Dylan Smith and Izaac Pacheco power Whitecaps to victory

Bless You Boys

Toledo Mud Hens 3, St. Paul Saints 2 (F/10)(box)

Ricardo Sanchez gave the Hens a strong start in a close game, and the Hens walked it off after a controversial call cost them the game winning run in the ninth.

Sanchez went six innings, allowing just a run in the sixth inning before departing. He allowed just four hits and a walk, striking out four. The Hens scattered a couple hits before breaking through for two runs in the fourth inning. Andre Lipcius came up with a two-run single after Zack Short and Josh Lester led off the inning with walks.

The Saints scored off Sanchez in the sixth, and tied the game with a run against Luis Castillo, recently back from a short MLB stint, in the seventh. In the ninth, Lipcius hit what should have been a walkoff double to score Josh Lester. Lester was somehow called out at home on a call that, without the benefit of slow motion review, looks incredibly awful. Angel De Jesus locked down the Saints in the top of the 10th, and it was Jack Lopez coming through with the 10th inning walkoff single to score Lipcius, who started on second base, with the game winner.

Lipcius: 2-4, R, 2B, SO

Davis: 2-3, 2B, BB, SO, CS

Sanchez: 6.0 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 4 SO

Coming Up Next: RHP Josh Winder (0-0, 3.38 ERA) starts for the Saints on Saturday at 5:05 p.m. EDT. The Hens are yet to announce a starter.

Altoona Curve 3, Erie SeaWolves 1 (box)

The offense just didn’t have it in this one. However, the Bowie Baysox also lost as the two clubs have been knotted up atop the division all week and can’t separate from one another.

Ty Madden got the start in this one and wasn’t very efficient. He lasted just four innings, though the two runs he allowed were both unearned. A Luis Castillo error extended the third inning with two outs, and the Curve broke through. Madden did strike out five on the way and has looked pretty darn good since his promotion to Double-A.

Meanwhile the offense managed just three hits in this one against a pretty good starting prospect in Quinn Priester in the Pirates’ system. Gage Workman’s fifth inning triple was the only real opportunity they generated all game long. Michael De La Cruz hit a solo shot in the ninth inning to avoid the shutdown after the Curve scored in the top half of the inning. Andrew Magno and Brendan White were good in relief of Madden.

De La Cruz: 1-4, R, RBI, HR, BB

Madden (L, 2-1): 4.0 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 5 H, BB, 5 SO

Coming Up Next: The test for the offense won’t get any easier against RHP Carmen Mlodzinski (4-8, 4.91 ERA) on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. EDT. The SeaWolves haven’t announced a starter yet.

West Michigan Whitecaps 4, Great Lakes Loons 0 (box)

Desperately needing to win out to have a chance at the second half division title, The offense built a nice early lead and Dylan Smith came up with a superb outing to lead the Whitecaps over the Loons on Friday.

Smith two-hit the Loons over six innings, walking a pair but striking out six. After some arm fatigue saw his performance suffer in the summer months, it’s good to see him finishing strong. The Tigers pitching factory remains deep, and we’re very interested to see how Smith responds at Double-A next year after showing a lot of positive signs in his first pro season.

The offense staked Smith to a four run lead right in the bottom of the first. Danny Serretti and Jace Jung were aboard with singles when Jake Holton singled in Serretti. Izaac Pacheco followed with this blast to make it 4-0. First baseman Justice Bigbie followed with a double, but Austin Murr flew out to end the inning. Bigbie had two doubles and has absolutely mashed over the past week and a half since coming up from Lakeland.

Bigbie: 3-4, 2 2B, SO

Pacheco: 1-4, R, 3 RBI, HR, SO

Smith (W, 8-6): 6.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 6 SO

Coming Up Next: Lake County won on Friday over the TinCaps, so the Whitecaps remain a game behind in the chase with two games left in the season. Good weekend to head out to Comstock Park to see Jackson Jobe (2-0, 0.84 ERA) on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. EDT. The Tigers top prospect will take on RHP Kendall Williams (3-5, 4.38 ERA).

Jupiter Hammerheads 9, Lakeland Flying Tigers 3 (box)

The Flying Tigers hung in there until a bullpen meltdown sank their chances in the late innings.

Jake Miller struggled a bit in his start, allowing four runs in 3.1 innings of work. After Miller allowed two in the first, the Flygers came back with two in the second. Dom Johnson walked with one out, and Adinso Reyes doubled. Jose De La Cruz lined a single to center, scoring them both and tying things at two apiece. Johnson led off the fourth with his second pro home run and the Flying Tigers briefly led 3-2, but that would be the high water mark for them. Miller allowed two in the bottom half and was lifted. The Hammerheads never looked back.

Johnson: 1-3, 2 R, RBI, HR, BB, SO

Reyes: 2-4, R, 2B, 2 SO

Graham: 2-4, SO

Coming Up Next: First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday in Jupiter.

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