Hens take series opener in dominating fashion

Toledo Mud Hens

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Coming off a 4-3 series win in their last home stand, the Mud Hens traveled to Indianapolis on Monday to begin a new series tonight against the Indians. Daniel Ponce De Leon got the call for game one, as he looked to get the Mud Hens off

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – Coming off a 4-3 series win in their last home stand, the Mud Hens traveled to Indianapolis on Monday to begin a new series tonight against the Indians. Daniel Ponce De Leon got the call for game one, as he looked to get the Mud Hens off to a hot start in the series. Ponce De Leon was added to the Mud Hens roster on September 9th. The 2014 St. Louis Cardinals, ninth round draft pick was previously released by the Rochester Red Wings and made his Mud Hens debut in tonight’s game.

The offense would start hot, after John Valente led off the game with a walk. Next batter, Zack Short would hit his 30th double of the year to score Valente all the way from first base to give the Mud Hens an early 1-0 lead. Short now has 48 RBIs on the year. In the bottom half of the first, the Indians would also lead off with a walk, but the offense would leave him stranded at third after Daniel Ponce De Leon struck out the final batter for the third out.

In the top of the second, Brendon Davis would lead off with a towering triple. Ali Sanchez would drive him in with a sacrifice fly to give Toledo a 2-0 lead. In the top half of the third, the Mud Hens would obtain another sacrifice fly after loading the bases. Before the sacrifice fly, John Valente and Josh Lester would each tally a single. Then Daz Cameron would walk. Andre Lipcius would drive in Valente with the sacrifice fly, however that’d be the only run scored by the Hens, leaving two men on base. Daniel Ponce De Leon would tally his first 1-2-3 inning to end the third. At this point, he struck out three batters, only allowed one hit, and walked one batter to begin his start. He would strike out two more batters in the fourth to give him five total of the ballgame to this point.

In the top half of the fifth, the Mud Hens offense stayed hot and obtained four runs in the inning. John Valente would reach base for the third time, hitting a single to center. Then, Zack Short would obtain a hit-by-pitch at-bat. Next batter, Josh Lester doubled to scored Valente, moving Short to third. Lester now leads the team with 36 doubles and 86 RBIs on the year. Daz Cameron would the drive in his 40th run of the season, to score Zack Short. With still nobody out, Andre Lipcius would ground into a double play, but Josh Lester would score from third to give the Hens another run. Next batter, Brendon Davis would walk. Then, Jamie Westbrook would single to move Brendon Davis to third. With two away, Ali Sanchez would hit his eleventh double of the season to score Brendon Davis to keep the inning going for the Mud Hens. Sanchez finished with two RBIs in tonight’s contest. The big four-run inning gave the Hens a 7-0 lead. In the bottom half of the fifth, the Indians would finally get a run off Ponce De Leon, and the score was now 7-1, heading into the sixth.

In the sixth inning, Daniel Ponce De Leon would obtain his third 1-2-3 inning while tallying his seventh strikeout of the game. He would finish his solid outing, only allowing one earned run on three hits, and a walk. The Mud Hens would score two more runs in the eighth, with Jack Lopez hitting a sharp double down the right field line to score Jamie Westbrook. The second run came off Zack Short hitting a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Ali Sanchez. That would be the last offensive scoring play of tonight’s ballgame, as the Mud Hens took the series opener in dominating fashion, with a score of 9-1. The Mud Hens have now won five straight games and have improved to a 75-60 record. They currently stand in third place in the International League West, trailing the Nashville Sounds by 6.5 games for first place. They are 3.5 games behind the second place, Columbus Clippers. They will look to keep creeping up in the standings as this series goes on.

Along with the impressive outing from Daniel Ponce De Leon, the Mud Hens continued to show their dominance from their bullpen, as Drew Carlton, Zac Houston, and Joe Navilhon didn’t allow a single run. Drew Carlton and Joe Navilhon would each tally two strikeouts in their innings of work.

NOTABLE HITTERS:

John Valente: 2-4, 3 R, BB, K

Zack Short: 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI,

Josh Lester: 2-5, 2B, RBI, R, 3 K

Brendon Davis: 1-3, 3B, 2R, 2 BB, K

Ali Sanchez: 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI, R, BB

NOTABLE PITCHERS:

Daniel Ponce De Leon: 6.0 IP, 3 H, R, ER, BB, 7 K

Drew Carlton: 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Joe Navilohn: 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

NEXT UP: The Mud Hens will look win their sixth straight game in their hot stretch. Tomorrow, they will have the quick turnaround, as the game is set to start at 1:35pm ET. Austin Bergner will be on the mound tomorrow, as he looks to keep creep up in the Detroit Tigers prospect rankings. The offense will look to keep seeing the ball well and bringing in the runs to move up in the IL West standings.

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