Memphis Redbirds 7, San Antonio Missions 6
(SP) Daniel Ponce de Leon - 6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
(SS) Tommy Edman - 3-5, 2B
(1B) John Nogowski - 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, K
Memphis jumped out to a lead early and controlled the rest of the game. Drew Robinson led off the scoring with an RBI single to score Tommy Edman in the bottom of the first. Robinson would go on to walk in each of his next three trips to the plate.
Two more runs were added in the bottom of the third when Johan Mieses singled up the middle with the bases loaded. The three run lead evaporated briefly in the top of the fourth, when Ponce de Leon served up a middle-middle 1-1 pitch to Jacob Nottingham. Nottingham took PDL for a ride, lifting the ball over the left center fence.
The tie didn’t last for long, however. John Nogowski stepped into the box with one on and one out in the bottom of the fourth, and promptly took a middle-low pitch out to left field. After taking the lead in the fourth, the Redbirds never gave it up.
The wins bumps Memphis’s record to 7-7. The series against San Antonio continues tonight at 7:05pm CDT.
Tulsa Drillers 10 @ Springfield Cardinals 7
(SP) Casey Meisner - 5 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
(CF) Scott Hurst - 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB
(RF) Shane Billings - 2-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB
Finally - some notable individual performances. Scott Hurst’s 2-3 day was his a welcome sight to see after a dreadful start to the season. For an idea of just how back things have been for the outfielder, even after going 2-3 with a home run on Wednesday he’s still slashing just .170/.304/.255. He’s walking a lot (16.1%) but also striking out more than you want from a tweener with his profile (25%). There’s some bad batted ball luck in there, to be sure, but mostly AA pitchers know they can challenge him in the zone and not get dinged for it right now.
After the loss, Springfield sits at 5-9. They open a series against NW Arkansas tonight at 7:05pm CDT.
Lakeland Flying Tigers 1, Palm Beach Cardinals 0
(SP) Perry DellaValle - 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
(SS) Rayder Ascanio - 1-3, 2B, K
(CF) Chase Pinder - 1-4, K
I...I don’t even know how to approach this recap. Perry DellaValle did everything in his power to keep his team in the game through eight innings of work, but the offense just completely refused to cooperate.
The Cardinals only mustered two hits the entire day, one from Rayder Ascanio and one from Chase Pinder. Regardless, Palm Beach entered the ninth inning tied with a chance to walk away victorious. The collegiate trio of Zach Kirtley, Nick Dunn and Luken Baker led off the inning, but couldn’t combine for anything more than two groundouts and a strikeout. Ben Yokley replaced DellaValle to open the bottom of the ninth, quickly tallying two outs with just six pitches. Austin Athmann, he of 5 home runs in 786 minor league at bats, then stepped to the plate. What could possibly go wrong? Oh yeah, the catcher walked them off.
The loss drops Palm Beach’s record to 10-4. They begin a series against St. Lucie tonight at 5:30pm CDT.
Clinton LumberKings 8 @ Peoria Chiefs 4
(SP) Alvaro Seijas - 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
(LF) Lars Nootbaar - 2-5, 3B, HR, RBI
(C) Ivan Herrera - 2-4, HR, RBI, K
(DH) Nolan Gorman - 1-3, RBI, BB, K
Man oh man, Alvaro Seijas is off to a good start to the season. The short righthander has started three games and turned in two stellar outings thus far. He faltered in his season debut, giving up three earned runs while walking four before not making it out of the third inning. Since then, he’s been nails. Over his last twelve innings of work, he’s struck out 15, walked just two, given up for hits and surrendered only one run.
Hail LARS NOOTBAAR. Nootbaar’s been hot in the early going - good news for this prospect writer who jumps at every oppurtunity to type LARS NOOTBAAR. The Noot has flashed his raw power against Midwest League pitching in his first taste of the league, running a .277/.320/.617 through 12 games of work. That .340 ISO has come along with a 6.0% walk rate and a 10% strikeout rate, numbers you’d expect to find from a slap hitting middle infield prospect. Nootbaar never tapped into his plus raw power at USC, but if he’s made adjustments to unlock even 55-grade game power without sacrificing his approach he might be turning a corner.
The loss moves Peoria to 5-8 for the young season. The Chiefs play game one against Burlington tonight at 7:30pm CDT.
Rising: Ivan Herrera (C) - Nolan Gorman get’s all the hype in Peoria, but he isn’t the only teenager flourishing in the Midwest League right now. The 18-year old jumped straight from the GCL to full season ball this year with promising early returns. In 9 games behind the dish, Herrera has hit .290/.389/.645 with three home runs.
Falling: Jacob Schlesener (LHP) - Is it noise or is it signal? Listen, Schlesener has only appeared in three games and tossed 2.1 innings. But he’s also utterly failed to find the strikezone in the early going, walking 11 batters so far. That’s a 42.43 BB/9, not a typo I swear. The ERA? 46.29. I’m not worried yet, but these numbers too comical to not right up here.
MEM: Alex Reyes
SPR: Austin Warner
PMB: Angel Rondon
PEO: Jacob Schlesener*
*NOTE: The projected starters have been hit or miss on MiLB.com this year. Expect Schlesener to get scratched after
exploding appearing yesterday.