photo: Johan Oviedo (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)
It was a 5-2 Wednesday for the St. Louis Cardinals farm system with State College and the Gulf Coast Cards going down to defeat. The five winning teams averaged over eight runs per game, and the day’s stars included shortstop Edmundo Sosa with a four-hit game, Dariel Gomez with a pair of home runs, and the unbelievably unpredictable Johan Oviedo who truly dominated for seven-plus innings.
Results for Wednesday, August 28th.
Memphis jumped to a 4-0 lead early, then salted the contest away with seven runs in the top of the seventh, spanking New Orleans 11-3 on Wednesday and improving to 67-68 on the year. Center fielder Randy Arozarena and catcher Andrew Knizner continued their hot hitting, each going deep for the Redbirds. Arozarena is 9-for-24 over his last six games with four homers, while Knizner is 8-for-19 over his last half dozen, also with four bombs. But leading the Memphis hit parade Wednesday was Edmundo Sosa, who went 4-for-5 to lift his overall season batting average and OPS to .292 and .800 respectively, and .330/.915 on the road. (For the year, Sosa is slugging .547 away from AutoZone Park, despite playing no games in Vegas, Albuquerque, or Salt Lake City.)
Chris Ellis started and was effective by PCL standards, logging five innocuous innings (six hits, two runs, one strikeout) before handing off to 23-year-old Bryan Dobzanski, who dazzled in his Memphis debut. The hulking righty twirled two perfect frames, whiffing a pair of Baby Cakes and using just 30 pitches. Chasen Shreve cleaned up with two innings of his own, conceding one run on two hits and no bases on balls.
Iowa also won, reducing their division magic number to one. For the two clubs’ four-game series to close the season to matter, on Thursday Memphis must win and the Cubs lose at Oklahoma City.
Thursday’s game: at New Orleans, Austin Warner (4-2, 5.56) 7:00 CT.
Springfield lifted its second half ledger to 29-36 with a 3-1 win at home over Frisco Wednesday night. Righty Johan Oviedo started, and stopped Frisco on five singles and no walks in 7 1/3 stanzas (97 pitches). The strapping 21-year-old fanned 10 RoughRiders for the game — nine of them swinging. (Yes, this is the same Oviedo who couldn’t get through the first inning five days ago.) Merandy Gonzalez retired two men in relief, and Connor Jones got the save with a one-run ninth inning, despite permitting three hits.
Four different S-Cards contributed two hits to the winning effort. Shortstop and leadoff man Rayder Ascanio singled and doubled, while two singles each were tallied by rehabber and DH Jose Martinez, 21-year-old left fielder Lars Nootbaar, and second sacker Kramer Robertson, who also swiped his 11th bag. St. Louis’ Tyler O’Neill went 0-for-4 including three strikeouts.
Thursday’s game: vs. Frisco, Alex Fagalde (3-5, 3.77) 7:10 CT.
Visiting Palm Beach (22-43) scored five runs in the second inning and cruised from there, thumping the Marauders 9-4 Wednesday evening. The top, bottom, and middle of the order split the glory evenly, as leadoff man Nick Dunn singled twice and doubled, cleanup hitter Luken Baker homered and singled, and number nine hitter and recent promotee Tyler Reichenborn singled, doubled, and homered in his second game since moving up from the Gulf Coast League affiliate.
Alvaro Seijas started and went 4 2/3 innings on 98 pitches as his control frequently failed him. The 20-year-old handed out six free passes while fanning five and allowing two runs on just a trio of singles. Edgar Escobar and Ramon Santos were the bullpen bulwarks, getting four and three outs, respectively, and yielding no hits. Together the pair fanned five and walked two.
Thursday’s game: at Bradenton, pitcher TBA, 5:30 CT.
Peoria scored in each of the first four innings and rolled from there, improving to 22-43 post-break with a comfortable 9-5 victory over Beloit at Dozer Park Wednesday. Parker Kelly started and settled for a no decision even though he gave up just one earned run (but also two unearned) in six innings. The 22-year-old righty needed 94 pitches to strike out five and walk three, then passed the baton to Franyel Casadilla, who picked up the win with three so-so stanzas of two-run baseball. Casadilla allowed four hits and a balk while whiffing two Snappers.
Six Chiefs reached safely multiple times on Wednesday, three times by Brendan Donovan and four for Wadye Ynfante — each player walked twice and singled, and Ynfante was also plunked. Recording multiple hits were Brady Whalen, Leandro Cedeno, and Edwin Figuera, with two singles each, and third baseman Imeldo Diaz, who singled and doubled and boosted his Peoria average to .309. (The 21-year-old was sent down from Palm Beach after hitting .346 there for five weeks.)
Thursday’s game: vs. Beloit, Colin Schmid (6-6, 4.63), 6:35 CT.
State College slipped to 36-35 on the season with a tough 5-4 road loss to the Scrappers on Wednesday. The Spikes had 10 hits and the game’s only three homers, but were undone by going hitless with men in scoring position, losing a runner on the bases, and committing three errors. The best bat of the day by far was first baseman Dariel Gomez, who homered twice and added a single. Gomez plated three of his team’s four tallies. Also logging multi-hit games were Terry Fuller, David Vinsky, and Stanley Espinal. All of their six hits were singles, save for a Fuller two-bagger.
The starter and losing pitcher was Junior Gonzalez, who allowed three runs, two earned, in 4 2/3 innings. The 22-year-old righty walked five and fanned three. Relieving him was righty Jeremy Randolph (2 1/3 innings, two runs, one earned) and portsider Hector Villalobos, who permitted one hit in a scoreless frame.
With the loss, the Spikes dropped to three games off the lead in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division with five games remaining in the regular season. Their elimination number is three. State College is also four games out of the race for the league’s lone Wild Card berth, with four teams ahead of them.
Thursday’s game: at Mahoning Valley, Enmanuel Solano (3-7, 3.54) 6:05 CT.
Johnson City finished its regular season at 35-33 and with the West Division title, topping Kingsport on the road in a 9-7 slugfest Wednesday night. Center fielder Diomedes Del Rio popped a grand slam and right fielder Jhon Torres (double, two singles) and designated hitter Victor Garcia two singles, homer) had three hits each for the J-Cards juggernaut. Second sacker Chandler Redmond wasn’t too shabby himself, smacking his 12th tater and adding a single and hit-by-pitch as well. Redmond ends the regular season slashing .287/.382/.552.
Picking up the win was starter Julio Puello, despite his permitting four runs across five innings. The 20-year-old righty whiffed six and walked a pair. Standing out in relief was Dylan Pearce, who continues to fan batters at a rather remarkable rate. The 22-year-old righty recorded his second save of the season, with all five outs via the whiff. For the season, Pearce fanned 29 in 20 2/3 innings, and 17 over his final 10 frames.
The Cards will meet Bristol (34-33) in the first round of the Appalachian League playoffs, with the opener of the three-game series to be held at Boyce Cox Field on Friday. The Cards will host the Pirates for a second game Saturday and, if necessary, a third game Sunday.
Thursday’s game: off
In the team’s penultimate tilt, the Gulf Coast Cards fell to 20-33 on Wednesday via a 12-1 road trouncing at the hands of the GCL Nationals. Lefty Nathanael Heredia started and staggered his way through four innings, surrendering four runs, three earned, on five hits and four free passes. The 18-year-old struck out three as his ERA climbed to 3.83 on the season. Out of the bullpen there were two duds and two dreamboats, with righties Luis Tena and Saniel Santana combining to allow eight runs, all earned, in 2 1/3 innings, but Martin Cordova and Tyler Statler combining for 1 2/3 scoreless stanzas, with no walks and one base knock between them.
The Gulf Cards offense, such as it was, was the Pablo & Patrick Show, as second baseman Pablo Gomez and right fielder Patrick Romeri each singled and doubled, accounting for four of their squad’s six safeties. Romeri also stole his fourth base without being nabbed, and gunned a runner at third base for his fourth outfield assist.
Romeri has had an understated but highly interesting season, especially for a 12th-round pick. With one game left, he’s batting .246 and slugging .470, which compares favorably to Dylan Carlson’s GCL campaign of three years ago (.251 and .404). Carlson it must be noted was four months younger and struck out a bit less, but Romeri has the advantage in both power and patience. The elevated strikeout rate makes Romeri highly flammable, but he’s nevertheless one to watch going forward.
Thursday’s game: season finale at GCL Mets, pitcher TBA, 9:30 a.m. CT.
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