Josue Briceño heats up as the Flying Tigers down Tampa

Bless You Boys

Toledo Mud Hens 4, Worcester Red Sox 3 (Fri)(box)

Toledo Mud Hens 8, Worcester Red Sox 7 (Sat)(box)

Worcester Red Sox 8, Toledo Mud Hens 5 (Sun)(box)

The Mud Hens locked up a series victory with victories on Friday and Saturday, before taking a loss on Sunday to win the set four games to two.

On Friday, Bryan Sammons gave the Hens a good outing and his team built up enough run support to overcome a stressful ninth inning. Sammons tossed five innings of one run ball, allowing just two hits and two walks, with five punchouts to his ledger.

Akil Baddoo got the offense going with a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third, and promptly scored on an Andy Ibañez double down the right field line. With two outs, Justyn-Henry Malloy smacked one of two doubles on the day to score Ibañez and make it 2-1 Hens.

Ryan Vilade had a three-hit game, leading off the bottom of the fourth with a single and stealing second base. A pair of ground outs moved him around to score. Akil Baddoo followed with a triple but was stranded.

Mason Englert allowed a solo shot in the sixth but punched out three more hitters. Doubles from Malloy and Vilade made it 4-2 in the eighth. Bryce Tassin allowed a run in the top of the ninth, but escaped with the save.

On Saturday, the offense went off in a big way, but they needed to in order to overcome a brutal outing from Austin Bergner. The right-hander couldn’t make it out of the third inning and allowed seven earned runs before he was lifted.

However, the bullpen was lockdown levels of good, allowing just two hits the rest of the way. Devin Sweet struck out all five hitters he faced in relief of Bergner. Beau Brieske threw two scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth to earn the victory as the Hens rallied back to win.

After Worcester scored two in the first, Akil Baddoo got the Hens on the board with his second home run of the season to leadoff the frame.

Malloy singled and Jace Jung walked, but a Keston Hiura fly out and a Justice Bigbie double play ball left them stranded. Bligh Madris doubled, stole third, and scored on a throwing error by the Red Sox catcher Mark Kolozsvary in the second inning. It was 6-2 Worcester at that point, and 7-2 after the third inning. However the Hens battled all the way back, collecting 11 hits and 10 walks on the night.

A leadoff walk in the fifth for Baddoo led to another run to make it 7-3. In the seventh, Jung singled but Malloy, who led off the inning with a single, was thrown out at the plate. Hiura answered back with an RBI double to score Jung and make it 7-4, and then the Hens took control in the eighth.

Vilade walked with one out and stole second base. Dillon Dingler, Corey Joyce, and Baddoo were all walked in succession to force in one run. An infield single for Malloy scored Dingler, and Jace Jung pounded a double to the wall in center field to plate Joyce and Baddoo. 8-7 Hens. Brieske locked down the ninth to end it.

On Sunday, the Hens went with a bullpen day to help keep their rotation in order. It didn’t go well. Michael Bienlien and Andrew Vasquez were each tagged for four runs in the middle innings.

The Hens actually opened the scoring in the second inning. Bligh Madris led off with a walk and moved to third on a Vilade double. Dingler plated them both with a double to center field. That was all they’d get as the Red Sox took over the game entirely until the bottom of the eighth.

Down 8-2, Vilade drew a one out walk. Dingler struck out, but Navigato doubled him home. Corey Joyce walked, and Malloy singled in Navigato, while Jung singled in Joyce to make it 8-5. Unfortunately that was as close as they’d get.

Bigbie led off the bottom of the ninth with a double, but the next two batters couldn’t make a productive out. Dingler singled sharply to right and Bigbie held at third, but Navigato lined out to left field to end it.

Coming Up Next: The Hens (16-11) travel a short way to Columbus for six starting Tuesday night at 6:15 p.m. ET.

Notable Mud Hens

Player PA wRC+ K% BB% HR ISO Slashline
Player PA wRC+ K% BB% HR ISO Slashline
Jace Jung 109 105 30.3 14.7 4 0.209 .242/.349/.451
Akil Baddoo 92 139 20.7 16.3 2 0.213 .293/.423/.507
Justyn-Henry Malloy 107 117 27.1 18.7 2 0.141 .259/.402/.400
Dillon Dingler 62 45 27.4 9.7 2 0.13 .185/.258/.315
Keston Hiura 96 108 27.1 5.2 3 0.189 .300/.333/.489
Justice Bigbie 93 70 22.6 7.5 1 0.118 .235/.301/.353

Erie SeaWolves 5, Harrisburg Senators 4 (Fri)(box)(F/10)

Harrisburg Senators 3, Erie SeaWolves 1 (Sat)(box)

Erie SeaWolves vs. Harrisburg Senators (postponed)

The SeaWolves bounced back after losing the first two in the series to win on Thursday and Friday. However, the Senators took Saturday’s matchup, and rain postponed Sunday’s matchup until the next time these two clubs meet up in Harrisburg in mid-May.

On Friday, the SeaWolves had to rally back from an early 3-0 deficit after a rough three run first inning allowed by Wilkel Hernandez. There wasn’t enough that much hard contact, but the Senators strung together five singles and a walk in the inning to end Hernandez’s outing before it had really begun.

Trevin Michael settled things down for two innings, but Calvin Coker allowed a run in the fourth to make it 4-0.

The SeaWolves didn’t really put anything together until the sixth when Hao-Yu Lee led off with a double and TJ Hopkins singled him to third. Hopkins promptly tried to steal second and was cut down. Jake Holton got hit by a pitch, but Gage Workman popped out and Chris Meyers struck out to end the threat.

A nice relay from Ben Malgeri to Trei Cruz to home cut down a runner trying to score in the top of the eighth to keep the deficit at just four runs, and in the bottom of the eighth the SeaWolves got their rally on.

Trei Cruz led off with a walk and Lee again doubled to move Cruz to third. Hopkins walked to load the bases and a wild pitch scored Cruz. Holton reached on an infield error, scoring Lee and Hopkins in the process. Meyers singled, and Holton scored on a Carlos Mendoza ground out to tie the game.

Tim Naughton kept Harrisburg off the board in the ninth, while Joel Peguero blanked them with the runner on second in the 10th. Gage Workman, who has abandoned switch hitting finally and is off to a solid start his year, came up big with a walkoff single to score Lee in the bottom of the 10th.

On Saturday, some shaky defense helped spoil an otherwise decent outing from Troy Melton. He scattered three singles through the first three innings, but in the fourth Brady House led off with a double. A Workman throwing error made it first and third with no outs, and Dermis Garcia doubled in House. Israel Pineda singled in Mohales and Garcia before Melton slammed the door on the inning.

In the sixth, Hao-Yu Lee stayed hot with a two-out double and later scored on a Jake Holton single, but the SeaWolves managed only three other hits in the game.

A leadoff walk to Eliezer Alfonzo and then a Carlos Mendoza single were followed by a passed ball in the bottom of the seventh. With men on second and third and no outs, the SeaWolves went strikeout, pop-up, pop-up to strand them. Workman doubled with one out in the eighth, but he too was stranded as the SeaWolves continue to struggle to find offense without much in the way of positional prospects beyond Lee. They do have the pitching staff to keep them in most games, but they’re going to need some help at the plate.

Coming Up Next: The SeaWolves (11-8) now head east for six with the Bowie Baysox starting at 6:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday night.

Notable SeaWolves

Player PA wRC+ K% BB% HR ISO Slashline
Player PA wRC+ K% BB% HR ISO Slashline
Hao-Yu Lee 80 113 20.0 11.3 1 0.130 .261/.350/.391
Gage Workman 62 115 25.8 12.9 1 0.130 .259/.355/.389
Trei Cruz 77 34 26.0 16.9 0 0.032 .127/.273/.159
Chris Meyers 65 70 30.8 7.7 1 0.123 .193/.277/.316

Lake County Captains 7, West Michigan Whitecaps 1 (Fri)(box)

Lake County Captains 8, West Michigan Whitecaps 1 (Sat)(box)

Lake County Captains 9, West Michigan Whitecaps 4 (Sun)(box)

After taking the first of the series, the West Michigan Whitecaps spent the rest of the week struggling to score runs and generally getting their teeth kicked in.

Colin Fields gave up three runs in the first inning of his start on Friday by walking a bunch of hitters and giving up a three-run shot to the pride of Orchard Lake-St. Mary’s, Alex Mooney, before settling down to pitch well from the second into the fifth innings. He just didn’t get any run support.

Danny Serretti hit a solo shot, his second homer of the year, in the bottom of the sixth, but otherwise they collected six singles and one walk and couldn’t manufacture any offense out of them.

Zack Hess allowed two runs in the seventh, while Conner Holden gave up two more in a lost cause in the ninth inning.

On Saturday, Carlos Marcano managed to limit the Captains to just three runs despite allowing 11 hits in five innings of work with only two strikeouts. However, Max Alba gave up four more, three earned, and the offense had another tough day against Cleveland Guardians developed pitching.

The one bright spot was Izaac Pacheco finally running into one for a long solo shot to right center field. That was his first of the season. Otherwise there wasn’t much to report other than a Luke Gold double to keep his hot start to the season going.

The offense actually gave Garrett Burhenn a lead to work with on Sunday. Austin Murr tripled to open the bottom of the first and scored on a wild pitch from Jake Miller. Max Anderson followed with a double, took third on a wild pitch, and then scored on a Roberto Campos ground out after Luke Gold had struck out.

However, they couldn’t build on that, and Burhenn crumbled in the second inning to give up the lead. The Captains scored five against Erick Pinales and Jack Anderson in the middle innings to bury the ‘Caps again. Meanwhile, the good guys stranded scoring opportunities in the bottom of the second.

With the score 9-2 in the bottom of the sixth, a one-out walk to Serretti and a single from Pacheco set them up. Serretti scored on a Peyton Graham ground out, and Dom Johnson singled in Pacheco to make it 9-4, but they never threatened to get any closer.

Coming Up Next: The Whitecaps will take an 8-13 record into Dayton to face the Dragons this week.

One heartwarming note from Friday night’s game was the fact that Roberto Campos’ family made the journey from Cuba to see him play for the first time since he was 13 years old and defected to the Dominican Republic to pursue his dream. It’s hard to process what he’s been through growing up far from home and with the responsibility of living up to the sacrifices made to get him that opportunity. So far he’s having a solid season, and while we really need to see him tap into his raw power to re-gain traction as a major league prospect, no doubt he felt like he’d won everything worth winning to have his family on hand to see him play finally.

Whitecaps Notables

Player PA wRC+ K% BB% HR ISO Slash Line
Player PA wRC+ K% BB% HR ISO Slash Line
Max Anderson 79 97 15.2 10.1 1 0.086 .271/.342/.357
Luke Gold 75 148 26.7 8.0 4 0.242 .288/.373/.530
Roberto Campos 80 93 28.7 10.0 0 0.075 .254/.346/.328
Peyton Graham 61 53 23.0 16.4 0 0.060 .140/.295/.200
Izaac Pacheco 66 36 42.4 6.1 1 0.098 .164/.227/.262
Austin Murr 46 131 21.7 17.4 1 0.200 .229/.391/.429

Lakeland Flying Tigers 6, Tampa Tarpons 4 (Fri)(box)(F/10)

Tampa Tarpons 10, Lakeland Flying Tigers 2 (Sat)(box)

Lakeland Flying Tigers 9, Tampa Tarpons 3 (Sun)(box)

The Flying Tigers continued to roll, taking two of three over the weekend to win the series five games to one over Tampa. Their 14-7 record has them a game back of Clearwater in the Florida State League West division.

On Friday night, Max Clark and Josue (pronounced Ho-sway) Briceño had an off day, but the Flying Tigers didn’t need them. The bullpen blew a lead but held on to keep the game tied until they were able to take control in the 10th inning.

Zack Lee got the start and he was solid, allowing a run on two hits and a walk with three strikeouts over four innings of work.

Meanwhile the offense missed some early chances but cashed in finally in the top of the fifth. With two outs, John Peck singled and stole second. David Smith got hit by a pitch and Kevin McGonigle walked to load the bases. Jim Jarvis reached on a grounder back to the pitcher when he threw the ball away, scoring all three men on base. Clayton Campbell stepped to the dish and spanked a line drive single the opposite way, scoring Jarvis and making it 4-1 Lakeland.

Moises Rodriguez and Thomas Bruss combined to allow three runs in the fifth and seventh innings. However, 2023 draft pick Donye Evans was nails. He cleaned up the eighth, and then blanked Tampa in the ninth and tenth innings with three strikeouts and just a single allowed.

In the top of the tenth, with Smith starting at second base, Jim Jarvis came through in a big way as he smoked a two-run shot to right center field to make it 6-4. Evans did the rest to earn the win.

Saturday’s matchup was pretty forgettable. Andrew Sears and Garrett Hill were clobbered early on, and Duque Hebbert allowed three more late runs as the Tarpons ran away with this one.

Josue Briceño launched a solo shot, his second homer of the year, in the top of the fourth inning. That made it 4-1 Tampa at the time.

In the fifth, Peck reached on an error, stole second, and advanced to third on a throwing error on the catcher. A David Smith sacrifice fly scored him, but that only made it 5-2 Tampa after they’d scored in the bottom of the fourth. McGonigle followed Smith with a double but a deep fly ball to left from Max Clark was the final out of the inning.

Hill got rocked yet again in the bottom of the fifth, and this one was pretty much over.

On Sunday, the offense came alive again. They dropped a six-spot on Tampa in the second inning, and then poured on some add-on runs late after the Tarpons made a little push in the middle innings.

Briceño doubled with two outs in the first, but was stranded. Brendan Smith took the mound for his first rehab outing as he works his way back from some forearm trouble this spring. He spun a scoreless first but his fastball was around 92 mph in the inning, so there’s some building up to do before he returns to Toledo.

Brett Callahan got the Flygers started with a single to lead off the top of the second inning. Jose De La Cruz singled him sharply to second base and then Callahan stole third. A Samuel Gil grounder scored Callahan and an error on the play moved De La Cruz to third, where he scored on a Cristian Santana double.

John Peck struck out, but David Smith reached on a grounder to second. Gil scored and everyone was safe. Smith them promptly stole second and another throwing error allowed Santana to score from third. Max Clark walked. Briceño struck out. Tampa went back to the bullpen for a reliever who was greeted by a Smith-Clark double steal. Eduardo Valencia then sprayed a double down the right field line to score them both. 6-0 Lakeland.

Tampa scored two off of Cole Stupp in the fourth, but they’d never get any closer than that.

Cristian Santana launched a solo shot, his second homer of the season, in the top of the sixth. Quinn Gudaitis gave that run back by allowing a Tampa solo shot to open the bottom of the inning.

Briceño ripped a triple into the right field corner to open the seventh and rode home on a Valencia single. Callahan flew out, but Jose De La Cruz singled Valencia to third. Unfortunately the catcher was injured going into third and was lifted for Clayton Campbell. A Samuel Gil double play ball ended the inning.

In the eighth, Smith lined a two-out single and Clark walked. A Briceño infield single scored him to make it 9-3 where it ended.

Coming Up Next: The Flying Tigers come home to face divison leading Clearwater in an early season battle for first place in the division. First pitch on Tuesday is set for 6:30 p.m. ET.

Flying Tigers Notables

Player PA wRC+ K% BB% HR ISO Slash Line
Player PA wRC+ K% BB% HR ISO Slash Line
Max Clark 78 122 23.1 14.1 1 0.092 .277/.372/.369
Josue Briceño 77 117 14.3 14.3 2 0.108 .246/.364/.354
Cristian Santana 64 52 31.3 14.1 1 0.080 .120/.266/.200
Kevin McGonigle 14 248 7.1 21.4 0 0.182 .455/.571/.636
Brett Callahan 69 83 26.1 13.0 2 0.121 .172/.294/.293

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