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Huge night from Tyler Nevin powers Mud Hens; Erie and West Michigan win in extras

Scores, news, and notes from the Detroit Tigers’ farm system for Wednesday, August 16, 2023.

Toledo Mud Hens 8, Omaha Storm Chasers 2 (box)

Keider Montero hung quite a few sliders in this one, and consequently gave up a ton of hits, but he also put on a bit of a masterclass in pitching through traffic.

Right from the start there was trouble. With one out in the top of the first, the Storm Chasers loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. Montero struck out John Rave and got Tyler Gentry to ground out to escape the jam. Justyn-Henry Malloy walked with one out in the bottom half of the first and scored on a Tyler Nevin double to make it 1-0 Hens.

Montero gave up two more singles in the second, but struck out two and got out of the inning unscathed again. Andre Lipcius launched a solo shot, his eighth of the year, in the second inning to make it 2-0 Hens.

Omaha’s Nick Loftin got a belt high slider leading off the top of the third and crushed it to left for a solo shot. 2-1 Hens. Montero then issued a walk and allowed a double but racked up two more strikeouts and a pop-up to avoid any further damage. Another hanging slider to open the fourth was whacked for a double, and soft ground ball right back up the middle through a drawn in infield made it 2-2. However, Tyler Nevin went yard leading off the bottom of the fourth to re-open a one-run lead, and the Hens were off to the races from there.

Montero finished the day with five innings pitched and two runs allowed on 10 hits. Not the most efficient performance, and those looping sliders are a problem at this level, but he really did a nice job spotting the fastball and mixed in some nasty right-on-right changeups for a lot of whiffs and weak contact as well.

Nevin led off the sixth with a single, his third hit of the day. Wenceel Perez doubled him to third and a Lipcius sacrifice fly scored Nevin to make it 4-2 Hens. Ryan Kreidler singled in Perez, forcing a pitching change, and after Donny Sands flew out, Dillon Dingler singled for his first Triple-A knock, and Parker Meadows followed with a single that scored Kreidler. 6-2 Hens.

Nevin made it four hits in four appearances when he homered for the second time leading off the seventh. Kreidler walked with two outs and scored on a Donny Sands double. 8-2. Mason Englert and Rony Garcia handled the late innings without issue.

Nevin: 4-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, 2B

Perez: 1-3, R, 2B, BB, 2 K, SB

Lipcius: 1-3, R, 2 RBI, HR, K

Montero (W, 1-1): 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 10 H, 2 BB, 7 K

Coming Up Next: RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (0-2, 5.85 ERA) takes on LHP Anthony Veneziano (4-2, 3.90 ERA) on Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. ET.

Erie SeaWolves 7, Akron RubberDucks 6 (F/11)(box)

Ty Madden’s struggles with lefties continued in this one, but the offense fought back to take this one to extra innings and win it in 10.

Lefties Aaron Bracho and Petey Halpin each hit solo shots against Madden in the first inning to give the RubberDucks an early 2-0 lead. In the fourth, Justice Bigbie led off with a single and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Corey Joyce to get Erie on the board. Unfortunately, a single and a double to start the bottom half made it 3-1.

In the top of the fifth, Jake Holton led off with a walk and took second on a Mario Feliciano single. Trei Cruz doubled in Holton, and it was 3-2. Once again, the RubberDucks struck back against Madden. A single and a double produced a run in the bottom of the fifth, and it was 4-2.

The SeaWolves came right back with two in the top of the sixth. Holton doubled in Joyce, and Ben Malgeri and Daniel Cabrera drew walks, forcing in a run to tie the game at 4-4. And there it stayed until the top of the 10th inning.

With Bigbie on second, Jace Jung grounded out to move the runner to third. Akron intentionally walked Chris Meyers, but then walked Jake Holton on a wild pitch that scored Bigbie. A Malgeri double scored Meyers, and it was 6-4.

Tyler Mattison tossed a clean ninth and struck out Halpin to open the 10th, but Juan Brito singled in the runner on second to make it 6-5 Erie. A ground out forced the runner at second, but Corey Joyce had to jump a sliding runner and threw the ball away trying to turn the double play. The batter, Milan Tolentino, ended up on second on the play.

Then Mattison issued a walk. Things were looking pretty dicey, and the next hitter up singled in a run to tie the game. Mattison intentionally walked the next hitter to load the bases, and then finally got a fly out to end the inning and send it to the 11th.

Daniel Cabrera walked to put runners on first and second with no outs in the top of the 11th. Trei Cruz struck out, but Justice Bigbie, as you’d almost expect at this point, striped a line drive single the opposite way to score Mario Feliciano from third. Jace Jung and Corey Joyce struck out to send it to the bottom half with a 7-6 Erie lead.

Blake Holub took over, and immediately got a gift as Akron popped up a bunt just enough for Jake Holton to come screaming in from first for a diving catch and a throw to second to double off the runner. That play made this easy work for a good reliever like Holub, and he promptly carved up the final hitter to put this one away.

Bigbie: 1-4, 2 R, BB, SB

Meyers: 1-4, 2 R, BB, 2 K

Holton: 1-3, R, RBI, 2B, 2 BB, K

Madden: 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 5 K

Coming Up Next: LHP Adam Wolf (3-3, 3.00 ERA) gets the start at 6:35 p.m. ET on Thursday night. Akron has yet to announce a starter.

West Michigan Whitecaps 4, South Bend Cubs 3 (F/10)(box)

Troy Melton blanked the Cubs for six innings, and the offense had just enough to win in 10 innings on Wednesday.

Melton wasn’t racking up the strikeouts in this one, but he did get a ton of weak contact and didn’t walk anyone despite not really having command of his fastball or breaking balls. He allowed just three hits over six innings of work with one strikeout on the night.

The Whitecaps scored first in the third, when Austin Murr tripled and scored on a Carlos Mendoza single. There wouldn’t be another run scored until the eighth, when the Cubs tied it up against Conner Holden. Murr doubled with two outs in the bottom of the ninth but was stranded, so this went to extras.

Angel Reyes allowed two runs in the top of the 10th, but in the bottom half, Brady Allen led off with a single to move Carlos Mendoza to third. Gage Workman singled in Mendoza, and a wild pitch allowed both runners to advance. The Cubs walked Andrew Jenkins intentionally to load the bases, but an Eliezer Alfonzo sacrifice fly scored Allen to tie the game. Josh Crouch drew a walk, re-loading the bases, and with two outs, Dom Johnson drew a walk to push across the game winner.

Murr: 2-4, R, 3B, 2B, BB, SB

Mendoza: 2-5, R, RBI, 3 K, 2B

Melton: 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 K

Coming Up Next: It’s a 6:35 p.m. ET start on Thursday in West Michigan. RHP Garrett Burhenn (4-6, 4.11 ERA) takes on RHP Grant Kipp (0-0, 1.93 ERA).

Lakeland Flying Tigers at Bradenton Marauders (postponed-rain)

They’ll play two on Thursday, starting with Game 1 at 5:00 p.m. ET, to make this one up, if possible.