This was my first time scoring a game at a stadium for Baseball Info Solutions since 2015 when I did it for a season in Las Vegas. I was asked to fill in for the night and after a couple of innings, it came back to me. It also didn’t hurt that it was one of the fastest games I had ever been to. The game only took 2 hours and 7 minutes to complete.
Pawtucket starter Josh D. Smith came out wild early as he walked the first batter he faced and then hit Damek Tomscha. Mitch Walding then hit an RBI single through the middle to give the Pigs a 1-0 lead early. Smith got out of the inning and settled in nicely through his 6 innings of work where he finished allowing 3 hits and 1 run with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.
Rusney Castillo gave the Paw Sox the lead in the 3rd when he hit an opposite field 2-run homer off of Lehigh Valley starter Cole Irvin. That was Irvin’s only real hiccup of the day as he finished with 7 innings of work allowing 2 runs (1 ER) on 6 hits with a walk and 7 strikeouts.
The teams combined for 18 strikeouts and only 43 balls in play as Pawtucket pulled out the 2-1 victory. Castillo was the only player with multiple hits as he finished 2-4 with his 2-run homer and a run scored. Walding, Trevor Plouffe and Matt McBride managed the three hits for the IronPigs.
We made our way down to Reading to watch some of the top prospects in baseball. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is widely regarded as the overall top prospect in all of baseball. He is one of three former MLB player’s sons on the New Hampshire team. Cavan Biggio (Craig Biggio) and Bo Bichette (Dante Bichette) are also on the team.
Biggio had himself a day. He got the scoring started in the 1st when he doubled in two runs. The Fisher Cats had a 2-0 lead after a half-inning. After a triple, Biggio then scored on a wild pitch in the 3rd to make it a 3-0 game. In the 4th, Juan Kelly hit an absolute bomb to right field for a solo homer. Jonathan Davis doubled in a run later in the inning and made it a 5-0 lead. Former 1st-round pick Max Pentecost hit a sac fly in the 5th to score Biggio once again. Reading finally got on the board in the 6th on a 2-run homer by Zach Green making it a 6-2 game. The scoring finally halted in the top of the 9th when Biggio singled in Guerrero with a single.
Biggio finished 3-5 with 3 RBI, 2 runs and a stolen base, finishing a homer short of the cycle. Guerrero finished 2-4 with a single through the right side and double that was lasered to center field. Bichette, the last of the trio, finished 0-4 with a run. Another former 1st-round pick T.J. Zeuch started the game for New Hampshire and went 7 innings allowing 2 runs while scattering 8 hits with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts and picking up the win. Harold Arauz started for Reading and went 5 innings allowing 6 runs (5 ER) on 6 hits with 4 walks and a strikeout. They were able to get 10 hits on the night, but only one was for extra bases (Green’s 2-run homer). Catcher Deivi Grullon was 3-4 with 3 singles on the night and Malquin Canelo was 2-4 with a stolen base and run scored.
A former work buddy got on with the Reds and is doing minor league video with the Louisville Bats so he got my parents and I tickets to the game. It was good to see him and to make it out to the Pigs game for the first time of the season.
There were a lot of hits and runs scored on the night and it started early. Tyler Goeddel led off the game with a home run and then Rosell Herrera homered a couple batters later, so the Bats were up 2-0 early on. Dylan Cozens cut into the lead in the bottom half of the inning with a homer of his own that was absolutely destroyed to right field off of the advertisement board and was 112-mph exit velocity.
After a couple of innings with no scoring, Steve Selsky hit a solo homer of his own in the top of the 4th to add to the Louisville lead. But again, the IronPigs answered in the bottom half. Jesmuel Valentin hit an RBI single, Andrew Pullin his a 2-run triple and then Joey Meneses hit an RBI single. It was now a 5-3 IronPigs lead. They then tacked on runs the next three innings as well. Cozens hit his second homer of the night, a 2-run shot in 5th. Then, Alexi Amarista hit a sac fly in the 6th and Pullin hit an RBI single in the 7th. They now led the game 9-3. Mason Williams hit a 2-run bomb in the 8th to cut the lead to 9-5, but that’s how it would end.
Tom Eshelman got the win for the Pigs after going 6 2/3 innings allowing 3 runs on 9 hits with 2 walks and 8 strikeouts. Cozens finished 3-5 with his 2 homers, 3 RBI, 3 runs scored and a stolen base. He even had an outfield assist, throwing out Nick Senzel at second base. Pullin finished 2-4 with 3 RBI and a run scored. Valentin was 3-4 with a run and RBI. The Pigs in all had 11 hits. Jose Lopez started for the Bats and couldn’t get out of the 5th. He went 4 1/3 innings allowing 7 runs on 7 hits with a walk and 3 strikeouts. Nick Senzel, one of the Reds top prospects, finished 2-5 on the night. The Bats had 10 hits, but their few home runs couldn’t keep up with Lehigh Valley’s scoring.
My parents were in town so we made our way over to the IronPigs game and watched them play against the Syracuse Chiefs. Nationals’ Trea Turner and Jayson Werth were both down on rehab with the Chiefs.
Zach Collier got the scoring started for Syracuse with a solo shot in the 2nd inning, but the IronPigs answered in the bottom half. Dylan Cozens hit an RBI double and then Nick Rickles doubled in two runs to make it 3-1 Lehigh Valley. The Chiefs then retook the lead in the 6th inning. Neftali Soto hit an RBI double and then Matt Skole his a 3-run homer to make it a 5-3 game. Cozens hit a sac fly in the 8th to make it 5-4, but that’s how it would end.
Esmil Rogers got the win for the Chiefs going 6 innings allowing 3 runs (2 ER) on 6 hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts. Turner went 0-3 with a walk and Werth was 0-1 with 2 walks and a runs scored. Tommy Bergjans made his AAA debut and took the loss going 5 innings giving up 4 runs on 3 hits with 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. Cozens and Brock Stassi both finished with two hits on the night. Rising star Scott Kingery finished 1-5 with a stolen base.
A nice night at Coca-Cola Park
Syracuse celebrating their win
This was a barn-burner. It was a very eventful game with lots of hits, runs and even an ejection. In addition, the Pigs spent the evening being known as the Lehigh Valley Barbeque.
Lehigh Valley struck first in the 2nd when Andrew Pullin doubled in two runs to give the Pigs an early 2-0 lead. For the next few innings, though, the Knights offense came alive. An Eddy Alvarez RBI single, Casey Gillaspie 2-run double, Jacob May RBI double, Rymer Liriano 2-run homer and another Alvarez RBI single gave Charlotte a 7-2 lead. Pedro Florimon homered for the Pigs in the 5th to cut the score to 7-3.
In the 8th the Pigs tried to make a comeback. Brock Stassi and Ty Kelly walked with the bases loaded and then Dylan Cozens singled in a run to make it a 7-6 game. Unfortunately, the Knights scored two in the top of the 9th to go up 9-6. Stassi hit a 2-run blast in the bottom half that would’ve won the game, but left Lehigh Valley on the wrong side of a 9-8 decision.
Lucas Giolito, one of the top prospects for the White Sox, started for Charlotte. He looked good for a while, but ran into trouble in the 5th inning. He finished with 6 2/3 innings pitched allowing 3 runs on 5 hits with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts. The Knights pounded out 15 hits and six of the nine starters had a multi-hit game. Liriano finished 3-5 with his homer, 2 RBI and 3 runs. Gillaspie was 3-5 with 3 RBI and 2 runs on the night. Pigs starter Ben Lively really struggled. He went 4 2/3 innings giving up 7 runs on 10 hits with 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. Stassi, Cozens, Florimon and J.P. Crawford all finished with 2 hits on the night.
Lucas Giolito starting for Charlotte
The IronPigs playing as the Lehigh Valley Barbeque for the night
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.
Rays #1 Prospect Brent Honeywell making the start for Durham
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.
Nationals #1 Prospect Victor Robles
The Senators celebrating the victory