Game Recap 5/24: Bellows, Kinston Win Marathon Game
Kyle Bellows hit a grand slam in the top of the 15th inning as Kinston beat Potomac 10-6 Monday night in Woodbridge, Virginia. The 15 frames were the most the K-Tribe has gone since a 16 inning afair back on April 10th in 2008. The game time of 5 was the longest game for the K-Tribe in more than half a decade. The K-Tribe is now 5-1 in extra inning games this season.
In the top of the 15th inning Jordan Henry led off with a single. Henry then stole second and Karexon Sanchez walked. After a sacrafice bunt by Jason Kipnis, Richard Martinez was intentionally walked to load the bases. Bellows then smashed a pitch by Potomac reliever Jesse Estrada over the left field wall. It was Bellows fourth homer of the season. The two teams had been tied a six runs a piece since the sixth inning until the Bellows blast.
Fresh off his Carolina League Pitcher of the Week Award, Kinston starter Joe Gardner had a rough first inning. Gardner walked Potomac's Boomer Whiting and Steve Lombardozzi to begin the bottom of the first inning. With one out in the inning, Tim Pahuta drove home Whiting with a double. With two outs in the frame, Bill Rhinehart delivered a two RBI single to make the score 3-0 Nationals. Potomac expanded their lead in the second inning, when Will Ortiz lead off with a walk, advanced to second on a sacrafice bunt, made it to third on a sacrafice fly and finally scoring on a wild pitch. Gardner would settle down after the leadoff walk in the second, allowing just one more run on two more hits before being taken out of the game in the sixth.
Potomac starter A.J. Morris cruised through the first four innings, not allowing a hit to Kinston. The K-Tribe would get the bats going in the fifth, as Lucas Montero started the inning with an infield single. Ronald Rivas then followed with a home run to left field, cutting the Potomac lead to 4-2. The homer was a rarity for Rivas, who last hit a home run on July 12th, 2007. Rivas went 247 games and 834 at bats between roundtrippers. The blast was the third of his professional career. The inning would continue with a single from Adam Davis. Davis would then score on a double from Jordan Henry. After a Karexon Sanchez walk and a Jason KIpnis ground out, Martinez tied the score at four with an RBI ground out, driving home Henry. Kyle Bellows kept the good times going with an RBI double, sending home Kipnis and giving Kinston a 5-4 lead. The K-Tribe batted around in the fifth inning, scoring five runs on five hits and a walk.
Kinston would add a run in the sixth inning, when Montero led off with a walk and scored on an RBI ground out by Henry later in the inning. Potomac would tie things up in the bottom of the sixth inning off of K-Tribe reliever Joey Mahalic. Brian Peacock opened the frame with a double, then scored on a single by Robbie Jacobsen. Later in the frame, with the bases loaded, Mahalic walked Tim Pahuta to tie the game at 6-6.
Both teams would have multiple chances later in the game, but the score would stay tied at six until Bellows blast in the 15th inning. Kinston ended up stranding 15 runners while hitting 2-for-19 with runners in scoring position. Potomac standed 13 runners while hitting 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
Kinston got great long relief from Chris Jones and Rob Bryson who combined to pitch 5 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Jones gave up three hits in three innings, Bryson did not give up a hit while striking out four. Matt Langwell (2-1) picked up the win. Pitching three strong innings from the pen, giving up just one hit.
The Indians have now won 14 of their last 17 games. The K-Tribe takes on Potomac in the middle game of a three game set Tuesday night in Woodbridge, VA. Game time 7:03 pm, T.J. McFarland will take the hill for Kinston.
Clippers handle Knights 9-2
In a game delayed twice by rain at Knight Stadium Monday night, the Clippers persevered for a 9-2 victory over the Charlotte Knights to ensure at least a .500 road trip.
The teams traded single runs in the 1st inning with Michael Brantley scoring on a Brian Buscher sacrifice fly for Columbus and Brent Lillibridge blasting a solo home run for the Knights.
The Clippers scratched across a pair of runs in the top of the 3rd inning when Buscher drove in another run, this time plating Brantley with a bases-loaded walk. Nick Weglarz followed with a sac fly for his first Triple-A RBI and a 3-1 Clippers lead.
After the game was pushed back 18 minutes due to rain to begin with, Mother Nature intervened once again after the 4th inning, causing a delay of just over an hour before play resumed in the top of the 5th. The Clippers were more ready to get back at it that the Knights as they ran off a five-run inning against reliever Wes Whisler. Weglarz got another RBI in the inning on his 1st Triple-A hit, but the big blow in the frame was a Jordan Brown bases-loaded double that plated three runs.
Brown drove in another in the 7th inning, plating Buscher with a single for a 9-1 lead.
Yohan Pino started for the Clippers and after Lillibridge's homer; he allowed no more hits over 4 innings of work before the rains came. Frank Herrmann took the mound when play resumed and authored 2.2 scoreless frames to earn the win before handing the ball off to Joe Smith who threw 1.1 shutout frames. Josh Judy finished things off for the Clippers allowing a solo home run to Stefan Gartrell.
The final game of the eight day road trip will start at 12:15 Tuesday afternoon with Justin Germano on the hill for Columbus and Carlos Torres opposing for Charlotte.
Altoona Smashes Aeros 11-1 in Series Opener
The Altoona Curve stole game one Monday of a four-game series as left fielder Alex Presley had a career-night in an 11-1 victory over the Aeros. The Canal Park crowd of 5,423 fans witnessed Presley slam a franchise-record eight RBI and he finished just a single shy of hitting for the cycle. First-place Altoona continued their dominance over Akron on the season with the blowout, improving to 28-16 while the loss dropped the Aeros to 18-26.
Akron left-hander Scott Barnes, named earlier in the day as last week