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Diamondbacks Minor League 6/8/21 - Hops use Buddy System for victory

I couldn’t find a picture of Buddy Kennedy in the database, so here’s one of the stadium instead.

The Diamondbacks Minor League affiliates combined for a 1-3 record. A monster night from one player in Hillsboro ultimately prevented a system-wide sweep. Luis Frias was the only pitching prospect of note to take the ball today.

Best Pitching Performance: Reno RHP Zach Lee - 5 IP, 9 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K
Best Hitting Performance: Hillsboro 3B Buddy Kennedy - 3 for 5, 2B, GS (3), 6 RBI, R, 1 K

AAA: Reno Aces 3, Sacramento River Cats (SFG) 4

The Aces spoiled a pretty solid start from Zach Lee, who managed to only give up 1 run in 5 innings despite a lot of traffic on the bases. After a wild pitch led to Sacramento’s run in the 1st, Reno would even things up in the 2nd. Matt Lipka doubled with 1 out and scored after a couple pitches got by Joey Bart. Reno would take the lead in the 6th off former Dback prospect Anthony Banda with Daulton Varsho tripled to lead off the inning and scored on Drew Ellis’ Texas League double. They had a late, but very tenuous lead at the time.

Going into the 7th, Alex Powers was asked to hold this lead, but a single followed by a home run quickly gave Sacramento their first lead since the 2nd inning. Josh VanMeter would tie things back up at 3-3 with a solo homer of his own. Unfortunately, the River Cats would get that lead back in the 9th when a leadoff walk came around to score off Miguel Aguilar. Reno would get a 2-out single from Bryan Holaday but would advance no further than that.

CF Daulton Varsho: 1 for 3, 3B, BB, 1 K, R
1B Seth Beer: 0 for 4, 3 K

AA: Amarillo Sod Poodles 6, Corpus Christi Hooks (HOU) 10

Luis Frias threw another clunker, this time allowing 6 runs over 4 23 innings with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. Amarillo quickly fell behind 4-0 before getting a chance to swing the bats in this game. The Poodles put some offense on the board and were able to scratch their way back into the game, getting as close as 6-3 after 6 and 8-6 after 7, but the bullpen couldn’t stop the bleeding at critical moments. Dominic Fletcher and Jake McCarthy were both in the middle of the offensive barrage.

CF Alek Thomas: 0 for 4, BB, R
LF Jake McCarthy: 1 for 3, 3B, BB, RBI, 2 R
RF Dominic Fletcher: 2 for 2, 2B, HR (3), 4 RBI, 2 BB
SS Geraldo Perdomo: 1 for 4, 2 K

High A: Hillsboro Hops 7, Tri-City Dust Devils (LAA) 4

It took a monster game from Buddy Kennedy to prevent the entire system from getting swept. Kennedy was a triple short of the cycle and launched a grand slam in the 2nd inning and a back-breaking double in the bottom of the 8th. Conor Grammes put together a solid start, allowing just 1 run on 2 hits, with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts over 4 innings. Despite getting a big lead early from Kennedy, the bullpen was unable to hold it as three runs came across in the 5th off Kenny Hernandez. Hernandez would pitch his way into the 8th inning though, so he provided value as an innings-eater.

In the 7th, the Hops would regain the lead. Blaze Alexander tripled to lead off the inning and would come around with 1 out when Tristin English ripped a line drive to left for a single. English wasn’t originally scheduled to start the game, but came in after Spencer Brickhouse was hit by a pitch in the first inning. They would tack on two more in the 8th with a walk and a single coming up before Kennedy once again ripped the hearts out of the Dust Devils. During the at-bat, a double steal would put two runners in scoring position and it became a big play when Kennedy’s drive would hop over the fence for an automatic double. Nick Snyder had no issues grabbing the final 3 outs of the game, needing just 14 pitches to strike out the side in order.

SS Blaze Alexander: 2 for 5, 3B, SB, 1 K, R
1B Tristin English: 2 for 3, 2B, RBI

Low A: Visalia Rawhide 1, Inland Empire 66ers (LAA) 8

Austin Pope allowed 4 runs (3 earned) in 4 23 innings, which unfortunately became a problem given the recent state of the lineup in Visalia. Going down 4-0 in the first, you just felt they weren’t going to make a bid to get back in the game. Visalia would only manage 3 hits (1 XBH) and 3 walks for the game and went 0 for 5 w/ RISP. Perhaps they’re looking at the MLB club and learning bad habits from them? The 66ers other 4 runs came off of a Jeremiah Jackson grand slam off Harrison Francis in the 9th inning.

3B A.J. Vukovich: 1 for 4, 2 K