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All Hands on Deck: Grant Koch homers three times for Greensboro as teams head into the final weekend

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Grant Koch
Ken Inness/MiLB.com

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With the state of Florida shut down in anticipation of hurricane Dorian and in a last ditch effort to bolster West Virginia’s playoff chances as they face Mahoning Valley for four games in their final three days, just of Rte 422 in Niles, Ohio, Bradenton sent RHP Michael Flynn on a rehab assignment to West Virginia, while RHP’s Orsen Josephina (3.00 ERA, 20 K’s in 15 IP) and Julio Rosario (6.04 ERA in 22 13 IP) were promoted from the GCL Pirates to West Virginia.

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Games

Triple-A

Indianapolis (65-72) falls 4-2 to visiting Columbus (78-59)

Rookie Davis (1-6, 5.64) took the loss, serving up three runs in three and a third innings in three hits and three walks, striking out two.

Dovydas Neverauskas (4.75 ERA, 73 K’s in 53 IP) bounced back from his meltdown the other day, fanning all three batters he faced in the ninth.

RF Will Craig (249/326/432) plated the Indians’ only runs with a two-run homer in the seventh, following a walk to 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes (261/333/412). SS Cole Tucker (265/351/417) had the only other hit, a double.

Double-A

Altoona (69-68) loses 4-1 at Harrisburg (73-63)

Beau Sulser (2.72 ERA in 96 IP) allowed three runs in six innings on six hits and three walks as he fanned six, but got next to no offense support as the Curve batters managed only five hits and went down on strikes fourteen times without a walk.

Harrisburg’s starter, 27 year old right-hander Kyle McGowin (3.39 ERA, 104 K’s in 93 IP), who was a 5th Round pick all the way back in 2013 but has managed only sixteen major league innings, all this year, completely dominated Altoona, fanning eleven in seven shutout innings, with no walks and just three hits.

3B Brett Pope (258/329/332) collected a pair of singles and along with SS Oneil Cruz (301/351/480) were the only batters not to strike out.

High-A

Bradenton at St. Lucie was cancelled

Low-A

Greensboro (78-57) bombs Charleston, West Virginia (67-69) by 11-1 score

The Grasshoppers blasted four home runs, three by catcher Grant Koch (200/271/309), as Noe Toribio (3.18 ERA in 68 IP) went seven strong innings.

CF Jonah Davis’ (238/322/473) solo homer in the fourth, his 19th, got Greensboro out to a 2-0 lead after four innings before they exploded in the fifth. Koch, who hadn’t gone deep since July 16, blasted solo shots, all on 3-2 counts, in each of his last three times to the plate in the fifth, seven and eighth innings, giving him seven on the year.

Toribio struck out six without a walk, allowing just one run on three hits in seven innings. Cristofer Melendez (5.13 ERA, 76 K’s in 47 12 IP) then struck out five without a walk in two innings of relief.

DH Ji-Hwan Bae (324/405/426) drove in three runs, two on a double, LF Fabricio Macias (283/333/401) had a single and a two-run double, and RF Jack Herman (257/341/458) had a pair of singles and a walk.

Short Season A

Morgantown, West Virginia (38-34) goes down 4-1 to visiting Batavia (40-33)

Down a half game and facing off against the first place team, starter Austin Roberts (2.70 ERA in 40 IP) held the Muckdog bats in check but his offense offered only one hit in his support.

The Black Bears found themselves down 1-0 in the third when Roberts, the Pirates’ 8th Round pick this year out of Sacramento State, served up a solo homer, but it would be the only run he’d allow in six innings, as he gave up just two hits and a walk, striking out five.

West Virginia tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when 2B Cory Wood (236/333/335) left off with a walk and after taking second on a wild pitch raced home when CF Brett Kinneman’s (175/283/295) fly sailed over the left fielder for a double, on what would be their only hit of the game as the Batavia bullpen would set down the next nine batters in a row.

20 year old Mexican left-hander Denny Roman (3.96 ERA in 36 13 IP) relieved Roberts with a tie score in the eighth inning but quickly ran into trouble, hitting the first batter and after a strikeout walking the next two, loading the bases for 3B Nic Ready (267/314/506), who then grounded a ball into left for a bases clearing three-run double. Ready, the son of former MLB star Randy Ready, finished with three of Batavia’s four hits, while Roman fanned five in two innings.

Down a game and a half to Batavia, the Morgantown crew travels to Mahoning Valley for a Saturday double header, followed by single game son Sunday and Monday afternoon to close out their regular season. Batavia has three games at home against last place Auburn.

Rookie Advanced (Playoffs)

Bristol (1-0) pulls out 5-4 win over visiting Johnson City (0-1)

SS Francisco Acuna’s (293/362/431) double in the bottom of the eighth inning drove in the 1B Matt Morrow (293/356/354) with the tying run, then C Eli Wilson (234/356/366) and LF Jake Snider (300/429/375) both singled in insurance runs.

Jose Maldonado (4.34 ERA in 45 23 IP) went the first four innings, giving up two runs on three hits and three walks, striking out three. C.J. Dandeneau (2.56 ERA in 31 23 IP) was award the victory with three innings of one-run relief, fanning three without a walk.

Morrow, Wilson, Snider, 2B Josh Bissonette (266/343/356) and RF Daniel Rivero (270/333/321) all had two hits each.

Rookie

GCL Pirates at GCL Orioles was cancelled.

Dominican Rookie (Playoffs)

Pirates-2 (0-1) fall short, 8-5, to visiting Diamondbacks-2 (1-0)

The Pirates rallied for five runs over their last two at bats but it wasn’t enough to overcome an 8-0 deficit.

19 year old Nicaraguan right-hander Sergio Umana (9-1, 2.39 ERA in 64 IP), their most reliable starter during the season, was tagged with four runs in the fourth inning. He finished with five runs, four earned, in four and two thirds, on five hits and a walk. He struck out two.

3B Alex Mojica (351/468/580) walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth to drive in the Pirates first run and 2B Fabian Urbina (296/397/426) followed with a two-run single. In the ninth, after an error let in one run, Mojica doubled in another, bringing the tying runner to the plate with two outs, but Urbina grounded out to end the game.

CF Randy Romero (376/418/495), the league’s batting average champion, had two singles and a walk.

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Disabled List

Triple-A Indianapolis

2019-08-24 2B Darnell Sweeney, right oblique strain.

2019-08-20 LHP Sean Keselica

2019-08-04 LHP Blake Weiman, left shoulder tendonitis.

2019-04-28 RHP J.T. Brubaker, right forearm strain

Double-A Altoona

2019-04-04 RHP Tom Koehler (shut back down Aug 18)

2019-08-17 RHP Cody Bolton

2019-08-08 3B Robbie Glendinning, sprained ankle

2019-04-26 2B Stephen Alemais, right shoulder strain

2019-04-04 RHP Gage Hinsz, right forearm strain

High-A Bradenton

2019-08-22 RHP Ryan Valdes

2019-07-27 RHP Max Kranick

2019-07-06 RHP Logan Stoelke

2019-05-17 LHP Oddy Nunez, back strain

2019-05-04 RHP Drew Fischer, right elbow strain

2019-04-04 RHP Michael Flynn (60 day, rehabbing with the GCL Pirates)

Low-A Greensboro

2019-08-16 RHP Colin Selby

2019-06-28 LHP Zach Spears (60 day)

2019-04-04 RHP Travis McGregor (60 day), recovering from Sept 2018 Tommy John surgery

2019-04-04 RF Conner Uselton

2019-04-04 RHP Wander Romero

Advanced Rookie

2019-06-17 LHP Roger Santana

Rookie

2019-08-19 RHP Emmanuel de los Santos (60 day)

2019-06-24 RHP Andres Arrieta (60 day)

Dominican Rookie

2019-08-13 RHP Oscar Echerry (60 day)

2019-07-25 LF Stilwatt Valerio (60 day)