The Diamondbacks Minor League affiliates went 3-0, with Reno being the only team to not play due to a scheduled off day. Slade Cecconi was the only notable pitching prospect to start in the organization.
Top Pitching Performance: Hillsboro RHP Slade Cecconi - 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K, W (4-2)
Top Hitting Performance: Hillsboro SS Blaze Alexander - 2 for 2, 2B, 3 BB, 4 R
Kenny Hernandez was the victim of untimely poor defense, as 4 of the 6 runs he allowed were unearned thanks to 3 errors behind him. Hernandez still struck out 5 and gave Amarillo 6 solid innings despite his infield having feet for hands in the first two innings. Fortunately for the Sod Poodles, they were able to make up for it with timely hits. Luis Alejandro Basabe would start the home run parade with a solo shot in the 3rd followed by the team putting up back-to-back 3 spots in the 4th and 5th. 2-run home runs by Dominic Canzone in the 4th and Jancarlos Cintron in the 5th certainly helped.
The score would stay at 7-6 until the 8th, when Levi Kelly struggled with walks again. Something is clearly physically wrong with him and it’s hampering his ability to throw strikes since he showcased us his talent in the ramp up period last year. Rants about prospects hitting a speed bump aside, Amarillo was able to get 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th to retake the lead. A pair of walks to start the inning were rewarded with timely hits, as Amarillo would pick up 3 of their 4 hits with a runner in scoring position in that inning and the one out being a groundout. The top of the 9th was drama-free.
Patient at-bats was the key offensively for Hillsboro, as the team was able to draw 8 walks. They were capable of making the opponent pay for those walks as the team also recorded 11 hits. Hillsboro would take the lead immediately in the first inning, sending 11 to the plate and scoring 5 times. A fielding error, 4 walks, and 3 hits, allowed them to take a quick lead. Eduardo Diaz would deliver the big blow, a grand slam just four batters into the inning, as the Dust Devils starting pitcher failed to record a single out after facing 6 hitters.
That was easily enough run support for Slade Cecconi, who allowed just 2 runsover 6 innings with 6 strikeouts on the night. It also helped that Hillsboro continued to put offensive pressure on their opponent after taking such a huge lead. They would score5 more runs over 4 separate innings, carefully managing the lead as Cecconi continued to post zeros on the board. Carson Kelly’s rehab continues to go well as he went 0 for 3 with a pair of walks.
Bust out the champagne ladies and gentlemen, the Visalia Rawhide have finally won a baseball game. Visalia would fall behind 3-0 and 7-4, but the offense was able to keep the team alive and eventually win it late. 7 of 9 starters in the lineup recorded a hit in the game and only one starter failing to record a hit or walk. Elian Miranda and Neyfy Castillo had big days at the plate, recording two hits and at least one XBH in the content to provide some great help to an offense that needed it.
The starting pitching was good enough as Junior Mieses allowed 3 runs over 5 innings, a solid feat considering how hitter friendly Stockton’s ballpark is. Liam Norris would struggle, allowing 3 runs in the 6th and only retiring 1 of 5 hitters he faced in the 7th. David Sanchez would inherited a bases loaded, 1 out situation and walked away with no further damage. Perhaps a sign of good things to come, Visalia would immediately push 3 runs on the board to tie it up in the top of the 8th on Jose Curpa’s 2-run triple. Visalia would take the lead in the 9th with 2 outs, as Neyfy Castillo would double to left then score on a single to center off the bat of Elian Miranda. Sanchez would allow a leadoff hit in the 9th, but got a double play ball to short to neutralize the threat.