Bradenton was off. Some extended comments on the West Virginia Black Bears' opener are below.
-- Adrian Sampson (pictured) bounced back well from a bad start, but Indianapolis still lost to Charlotte, 3-0. Sampson allowed just one run and three hits in seven innings. He fanned five and took only 81 pitches to go that far. Indy had only four hits. Willy Garcia got his first AAA hit, going 1-3.
-- Altoona rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 10th to pull out a 4-3 win over Harrisburg. Jose Osuna singled in Mel Rojas, who had doubled, to tie the game. A walk and two hit batsmen, the last one with pinch hitter Adam Frazier at the plate, ended it. Stetson Allie went 3-4 with his tenth HR and Osuna 3-4 with a double. Josh Bell was 2-4 with a double, Max Moroff 2-4 and Rojas 2-5. Starter Matt Benedict gave up two runs, one earned, in seven innings.
-- The West Virginia Power rallied for two in the bottom of the 8th to beat Hickory, 6-5. Cole Tucker was 3-5 with a double and Elvis Escobar 3-4. Michael Suchy hit his fourth HR and Connor Joe was 1-3 with two walks. Austin Coley managed to allow only two runs in five innings despite giving up ten hits. He didn't walk or strike out anybody.
-- The DSL Pirates edged the Marlins, 3-2. Starter Miguel Hernandez gave up two runs, one earned, in five innings. He allowed six hits, walked none and struck out three. Huascar Fuentes was 3-4 with a double.
-- The West Virginia Black Bears, playing their inaugural game in front of the entire Pirates' front office hierarchy, got destroyed by Mahoning Valley, 15-7, in a four-hour orgy of walks and errors. The two teams combined for 18 walks, nine errors and four hit batsmen. Tyler Glasnow, rehabbing from his ankle injury, had a quick first inning but recorded only one out in the second before reaching his one-inning pitch limit. After that, a series of Bears' relievers searched and searched and searched for the strike zone. The Bears managed only five hits, but drew nine walks in just the last three innings to make the score look marginally competitive. Some specific notes:
Glasnow gave up two hits, a walk and a hit batsman in the second inning, and was also hurt by a Kevin Kramer error, but he didn't look bad. His fastball was 94-97 and his curve looked sharp, but his control of the latter was poor, which led to some extended at-bats when he couldn't put batters away. Glasnow has a history of struggling in his first game after a layoff, so this really means nothing.
Morgantown (it's too inconvenient to call them anything else) will probably have an unusually stable lineup for a NYPL team. Kramer, Kevin Newman and Mitchell Tolman started at second, third and short, and all figure to play regularly. Logan Hill started in left and Ty Moore in center. Third round pick Casey Hughston will probably take over in right. Eleventh round pick Christian Kelley figures to do a lot of the catching, but he didn't play today.
Newman had a nice, diving stop on a grounder in the hole and had the presence of mind to throw to third for a force out. He also double-clutched on a bouncer with two runners on base and got nobody. Kramer booted a routine bouncer, possibly because he was too busy trying to figure out how to turn two, something he had no chance to do.
Newman and Kramer each had one hit, but didn't hit anything especially hard. Tolman lined out his first time up and then walked three times and got hit by a pitch. It was the kind of game where the better hitters didn't swing much.
Hill is a free swinger who takes a big cut. When the Mahoning Valley pitchers were struggling badly late in the game to throw strikes, Hill went up swinging and struck out in his last two ABs. Moore struggled with off speed stuff and struck out his first two times up, but finished 1-3 with a double and a walk.
Of the four West Virginia relievers, Jonathan Minier and lefty Cesilio Pimentel were the most interesting. Minier isn't a big guy, but he sat at 93-95, with a slow curve that was effective when he was throwing strikes. He got throughout an inning and a third quickly, but completely lost the strike zone in his second full inning. He ended up allowing five runs on one hit and five walks. Pimentel varied his velocity a lot, with his fastball alone running from the mid-80s up to 92. He also threw a curve that was effective when he wasn't trailing in the count. He fell behind consistently and that led to a lot of hard-hit balls, including back-to-back HRs.