Four more teams in the Pirates' family opened their season today. In a perfect world the minor league season would take place during the major league off-season so there'd always be baseball, instead of such an embarrassment of riches all at once.
-- Indianapolis got a strong start from Nick Kingham (pictured). He went six innings, allowing four hits, walking none and striking out four, and throwing 51 of 79 pitches for strikes. The only run off Kingham came on a HR by ... Michael Martinez?! The Indians, however, couldn't get on the board and lost to Columbus, 4-0. Hunter Morris had two of the Indians' five hits, including a double. Alen Hanson, Jose Tabata, Jaff Decker (who's on a rehab assignment), and Brent Morel all went 0-4, Morel with three strikeouts. Elias Diaz was 1-3 and threw out one of two base stealers.
-- Altoona got an even better start from Angel Sanchez and edged Harrisburg, 1-0. Sanchez threw six innings, allowing three hits and a walk, and fanning three. Yhonathan Barrios pitched the 9th for the save. Willy Garcia, who finished 1-3, singled in Keon Broxton with the only run in the top of the 9th. Broxton went 1-3 with a walk and Josh Bell 1-2 with two walks. Stetson Allie was 0-4 with three strikeouts. Chris Stewart caught eight innings and went 0-2 with a walk. The Curve attempted four steals and all four runners were thrown out.
-- Bradenton pounded out 13 hits but managed only two runs in a 7-2 loss to St. Lucie. Starter Cody Dickson gave up nine hits in just three innings as the Marauders allowed 18 hits altogether. Dickson was charged with four runs, three earned. Barrett Barnes was 3-4 with a double and a walk, and didn't get hurt. Austin Meadows went 2-5, Reese McGuire 2-3 and Wyatt Mathisen 2-4. JaCoby Jones was 1-5.
-- Cole Tucker had a big full-season debut, going 3-5 with three RBIs and two steals as West Virginia rallied for three in the 8th to take a 6-5 lead over Savannah. The last two scored on a two-out hit by Tucker. Junior Lopez then gave up the tying run in the top of the 9th on three straight walks and a groundout. The Power finally won the game, 7-6, in the bottom of the 10th when Chase Simpson walked and pinch runner Jeff Roy came around on a steal, a throwing error and a groundout. Jake Burnette, who's spent four years trying to stay healthy, started and allowed one run in three innings on three hits and two walks, with five strikeouts. Sam Street, who was nearly unhittable last year at Jamestown, gave up four runs, two earned, in two innings. John Sever struck out the side in his only inning. Michael Suchy went 2-5 and Tito Polo!, Jerrick Suiter and Tyler Filliben all 2-4. Suchy and Tito Polo! had doubles.