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Cannonballs Coming: Huge day for Chase Simpson, Jerrick Suiter

-- Indianapolis broke a scoreless tie with seven runs in the 6th inning and went on to beat Durham, 8-1.  Chris Volstad gave up a run on six hits and a walk in six and a third innings.  He struck out two.  Josh Bell finally got his bat in gear, going 2-4 with a triple.  Dan Gamache was 2-2 with a double.  Keon Broxton and Gustavo Nunez were each 2-5, with Nunez connecting for his first HR and Broxton for a triple.  Willy Garcia went 1-4 and then came out of the game for unknown reasons.  Alen Hanson went 1-5 and started at shortstop for the first time in over a year.

-- New Britain beat Altoona, 4-1.  Facing former Pirate minor leaguer Shane Carle, the Curve had only three hits, two of them by Eric Wood.  Jason Creasy allowed two runs in six innings.  Clario Perez, who could get consideration for the 40-man roster, allowed two unearned runs on a HR following an error.  He fanned three in two innings.  His ERA with Altoona is 0.92, but four of the six runs he's allowed since being promoted have been unearned.

-- Bradenton beat Jupiter, 6-3.  Tyler Eppler gave up three runs over five innings.  Dovydas Neverauskas threw two scoreless innings in his high A debut.  Montana DuRapau threw two scoreless innings for the save.  Jordan Steranka went 3-4 with a double and Austin Meadows 2-4 with a double.  Harold Ramirez was 1-3 and Reese McGuire 0-2.

-- West Virginia got six RBIs from Chase Simpson (pictured) and a 5-5 outburst from Jerrick Suiter, but still had to scramble for a wild, 12-11 win over Greeneville in 12 innings.  Yeudy Garcia had a rough start, getting knocked out with two outs in the 4th.  He was charged with four runs on five hits and two walks.  He struck out two.  The Power nevertheless took a 10-4 lead with six runs in the 5th, but Jake Burnette gave up three while retiring only one batter in the 7th and Nick Neumann got torched for four runs in the 9th, leaving the Power down by a run.  Suiter's two-out, RBI single tied the game in the bottom of the 9th and, three innings later, Michael Suchy led off with his seventh HR to end it.  Simpson went 2-5 with a grand slam, his ninth HR of the year.  Suiter had a double among his five hits.  Connor Joe went 3-6.

-- Morgantown took a 3-0 lead into the 8th, but Tate Scioneaux gave up five runs, four of them earned, while retiring only one batter.  The Black Bears got single runs in the 8th and 9th to tie the game, but Julio Eusebio gave up three in the 10th to lose it.  The Bears lost second baseman Kevin Kramer in the 8th inning on a collision at second.  The runner left with an "injured head" and Kramer with an "injured chest."  Starter J.T. Brubaker had his fourth straight scoreless outing, going five innings and allowing four hits and three walks.  He struck out three.  Daniel Zamora followed Brubaker with two perfect innings, striking out four.  Casey Hughston went 2-4 with his first pro HR.  Logan Hill was 2-5 with two doubles.  Kramer went 1-3 and Kevin Newman 1-5.

-- Bristol won the first game of a doubleheader with Kingsport, 4-3.  Gage Hinsz had a decent-ish start, giving up three runs, two earned, over five innings.  He allowed four hits and two walks, and struck out two.  Carlos Munoz was 1-2 with his ninth HR, a walk and a hit batsman.  Edgar Figueroa was 2-3.

Bristol took a 6-0 lead into the 7th inning of the second game, but gave up seven in the top of the inning and ultimately lost, 9-7, in eight innings.  The disastrous 7th inning spoiled a great start by Scooter Hightower, who gave up just three hits, walked none and fanned eight over the first six innings.  He gave up three hits to start the 7th, though, and Mike Wallace then allowed four more hits before finally getting out of the inning, with a dropped fly ball adding to the mess.  Even with the bad finish, Hightower so far this year has allowed just 24 hits and five walks in 32 innings, while striking out 34.  He was a 15th round draft pick from a junior college, so this is an appropriate level for him.  Wallace, on the other hand, has a 10.95 ERA after being selected in round 30.  Figueroa, who had a walkoff HR less than a week ago, sent the game into extra innings with his third HR in the bottom of the 7th, but Wallace gave up two more runs in the 8th and the Pirates couldn't answer.  Henrry Rosario went 2-5 with a triple, Carlos Ozuna 2-5, and Julio De La Cruz 3-4.  Munoz was 1-3 with two walks.

-- The GCL Pirates beat the Braves in ten innings, 4-3.  Luis Escobar was probably the most interesting pitcher coming up from the DSL this year.  He's had two kinds of outings so far:  dominant ones and 1st inning meltdowns.  This was almost one of the latter, but he managed to survive after giving up three runs.  Escobar went on to throw five innings, allowing no more runs and giving up six hits and a walk overall.  He fanned five.  His fastball sat at 92-93 early, 90-91 later.  He throws the standard four pitches, but didn't get ahead in the count consistently enough to mix the other three in a lot.  His problem in the 1st was leaving fastballs up.  His command was better after that inning.

Sam Kennelly was 3-5 with a double.  He's got a short, quick swing, although he doesn't always pick up the slower stuff well.  He's hitting 300/354/400 and is still only 19.  Ke'Bryan Hayes was 1-4.  Hayes has impressed me quite a bit over the last week.  One play in this game was typical.  With runners on second and third, and no out, the batter hit a grounder directly at Hayes.  He had to short-hop it, but did so cleanly.  He immediately decided to go home, but didn't rush and threw a strike to the catcher for the out.  It wasn't a highlight reel play, but it was the sort of play that often gets botched at the rookie ball level.  Most players at this level are still learning a lot of the basics and show it, but Hayes doesn't look like that at all.

-- The DSL Pirates lost to the Mets2, 8-3.  Yondry Contreras was 2-5 with a double, Rudy Guzman 2-4 with a double, and Raul Hernandez 2-4.  Starter Domingo Robles allowed an unearned run in four innings on three hits and a walk.  He struck out three.