The minor league season rolls on, but this is April baseball and of course weather continues to plays a factor. After forcing the Lake County Captains to delay the end of their game last night, mother nature decided to snow in Akron, causing the RubberDucks to postpone their game before it even started.
TONIGHT'S GAME has been PPD! Tomorrow, normal 2:05 game. Sunday, 2 7-inn-game DOUBLEHEADER at 1:05. Tix can be swapped for another '17 game! pic.twitter.com/Vrj3JSwLbr— Akron RubberDucks (@AkronRubberDuck) April 7, 2017
But those who did get it to play, mostly played well. None better than Lynchburg Hillcats pitcher Thomas Pannone.
Columbus Clippers 2, Louisville Bats 7
Box Score · Clippers improve to 1-1
After an impressive win to open their season on the right foot, the Columbus Clippers dropped their second game with ALCS hero Ryan Merritt on the mound.
Merritt himself was not particularly sharp, giving up four earned runs off nine hits in five innings of work. Two innings in particular — the first and the third — sunk Merritt. In the first, he allowed a two-run home run as well as three singles before striking out Phillip Ervin and watching Richie Shaffer catch a line out from Chad Wallach.
Carlos Frias, an offseason acquisition formerly of the Los Angeles Dodgers, did not help much either. The 27-year-old reliever gave up three earned runs in in his lone inning of work. Louis Head looked great in his two innings, striking out three and holding the Louisville Bats to zero hits.
Offensively, the Clippers were just outpaced every time they got a run across the plate. It was those first and third innings, again, that did the team in. Columbus scored with Erik Gonzalez’s lead-off homer, then Louisville responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Two innings later, Columbus scored on a Jordan Smith single, only to have Louisville, again, respond with two runs.
Top prospect Bradley Zimmer doubled in the game — the only extra-base hit sans Gonzalez’s dinger — Lonnie Chisenhall was 1-for-4 in his rehab start.
Lynchburg Hillcats 1, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 2
Box Score · Hillcats fall to 0-2
Despite a total offensive power outage, the Lynchburg Hillcats were in line to win this game as late as the seventh inning. It wasn’t until the eighth that the Myrtle Beach Pelicans tied it up on a wild pitch and eventually pulled ahead in the ninth.
Collectively, the Hillcats offense was held to just three hits.
The real story of the game Hillcats starting pitcher Thomas Pannone flirting with perfection. The 22-year-old lefty threw a no-hitter through five innings, complete with eight strikeouts and a mere two walks. Being that no one cares about minor league no-hitters, Pannone was pulled and replaced with a series of pitchers who sort of ruined everything. But still, keeping a lineup without a hit even over five innings is impressive. Hats off to Pannone.
Lake County Captains 7, Dayton Dragons 3
Box Score · Captains improve to 2-0
This was technically part two of a double header, as the Lake County Captains wrapped a game that was delayed yesterday. They would end up winning both contests decisively. While there was no two-HR games like Todd Isaacs had in game one, lead-off batter Gabriel Mejia had himself a great game — two hits, including a triple, in three at-bats.
Starting pitcher Aaron Civale lasted 4.2 innings, and he allowed three earned runs off of four hits. Henry Martinez closed the game out over 2.1 innings and was given the win.
The Akron RubberDucks game was postponed due to snow.