The Diamondbacks started their season winning 3 of 4, so naturally their minor league affiliates wound up winning 3 of their 4 games last night. The Kane County Cougars, Jackson Generals, and Reno Aces were successful with 3 Opening Day blowout victories. The average margin of victory was 8 1⁄3 runs. Lots of strong hitting performances, as those teams combined for 34 runs. It’s going to be tough to pick out who the top performers are.
3 Stars: Kane County 2B Luis Alejandro Basabe 2 for 3, 3-R HR (1), BB, 2 R
2 Stars: Reno DH Oswaldo Arcia 3 for 5, 2B (1), 3B (1), 4 RBI, R
1 Star: Jackson RHP Taylor Clarke 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K, W (1-0), GS 71
0 Stars: Visalia RHP Justin Donatella 2+ IP, 8 H, 8 R (8 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, GS -2
Reno Aces 13, Fresno Grizzlies 6: In a game that closely resembles a game played in Reno, the Aces opened up with a 3 spot on a rehabbing Colin McHugh. Zach Borenstein hit a 2-run infield single and Reymond Fuentes stole home. Braden Shipley responded by getting crushed for a 5-run bottom of the first, including allowing 3 runs to score before getting the first out of the game. Shipley settled in afterwards, allowing just a Derek Fisher solo bomb for the next four innings. The Aces took the lead with a 5-run 3rd, keyed by a bases-clearing triple by Oswaldo Arcia. The Aces added on with a 3 run 6th and a 2-run 8th to put the game away. TJ McFarland, Kaleb Fleck, and Enrique Burgos allowed 1 baserunner and faced the minimum in the final 4 innings of the game.
Jackson Generals 8, Birmingham Barons 0: It didn’t matter how many runs the Generals scored, because Taylor Clarke and the bullpen combined for a 4-hit shutout of the Barons. Clarke went the front 5 innings, pitching a masterpiece with only 2 hits and a walk in allowed in 5 innings with 7 strikeouts. The bats made sure to put this game away early though, with every starter picking up at least one hit for the game. Colin Walsh reached base 4 times (2 singles, 2 walks) from the leadoff spot and Dawel Lugo added 3 hits and a HBP in 5 trips to the plate. Jared Miler, Joey Krehbiel, and Miller Diaz pitched the last four, with Krehbiel and Diaz combining for 6 strikeouts in the final 3 frames.
Visalia Rawhide 2, Lancaster Jethawks 13: Apparently the Rawhide didn’t get the memo for today’s organizational theme, as this game was over by the 3rd inning. Justin Donatella got pulverized for 8 runs in 2+ innings, allowing 2 home runs and 8 hits. Nick Baker didn’t help things by allowing 3 more runs to score in the 3rd, putting the Rawhide in an 11-0 deficit. The offense was limited to 5 hits, although they drew 4 walks as well. No notably solid offensive performances, although Daniel Lockhart had two hits and Sergio Alcantara went 1 for 3. Austin Byler drew 2 walks in 3 plate appearances.
Kane County Cougars 13, Clinton Lumber Kings 3: The Cougars have a lot of young talent and the kids put up a show today. After a scoreless top half of the first inning, the Cougars put up a 7 spot in the bottom of the first to take control of the game and cruised from there. Ramon Hernandez had 4 hits and 4 RBI and Luis Alejandro Basabe went 2 for 3 with a 3-run homer that capped off the 7-run first inning. Jasrado Chisholm had 3 hits, a RBI, and 2 runs scored and Marcus Wilson reached based 3 times (2 singles, 1 walk) and scored 3 times. Emilio Vargas pitched solidly, although he surrendered a 3-run bomb in his final inning of work, despite having more walks than strikeouts. The bullpen pitched the final four innings, with Tommy Eveld, Ryan Burr, and Drew Mason allowing only 3 baserunners and struck out 6.