W: Jordan Guerrero (2-0, 2.16 ERA), 6 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K ***CO-MVP***
S: Ian Hamilton (4, 0.00 ERA), 1 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Starting pitcher Jordan Guerrero was brilliant for 6 2/3 innings of shut out work, striking out seven to earn his second win of the season. OF Jacob May provided most of his offensive support with four hits, including two doubles, and one RBI. May also drew a walk, reaching base five times in the game. 3B Patrick Leonard had a pair of hits, one RBI and scored a run. Closer Ian Hamilton picked up save No. 4 at Triple-A as his ERA remains zero.
Matt Tomshaw (5.38 ERA): 5 1/3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
W: Ryan Burr (3-2, 2.95 ERA), 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
S: Jose Ruiz (7, 2.33 ERA), 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Every Baron had at least one hit in a see-saw affair in which the good guys pounded out 14 hits and eventually prevailed. Trailing 5-4 after six innings, the Barons tied it in the seventh inning after Matt Rose double and Keon Barnum brought him in with a single. They then scored three runs in the eighth inning to grab the win after a (game-winning) two-run double by Danny Mendick and Jameson Fisher’s RBI single. Zack Collins had a pair of hits, walked once, drove in one run and scored one run. Rose’s double was part of a three-hit night. RHP Matt Tomshaw struggled yet again, giving up five runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched but Birmingham’s relievers were phenomenal once again.
W: John Parke (2-1, 3.38 ERA), 7 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
S: Danny Dopico (4, 3.99 ERA), 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Trailing 4-1 entering the seventh inning, the Dash put up a “big, crooked number” with five runs and held on for the win over Salem. Mitch Roman led off the seventh with a single and advances to second on a wild pitch. After Gavin Sheets walked, Yermin Mercedes singled to load the bases. Then, Ti’Quan Forbes singled in one run. Following an error that brought home Sheets, Luis Gonzalez drew a walk with the bases loaded to bring in a run and Laz Rivera got hit by a pitch to force in another run. After Blake Rutherford struck out, Roman walked with the bases loaded to force in yet another run. Patience definitely paid off for the Dash on Thursday night. Gonzalez was again the offensive star with a pair of hits including a double, one RBI, one run scored, one walk and one stolen base — he’s now hitting .333 since joining the Dash. LHP John Parke got the win by pitching seven innings and allowing four runs while striking out four.
S: Jose Nin (4, 1.52 ERA), 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
Leading 1-0 in the ninth inning, the I’s plated a big insurance run when 3B Anthony Villa singled to score 2B Tate Blackman and double the lead. With Greensboro plating one run in the bottom of the ninth, that proved to be the game-winning hit. It was Villa’s second hit of the game, he also scored a run and drew a walk. DH Carlos Perez drove in the other I’s run with a single in the fourth inning. LHP Drew Harrington was sensational in this one, pitching seven scoreless innings and allowing just four hits while striking out seven for a 77 game score. When things got a bit shaky in the ninth, closer Jose Nin entered to pick up save No. 4 on the season.
C Adam McGinnis hit his fourth home run of the season in the second inning and Great Falls never trailed in winning their third straight game. Leadoff hitter CF Ian Dawkins continues to rake, with three more hits including a double, one RBI and one run scored. DH Romy Gonzalez had a pair of hits, one RBI and swiped his fifth bag of the season. Starting pitcher Chris Comito earned a quality start and a win with six innings of one (earned) run ball while striking out six. Bennett Sousa picked up his fourth save with a scoreless inning, keeping his ERA at 0.00.
L: SeanThompson (0-2, 5.68 ERA), 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
The AZL White Sox managed just one run on two hits, yet somehow held a 1-0 lead going into the eighth inning when it all fell apart as the AZL D-backs scored four runs to claim victory. C Ty Greene plated the only run of the game with a RBI single in the fifth inning. Ian Clarkin started and pitched four scoreless innings before departing. Reliever Sean Thompson got bombed as he couldn’t even pitch one full inning, recording two outs while giving up four runs on five hits. 2018 first-round draft pick Nick Madrigal, nursing a sore hamstring, played in his second game as a designated hitter and went hitless in two at-bats.
L: Pablo Yanes (0-1, 27.00 ERA), 1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Yordi Rosario (3.06 ERA): 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K ***MVP***
Starting pitcher Pablo Yanes barely made it out of the first inning, burying the DSL White Sox in a 3-0 hole they could never climb out of despite stellar bullpen work to keep them in the game until the conclusion. One day after failing to score even one run in 14 innings of baseball (doubleheader), the DSL White Sox managed just one run on three hits. 2B Edwin Peralta scored the only run on a RBI ground out by C Richard Garcia.
Mark Canha deposited a two-run single down the left-field line as the Oakland Athletics capped another three-run rally and their series victory over the Houston Astros with a 6-4 win on Thursday at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
The Athletics scored three runs off Astros right-hander Chris Devenski (2-2) in the eighth inning to complete the comeback they started with their three-run fifth inning against Houston starter Charlie Morton. Oakland claimed the four-game series with the victory, their 19th in 24 games.
The first three batters reached in the eighth for the Athletics, with Khris Davis and Matt Olson recording singles off Devenski before Matt Chapman plated Davis with a double that tied the game at 4-4. Two batters later, Canha drove home Olson and Chapman with a single that was reviewed to determine if the ball landed foul. The original ruling was upheld to give Oakland the lead.
Oakland rallied from a four-run deficit in the ninth on Tuesday before falling 6-5 in 11 innings in its lone series setback. Houston had won 8 of 9 games against Oakland entering the series.
Houston dropped a series at home for the first time since April 30-May 3 against the Yankees.
The Athletics set the tone for their comeback against Morton, who worked four scoreless innings yet didn’t survive the fifth. Morton had 62 pitches on his ledger by the close of the third but appeared to find his stride after retiring the side in order in a 14-pitch fourth. However, facing the bottom third of the Oakland order and leading 4-0, Morton loaded the bases without recording an out before surrendering a two-run double to 28-year-old rookie left fielder Nick Martini, who posted his first career extra-base hit. Stephen Piscotty delivered an RBI single two batters later and Morton was pulled, marking just the third time in two seasons with Houston that he failed to work at least five innings. He allowed three runs on six hits over 4 1/3 innings.
Astros third baseman Alex Bregman recorded the first hit off Athletics starter Trevor Cahill with his two-run double in the third inning. In the fourth, Tony Kemp greeted Oakland reliever Chris Hatcher with a two-run homer to left field, squeezing his third dinger just inside the foul pole.
Right-hander Yusmeiro Petit (3-2) earned the win in relief; Lou Trivino notched his fourth save.
Washington pitcher Alex Hardy celebrates after getting Cal State Fullerton’s Daniel Cope to ground out to second with the bases loaded to end the eighth inning of Game 1 of an NCAA college baseball super regional, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Fullerton, Calif.
OMAHA, Neb. — There aren’t many experts who expected to see the Mississippi State Bulldogs to advance to the College World Series. Even fewer expected to see their opening-round opponent, Washington, take the field here at TD Ameritrade Park.
The Huskies (35-24) are an underdog here — the lowest-RPI team in the field of 64 to receive an at-large bid.
They’ve never been to Omaha before. Hell, they’d never been to a super regional before last weekend. So how did they get here, and what can we expect from them now that they are? Let’s take a look.
Washington is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Pac 12 — they get no respect. In three of the last four years, the Huskies have finished in the top three in the league, despite its coaches picking them to finish in the bottom half.
It’s a team that was 20-19 at the start of May but has heated up in the last month for several reasons.
For one, it has taken a while for the 14 freshmen (and 16 total newcomers) to adjust to the Division 1 level, but they have. None more than freshman Braiden Ward, who hit .270 in the regular season but has hit .330 in the post-season and scored a team-high eight runs.
The Huskies have also overcome a ton of injuries.
The projected starting lineup from February of Willie MacIver (first base), Levi Jordan (second), A.J. Graffanino (shortstop), Ben Baird (third base) never was in the lineup at the same time. Graffanino, the team’s top hitter, missed 32 games with a pulled hamstring. Baird is the only one of the four who is still out, and he’ll miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury.
Over the course of the season, the Huskies have started six different players at second base and five different players at third base, first base, and in left field.
Now, the Huskies are as healthy as they’ve been all year.
The Huskies hit .274 as a team and averaged five runs in 59 games. Through six post-season games, they’ve hit .332 and averaged better than seven runs per contest.
The middle infield has been stellar. Second baseman A.J. Graffanino is hitting .500 in the post-season with 13 hits in six games and shortstop Levi Jordan is hitting .423 with four doubles. Neither has committed an error.
The Atlanta Braves drafted Graffanino, the son of former MLB veteran Tony Graffanino, in the eighth round of the draft two weeks ago. Jordan went in the 29th round to the Chicago Cubs.
Perhaps the biggest surprise for Washington has been senior designated hitter Joe Wainhouse. If the name is familiar, it’s because the Kent, Washington native played his freshman year at Ole Miss before transferring to Bellevue Junior College and eventually to Washington.
He played in 19 games as a freshman for the Rebels, hitting .125 with 12 strikeouts in 24 at-bats in 2015. He doesn’t swing and miss nearly as much these days — he’s hit .312 as a senior with team highs in home runs (19) and RBIs (59) and 69 strikeouts in 221 at-bats. More impressive, 13 of those home runs have come in the last 18 games.
“You have to get hot at the right time to get here,” MSU reliever Cole Gordon said. “And they’ve done that… To win in Omaha, you have to beat a good team. We know they are going to play hard and they want it just as bad as we do.
“We’re going to have to bring it, because they aren’t going to give in.”
Story continues below
Washington’s Joe Wainhouse watches his solo home run against against Cal State Fullerton during the fourth inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional game Saturday, June 9, 2018, at Goodwin Field in Fullerton, Calif.
The pitching matchup
Statistics suggest Washington starter Joe DeMers (pronounced Duh-Meers) is one of the best pitchers to ever come through the program, and he’ll get the ball when the Huskies and Bulldogs take the field at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The crafty right-hander from Martinez, California is 7-3 in 16 starts with a 2.56 ERA, 92 strikeouts and just 20 walks. His fastball is routinely in the 90-92 mph range, his go-to breaking ball is a plus slider and he often employs a changeup.
He was drafted in the 11th round by the Oakland A’s earlier this month.
“Last year I didn’t play very much,” he said. “I told my dad I didn’t know if this was fun anymore.”
Dale Harpenau talked Ty back into the locker room one more time.
This week, Southside graduate Ty Harpenau was drafted by the Atlanta Braves. For now, the Texas Tech junior isn’t sure what road he’ll take — other than the one from his Lubbock apartment to Rip Griffin Field, where his Red Raiders are hosting the Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA Super Regionals.
The Red Raiders opened the 2018 season by winning their first 14 games.
And, when the team started losing key pieces to injuries, Texas Tech adopted the “next man up” mentality.”
“We started off really hot,” Harpenau said. “At the beginning of the year, we lost Steven Gingery, who went in the fourth round of the draft (St. Louis). And we lost some other guys, too. To be where we are, it’s a credit to the coaches (Tim Tadlock) for bringing guys in who were ready to play. A lot of us have had a good year. we know how to play this game.
The Slammers had trouble getting the ball out of the infield in the sixth inning Friday night, but they had no problem scoring four runs.
Two walks, two infield hits and a throwing error helped the Slammers grab a 6-2 lead en route to an 8-2 victory over Windy City in the series opener at Joliet Route 66 Stadium.
Slammers shortstop Chaz Meadows got things going with an unlikely at-bat with the bases loaded.
“It was crazy,’’ Meadows said. “We just had to string it together. It wasn’t one of those innings where we’re all just getting big hits. It’s grinding out at-bats and finding a way to get on base.’’
With two outs, Meadows beat out a slow grounder in the infield that scored all three runners when the throw to first base wound up down the right-field line.
Alex Krupa’s bases-loaded infield hit gave Joliet a 3-2 lead before Meadows, the Slammers’ leading hitter, came to the plate.
“We’re not always going to get the big hits, but even the slow rollers we do hit, we’ve got to bust it down the line to get on, putting pressure on the defense,’’ Meadows said.
“You never know in this game,’’ Slammers manager Jeff Isom said. “We hit the ball hard in the gap, guys are catching it. We built this team with some speed, and that has definitely helped things out.’’
Right-hander Shane Bryant, in his third year with the Slammers (2-5), made his first start of the season.
“One of these games, you just have to grind it out and keep your team in it,’’ Bryant said. “Luckily, I was able to hold them off for five innings and (Matt) Sandoval came in and threw four shutout innings.’’
One reason Windy City (4-2) was atop the Frontier League East Division going into Friday’s game was the team’s 0.77 ERA.
ThunderBolts catcher Larry Balkwill pointed to past experience.
“The guys that have pitched are returning guys,’’ he said. “They know what they’re doing. And I think we caught a couple teams in that early season funk where they’re not timed up to pitches like they will be in July.
“We’ve gotten away with some stuff, but I also think our three main starters have come into the season ready and come out of the gate hot, really an emphasis on executing pitches and not missing a lot of spots.’’
Zac Westcott, Will Landsheft and Patrick Ledet have set the example for the pitching staff. Rookie Jaramy Jacobs (5 1/3 innings) made his first start Friday.
Isom saw his team win its second straight after losing five in a row to start the season.
“We got that monkey off our back,” Isom said. “Guys can relax a bit. They were trying to do way too much. I’ll correlate it to getting no-hit. All of a sudden it’s the fifth inning and you’ve got a no-hitter against you.
“Got to get a hit and guys start pressing. Then sixth inning, seventh inning, it gets harder and harder the later you go. If you can get a hit early in a game, it relaxes a team. Now with a win or two, maybe we can play a little looser.’’
The ThunderBolts took a 1-0 lead when David Oppenheim delivered a two-out, RBI single in the first inning. Will Krug’s sacrifice fly scored Tyler Straub, who had doubled, for a 2-0 lead in the fourth.
The Slammers tied it with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Travis Bolin blooped a double to score Danny Zardon, who had singled, and Ridge Hoopii-Haslam’s single drove in Bolin.
The second game is 6 p.m. Saturday and the series finale is 1 p.m. Sunday.
Tim Tierney is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.
Despite an 11-19 record, the Valparaiso Crusaders have power implemented into their starting lineup. Six of its the nine batters entered Tuesday hitting above .270.
Valparaiso flexed that power throughout the midweek game against No. 25 Illinois, outslugging the Illini, 11-7, at Illinois Field.
The Crusaders’ offense went to work early, getting four runs on Illinois starter Ryan Schmitt before even recording an out. Junior and senior outfielders Blake Billinger and Giovanni Garbella gave their team back-to-back RBI singles to get the first two runs on the board.
“Tonight was just a matter of guys coming out here and putting their uniform on,” said Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb. “We had no intensity. We just played poorly… It was just one thing after another where guys just didn’t have their head in the game.”
A wild pitch from Schmitt allowed the Crusaders to grab their third run of the game and sent Schmitt back to the dugout in favor of sophomore pitcher Zach Jones out of the bullpen.
Junior outfielder Doran Turchin quickly cut the deficit to one after hitting a three-run home run to left-center field in the first. A few batters later, junior catcher Jeff Korte tied the game when he sent a ball up the middle, allowing junior outfielder Jack Yalowitz to reach home.
After both teams washed in the second, the Crusaders’ bats went back to work in the third and fourth innings, getting two-run homers from senior third baseman Chad Jacob and Billinger in each frame off Jones.
After only four innings of baseball, Valparaiso had eight runs on 10 total hits.
The Illini only responded with a run in the bottom of third inning after junior first baseman Michael Michalak singled to left field, allowing Turchin to score.
Valparaiso added three more insurance runs in the seventh inning to make the deficit seem insurmountable for Illinois (23-9, 9-3 Big Ten).
Struggles on the Mound
All season long, the Illini have gone to their bullpen to claim the starts of their midweek home games. While the relievers don’t last longer than three innings at the maximum, the bullpen gave no consistency against Valparaiso.
“We were very poor on the mound,” Hartleb said. “There wasn’t one pitcher that came out and did a good job.”
Schmitt did not last through the the first inning, failing to record an out and giving up four runs on three hits and walking two Crusaders. Jones — one of the more consistent relievers out of the bullpen this season — went 3.2 innings, giving up four runs (two two-run homers) on six hits.
Junior pitcher Quinten Sefcik replaced Jones. Valparaiso put three more runs up on him in the seventh inning.
“We were behind on the count on a regular basis, and then being behind all the time, we didn’t throw quality pitches to get ourselves either back in or an advantage count,” Hartleb said. “If you’re behind in the count a lot, you’re going to get hurt, and we got hurt continuously tonight.”
The biggest play of the game for Illinois came in the first inning when Turchin hit his three-run bomb to left-center field. The home run was his eighth of the year, already matching his total from last season.
“Main thing for me is just laying off the stuff that is out of the zone and getting a pitch I know I can hit,” Turchin said. “Lucky for me, I got ahead in the count a little and knew I was looking for a certain pitch and got it.”
With slugging first baseman Ben Spillane out with an ankle injury since Friday, Turchin has picked up the load offensively for Illinois, but he’s making sure that he isn’t trying to do too much.
“For me, I don’t go up there thinking I need to hit a home run every time, I just want to go up there and have a quality at bat,” Turchin said. “I want to hit a ball hard and whatever happens, happens.”
Illinois will be hosting a weekend series against an 19-16 Grand Canyon team. The Antelopes have been lights out in the Western Athletic Conference, going 10-2 in conference play.
“We’ll practice hard on Thursday and hopefully we’ll come out in a right frame of mind,” Hartleb said.