DeJesus dominates in 2-0 victory
Luis DeJesus isn’t one of the best starters in the New York-Penn League for nothing. The right-hander has been nothing short of dominant, checking in at 4th in the league in ERA at 1.64, and sixth in WHIP at 0.93. If the Lake Monsters didn’t know about him beforehand, they sure got a lesson Friday, as DeJesus turned in his best outing of the 2012 campaign, tossing seven innings of shutout baseball, a season high.
DeJesus was flat out untouchable early on. He didn’t allow a base runner through four innings, giving up his first hit of the ballgame with one out in the fifth. He did allow a runner to get to second in his two subsequent innings, but both runners were harmlessly stranded there. DeJesus only allowed those three hits in his seven innings of work, striking out six along the way, his second best total of the season.
Perhaps the biggest thing for DeJesus this season has been limiting walks. In 47 innings this year for Mahoning Valley, he has only issued ten free passes. He issued six walks in 12 innings of relief in his brief stint at Lake County.
DeJesus needed every bit of that strong start to pick up the win, as his counterparts in the Vermont dugout were almost as stingy. The Scrapper offense did threaten in both the first and second against starter Nolan Sanburn, with Jairo Kelly and Richard Stock each smacking leadoff singles, but nobody behind them could muster anything of consequence.
Sanburn left after two, and the offense was able to get to his replacement J.C. Menna in the third. They put the leadoff man on for the third straight time by way of an Erik Gonzalez walk. Gonzalez promptly advanced to second on a passed ball, and scored when Jairo Kelly singled to right field to make it 1-0.
The Scrappers would only collect two more hits in the contest, but they really made one of those count. In the top of the seventh, with the Scrappers still holding a slim 1-0 lead and still facing Menna, Stock again led off an inning with a walk. This time the Scrappers made them pay as he advanced to third after a Hunter Jones sacrifice bunt and Andrew Campbell groundball. Then, Robel Garcia got the big hit, singling up the middle to drive in the insurance run.
Despite only collecting five hits in the game and striking out 13 times, the Scrapper offense did all it needed to do to win, as those two runs were plenty for DeJesus and Co. The victory didn’t come before the Lake Monsters made DeJesus sweat out his fourth win of the season in the bottom of the eighth, however.
Rafael Homblert entered in relief of DeJesus in the eighth, and allowed two straight one-out singles followed by a two-out walk to load the bases. Then, Jack Wagoner was called on to wiggle out of the pickle Homblert created. He did just that, striking out Christopher Bostick to end the inning.
Wagoner stayed on to pitch the ninth and did allow a runner to reach second with one out after an error and a wild pitch. Nothing came of it, though, as he got the last two outs immediately after to secure the win.
DeJesus picked up the win to remain perfect on the season, moving to 4-0. Menna took the loss to do the opposite, as he fell to 0-5. Wagoner picked up his first save of the season.
With the win, the Scrappers earned the series victory against the Lake Monsters in their only meeting in Vermont. They now will look to replicate that success as they continue their six game road trip in New York state, where they take on the Batavia Muckdogs in a three game set.