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Oscar Gonzalez walks off Akron in season opener

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Cleveland minor league recap for May 5, 2021

The Cleveland system got off to a great start on Tuesday, with Columbus and Lynchburg jumping out to big early leads and rolling to victory, while Akron decided to make its victory a bit more dramatic with a walk-off three-run home run.

Several of the top prospects in the system were in action. Check out how they did!

Columbus Clippers 6, Louisville Bats 3

Box Score · Clippers improve to 1-0

The Clippers got the scoring started early with five runs in the first inning. Oscar Mercado had an RBI double, Bobby Bradley had an RBI groundout, Owen Miller had an RBI single and then Gabrial Arias blasted the first pitch he saw in his Triple-A career out of the park for a two-run home run.

Veteran catcher Ryan Lavarnway added a solo shot in the fourth inning for an insurance run. Ben Gamel went 3-5 with a double, Mercado went 1-3 with a pair of walks and Lavarnway went 2-4 at the plate.

On the pitching side of the equation, Kirk McCarty allowed two runs on just two hits in 5.0 innings in his Triple-A debut, walking one, but somehow striking out zero. Anthony Gose, Kyle Dowdy, and Blake Parker finished off the final 4.0 innings by allowing just one run on two hits and striking out six, with Parker earning the save.

No. 1 prospect Nolan Jones had a rough night, picking up the golden sombrero by going 0-4 with four strikeouts.

Akron RubberDucks 5, Binghamton Rumble Ponies 4

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 1-0

Can you say walk-off?

Things looked grim for Akron after Juan Mota gave up two runs in the top of the ninth inning, but the RubberDucks weren’t going to roll over. Richard Palacios and Alex Call both drew walks, and then it was time for our favorite impatient-hitting outfielder Oscar Gonzalez to do some damage.

Besides Gonzalez, Tyler Freeman had a strong Double-A debut, going 2-4 with an RBI single. Bo Naylor, Steven Kwan, and Trenton Brooks all went 1-3 with a walk.

Starter Eli Lingos allowed one run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 3.0 innings. Justin Garza and Jake Miednik combined for 3.0 innings of scoreless relief.

Lake County Captains 1, Lansing Lugnuts 8

Box Score · Captains fall to 0-1

It was a rough 2021 debut for starting pitcher Hunter Gaddis, who was hammered for seven runs (four earned) in just three innings on seven hits and two walks without striking out a batter. Hopefully he can put this one behind him.

Offensively, Bryan Lavastida and Brayan Rocchio both had a pair of singles and Will Brennan had an RBI double. Raynel Delgado was a bit too anxious to start the season, striking out in all four of his at-bats. George Valera also was 0-4 with a pair of strikeouts.

Thomas Ponticelli was excellent in long relief, tossing 4.0 shutout innings of two-hit ball with five strikeouts and no walks.

Lynchburg Hillcats 16, Fredericksburg Nationals 3

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 1-0

The Lynchburg Hillcats came out swinging, putting nine runs on the board in the first three innings. The Hillcats hit four home runs in the game, one each from Johnathan Rodriguez, Micah Pries, Alexfri Planez, and Jhonkensy Noel. Johnathan Rodriguez and Noel both had monster games, each collecting three hits and combining for nine RBI.

Christian Cairo, Yainer Diaz, and Pries all had multi-hit games.

Starting pitcher Xzavion Curry was the top arm in the Cleveland system on opening day. Curry tossed 4.0 shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out five. He has some pretty wicked stuff.

Daritzon Feliz finished off the game with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief.