The West Virginia Black Bears kept their playoff hopes alive as they swept a double header at Mahoning Valley as first place Batavia lost their game.
More late season moves as Florida battens down for the coming hurricane - RHP John O’Reilly and LHP Joe Jacques were both promoted from Bradenton to Altoona, and then RHP Jesus Liranzo (4.98 ERA in 56 IP) and LHP Elvis Escobar (1.98 ERA in 13 2⁄3 IP) were both promoted from Altoona to Indianapolis.
Cody Ponce (4.14 ERA, 70 K’s in 63 IP) gave up two runs over the first five innings and was down only 2-1 when he left with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, after a double and two walks. However, newly promoted reliever Matt Eckelman gave up singles to Ernie Clement and Dioner Navarro to let all three inherited runners in, leaving Ponce with a final line of fines runs in five and two thirds, on five hits and four walks.
Elvis Escobar (1.98 ERA in 13 2⁄3 IP), converted to pitching just over a year ago, made his Triple-A debut, tossing two scoreless innings, striking out two while also walking two. The five-foot-eight lefty was sitting at 94-95 mph.
The Curve held a 5-1 into the bottom of the sixth, but Harrisburg scored twice in that inning and then eleven more in the seventh to put the game away.
Domingo Robles (9-11, 3.49 ERA in 165 IP), coming off a complete game shutout on Monday, continued his good pitching as he gave up just one run in five innings on three hits and no walks, striking out six. Robles has allowed only two runs in his last three starts, covering 21 innings.
However, the wheels fell off when Altoona went to the bullpen, as over the next three innings Yeudy Garcia (6.10 ERA in 62 IP), Shea Murray (5.75 ERA, 64 K’s in 40 2⁄3 IP) and Angel German (4.33 ERA in 52 IP) combined to serve up thirteen runs on four walks and ten hits, including two homers, one a grand slam off German. First baseman Jerrick Suiter then took the mound, retiring all four batters he faced.
LF Logan Hill (254/327/430) and CF Bralin Jackson (256/298/319) each had three hits, while 3B Brett Pope (258/330/342) smacked his second homer of the year. SS Oneil Cruz (301/356/479) was 1-for-3 with two walks.
Bradenton at St. Lucie was cancelled.
Starter Will Kobos (3.54 ERA, 58 K’s in 52 1⁄3 IP) continued his streak of fine pitching while the bullpen combined to allow just one baserunner over the final four innings.
The Grasshoppers tied the score at 1-1 in the third when 2B Kyle Mottice (332/473/385) was hit by a pitch, went to third on CF Jonah Davis’ (239/324/472) single, then came home when Davis was caught stealing between first and second.
Their other two runs came in the next inning when 1B Luke Mangieri (262/345/407) blasted his fifth homer of the season and C Grant Koch (204/274/320) went back-to-back with his eighth, and four in five plate appearances.
Kobos struck out six and walked two in five innings, allowing one run on three hits. It was the sixth straight start where Kobos has allowed no more than three hits and no more than two runs.
Yerry de los Santos (1.44 ERA, 73 K’s in 50 IP) picked up his 13th save, striking out two in the ninth.
Short Season A
The Black Bears gained the victory in game one, despite being out hit four to three, when the fake runner scored from second in the top of the eighth on a fielding error by the shortstop on the very first batter of the inning.
Needing to win practically every remaining game to qualify for the playoffs, starter Jesus Valles (3.55 ERA in 66 IP) gave up a two-run homer in the first but then settled down, allowing no runs and just one more hit over the next four innings.
West Virginia tied the score in the second when 2B Cory Wood (235/333/332) led off with a walk and the next batter, 1B Will Matthiessen (222/308/346), homered to left, the Black Bears’ final hit of the game, and after which the score would stay tied 2-2 until the eighth.
Valles gave up the two runs in five innings on three hits and a walk, striking out four. Reliever Xavier Concepcion (2.64 ERA in 30 2⁄3 IP) went three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk, to earn the victory.
19 year old right-hander Domingo Gonzalez (7-3, 2.09 ERA, 84 K’s in 69 IP) started his second summer in pro ball back for another stint in the Dominican Summer League, but after allowing just one run in 25 1⁄3 innings was promoted to the Gulf Coast League in Florida where he struck out 43 in 37 2⁄3 innings. Then with the league shut down due to an impending hurricane, Gonzalez was promoted again, and on a Saturday evening on the last day of August found himself on a mound outside Youngstown, Ohio, surrounded by high round 2019 draft picks, fresh out of college and looking to make the playoffs. Gonzalez did not disappoint, fanning eight batters in six shutout innings, allowing three hits, all doubles, and one walk.
C Kyle Wilkie (253/320/292) drove in the first two runs of the game, plating RF Blake Sabol (254/360/363), who had walked, with a first inning single, then bringing home Jared Triolo (242/319/396), who’d also walked, with a sacrifice fly in the third.
Advanced Rookie (Playoffs)
The bullpen gave up five runs over the last four innings as the series is tied at one game apiece.
Starter Dante Mendoza (5.82 ERA in 43 1⁄3 IP) surrendered a pair of runs in the first on three singles, with a wild pitch in between. He didn’t allow any more runs over the next three innings, allowing his Pirates to tie the score in the fourth when 2B Josh Bissonette (266/343/356) grounded a double to left and came home on 3B Aaron Shackelford’s (274/339/491) triple to center, followed by 1B Matt Morrow’s sacrifice fly.
Ryan Troutman (5.87 ERA in 23 IP) took over the pitching in the fifth, but served up a pair of solo homers among four hits, good for a total of three runs in his inning and two thirds.
SS Francisco Acuna (293/362/431) had a two-run homer in the eighth.
Bissonette had three hits while Shackelford and CF Daniel Rivero (270/333/321) had two each.
GCL Orioles at GCL Pirates was cancelled.
Dominican Rookie (Playoffs)
Starter Wandi Montout (3.03 ERA in 29 2⁄3 IP), one of the few July 2019 signees to play this year, was lifted in the fourth after walking a pair of batters, but didn’t allowed a run in three and a third innings, allowing two hits and four walks.
However, each of the three relievers would give up at least two runs as the Diamondbacks scored nine times over their final four innings.
The Pirates, who led the DSL in win percentage during the regular season, fell to 0-2 in their best of five semifinal round.
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
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
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)
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
2019-06-17 LHP Roger Santana
2019-08-19 RHP Emmanuel de los Santos (60 day)
2019-06-24 RHP Andres Arrieta (60 day)
2019-08-13 RHP Oscar Echerry (60 day)
2019-07-25 LF Stilwatt Valerio (60 day)