Sunday was an interesting day with plenty of things to talk about. We had plenty of starters, who for multiple different reasons failed to make it deep into their starts, we saw the Mississippi outfield duo continuing to produce, the Rome outfield standing out, an extra base hit from our catcher of the future, and the continued power surge from Rafael Ortega in Gwinnett that goes against anything you could have predicted.
Gwinnett Stripers 7, Louisville Bats 4
- Rafael Ortega, CF: 2-5, 2 HR
- Austin Riley, 3B: 1-5
- Kolby Allard, SP: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K
Kolby Allard got the start and made it just short of four innings before a rain delay of two hours knocked him out early. Allard ended up allowing a run over three and two thirds innings, while striking out four. Corbin Clouse came in and allowed a pair of runs in his two and a third innings, but did strike out three. Connor Johnstone got the win after pitching two innings of one run ball, and a scoreless Thomas Burrows inning got him the save.
The big story here is Rafael Ortega, as the speedy outfielder hit a pair of homers, pushing his season total up to five already. This is from a guy who has never hit more than nine homers in a season despite playing in a Rockies system known for hitter friendly parks, as well as the California and Pacific Coast Leagues. Andres Blanco also added a homer, while Travis Demeritte and Pedro Florimon each went two for three on the day. Austin Riley ended the game with a single in his five at bats.
4/15 Probable Starter: Mike Foltynewicz
Mississippi Braves 1, Mobile BayBears 0
- Cristian Pache, RF: 1-3, SB
- Drew Waters, CF: 0-2, BB
- Kyle Muller, SP: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K
Kyle Muller started and went three and a third scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and striking out seven batters. Unfortunately he also walked four hitters, as exactly half of his 76 pitches were thrown for balls(38 balls to 38 strikes). Despite not having his command in this one, Muller showed you why he’s so highly regarded as a prospect as he was still able to rack up the strikeouts and not give up any runs. Jonathan Aro relived him and went an inning and two thirds of scoreless baseball, but he also walked four batters. Josh Graham finished the game with two more scoreless innings and picked up the win in a tight game.
The bats didn’t do a ton overall, as the Braves had just a run on four hits. Two of those hits were Jonathan Morales singles, with Alejandro Salazar and Cristian Pache also singling. Pache ended up one for three with his fourth stolen base of the year as he played right field. That meant Drew Waters got the game in center, and while he went hitless in two at bats, he did walk. The game’s lone run came on a CJ Alexander sac fly.
Mobile BayBears 2, Mississippi Braves 0
- Drew Waters, RF: 1-4, 2B
- Cristian Pache, CF: 2-4, 2B
- Patrick Weigel, SP: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Patrick Weigel’s second start ended up looking a lot better than his first, where he really battled his command. This time he made it two scoreless innings, allowing a pair of hits and a walk and picking up a strikeout while throwing 38 pitches. The reason for the short start is that Weigel is on a very tight pitch count early in the year as he returns from Tommy John surgery. Jeremy Walker relieved with five strong innings, giving up two runs- only one earned- on five hits, no walks, and six strikeouts. Jason Creasy went a scoreless inning to finish the game.
Similar to the first game there wasn’t a lot to talk about with the bats outside of the top prospects, as this time the Braves managed four hits without any runs. Back in center field in this one, Cristian Pache singled and doubled in his four at bats, while Drew Waters had a double in his four times up. The only other hit on the game came from one of the guys who had a hit in the first game, Alejandro Salazar.
4/15 Probable Starter: Joey Wentz
St. Lucie Mets 4, Florida Fire Frogs 2
- William Contreras, DH: 1-4, 2B
- Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 1-4, HR
- Huascar Ynoa, SP: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 6 K
Things started so well for Huascar Ynoa, as he was shutting down the Mets through three innings, but he came out in the fourth and immediately struggled. Ynoa couldn’t make it out of that fourth inning, allowing all three of his runs while recording two outs. He was replaced by Sean McLaughlin, who went two and a third scoreless innings. Brandon White finished the game by giving up an unearned run over two innings of work.
There wasn’t a lot of offense, and outside of a solo homer from Drew Lugbauer and then William Contreras doubling and scoring a run, there isn’t much to talk about offensively. In addition to those guys Kevin Josephina, Riley Delgado, Brett Langhorne, and Raysheandall Michel added singles.
4/15 Probable Starter: Tristan Beck
Rome Braves 8, Greenville Drive 7
- Trey Harris, DH: 3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 2B, 3B
- Andrew Moritz, LF: 2-4, BB, R, 2 RBI
- Victor Vodnik, RP, 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
Odalvi Javier got the start and allowed four runs on six hits and a pair of walks in three and two thirds innings. Dilmer Mejia followed and allowed a run over his inning and a third of work. Then things got a little more exciting as Victor Vodnik had two innings of relief, where he not only didn’t allow a run, but also didn’t allow a base runner while striking out five and reports were that his velocity was up as high as 98 MPH. Lukas Young got the save after allowing a pair of unearned runs over two innings to finish the game.
The most exciting thing about this team is the outfield, and that remained true on Sunday. Trey Harris was the big star, with a pair of doubles and a triple, picking up a pair of RBI and scoring twice. Andrew Moritz managed a pair of singles and a walk, and added two RBI of his own, and Justin Dean went one for four to go with his third stolen base of the year. Not to be forgotten, but with Trey Harris at DH, the start in right went to Jose Bermudez, and he went one for three with a pair of RBI himself.
4/15 Probable Starter: Nolan Kingham