Thursday’s low Class A action saw a couple of extra inning games, strong performances by Dellin Betances and Madison Bumgarner, and a tough 2008 debut for Ryan Kalish.
South Atlantic League
Hagerstown (Nationals) 8, Greensboro (Marlins) 7, 14 Innings
It seems like there’s been one marathon game almost every night lately in low Class A, and Thursday it was Greensboro and Hagerstown’s turn. Greensboro rallied from a 6-0 deficit to tie it up, then fell behind again when Hagerstown second baseman Jake Smolinski homered in the top of the eighth. The Grasshoppers rallied again to force extras, tying the game on Ryan Anetsberger‘s two-out RBI single off Hagerstown closer Martin Beno in the bottom of the ninth. Hagerstown took the lead again on first baseman Bill Rhinehart‘s RBI single in the top of the 14th, but by then the game had dragged on so long that the Suns resorted to bringing in reserve third baseman Trevor Lawhorn for the first pitching appearance of his pro career. Lawhorn allowed the first two hitters he faced to reach, but wouldn’t you know it, he got out the jam by retiring the next three on a sac bunt, a fielders choice, and then he got Greensboro’s big right fielder Mike Stanton to pop out to finally end the game. Hagerstown right fielder Michael Burgess went 1-for-7, but the one was a three run home run.
Augusta (Giants) 4, Hickory (Pirates) 2
Augusta DH Thomas Neal hit his sixth home run of the year, a two-run shot in the first. Greenjackets starter Madison Bumgarner struck out eight and walked none over 6 1/3 inningso of work in evening his record at 2-2. First baseman Angel Villalona went 2-for-4, just his third multi-hit game of the year.
Asheville (Rockies) 11, Greenville (Red Sox) 6
Asheville scored five runs in the top of the ninth to break a 6-6 tie. The big blow was a three-run inside-the-park home run by Asheville’s Lars Davis, who was able to come all the way around when Drive right fielder Ryan Kalish fell down while attempting to catch Davis’s fly ball. It capped off a rough night for Kalish, who was making his 2008 debut after being called up from extended spring training, as he went 1-for-6 and struck out three times.
Charleston (Yankees) 5, Columbus (Rays) 3
Charleston keeps piling up the wins, as they improved to 18-3 by knocking off Columbus. RiverDogs DH Wady Rufino hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth off Columbus’s Kevin Boggan to break a 3-3 tie. RiverDogs starter Dellin Betances was solid again, striking out seven over six innings of work.
Lake County (Indians) 4, Kannapolis (White Sox) 2
Kannapolis starter Charlie Shirek had allowed only one earned run in 23 2/3 innings on the season coming into Thursday night, but Lake County got to him for four runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings. Intimidators right fielder Jose Martinez went 3-for-4 and had both of Kannapolis’s RBIs.
Quad Cities (Cardinals) 5, Burlington (Royals) 4
The only game in the MWL on Thursday night provided plenty of drama. Burlington built a 4-0 lead in the sixth, but Quad Cities rallied back, tying the game with two runs in the bottom of the ninth, the tying run coming with two outs on a single up the middle by D’Marcus Ingram. After Burlington stranded two runners in the top of the 10th, Quad Cities loaded the bases without having the ball leave the infield on a walk, an error by the pitcher, and a bunt single. Luis De La Cruz‘s sac fly brought in Jose Garcia for the winning run.