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Link Report for Thursday 5/8 - Organizational Honors for Gamel, Aguilar

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Thursday's Daily Menu: Because you'll likely need something to turn to after tonight's next big league "effort"...


All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: RHP Richie Gardner at Tucson (Diamondbacks), 8:15 PM pre-game; 8:30 gametime


Audio link:



Huntsville: LHP Brae Wright at home vs. Mobile (Diamondbacks), 6:50 PM pre-game; 7:05 gametime


Audio link via WUMP (game will also archive at this link):



Brevard County: RHP Mike Jones at home vs. Tampa (Yankees), 6:00 PM gametime


Sorry, no audio for this series...


West Virginia: RHP Evan Anundsen at home vs. Hagerstown (Nationals), 5:50 PM pre-game, 6:05 gametime


Audio link via WSWW, be sure to select the proper date (games will also archive at this link):


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Follow Thursday's action as it happens:
Here's what you do, right click on each of the links below and choose "Open in New Window". Open the Nashville Gameday. For the others, choose "Log" or "Recap". While you're listening to your minor league game of choice (or watching/listening to the big league Crew when they are playing), simply refresh your game log browsers every so often.





Brevard County:


West Virginia:


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 Pacific Coast League (AAA) - PCL American North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Omaha 16 15 .516 - 10-6 6-9 W1 Memphis 15 19 .441 2.5 6-10 9-9 W1 Iowa 14 18 .438 2.5 7-9 7-9 W1 Nashville 12 20 .375 4.5 7-8 5-12 W2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Huntsville 23 10 .697 - 16-2 7-8 W4 West Tenn 22 11 .667 1.0 10-3 12-8 L1 Carolina 19 14 .576 4.0 9-6 10-8 W1 Chattanooga 18 15 .545 5.0 11-7 7-8 L1 Tennessee 13 20 .394 10.0 6-9 7-11 W1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Palm Beach 21 13 .618 - 14-6 7-7 W1 Brevard County 17 16 .515 3.5 9-6 8-10 L3 Daytona 16 17 .485 4.5 6-8 10-9 L2 Jupiter 16 17 .485 4.5 11-3 5-14 L5 Vero Beach 15 18 .455 5.5 11-7 4-11 L3 St. Lucie 8 24 .250 12.0 5-13 3-11 W1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lake County 19 12 .613 - 9-7 10-5 W2 Delmarva 18 14 .563 1.5 12-8 6-6 W1 Greensboro 17 14 .548 2.0 5-9 12-5 W3 Lakewood 16 16 .500 3.5 10-10 6-6 W3 Hagerstown 15 17 .469 4.5 6-10 9-7 L3 Hickory 15 19 .441 5.5 6-10 9-9 L6 West Virginia 12 20 .375 7.5 5-9 7-11 L1 Lexington 10 22 .313 9.5 3-11 7-11 L3 

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Column: Power attendance numbers bad news to naysayers

by Jacob Messer

Charleston Daily Mail sportswriter


So much for the critics who said baseball attendance at Appalachian Power Park would climb in its first or second year, then plummet after that.


The West Virginia Power is on pace to break its total attendance record for the fourth consecutive South Atlantic League season, the same number of years it has played at the East End stadium.


"No one even gave us three years," Power General Manager Ryan Gates said. "They all said the novelty would wear off after one year or two years at the most. Now, people are finally starting to buy into it."


In the first 14 games of the 2007 and 2008 seasons, the organization lost two openings and the team had to play two doubleheaders because of inclement weather (snow in the former and rain in the latter).


The Power drew 36,430 fans for an average of 3,036 in its first 12 openings this season compared to 32,065 fans for an average of 2,672 in its first 12 openings last season.


"I'm ecstatic with it," said Gates, who credits the attendance increase to a combination of the nice weather, an enthusiastic community and a dedicated staff.


Gates is particularly pleased, he said, because it normally takes "a good month to ramp up" the attendance. This year, however, "people were just excited for the season to start again."


He cites the attendance for the team's second home game -- 3,254 -- on April 8, a Tuesday. That set the stage for this season's second-largest crowd -- 4,746 -- on April 10, a Thursday.


"Frankly, Tuesday hasn't been as big for us as it should be," said Gates, whose organization ranks seventh in the 16-team South Atlantic League in average attendance and ninth in total attendance. "So, that was a positive sign."


The average and total attendance for the Power was 3,713 and 248,766 in 67 openings in 2007; 3,746 and 239,721 in 64 openings in 2006; and 3,532 and 233,143 in 66 openings in 2005.


"Every season is important because you never want to take a step backward," said Gates, who noted that attendance figures grow significantly in the summer months. "Every year is about continuing momentum and keeping things fresh."


Tonight is scheduled to mark the first of an eight-game homestand for seventh-place West Virginia (12-20), which will have a four-game series against fifth-place Hagerstown (15-17) followed by a four-game series against first-place Lake County (19-12).


As long as Mother Nature cooperates, Gates said he is confident the organization can set another total attendance record this year.


"But you never know what will happen," he acknowledged.


The Power has only 12 home games compared to 17 road games this month.




WEST VIRGINIA doesn't have much representation among the league's statistical leaders.


The Power has no one in the hitting top 10 or the pitching top 10. The club also has no one among the top five in home runs, RBI, wins, saves, strikeouts, hits, triples, slugging percentage, extra-base hits, runs, games pitched, complete games, innings pitched, walks allowed, home runs allowed and shutouts.


Center fielder Lee Haydel is third in stolen bases with 14 (nine behind the leader).


Second baseman Zelous Wheeler is fourth in doubles with 11 (two behind the leader). Shortstop Brent Brewer and catcher Jonathan Lucroy are two of five others tied for fifth in that category with 10.


Wheeler also ranks fifth in on-base percentage at .414 (48 points behind the leader).


Pitcher Cory Frerichs is tied with six others for third in losses with four (one behind the leader).


The Power ranks 10th in the league in hitting with a .246 batting average and 14th in pitching with a 4.53 earned run average.




WEST VIRGINIA outfielder Kurt Crowell was released Wednesday.


Crowell hit .217 with two doubles, two homers, six runs and 11 RBI in 19 games with the Milwaukee Brewers' Class A affiliate.


Milwaukee promoted catcher Eric Fryer from extended spring training to replace Crowell.


The Brewers selected Fryer, an Ohio State product, in the 10th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft.




STILL NO word on second baseman Eric Farris and when his much-anticipated arrival in Charleston will occur.


Farris remains in Arizona, where he is rehabilitating an injury in extended spring training.


Farris is the Brewers' No. 23 overall prospect -- and No. 1 second baseman -- in their farm system, according to the 2008 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.

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If you're visiting the Link Report this evening to cleanse your pallette of the nasty aftertaste of big league Brewer baseball, then we will attempt to assist -- although given the early results, we hope you brought your mouthwash.


Final: Tampa (Yankees) 4, Brevard County 2

Brevard County Box Score

Losers of seven of eight -- when they tell you to play like big leaguers, boys, they don't mean like big league Brewers; the Manatees are around the mid-point in drawing walks league-wide thus far -- they did get six free passes here, but only had four hits; Zach Braddock allows two runs in four innings, walking four, struck out one; save chances scarce, so Omar Aguilar with a clean inning for work; Yankees ran into some outs and stranded 11 men of their own to keep things close...


Brevard County Game Log

Here's the Manatee 9th inning, down two runs -- look familiar?


  • - Charlie Fermaint walks.
  • - Jimmy Mojica walks. Charlie Fermaint to 2nd.
  • - Andy Bouchie out on a sacrifice bunt, first baseman Kevin Smith to second baseman Damon Sublett. Charlie Fermaint to 3rd. Jimmy Mojica to 2nd.
  • - Pitcher Change: Josue Selenes replaces Edgar Soto.
  • - Matt Cline flies out to right fielder Josue Calzado.
  • - Darren Ford walks.
  • - Lorenzo Cain called out on strikes.

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Final: Mobile (Diamondbacks) 12, Huntsville 2

It was much more competitive but reliever Dave Johnson had a disastrous "try-to-keep-it-close" seven-run 9th inning, we'll wait for the Huntsville site to provide details...


In progress: Nashville 8, Tucson (Diamondbacks) 3, in the 6th

Looks like resurgent Nashville might salvage the day for us...

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Huntsville Press Release:


Mobile Breaks Stars' Long Home Win Streak



Cyle Hankerd's grand slam highlighted a seven-run ninth inning rally that broke open a close game and powered Mobile to a 12-2 win over Huntsville Thursday night in the fourth of a five-game set at Joe Davis Stadium. The BayBears won for the first time in the series to improve to 16-18, while the Stars dropped to 23-11 but maintained their one game lead over West Tenn, which blew a five-run lead and lost to Mississippi, in the North Division.


The Stars lost a nine-game home win streak and fell for only a third time in 19 games on home soil.


Rusty Ryal's three-run home run, his third long ball of the series, staked Matt Torra to a 3-0 lead before he had even taken the hill. The home run was the second in as many starts allowed by Brae Wright, who did not surrender a round tripper in his first five turns.


Torra stranded runners at first and second in the first inning and left Matt LaPorta at second base to end the second inning before Chris Errecart's leadoff long ball in the fourth got the home team on the board. Torra then helped his own cause with an RBI double in the fourth to restore a three-run cushion. Wright was lifted from the game after a run-scoring single by Hankerd in the sixth pushed Mobile's lead to 5-1. He suffered the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings and dropped to 1-4. Wright remains without a victory after winning his double-A debut on April 6.


Torra was taken out after six frames during which he allowed a run on seven hits. He earned the win to improve to 4-1. Torra walked two and fanned five and has now struck out 30 and issued only four free passes in 42 innings. Mat Gamel finished with two hits, including a seventh inning homer that cut the lead to 5-2, in four tries for his 16th multiple hit game of the season.


Robert Hinton threw two scoreless frames before David Johnson took over in the ninth and could not finish the inning. Cesar Nicolas singled in a run, Frank Curreri, Torra's catcher in college, walked to force in a run prior to Hankerd blasting his second home run of the season to make it 11-2. Johnson was charged with seven runs, six earned, and has allowed nine earned runs, all with two outs, in two outings in the series over 1.2 innings. The 12 runs yielded by the Stars were the most in a game this season.


The series wraps up Friday night with left-hander Sam Narron taking the mound against BayBears' right-hander Adam Howard. Coverage of the game begins at 6:50 pm central time and can be heard locally on SportsRadio 730 WUMP and through the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com and www.730ump.com.


Huntsville Box Score

Alcides Escobar's OBP is .286, OPS .619; Mike Bell two doubles; Angel Salome on three times; Mat Gamel with a double and home run as he already has four multiple-hit games in May -- guess that April award hasn't weighed him down with expectations...


Huntsville Game Log

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Brevard County Site Game Summary:

BC Rally Falls Short
By Tyler Stover / Brevard County Manatees

The Tampa Yankees jumped out to a 4-0 lead Thursday night, and received just enough help from their bullpen to hang on for the 4-2 victory over the Brevard County Manatees. The Yankees scored one in the second, one in the fourth, and two in the fifth to build their lead. The first two runs were scored against losing pitcher Zach Braddock (0-2), while the other two were scored against reliever Shawn Ferguson.

The Manatees finally broke through with a run in the sixth inning on Lorenzo Cain's infield single, scoring Andy Bouchie. After a double steal by Darren Ford and Cain, the Manatees had runners on second and third with two outs, but were unable to capitalize, as Chuckie Caufield's groundout ended the threat. The Manatees tacked on another run in the eighth, as Ford reached on an error, and then came around to score on Taylor Green's single. In the ninth inning, the Manatees quickly put the tying run on base, as Charlie Fermaint and Jimmy Mojica both walked. Bouchie's sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position with just one out, and the Yankees were forced to bring in reliever Josue Selenes. Matt Cline's fly ball to right field was not deep enough to advance either runner, but Ford followed him with another walk to load the bases for Lorenzo Cain. It was not meant to be, though, as Cain struck out to end the game.

Alfredo Aceves (4-1) earned the win for the Yankees, holding the Manatees hitless for the first five innings and allowing just one run on one hit total. Selenes earned his first save of the season. Omar Aguilar pitched a scoreless ninth for the Manatees. He has not allowed an earned run since April 6, a span of 11 outings and 14.1 innings. Darren Ford's two stolen bases raised his season total to 21, which leads the FSL and is the second highest total in all of minor league baseball.

Friday's game will feature Alexandre Periard (3-1, 3.69) attempting to turn things around for the Manatees, who have now lost seven of their last eight. Tampa is shooting for their ninth straight victory. It will be a Salute to Local Beers at Space Coast Stadium. Get here early to try out all of your favorite beers from the area.

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Final: Nashville 10, Tucson (Diamondbacks) 4


Nashville Site Game Summary:

Link for Vinny Rottino photo, text follows --


Sounds Keep Rolling, Beat Tucson 10-4

TUCSON, Ariz. - The Nashville Sounds hung ten on Tucson for the second straight evening on Thursday at Tucson Electric Park, posting a 10-4 win over the host Sidewinders after defeating them by a 10-6 count the previous night.


The red-hot Sounds (13-20) recorded their eighth victory in the club's last 10 games and pulled to within 3 ½ games of first-place Omaha with the win.


The top five batters in the Nashville order did the bulk of the damage, combining to go 11-for-21 with all 10 of the team's RBIs on the night. Hernan Iribarren and Abraham Nunez paced the club with three hits apiece and Vinny Rottino drove in a season-high four runs.


The Sidewinders struck first, plating a pair of two-out runs in the bottom of the first inning against Richie Gardner on RBI singles by Jamie D'Antona and Jesus Merchan.


Another two-out rally increased the Tucson lead to 3-0 in the second when Alex Romero and Trot Nixon ripped consecutive two-baggers after Gardner had retired the frame's first two batters.


Nashville evened things in the third against Tucson starter Esmerling Vasquez. Ozzie Chavez opened the inning with a walk and moved to third two batters later on an Iribarren single. After Nunez put the Sounds on the board with an RBI single, Rottino tied the score at 3-3 with a two-run double to left.


AUDIO: Rottino Game-Tying Double


The Sounds jumped ahead 6-3 in the fifth with three runs against Sidewinders reliever Dustin Glant. After Rottino put the visitors in front with an RBI fielder's choice grounder, Brad Nelson drove a run-scoring double to center then scored the frame's final run on a Russell Branyan RBI single.


Nelson (2-for-5) increased Nashville's longest active hitting streak to eight games, which matches the first baseman's best effort this season.


Nashville blew the game open an inning later with a four-run sixth against Glant that increased the lead to 10-3. After the first three batters reached to load the bases, Iribarren ripped a two-run double to center. Rottino later plated his fourth run of the contest on a groundout before Nelson plated Iribarren with a single to push the Sounds into double figures on the evening. Glant failed to retire any of his five batters faced in the frame before Abe Woody allowed two of his three inherited runners to score.


Tucson registered the game's final tally in the bottom of the eighth when first baseman Josh Whitesell touched Sounds reliever Tim Dillard for a one-out solo homer, his seventh roundtripper of the year.


Gardner (2-1) earned a win for the second straight start after allowing three runs on six hits over five innings of work.


Dillard worked three frames. He allowed one run on two hits while striking out a pair of batters. Steve Bray pitched a scoreless ninth.


Glant (0-1) was tagged with the loss after surrendering seven runs on seven hits in his one-plus frames of action in relief of Vasquez.


The teams wrap up the series with an 8:30 p.m. CT finale on Friday. Right-hander Mark DiFelice (3-0, 2.65) will toe the rubber for the Sounds and face Tucson right-hander Billy Buckner (1-3, 6.19).


Nashville Box Score

Russell Branyan on base three more times, OPS of 1.033 -- as divisive as the debate is among fans, he'd still make a sweet platoon partner for Bill Hall, as of this point in time, anyway; Hernan Iribarren and Abraham Nunez on base five times apiece -- you wonder if Iribarren could become a Placido Polanco-type second baseman for someone some day...


Nashville Game Log

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Stars' night gets off to bad start, ends worse

Visiting BayBears hand Huntsville 12-2 setback


For The Huntsville Times


When your manager is kicking dirt and racing to the middle of the diamond to argue a missed call in the first inning, it is immediately evident that it's not your night.


For Don Money and the Huntsville Stars, Thursday was one of those nights. Mobile's Rusty Ryal ripped a first-inning, three-run homer off Brae Wright, and an attempted answer by the Stars was halted by a blatant missed call.


The game was close for a while, but the BayBears piled on late to win 12-2.


"It's baseball," center fielder Michael Brantley said. "It's a tough game.


"There are going to be days like this. It's how you respond to it."


Things got ugly in the ninth, but the tone was set early.


In the bottom of the first, Alcides Escobar sent a blooper into right field with Brantley already standing on second and nobody out. Mobile right fielder Cyle Hankerd made a sliding effort coming in on a ball he clearly smothered on a short hop. But first base umpire Mike Weinstein said Hankerd caught it, and he threw to second to double off Brantley.


Following a brief but spirited argument by Money that included a little dirt-kicking, the umpires deliberated for about five minutes before staying with the original wrong call.


A chorus of boos from the crowd of 1,658 at Joe Davis Stadium serenaded the crew as they jogged back to their positions.


"He trapped the ball," Brantley said. "I was standing on second and saw it hit the ground, and I made my judgment right there. Obviously, the umpire had a different one."


Immediately following the double play, Mat Gamel doubled over Hankerd's head, so the umpire gaffe cost the Stars at least a run and likely more.


Despite regularly digging a hole and roaring back all season, Huntsville (23-11) couldn't generate enough offense against Matt Torra (4-1).


The BayBears starter entered with a 1.75 earned run average and silenced the sizzling Stars bats.


He worked six innings, allowing seven hits and one run. The only run came in the bottom of the fourth when Chris Errecart launched a long home run down the left-field line to cut the lead to 3-1.


The BayBears answered right back with a run of their own and added another in the sixth.


By the time Gamel hit a towering home run over the second wall in right field, the Stars were running out of gas.


A couple of scoring opportunities fell by the wayside for Huntsville, which never could rally.


In the sixth, the Stars loaded the bases with two outs before pinch hitter Ryan Crew grounded out to the shortstop.


Then in the eighth, Cole Gillespie led off with a single, but Errecart immediately grounded into a double play.


David Johnson erased any hopes of ninth-inning heroics when he was lit up for seven runs, including a grand slam by Hankerd to finish the misery he started.

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Any reason why Tim Dillard isn't in Nashville's rotation? It seems like his prospect status fell a bit after a mediocre 2007, but he's done alright so far, and he's younger than some of the other guys in the rotation.
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Any reason why Tim Dillard isn't in Nashville's rotation? It seems like his prospect status fell a bit after a mediocre 2007, but he's done alright so far, and he's younger than some of the other guys in the rotation.

because they see him as a major league reliever. I don't know why. A guy that can go 2-3 innings would be useful in the bullpen right now.


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because they see him as a major league reliever. I don't know why. A guy that can go 2-3 innings would be useful in the bullpen right now.


The thing that intrigues me about Dillard is that he really hasn't pitched for that long, as he was drafted as a catcher. So in theory, he has more life left in his arm than most 24 year olds, and possibly more room for improvement. His career numbers remind me of 2005 Dave Bush, and I'd certainly be happy with that in our rotation right now.
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