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Link Report for Wednesday 4/15 -- AAA starter John Ely exits with (undisclosed) injury


Mass Haas

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Wednesday's Daily Menu:

 

All times are Central

 

Colorado Springs: RHP John Ely at home vs. Round Rock (Rangers), 7:05 PM pre-game, 7:35 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link

 

We welcome Dan Karcher, who is the longtime play-by-play voice of the Sky Sox; follow him on Twitter @SkySoxKarch

 

MiLB.TV -- for subscribers; all Colorado Springs games, home and away, will be available to watch via MiLB.TV's $49.99 season-long package ($12.99 to pay for a single month). The audio feed is from the home team. The video of each game is archived online, which is a nice feature. All MiLB.TV details available at the link.

 

NOTE: Notice that on MiLB.TV's page, you can click on "Filter", then "Milwaukee Brewers", and you'll see just the Crew's organizational TV lineup.

 

**********

 

Biloxi: RHP Brooks Hall at Mobile (Diamondbacks), 6:20 PM pre-game, 6:35 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link

 

We also welcome Chris Harris as the very first play-by-play voice of the Shuckers! Follow Chris on Twitter @CHarris731. We'll be looking off to his very promising "Shuck Dynasty" blog. All games, home and away, are scheduled to be radio broadcast.

 

MiLB.TV - Seven of the ten Southern League teams telecast their home games, and Biloxi staff indicates it is hopeful it will be eight when the new stadium opens.

 

NOTE: Mobile unfortunately, does not offer MiLB.TV as an option.

 

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Brevard County: LHP Wei-Chung Wang at St. Lucie (Mets), 5:00 PM pre-game, 5:30 gametime; this game will be played at Dodgertown in Vero Beach

 

Free Live Audio Link

 

Dave Walkovic returns as the play-by-play voice of the 'Tees; follow the Brevard broadcast booth staff on Twitter @BCManateesRadio, as all games are scheduled to be broadcast in 2015.

 

No Florida State League games are available via MiLB.TV.

 

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Wisconsin: RHP Angel Ventura at home vs. Burlington (Angels), 6:15 PM pre-game, 6:35 gametime; RHP Cy Sneed set to appear in a tandem role

 

Free Live Audio Link - WNAM

 

Chris Mehring is back to do his customary fantastic work as the Voice of the Rattlers. Follow him on Twitter @CMehring; we'll link to Chris' infamous blog often -- Rattler Radio.

 

NOTE: Forty-two (!) of the Rattlers' 70 home games will be broadcast on TV this season. Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (9) and WACY-TV My NEW32 (34) will split duties. We'll let you know when and who, and remember to refer to the Rattlers' full TV schedule so you can coordinate your DVR activity.

 

***

 

So, for the $49.95 season-long package, fans in Brewer Nation can watch all Sky Sox games, most Shuckers games, and all Timber Rattlers home games and some road games.

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NOTE: Forty-two (!) of the Rattlers' 70 home games will be broadcast on TV this season. Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (9) and WACY-TV My NEW32 (34) will split duties. We'll let you know when and who, and remember to refer to the Rattlers' full TV schedule so you can coordinate your DVR activity.

 

DVR ALERT!

 

Click that link above and you'll see that three more Wisconsin games are on local TV this week, today through Friday, three night games, all on My NEW32. Plan accordingly.

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Look for these just prior to the respective game times --

 

Colorado Springs Media Notes - It's a unique link each day, but look for it under the "Multimedia" banner on the Sky Sox' site.

 

Biloxi Media Notes - Linked on the Shuck Dynasty blog

 

Brevard County Media Notes - It's a unique link each day, but look for it under the "Multimedia" banner on the Manatees' site.

 

Wisconsin Media Notes - Linked on the Rattler Radio blog

 

***

 

STANDINGS:

 

AAA - Pacific Coast League American Northern Division

 

AA - Southern League South Division

 

High-A - Florida State League North Division

 

A - Midwest League Western Division

 

***

 

Sortable individual stat pages:

 

Colorado Springs

 

Biloxi

 

Brevard County

 

Wisconsin

 

***

 

Weather.com:

 

Colorado Springs, CO

 

Mobile, AL

 

Vero Beach, FL

 

Grand Chute, WI

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Speaking of weather --

 

How will the weather affect the Mobile BayBears opening homestand vs. Biloxi?

By Creg Stephenson, al.com

 

The Mobile BayBears will open the home portion of their 2015 Southern League baseball season on Wednesday, or at least they are scheduled to do so.

 

With heavy rains in the Mobile area expected through the weekend, it's unclear how many of the five games against the Biloxi Shuckers the BayBears will be able to get in. First pitch Wednesday at Hank Aaron Stadium is tentatively set for 6:35 PM, though the forecast calls for a 90 percent chance of rain and at least an 80 percent chance every day through Sunday.

 

When and if the BayBears and Shuckers do play, the series will mark the first between the two closest Southern League opponents in terms of proximity. Less than 60 miles of I-10 separate Mobile and Biloxi, the new home of the former Huntsville Stars.

 

Mobile is off to a 3-2 start, having clinched its opening series at Birmingham with an 11-3 victory on Monday. Right fielder Alex Glenn leads the way at the plate for the BayBears, posting a .985 OPS with 9 RBIs and Mobile's lone home run of the season thus far.

 

Biloxi, which will play its first 55 games of the season away from home while its stadium is being completed, went 3-1 at Pensacola to begin 2015 (the Monday series finale was rained out). Shuckers shortstop Orlando Arcia -- the Milwaukee Brewers' No. 1 prospect -- leads the Southern League in the early going with a 1.388 OPS, on the strength of two doubles, a triple and four RBIs in 17 plate appearances.

 

Right-hander Aaron Blair (1-0, 4.50 ERA), rated the No. 4 prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks' system is expected to get the start Wednesday against Biloxi's Brooks Hall (1-0, 0.00 ERA). Also scheduled to pitch in the series for Mobile are Braden Shipley and Yoan Lopez, also Top 10 prospects in the Diamondbacks' organization.

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From Tuesday's action --

 

VIDEO: Elian Herrera makes a great diving stop at second base for Colorado Springs

 

***

 

VIDEO: Matt Clark hits a two-run homer in the 9th to bring the Sky Sox to within a run

 

***

 

AUDIO: RHP Kaleb Earls joins Jerry Durney on the Manatees Radio Network

 

***

 

AUDIO, Game Highlights: Hiram Burgos blanks the Mets in 1-0 Manatees victory

 

***

 

VIDEO: ICYMI in Tuesday's Link Report, Wisconsin Game Highlights

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Not Wei-Chung Wang's day today. Got out of a bases loaded jam in the 1st when Dominic Smith lined into a double play. 2nd inning is a disaster though. 4 walks no K's, 5 hits and 6 runs, still in the 2nd. Does not get out of the 2nd.

 

1 1/3 inning 6 H, 6 R, 5 W, 0 K, 2 men still on base. Michael Conforto, the Mets top pick last year, hit a grand slam.

 

Update. Both runners scored so Wang charged with 8 runs.

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For some reason I'm listening to Chris and watching the game at the same time, even though the online radio is about 30 seconds behind the game action, I don't normally do both. Today I am and Chris dropped a nugget on Gatewood I thought was interesting. In yesterday's LR I talked about Gatewood watching his HR and the drama which ensued around home plate. Today Chris mentioned that Jake thought about it, decided he was wrong, and actually apologized for his actions.

 

Gatewood's stock just keeps going up with me.

"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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St. Lucie 9, Brevard County 3

 

Manatees have not posted a story yet. Here's the Mets' version:

 

Mets bust out the bats in 9-3 win over Manatees

St. Lucie wins the Second Annual Jackie Robinson Celebration Game

St. Lucie Mets

04/15/2015 9:49 PM ET

 

 

 

VERO BEACH, Fla. (April 15, 2015) - The St. Lucie Mets busted out of their slump and beat the Brevard County Manatees 9-3 on Wednesday night.

 

A crowd of 5,915 was on hand at Holman Field in Historic Dodgertown to watch the Second Annual Celebration Game.

 

The Mets put on an offensive show for the huge crowd in Vero Beach. Michael Conforto bashed a grand slam off of Wei-Chung Wang in an eight-run second inning.

 

Jhoan Urena added a two-out, two-run double later in the frame and the Mets were in cruise control the rest of the way.

 

Robert Gsellman improved to 2-0 in his second start. He limited the Manatees to one run and three hits in five innings. He struck out seven.

 

Robby Coles pitched a perfect seventh and Akeel Morris struck out four in two scoreless innings to finish the game.

 

Everyone in the Mets lineup reached base safely. Maikis De La Cruz collected three hits. Champ Stuart got on board five times, twice on singles and three times on walks.

 

Amed Rosario and Colton Plaia had two hits apiece.

 

Coming into the game the Manatees held the Mets to one run and five hits in the first two games of the series.

 

The Mets (4-3) and Manatees (3-3) conclude their four-game series on Thursday at Tradition Field. It's Dollar Night with $2 draft beers, $1 hot dogs, $1 soda and $1 popcorn. First pitch is 6:30 p.m. and the gates open at 5:30 p.m.

 

The game can be heard on www.stluciemets.com with the Voice of the Mets, Adam MacDonald.

 

Brevard County Box Score

 

Brevard County Game Log

 

Johnny Davis led off the game with a base hit. It was all downhill from there beginning with Davis being picked off base (which is becoming a habit with this club).

 

Wei-Chung Wang had a game score of 5 if you're a fan of that stat.

 

Chris McFarland was 2-4 with a double and an RBI. He and Neda are the only hitters in today's lineup that ended the day above the Mendoza line.

 

The key second inning:

 

 

St. Lucie Bottom of the 2nd

 

Amed Rosario singles on a line drive to left fielder Omar Garcia.

Jhoan Urena flies out to center fielder Johnny Davis.

Colton Plaia singles on a fly ball to left fielder Omar Garcia. Amed Rosario to 3rd.

Victor Cruzado singles on a fly ball to right fielder Clint Coulter. Amed Rosario scores. Colton Plaia to 2nd.

With Champ Stuart batting, wild pitch by Wei-Chung Wang, Colton Plaia to 3rd. Victor Cruzado to 2nd.

Champ Stuart walks.

Jeff McNeil walks. Colton Plaia scores. Victor Cruzado to 3rd. Champ Stuart to 2nd.

Michael Conforto hits a grand slam (2) to left center field. Victor Cruzado scores. Champ Stuart scores. Jeff McNeil scores.

Maikis De La Cruz singles on a ground ball to shortstop Angel Ortega.

With Dominic Smith batting, wild pitch by Wei-Chung Wang, Maikis De La Cruz to 2nd.

Dominic Smith walks.

Pitching Change: Stephen Peterson replaces Wei-Chung Wang.

Amed Rosario flies out to center fielder Johnny Davis. Maikis De La Cruz to 3rd.

Jhoan Urena doubles (1) on a fly ball to center fielder Johnny Davis. Maikis De La Cruz scores. Dominic Smith scores.

Colton Plaia singles on a ground ball to left fielder Omar Garcia. Jhoan Urena out at home on the throw, left fielder Omar Garcia to catcher Rafael Neda.

 

Jhoan Urena was the only Met in the lineup failing to score in the inning and he was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

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For some reason I'm listening to Chris and watching the game at the same time, even though the online radio is about 30 seconds behind the game action, I don't normally do both. Today I am and Chris dropped a nugget on Gatewood I thought was interesting. In yesterday's LR I talked about Gatewood watching his HR and the drama which ensued around home plate. Today Chris mentioned that Jake thought about it, decided he was wrong, and actually apologized for his actions.

 

Gatewood's stock just keeps going up with me.

 

You can hear Gatewood discuss this in the audio from Chris' postgame blog from Tuesday night.

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... and now Gatewood just made the best defensive play so far this season; he ranged left and dove to stop the ball near 2B, then got up and made throw just in time to get the runner. Denson was pretty fired up after the play... the boys have some juice tonight playing with the lead.

"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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Manatees honored to play where Jackie did

Michael Parsons, FLORIDA TODAY

 

http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/8df96f7fd2510f3847f3302008b5f0c1818edbb3/c=0-34-772-613&r=x404&c=534x401/local/-/media/Brevard/2015/04/15/B9316987763Z.1_20150415220054_000_GK2AH321E.1-0.jpg

 

Brevard County Manatees starting pitcher Wei-Chung Wang delivers the first pitch against St Lucie at Holman Stadium at Dodgertown (Photo: Michael Parsons/FLORIDA TODAY)

 

VERO BEACH – April 15th is always a special day in baseball, but walking the complex that Jackie Robinson once walked around made it a bit more special this year.

 

For the second straight year, the Brevard County Manatees hosted a game at Dodgertown on Jackie Robinson Day as a way to commemorate the man who made it possible for African-Americans to play the sport.

 

The history was not lost on the Manatees, who stepped onto the field in front of 5,915 fans Wednesday evening against the St. Lucie Mets.

 

“It’s big. Jackie Robinson is the only reason that I get to play today,” outfielder Johnny Davis said before the game. “To be able to play in the stadium as he played, it is an honor.”

 

Davis led off the game with a single but was picked off stretching a lead at first base. It was the beginning of a bad night for the Manatees as St. Lucie scored eight times in the second inning against starter Wei-Chung Wang, who walked five in his 1 1/3 innings. St. Lucie went on to defeat Brevard County 9-3.

 

The big inning was highlighted by Michael Conforto, the No. 5 prospect in the Mets system, who crushed a grand slam to straightaway center field for his second home run of the season.

 

While it was a rough night for the Manatees, it was still a special night for the players involved.

 

“It is cool, such an honor to be in the same facility and play on the same field that Jackie Robinson played on,” said Manatee outfielder Victor Roache who drove in one of the Manatees runs. “You know, it is definitely special for me being an African American, all the things he did so that I can play this game now. He gave us the opportunity.”

 

Davis said that he and second baseman Chris McFarland talked about this opportunity and about how McFarland would be standing in the same place Robinson did 68 years ago.

 

So it was fitting that it was McFarland who put the Manatees on the board in the fifth inning with an RBI double. McFarland finished 2-for-4 on the evening. He also made a couple of nice plays on defense.

 

Roache has now played in both games with the Manatees and said that each time he takes the field at Holman Stadium, it is special.

 

“Not many teams get a chance to do what we do,” Roache said. “We are playing on a field where Jackie Robinson and so many other legends played, and to say you did it on Jackie Robinson Day is special. It is definitely a privilege.”

 

Despite what the scoreboard said, it was a night that nobody on the field will forget for quite some time,

 

“This is one of those days that you mark down. I am glad it was early in the season so I didn’t have to wait,” Roache said. “The history that is on this field, it is amazing.”

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Final: Round Rock 9, Colorado Springs 4

 

Peterson's Big Night Not Enough In Sky Sox Loss To Express

Ely Pulled Early in 9-4 Loss

By Ed Pearsall / Colorado Springs Sky Sox

 

http://www.milb.com/assets/images/6/5/8/117913658/cuts/04_09_042_pk_7plsrtpp_dnae0dml.jpg

 

Shane Peterson reached base three times with a double and a home run in Wednesday's loss to Round Rock. (Photo by Paat Kelly)

 

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - Shane Peterson continued to swing a hot bat with a two-run home run in the Sky Sox 9-4 loss to the Round Rock Express before a crowd of 1,413 on a cold Wednesday night at Security Service Field.

 

Starters John Ely and Luke Jackson pitched extremely well through three innings of work, each giving up just one hit while striking out three in those early frames.

 

Ely would be the first to bend as he surrendered two runs to the Express in the top half of the fourth. A walk to catcher Tomas Telis and base hit to left fielder Alex Hassan left runners on first and second with no outs. Ely struck out center fielder Jared Hoying swinging on a beautiful tailing changeup before former Padres utility man Kyle Blanks rocketed a line drive off the left field fence, scoring Telis for an RBI double. The very next batter, second baseman Ed Lucas, would ground out to second, allowing Hassan to cross the plate and giving his team a 2-0 lead. Ely would retire first baseman Chris Gimenez on a groundout to third for the final out of the inning.

 

Ely came out to start the top of the fifth inning and quickly walked leadoff hitter Trever Adams before working a 2-1 count to former Sky Sox Thomas Field. It appeared that catcher Juan Centeno was walking out to the mound to make sure that he and his pitcher were on the same page when manager Rick Sweet and the Sky Sox training staff emerged from the first base dugout. Ely was removed from the game immediately and replaced by right-handed reliever Chris Leroux. After Centeno caught Adams stealing second for the innings first out, Leroux would finish off Field and outfielder Ryan Strausborger with consecutive strikeouts to end any further scoring threats.

 

The Sky Sox would answer with a two-spot of their own in the bottom of the fifth. A leadoff walk to centerfielder Matt Long put a runner on first with no outs. Elian Herrera was caught looking on a called third strike before Shane Peterson stepped up to the plate. Peterson would not squander the opportunity to get his team on the board, drilling reliever Ryan Rodebaugh's (1-0, 10.80) offering over the right field wall, knotting the game at two.

 

The tie game wouldn't last long as Leroux would give up four earned runs over his next two innings of work. The Express would not look back, tagging lefty reliever Jed Bradley for three more runs in the eighth.

 

Centeno lead off the home half of the sixth with a triple to the gap in right center field before coming home on a Pete Orr groundout to second base. Matt Long would also triple in the inning before left-hander Alex Claudio settled down to strike out both Herrera and Peterson swinging to end the sixth.

 

Right-hander Rob Wooten took the mound in the ninth, striking out two batters in the only scoreless pitching appearance of the night for Colorado Springs.

 

The Sox again showed some life in the bottom of the ninth against lefty Juan Perez, getting off to a strong start with a leadoff double by Peterson. After Matt Clark was set down looking, right fielder Bryan Petersen came through with a clutch RBI single (his third consecutive base hit) to score Peterson, making the score 9-4. Unfortunately the Sky Sox could not find the late inning magic they were hoping for as Perez got Ben Guez to pop out to first before inducing a sharp ground out off the bat of Luis Sardinas to conclude the ballgame.

 

The series finale set for Thursday morning was postponed at the game's conclusion and rescheduled as part of a double header on the afternoon of May 17th at Security Service Field. Nick Additon will look to get the Sky Sox back on track against right-hander Arnold Leon as the team hits Nashville to start an eight game road trip on Friday, April 17th with first pitch set for 6:05 PM MST (7:05 Central).

 

Colorado Springs Box Score

 

So a very thin AAA starting rotation becomes thinner if RHP John Ely is sidelined. RHP Josh Roenicke would become a likely candidate to join the club from extended spring training. The Sky Sox fall to 2-5 on their now-completed opening homestand, 4th (last) place in the division. Shane Peterson has 40-man roster status, and becomes a call-up candidate depending on Carlos Gomez' status. Another disappointing inning for LHP Jed Bradley. Matt Clark was 0-for-5 with three K's.

 

Colorado Springs Game Log

 

Bradley as 6-3 turned into 9-3 quickly --

 

Round Rock Top of the 8th

 

Pitching Change: Jed Bradley replaces Chris Leroux.

Jared Hoying grounds out, second baseman Pete Orr to first baseman Matt Clark.

Kyle Blanks walks.

Ed Lucas walks. Kyle Blanks to 2nd.

Chris Gimenez singles on a fly ball to right fielder Bryan Petersen. Kyle Blanks scores. Ed Lucas to 3rd.

Trever Adams singles on a line drive to left fielder Shane Peterson. Ed Lucas scores. Chris Gimenez to 2nd.

Thomas Field doubles (2) on a fly ball to left fielder Shane Peterson. Chris Gimenez scores. Trever Adams to 3rd.

Ryan Strausborger grounds out, shortstop Luis Sardinas to first baseman Matt Clark.

Tomas Telis grounds out, second baseman Pete Orr to first baseman Matt Clark.

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Ask and we shall receive!

 

We requested that the Sky Sox archive interview audio (what, no Rockies fan site ever did so?), and we're pleased that they've come through.

 

Via You Tube, catching up so far and looking forward to linking future audio, so enjoy in the office today:

 

Manager

(from Opening Night)

 

1B

(from last Friday)

 

(from last Sunday)

 

3B/1B

(from Tuesday)
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Final: Wisconsin 4, Burlington 0

 

Wisconsin earns first win of 2015 with a shutout of Burlington

Ventura and Sneed combine on 5-hitter and walk none

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

 

http://www.milb.com/assets/images/0/8/8/118574088/cuts/Angel_Ventura_Article_Photo_zqt03vc9_xuiy982s.jpg

 

Angel Ventura pitched five shutout innings to earn the win for the Timber Rattlers on Wednesday night. (Wisconsin Timber Rattlers/Ann Mollica Photo)

 

GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers are in the win column in 2015. The Rattlers defeated the Burlington Bees 4-0 Wednesday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium to snap a six-game losing streak to start the season. Angel Ventura and Cy Sneed provided the pitching while Jake Gatewood and Greg McCall chipped in for the offense in the victorious effort.

 

McCall put Wisconsin (1-6) in front with a two-out single in the bottom of the second inning. Carlos Leal singled with one out and took second on an errant pickoff throw. An infield grounder sent Leal to third with two outs. McCall singled to left on a 3-2 pitch to drive in Leal for the 1-0 lead. The hit by McCall was the first by a Timber Rattlers hitter with two outs and a runner in scoring position this season. Wisconsin hitters were 0-for-19 in that situation before McCall's timely hit.

 

Gatewood stepped to the plate with runners at second and third with one out in the fourth inning and lined a double to left to drive in two runs for a 3-0 lead.

 

In the sixth inning, Gatewood reached second with two outs after a dropped fly ball in right field. He would steal third base and score on a wild pitch for Wisconsin's last run.

 

Burlington (4-3) got an infield single from Jake Yacinich to start the game. Ventura retired the next eleven batters he faced in the game. The right-hander out of the Dominican Republic tossed five innings, allowed three hits, walked none, and struck out four to earn his first win of the season.

 

Sneed took over in the top of the sixth and retired the Bees in order. Sneed worked four innings, allowed two hits, walked none, and struck out three to get his first save of the season.

 

Game two of the series is Thursday night. Zach Hirsch (0-1, 3.00) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Burlington will send Jeremy Rhoades (1-0, 1.59) to the mound. Game time is 6:35 PM.

 

Thursday is an Arty's Old Fashioned Thirsty Thursday. Soda, beer, and Arty's Old Fashioned drinks will be available for $2.

 

If you can't make it to the game, there are several ways to catch the action.

 

MyNEW 32's Sports Showdown will televise the game beginning at 6:30 PM. The radio broadcast is on AM1280 WNAM starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 6:15. The game is also available on TuneIn Radio and MiLB.TV.

 

WP: Angel Ventura (1-0)

LP: Michael Bolaski (0-1)

SAVE: Cy Sneed (1)

 

TIME: 2:26

ATTN: 1,511

 

Wisconsin Box Score

 

What beautifully clean efforts from RHP's Angel Ventura and 2014 3rd rounder Cy Sneed; Ventura, recently-turned 22, is a "veteran" of three Dominican Summer League seasons and one Maryvale campaign. Monte Harrison is just 3-for-20, but his OBP is .346, he was plunked twice in this one. Second baseman Gregory Munoz, coming off a solid Helena season, reached three times via single and two walks. And yes, catcher Carlos Leal singled twice and walked - he's now sporting a .647/.667/.824 line (11-for-17, one double, one triple, one walk, one K). He threw out one of two baserunners.

 

Wisconsin Game Log

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Rattler Radio Blog -- Chris' Postgame entry includes audio interviews with Manager Matt Erickson, RHP Cy Sneed, and catcher Greg McCall, who was the DH Wednesday.

 

Also be sure to visit the page to learn about a very unique strikeout in this game.

 

You'll also see these highlights, just a bit of the audio is absent:

 

 

***

 

Here's a second look at the game highlights, via the MyNew32 TV broadcast. Happy bunch of Rattlers at the end!

 

Also, an on-air video postgame interview with Matt Erickson.

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Here's the Brevard County Game Story via the Manatees --

 

Eight-Run Second Dooms ‘Tees in Dodgertown

Mets defeat Manatees, 9-3

 

Vero Beach, Fla. – It was a night to remember before the game, as ceremonies for Jackie Robinson Day brought smiles to both teams and a crowd of almost 6,000. However, on the field, it was a night that the Brevard County Manatees (3-3) would just as soon forget. An eight-run second inning doomed the ‘Tees in a 9-3 loss to the St. Lucie Mets (4-3) on Wednesday night at Holman Stadium.

 

After escaping a bases loaded jam in the first inning when Dominic Smith lined into a double play, the roof fell in for Wei-Chung Wang (1-1, 9.82 ERA) in the second. It would start on a floating single to left by Amed Rosario. After Jhoan Urena flew out, Colton Plaia singled to left; Victor Cruzado would plate the first Met run on a bloop single to right. Wang would not help his cause, as he walked Champ Stuart and then Jeff McNeil with the bases loaded to make it 2-0. The deciding blow would come off the bat of Michael Conforto, who launched a grand slam to center that was assured as soon as it left the bat, and put St. Lucie ahead, 6-0. It would get worse as Maikis De La Cruz legged out an infield single and Dominic Smith walked, bringing Wang’s night to an end.

 

After Stephen Peterson coaxed a flyout from Rosario, Urena doubled to left, as Omar Garcia and Johnny Davis appeared to have some confusion as to who would take charge on a fly to left-center. Plaia singled to left for the second time in the inning, but it would be a footnote this time, as Urena was thrown out at the plate by Garcia to finally end the frame.

 

The final line for Wang, who had pitched so well in Brevard County’s home opener last Friday, was not pretty: 1.1 innings, five hits, eight runs (all earned), five walks and no strikeouts.

 

The Manatees offense did show some fight as the night went along. The ‘Tees would get a run back in the fifth inning after Rafael Neda and Angel Ortega were hit by starting pitcher Robert Gsellman (2-0, 1,74) to start the inning. A fielder’s choice with Garcia up moved Neda to third and erased Ortega. Following a strikeout by Davis, Chris McFarland doubled to right, his fourth of the season, bringing Neda home and getting the Manatees on the board.

 

The ‘Tees would get a pair in the sixth off of reliever Ricky Knapp. Taylor Brennan singled to lead off, then Garrett Cooper doubled to left to bring Brennan home; Cooper advanced to third when the relay throw got by Plaia. Victor Roache picked up his second RBI in as many nights when a grounder to third with Cooper heading home caught Urena in the chest, allowing Roache to reach.

 

The Mets would get one back in the bottom half to close the scoring following a leadoff walk to Conforto. Maikis De La Cruz singled when a line drive bounced off Manatees reliever Tyler Spurlin and into centerfield. Conforto advanced to third when Smith grounded into a double play and would come home to score on an infield single by Rosario.

 

St. Lucie’s bullpen extinguished any flickering hope of a Manatees comeback after that, retiring nine of the final 10 Brevard County hitters they faced. Regular Mets closer Akeel Morris struck out five of the seven batters he faced.

 

Chris McFarland was the lone bright spot on the night for the Manatees offensively as he logged two more hits to raise his average to .435 on the season. For the Mets, leadoff hitter Champ Stuart reached base in all five plate appearances.

 

The four-game series concludes at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie on Thursday night at 6:30 PM (5:30 Central). After Saturday night’s game was suspended, RHP Brandon Woodruff (0-0, 0.00) will make his first official start. He’ll be opposed by RHP Kevin McGowan (1-0, 0.00).

 

***

 

McFarland is 10-for-23 with four doubles (one walk, six K's).

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