Dillon Dingler homers twice as Hens take down the Bats

Bless You Boys

Toledo Mud Hens 9, Louisville Bats 8 (F/11)(box)

This game was suspended on Wednesday in the middle of the fourth inning with the Hens up 4-1. They built up the lead from there only to see the bullpen blow it, but eventually got it done in 11 innings anyway.

Brant Hurter threw the first three innings last night, allowing just a solo shot while punching out five. Buddy Kennedy got the scoring started with a solo shot in the top of the third. Jace Jung doubled and scored on an Akil Baddoo single in the top of the fourth. Justice Bigbie walked, the Bats went to their bullpen, and Baddoo and Bigbie immediately pulled off a double steal. Bligh Madris singled them in to make it 4-1.

On Thursday, play resumed with Devin Sweet on the mound for Toledo. He got a double play ball off the bat of old friend Hernán Pérez to face the minimum in the bottom of the fourth, and in the fifth the Hens struck again.

Parker Meadows led off with an absolute nuke at 110.7 mph, probably the hardest ball I’ve ever seen him hit, on a line to right field for his third homer since going down to Toledo. The swing looks better, but he’s not tearing it up down there yet either.

With two outs, Dillon Dingler followed suit, launching a home run to right center. Akil Baddoo observed this from the on deck circle and saw that it was good, and he got a cookie of a middle-middle changeup and lifted a towering shot to right field as well for his sixth round-tripper of the year.

Sweet surrendered a two-run shot to Levi Jordan in the bottom of the fifth to make it 7-3. Dillon Dingler came back for more in the top of the seventh, bombing one 435 feet to straightaway center field. 8-3 Hens.

Sean Guenther allowed a run in the eighth, but it was still an 8-4 lead. It didn’t last. Lefty Easton Lucas, claimed off waivers last weekend from the Oakland A’s took over for mop-up duty in the bottom of the ninth, and instead made a real mess. Lucas allowed four runs and the Bats had tied the game 8-8 and sent this to extra innings.

In the tenth, Jace Jung started on second and was immediately wild pitched to third, but the Hens couldn’t bring him home. Dingler struck out, Baddoo ripped a one-hopper to the second baseman too sharply for Jung to score, and Bigbie struck out.

Trey Wingenter performed the same trick in the bottom half, wild pitching the runner to third and then getting out of it without allowing the run. In the top of the 11th, Tony Santillan took over for the Bats and promptly balked Bigbie to third. A sac fly from Madris scored him. Buddy Kennedy followed with a double but that was all they’d get, and that was all they’d need, as Wingenter punched out the side to earn the win with a really fine performance in this one.

The big right-hander is still a wild card, pitching much like Alex Lange with plenty of strikeouts but too much wildness, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in Detroit soon as he’s been better in May than in April.

Dingler: 2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR, K

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

Kennedy: 3-5, R, RBI, 2B, HR, K

Hurter: 3.0 IP, ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 5 K

Coming Up Next: The regularly scheduled game was called off after the completion of Thursday’s matchup, so they’ll play two seven inning games on Friday at 5:05 p.m. ET to make it up.

Altoona Curve 11, Erie SeaWolves 5 (box)

Troy Melton’s last outing was arguably his worst in his pro career, but he had the same issue in this one as lefties teed off on him for a pair of home runs as the Curve crushed Erie in this one.

Melton’s night unraveled quickly. Joe Perez launched a home run to open the top of the second, and a single and a walk set up old friend Dustin Peterson, who cranked a three-run shot to left. A single and then a Gage Workman error put two men on, but the pitch count was high already in the inning and so Melton was lifted for Jake Higginbotham, who allowed both runners to score.

In the bottom half, Chris Meyers walked with one out and Ben Malgeri doubled him to third where he scored on an Eliezer Alfonzo ground out. 6-1 Altoona.

Higginbotham allowed a run in the third, and then things got quiet on both sides until the seventh when Altoona scored three more against Joel Peguero. Jake Holton pitched the ninth and allowed a run.

A pair of walks and an Alfonzo single loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth. Brady Allen launched a grand slam to make the score a little more respectable.

Mendoza: 2-5, K

Allen: 1-3, R, 4 RBI, HR, BB, K

Melton (L, 1-4): 1.1 IP, 6 R, 4 ER, 4 H, BB, 2 K

Coming Up Next: It’s a 6:05 p.m. ET start on Friday from UPMC Park.

West Michigan Whitecaps 4, Lake County Captains 1 (box)

The Whitecaps’ bats were really quiet in this one until pulling off a comeback in the ninth inning to win. The pitching deserves the credit, as they had the Captains under wraps at the plate all game long.

Jaden Hamm got the start, but he left after a 32 pitch first inning where he had to escape a two-out jam. Hopefully that’s just an abundance of caution.

Chris Mauloni blanked the Captains for two inning, and Tanner Kohlhepp allowed one run in two innings of work. Cleiverth Perez and Max Alba handled the sixth and seventh innings without issue, and Matt Merrill the eighth.

Finally, after wasting scoring opportunities in the first, second, and the eighth, the Whitecaps finally broke through in the ninth. Luis Santana led off with a single and Luke Gold was hit by a pitch. Roberto Campos ripped a single to left too hot to score on, so the bases were juiced for Peyton Graham. At that point, Captains reliever Magnus Ellerts balked in a run to tie the game 1-1. Graham popped out, but Izaac Pacheco launched a three-run shot to right to put the ‘Caps up 4-1. Merrill closed it out to earn the victory.

Campos: 2-4, R, RBI

Pacheco: 1-4, R, 3 RBI, HR, 2 K

Stephenson: 1-3, BB, K, SB

Merrill (W, 3-0): 2.0 IP, 2 BB, 2 K

Coming Up Next: The Whitecaps take a 2-1 series lead into the weekend. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. ET on Friday night.

Lakeland Flying Tigers 6, Palm Beach Cardinals 3 (box)

Hayden Minton gave the Flying Tigers a decent start in this one, and they rallied in the second half of the game to take a 2-1 series lead.

With Kevin McGonigle getting the day off, Jim Jarvis led off the bottom of the first with a single, and then stole second base. Max Clark lined a single the opposite way to score him. The Cardinals got the run back in the top of the second, but in the bottom half Clark singled in Daneurys De La Cruz to make it 2-1. The center fielder holds a 118 wRC+ with 14.1 percent walks to 17.2 percent strikeouts. He’s still putting the ball on the ground a ton, but otherwise everything looks good.

Again, the Cardinals came back in the third, this time scoring two to take a 3-2 lead.

Minton went five innings, allowing three runs, while punching out seven hitters.

In the fifth, the comeback began, and who else to get it started but Max Clark, who walked and promptly stole second to start the inning. Eddys Leonard and Jose De La Cruz both popped out, but Samuel Gil walked with two outs, and he and Clark pulled off a double steal. Clayton Campbell singled in Clark to tie the game, but was cut down trying to stretch it into a double to end the inning.

In the sixth, Daneurys De La Cruz doubled to left to lead off the inning, and catcher Archer Brookman mashed a two-run shot to left to make it 5-2. They added one more in the eighth, and Eiker Huizi struck out three in two perfect innings to earn his second save.

Clark: 2-3, R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 SB

Jarvis: 2-5, R, K, SB

Brookman: 1-3, R, 2 RBI, HR, BB, K, SB

Minton: 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, BB, 7 K

Coming Up Next: First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday from Joker Marchant Stadium.

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