Game Recaps 4/20: Popham perfect in Kinston victory
Kinston starter Marty Popham was brilliant in an early morning spot start. Popham had a perfect game going through four innings, but was removed due to pitch count. Popham retired all 12 batters he faced, striking out three. Dating back to last season, Popham has thrown 12 innings of no-hit ball. Popham was part of a combined no hitter for Kinston in his last regular season start, last September in Potomac.
Blue Rocks hurler Tyler Sample was touched for a run in the top of the second inning. Casey Frawley started the inning with a walk. With two-outs in the inning and Frawley at second base after a steal, Greg Folgia drove him home with a double. Kinston added to the lead in the top of the fifth inning. With runners at the corners and one out, Tyler Holt laid down a perfect bunt up the third base line. The squeeze play brought Folgia home and gave Kinston a 2-0 lead.
Popham was replaced by Kinston reliever Tyler Sturdevant to start the fifth inning and the Blue Rocks took advantage. Wilmington's Nick Francis took the second pitch he saw from Sturdevant and hit it out of the park for a lead-off home run. The first hit of the game for Wilmington made the score 2-1 Kinston. Sturdevant then settled down, giving up just three more hits and no runs in three innings. Sturdevant (2-1) got the win, striking out one and walking two batters. Jose Flores came in for the final two innings for Kinston, not allowing a run and giving up two hits for his first save of the season. Flores struck out three and did not walk a batter.
Kinston added some insurance runs in the top of the eighth inning off of Blue Rocks reliever Manauris Baez. Adam Abraham started things with a one-out double. Abraham extended his on-base streak to 12 games with the hit. With two-outs in the inning Chase Burnette drove him home with an RBI double. Doug Pickens gave Kinston a 4-1 lead by knocking home Burnette with a single. Pickens went 3-for-4 on the day. Eight of the nine K-Tribers in the starting lineup got at least one hit.
Kinston returns home for an eight game homestand starting with a Thirsty Thursday (beers and sodas $1) at Historic Grainger Stadium. Game time 6:30 pm against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Clayton Cook will get the start for the K-Tribe.
Clippers nip Bats 4-3
Jerad Head continues to swing a hot bat, driving home a game-winning run with a walk-off single in a 4-3 Clippers victory over Louisville.
Head went 3 for 5 on the game and recorded his eighth RBI on the year after his ninth inning hit scored Chad Huffman.
The Bats tied the game at three in the top of the ninth after Chris Valaika's sacrifice fly drove home Michael Griffin. Josh Judy blew the save, but was still credited with his second victory of the season.
A pair of clutch plays in the eighth saved the game for the Clippers. In the top of the eighth, shortstop Cord Phelps snared a Devin Mesoraco line drive with a runner on third and two outs.
In the bottom half, Luke Carlin doubled into the left centerfield gap to bring home Luis Valbuena and put the Clippers up by a run.
Carlin tied the game the inning before with his second home run of the year, a solo shot to right center.
Clippers starter Alex White went seven innings, allowing two runs and striking out seven batters.
Louisville starter Dontrelle Willis threw 102 pitches in five innings, allowing one run and striking out four. Bats reliever Jerry Gil is charged with a loss, his first of the season.
The Clippers continue the series at home against Louisville, Thursday at 6:35 p.m.
Aeros Drop Finale in Bowie
The Akron Aeros lost the finale of a three-game series to the Bowie Baysox 3-0 Wednesday at Prince George's Stadium.
Right-handed pitcher Austin Adams was the tough-luck loser for the Aeros pitching 4.2 innings, giving up one unearned run on four hits, walking two and striking out seven.
The lone run Adams gave up came in the bottom of the fifth inning when Xavier Avery hit into a fielder’s choice allowing Miguel Abreu to score and giving the Baysox a 1-0 lead.
That proved to be enough for Bowie starter Wynn Pelzer, who picked up the win pitching five scoreless innings, giving up one hit, walking five and striking out six. Jose Diaz pitched a scoreless top of the ninth inning to record the save for the Baysox.
The Baysox (6-7) added a run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a Pedro Florimon, Jr. solo home run that made it 2-0. A Caleb Joseph sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Baysox a 3-0 lead as they avoided the sweep at the hands of the Aeros.
The Aeros (7-7) head home to begin a three-game series against the Reading Phillies Thursday at Canal Park. Left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland will get the start for Akron. McFarland was promoted to Double-A Akron from Single-A Kinston Wednesday. He will face R-Phils righty Chris Kissock, who is 0-1 with a 7.00 ERA on the season. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1350 AM or online at sportsradio1350.com. Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m.
Captains and Lugnuts Split Twin Bill
Lake County and Lansing played two on Wednesday night and split the doubleheader. The Captains won game one 5-1 and the Lugnuts came from behind to win the second game 6-5.
Captains' starter Kyle Blair was outstanding earning his first professional win, in the first game tossing six innings allowing a run on five hits did not walk a batter and struck out four.
Jesus Aguilar crushed his first homerun of the season in the bottom of the first inning, the two run shot put the Captains in front 2-0.
Carlos Moncrief doubled home Nick Bartolone in the third inning and again in fifth inning to push the Captains lead out to 5-1. Mocrief finished the night 3-for-3 and Bartolone 2-for-2 each scoring a pair of runs as well.
Casey Lawrence (1-1) suffered the loss pitching six innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and striking out five. Nate Striz pitched the seventh inning for the Captains, not giving up a hit and walking a hitter to finish up the game.
In game two, in the bottom of the first inning Giovanny Urshela crushed his first home run of the year to leftfield scoring Moncrief and Tyler Cannon to make it 3-0 Captains.
The Lugnuts finally cracked the scoreboard against Cole Cook in the fifth inning; Balbino Fuenmayor doubled to lead off the innings and advanced to third on a Murphy ground out. Fuenmayor scored on a error on third baseman Urshela to make it 3-1.
Tony Dischler entered the game for the Captains in the sixth inning and it did not go well. After retiring the first hitter, Dischler walked K.C. Hobon and Marcus Knecht. Michael Crouse droubled in a run followed by an TBI single by Fuenmayor. Murphy drove in the go ahead run hitting into a fielder's choice. Garis Pena capped off a five run inning with a two run homerun to make it 6-3.
Captains rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning but fell short. A leadoff double by Brian Heere scored on an RBI single by Kyle Smith. Giovanny Urshela drove in his fourth run with a sacrifice fly to right to make 6-5 Lugnuts.
Danny Barnes (1-0) picked up the win pitching two innings allowing just one hit and striking out five. Dischler took the loss for the Captains going just two thirds, allowing five runs on three hits, walking two. Cole Cook picked up a no decision working five innings allowing a run on three hits, walking one and striking out three.
The Captains will continue the home stand with a three game series against Bowling Green beginning Thursday night at 7:00PM. The Captains have not yet named a starter for the game and the Hot Rods will pitch RHP George Jensen (0-0). Catch all the action on 1330AM WELW or online at captainsbaseball.com.
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