Tag: Gift Ngoepe
Continuing to look at the middle infielders in the Pirates' minor league organization:
Kelson Brown -- R/R, 6' 3", 170 lb
Brown was the Pirates' 34th round draft pick in 2010, coming off some surprising success as a senior at Linfield College (.443 average, 9 homers). Brown reported to State College, where he was a little "old" for the level. He jumped out to a big start, hitting .348 with 6 RBI in June. That dropped to .247 in July, though his RBI bumped up to 12. He settled out to .298 with 7 RBI in August. The overall average for the season was .293, with 12 doubles and 26 RBI. Despite being listed as a shortstop, Brown played most of his games (40) at third base, where he did well -- just 3 errors. He also played 11 games at second base and 3 at short. He's said to have a strong arm, and that's probably why he played so much at third. the 23-year-old Brown should be moved up to West Virginia for 2011. It will be interesting to see if his hitting continues.
Drew Maggi -- R/R, 6' 0", 175 lb
Maggi was chosen in the 15th round of the 2010 draft. He signed late, so did not get to State College until August, and got into only 18 games for the Spikes. All of those games were played at shortstop, where Maggi made 8 errors. He struggled at the plate, too, hitting just .156, with 3 doubles and 2 RBI. He struck out 15 times in 18 games (23.4%), though he also walked 8 times (11.8%). He stole 5 bases, and has good speed. The tough start to his pro career could be just a fluke, or just getting used to the pro life (and wooden bats) and a layoff after finishing the college season. The Pirates think highly of him, and it's likely that he'll be promoted to West Virginia anyway. Maggi will turn 22 years old in May.
Blue Jays 5, Pirates 0
The Pirates were held to just 4 hits in this afternoon's game against the Blue Jays at McKechnie Field. 3B Pedro Alvarez had two of the hits -- a two-out single up the middle in the 1st inning, and a single on a pop up in the 6th. The single in the 1st moved CF Andrew McCutchen, who had walked, to third base, and the single in the 6th followed a line drive double by 2B Pedro Ciriaco and moved Ciriaco to third base. Both times, however, the innings ended without the Pirates being able to get the run in. The only other hit in the game was by 2B Brian Friday, who led off the top of the 9th by beating out a grounder to third. After a strikeout, 1B Andy Marte walked, putting two runners on base. But pinch-hitter Gift Ngoepe struck out and C Jason Jaramillo grounded out to end the game.
James McDonald made the start and was responsible for 4 of the Jays' runs. He gave up a double, two singles, a walk, and a sacrifice fly for 2 runs in the top of the 1st. He retired the side in order in the 2nd, but got into trouble again in the 3rd. A double and a throwing error by SS Corey Wimberly gave the Jays a run in the 3rd. With two outs and a runner on second base, McDonald had reached his pitch limit (about 50 pitches), and he was relieved by Justin Thomas. Thomas gave up an RBI single and a walk, then ended the inning with a strikeout. Chris Resop surrendered the remaining Toronto run in the 5th. Back-to-back doubles by former Pirate Jose Bautista (who went 3-for-3) and Travis Snyder brought in that run. Resop struck out the next two batters, and ended the inning with a ground out. Joel Hanrahan, Aaron Thompson, Daniel McCutchen, Justin Wilson, and Jeff Locke each pitched one scoreless inning for the Pirates. McCutchen gave up two hits and Locke gave up one. Wilson walked one batter and struck out the other three he faced.
Also in the game: SS Chase d'Arnaud, LF Gorkys Hernandez, CF Alex Presley, RF Andrew Lambo, 3B Garrett Atkins.
Tuesday's action for the Pirates' lower minor leaguers....
Altoona Curve� 9,� Bowie Baysox� 1 ..���� (box)
The Altoona Curve clinched the Eastern League's Western Division title tonight with a win over Bowie.� This is just the second time the Curve have won their division in their 12 years of existence, and it follows a 2009 when the Curve spent the season in the cellar.
Six different Curve batters had 2 hits in the game, and 1B Matt Hague's two hits were both home runs.� The batters provided plenty of run support for starter Rudy Owens, who won his 12th game of the season.� Owens pitched 6 scoreless innings, and struck out 9 Bowie batters.� Owens allowing 2 singles in the 1st inning but kept the Baysox scoreless thanks to an on-target throw in from RF Miles Durham to C Hector Gimenez, to tag out the lead runner at the plate.� Owens retired the next 11 batters in order, then gave up back-to-back singles in the 5th.� A strikeout ended that inning -- he struck out 3 batters in the 5th, and two more in the 6th to finish up his night.
Derek Hankins earned his 7th save with 3 innings of work.� He gave up a lead-off homer to the first batter he faced in the 7th inning, and that was Bowie's only run of the game.� Hankins loaded the bases with three singles following the homer, but got out of the inning with a strikeout.� He allowed only one more hit over the next two innings and struck out a total of 5 batters.
Meanwhile, the Curve batters were steadily stacking up the runs, scoring in 6 of their 9 at-bats.� Bowie held them off in the 1st inning, despite loading the bases on singles by 3B Josh Harrison and SS Jordy Mercer, and a walk to DH Andrew Lambo. Two strikeouts strikeouts ended the inning without a run scoring.� After that, the Curve took off.� Durham singled and CF Anthony Norman tripled for one run in the 2nd inning (1).� Hague was hit by a pitch, then singles by Gimenez and 2B Jim Negrych brought in 2 runs in the 3rd (3).� Hague homered for the first time, a solo shot, in the 5th (4).� Two more runs came in during the 6th.� Norman walked, and LF Jose De Los Santos reached on a fielding error.� Harrison doubled, plating Norman (5), and Mercer's ground out brought in De Los Santos (6).� In the 7th, Negrych singled and scored on Norman's double (7).� Hague homered again in the 8th inning, this time with Mercer on base with a single (9).
Three Curve position players have been named to participate in the Arizona Fall League:� OF Andrew Lambo, INF Josh Harrison, and INF Jordy Mercer will be with the Mesa Solar Sox.� Joining them will be C Tony Sanchez. (Each team is allowed one A-level player.)� The Pirates are also allowed three pitchers, though those assignments have not yet been determined.� The Arizona Fall League begins play in mid-October.
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.
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.
Early and late action for the Pirates' lower minor league affiliates:
Portland Sea Dogs� 9,� Altoona Curve� 8 (box)
Two home runs by 3B Josh Harrison and an early lead from a 5-run 2nd inning were washed away by the Sea Dogs' 6-run 7th inning this afternoon.� Harrison, the second batter of the game, put the Curve onto the scoreboard minutes after the game began with his solo home run over the left field wall.� He added the second home run (his 3rd of the season) in the next inning.� That rally began with back-to-back walks by RF Miles Durham and C Kris Watts. CF Anthony Norman was hit by a pitch to load the bases for LF Jose De Los Santos. A line drive single by De Los Santos brought in Durham, then a wild pitch let Watts score.� 2B Chase d'Arnaud lifted a sacrifice fly, which plated Norman.� That left De Los Santos on base for Harrison, who blasted his second home run, also over the left field wall, for a 2-run homer, giving the Curve a 6-0 lead.
Bryan Morris began his afternoon's work by allowing only a walk and a single over the first three innings.� In the 4th, he gave up a single just over the head of SS Jordy Mercer and into left field, then a home run on a rising line drive, cutting the Curve's lead to 6-2.� Those were the only runs Morris allowed, on 3 hits and a walk, with 4 strikeouts in 5 innings.
Morris was relieved by Tom Boleska to begin the 6th.� Boleska gave up a solo homer, to 1B Anthony Rizzo, inching the Sea Dogs closer, 6-3.� But the real trouble came in the 7th, when Boleska could not retire any of the 4 batters he faced.� The first blasted a solo home run, then the next three all singled.� Derek Hankins replaced Boleska with the bases loaded and no outs.� He got one out on the infield fly rule, then got former Curve Ray Chang to strike out.� That brought Rizzo to the plate again -- and he smashed a grand slam over the center field wall, and Portland had a 7-6 lead.� The grand slam was immediately followed by another solo home run, the third homer of the inning, for an 8-6 lead.� Five of those runs were charged to Boleska, and the other two to Hankins.
The Curve put one runner on base in each of the 4th through 7th innings, but could not get any of them around to score.� They rallied again in the 8th, starting with a single by 1B Matt� Hague and a double by Jordy Mercer, moving Hague to third base.� Miles Durham's sacrifice fly brought in Hague, and Kris Watts' double scored Mercer.� Norman was hit by a pitch and De Los Santos singled to deep short to load the bases.� But a grounder force out ended the inning with the Curve still one run short.� They went down in order in the 9th, and the Sea Dogs had the come-from-behind win.� Morris did not figure into the decision, but Boleska took the loss.
A full day of action for the Pirates' minor league affiliates on Wednesday
Altoona Curve� 1,� Portland Sea Dogs� 0 (box)
Jeff Locke pitched 7 shut-out innings and struck out 8 batters to earn his 2nd win with the Curve.� Locke scattered 3 hits and one walk in those 7 innings.� All three of the hits were doubles.� Two of the runners were left on base, and the other was thrown out trying to stretch the double into a triple.� Locke never had more than one base runner on at a time.� Mike Dubee completed the shutout with 2 perfect innings in relief, including two strikeouts.
The Curve batters were not hitting a lot either, but they were the ones who put together a series of hits to score a run.� In the 8th, C Hector Gimenez doubled, and DH Yung Chi Chen and CF Anthony Norman followed with back-to-back singles.� Norman's single drove in Gimenez with the only run of the game.� The only other hits the Curve posted were back-to-back singles by LF Jim Negrych and 1B Matt Hague in the first inning.� Both were left on base.� After those two hits, the next 20 Curve batters were retired in order, until the 3 hits in the 8th.
Saturday's action with the Pirates' lower minor league affiliates...� The West Virginia Power and Lexington Legends were rained out tonight.� They will go for two tomorrow.
State College� 1,� Aberdeen IronBirds� 0 (box)
Pitchers Tyler Waldron, Ryan Beckman, and Brooks Pounders combined to one-hit the IronBirds tonight.� Waldron made the start with 5 nearly-perfect innings.� The first IronBirds batter of the game was the only one to reach base against Waldron, and he got on when C Matthew Skirving dropped strike three, then made a throwing error when he fired the ball down to first base.� Waldron immediately erased that base runner in a double play, then retired all the rest of the batters he faced, including one more strikeout.
Beckman took the 6th inning, and he also retired the side in order.� Pounders pitched the final three innings.� He gave up back to back walks with one out in the 7th, but left both runners stranded.� Pounders also retired the side in order in the 8th.� The no-hitter was lost in the 9th, when the first batter of the inning doubled into right field.� Pounders retired the next three batters in order, leaving the runner on second base.� Waldron earned his 3rd win of the season, and Pounders earned his first save.
The Spikes batters collected 6 hits and 4 walks, but fell victim to double plays and outfield assists, so they scored only one run.� In the 2nd inning, 1B Matt Curry walked, but was erased in a double play, and LF Pat Irvine singled, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.� Curry walked again in the 4th, but was caught stealing.� SS Gift Ngoepe singled in the 9th, but was thrown out trying for two bases. The lone Spikes' run came in the 6th inning.� With one out, CF Mel Rojas worked a walk, then DH Gerlis Rodriguez drove a triple into center field, scoring Rojas.� Curry walked for the third time in the game in the 9th, and RF Cole White singled, but both were left on base.� White was the only Spikes' batter to have two hits.� 2B Kelson Brown also singled.
Minor League action with the Pirates' affiliates on Thursday... lots of good pitching
Altoona Curve� 5,� Trenton Thunder� 3 (box)
The Curve came from behind to take this game from Trenton, despite being out-hit 8-7.� Starter Jeff Locke had trouble in the 1st inning, when 3 runs scored on a double, three singles, a wild pitch, and a throwing error by C Hector Gimenez on a stolen base play.� After that inning, Locke settled in, scattering four hits over the next 5 innings, while striking out 6 batters.
The Curve batters had only 2 hits over the first 3 innings, but they got going in the 4th to put one run on the board.� LF Andrew Lambo walked, and 1B Matt Hague singled.� A ground out to second by Gimenez moved both runners into scoring position, and 2B Jim Negrych picked up an RBI when his groundout scored Lambo.� DH Yung Chi Chen got the 5th inning off to a good start with a triple into left field.� He scored on CF Anthony Norman's sacrifice fly.� A fielding error in left field put Norman on first base, but he was caught stealing moments later.� SS Chase d'Arnaud kept the rally going with a walk, and he was successful in stealing second.� 3B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch, and a wild pitch moved d'Arnaud to third and Harrison to second.� Lambo's grounder to second brought in d'Arnaud from third, and the score was tied at 3-3.
Jared Hughes took over for Locke for the final three innings.� He held the Thunder to just a walk in the 7th, retiring the other 9 batters he faced, with the help of some outstanding outfield work, particularly by Norman, and an infield gem by Negrych.� The Curve threatened in the 6th, when RF Miles Durham singled and Chen walked with 2 outs, but both were left on base.� Harrison began the 7th inning with a walk, and with two outs, he stole second base.� That put him into scoring position, so that when Hague took a 3-0 pitch into left field for a double, Harrison was able to score the go-ahead run.� Gimenez was intentionally walked to get to Negrych, who obligingly grounded to second base for what should have been the final out of the inning.� But the Trenton second baseman made a fielding error -- Negrych was safe at first, and Hague scored an insurance run.
News and action for the Pirates' lower minor league affiliates on Sunday.� The GCL Pirates and the Bradenton Marauders had scheduled days off today.
Three members of the State College Spikes have been named to the National League squad for the New York-Penn League All-Star Game, which will be played on August 17th at the home of the Staten Island Yankees.� IF Matt Curry, the Pirates' 16th round pick in the 2010 draft, has a .331 batting average, with 3 homers and 19 RBI.�� OF Adalberto Santos was the Pirates' 22nd round pick in this year's draft.� He is hitting .313 with 2 homers and 29 RBI, and is tied for second in the league with 37 runs scored.� Reliever Jhonathan Ramos has a 3-1 record and one save, with a 1.54 ERA.� He leads the league in lowest number of baserunners allowed at 6.56/9 innings.� Opposing batters are hitting just .169 against him.
Tri-City Valley Cats� 4,� State College Spikes� 1 (box)
Tri-City took the early lead and never gave it up in this evening's game.� CF Mel Rojas and 2B Gift Ngoepe led the Spikes with 2 hits each, but the team managed only one run.� Starter Zach Fuesser got into trouble right away in his 5th start for the Spikes.� Two singles, a stolen base, and a 2-RBI single gave Tri-City 2 runs in the top of the 1st.� They added another run in the 2nd on a double, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly.� After a single, a wild pitch, a balk, and a walk in the 4th, Fuesser was relieved by Ryan Beckman, who finished the inning.� Beckman also gave up a walk and a wild pitch in the 5th, but kept Tri-City from scoring in that inning, but he surrendered a run on a single and a double in the 6th.
The Spikes had only one base runner over the first 3 innings, when Rojas walked to lead off the bottom of the 1st.� RF Adalberto Santos singled and stole second base in the 4th, and both C Miguel Mendez and DH Cole White singled with two outs in the 5th, but they were all left on base.� Ngoepe bounced a ground-rule double over the center field wall to begin the 6th, and Santos walked, but three strikeouts left both of them stranded also.� The Spikes scored their only run in the 7th.� 3B Kelson Brown led off with a double, and he scored on Rojas' single.� Ngoepe also singled, and Santos walked, loading the bases with two outs.� A grounder ended the inning, though, and the Spikes were held to just that one run.� They threatened again in the 9th, when White walked and Rojas singled, but could not push the runner across the plate.
Mitch Fienemann pitched the last 3 innings for the Spikes, and allowed only one hit, while striking out 3 batters.