Compiled via team press releases:
Syracuse (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs scored early and often on the way to a 6-4 victory over the Toledo Mud Hens on Saturday night. Paolo Espino became the first Chiefs starter to throw eight innings this season, while Trea Turner paced the offense with three hits and two runs scored.
Syracuse (35-39) tallied the game’s first run in the bottom of the first inning. Turner opened the frame with a single. He reached second on a fly out, and was there with two outs. Then, Thad Weber struck out Matt Skole, but on the wild pitch Skole reached first and Turner moved to third to extend the inning. Jhonatan Solano followed with a single right field to score Turner for a 1-0 Syracuse lead.
The Chiefs scored again in the second. Caleb Ramsey doubled down the left-field line with one out. Two batters later, Steve Lombardozzi singled home Ramsey to give the Chiefs a 2-0 advantage.
Syracuse continued the scoring in the fifth. Turner and Lombardozzi each singled to start the frame. Then Brian Goodwin singled home Turner for a 3-0 lead. Lombardozzi moved to third on the hit and came home two batters later on Solano’s RBI groundout.
Syracuse tacked on another run in the sixth inning. Tony Campana walked with two outs against reliever Drake Britton. Campana stole second and scored on Turner’s second hit of the night.
Toledo (32-42) finally cracked Espino in the eighth. Matt den Dekker lost a ball in the lights in right field, allowing John Hicks to reach second. Hicks moved to third on Dean Green’s groundout, and then scored on Argenis Diaz’s groundout to cut the lead to 5-1.
That was the only run Espino would allow in his outstanding outing. The starter worked eight innings while scattering just four hits in eight innings. He did not walk a batter while striking out six, facing just four Mud Hens batters over the minimum.
The Chiefs offense added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Jason Martinson walked, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and then scored on a Campana groundout.
Nick Masset replaced Espino and struck out Anthony Gose to start the ninth. From there, the Mud Hens tallied three runs on doubles from Casey McGehee, JaCoby Jones and Hicks over the next five batters. But at 6-4, Masset struck out Green to end the game.
The Chiefs and Mud Hens are back at it Sunday afternoon for the rubber game of this three-game series. Syracuse has scheduled A.J. Cole for the start opposite Buck Farmer for Toledo. First pitch is slated for 1:05 from NBT Bank Stadium.
Harrisburg (AA Eastern League): Reynaldo Lopez continued his impressive recent run of starts as he pitched a career-high eight scoreless innings in a 4-0 Senators win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Saturday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
The Senators (40-33) have moved back to a season-high seven games over .500 with the win.
Lopez earned his third win of the season by throwing 112 pitches and striking out 10 batters while scattering seven hits and two walks. He has now struck out double-digit batters in four of his last five starts that have not been rain shortened. In his last 34.2 innings, the 22-year-old has struck out 56 hitters.
In Lopez’s final inning, New Hampshire put runners on second and third with two outs, but Harrisburg’s starter responded with his tenth strikeout of the night to end the inning. Abel De Los Santos pitched a scoreless ninth to finish the win for the Senators.
The Senators again struck early with three runs in the top of the first as Zach Collier doubled and scored later in the inning on an error. Kevin Keyes later delivered a two-run double with two outs in the first to give Harrisburg more than it would need on Saturday.
Harrisburg added another run in the seventh inning when Wilmer Difo walked and when New Hampshire catcher Ryan Lavarnway tried to pick off Difo at first, the throw went down the right field line. The speedy Difo scored all the way from first, sliding in just ahead of the throw at home.
Eight of Harrisburg’s nine starters had a hit on Saturday, with each of the eight providing one hit.
The rubber game of three between the Senators and Fisher Cats will begin Sunday at 1:35 p.m. with Tyler Mapes taking the hill for Harrisburg. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1460 AM, on the internet at senatorsbaseball.com, or through the TuneIn and iHeart Radio apps with The Matt LeCroy Show beginning the radio broadcast at 1:20 p.m.
Potomac (High-A Carolina League): It took far longer than the necessary nine innings, but the Potomac Nationals (36-34, 2-0) emerged victorious with a 3-2 12-inning win over the Lynchburg Hillcats (45-27, 0-2) Saturday night at Calvin Falwell Field. Without a run since the first inning, Potomac got a one-out solo home run from DH Drew Vettleson in the 12th inning, as his first home run of the season proved to be the game winner.
Before RHP Austen Williams (ND) even had a chance to take the field, he received more run support than he had in his first two starts combined. The first three hitters of the night singled for Potomac, as1B Jose Marmolejos’ RBI single off of LHP Luis Lugo (ND) made it 1-0 in favor of the P-Nats. Two batters later, C Raudy Read plated SS Osvaldo Abreu with a sacrifice fly, as Potomac led 2-0 five batters into the game. However, Potomac did not pick up another hit until the eighth inning and did not score again until Vettleson’s 12th inning home run. Potomac had scored just one total run in Williams’ first two starts.
Williams put together his third consecutive quality start, as the righty allowed just one earned run over six innings. Lynchburg got on the board in the third inning, as C Sicnarf Loopstok doubled with one out, and LF Anthony Santander picked up his 47th RBI of the season with a two-out single. The score remained 2-1 Potomac until the bottom of the sixth inning.
With one out, 1B Bobby Bradley singled for the Hillcats. With SS Yu-Cheng Chang at the plate, a wild pitch from Williams allowed Bradley to get to second base. After Williams retired Chang, Bradley stole third base, as Potomac 3B Drew Ward was well off the line. After deciding not to throw down, Read eventually did, and his throw glanced off of Ward’s glove and went into the outfield, which allowed Bradley to score. The error on Read tied the game at two, where the score remained until the 12th.
The Hillcats had opportunities in each of the final four innings. CF Greg Allen led off the eighth with a walk, but Lynchburg left men at first and second base. 3B Paul Hendrix drew a two-out walk in the ninth, but he was left at first base. Allen led off the 10th with a single, but was caught stealing for just the fifth time this season. With two outs in the 11th, three consecutive walks put the winning run at third base. LHP RC Orlan issued the first two, while RHP Mario Sanchez (W, 3-0) walked Hendrix and loaded the bases. Sanchez fell behind 3-1 to Loopstok, but got two consecutive called strikes and escaped with a strikeout. On the final strike, which ended the inning, the home plate umpire ejected Loopstock and Lynchburg hitting coach Larry Day for arguing after the call.
With RHP Cameron Hill (L, 5-1) on the hill for his third inning of work, Vettleson provided a much needed boost to the Potomac offense, has he lifted a ball just over the left field wall and tucked it inside the foul pole. The home run made it 3-2 P-Nats. In the bottom half of the frame, Sanchez allowed a leadoff single to Allen, but RF Taylor Murphy popped up a bunt attempt. Sanchez then struck out Santander swinging on a high changeup, and got Bradley to foul tip a third strike fastball into Read’s glove, which ended the game.
At 12 innings, Potomac matched its longest game of the season based on innings, and finished six minutes shy of their longest game time of the season. Potomac held the Hillcats to just 1-10 with RISP, as Lynchburg left 10 men on base. Marmolejos ran his hit streak to eight games with his first inning RBI single, while six of Potomac’s nine starters had at least one hit.
An opportunity presents itself for Potomac to come away with a series sweep, as the P-Nats look toRHP Luis Reyes (3-7, 5.34) Sunday afternoon. Reyes has made one start against Lynchburg, his first outing of the season. The righty allowed five runs, two earned, over four innings in a loss on April 12th. For the Hillcats, RHP Mitch Brown (2-5, 4.71) will make his third start of the season vs. Potomac. Brown is 0-1 with an ERA of 8.30 vs. the P-Nats in 2016. First pitch is set for 2:00pm at Calvin Falwell Field.
The Potomac Nationals Baseball Network will carry live coverage beginning with the “P-Nats Leadoff Show” at 1:45pm. P-Nats Gameday Audio on the Potomac Nationals Baseball Network is available atwww.potomacnationals.com or via the TuneIn Radio App.
Hagerstown (Low-A South Atlantic League): @ Lexington W 7-2
Auburn (Short Season-A New York Penn League): The Auburn Doubledays opened up a three-game homestand with a 5-4 win against the Williamsport Crosscutters at Falcon Park on Saturday night. Infielder Angelo LaBruna extended his hit streak to six games in the win.
The Doubledays scored in the first inning for the third straight game. With Crosscutters right-hander Felix Paulino on the mound, Daniel Johnson led off the bottom of the first inning with a triple to right-center field. Angelo LaBruna then singled to right field to score Johnson and give the Doubledays a 1-0 lead.
Williamsport followed with three runs in the top of the second inning off Auburn right-hander Wilber Pena. Pena hit Darick Hall to lead off the inning. Luis Encarnacion and Arquimedes Gamboa followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases. After an Enmanuel Garcia pop out to first base, Jose Antequera hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Hall, move Encarnacion to third base, and move Gamboa to second base as the Crosscutters tied the game at one. Juan Luis followed with a single to right field that scored both Encarnacion and Gamboa to give Williamsport a 3-1 advantage.
Auburn responded with a four-run bottom of the second inning. With one out, David Kerian walked. Oliver Ortiz then singled to put runners on first and second with one out. Luis Vilorio reached on a fielder’s choice in which Kerian advanced to third base, Ortiz was out at second, and Vilorio was safe at first. Jake Jefferies then doubled to left field to score Kerian and move Vilorio to third as the Doubledays cut the Crosscutters lead to one, 3-2. Johnson followed with a single to left field to score Vilorio and Jefferies to put Auburn back on top, 4-3. Johnson advanced to second on an errant throw home from Antequera. LaBruna then knocked in his second run of the game with a single to left field. Johnson scored to put the Doubledays on top, 5-3.
The Crosscutters did add another run though. Encarnacion led off the top of the fourth inning by reaching second base on a two-base throwing error on Doubledays third baseman Sheldon Neuse. Encarnacion then advanced to third on a Gamboa sacrifice bunt. Williamsport scored its fourth run of the game when Garcia grounded out to shortstop to score Encarnacion and cut Auburn’s lead to one, 5-4.
The Doubledays bullpen held strong. Nicholas Conner, Robbie Dickey, and Angher Cespedes combined to throw four innings of two-hit shutout baseball. The relievers only walked one batter and combined for five strikeouts to secure the 5-4 win.
Auburn and Williamsport return to action Sunday evening for the second game of a three-game series. Left-hander Yonathan Ramirez will pitch for the Doubledays against Crosscutters left-hander Bailey Falter. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. from Falcon Park. Children 12 and younger will receive free admission as part of Little Abners Club Sunday, a Doubledays player will sign autographs in the concourse area from 4:20 p.m. until 4:45 p.m., and Skaneateles Jewelry is sponsoring a giveaway that fans 18 and older can register to win.