

With Holt joining the team, a roster spot needed to be opened up. �INF Gift Ngoepe was reassigned to State College to make room, which means he will return to extended spring training right there in Bradenton.

West Virginia Power 5, �Asheville Tourists �4 (box)

The Power celebrated their home opener with a win over the Tourists, as DH Kyle Morgan’s single in the bottom of the 7th inning brought the go-ahead run across the plate. �The Tourists scored in the top of the 1st inning, with a double, a stolen base, and a sacrifice fly off Power starter Quentin Miller. Miller pitched only one inning — not sure why he was pulled.

The Power bats came to life in the bottom of the 2nd, when LF Rogelios Noris hit a two-out single, and 3B Jesus Brito got the first of three hits in the game, an RBI triple. �RF Wes Freeman walked, and a passed ball let Freeman get to second base, but it wasn’t far enough away from the plate to let Brito score from third. �The Power added another run in the 3rd, when SS Benji Gonzalez led off with a walk, and 2B Jarek Cunningham doubled him over to third base. �This time when the Asheville catcher missed for another passed ball, Gonzalez was able to score from third. �1B Aaron Baker grounded to second, but a quick throw to the plate cut down Cunningham as he tried to score. �Gonzalez and Cunningham both singled again in the 5th, and a wild pitch had Gonzalez standing on third base again. �This time Baker was able to pick up the RBI with a sacrifice fly.

Brito, who had also singled in the 4th inning, made it 3-for-3 with a single in the 6th inning, following Noris’ lead-off double. �Another fielder’s choice on a grounder by C Josue Peley brought in Noris to give the Power a 4-1 lead. �Another scoring opportunity was missed, though, when Brito was out at the plate in a double steal attempt.

Jason Erickson had taken over for Miller in the 2nd inning. �Erickson scattered 3 hits over 4 scoreless innings, striking out 2 batters. �Marc Baca retired the Tourists in order in the 6th, but got into trouble in the 7th. �The inning began with a ground-rule double, a “regular” double, and another ground-rule double, and the Tourists were within one run of the Power, 4-3. �A walk and a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third bases. �An RBI ground out to short brought in the tying run, and gave Baca a Blown Save. �A hit batter and a stolen base made it runners on first and second. �A long fly ball to the alley in right-center could have meant another two runs, but an amazing diving catch by CF Evan Chambers ended the rally.

That Blown Save turned in to a win in the bottom of the 7th. �Baca was still the pitcher of record when�Chambers was hit by a pitch. �Aaron Baker bounced a ground-rule double over the right field wall, moving Chambers to third base. �Then Kyle Morgan’s single up the middle drove in Chambers with the go-ahead run. �Baker also tried to score from second base, but was out at the plate on the throw in from center field. �The one run was enough, though. �Melkin Laureano gave up a walk in the top of the 8th, but did not allow a run to score. �Zachary Foster got four outs in the top of the 9th to earn his first Save. �He struck out three batters in a row, but strike three on the third batter was a wild pitch, allowing the batter to reach first base. �Jarek Cunningham made a diving catch of a pop fly behind second base to end the game.

Altoona Curve rained out

The Altoona Curve and Erie SeaWolves were rained out in Erie, PA on Friday night. �That game will be made up as part of a double header on May 22nd. �The two teams will play their regularly scheduled (single) game on Saturday, beginning at 1 pm.

NOTES:

Former Pirate farmhand Danny Bomback has signed a contract with the Pittsfield Colonials of the (independent) Can-Am League.

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Hague and Durham Power Curve; Power and Marauders Fall Short

Altoona Curve �13, �Erie SeaWolves 5 (box)

The Curve exploded for 7 runs in the top of the 9th inning, to take the first game in their series against the SeaWolves in Erie. �The Curve went into the 9th already leading 6-5. �They sent 11 batters to the plate in the 9th, beginning with a single by LF Alex Presley, and SS Chase d’Arnaud being hit by a pitch. �Both moved up one base on a throwing error, and Presley scored on DH Jim Negrych’s RBI single. �RF Miles Durham doubled, scoring d’Arnaud, and an intentional walk to C Hector Gimenez loaded the bases. �CF Gorkys Hernandez brought in Negrych with an RBI single. �Then 2B Josh Harrison and 1B Matt Hague greeted a new reliever with back-to-back doubles, each plating two more runs.

Altoona had begun the game with 2 runs in the top of the 1st, when d’Arnaud and Negrych opened the game with two walks, and Gimenez scored both with a 2-RBI double. �Durham’s 3-run homer in the 3rd inning followed another walk to Negrych and a single by 3B Jordy Mercer. Hague added a solo home run in the 4th inning.

Tim Alderson started for the Curve and gave up a solo home run to the first batter he faced in the bottom of the 1st. �He gave up another homer in the 5th, after a single and a walk. �Alderson pitched 5 innings, allowing those 4 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, with 2 strikeouts, to earn his first win of the season. �Dustin Molleken pitched 2.1 innings, and he gave up the SeaWolves’ final run in the 7th, on a single and a triple. �The runner on third was thrown out at the plate on a subsequent fielders’ choice play, when SS d’Arnaud threw to Hector Gonzalez at the plate for the tag out. Danny Moskos earned his first save with 1.2 scoreless innings, allowing one hit, and striking out 2 batters.

The Curve are now 7-1 for the season — their best start in franchise history.

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Three Minor League Wins

Altoona Curve 4, �Richmond Flying Squirrels 1 (box)

The Giants have moved their AA level team from Connecticut, where they were the Defenders, to Richmond, Virginia, where they are now the… Flying Squirrels? �Richmond had been the home of the Atlanta Braves’ AAA team for just about forever, until last season when the Braves moved their affiliate to Gwinnett County, just outside Atlanta. �Now Richmond has a team again.

The Curve curtailed the Squirrels’ flying by scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st. �With one out, SS Chase d’Arnaud and 3B Jordy Mercer worked back-to-back walks. �A ground out to the right side of the infield moved both runners up one base, and a single by C Hector Gomez on a line drive into center field brought both runs in.

Altoona’s starter Justin Wilson zipped through the first two innings. �He gave up a double and a walk in the 3rd, but a fly out kept any runs from scoring. �Another double, a ground out, and an RBI single by the Squirrels cut the Curve lead to one run in the top of the 4th. �The Curve came right back in the bottom of the frame, when RF Miles Durham led off with a double, went to third on Gimenez’s sacrifice bunt, and score on 2B Josh Harrison’s grounder to short. �They added one more run in the 5th. �Two walks got the Squirrels in trouble again, this time by pinch-hitter Jim Negrych and CF Gorkys Hernandez. Jordy Mercer supplied the RBI single that brought in Negrych with the insurance run. �The Curve had only 4 hits in the game, to 5 by the Squirrels. �1B Matt Hague had the other Curve hit, which was a single in the top of the 9th.

Justin Wilson pitched 5 innings and allowed the one run on 5 hits and a walk, and he struck out 4 batters in his first win of the season. �Tony Watson also struck out 4 batters in his 3 innings of work. �Watson walked 2 batters but did not allow any hits. �Jeff Sues earned his first Save with a perfect 9th inning.

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