The Diamondbacks Minor League affiliates combined for a 2-1 record. Reno had the day off, but the two A ball affiliates pulled off wins. Top pitching prospects Ryne Nelson and Blake Walston shoved in their starts. In addition, we’re going to add a daily Alek Thomas statline to give the readers something to be hopeful for this year.
Top Pitching Performance: Hillsboro RHP Ryne Nelson - 6 2⁄3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, W (1-1)
Top Hitting Performance: 3B A.J. Vukovich - 3 for 6, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 3 R
Alek Thomas - 1 for 4, 1 K; .338/.436/.615, 6 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 12/16 BB/K in 78 PA
The game started off by a pitchers duel between Jose Urquidy and Humberto Mejia. Sloppy defense cost Mejia 4 runs, as 3 errors by the infield would result in 4 unearned runs on Mejia’s ledger. Geraldo Perdomo hit his first round tripper of the year, crushing a fly ball to left from the right side of the plate for Amarillo’s only extra base hit. The bullpen was unable to keep the game close, as Brandyn Sittinger and Mack Lemieux would allows the Hooks to plate 3 more insurance runs. Amarillo would score a run in the 8th, but the game had already been lost at that point.
CF Jake McCarthy: 1 for 3, BB, 1 K
LF Dominic Fletcher: 0 for 4, 3 K
SS Geraldo Perdomo: 1 for 3, solo HR (1), BB
The story of this game is Ryne Nelson’s outstanding pitching performance, as he held the Dust Devils to 2 singles in 6 2⁄3 shutout innings with no walks and 7 strikeouts. Nelson was in control from the beginning, which allowed a Hillsboro offense that wasn’t great situationally. Hillsboro hitters received 9 free passes and 3 of their 6 hits went for extra bases.
Hillsboro took the lead in the 3rd as walks and free passes allowed the first three hitters to reach base before a single and an error by the shortstop allowed the first two runs to score. A caught stealing and a double play prevented more damage. They would tack on another run in the 4th without a batter reaching base via hit, walk, or hit by pitch. A strikeout, passed ball, throwing error on a pickoff attempt, followed by a wild pitch on a strikeout made it 3-0. RBI doubles by Tristin English and Axel Andueza would give Hillsboro a 5-0 lead. Tri-City would score 2 oh by the way runs in the 9th inning, but the game was long over before that.
SS Blaze Alexander: 2 for 5, 2B, SB, 2 R
RHP Ryne Nelson: 6 2⁄3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, W (1-1)
On most nights Blake Walston would get top pitching honors, but was overshadowed by Nelson’s superb performance. Walston scattered 5 hits and 3 walks, allowing 1 run in 5 innings with 8 strikeouts. Visalia took control in the middle innings before putting the game away with a big inning late. Tied at 1-1 going into the 5th, Visalia exploded for 5 runs. Ronny Simon blooped in a single before A.J. Vukovich lined a double in the gap to plate two. Sheng-Ping Chen singled home Vukovich before a throwing error on a double steal attempt resulted in a 5th run to take a 6-1 lead.
With a big lead and Walston done after 5 innings, the Rawhide turned to the bullpen to mop up 12 outs. After a homerun made it 6-2, Visalia went for the jugular in the 8th. After loading the bases without having to swing the bat, one swing of the bat from Vukovich blew this one open. He went to the opposite gap to clear the bases to make it 9-2. A two-out single by Chen followed by a home run by Elian Miranda would result in Visalia’s final 3 runs. Modesto would hit an oh by the way homer in the bottom half of the inning.
3B A.J. Vukovich: 3 for 6, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 3 R
LHP Blake Walston: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 8 K, W (1-1)