The top and bottom of the organization’s full-season teams had rough nights yesterday, but thankfully, the middle of the org’s affiliates made up for them due to some spectacular pitching and some very timely hitting from top prospects.
Columbus Clippers 3, Buffalo Bisons 9
Box Score · Clippers fall to 7-8
Columbus had no issue getting baserunners this game, tying Buffalo with 13 hits overall, their problem was a lack of extra base hits and stranding runners, as they left 11 men on base in total on the night and only one player had any extra base hits at all.
Several players had big games for the Clippers, but Chris Colabello was by far the best, going 3-5 with a home run and a double on the night. The insanely red hot Erik Kratz also continues to pound Triple-A pitching, going 3-4 while Richie Shaffer and Erik Gonzalez contributed multi-hit games of their own.
The Cinderella story for journeyman pitcher Chris Narveson came screeching to a halt as he was pounded for six runs in 3.2 innings
Akron Rubberducks 3, Altoona Curve 2
Box Score · Rubberducks improve to 5-9
Don’t look now, but Francisco Mejia is streaking again. The top Tribe prospect had an incredible 50-game hitting streak last season to make a name for himself, and he’s back to his old ways. If you factor in his eight-game hitting streak to close out 2016 in Lynchburg, Mejia’s current streak stands at 19 games after he went 1-2 with two walks last night, although he finally did allow his first stolen base of the year as a catcher.
Tyler Krieger remained scorching hot, going 2-4 with a double and a stolen base while Bobby Bradley’s bat appears to be awakening from its slumber as he had a 2-2 night with two walks. Those three players accounted for all of Akron’s offense, actually,
Thankfully, the team didn’t need too much offense as starting pitcher Nick Pasquale was excellent, giving up two runs over six innings of work while striking out five. Matt Whitehouse earned the save with two innings of scoreless relief.
Lynchburg Hillcats 4, Potomac Nationals 2
Box Score · Hillcats improve to 8-7
Thomas Pannone and Triston McKenzie may be getting all the buzz for the Lynchburg Hillcats starting rotation, but Shao-Ching Chiang is quietly having an incredible start to his season.
Chiang dropped his ERA to 0.93 with seven dominant innings yesterday where he gave up zero earned runs on three hits and three strikeouts. Chiang primarily pitches to contact, but when he’s on, he can really go deep into ballgames and work quickly.
Infielders Sam Haggerty, Yonathan Mendoza and Sicnarf Loopstok accounted for all of Lynchburg’s offense, highlighted by Haggerty’s two doubles and a stolen base. Those three players reached base safely a total of eight times
Leandro Linares earned a one-out save to continue his dominant season, as he has yet to allow an earned run out of the bullpen.
Lake County Captains 2, West Michigan Whitecaps 6
Box Score · Captains fall to 8-6
Juan Hillman is struggling. The Indians 2015 second round pick was hit hard and often yesterday for six runs spread over five innings of work. The 20-year old only kept runs off the board in one of those innings, giving up eight hits in total, but at least he didn’t walk anyone.
The game was out of reach pretty quickly, but catchers Logan Ice and Li-Jen Chu continued to hit well, both picking up two hits.
Long reliever Tanner Tully was once again brilliant in relief, striking out six over three perfect innings. It’s only a matter of time before he gets another opportunity to start baseball games.