Pacific Coast League
New Orleans Baby Cakes 1, Tacoma Rainiers 0, 10 innings
The Baby Cakes (11-18) matched zeroes with the Rainiers (17-11) for nine innings with 5,871 in attendance at Cheney Stadium on Saturday.
The combination of Kelvin Marte, Javy Guerra, and Chris O’Grady teamed up for nine innings of shutout five-hit ball, striking out seven and walking eight. Tacoma’s Nathan Bannister struck out six over 6.2 innings, giving up three hits in his start.
After a scoreless regulation-strength game yielded free baseball, Peter Mooney hit a two-out RBI-single to right field, to make it 1-0 in the 10th inning. Drew Steckenrider struck out two in a flawless bottom half of the inning for his first save of the season.
Tomorrow at 4:35 PM, the two teams will play in game two of the four game series. The Cakes will send Justin Nicolino (1-2, 3.58) to the hill.
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 4, Tennessee Smokies 7
The Shrimp (12-16) and the Smokies (17-11) played a seven-inning game with 3,938 in attendance at Smokies Stadium on Saturday. It was the first game of a planned double-header, but the back half of it was postponed due to rain.
Joe Gunkel started and took the loss, allowing four runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks over four innings. He got 31-of-44 pitches in the strikezone, and finished with a 33 GameScore. Raudel Lazo gave up three earned runs in 0.1 innings, walking four batters in relief, and Kyle Lobstein struck out two in 1.2 scoreless innings.
The game was scoreless until the bottom half of the fourth frame, when the Smokies busted things open on a Yasiel Balaguert RBI-single and an Ian Rice three-run homer.
In the fifth, Jacksonville scored a pair of runs on an Ian Rice fielding error and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, courtesy of Smokie starter Duane Underwood Jr. (2-1, 3.96). Tennessee added a trio of runs in the bottom of the inning, making it 7-2 on a Lazo bases-loaded walk, a wild pitch by Lobstein, and a Carlos Penalver sacrifice fly.
The Shrimp came back with another pair of runs in the sixth inning, on a Taylor Ard sacrifice fly and an Austin Nola RBI-double, but it was a case of too little too late.
The second game of the doubleheader was moved to tomorrow, and will be started by surprising Omar Bencomo (4-0, 1.27). Tomorrow’s game two will feature Chris Mazza (0-1, 4.88) starting for Jacksonville. Tennessee currently leads the five game series two-games-to-one.
Florida State League
Jupiter Hammerheads 3, Daytona Tortugas 6
With 2,089 in attendance at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, the Daytona Tortugas (17-13) defeated the Hammerheads (13-17) by a 6-3 final score on Saturday.
Angel Reyes hit a single and a double, and the only other Hammerheads to hit safely were Brad Haynal (single) and Corey Bass (double). Starter Felipe Gonzalez (2-3, 5.59) lasted just 3.2 innings, allowing all six runs on seven hits and four walks. The trio of Esmerling De La Rosa, Andy Beltre, and Travis Ballew combined for 4.1 innings of one-hit ball, striking out three, but the damage was too deep.
Daytona goes for a three-game series sweep tomorrow at 5:35PM. Trevor Richards (3-2, 2.22) will start opposite Daytona’s Jonathan Crawford (0-1, 2.28).
South Atlantic League
Greensboro Grasshoppers 6, Rome Braves 5
The Grasshoppers (15-14) sent them home in walkoff fashion at First National Bank Field. Colby Lusignan hit a come-from-behind, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth in front of 5,898 Grasshoppers’ faithful to defeat the Rome Braves (17-12).
Rome had taken a 5-3 lead in the top of the ninth when Luis Pintor misplayed a routine grounder, which scored Derian Cruz.
Rome struck first, with a two-RBI double in the second inning. The Hoppers got one back on a Lusignan RBI-single in the fourth inning, but Rome made it 3-1 in the next half inning on a Randy Ventura RBI-single.
Rome made it 4-1 in the eighth, when Cristian Pache crossed the plate on a bases-loaded double-play. Greensboro scored twice in the bottom half, on RBI-doubles from Alex Jones and Corey Bird to make it 4-3.
Lusignan finished the night with three hits, while Eric Gutierrez and James Nelson had two each. Dustin Beggs went seven innings for no-decision, allowing nine hits and a walk over seven innings. He gave up three runs, but only one was earned. Ryley MacEachern (2-1, 6.00) earned the win despite allowing a run on two walks in his inning of work. He also whiffed two Braves.
Tomorrow at 4PM, the Grasshoppers will host the Braves in game three of their four game series. Greensboro has won their last three games in a row.
#3 Brian Anderson drew a walk over four plate appearances, striking out once and scoring a run. He is hitting .248 for the Shrimp.
#9 Drew Steckenrider struck out two in a perfect 10th inning for the Cakes, earning his first save of the season.
#10 James Nelson went 2-for-5 with a strikeout and two runs scored for the Grasshoppers. He’s up to .306 for 2017.
#24 Andy Beltre struck out one and allowed a hit in an inning of relief work for the Hammerheads.
#26 Justin Twine went 1-for-5 with a run and a whiff, raising his average to .125 for Greensboro.
#27 John Norwood went 0-for-2 with a strikeout, a walk, and a run for Jacksonville.
#28 Tomas Telis went 0-for-4, dropping him to .245 for New Orleans.
#30 Yefri Perez continues his poor start to the season, going 0-for-1 and dropping his average to .123 for the Jumbo Shrimp.
LHP Victor Payano was promoted from the Shrimp to the Cakes, and RHP Greg Nappo was demoted from the Cakes to the Shrimp. LHP Chris O’Grady was assigned to New Orleans.