After an ice cold start South Bend's Daniel Palka is heating up in a big way. He has 10 hits in his last 5 games including 2 doubles, a triple, a home run and 8 RBI. Last night he went 3 for 4 with a triple, a home run and 3 RBI. It's not improbable that the 30 degree game time temperatures for the first few weeks in the Midwest weren't too conducive to the South Carolina native's hitting stroke. The area has warmed up into the mid 40s at least of late and it has coincided with Palka getting it going. Being a college veteran and already 22 if Palka keeps this up he shouldn't be hanging around South Bend too much longer. He needs to be moving into higher levels.
3 Stars: Daniel Palka, South Bend 3 for 4, 2 R, 1 TPL, 1 HR (1), 3 RBI
2 Stars: Socrates Brito, Visalia 3 for 5, 2 R, 1 DBL, 3 RBI, 1 SB (6)
1 Star: Jimmie Sherfy, Visalia 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 SV (5)
0 Stars: Stryker Trahan, South Bend 0 for 4, 3 K
Triple A: Reno 9 @ Fresno 2. Randy Wolf got his second start for Reno and put up some more mediocrity. He went 5 innings allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4. He got the win when the offense came up big with 14 hits and 9 runs led by red-hot Nick Evans who went 3 for 4 with a double, a homer and 2 RBI after homering twice the day before. Roger Kieschnick cranked 2 solo home runs to go with a couple of walks and Ender Inciarte added a 2-run homer. Reliever Evan Marshall tossed 2 more scoreless innings of relief giving him 8 straight games without allowing a run to start the season.
Double A: Mobile 10 @ Huntsville 7.Jake Lamb had another late-game dramatic swing when he hit a grand slam in the top of the 12th inning to give the Bay Bears the win. Lamb didn't start but entered the game as a pinch hitter in the 9th inning and stayed in to set up the heroics. David Peralta should have been the hero when he delivered a 2-out, 2-run double in the top of the 9th to give them a 1-run lead. But Jake Barrett couldn't nail it down when he loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the 9th, but did well to just allow a sacrifice fly and extend the game. RJ Hively made things interesting in the bottom of the 12th when he walked 4 batters but ended the game with a strikeout. A.J. Schugel got the start and wasn't his best allowing 5 runs on 10 hits in 4+ innings.
High A: Visalia 9 Rancho Cucamonga 8. The Rawhide overcame an 8-2 deficit with a 6-run outburst in the 6th and picked up the go-ahead run in the 8th before turning things over to Jimmie Sherfy. Sherfy did the usual...he struck out the side in the 9th for his 5th save. Socrates Brito was the offensive star going 3 for 5 with a double and 3 RBI. The 21-year-old outfielder is starting to come into his own and he's hitting .300 with 3 homers, 13 RBI and 6 stolen bases on the season. Ronnie Freeman was the other offensive star with 2 doubles and 2 RBI. Brandon Sinnery started and was off his game allowing 8 runs over 5+ innings, though a Brandon Drury error led to 4 of those. Sherfy needs to be promoted to the majors...forget Mobile. He has 14 strikeouts in 6 innings with 1 hit allowed.
A: South Bend 7 @ Quad Cities 6.The Silver Hawks made it a minor league affiliates sweep with a 1-run victory. Daniel Palka led the charge with a triple, his first homer and 3 RBI. Ben Eckels earned his first win of the year though he was still somewhat less than impressive allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks in 5 innings. He's currently carrying an 8.49 ERA with 11 walks and 5 strikeouts in 11 innings. Daniel Gibson earned his 3rd save with a shutout 9th.