(28-43) Louisville Bats 9, (38-32) Gwinnett Stripers 5
- Ryan LaMarre, LF-CF: 2-for-5 R, 2 RBI, .760 OPS
- Adam Duvall, RF: 0-for-4, .917 OPS
- Alex Jackson, C: 0-for-4, R, BB, .767 OPS
- Patrick Weigel, SP: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 3.55 ERA
The Gwinnett Stripers couldn’t overcome a rough first inning for Patrick Weigel as they went down 3-0 in the first but I’m going to be bold and say that no one really cares about results right now for Patrick and it’s most encouraging to see him throw 70 pitches over four innings of work - most of the damage coming from one swing of the bat in the form of a three run homer. The four innings seems to be about his limit as it’s the third time he’s been pulled after the fourth but it’s very encouraging. Outside of Weigel, every single pitcher that appeared for Gwinnett gave up at least one run last night and following Weigel was Wes Parsons who struggled with his command. Parsons walked four in just two innings of work while giving up one earned run on two hits. The recently optioned Dan Winkler got in on the action as well and gave up one earned run while walking one and striking out two in his inning of work in the seventh. Ben Rowen worked the final two innings of the game and gave up a pair of earned runs, and he too walked a hitter as well - giving the Gwinnett staff a night to forget - 15 hits, eight walks, nine runs (eight earned), and seven strikeouts. After an absolutely insane start to the season Ben has begun to run into a bit of a wall - having his ERA skyrocket from 0.43 to 3.26 over his last ten games. During those ten appearances his numbers aren’t pretty a 5.28 ERA, however his walk rate is still sub 2, he’s just been giving up a large number of hits (9.4 H/9).
Offensively, there was just too much to make up for because of the pitching staff. The Gwinnett offense did what they do and scored five runs - with Ryan LaMarre setting the tone as he went 2-for-5 while getting the nod at lead off. His presence was known immediately as he got in base to start the game and scored the first run of the game in the first inning after Sean Kazmar Jr drove him in. Gwinnett tried to make the game tight in the fourth inning as they trailed 5-1 to start the inning but were able to score a pair of runs to lessen the deficit to two. Connor Lien collected an RBI single that scored Jack Lopez to make it 5-2, and then Ryan LaMarre grounded into a force out at second which scored Luis Marte to make it 5-3. After having their deficit grow to 6-3, the Gwinnett offense responded in the sixth inning loading the bases for, you guessed it, Ryan LaMarre who didn’t have to do much because he drew a bases loaded balk to make it 6-4, and then grounded into another force out to score another run and lessen the game to 6-5! But that’s the closest Gwinnett would get to the lead, as the bullpen surrendered three more runs before falling 9-5.
(26-43) Florida Fire Frogs 4, (37-31) Daytona Tortugas 5
- Riley Delgado, SS: 2-for-5, R, RBI, .706 OPS
- Trey Harris, RF: 2-for-5, 3 RBI, 1 R, .997 OPS
- Drew Lugbauer, DH: 2-for-4, .541 OPS
- Isranel Wilson, CF: 0-for-2, .585 OPS
- Philip Pfeifer, SP: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 4.86 ERA
The Fire Frogs made it competitive but never lead during the game before eventually falling 5-4 to the Tortugas. The five earned runs for Philip give him nine total runs over his last 10.1 forgettable innings of work in an otherwise solid season. Safe to say this is a rather disappointing season for Philip as he’s found his way all the way down to High-A after spending portions of his last two seasons floating between Mississippi and Gwinnett. His .260 batting average against is tied for the second highest of his career (.260 in Gwinnett last season), but his xFIP is the lowest it’s been since 2017. Following Philip was Daysbel Hernandez who struck out two, while walking one, in his inning of work. Daysbel has been one of the lone bright spots on the Fire Frogs roster - owning a 1.55 ERA, while allowing hitters to hit just .178/.277/.307 against him while having a 12 K/9, but a 4.3 BB/9 rate. Following Daysbel was familiar face Bradley Roney who continued his fine work for Florida as well - pitching one perfect inning. Roney now has a 0.00 ERA, .149 batting average against, 0.70 WHIP, 11.3 K/9, and 1.9 BB/9 aka he won’t be in Florida for much longer. Finishing out the game for the Fire Frogs was Sean McLaughlin who gave up a pair of singles but worked a scoreless inning to close out the game.
Offensively, it was once again the Trey Harris show, as Trey got the offense started in the fourth inning with a two-run homerun to tie the game for Florida. Trey is off to another fantastic start for Florida, seen by his .977 OPS to start the season, and on the season has a 1.025 OPS over 68 games. The guy just knows how to hit, and hit the ball pretty hard (.589 SLG). Florida then entered the seventh trailing 5-2 and made a valiant effort to try and even the game in the seventh but fell just short. Riley Delgado grounded to short to score the third run of the game for Florida to bring the score to 5-3, and then later in the inning that man Trey Harris doubled in a run to make it 5-4. Unfortunately for Florida, they do not have a team of just Trey Harris’s and they would fall 5-4. Also, Trey Harris, Trey Harris, Trey Harris - because I haven’t said his name enough in this article.
(0-1) Princeton Rays 2, (1-0) Danville Braves 3 - F/8
- Cody Milligan, 2B: 1-for-3, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB, 1.833 OPS
- Beau Philip, SS: 0-for-3, .000 OPS
- Bryce Ball, DH: 2-for-3, RBI, 1.334 OPS
- Filyer Sanchez, SP: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1BB, 1 K, 1.80 ERA
(0-2) Princeton Rays 10, (2-0) Danville Braves 12 - F/7
- Cody Milligan, 2B: 0-for-2, RBI, 2 BB, R, 1.300 OPS
- Ray Hernandez, 3B: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, GS, 6 RBI, 1.143 OPS
- Bryce Ball, 1B: 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1.714 OPS
- Luis De Jesus, SP: 1.0 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1K, 36.00 ERA
It was a rude start to the season for Danville who had to play a double header after having opening day rained out but that didn’t stop them from picking up the double header sweep and starting the season 2-0. Bryce Ball had a double header to remember as the mountain of a man (6’6” 235 lbs!!!) went 4-for-7 with two RBI, and a homerun. Beau Philip, Atlanta’s second round draft pick, went 0-for-3. Braves top JUCO pick, Cody Milligan (9th round) hit a walk off home run for a pretty special debut. He also stole a base in each game.
34th round pick, Willie Carter, out of Webber International University went 2-for-2 with a walk, and two runs in the second game of the double header.
Outside of the the disastrous second inning in which Princeton scored nine of their ten runs, the Danville pitching staff did just fine - limiting the Rays to one run the rest of the game. Luis De Jesus short season debut got off to a rocky start as he last just one inning, eventually coming out of the game in the second inning having given up seven runs, four earned, in one inning pitch. He was replaced by Miguel Jerez who gave up three more runs in the second inning before settling in and pitching three more scoreless innings to stabilize the staff but even he suffered from control issues as he walked four hitters himself. Albinson Volquez came in and shut the door on the Rays as he provided two perfect innings of relief to close out the game and insure the double header sweep for the Danville Braves.