Clark and McGonigle homer in weekend action, Hao-Yu Lee continues to rage for the SeaWolves

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Omaha Storm Chasers 5, Toledo Mud Hens 2 (Fri)(Gm1)(F/7)(box)

Omaha Storm Chasers 6, Toledo Mud Hens 2 (Fri)(Gm2)(F/8)(box)

Omaha Storm Chasers 7, Toledo Mud Hens 4 (Sat)(box)

Omaha Storm Chasers 2, Toledo Mud Hens 1 (Sun)(box)

The Mud Hens had a rough week with the Storm Chasers in town, winning just one of six games in the set.

On Friday, they played a doubleheader after a rain out earlier in the week. In Game 1, Brant Hurter couldn’t get out of the first inning, allowing two runs on a walk and three hits and throwing 34 pitches. The Tigers pull young pitchers if they exceed 30 in an inning. Bryce Tassin had to come on to clean up the inning, and then spun three scoreless frames of relief as the Hens mounted a comeback.

Bligh Madris got them going in the second by leading off with a single and stealing second base. Justice Bigbie walked but was forced at second on an Eddys Leonard ground ball. Leonard moved to second on a ground out, but Madris couldn’t score until Andrew Navigato singled in both runs to tie things at 2-2.

Spencer Torkelson led off the third with a double off a Kris Bubic changeup but was stranded. Otherwise the Hens didn’t mount a threat the rest of the way. Alex Lange allowed a leadoff double in the top of the seventh and final frame. He rebounded to strike out the next hitter, then had to leave the game with an injury. Brenan Hanifee had to come on, and he was knocked around for two runs on top of the runner he inherited.

It was 5-2 when Parker Meadows came up with a two-out double in bottom of the seventh. Torkelson followed with a single, but Meadows was thrown out at the plate to end the game.

Torkelson: 2-4, 2B

Meadows: 1-3, 2B, BB

Navigato: 1-3, 2 RBI

Hurter: 0.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, BB, 2 K

Bryan Sammons gave the Hens a good start in Game 2, but again the offense sputtered and the bullpen lost the game late, this time in the eighth inning.

Both starters were sharp early. Sammons allowed the first run of the game in the fourth. In the fifth, the Hens answered back with two runs. Justice Bigbie and Riley Unroe singled with one out, and Navigato doubled in both runs to make it 2-1 Toledo.

Sammons allowed a run in the sixth that tied it up. Madris saved a run on a nice relay to Unroe to Dillon Dingler at the plate to keep the game tied at 2-2. A scoring chance in the seventh was quickly snuffed with Bigbie got doubled off on an Unroe fly out.

And in the eighth, Andrew Magno was rocked for three runs beyond the inherited run on second to lose it.

Navigato: 2-3, 2 RBI, 2B, SB

Bigbie: 2-3, R

Sammons: 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K

On Saturday, Matt Manning got the start and was pretty badly knocked around.

The Hens gave Manning an early lead after Manning allowed a run in the top of the first. Parker Meadows crushed a solo shot to dead center in the bottom of the first, and Navigato doubled in Madris and Bigbie in the second inning to make it 3-1 Hens.

However, despite striking out seven, Manning continued to struggle. He allowed a run in the third inning and then two more in the fifth before departing now down 4-3. Lael Lockhart Jr. allowed a run in the sixth in relief, then a solo shot in the eighth to make it 6-3. In the bottom of the eighth Dillon Dingler led off with a single. Ryan Vilade doubled him to third, and Dingler scored on a Madris ground out to make it 6-4. Easton Lucas then allowed a run in the ninth and the Hens couldn’t produce a rally in the bottom half.

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

Madris: 1-4, R, RBI, K, SB

Navigato: 1-4, 2 RBI, 2B

Manning (L, 2-1): 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, BB, 7 K

Keider Montero struggled with some walks, but otherwise held his own on Sunday. The right-hander struck out five, allowing just two runs despite seven hits and four walks. Montero needed experience pitching in traffic. He’s getting it.

Again though, the offense just couldn’t get anything going when they needed it, despite drawing six walks of their own. In the fourth, Eddys Leonard led off with a single and Justice Bigbie doubled him to third. A sacrifice fly from Anthony Bemboom would produce the Hens only run in this one.

Montero finally cracked and allowed a pair of runs in the fifth, and that was all she wrote as the offense threatened but did not score in the late innings. Torkelson singled and Jung walked with two outs in the seventh, but Madris lined out to end the inning. A Leonard single and a Bemboom double with one out in the eighth had them in business before a strikeout and a ground out ended it.

Leonard: 2-4, R

Bemboom: 1-1, RBI, 2B, 2 BB

Montero (L, 1-3): 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 4 BB, 5 K

Coming Up Next: The Mud Hens head to St. Paul to play the Saints this week.

Altoona Curve 6, Erie SeaWolves 5 (Fri)(box)

Altoona Curve 11, Erie SeaWolves 8 (Sat)(box)

Altoona Curve 6, Erie SeaWolves 2 (Sun)(box)

The SeaWolves fell off the pace in the Southwest division after winning the first two games of the series last week. They were tied for first at that point, but fall to two games back of Harrisburg with just six games left in the first half of the season after losing the final four games to Altoona.

On Friday, Garrett Burhenn got the start and was cruising along through three innings of work. In the top of the inning, Julio E. Rodriguez led off with a single, Carlos Mendoza was hit by a pitch, and Hao-Yu Lee continued his assault on Eastern League pitching with a ground rule double to score Rodriguez. Jake Holton came up with a double, and Burhenn had a 3-0 lead.

Unfortunately, Burhenn then allowed two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth before departing.

In the top of the seventh, Mendoza led off with a single, and Lee tripled him home and then scored on a Trei Cruz single to recapture the lead at 5-4. Angel Reyes then allowed two runs in the bottom half of the inning to lose the lead and ultimately the game.

Lee: 3-5, 2 R, 2BI, 2B, 3B, K

Rodriguez: 3-4, R, 2B

Burhenn: 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 3 K

On Saturday, we got more of a sloppy, high scoring contest. Troy Melton got the start, and he was decent save a bad pitch to Jase Bowen in the third that got smacked for a two-run homer. Melton allowed four runs, three earned, in five innings, striking out seven.

Gage Workman hit a solo homer, his sixth home run, in the third inning to get the SeaWolves’ offense started. In the fourth, Trei Cruz led off with a single and Holton walked. Chris Meyers ripped a sharp single that load the bases. Ben Malgeri and Workman struck out, but Eliezer Alfonzo came up big with a double that cleared the bases. Austin Murr singled in Alfonzo, and it was 5-3 SeaWolves.

Altoona made it 5-4 in the bottom half of the fourth, but in the fifth, Lee and then Holton singled, and both scored on a Meyers sacrifice fly due to an error on the play. 7-4 SeaWolves. They made it 8-4 in the top of the eighth inning when Gage Workman walked and eventually scored on a Murr sacrifice fly.

At that point, the bullpen just imploded. Joel Peguero allowed three runs in the bottom of the eighth, and Jake Higginbotham four more in the ninth as the Curve stormed back and then pulled away.

Lee: 2-5, R, K, 2 SB

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

Alfonzo: 2-4, R, 3 RBI, 2 2B

Melton: 5.0 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 7 K

On Sunday, the somewhat hapless SeaWolves’ offense got a great start from Austin Bergner and still failed to take advantage.

Bergner two-hit the Curve over five scoreless innings, striking out seven on the day. He got zero run support.

Finally, in the top of the sixth, Hao-Yu Lee tripled in Ben Malgeri and then scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0 Erie. Calvin Coker promptly gave two runs back in the bottom half and RJ Petit was rocked in the eighth for four runs, three earned, to lose it.

Lee: 1-4, R, RBI, 3B

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

Coming Up Next: The SeaWolves have to stay on the road this week, traveling to Somerset for the final six of the half. Running down Harrisburg is going to be tough from two games back.

West Michigan Whitecaps 3, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 2 (Fri)(box)

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 7, West Michigan Whitecaps 2 (Sat)(box)

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 8, West Michigan Whitecaps 5 (Sun(box)

On Friday, the Whitecaps evened the series to two games apiece, but Wisconsin won the final two games of the set to take the series 4-2.

Carlos Marcano gave the Whitecaps a solid start on Friday. Seth Stephenson gave him an early lead to work with when the leadoff man was hit by a pitch in the first inning, stole second, and eventually scored on a Roberto Campos sacrifice fly.

Marcano then allowed two runs in the second inning before settling in to go six innings without any more runs allowed.

In the sixth, Jim Jarvis led off with a single and eventually scored on a Campos ground out to tie the game at 2-2. In the eighth, Jarvis again led off with a single and this time scored on a Max Anderson double to make it 3-2 Whitecaps.

Max Alba spun a perfect ninth inning for his second save.

Jarvis: 2-3, 2 R, K

Anderson: 1-4, RBI, 2B

Marcano: 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 3 K

Jaden Hamm was back on form on Saturday, but it didn’t help either as the ‘Caps fell 7-2. Hamm spun five innings of one run ball with five strikeouts, and departed with a 2-1 lead. The Whitecaps struck first on a single from Luis Santana and Josh Crouch getting plunked. Danny Serretti singled in Santana, and Jarvis lifted a sac fly to plate Crouch. At that point it was 2-0, but Hamm allowed a third inning run.

The offense missed some chances along the way to build their lead. Peyton Graham was hit by a pitch with one out in the fourth and then stole second base. The next two hitters struck out. In the fifth, Seth Stephenson singled with one out and stole second base. Dom Johnson walked, but Max Anderson flew out and Luke Gold grounded out to waste the opportunity. A Graham one-out double in the sixth also was stranded.

Finally in the top of the seventh, Tanner Kohlhepp gave up an unearned run on a wild pitch and then a Josh Crouch throwing error, tying the game.

Matt Merrill and Gabriel Sequiera couldn’t hold the tie in the ninth, allowing five runs as the Whitecaps went down in defeat.

Graham: 1-3, 2B, K, HBP, SB

Hamm: 5.0 IP, ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K

Dylan Smith continued his very erratic season on Sunday as he was knocked around for six runs in just two innings of work. After a clean first inning, the Timber Rattlers went single, double, single, home run to open the second inning, going on to score all six runs in the frame. They got two more against Michael Bienlien in the fourth, and led 8-0 at that point.

With nothing to lose, the Whitecaps lineup finally fired back in the fifth. Peyton Graham singled with one out, and Serretti launched his fourth home run of the year to make it 8-2. With two outs, Bennett Lee and Seth Stephenson walked, and Dom Johnson doubled in Lee. An error scored two more runs on a Robert Campos grounder, and it was 8-5, but the Timber Rattlers bullpen shut the door the rest of the way.

Graham: 2-2, R, 2B, 2 BB

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

Johnson: 2-5, R, RBI, 2B, K

Smith (L, 0-5): 2.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 2 K

Coming Up Next: The 31-32 Whitecaps will welcome in the Dayton Dragons for six this week. Top pitching prospect Jackson Jobe will return to the mound for a rehab start with the Whitecaps on Tuesday night, so that’s definitely the game to see as the game’s best pitching prospect works his way back from a hamstring strain suffered at the beginning of May.

Fort Myers Mighty Mussels 1, Lakeland Flying Tigers 0 (Fri)(Gm1)(F/7)(box)

Lakeland Flying Tigers 9, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels 4 (Fri)(Gm2)(F/7)(box)

Fort Myers Mighty Mussels 11, Lakeland Flying Tigers 3 (Sat)(box)

Lakeland Flying Tigers 6, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels 4 (Sun)(Gm1)(F/7)(box)

Lakeland Flying Tigers 6, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels 2 (Sun)(Gm2)(F/7)(box)

After rainouts on Tuesday through Thursday, these two clubs played five games from Friday to Sunday, with the Flying Tigers coming out on top three games to two. In the process, they maintained a half game lead over the Clearwater Threshers in their division.

In Friday’s seven inning Game 1, Joe Adametz pitched a really good game for the Flying Tigers, shutting out Fort Myers for five innings with six punch outs.

Unfortunately, the Flying Tigers couldn’t do much at the plate either. They collected six hits and no walks, and were shut out. Eiker Huizi allowed a run in the bottom of the seventh as Fort Myers walked it off.

Valencia: 2-3, 2B, K

Adametz: 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 6 K

In the nightcap on Friday, the offense did break through and poured it on late to win 9-4.

Gabriel Reyes got the start for Lakeland, but the left-hander gave up three runs in the bottom of the first inning. He settled in to pitch through the third without further issue, and by then the offense was making a comeback.

Archer Brookman led off the third with a double and a pair of ground outs scored him. Max Clark singled and scored on a Clayton Campbell double to make it 3-2 Fort Myers.

Jason Miller took over for Lakeland in the fourth and promptly allowed a run, but he locked in to finish the rest of the seven inning contest with no issues.

In the fifth, Jose De La Cruz singled in Kevin McGonigle to make it 4-3 Fort Myers, In the sixth, they finally caught them. Patrick Lee singled and stole second and third base with one out in the sixth. Brookman walked and Alvaro Gonzalez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A wild pitch scored one run, and after McGonigle popped out, Max Clark lined a single the opposite was to score Brookman. A wild pitch brought in Gonzalez, and it was 6-4 Lakeland.

In the seventh, De La Cruz reached on an error. David Smith walked with one out, and Patrick Lee singled in De La Cruz. Brookman doubled in Smith and Lee, and it was 9-4. Miller closed it out with a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh.

Brookman: 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 2B, BB

Clark: 2-3, R, RBI, BB

Lee: 2-3, 2 R, BB, 2 SB

Miller (W, 3-1): 4.0 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, 7 K

On Saturday the pitching staff got knocked around as the Mussels fought back. Hayden Minton allowed five runs in five innings, and then Connor Holden managed to allowed five unearned runs in the seventh.

The Flying Tigers actually had an early lead when Eduardo Valencia, Campbell, and Jose De La Cruz all singled in the first. It was 2-0, but it was quickly a 5-2 game in favor of Fort Myers. In the third, McGonigle led off with a walk, was wild pitched to second, and then stole third and scored on an errant throw on the play. 5-3 at that point but it was all Fort Myers the rest of the way.

The game stayed that score until the aforementioned seventh. Holden hit a batter with one out, and then allowed a pair of singles to load the bases. A pop up dropped into left field but the runners had held up. Left fielder David Smith fired home but it got away from Valencia at the plate and everyone was safe. Holden struck out the next hitter and was almost out of the jam when he gave up a two-run double. Cleiverth Perez took over and allowed a two-run single before escaping the inning. Perez allowed a run in the eighth as well.

Lee: 2-4, K, SB

Minton (L, 1-2): 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K

Things weren’t looking so good heading into Sunday’s doubleheader, but instead the Flying Tigers took both games to win the series.

In Game 1, right-hander Zack Lee was again outstanding and the offense outlasted Fort Myers in a back and forth battle.

Lee spun five innings, allowing three unearned runs without a walk and while striking out eight on the day.

The game started with Kevin McGonigle hammering a line drive single to right field at 106 mph off the bat. He then stole second and third as Max Clark and Clayton Campbell struck out. Jose De La Cruz also struck out, and McGonigle was stranded.

In the second, Samuel Gil walked and scored on a Daneurys De La Cruz single. Lee allowed an unearned run in the third because of his own errant pickoff throw.

Patrick Lee singled and eventually scored on a Gil sac fly in the fourth to make it 2-1. In the fifth, David Smith led off with a walk and stole second base. McGonigle singled Smith to third, and he scored on a Clark grounder that forced McGonigle at second base. Clark then stole second base and scored on a Jose De La Cruz fly ball that went for an error. 4-1 Lakeland.

In the bottom of the fifth, Lee allowed two more runs, but a Jose De La Cruz throwing error, and Lee’s own balk, meant they were unearned.

So, it was a 4-3 game headed into the top of the seventh. Daneurys De La Cruz singled and stole second base. Smith struck out and McGonigle popped out, but Max Clark lifted a fly ball the opposite way for a two-run shot.

Cam Brown allowed a run in the bottom of the seventh but hung on for his second save.

Clark: 1-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR, 2 K, SB

McGonigle: 2-4, 2 SB

Lee: 2-3, R, SB

Daneurys De La Cruz: 2-3, R, RBI, SB

Lee (W, 2-1): 5.0 IP, 3 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 8 K

In Game 2, the Flying Tigers got good pitching from Andrew Sears and the usual suspects remained hot at the plate as they won 6-2 to take the series.

In the top of the first, Max Clark singled, stole second, and took third on a throwing error. Eduardo Valendia walked and Patrick Lee was hit by a pitch. Clayton Campbell walked to force Clark home, and a sacrifice fly from Samuel Gil made it 2-0 Lakeland.

Sears allowed a run in the bottom of the first and the second innings, then settled in to blank Fort Myers the rest of his outing.

In the top of the second inning, Daneurys De La Cruz led off with a walk and alter scored on a Clark single, and it was 3-2 Lakeland after two innings.

In the fourth, Alvaro Gonzalez led off with a single and rode home on McGonigle’s third home run of the season. 5-2 Lakeland. Jose De La Cruz added a solo blast to the cause in the fifth inning. Carlos Lequerica and Luke Stofel handled the sixth and seventh innings without allowing runs.

Clark: 3-4, R, RBI, 2 SB

McGonigle: 1-5, R, 2 RBI, HR

Gonzalez: 2-3, R, BB

Sears (W, 2-2): 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K

Coming Up Next: The Flying Tigers travel to Bradenton for six with the Marauders should the weather allow it.

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