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Diamondbacks Minor League Recap 6/16/21 - Blake Walston shuts down Quakes

Photo taken by Jared Ravich

The Diamondbacks Minor League affiliates combined for a 1-2 record. Reno had the game off while Visalia ended up picking up the only win in the organization. Top pitching prospects Blake Walston and Ryne Nelson pitched for Visalia and Hillsboro respectively.

Top Pitching Performance: Visalia LHP Blake Walston - 6 23 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K, W (2-1)
Top Hitting Performance: Visalia LF Jorge Barrosa - 5 for 5, HR (3), 2 RBI, 2 R

AA: Amarillo Sod Poodles 6, Midland RockHounds (OAK) 9

Ryan Weiss got hit around a bit, surrendering 3 runs in the first two innings, but started to rebound with a scoreless 3rd and 4th inning. The Amarillo offense was able to get them back in it. Jose Herrera was in the middle of both the 2nd and the 4th, putting together an RBI single and a 2-run homer from the #9 spot in the order. Herrera would ultimately finish a triple short of the cycle.

After being given a new start and a 4-3 lead, Weiss was unable to escape the 5th. A fielding error, followed by a pair of walks, would open the floodgates for a grand slam that would immediately put Amarillo down 7-4. Mack Lemieux and Justin Lewis would provide scoreless relief and get Amarillo to the 8th. Unfortunately Jeff Bain was unable to get the final 6 outs without giving up a run in eachi inning he pitched. Amarillo would score 2 runs in the 9th inning but would ultimately fall.

RF Jake McCarhty: 1 for 3, 2 BB, RBI, 2 K
CF Dominic Fletcher: 1 for 5, 3 K
SS Geraldo Perdomo: 1 for 4, RBI, 2 R

High A: Hillsboro Hops 4, Eugene Emeralds (SFG) 7

Ryne Nelson took the mound in the first and looked downright dominant. The second inning, not so much as a hit batter and 3 walks would result in an early departure. Justin Vernia would be able to get out of a bases loaded jam in the 2nd, but gave up 2 of his own in the 3rd. Things settled down for a bit, as the Hillsboro offense chipped away at the lead. Home runs by Andy Yerzy in the 4th and Dominic Canzone to lead off the 6th would tie the game at 3-3 before Spncer Brickhouse singled home Blaze Alexander to give them a 4-3 lead.

Much like Amarillo, the game followed a similar script, although it took Eugene until the 8th to get a 4-run inning to take a 7-4 lead. Mitchell Stumpo would provide 3 perfect innings of relief, striking out 5 of the 9 hitters he faced. The same did not hold for Julio Frias, who would cough up the lead. 5 of the first 6 hitters that Frias faced would reach, which included a backbreaking 3-run homer that broke a 4-4 tie.

SS Blaze Alexander: 1 for 4, 2 K, R
3B Tristin English: 0 for 2, 2 BB, 1 K
RHP Ryne Nelson: 1 23 IP, 0 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 4 K

Low A: Visalia Rawhide 10, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 2

Unlike everything else in the D-backs organization, Blake Walston did not disappoint tonight. Walston would shut down the Quakes for 6 23 innings, allowing just 3 hits, 2 walks, and 8 strikeouts. He’s now put together quite the impressive run of starts, his 4th consecutive of 5+ innings and 2 runs or less allowed.

The Visalia offense scratched across a couple early runs to take a 2-0 lead. Jorge Barrosa opened up the scoring with a homer in the 3rd. Roman Ruiz would drive in the second run in the 5th with a sac fly. They would then explode for 8 runs in the top of the 6th to wrest control of this game. Neyfy Castillo would single, advance to 2nd on a groundout, then steal 3rd to open up the frame before scoring on a Danny Oriente single. A pair of walks would load the bases before a pitching change.

That’s where the inning flipped on its ugly head. Ruiz was hit by a pitch to make it 4-0. Then Barrosa, who went 5 for 5 in this game, singled home another run. A fielding error would score another run. A sacrifice fly by A.J. Vukovich and Castillo crushed his 9th homer of the year for his second hit in the inning. Visalia pretty much cruised from there, although the Quakes scored a pair of runs off Harrison Francis, who had no control of the baseballs he was throwing.

3B A.J. Vukovich: 0 for 4, SF, RBI, 2 K
LHP Blake Walston: 6 23 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K, W (2-1)