Columbus Clippers 4, Norfolk Tides 0
Box Score · Clippers improve to 13-6
Oscar Mercado and Eric Haase were the talk of Columbus on Thursday.
Mercado stayed scorching hot, extending his hitting streak to 11 games with a lead-off home run in the first inning.
Mercado also doubled in the game, raising his season OPS to a ridiculous 1.059.
Mike Papi also walked three times.
Starting pitcher Asher Wojciechowski was terrific, tossing five shutout innings on three hits while striking out four and walking three. Jon Edwards, Nick Goody and Josh Smith combined to toss four shutout innings of relief to preserve the shutout.
Akron RubberDucks 6, Bowie Baysox 2 (F/10)
Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 9-11
No RubberDucks had standout offensive performances other than Tyler Friis, who went 1-3 with a walk and stole two bases, but that didn’t matter as Akron got timely hits when they counted late in the game.
With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the 10th inning, the RubberDucks sequenced a walk, an RBI single from Logan Ice, another walk, an RBI single from Ka’ai Tom, a sacrifice fly from Tyler Krieger and an RBI single from Daniel Johnson to score four runs and defeat Bowie on Thursday.
Starting pitcher Zach Plesac was downright filthy, tossing 7.0 shutout innings of two-hit ball while striking out seven and walking just one.
Luke Eubank and Dalbert Siri combined to allow Bowie to tie the game in the final two innings, but Matt Whitehouse slammed the door shut with 1.1 shutout innings to earn the victory.
Lynchburg Hillcats 4, Down East Wood Ducks 3
Box Score · Hillcats improve to 13-8
Steven Kwan reached base safely three times, going 1-3 with a double and two walks as Akron rallied late to take the lead by scoring three runs in the seventh inning.
Nolan Jones went 2-4 with a double and Jonathan Laureano went 1-3 with a double and a walk to pace the Lynchburg offense.
Justin Garza allowed three runs in 5.0 innings on three hits while striking out five and walking four.
The bullpen kept the Wood Ducks off the scoreboard the rest of the way. Kyle Nelson in particular was dominant, striking out two in a perfect ninth inning to notch his third save of the season.
Lake County Captains 9, Dayton Dragons 10 (F/10)
Box Score · Captains fall to 12-8
An unbelievable offensive performance from Tyler Freeman was wasted as Lake County’s pitching couldn’t keep West Michigan off the board.
Freeman went 3-3 with a triple, three walks and two runs scored, reaching base safely all six times he came up to bat.
After walking just eight times in 301 plate appearances during his 2018 MVP season in Mahoning Valley, he has discovered patience in 2019. Freeman already has walked 11 times in just 80 plate appearances for Lake County. Freeman has raised his walk rate from 2.7% to a whopping 13.8% while dropping his strikeout rate from an already low 7.3% to just 5.0%. This kid is incredibly special and is still 19 years old.
Indians 2018 first round pick Bo Naylor had the best game of the season, going 3-6 with two RBI and a run scored. Mitch Reeves also reached base safely three times, going 1-4 with a double, a walk and a hit by pitch.
Starting pitcher Alex Royalty was tattooed, allowing six runs on 10 hits in 4.0 innings while striking out four and walking one.
Aaron Pinto struggled out of the bullpen, allowing one run each in the eighth, ninth and then 10th innings to blow the lead and then take the loss.