3 Stars: Jackson RHP Taylor Clarke 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 7 K, GS 72, W (7-4)
2 Stars: Visalia RHP Jon Duplantier 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 5 K, GS 58, W (1-0)
1 Star: Kane County RHP Curtis Taylor 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 7 K, GS 66, W (3-4)
0 Stars: Hillsboro RHP Mitchell Aker 2 IP, 7 H, 8 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, GS -2, L (0-4)
Pavin Smith: 1 for 4
Reno Aces 5, El Paso Chihuahuas 6: Braden Shipley once again got knocked around, allowing 11 hits and 3 of them leaving the ballpark over 5 innings. Zach Borenstein went 4 for 4 in the game with a homer and 3 RBI to keep the Aces in the game. They were able to tie things up in the 9th inning to force extra innings, where they fell in 10 innings. The top 4 hitters in the lineup contributed 11 of the team’s 15 hits and every position player starting recorded at least 1 hit.
Jackson Generals 4, Tennessee Smokies 1: The Generals got a great pitching performance out of Taylor Clarke (see above) to stop a 6-game losing streak. Jamie Westbrook helped the Generals build an early 2-0 lead with a 4th inning homer. A Dawel Lugo error led to an unearned run scoring in Clarke’s last inning of work, but the bullpen was up to the task of finishing things out. Lefties Yuhei Nakaushiro and Gabriel Moya pitched 3 scoreless innings with 5 strikeouts, the latter picking up his 13th save and dropping his season ERA to 0.99.
Visalia Rawhide 9, Stockton Ports 1: Rawhide hitters handed Jon Duplantier a 3-0 lead before throwing a single pitch and they cruised from there. Duplantier had a little bit of wildness, but ultimately allowed only 1 run to score. While Duplantier was putting up zeros, the offense added on a lot of insurance runs late thanks to a trio of homers. Grant Heyman fell a triple short of the cycle and Matt Jones picked up 3 hits and drove in 4.
Kane County Cougars 5, Peoria Chiefs 4: Curtis Taylor was really good in this game, pitching better than the final stat line you see above. Ramon Hernandez provided early run support with a 3-run homer in the 1st inning. In the 4th an RBI double by Raymel Flores and a RBI single by Marcus Wilson proved to be pivotal insurance runs as Taylor left the 7th failing to retire the first 3 hitters and Tyler Mark allowing all 3 runs to score and an additional one against him in the 7th. The Cougars were ultimately able to hang on for the win.
Hillsboro Hops 4, Everett Aqua Sox 8: A 6-run first inning pretty much killed any chance at a close game as Mitchell Aker was unable to pitch around a Eudy Ramos fielding error. Things got uglier as the Hops trailed 8-0 after 3 innings. They put somewhat of a fight up at the plate as Yan Sanchez and Camden Duzenack each had an RBI triple in the game. Despite the strong effort from the pitching staff in innings 3-8, the offense couldn’t crawl out of the deep hole their starter put them into. Pavin Smith went 1 for 4 in the game.
Missoula Osprey 12, Helena Brewers 5: The game was close early on, but a late Osprey outburst turned this into a laugher late. Tyler Vail allowed 4 runs in 5 innings, and the bullpen was stingy after that point. The top of the order did a great job of setting the table with a 1-2-3 hitters combining to score 11 runs and the RBIs coming from all over the lineup. Andy Yerzy drove in 3 on a 2 for 5 day at the plate and Keshawn Lynch continues to hit with a 4 for 5 day to push his Pioneer League average to .474. Please save the Jose Altuve comparisons for later.