After hitting the Harrisburg the night before, we made it to the IronPigs game the next night to check them out against the Durham Bulls. Tampa Bay’s top two prospects were on hand as Brent Honeywell (#1) started the game and Willy Adames (#2) was at short.
Honewell was tagged early when Jorge Alfaro crushed a no-doubter to left to give Lehigh Valley a 1-0 lead. That was all the Pigs could get off of the Rays #1 prospect. He pitched great, going 6 innings allowing that one run on 5 hits with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts.
Former IronPig Taylor Featherston hurt his former team in the 3rd and 4th innings. He hit into a groundout that scored a run in the 3rd and then singled in a run in the 4th to give the Bulls a 2-1 lead. #2 prospect Willy Adames grounded out in the 5th, but scored Jake Hager in the process. Hager then hit a 2-run homer in the 7th to finish the scoring and give the Bulls a 5-1 victory.
Hager finished the night 2-4 with 2 RBI and 2 runs for Durham. Ben Lively started the game for the IronPigs, but was only able to go 4 innings after taking a liner off the leg in the 5th inning. He finished the game 4 innings giving up 3 runs (2 ER) on 5 hits with a walk and 4 strikeouts. Scott Kingery, Andrew Pullin and Alfaro each had two hits, but were the only ones to muster a hit on the night for Lehigh Valley. Pullin’s two hits were doubles.
We made it over to Harrisburg to check out a Senators game. The stadium is neat and is located on City Island, right in the middle of the river next to the city. We got Club seats right behind the plate for $35 and it included all you can eat in the club. It had the normal concession food, as well as fish, pork and some other good food.
Harrisburg got on the board first in the 2nd inning when Yadiel Hernandez sent a single to left that scored Osvaldo Abreu. They added to the lead in the 5th when Nationals #1 prospect and MLB’s #6 prospect Victor Robles doubled to left to score another run and give the Senators a 2-0 lead.
Portland took over the offense in the 6th. Cole Sturgeon singled in Joseph Monge to make it a 2-1 game. In the 8th, Monge homered to left to tie the ballgame. Red Sox #3 prospect Michael Chavis hit an RBI double to give the Sea Dogs the 3-2 lead. Harrisburg got it back in the bottom half of the 8th. Drew Ward hit an RBI single to tie the game and the Hernandez hit a sac fly to score Ward and give the Senators the 4-3 lead. Andrew Robinson came in and saved the game for the Sens.
Austin Voth pitched a great game for Harrisburg going 6 innings allowing a run on 5 hits with 6 strikeouts. The 5-8 hitters each had two hits on the night. Teddy Stankiewicz was solid for Portland. He went 6 innings allowing 2 runs on 7 hits with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts. He was hit by a comebacker in the leg in the 4th inning, but held on to make it through six. Sturgeon and Monge were the two Sea Dogs with multi-hit games.
My parents were in town, so that meant hitting up another Pigs game. The RailRiders were back in town. Being a rivalry, it feels like they are in town every other series.
A 2-2 game going into the 7th inning, the RailRiders kicked on in the offensive firepower. Dustin Fowler hit a 2-run bomb to right to make it a 4-2 game. Dylan Cozens singled in the bottom half for the Pigs to make it 4-3, but then it was back to work for the SWB offense. The 8th inning saw four runs scored for the RailRiders. Kyle Higashioka drew a bases-loaded walk, Donovan Solano and Cito Culver hit RBI singles and Tyler Wade hit a sac fly.
Hector Gomez doubled in Nick Williams to make it 8-4 in the 8th, but Higashioka lifted a 3-run shot to deep left to give the RailRiders an 11-4 victory. Bryan Mitchell saw limited action as the starter for SWB, as he went 2 2/3 allowing a run on 4 hits with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. Greg Bird was on rehab for the RailRiders and was 2-5 with and RBI and two doubles. Tyler Austin and Cito Culver both had two hits on the night. Solano finished 3-5 with a double, three runs and an RBI. Tom Eshelman pitched 6 1/3 innings for the Pigs allowing 3 runs (2 ER) on 7 hits with a walk and 6 strikeouts. Dylan Cozens went 3-5 with 2 RBI. Cam Perkins and J.P. Crawford each finished with two hits.
I went and saw the Louisville Bats against the Pigs. The Bats got on the board first on a Brandon Dixon sac fly in the 2nd to take a 1-0 lead. The Pigs took the lead in the 4th on a run-scoring fielder’s choice and an RBI single. Lehigh Valley now held the 2-1 lead.
Louisville added to their lead in the 6th. Phillip Ervin started it off with an RBI single. Reds #3 prospect Jesse Winker doubled home Ervin to take a 3-2 lead. Tony Renda then doubled in Winker to take a 4-2 lead. The IronPigs got it back on one swing from Nick Williams in the bottom of the inning, with a 2-run shot, tying up the game 4-4.
The 8th inning is where the IronPigs took over. The rain started to fall, but the baseballs started flying out. Taylor Featherston hit a 3-run shot and then Hector Gomez added a 2-run bomb to give the Pigs a 9-4 win.
Tom Eshelman started for the Pigs and went 6 2/3 allowing 4 runs on 7 hits with 6 strikeouts. Jorge Alfaro, J.P. Crawford and Nick Williams all had multi-hit games. Williams and Featherston added three RBIs on the night. Jackson Stephens went 6 innings for the Bats giving up 4 runs on 6 hits with 2 walks and 7 strikeouts. Renda went 2-4 with a run and RBI, as he was the only Louisville player with a multi-hit game.
I was back at Coca-Cola Park a week later to catch the Buffalo Bisons against the IronPigs.
This game had lots of scoring. Every inning had a run scored except for the 9th, so that means it all got started in the 1st inning. Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins each had RBI singles to give the IronPigs a 2-0 lead. The Bisons got an RBI double from Raffy Lopez and an RBI single from Roemon Fields to tie the game at 2-2. The bottom of the 3rd saw Nick Williams with an RBI single and Taylor Featherston reaching on an error to score a run. It was now a 4-2 IronPigs lead.
The 4th inning came around and Shane Opitz had an RBI groundout to cut the lead in half, but the Pigs got it back and then dome in the bottom half of the inning. Hector Gomez hit a solo shot to lead off the inning. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Hoskins unloaded them with a bases-clearing triple to make it an 8-3 game. Rowdy Tellez, one of the Blue Jays’ top prospects, doubled in the 5th to score Dwight Smith Jr. and cut the lead to 8-4. In the 6th, Christian Lopes and Tellez both doubled in runs to make it an 8-6 game. Fields added an RBI groundout in the 7th to make it an 8-7 game, but that’s all the closer Buffalo would get.
In the 8th, Hoskins doubled in Jorge Alfaro and then Williams singled to score Hoskins to give the IronPigs a 10-7 lead and victory. Both starters struggled mightily. T.J. House threw 5 innings for the Bisons allowing 8 runs (5 ER) on 9 hits with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. Ricardo Pinto went 5 1/3 for the Pigs giving up 6 runs (5 ER) on 8 hits with 3 walks and 4 punch outs. The Bisons finished with 12 hits. Lopes, Tellez, Fields and Jason Leblebijian each had two hits on the night. Fields also added two stolen bases. Raffy Lopez went 3-4 with two doubles, a walk, RBI and two runs. Lehigh Valley finished with 15 hits and five players recorded multi-hit games. Jorge Alfaro finished 3-5 with a double and three runs scored. Hoskins went 4-5 with a double, triple, run and 5 RBI.