Jaden Hamm shoves again while Parker Meadows heats up for the Hens

Bless You Boys

Toledo Mud Hens 8, Indianapolis Indians 3 (Fri)(box)

Indianapolis Indians 16, Toledo Mud Hens 10 (Sat)(box)

Toledo Mud Hens 10, Indianapolis Indians 1 (Gm1)(Sun)(box)

Indianapolis Indians 5, Toledo Mud Hens 4 (Gm2)(Sun)(box)

After rained washed them out in Indianapolis on Tuesday and Wednesday, these two clubs split a doubleheader on Thursday, so the weekend games would determine the whole series.

On Friday, both teams got to the starting pitchers early, but the Hens’ bullpen really won this game by locking down Indy the rest of the way while the offense lit up their bullpen.

The Hens struck first when Akil Baddoo and Dillon Dingler led off the second innings with singles and rode home on a Bligh Madris double. With one out, Andrew Navigato singled Madris over to third and Parker Meadows smoked a double off the wall in center field to make it 3-0. They missed adding on when Justyn-Henry Malloy struck out and Jace Jung smoked a drive out to center field for the final out.

Lefty Bryan Sammons got the start for the Mud Hens and he leaked a run in the bottom half of the inning but managed to limit the damage with a pair of strikeouts with the bases loaded. A single and hit by pitch in the bottom of the third led to two more runs as Indy tied it 3-3.

The starters were out of the game in the fourth inning, and the Hens took over. Madris singled and Buddy Kennedy doubled to start the fourth. Meadows lifted a sac fly to score Madris, giving the Hens a 4-3 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Jace Jung bashed his seventh homer to lead off the fifth. Meadows singled and stole second in the sixth but was stranded. In the seventh, Akil Baddoo hit his fifth home run to make it 6-3. Meadows walked and scored on a Malloy double in the eighth. They added one more in the ninth.

Brenan Hanifee, Sean Guenther, Bryce Tassin, and Andrew Magno were all good in relief to hold Indy in place.

Meadows: 2-2, R, 2 RBI, 2B, 2 BB

Dingler: 3-5, 2 R

Baddoo: 2-4, 2 R, RBI, HR, BB, K

Sammons: 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 6 K

Saturday’s matchup devolved into a true slobberknocker as the Indians racked up 16 runs on a bad day for the Hens pitching staff.

Ty Madden just didn’t have it in this one. His current main development task is to continue to improve his new split-change, which made a big difference in controlling lefties at Double-A and prompted his promotion. He’s still working on dealing with left-handers, and Ji Hwan Bae in particular had his number. Bae homered in the first and had a two-run single in a long second inning that saw Madden unable to escape. Andrew Vasquez replaced Madden and ended the inning with the score 4-0.

The Hens fought back in the third when Meadows and Malloy walked and Jung singled in a run. In the fourth, Justice Bigbie doubled and scored on an Anthony Bemboom single. Parker Meadows came up with an RBI triple to make it 4-3 Indy, but that was as close as they’d get.

Vasquez allowed a run in the bottom of the fourth, and Trey Wingenter allowed one in the fifth. Keston Hiura’s leadoff double in top of the fifth led to a run for the Hens, but it was 6-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth, but the Hens were out of pitching with a long series and a doubleheader coming up again on Sunday. Utilityman Riley Unroe pitched the next three innings and gave up 10 runs.

Hiura cranked his fifth homer in the seventh. Meadows doubled and scored on a Jung ground out in the eighth. The Hens piled up four runs in the top of the ninth but this one was long over.

Meadows: 3-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, 3B, 2 BB, K

Hiura: 2-5, 2 R, RBI, 2B, HR, K

Bigbie: 2-4, 2 R, 2 2B, BB, K

Madden (L, 0-1): 1.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, BB, 0 K

Kenta Maeda’s first rehab appearance went well in Sunday’s Game 1 as the right-hander spun three innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts. The offense chipped away at Indy starter Domingo German consistently all game long.

Jace Jung got the offense going with a solo shot in the first inning for his eighth long ball of the season. In the third, Parker Meadows singled, stole second, and scored on an Akil Baddoo double. Bligh Madris added a solo shot in the fourth to make it 3-1, but it was the fifth where they broke it open.

Justyn-Henry Malloy led off the fifth with a walk and moved to second on a Jung single. A Justice Bigbie ground ball was misplayed for an error that scored Malloy and Jung both, getting Bigbie to second base. Dillon Dingler singled in Bigbie, and it was 5-1.

Meadows walked and scored on a Malloy two-run shot, his fourth of the year, in the sixth. They’d add two more in the seventh, while Bryce Tassin, Mason Englert, and Devin Sweet locked down Indy’s offense the rest of the way after Maeda’s three innings.

Jung: 2-4, 2 R, RBI, HR, BB, K

Bigbie: 2-3, R, RBI, 2 BB

Malloy: 1-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR, BB, 2 K

Maeda: 3.0 IP, ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 6 K

Game 2 did not go as well on Sunday. Lael Lockhart was uncharacteristically off the mark in this one, walking five hitters. He got knocked around some as a result, and Indianapolis kept the Hens offense at bay for most of the game.

The Hens got on the board first in this one, as Bligh Madris hit his sixth homer with no one on in the second inning. Lockhart allowed a two-run shot in the bottom half, but in the third, the Hens reclaimed the lead.

Akil Baddoo walked with one out, and Ryan Vilade hit his fourth homer of the year to make it 3-2 Hens.

That lead lasted until the bottom of the fourth. Lockhart surrendered a leadoff walk and then struck out the next hitter before he was lifted for right-hander Brenan Hanifee. Hanifee walked the first batter he faced and allowed a run on a sacrifice fly before cleaning up the inning.

Now tied 3-3, the Hens just couldn’t push across another run despite a couple of baserunners in the middle innings of this seven-inning contest. Andrew Magno was knocked around for the first time this year, giving up two runs in the bottom of the sixth.

Riley Unroe double in Anthony Bemboom with two outs in the top of the seventh, but Akil Baddoo struck out to end it.

Vilade: 2-3, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR

Unroe: 2-3, RBI, K, SB

Lockhart: 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 5 BB, 4 K

Coming Up Next: The Mud Hens take a 25-20 record into Louisville this week to tangle with the Bats.

Harrisburg Senators 9, Erie SeaWolves 3 (Fri)(box)

Erie SeaWolves 4, Harrisburg Senators 3 (Sat)(box)

Harrisburg Senators 5, Erie SeaWolves 4 (Sun)(box)

On Friday, Troy Melton finally ran into trouble. The right-hander, one of the Tigers top five pitching prospects, had only allowed four homers going back to June of 2023, but he surrendered three of them in this one.

After Melton allowed a solo shot to Yohandy Morales in the second inning. Stephen Scott evened the score with a solo shot of his own in the third, but in the fourth, the Senators launched a pair of long balls against Melton and seized a 4-1 lead.

Harrisburg scored two in the sixth against Tim Naughton before a Hao-Yu Lee throwing error extended the inning and led to three more runs and a 9-1 lead. The SeaWolves rode a flurry of walks to two runs in the seventh, but they really didn’t do much at the plate in this one.

Scott: 1-4, R, 2 RBI, HR

Melton (L, 1-3): 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, BB, 6 K

Austin Bergner gave the SeaWolves a good outing on Saturday and the bullpen did a great job in the late innings holding a one-run lead.

The SeaWolves struck first in this one. Gage Workman walked with one out in the third inning. A Hao-Yu Lee tripled scored him, but a Workman error in the bottom half led to two runs scoring and a 2-1 Harrisburg lead.

In the fourth, the SeaWolves took the lead back. Chris Meyers walked with one out and Stephen Scott doubled him home. An Austin Murr single scored Scott to make it 3-2.

Bergner allowed an Andrew Pinckney solo shot in the bottom of the sixth that tied the game back up at 3-3 and knocked the SeaWolves starter out of the game. No doubt the Senators were happy to see that, but the bullpen made them regret it.

In the seventh, Workman walked with two outs and moved to third on a Carlos Mendoza single. Lee walked, and a soft comebacker from Jake Holton allowed Workman to score and give Erie a 4-3 lead. That was all they’d get, but Trevin Michael, Calvin Coker, and PJ Poulin were nails in relief to hold the lead. Poulin picked up his second save in the process.

Scott: 2-4, R, RBI, 2B, K

Lee: 1-4, RBI, 3B, BB, K

Bergner: 5.1 IP, 3 R, ER, 5 H, BB, 8 K

On Sunday, the SeaWolves took an early lead but couldn’t hold it. They collected six walks from Harrisburg pitching, but with only four hits couldn’t cash in their opportunities enough to pull out the victory.

Jake Holton got the SeaWolves’ offense going first when he walked to start the second inning. Trei Cruz followed with a double and Holton scored on a Chris Meyers ground out. A Ben Malgeri ground out scored Cruz and made it 2-0, but the lead didn’t last too long.

Carlos Peña cruised through two innings, but ran into trouble by uncharacteristically issuing a couple of walks in the third. 2023 first overall pick Dylan Crews stepped to the dish with the bases juiced and cleared them with a double to left field. 3-2 Harrisburg.

Chris Meyers launched a solo shot to tie the game in the fifth, but in the sixth, RJ Petit allowed two runs to put Harrisburg back up 5-3. Erie scratched out another run in the eighth with a lengthy rally, but the big hit never came with multiple ducks on the pond.

Meyers: 1-3, R, 2 RBI, HR, BB, K

Pena: 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, K

Coming Up Next: The SeaWolves (22-15) will welcome in the Altoona Curve starting Tuesday night.

West Michigan Whitecaps 6, Peoria Chiefs 1 (Fri)(box)

West Michigan Whitecaps 3, Peoria Chiefs 2 (Sat)(box)

West Michigan Whitecaps 4, Peoria Chiefs 2 (Sun)(box)

Jaden Hamm was the star of the show again on Friday night and the offense built a lead and kept adding on to take this one.

The right-hander can’t be in WM too much longer. He’s not being tested at all. Hamm allowed a solo shot in the bottom of the first, but that was all he’d allow as he one-hit the Chiefs for five innings with no walks and four strikeouts. Marco Jimenez and Zack Hess each spun two good innings of relief to take this one to the house.

The Whitecaps missed a couple early scoring opportunities, but in the top of the fourth, Max Anderson and Luke Gold went back-to-back leading off the inning to make it 2-1 Whitecaps. Anderson’s was his fourth on the year, while Gold’s was his eighth homer already.

In the fifth, Peyton Graham led off with a single and Danny Serretti mashed a two-run shot to left center field to make it 4-1. Josh Crouch hit a solo shot in the seventh for his fifth round-tripper on the year. In the ninth, Roberto Campos tripled and scored on a Crouch ground out to make it 6-1.

Crouch: 2-4, R, RBI, 2B, HR

Graham: 3-4, R, K

Hamm (W, 1-0): 5.0 IP, ER, H, 0 BB, 4 K

On Saturday, Dylan Smith had a pretty interesting outing, and while the offense struggled, they had enough to pull out the victory.

Smith leaked a few runs in the first inning, but was good after that despite allowing eight hits. In a positive development, he poured in a ton of strikes in this one, struck out six, and didn’t walk a batter. He continues to show better velocity and flashes of an improved changeup as he locked the Chiefs down for four more innings after the early runs. The bullpen did a great job over the final four innings to hold the Chiefs in place.

The offense didn’t get much going until the sixth inning. Bennett Lee led off with a walk and Seth Stephenson singled. Max Anderson grounded out to move them both up 90 feet and a Luke Gold sac fly scored Lee to make it 2-1 Peoria.

Finally in the eighth, Stephenson walked with one out, took second on a wild pitch and third on a passed ball. He then scored on a wild pitch, and the next hitter, Max Anderson, blasted his fifth home run to straightaway center field to make it 3-2.

Jack Anderson, Erick Pinales, and Michael Bienlien blanked the Chiefs for four innings to lock it down, Bienlien earning his second save.

Stephenson: 2-3, R, BB, K

Anderson: 1-4, R, RBI, HR, K

Smith: 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 6 K

On Sunday, Colin Fields through a good game, though the Tigers continue to be extremely cautious with his pitch count, as they were with Hamm on Friday. Luke Gold and Peyton Graham provided the power as the ‘Caps won the series 5-1.

Fields was untouchable for four innings, allowing just one hit, no runs, no walks, and striking out five on the day. They only let him throw 49 pitches, 36 for strikes. The Tigers have really throttled the workload on their younger starters early on. We’ll see how this works out for them over time but they really seem to want to get their starters into a fairly advanced state of development now before they start stretching them out in the upper minors.

The Whitecaps only managed four hits in this one, though they again racked up a ton of walks, but they made those hits count. In the third, Stephenson was hit by a pitch and Max Anderson followed with a single. Luke Gold then crushed home run number nine on the year to make it 3-0.

In the fourth, blessed signs of life appeared for Peyton Graham. The shortstop continues to show a really good eye at the plate, but just has not driven the ball much. He cracked a solo shot, his first of the year, to make it 4-0. He also walked three times in the contest.

Chris Mauloni and Max Alba each allowed a run in relief, but Tanner Kohlhepp and Matt Merrill had good outings, with Merrill earning his third save.

Graham: 1-1, R, RBI, HR, 3 BB

Anderson: 2-5, R, K

Gold: 1-4, R, 3 RBI, HR, 3 K

Fields: 4.0 IP, 0 R, H, 0 BB, 5 K

Coming Up Next: The Whitecaps moved their record to 20-19 on the year with the series victory. They’ll head out to play Lake County on the road starting Tuesday night.

Fort Myers Mighty Mussels 8, Lakeland Flying Tigers 6 (Fri)(box)

Lakeland Flying Tigers 5, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels 2 (Sat)(box)

Fort Myers Mighty Mussels 8, Lakeland Flying Tigers 2 (Sun)(box)

After a good start to the series, Fort Myers fought back to take two of three this weekend to split this series.

On Friday. Lakeland built a big lead and then watched the bullpen get shelled to lose it.

Kevin McGonigle led off the bottom of the first with a single and later scored on a throwing error. In the second, Daneurys De La Cruz led off with a single and Archer Brookman was hit by a pitch. A line out from David Smith got De La Cruz to third where he scored on a McGonigle sacrifice fly.

Brookman singled in Jose De La Cruz in the third. Luis Santana doubled and scored on a Jose De La Cruz double in the fourth, and in the fifth, Brett Callahan launched his fifth home run of the season. Daneurys De La Cruz later reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-0 Lakeland.

Starter Zack Lee, an older reclamation project signed last summer, again pitched great for the Flying Tigers. He allowed just two hits and two walks in five innings of work in this one, shutting out the Mighty Mussels with seven strikeouts.

The bullpen did not fare so well. Gabriel Sequeira and Thomas Bruss were each lit up for four runs as Fort Myers stormed back to win.

Callahan: 2-5, R, RBI, HR

Santana: 2-4, R, 2B, BB, K

Lee: 5.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K

Lakeland got another good start on Saturday as they took an early lead and then stormed back to finish this victory off with a four-run seven after Fort Myers mounted a comeback.

Andrew Sears was on the bump in this one and he one-hit Fort Myers for five innings. The offense gave him a slim margin in the third when Archer Brookman reached on an error, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on a McGonigle single. Max Clark followed McGonigle with a walk, but they wouldn’t get any more as McGonigle was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a Brett Callahan single.

The offense went quiet for a few innings as Quinn Gudaitis and Garrett Hill came out of the Flying Tigers and each allowed a run in the sixth and the seventh. It was 2-1 Fort Myers heading into the bottom of the seventh, but the Flygers had the answer.

Brookman led off with a walk, and then an Alvaro Gonzalez pop up dropped for a single. McGonigle walked to load the bases, and Max Clark singled to center to plate Brookman. Jose De La Cruz drew a walk to force in Gonzalez, and it was 3-2 Lakeland.

Fort Myers went back to the pen, but Brett Callahan greeted the new reliever with an infield single to score McGonigle, and Clark scored on a ground out to make it 5-2 Lakeland.

Blake Pivaroff and Eiker Huizi shut the Mighty Mussels down in the eighth and ninth, Huizi earning his first save of the season.

Callahan: 2-4, RBI

McGonigle: 1-3, R, RBI, BB

Clark: 1-3, R, RBI, BB

Sears: 5.0 IP, 0 R, H, 3 BB, 3 K

Sundays’ contest was a pretty close fought pitchers’ duel until the Flying Tigers bullpen melted down in the sixth.

Duque Hebbert allowed a pair of runs in the first inning, but settled down to blank the Mussels for four more innings of work.

Max Clark got Lakeland started in the bottom of the first with a one out single. Luis Santana walked and Jose De La Cruz singled in Clark to make it 2-1 Fort Myers.

Not much went on from the second to the fifth inning. Max Clark made a nice throw to second to gun down a runner trying to stretch a single to end the fifth, but otherwise there were scant few baserunners until the sixth.

Carlos De Los Santos took over in the top of the sixth and two singles, a walk, and errors on Clayton Campbell and Luis Santana led to two runs coming across before Cam Brown took over with the bases loaded. He didn’t do any better than De Los Santos, and when the smoke cleared it was 6-1 Fort Myers.

Lakeland put runners on in the seventh and eighth but couldn’t push any runs across. In the bottom of the ninth, Santana and Jose De La Cruz started the inning with singles and Campbell walked to load the bases with no out. Daneurys De La Cruz struck out, but Samuel Gil single through the left side to score Santana. Unfortunately, Alvaro Gonzalez flew out and David Smith struck out to end it.

Jose De La Cruz: 2-4, RBI, 2 K

Gil: 1-3, RBI, BB

Hebbert (L, 1-1): 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB, 4 K

Coming Up Next: The Flying Tigers are now two games game of Clearwater despite a 25-14 record. They’ll welcome in Palm Beach for six starting Tuesday night.

Kevin McGonigle became the latest addition to MLB Pipeline’s top 100 on Saturday as the Cubs’ Pete Crow-Armstrong graduated.

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