Daily Recap: 8/20
Also, catcher Matt McBride has been reassigned to Lake County. LHP Heath Taylor has also started a rehab assignment with the GCL Indians.
Head, Martin Lead Aeros to 9-6 Victory
Outfielder Ties Franchise Record with Three Home Runs
NORWICH, CT – Stephen Head tied a franchise record by becoming just the fifth player in franchise history with three home runs in a game, and J.D. Martin tossed five shutout innings as Akron snapped a season-high four-game losing streak with a 9-6 win over Connecticut before 3,186 fans at Dodd Stadium Wednesday night. The Aeros improved to 74-57 while the Defenders fell to 65-64. Coupled with Harrisburg’s loss in Trenton, Akron’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot dropped to six.
Both Martin and Connecticut starter Ben Snyder stranded multiple runners in scoring position over the first three frames, but Akron broke the game open with four runs in the top of the fourth. Wes Hodges opened the inning with a first-pitch single to right field, and Head followed with a towering drive that stayed fair by maybe a foot to make it 2-0. A pair of singles from Matt Whitney and Nathan Panther put runners at first and second with one away, and a base hit from Damaso Espino and a fielder’s choice from newcomer Jerad Head doubled the lead to 4-0.
Stephen Head crushed his second homer of the game to right-center in the fifth, a solo shot to make it 5-0. Akron added three more in the sixth on a two-run throwing error by Defenders reliever Josh Sharpless and an RBI double from Brandon Pinckney, and Head then capped his night with another solo bomb leading off the seventh. He had a chance to become the first player in franchise history to ever hit four home runs in a game, but got nothing to hit in his final at-bat and walked in the ninth.
The Defenders made things far too interesting in the bottom of the ninth, scoring four runs against closer Randy Newsom in a non-save situation before Wisconsin native Scott Roehl got the final two outs with the tying run at the plate to preserve the win.
Martin (10-3) earned the win with five scoreless innings, and hasn’t allowed a run in his last 15.2 innings. He held Connecticut to just four hits and two walks while striking out three, and also stranded four runners in scoring position. Snyder (1-6) was touched for five runs and nine hits in five innings, walking none and striking out two. Roehl’s save was his sixth in eight chances.
Head finished 3-4 with four RBI, and matched Wyatt Toregas’ three-homer game on July 2nd. Pinckney, Whitney and Espino all finished with two hits, and the nine runs in the game equaled Akron’s offensive output from the previous eight games combined.
The finale in this three-game series is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Wednesday, with nine-game winner Frank Herrmann (9-6, 4.18 ERA) going for Akron against Connecticut’s Dave McKae (7-7, 4.45 ERA). The game broadcast begins at 6:20 p.m. on SportsRadio 1350 AM and online at www.akronaeros.com.
Kinston is shutout by Potomac
The Potomac Nationals blanked the Kinston Indians 6-0 Wednesday night at Grainger Stadium, sweeping the three game set from the K-Tribe. Potomac got on the board in the top of the first inning when Dan Lyons drew a one-out walk and Francisco Plasencia drove him home with a double one batter later. Potomac would add to their lead in the top of the fourth with a lead off home run from Dee Brown. Potomac would add another run in the fifth inning behind two bloop hits. Kinston starter Shawn Nottingham (2-4) was the tough luck loser, giving up just five hits and striking out seven through seven innings of work. Potomac added three runs off of Kinston’s Kyle Landis, highlighted by another Brown home run, this time a two-run shot in the eighth inning. Kinston managed just six hits on the night, Johnny Drennen went 2-for-3 for the Indians.
The loss is Kinston’s fifth straight, their longest losing streak of the season and longest since the 2005 K-Tribe lost six straight. Kinston welcomes Wilmington to Historic Grainger Stadium for their final home series of the season starting Thursday at 7pm. The K-Tribe sends Jeanmar Gomez to the mound.
BLUECLAWS TOP CAPTAINS 8-5
(Eastlake, OH) – In a game with big playoff implications for the Lakewood BlueClaws Mike Durant came up big driving in four runs and hitting his 16th home run of the season and Karl Bolt had a two run double in the top of the ninth inning as Lakewood defeated the Lake County Captains winning 5-1 on Wednesday. The BlueClaws are now 1.5 games behind West Virginia in the 2nd half standings. The winner of the second half plays the Captains in the SAL northern division playoffs.
The BlueClaws got on the scoreboard in the top of the third inning loading the bases against Captains starter Chris Archer. A fielder’s choice by Tim Kennelly scored a run and the next batter Michael Durant doubled home two more and it was 3-0. The Captains got one back in the bottom of the third off of BlueClaws starter Vance Worley on a RBI single by Matt McBride that scored Mark Thompson and the lead was cut to 3-1.
Durant hit the two run homer off of Paolo Espino on the top of the eighth inning to make it 5-1. The Captains put four runs up in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI by Adam Davis and an inside the park three run home run from Juan Valdes and it was tied at 5-5. After the Bolt double in the ninth inning off of Dallas Cawiezell, Tim Kennelly doubled home bolt to make it 8-5.
Archer got no decision throwing four innings and allowing three runs on five hits, walking four and striking out five. Gary Campfield pitched two scoreless innings while Espino gave up two runs in two innings. Cawiezell took the loss to have his record fall to 3-8. Chris Kissock was the winner and his record is 4-5. Jared Simon pitched a scoreless ninth inning and notched his 27th save.
The Captains and BlueClaws play game two of the five game series on Thursday with the Captains sending LHP Ryan Morris (8-4, 3.42) to the mound to face the BlueClaws RHP Julian Sampson (9-4, 4.58). Game time is 7:05 PM. All Captains games can be heard on AM 1330 WELW, WELW.COM or CAPTAINSBASEBALL.COM.
In Other Games....
- Buffalo won 10-5. LHP Aaron Laffey went 5 innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. OF Trevor Crowe went 1-for-5 with an RBI, 1B Jordan Brown went 1-for-4 with a 2B and 2 RBI, and catcher Chris Gimenez went 0-for-4 with a walk.
- Mahoning Valley had a scheduled off day.
- The GCL Indians lost 10-3 and 1-0. In the first game, LHP T.J. McFarland went 4.1 innings and allowed 6 runs on 8 hits, 2 walks and had 3 strikeouts. OF Angel Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with a HR and RBI, and OF John Allman went 3-for-4. In the second game, Indians 2008 2nd round pick Trey Haley made his professional debut going a scoreless inning. LHP Heath Taylor is on a rehab assignment and threw a scoreless inning. RHP Clayton Cook went 3.1 innings and did not allow an earned run and allowed 2 hits, 1 walk and had 3 punchouts.