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Link Report for Sat. 5/24 - Huntsville Bangs Out 19 Hits

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Saturday's Daily Menu:


All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: LHP Sam Narron at Memphis (Cardinals), 5:50 PM pre-game; 6:05 gametime


Audio link:



Huntsville: LHP Brae Wright at home vs. Birmingham (White Sox), 1:50 PM pre-game; 2:05 gametime


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



Brevard County: TBD at Dunedin (Blue Jays), 6:00 PM gametime


Sorry, no audio for this series...

West Virginia: RHP Roque Mercedes at home vs. Lakewood (Phillies), 5:50 PM pre-game, 6:05 gametime


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


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Follow Saturday'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 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Memphis 26 23 .531 - 10-11 16-12 W4 Iowa 23 24 .489 2.0 14-9 9-15 W1 Omaha 22 24 .478 2.5 13-13 9-11 W3 Nashville 19 28 .404 6.0 11-12 8-16 L4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Huntsville 30 18 .625 - 18-10 12-8 L5 West Tenn 30 18 .625 - 17-6 13-12 L1 Carolina 28 20 .583 2.0 13-10 15-10 W1 Chattanooga 25 23 .521 5.0 14-11 11-12 W1 Tennessee 17 32 .347 13.5 7-17 10-15 W1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Palm Beach 29 19 .604 - 17-8 12-11 L1 Brevard County 25 23 .521 4.0 16-10 9-13 L2 Vero Beach 23 24 .489 5.5 15-7 8-17 W2 Daytona 23 25 .479 6.0 9-13 14-12 L4 Jupiter 22 26 .458 7.0 13-10 9-16 L4 St. Lucie 10 38 .208 19.0 5-20 5-18 W1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lake County 30 18 .625 - 14-12 16-6 L2 Delmarva 26 21 .553 3.5 18-11 8-10 W2 Hagerstown 25 22 .532 4.5 12-12 13-10 W2 Hickory 26 23 .531 4.5 10-13 16-10 W2 Greensboro 25 23 .521 5.0 10-12 15-11 L3 Lakewood 24 24 .500 6.0 15-13 9-11 W3 West Virginia 19 28 .404 10.5 7-13 12-15 W2 Lexington 14 33 .298 15.5 5-16 9-17 L2 

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Link while active, text follows:


Power ready to make a move?

Four-game holiday weekend stand begins tonight vs. Lakewood

By Tommy R. Atkinson

Charleston Gazette Staff writer


Charleston baseball fans were spoiled last year.


The West Virginia Power rolled to the South Atlantic League first-half Northern Division title last season, setting a record for half-season wins and earning a Charleston minor-league team's first appearance in the league playoffs since 1992.


Fans have had to be a little more patient this season as a younger crop of prospects has made Charleston its home for the spring and summer.


Most of this year's players came from Helena (Mont.) of the rookie Pioneer League. The step up to the longer and more advanced Class A South Atlantic League has meant an adjustment period for the youngsters as evidenced by the Power's slow start in the standings.


"There's been a lot of adjustments this year,'' said first-year Power manager Jeff Isom, who managed Helena to the league title in the first half of last season. "We're seeing better pitchers. We started very slow the first month of the season [and] now we're starting to see guys having some very good plate appearances.


"I'm seeing a lot more quality at-bats recently. I think the adjustment period is about over. We're ready to get going. It's about winning now, and guys are doing what they can to produce for the team. It's just getting our rhythm and timing, and guys have done that. I feel we're going to have a good stretch of baseball.''


The Power returns to Appalachian Power Park at 7:05 tonight (6:05 Central) to begin a four-game homestand with the Lakewood (N.J.) BlueClaws over Memorial Day weekend.


West Virginia finished a grueling nine-game, eight-day road trip Friday night at Lake County (Ohio) with a 2-1 win. The Power (19-28) entered Friday's game in seventh place in the eight-team Northern Division but had a 5-4 mark on the trip.


"We've been doing all right,'' Isom said. "We've seen some pretty good pitching the last eight games. We've been in almost every one of these games. We've had a chance to win all of them.''


The Power sits 11th in the 16-team Sally League in batting average (.247), although that number has been on the rise. After the first 15 games, the Power was hitting a paltry .194.


The Power also ranks near the bottom of the league in on-base percentage (12th) and runs (199). Last year's edition of the Power led the league in hitting and scoring.


"We're starting to see a different club,'' said Isom. "One thing we've always done is play good defense. Now we're starting to see results, offensive production and pretty good pitching.''


Returning to familiar surroundings should continue the Power's revitalization.


"It's going to be nice to be home [and] sleep in our beds and see our own fans,'' Isom said. "We've been a better team of late.''


Isom said fans should expect better results as the season progresses.


"I think the majority of the guys will be with us [after the first half],'' he said. "If we could keep this group of guys together, we feel like we can challenge. We could be battling for that second-half title.''


Power points


Despite prospect Eric Farris' slow start - a .143 batting average and a .178 on-base percentage - Isom said having him on the team has been a plus.


Farris, who hit .346 last year at Helena after getting selected in the fourth round of the June draft, joined the Power on May 11 after a leg injury sidelined him in spring training.


"The way he plays during the game and his focus kind of carries over to the team,'' said the manager. "He brings a very good glove with him. He's still in spring training. We're starting to see more quality at-bats with him now.''


Isom said the Milwaukee Brewers, the Power's major league parent club, have six picks in the first two rounds in next month's amateur draft and wouldn't be surprised to see an addition to the roster here.


"You never know what you're going to get,'' he said. "If you have a college prospect with experience, they may want to challenge them [at this level].''


Power shortstop Brent Brewer, a holdover from last year's roster, has struck out 50 times in 164 at-bats. ... Mike Ramlow has put up some impressive numbers after a rough first season with the Power. The 6-foot-6, 185-pound left-hander has 31 strikeouts against only two walks in 31 innings this year with a 2-1 record, a 2.90 earned run average and two saves. ... Power reliever Wes Etheridge has a miniscule 0.84 WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched). An average below 1.00 is considered exceptional. Etheridge has a 3.10 ERA and leads the team with four saves.

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After dropping their fifth straight game last night, the Huntsville Stars have decided to guarantee a win Saturday against the Birmingham Barons. If the Stars do not win today, all fans in attendance can return with their ticket stubs Sunday and receive a free general admission ticket.


"My staff and I can't guarantee a win every night," said Stars' GM Buck Rogers, "but we can promise this much; if you buy a ticket for today's game you will get a win."


If the Stars do not win today or tomorrow, then the guaranteed win promotion will roll over to the next Stars' home stand. If a fan buys a ticket for today's game, that ticket will be good for every Stars' home game until they win.


Today is also Meatloaf Day as the Stars will host a Meatloaf cook-off during the game. The best meatloaf will win a prize package that includes a pair of 2009 Stars season tickets and, of course, a blue ribbon.


First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 PM as Mike Jones will take the hill for the Stars, opposite Birmingham's Ryan O'Malley.


(We'll have to see shortly if it's Brae Wright or Mike Jones today...)

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Final: Huntsville 11, Birmingham (White Sox) 6

Huntsville Press Release:

Stars Subdue Barons to End Skid



Brae Wright tossed seven strong innings and five players collected three hits apiece to lead a 19-hit attack in Huntsville's 11-6 win over Birmingham Saturday afternoon in the fourth of a five-game set at Joe Davis Stadium. The Stars stopped a five-game losing streak to improve to 31-18 and temporarily move a half game in front of West Tenn in the North Division, while the Barons slipped to 28-21 and saw their six-game win streak brought to an end.


Trailing 11-3 entering the ninth, the Barons scored on an Eric Hollis fielder's choice grounder, an infield single by Ricardo Nanita and a bases loaded walk to David Cook that cut the lead to five and chased E.J. Shanks from the game. David Johnson came on with the sacks full and two down and struck out Javier Castillo to end the game to earn his second save of the year.


The Stars, who had dropped seven of the first eight on the home stand, jumped on Ryan O'Malley for four runs in the first inning on RBI hits by Mat Gamel, Matt LaPorta and Angel Salome and a steal of home by Gamel. The home side added three more in the second on run-scoring hits by Alcides Escobar and Cole Gillespie and a scoring fly ball by LaPorta, who increased his league-leading RBI total to 45. Mike Bell's run-scoring hit in the third made it 8-1 Huntsville. O'Malley was lifted after yielding eight runs on 11 hits over three innings of work to suffer his first loss in four outings with the Barons.


Huntsville tacked on two more runs in the fourth against Shaun Babula before Robert Valido's lead off home run in the fifth made it 10-2 Huntsville. Chris Errecart's home run to open the sixth inning finished the scoring for the Stars, who had their lead off man reach base in each of the first seven innings and score five times. Gamel, Escobar, Errecart, who finished a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, and Salome all had three hits, as did Bell, who had his first three-hit game of the season.


Wright retired nine of the last ten batters he faced to finish off his performance and earn his first win since his first start of the season on April 6. He struck out four, walked one and recorded 14 ground ball outs, including three in the second and fifth innings.


The series finishes Sunday afternoon with right-hander Mike Jones taking the mound for the Stars against Barons' right-hander Carlos Torres. Coverage of the game begins at 1:50 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

If he had enough AB's to qualify, Angel Salome would be 6th in the Southern League in OPS -- Mat Gamel is 2nd to 27-year-old Mississippi Braves OF Jason Perry, Matt LaPorta is 5th, Chris Errecart 8th, and Cole Gillespie 13th; Gillespie has six steals without being caught -- he was 16-for-24 at Brevard last season...


Huntsville Game Log

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RHP John Axford is starting for the Manatees tonight -- he sports a 2.97 ERA in 36.1 IP, but has walked 27.


Starting lineups tonight include Brad Nelson at third base, night off for Russell Branyan -- or is he packing for Washington http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/wink.gif?




Crabbe LF

Sollmann 2B

Nix CF

Nelson 3B

Munson 1B

Rottino C

Katin RF

Heether SS

Narron P


Brevard County:

Ford CF

Cain RF

Green 3B

Holmberg 2B

Chapman 1B

Caufield DH

Fermaint LF

Maldonado C

Perez, Y SS


West Virginia:

Farris 2B

Wheeler 3B

Lucroy C

Wilson DH

Gindl RF

Fryer LF

Brewer SS

Rindal 1B

Haydel CF

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Mercedes with another forgettable outing, I wish someone who'd seen this guy pitch could give us some insight, because his stats sure don't justify the chances he keeps getting.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Personally I am starting to really pay attention to what Brad Nelson is doing this year! He had a bounce back year of sorts last year and a really solid start to this year! He had 3 more walks tonight and now has 29 on the year (compared to 25 k's)... OPS over 950! Nice!!!
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Starting lineups tonight include Brad Nelson at third base, night off for Russell Branyan -- or is he packing for Washington http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/wink.gif?

Good call, Jim!



Thanks, my Power 50 compadre! It seemed pretty obvious, didn't it?


What the Muscle Has Been Up To - Nashville Audio --


April 14 - Russell Branyan Game-Tying 9th-Inning HR


April 19 - Branyan Hits Second Of Back-to-Back HRs


April 26 - Russell Branyan Ties It With Homer


May 9 - Russell Branyan Game-Tying Three-Run HR


May 16 - Russell Branyan's Third Homer Of Night Wins It


May 21 - Russell Branyan Two-Run HR

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Final: Nashville 11, Memphis (Cardinals) 4


Nashville Site Game Summary:

Link for Laynce Nix photo, text follows --


Sounds Snap Skid, Pummel Redbirds 11-4

MEMPHIS - Enough was enough.


After four straight losses to the Memphis Redbirds, the Nashville Sounds pounded out 11 runs and tied a season-high with 18 hits to thump their division foes 11-4 on a beautiful Saturday night at AutoZone Park.


The Sounds also knocked a season-high five doubles to back starter Sam Narron (2-0), who threw his second consecutive quality start for Nashville since being called up from Double-A Huntsville. Narron threw seven innings and only gave up three runs to notch his ninth quality start in 10 outings this season.


Nashville recorded four of their runs off Memphis starter Jaime Garcia (1-2), who has struggled against Sounds hitters. His first loss of the season came on May 19 when he gave up five runs in five innings at Greer Stadium in Nashville.


The Sounds got to Garcia early with three runs in the first frame off three opposite-field hits. Laynce Nix got things started with a two-out single to left, and Brad Nelson followed with a walk. Eric Munson then continued his timely hitting with a two-run double to left-center field that scored Nix and Nelson. Munson has only six hits in his last 40 at-bats, but four of them have given the Sounds the lead in four separate games. Vinny Rottino added a run-scoring double of his own down the right field line that squeezed by Memphis first baseman Josh Phelps and brought Munson around to score.


Memphis manufactured its first run of the game with the help of leadoff man Brian Barden. After leading off with a home run on Thursday and a single on Friday, Barden knocked a double off the left field wall to start things off on Saturday. Jarrett Hoffpauir laid down a sacrifice bunt to move him to third, and Nick Stavinoha drove him in when he grounded out to first base.


Garcia's troubles with the Nashville lineup continued in the top of the second inning when Adam Heether led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Narron. Callix Crabbe then singled up the middle, and Heether beat a strong throw from Colby Rasmus in center field to extend the Sounds lead back to three. After starting 1-for-12 upon re-joining the Sounds, Crabbe is now 7-for-16 in his last four games.


Memphis responded with another run in the bottom of the fourth inning after Cody Haerther knocked a two-out double off the left field wall to score D'Angelo Jimenez, who had reached on a bunt single in the previous at-bat. After a walk drawn by Rasmus, Memphis nearly scored again, but Haerther was gunned down at home by Crabbe after Gabe Johnson singled to left field. The throw might have been a step late, but Sounds catcher Rottino blocked Haerther at the plate and made the tag.


The teams exchanged scoreless innings until the top of the seventh when Nashville put four more on the board. Steve Sollmann started the rally with a bloop single to right, and Nix followed with a line-drive double down the right field line off Memphis reliever Hugo Castellanos. Nelson walked to load the bases for Munson who drew a walk on five pitches to force home Sollmann from third.


Rottino followed with a soft liner to left field that scored Nix and kept the bases loaded for Brendan Katin, who nearly emptied them. He crushed a first-pitch fastball into the right field corner to bring Nix and Nelson around to score and move Rottino to third. The Redbirds brought in Matt Scherer to try to stop the bleeding after Castellanos failed to record a single out, and the big right-hander retired Heether, Narron, and Crabbe in order to end the inning.


AUDIO: Brendan Katin Two-Run Double


Castellanos pitched one-plus inning and gave up four runs off six hits and two walks to follow Garcia, who gave up four runs over five innings of work. Matt Scherer was the lone Redbirds pitcher to not give up a run after he pitched two scoreless innings of relief.


Joe Mather, who came in to play right field during the seventh inning, belted a solo shot in the bottom half of the seventh inning to left-center. The longball was his 11th on the year and his ninth in the month of May, but his RBI total has only reached 19 because eight of his 11 homers have been of the solo variety.


Memphis plated another run in the bottom of the eighth to bring the deficit to four when Hoffpauir led off with double and moved to third base on a wild pitch from Nashville reliever Steve Bray. Hoffpauir later scored on a groundout from Jeff Stavinoha.


Unfortunately for Memphis reliever Jason Motte, the Sounds did not mail in the ninth inning just because they had the lead. The Sounds plated two more runs when pinch-hitter Mel Stocker knocked a single to left field off Motte with the bases loaded after singles from Rottino and Katin and a walk to Heether. After consecutive pop outs from Crabbe and Sollmann, Nix hit another line-drive double down the right field line to score Heether from second. Nix was 4-for-6 on the night with an RBI and two runs scored to raise his average above .300 for the first time since May 1st.


Bray pitched one inning and gave up one run, and Mitch Stetter pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close the game for the Sounds.


The I-40 rivalry continues tomorrow night at 6:35 p.m. at AutoZone Park for the seventh straight contest between the two teams. Lefty Lindsay Gulin (1-4, 3.06) will toe the rubber for Nashville against right-hander Anthony Reyes (1-0, 2.31) for Memphis.


Nashville Box Score

What a season it's been for John Bradley Nelson -- on base five times in this game, now sporting a .323 / .429 / .525 line -- if you listened to Doug Melvin's two-part interview in Nashville that we've linked this week, then you know that Brad is effectively "buried" unless Prince gets hurt, but wow, what a two months it's been; more than half of Brendan Katin's hits have gone for extra bases; way to go, Sam Narron -- although the only softer tosser on the squad goes Sunday in Lindsay Gulin...


Nashville Game Log

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Audio Alley:

Nashville Pre-Game Audio Manager's Chat with Frank Kremblas

Conversation kicks off with some Tim Dillard analysis...


Huntsville Pre-Game Audio Interview with Pitching Coach Chris Hook:

Go to the WUMP audio archive of May 24th, then to the 12:00 minute mark; discussion begins on how Mike Jones' starting role stretches out the bullpen, which I still don't quite understand...

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Final: Dunedin (Blue Jays) 10, Brevard County 4

What a beatdown thus far -- 29-9 after three games...


Brevard County Box Score

Add two wild pitches and a HBP to John Axford's un-pretty pitching line, also Bobby Bramhall stranded three of Axford's baserunners; this staff is stressed now -- normally lights-out Bramhall's line is understandable given he threw three innings just three days earlier; yes, the Blue Jays' "Eckstein" that you've seen all week is rehabbing David; all three of Taylor Green's home runs have come in the last seven games -- that's huge, he doesn't need to be a 30-HR guy in the majors, but 15 would be nice -- Green and his .402 OBP with nearly more walks (26) than K's (28) in 165 AB's; Kenny Holmberg was hit by a pitch in the first and left the game in the 6th -- something may have stiffened up on him...


Brevard County Game Log

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Final: Lakewood (Phillies) 7, West Virginia 3

West Virginia Site Game Summary:




The West Virginia Power trailed all game and narrowed their deficit to one in the sixth inning of Saturday's game against Lakewood, but the BlueClaws scored three times in the final three innings to pull away with a 7-3 victory at Appalachian Power Park.


Derrick Mitchell hit a two-run homer off Roque Mercedes in the top of the first inning to give Lakewood the lead. Jonathan Lucroy's groundout scored Eric Farris in the bottom of the inning to bring the Power within one. Mercedes retired eight in a row before Mitchell began a string of three consecutive two-out hits in the third and scored on Michael Taylor's first of two doubles to bring Lakewood's lead back to two. Karl Bolt began the top of the fourth with a base hit and he scored on Jesus Sanchez's single.


Caleb Gindl singled to right field in the fourth inning to score Steffan Wilson, making it a 4-2 game. Gindl was held to a single because he slipped on a patch of grass that hadn't completely settled and he was not the first to slip on that patch of grass between first base and the first base coach's box. The game was delayed 24 minutes while the patch of grass was repaired. West Virginia scored their final run in the sixth inning on Zelous Wheeler's fourth homer of the season. Dominic Brown's sacrifice fly plated T.J. Warren in the seventh before Bolt scored on Brent Brewer's error in the eighth and Taylor drove in Lakewood's final run on a single in the ninth.


Jacob Diekman (1-3) allowed three runs on seven hits over five innings to get the win while Ben Pfinsgraff (1) earned the save while tossing four scoreless innings in relief, holding the Power to just two hits and striking out three. Pfinsgraff has held the Power scoreless over eight and two thirds innings of relief this season. Mercedes (1-4) allowed four runs on nine hits over six innings and was tagged with the loss.


The Power fell to 19-29 with the loss and the BlueClaws improved to 25-24 with the win. The BlueClaws have now won four in a row. While every Power player reached safely, Curt Rindal was the only Power player with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4.


The Power will continue their four game series against Lakewood Sunday afternoon. Left-hander Dan Merklinger (0-3, 5.93) will get the start for the Power and the BlueClaws will counter with right-hander Chance Chapman (1-4, 3.22). The first pitch is scheduled for 2:05 PM (1:05 Central).


West Virginia Box Score

6,204 in attendance hungry for some Power success; Brent Brewer's double "raised" his average to .216 and his OPS to .611 -- he does have more stolen bases (16) than errors (15), although there have been newspaper reports the Charleston faithful are getting a bit impatient after seeing the still-only-20-year-old Brewer for nearly a season and a half now; nothing horrible, but fans were salivating at the thought of the Bryson & Tyson Show (Rob & Nick) in the preseason, and it hasn't really been a show-stopper -- a reminder it's a big jump for non four-year college pitchers from rookie ball to full season; thankfully it's a split season in the Sally League and standings will be erased soon enough...


West Virginia Game Log

Caleb Gindl thrown out at the plate in the 4th on a relay throw, it was the second out, so that hurt...

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