Veteran Brett Tomko, who turned 41 on Monday, became just the second player ever to play for eight Pacific Coast League teams (Eddie Mulligan was the other from 1919-1938). He made his season debut for Omaha and won 3-2 over Memphis.
Down 1-0 after the top of the first, the Storm Chasers came back with two in the second. One of those runs came via Matt Fields‘ first Triple-A home run (Paulo Orlando drove in the other on one of his three singles). Jimmy Paredes drove in his first run of the season in the third with a single (he went 2-for-4).
Tomko allowed one run on four hits and three walks over six innings. He struck out two. After Cory Wade allowed a run in the seventh, Spencer Patton earned his first save of the season with two scoreless innings of relief. He struck out three and threw 22 of his 32 pitches for strikes.
NW Arkansas lost to Midland in thrilling fashion, 8-7. In the top of the ninth, down by two runs, with two men in scoring position and two outs, Mark Threlkeld ripped a single to right field. After Jorge Bonifacio scored, pinch runner Ethan Chapman was thrown out at the plate trying to tie the score.
The Naturals actually led 6-3 heading into the bottom of the 7th inning before the RockHounds scored five runs to take the lead. Noel Arguelles was starting his second inning of relief, but allowed two runs on two hits and a walk (and a fielding error from his defense). Angel Baez entered with two on and one out. After a strikeout, a wild pitch moved the runners up a base and a double brought them both in. The next hitter followed with an RBI single before Baez got out of the inning.
The Naturals collected nine hits, three by Justin Trapp. However, they went just 5-for-14 with runners in scoring position, as they could not capitalize on Midland’s six errors.
Wilmington will play their home opener on Tuesday night against Myrtle Beach with first round pick Sean Manaea on the mound in his professional debut.
Just one game was played in the South Atlantic League on Monday night, but Lexington against Rome was not one of them. Rain blanketed the East Coast and postponed many games (including the entire Eastern League and six in the South Atlantic League). The two teams will play a doubleheader on Tuesday night (two seven inning games).
I forgot to mention in last night’s recap that the Legends turned an unconventional 1-6-3-2 triple play on Sunday.