One of the joys of following all the minor leaguers is when someone is given a chance to realize his dream and takes advantage of it. South Bend starting pitcher Brad Allen is a good case in point. A year ago Brad Allen was having a hard time finding any kind of job pitching and he was concerned his baseball career was over at the age of 23. Finally in August of last year the Florence Freedom of the Independent League called and gave him a chance and he delivered with a 1.07 ERA in 8 games. That was enough for the Diamondbacks to sign him to a minor league contract and invite him to Spring Training. He spent the first month of the season in extended Spring Training and was finally assigned to South Bend. His first professional start last Sunday was so-so. Yesterday it was a lot more than so-so as he pitched 9 full innings allowing 1 run on 2 hits and no walks while striking out 9. He just turned 24 so he's old for this level, but if he keeps pitching like that he'll get more chances. Here's hoping he keeps it going.
Around the leagues Reno's Kila Ka'aihue hit two late home runs to win in dramatic walk-off fashion in spite of another sub-par outing from Randall Delgado. Mobile won behind another good start from Andrew Chafin and two home runs from Brent Clevlen. Visalia lost a 3-1 squeaker and South Bend won in 10 innings after Brad Allen's terrific 9-inning start and Kevin Medrano's bases-loaded walk-off single in the 10th.
3 Stars: Brad Allen, South Bend 9 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 ER
2 Stars: Kila Ka'aihue, Reno 2 for 5, 2 R, 2 HR (9), 3 RBI
1 Star: Brent Clevlen, Mobile 2 for 4, 2 R, 2 HR (4), 3 RBI
0 Stars: Randall Delgado, Reno 5 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 6 ER
Triple A: Reno 9 Iowa 8. Heading into the bottom of the 8th Reno trailed 8-5 when Kila Ka'aihue hit a solo homer to cut the lead to 2. In the bottom of the 9th Ka'aihue got another chance with a man on second, one run already in, and 2 outs. And he proceeded to hit a 2-run, walk-off homer to give Reno the 9-8 victory. Randall Delgado started and had another rough outing. He only got through 5 innings allowing 6 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. His ERA stands at 9.09 through 8 starts. He's been getting his share of strikeouts but his WHIP is almost 2.00 as his struggles continue. Alfredo Marte went 2 for 3 with a walk and his first home run for Reno. Juan Rivera went 2 for 4 with a double and Taylor Harbin had 2 singles and 2 RBI.
Double A: Mobile 7 Jacksonville 5. In his second start for Mobile since being promoted Andrew Chafin was solid yet again. He's still walking too many many but he only allowed 1 run on 5 hits and 4 walks while striking out 6 in 6 innings of work. The bullpen got a little frisky and gave up some runs late to make it interesting, but Kevin Munson came on for the final 2 outs for his 4th save. Brent Clevlen hit 2 home runs to lead the offense. Keon Broxton hit his first homer of the season and the top three hitters in the lineup (Mike Freeman, Justin Greene, Nick Evans) all had two hits apiece.
High A: Visalia 1 @ Inland Empire 3. The Rawhide offense was stymied by Orangel Arenas in his first start in High A since being demoted from AAA. Conrad Flynn started for Visalia and was pretty good allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks across 5 innings. Gerson Montilla was the lone bright spot on offense with a pair of doubles.
Low A: South Bend 2 West Michigan 1. Brad Allen was outstanding as he pitched 9 full innings allowing just one run on 2 hits and no walks while striking out 9. He didn't get the win because the offense only managed one run as well. Allen allowed the run in the 2nd inning on 2 singles and a stolen base. He didn't surrender any hits or walks in any of the other 8 innings he pitched. The Silver Hawks got the win in walk-off style in the bottom of the 10th when Socrates Brito single and advanced to 3rd on a wild pickoff attempt. After intentionally loading the bases Kevin Medrano ended it with the walk-off base hit. South Bend threatened to score the entire game with 13 hits in all. But they went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base.