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Clippers outscore Knights, 21-0, in doubleheader sweep

Cleveland Guardians minor league recap for Saturday, April 8, 2023

Columbus Clippers 4, Charlotte Knights 0 (Game 1)
Columbus Clippers 17, Charlotte Knights 0 (Game 2)

Game 1 Box Score · Game 2 Box Score · Clippers improve to 3-4

Whatever demons the Columbus Clippers had that caused them to drop their first four games of the season were thoroughly exercised yesterday, as they swept the Charlotte Knights in a doubleheader by a combined score of 21-0. And, keep in mind, these are seven-inning games.

Game 1 was your regular baseball affair. It featured Tanner Bibee consistently hitting 97 mph on the radar gun and David Fry racking up two hits (including his first triple), but nothing too out of the ordinary.

Game 2, on the other hand, was entirely off the rails. The Clippers only had 11 hits, but they finished with 17 runs thanks to drawing 12 walks as a team and going 7-for-19 with runners in scoring position. Even with all that, they still left seven runners on base. In true Guardians fashion, the 17 runs were piled up with only one home run, hit by Daniel Schneemann in the fifth inning.

Brayan Rocchio, Bo Naylor, and Fry all had two hits in the second game. Rocchio has recorded at least one hit in each game this season, and this was his second multi-hit game. Three of the early runs came from this bases-clearing double by Naylor.

Lost in the offensive explosion was Konnor Pilkington rebounding from his disastrous 2023 debut to pitch four shutout innings. He did walk four batters, however, which limited how long he stayed in the game. Forty-five of Pilkington’s 70 pitches were four-seamers — probably more factoring in the pitches that went undefined by Statcast.

Akron RubberDucks 6, Erie SeaWolves 4

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 1-1

The Guardians took a risk in the offseason by dealing the fireballing, but injured, Carlos Vargas to the Diamondbacks in exchange for Ross Carver and some roster space. Vargas has already made his debut in Arizona, and the Guardians got their first look at Carver in Double-A yesterday. He pitched three innings, with four walks, one earned run, and one hit.

Petey Halpin led the offense with two hits, while Aaron Bracho hit his first home run of the season to tie the game in the sixth.

Akron would pull ahead with another run later in the sixth and tack on an insurance run in the seventh to secure their first win of the season.

Lake County Captains 2, Dayton Dragons 1

Box Score · Captains improve to 2-0

It was a rough day for the Lake County Captains offense, but they were picked up by the pitching staff to remain undefeated through two games. The top third of the Lake County lineup — headlined by offseason acquisition, Juan Brito — combined to go 0-for-13 with five strikeouts. But they only needed three hits, thanks to Ryan Webb working around a few walks in 4.2 innings, and the bullpen (mostly) shutting things down over the final 4.1 innings.

Here’s a tweet.

Lynchburg Hillcats 1, Fredericksburg Nationals 4

Box Score · Hillcats fall to 0-1

The Lynchburg Hillcats were the last full-season affiliate to start their season yesterday, and they began with a loss. Parker Messick turned in a gem over four shutout innings, with five strikeouts and a walk, but a pair of errors and an unfortunately timed home run sank the bullpen. Pres Cavenaugh, Guy Lipscomb, and Nate Furman all had hits in the loss.