Omaha was swept in their doubleheader in Nashville. The two teams finish the series on Thursday night.
The Storm Chasers lost the first game, 5-4 in walk off fashion. With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Matt Pagnozzi hit a solo home run off Donnie Joseph for the game winner. That came after Omaha tied it up with three runs in the top of the inning.
Four of the Storm Chasers’ eight hits came in the seventh. Carlos Peguero and Matt Fields delivered RBI singles in that inning. Brian Fletcher also singled. Jesus Flores hit a solo home run in the sixth to get Omaha on the scoreboard.
Sugar Ray Marimon got the start and struggled with his command, He threw 49 of his 87 pitches for strikes over five innings. He allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits and two walks.
The Storm Chasers were battered in the second game, losing 13-4. And to think Omaha led 2-0 after the top of the first courtesy of Peguero’s two out, two-run home run.
It was a rough debut for Ryan Verdugo, who joined the team from extended spring training. He allowed five runs on four hits and three walks over just 1.2 innings. He left with a runner on base, which came around to score.
It did not get better from there, as the Omaha bullpen continued to give up runs. Kameron Loe allowed the Verdugo base runner to score, along with three of his own in just one inning. Ramon Troncoso allowed four runs (one scored after he was pulled) over 2.2 innings. Buddy Baumann allowed one run on two hits and two walks over just 1/3 of an inning.
On offense, the Storm Chasers collected eight hits, including two by Christian Colon.
*In roster news, catcher Beau Maggi was added to the roster with the promotion of fellow catcher Francisco Pena to the big leagues. Maggi had played two games this season with Wilmington (0-for-4 with a walk). He singled to lead off the 7th inning for his first hit of the season and scored his first run of the season.
**Every time Brian Fletcher plays the outfield, he gets taken out. He started in left field in the second game and went 1-for-2. He was pinch-run for in the third by Paulo Orlando, who extended his hitting streak to ten games.
The Missions scored single runs in the final two innings for the win on two solo home runs. Matt Murray took the loss, as he allowed a two out solo shot in the 8th inning. Over two innings of relief, he allowed two hits and struck out four.
The loss negated the solid start by Sam Selman, who struck out a season-high eight in six innings. He allowed just three hits and one walk.
The Naturals collected just four hits, including a double by Orlando Calixte.
Wilmington swept their doubleheader over Carolina, ending it with some walk off heroics. They have now won four games in a row and have moved into second place by themselves (just two games back) in the Carolina League’s Northern Division.
“I truly believe there is better things to come for Sean [Manaea]”. -Blue Rocks manager Darryl Kennedy
The Blue Rocks won the first game by a9-4
score. Despite struggling through five innings,Sean Manaea
picked up the win. He struck out ten, but allowed three runs on six hits and three walks.
The offense broke out for 11 hits, with Hunter Dozier reaching base four times (two walks) and scoring three runs. They chased Mudcats starter Michael Peoples after just one inning, scoring four runs.
The Blue Rocks needed some 7th inning heroics to beat Carolina, 3-2 in walk off fashion in the second game.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh against Louis Head, the Carolina League’s best closer (eight saves and just one run allowed all season), Bubba Starling ripped a base hit to right field. The Mudcats right fielder for some reason dove as the ball went by him. Both the tying run and winning runs scored (Starling would have scored if the run was needed).
Earlier in the game (the sixth to be exact), Starling extended his hitting streak to a team-high ten games. Prior to the last two innings in which the Blue Rocks scored, they had just two hits and a walk against Mudcats starter Clayton Cook, who was pitching for the first time since 2012. In the final two innings, they had five hits and a walk.
“He’s [Sparkman] going to stay in there. It may be in a piggy-back situation…We’re going to leave him in there”. -Blue Rocks manager Darryl Kennedy
Lost in the walk off was the solid start byGlenn Sparkman
. It was his first professional start, though it will not be his last. He allowed three hits and a walk over 3.2 scoreless innings. He struck out six. The Mudcats did not have more than one base runner in an inning against him.
Kyle Bartsch entered in the fourth with a runner on base and struck out the only batter he faced on just three pitches. The 5th inning was a WHOLE lot different for Bartsch. He struggled with the strikezone, walking four and allowing two runs and one hit. It could have been worse if he had not picked a runner off.
Johnny Walter picked up his second win of the season (the last time the Blue Rocks walked off). He allowed one hit over two scoreless innings of relief.
**Shortstop Raul Mondesi was not back in the lineup for either game and manager Darryl Kennedy said he will not play in Thursday’s morning game either. They will see how Mondesi feels on Friday when they start a four-game series at home against division rival Frederick (their first meeting).
Lexington had off on Wednesday before welcoming Savannah to town for four games.