Toledo Mud Hens 13, Louisville Bats 6 (box)
Reese Olson got knocked around early for the second straight outing, but the Hens’ offense erupted for nine runs in a three-inning stretch late to come back and ultimately blow out the Bats on Thursday.
Olson struggled and couldn’t get through the fourth inning, giving up five earned runs. He racked up six strikeouts, but his sinker and slider each got smoked quite a few times.
The Hens were down five when they got it going at the plate in the bottom of the fourth. Justyn-Henry Malloy lit the fuse with his first home run of the season. Andre Lipcius and Donny Sands reached base and Andy Ibañez cracked home run number four to make it 5-4 Bats.
Lefty Jace Fry and then right-hander Brendan White took over from Olson and were pretty good. White allowed a solo shot but struck out three in two innings of work.
Brendon Davis finally gave the Hens the lead with a two-run shot in the sixth, and then they blew the game open with a five-run seventh inning. A two-run double from Andre Lipcius, and a Donny Sands three-run shot did all the damage in the frame. An inning later, Malloy pulled a double through the left side to plate Jermaine Palacios and Parker Meadows, and that was all she wrote.
Justyn-Henry Malloy is just living on base to open the season, so it was nice to see him knock one out of the park too.
Malloy: 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR, 2B, 2 SO
Lipcius: 3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B
Sands: 1-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR, BB, 2 SO
Olson: 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 6 SO
Coming Up Next: RHP Ashton Goudeau (0-0, 7.71 ERA) takes on the Bats RHP Luke Weaver (0-0, 0.00 ERA) on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Erie SeaWolves 13, Altoona Curve 10 (F/10)(box)
The SeaWolves outlasted the Curve in a real slobberknocker on Thursday night in Erie. Colt Keith was the hero, coming through with a walkoff home run in the tenth inning, but there were a lot of huge at-bats as they came back in both the ninth and the tenth to pull out an exciting victory.
The SeaWolves took an early lead in the second inning on RBI hits from Daniel Cabrera and Diego Rincones. However, starter Dylan Smith struggled a bit, giving up three runs on five hits, with four strikeouts to one walk. Yaya Chentouf took over with one out in the third and allowed three more runs of his own.
The SeaWolves got back in it in the fourth inning. Gage Workman led off with a walk and a Josh Crouch double put runners at second and third. Daniel Cabrera grounded out, scoring Workman, and Rincones came through with an RBI single to make it 6-4 Altoona.
And that’s where things stayed for quite a while. The Curve bullpen carved up the SeaWolves for the next four frames, but the SeaWolves bullpen managed to keep the score where it was.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Cabrera drew a walk and Rincones doubled him to third. Suddenly the home crowd was buzzing. Altoona couldn’t convert an out on Mario Feliciano’s ground ball to shortstop, and Cabrera scored to put them one down. Trei Cruz singled to left, and suddenly the game was tied.
Just as quickly as things got exciting, the Curve silenced the crowd with a four run outburst in the top of the tenth. The SeaWolves weren’t close to done yet, however.
A pair of walks to open the inning doomed Altoona. Crouch doubled with the bases loaded to make it 10-8 Altoona. An error led to another run, but Grant Witherspoon struck out, and Crouch was thrown out at home trying to score on a Feliciano ground ball. With two outs, yet another Altoona error allowed Trei Cruz to reach and Cabrera to score. Colt Keith had a pretty rough game to this point, but then he stepped to the dish and did this:
That was delicious.
Rincones: 3-4, 2 RBI, 2B
Crouch: 2-5, R, 2 RBI, 2 2B, SO
Keith: 1-6, R, 3 RBI, HR, 2 SO
Smith: 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, BB, 4 SO
Coming Up Next: LHP Brant Hurter (0-0, 0.00 ERA) takes on the Curve’s RHP Jared Jones (0-1, 3.86 ERA) at 6:05 at UPMC Park on Friday.
West Michigan Whitecaps 6, Lansing Lugnuts 0 (box)
Whitecaps pitching dominated and the lineup crushed four home runs to pull away to a convincing victory on Thursday.
Lefty Carlos Pena got the start and while he didn’t get many quick outs, he carved up the Lugnuts anyway. Pena struck out seven, scattering four hits and one walk over 3 1⁄3 innings. He only threw 73 pitches, but it’s clear the Tigers are being pretty careful with their starters to open the year. The bullpen had Pena’s back, allowing just two singles and two walks the rest of the way.
Outfielder Ben Malgeri has been red hot to start the season, and he stayed that way in this one. He opened the fourth inning with a double, moved to third on a Jace Jung single, and scored on an Eliezer Alfonzo ground out. Austin Murr hit a solo shot in the fifth, his first of the season. Alfonzo lifted a two-run shot in the sixth, and Izaac Pacheco followed with a solo shot for his first of the year. The ‘Caps were up 5-0 by that point. Malgeri wasn’t done yet, adding a solo shot to lead off the eighth, his third already on the season.
Malgeri: 2-3, 3 R, RBI, HR, 2B, BB
Pena: 3.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, BB, 7 SO
Coming Up Next: RHP Keider Montero (0-0, 2.25 ERA) takes on RHP Jacob Watters (0-0, 3.00 ERA) on Friday at 6:05 p.m. ET.
Lakeland Flying Tigers 6, Bradenton Marauders 3 (box)
The Flying Tigers staked starter Troy Melton to an early lead, and while he struggled a little, the Marauders never really mounted a big comeback push.
Outfielder Seth Stephenson got Lakeland off to a quick start. He led off the bottom of the first with a single, stole second, and scored on an Andrew Jenkins single. Stephenson was in the thick of things again in the third. His one-out triple sparked a five run inning capped by Mike Rothenberg’s three-run home run.
Melton topped out at 98 mph, but really struggled with his control at times, walking three in just 3 2⁄3 innings. He allowed two runs in the fourth, but the bullpen locked it down pretty well from there.
Stephenson: 2-4, 2 R, 3B, SO, SB
Jenkins: 2-4, R, 2 RBI, SO
Rothenberg: 1-3, R, 3 RBI, HR, BB
Melton: 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 SO
Coming Up Next: First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday night at Publix Field. No starters have been announced.