Lincoln 6, Wichita 5
The Saltdogs built an early lead while keeping the Wingnuts scoreless in the first eight innings, putting them in position to defeat Wichita 6-5 after surviving two late home runs from Wingnuts DH John Rodriguez. Lincoln’s lead came from important contributions by 1B Ian Gac (pictured), whose eighth inning homer was just one of two runs he added, and 2B David Espinosa, who hit a two-RBI triple in the fifth and then later scored as well.
Rodriguez hit home runs in the eighth and ninth innings for the Wingnuts, accounting for all five of Wichita’s runs. His almost single-handed rally was just barely too little too late. RHP Travis Parker picked up the win for the Saltdogs, keeping the Wingnuts scoreless through his five innings and allowing just three hits.
Sioux Falls 9, Gary SouthShore 1
1B Marcos Rodriguez‘s seven-RBI game combined with a strong performance on the mound from LHP Mitchell Clegg helped the Canaries to a dominant 9-1 victory against the RailCats. Rodriguez was simply unstoppable at bat, going 3-for-4 and creating runs all game, including an RBI single in the third, a grand slam in the fourth, and a two-RBI double in the sixth. His efforts were complemented by those of the only two batters ahead of him in the lineup– CF Nick Van Stratten, who added three runs, and SS Cory Morales, who also tallied three runs on a 3-for-5 performance.
Clegg collected the win after striking out seven batters in 6.2 innings and allowing just one run– a home run from CF Drew Martinez in the fourth.
St. Paul 4, Grand Prairie 3 (Game 1 – 7 innings)
Despite scoring the final two runs of the game, Grand Prairie came up short a run as St. Paul took game one of the doubleheader 4-3. Saints RF Brandon Tripp and DH Willie Cabrera provided a pair of performances at bat that made the clear-cut difference for their team. Tripp scored first for his team, hitting a home run in the second that also brought Cabrera home. Cabrera’s RBI double in the fourth, followed by Tripp’s RBI single that allowed Cabrera to score again, rounded out St. Paul’s scoring for the night. The AirHogs added a run in both of the last two innings, but could not crack the lead Tripp and Cabrera had built.
Cabrera finished 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. Tripp went 2-for-3 with a run and three RBIs.
Grand Prairie 11, St. Paul 3 (Game 2 – 7 innings)
The Saints scored first, but the AirHogs dominated the last three innings, scoring 11 times and defeating St. Paul 11-3 in game two of the doubleheader. Five runs in the fifth and a three-run home run from 1B Andres Rodriguez in the sixth helped Grand Prairie to overcome St. Paul’s early lead and gain control of what quickly turned into a blowout. Rodriguez went 2-for-4 and totaled two runs and four RBIs in a key performance for the AirHogs. Grand Prairie’s bullpen also did its part, as RHP David Quinowski, LHP Justin Dowdy, and RHP Patrick Mincey allowed just one hit and one run combined in the final three innings. Quinowski earned the win.
For the Saints, SS Adam Frost and CF Jose Hernandez each had a home run.
Laredo 4, El Paso 3 (Game 1 – 7 innings)
The Lemurs scored three unanswered runs in the final two innings to come back and defeat the Diablos 4-3 in a close game one of the doubleheader. Through the fifth inning, El Paso had built a 3-1 lead behind a 2-for-3 performance from C Moises Montero that included a run and an RBI double. A solo home run from Laredo 1B John Alonso had provided their only run until DH John Allen sparked a comeback in the top of the sixth with a solo homer. The Lemurs narrowly earned the win after an error in right field allowed Laredo to score twice and clinch the victory.
Alonso had the best batting performance of his team, hitting the early homer and going 3-for-4. RHP Mark Haynes pitched the final inning for the Lemurs and did not allow any hits, earning him his fourth win of the season.
El Paso 8, Laredo 3 (Game 2 – 7 innings)
Game two of the doubleheader saw El Paso jump out to another early lead, but this time the Lemurs could not quite piece together a full comeback as the Diablos won in commanding fashion 8-3. El Paso benefitted from a balanced effort from its batters and a strong five-inning start from LHP Carlos Teller, who earned the win in his first game for the Diablos. Teller had four strikeouts and allowed just one run and five hits. SS Maikol Gonzalez had one of the more notable batting performances, going 3-for-4 with an RBI single in the fourth and a run in the third.
Lemurs CF Daniel Poma showed signs of another potential comeback when he hit a two-run double in the top of the seventh, but the rally ended there, well short of a comeback.
Fargo-Moorhead 2, Sioux City 1
RedHawks RHP Taylor Stanton pitched a shutout through eight innings before finally allowing just one run from the X’s on the way to Fargo-Moorhead’s 2-1 victory. Stanton’s complete game included ten strikeouts, just one walk, and only six hits allowed. While Stanton kept Sioux City’s batters quiet, most of the RedHawks hitters struggled to get on the scoreboard as well. Both of Fargo-Moorhead’s runs came from DH Tim Alberts, who went 2-for-4 and scored during a double play and off of a wild pitch.
Despite his side losing, Explorers RHP Jason Jarvis pitched eight innings and only allowed six hits as well.
Amarillo 11, Kansas City 9
An early barrage of runs from the T-Bones was not enough to hold off a late rally from the Sox as Amarillo defeated Kansas City 11-9 in this high-scoring shootout. Every one of Amarillo’s batters got in one on the scoring action, with the exception of SS KC Serna, who still found a way to contribute with a three-run triple in the seventh that finally gave the Sox the lead after they had trailed 9-4 at one point. 3B Brandon Jones added two runs in a 3-for-4 performance. 2B Adam De La Garza and 1B Jorge Delgado each had two runs and an RBI. And LF Joe Weik‘s three-run homer in the first proved to be essential as well.
Kansas City’s early lead came from big first and third innings, which saw a two-run home run from 1B Kyle Nichols and a three-run homer from RF Luis Rivera, respectively. Amarillo’s relief pitchers stopped the T-Bones from scoring entirely after the fifth inning, freeing the Sox up for their late rally. RHP Erik Draxton collected his ninth save of the season after allowing just one hit in the final two innings.
Winnipeg 9, Rockland 2
The Goldeyes climbed to an early lead behind a strong start from LHP Mark Hardy and never looked back, shutting down the Boulders 9-2 in this inter-league matchup. Hardy pitched six innings, allowing just one run and five hits while striking out four batters. Meanwhile, Winnipeg’s batters went to work and built a 5-0 lead by the end of the second. SS Josh Mazzola and 2B Kevin Moesquit both scored twice for the Goldeyes well before the Boulders could put up their second and final run in the ninth. DH Casey Haerther capped off the dominant display with a solo home run in the ninth.
*Photo courtesy of Lincoln Journal Star