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Link Report for Friday 4/24


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Friday's Daily Menu: TGIF!

 

All times are Central

 

Colorado Springs: RHP Tyler Cravy at Round Rock (Rangers), 6:35 PM pre-game, 7:05 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 Jorge Lopez at "home" vs. Jacksonville (Marlins), 5:35 PM pre-game, 6:05 gametime; the Shuckers will be the home team in this series, including last at-bat rights

 

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: This series from Jacksonville is airing on MiLB.TV, nice.

 

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Brevard County: RHP Hiram Burgos at Dunedin (Blue Jays), 5:00 PM pre-game, 5:30 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link -- Dunedin Feed

 

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

 

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

 

**********

 

Wisconsin: RHP Orlando Torrez at home vs. Peoria (Cardinals), 6:15 PM pre-game, 6:35 gametime; expect RHP Angel Ventura to also pitch 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!

 

Tonight's Timber Rattler game will be televised on MyNew32 TV, 6:30 PM air time.

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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:

 

Round Rock, TX

 

Jacksonville, FL

 

Dunedin, FL

 

Grand Chute, WI

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As per this Mark McCarter article, the Shuckers will wear Huntsville Stars uniforms for two different games in Huntsville's Joe Davis Stadium.

 

The jerseys will be auctioned off for charity, which is a nice touch. Imagine one set would be the white, another the greys...

 

***

 

On a separate note, one wonders what the condition of the field will be for these mini "homestands".

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VIDEO (Round Rock feed): Luis Sardinas whacks a triple in Colorado Springs' 5-3 Thursday loss to Round Rock

 

***

 

Three-quarters down Biloxi's Media Notes tonight, you'll find Chris' "audio highlights of last night’s 5-1 victory including the Nick Ramirez three-run homer in the 3rd inning."

 

EDIT: Chris just also added Friday's pregame interview with OF Michael Reed, earlier on the same linked page.

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Maybe it got by me in the past, but this TRats schedule just stinks playing the same teams over and over. This is the 3rd series against Peoria, they've played 2 series against Burlington, they have a series against Clinton coming up, then Quad Cities, then back to Cedar Rapids whom they just played, then back to Quad Cities, then Clinton again.

 

I just don't remember so little variety in the schedule and it is entirely possible that somehow I've just never noticed.

 

The only thing I can say about the way the schedule is aligned is that every team is going to have excellent scouting reports on one another come June.

 

Carlos Leal just threw out another baserunner, I believe he's 8 for 17 gunning would be base stealers so far this season.

"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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Dunedin 6, Brevard County 3

 

Not much to like in this one. Seemed like a hangover from yesterday's 9th when the Manatees came within one pitch of blowing an 8 run lead. Hiram Burgos has been having slow starts but getting stronger as the game goes on. Not in this one. While he gave up no runs in his last 3 innings, he was constantly pitching in deep counts and getting in trouble. Final line: 5 IP, 7H, 3W, 5K, 4 R

Stephen Peterson gave up home runs to the first two hitters he faced, including a left hander. Tristan Archer worked the 8th and notched 2 K's.

 

Clint Coulter was 0-3 with a HBP. He is not locked in as he was in the previous series. Has been swinging early in the count instead of waiting for his pitch. Chris McFarland and Taylor Brennan each had three K's in this game. Garrett Cooper had 2 singles. Omar Garcia had an assist on a prospective sac fly at home.

 

 

Brevard County Box Score

 

Brevard County Game Log

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Blue Jays Beat Brevard, 6-3

Dunedin Uses Three-Run Second to Pull Away

Brevard County Manatees

 

Dunedin, Fla. –The Dunedin Blue Jays (7-9) got to Hiram Burgos early and were able to quiet the bats of the Brevard County Manatees (7-8) late in a 6-3 victory Friday Night at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

 

With one out in the bottom of the first inning, Roemon Fields reached on an infield single. After a strike out, Fields stole second. Mitch Nay drilled a double to center to score Fields and open the scoring.

 

The Manatees responded immediately. Victor Roache and Garrett Cooper singled to start off the second. After a Cameron Garfield fly out advanced the runners, Paul Eshleman singled to score Roache and tie the game. Angel Ortega dropped down a bunt single to plate Cooper and give the Manatees a 2-1 lead.

 

The lead would not last long, however. With one out, Derrick Loveless singled to right field. Burgos (1-2, 3.27 ERA) then walked Jorge Saez and Christian Lopes to load the bases. Major League Rehabber Michael Saunders doubled to right to give the Blue Jays a 3-2 advantage. The next batter, Fields, singled on a liner to left to score Lopes and extend the Dunedin lead to two.

 

Brevard County cut the lead in half in the fourth. With one out, Garfield singled to left. He stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Saez. Eshleman collected his second RBI of the night with a run-scoring grounder to first.

 

The Blue Jays would pull away in the sixth against new pitcher Stephen Peterson. Loveless and Saez hit back-to-back home runs to start the frame. Peterson would settle down. He retired the next three batters and two via strike out. Peterson also threw a scoreless seventh.

 

Wil Browning tossed a perfect ninth inning to record his fifth save of the year. Tiago Da Silva (2-0, 2.25 ERA) collected the win with two scoreless innings of relief.

 

Burgos was saddled with the loss. He surrendered four runs on seven hits and three walked over five innings. He fanned five. Tristan Archer pitched a scoreless eighth and recorded two strikeouts.

 

The Manatees were held to seven hits and did not have an extra-base hit. Cooper went 2-for-4 and was the only player to record a multi-hit game for Brevard County.

 

The two clubs will play the rubber match of the series tomorrow. LHP Clint Terry (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his first start for the Manatees. He has thrown six scoreless relief innings. At the time of publication, the Dunedin starter was not yet announced.

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Col. Springs Top of the 9th

 

Ben Guez flies out to center fielder Ryan Strausborger.

Donnie Murphy walks.

Matt Long homers (1) on a fly ball to right center field. Donnie Murphy scores.

Pitching Change: Sam Freeman replaces Jerad Eickhoff.

Pete Orr walks.

Luis Sardinas grounds out, first baseman Kyle Blanks to shortstop Hanser Alberto to first baseman Kyle Blanks. Pete Orr to 2nd.

Matt Clark grounds out, shortstop Hanser Alberto to first baseman Kyle Blanks.

 

***

 

That 9th inning HR, folks would be the only hit 24-year-old Rangers prospect Jerad Eickhoff would allow. Sky Sox fall to 4-11. One of the reasons the Colorado Springs relationship with the Rockies was strained was a long string of poor records at the AAA level. Yikes...

 

Details early in the AM.

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I thought these MLB depth veteran AAA teams were supposed to perform better? That certainly hasn't been the norm from the Brewer perspective.

"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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Matos & Leal homer in Rattlers 5-1 win over Peoria

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

 

http://www.milb.com/assets/images/6/1/4/120369614/cuts/4_Apr24_Matos_yxrrg3yz_f3hi7k8g.jpg

Sthevrin Matos homered, doubled, and drove in two runs for the Timber Rattlers on Friday night in their 5-1 win over the Peoria Chiefs. (Wisconsin Timber Rattlers/Ann Mollica)

 

GRAND CHUTE, WI - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers defeated the Peoria Chiefs 5-1 on Friday night at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Sthervin Matos broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run home run in the fourth inning and a trio of Wisconsin pitcher made that lead hold up to break a four-game losing streak.

 

Carlos Leal started the scoring with a two-out opposite field home run to left field in the second inning. The homer was the first of Leal's professional career. He was drafted as a pitcher by the Brewers in 2014 and spent his first pro season on the mound in the Arizona League.

 

The Chiefs (8-8) came back in the top of the third inning with a fluky run off Rattlers starting pitcher Orlando Torrez. The first two Chiefs to bat in the inning were retired, but Andrew Sohn doubled to keep the inning alive. Danny Diekroeger sent a grounder towards first base, but the ball hit the bag and bounced over the head of first baseman David Denson and into right field for an RBI single as Sohn scored on the play.

 

Wisconsin (4-12) broke back in front in the fourth. Brandon Diaz singled to start the inning, but he was still at first with two away. Matos, who just joined the Timber Rattlers last Saturday, lined an 0-1 pitch from Fernando Baez past the scoreboard in left-center for a two-run homer and a 3-1 lead.

 

Luke Curtis entered the game in relief of Torrez to start the top of the fifth and pitched two scoreless, hitless innings with three strikeouts.

 

The Rattlers added to their lead in the bottom of the sixth. Denson singled, his first of two hits on the evening, with two outs and Matos followed with a double. Leal sent a slow grounder to short for an infield single to knock in Denson and an errant throw to first on the play sent Matos home for a 5-1 lead.

 

Angel Ventura took over for Curtis to start the top of the seventh and he loaded the bases with three walks, but kept the Chiefs from scoring. Ventura pitched a perfect eighth and a perfect ninth to close out Peoria and pick up his first professional save.

 

The win snapped Wisconsin's four game losing streak and sent the Chiefs to their fourth consecutive loss.

 

Wisconsin and Peoria play again Saturday afternoon in game two of the series. Cy Sneed (0-1, 1.42) is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers. Peoria has named Will Anderson (2-0, 2.08) as their starting pitcher. Game time is 1:05pm.

 

Saturday is Frozen Day presented by Dairy Queen and Cupcake Couture at the stadium. There will be royalty here to meet the princesses from the Fox Cities and special surprises during the game.

 

The first 1,000 fans to attend the Festival Foods Saturday at the ballpark will receive a Timber Rattlers fleece cap from Dairy Queen.

 

If you can't make it out to the game, there are several ways to catch the action. MyNEW 32's Sports Showdown will televise the game starting at 1:00pm. The radio broadcast is on AM1280, WNAM starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 12:45pm. The broadcast is also available on TuneIn Radio and MiLB.TV.

 

HOME RUNS:

WIS:

Carlos Leal (1st, 0 on in 2nd inning off Fernando Baez, 2 out)

Sthervin Matos (1st, 1 on in 4th inning off Fernando Baez, 2 out)

 

WP: Luke Curtis (2-1)

LP: Fernando Baez (1-2)

SAVE: Angel Ventura (1)

 

TIME: 2:31

ATTN: 2,356

 

Postgame Post with Interviews, Highlights, & Stuff

The usual assortment of goodies, check out the HRs, they will brighten your day!

 

Wisconsin Boxscore

Winning is so much more fun!

 

Between his cameo last year and his limited time back with the TRats so far in 2015, today was the best Sthervin Matos has looked by leaps and bounds, he only had 1 hit coming into the game.

 

Both of David Denson's singles were lined, one up the middle and one the opposite way. They did get him to strike out on another one of those low middle in breaking balls, but he's looking much better at the plate.

 

Both Monte Harrison and Jake Gatewood are pull happy right now and both swung through pretty good hitter's pitches on their strike outs, but both were looking towards the 3B dugout as they finished their swings.

 

I cannot figure out Brandon Diaz' arm, he was in RF today after mostly playing LF thus far. Teams will try to run on him because he's made some of the most pitifully weak throws, but then he'll zip one on a laser beam like he did today from RF that would have reached 3B on the fly had Gatewood not jumped up and picked it out of the air. Nothing has jumped out at me as to why the velocity and quality of his throws is so inconsistent, it has to be a combination of mechanical issues but the TV feed is so overproduced with switching camera angles that it's tough to tell exactly what is happening.

 

I've sent a couple of support requests to milb.com regarding Carlos Leal's messed up player page but it hasn't been fixed yet. After that mini slump he's back hitting the ball again.

 

On the pitching front, I would term both Orlando Torrez and Angel Ventura as effectively wild. Torrez gave up 1st pitch of the inning hits in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th innings, and most everything was up, as in at the thighs or higher, which is why Orlando had more fly outs than ground outs in the game. Ventura has a couple of legitimate pitches, as in flashing MLB average, he'll be interesting, he could be something. Luke Curtis has done what's he done all year, he's around the plate and mixes his pitches well.

 

Wisconsin Recap

"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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Final: Biloxi 1, Jacksonville 0

 

Shuckers deal two-hit shutout to Suns, win third straight

Biloxi takes four of five from Jacksonville in dominant fashion

Biloxi Shuckers

 

http://www.milb.com/assets/images/9/9/4/120360994/cuts/DSC07110_muny7kf8_0rx6i9di.JPG

 

Orlando Arcia had two hits including an RBI single in the third inning on Friday night (Photo by John Shadrick)

 

JACKSONVILLE, FLA. - The Shuckers scored just one run on Friday night, but it was plenty enough as the pitching staff delivered a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 victory over Jacksonville at Bragan Field and The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Orlando Arcia (2x4, RBI) continued his onslaught of Southern pitching, delivering the games only RBI and extending his league-best on-base streak to 14 games. The Shuckers took four of the five games against the Suns, winning the last three to close out the series. Biloxi's starting pitching posted a 1.33 ERA (four runs) over 27 innings pitched over the five-game set.

 

With the win and a loss by the Mississippi Braves on Friday, the Shuckers are in a first place tie atop the Southern League South Division standings at 9-5.

 

Jorge Lopez (W, 1-2) took over where his fellow starters left off, giving up just two hits and two walks through his five innings of work, with three strikeouts.

 

Biloxi (9-5) grabbed the lead and lone run in the third with a two-out rally. Nathan Orf (2x3, R, 2B, BB) doubled down the left field line against Suns' starter Matt Tomshaw (0-2) and came around to score when Arcia's sharp grounder through the left side snuck by a diving third baseman David Adams. Arcia extended his hitting streak to seven games and has now reached base safely in all 14 contests to pull ahead of Tennessee Smokies' first baseman Dan Vogelbach (13) after a rainout in Jackson, Tenn.

 

Jim Henderson made his first rehab appearance with the Shuckers and worked a perfect sixth inning on 19 pitches, which included 12 strikes. The Milwaukee Brewers reliever veteran is recovering from right shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum.

 

Austin Ross struck out three and did not allow a hit in two innings of relief behind Henderson and Wirfin Obispo earned his second save in three attempts in a 1-2-3 ninth.

 

Arcia was 2-for-4 and notched his seventh multi-hit game of the year. Orf reached base three times and was 2-for-3, while Brewers top prospect Tyrone Taylor finished the night 2-for-4.

 

Lopez secured his first victory of 2015, in his third attempt and lowered his ERA from 9.00 to 5.25 in the process. Jacksonville's (6-8) starter Tomshaw (L, 0-2) allowed just the one run on seven hits, a walk and four strikeouts, suffering the loss.

 

Friday was Biloxi's first win against a left-handed starter this season in three attempts and the Shuckers remain perfect in nine-inning games with a record of 7-0. The shutout was the third issued this season and second of the series.

 

The Shuckers will head to Pensacola to start a five-game set with the BlueWahoos on Saturday night. LHP Brent Suter (1-0, 0.00) will make his first start of the year for Biloxi while Cincinnati Reds' top prospect RHP Robert Stephenson (0-1, 6.55) will make his second start of the year against the Shuckers (April 9: 5.2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 7 SO). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM, with coverage beginning at 6:15 on 1240-AM WGCM, 1580-AM WPMO and the Biloxi Shuckers Radio Network. Fans can also listen to the game using the TuneIn Radio app or by going to www.biloxishuckers.com.

 

***

 

Punchless Suns fall to Shuckers as losing skid continues

By Jeff Elliott, Jacksonville.com

 

If a team can’t get the lead and hold it, the chances of winning are minuscule. That pretty much accounts for why the Suns just completed their series with the Biloxi Shuckers with four losses in the five games.

 

The latest setback, a 1-0 shutout on Friday night in front of 4,824 at the Baseball Grounds, was Jacksonville’s seventh loss in its last eight games.

 

The win by Biloxi increased its record to 9-5, with all 14 games on the road. The Suns fell to 6-8, with all 14 at home.

 

Jacksonville only held the lead for seven innings in the last eight games (68 total innings).

 

Biloxi dominated the five-game series with the Suns, owning the lead in 31 of 41 innings.

 

Jacksonville starting pitcher Matt Tomshaw deserved a better fate. The former JU left-hander went five innings and allowed just the one run and seven hits. Biloxi was able to get a runner to second base in four of the five innings, but Tomshaw found a way to escape damage other than the third inning. That’s when the Shuckers put together three consecutive hits to push across the only run of the game.

 

“If we come out and score some runs early, it might change the mojo,” Suns manager Dave Berg said. “I’m frustrated myself that I can’t do something to change things up. I think the guys are still having decent at-bats, but they’re still scuffling.”

 

The Suns managed just two hits and had five fly balls that made it to the outfield. The hits came from David Adams, playing his first game for the Suns after coming off the DL, and Ryan Rieger, who led off the second inning with a double. But that’s as far as he got as the next three batters were retired without hitting the ball out of the infield.

 

Jacksonville managed to get a runner as far as second base in three straight innings, from the second to the fourth, but each time left him stranded there. After they put together a single and a walk in the fourth inning, the only Suns batter to reach base the rest of the game was Sharif Othman, who made it to first on an error in the seventh.

 

Jacksonville had solid pitching all night. After Tomshaw’s five innings, Craig Stem allowed a pair of hits in two innings, and Sean Donatello worked a perfect eighth.

 

But the Suns had no answers for Biloxi pitching again. In the four losses, Jacksonville had a combined 10 hits.

 

“We’re way better than what we’ve been showing,” Berg said. “I’ve had a lot of these guys in the past, and we’re way better than this. I’m going to have to shake up the lineup. I usually like to go with pretty much the same lineup, but it may be time to shake things up.”

 

Biloxi Box Score

 

Included the newspaper account from Jacksonville to accentuate the Shuckers' pitching staff efforts; hard to lift your average when you enter the game hitting .450, but Orlando Arcia did so; Tyrone Taylor is up to .282; with a walk in his only plate appearance, did Yadiel Rivera, who didn't start the game, lose his 11-game hitting streak? If this was MLB's "Beat the Streak" contest, he'd be alive, but technically in reality, someone will need to fill me in...

 

Biloxi Game Log

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Final: Round Rock 7, Colorado Springs 2

 

Sky Sox Score Late To Avoid No-Hitter

Rangers Prospect Eickhoff Strikes Out 11 in 7-2 Win Over Sox

By Ed Pearsall / Colorado Springs Sky Sox

 

http://www.milb.com/assets/images/3/8/0/120410380/cuts/04_10_055_pk_fdl97qgz_b3dhyzan.jpg

 

Matt Long's Two-Run Home Run in the top of the ninth inning broke up Eickhoff's no-hitter. (File Photo from previous game by Paat Kelly)

 

There were just four total pitchers in Friday night's contest between the Sky Sox and Round Rock Express before a crowd of 11,769 at Dell Diamond.

 

The Sky Sox would be held hitless for 8.1 innings by Express starter, and Texas' #21 organizational prospect, Jerad Eickhoff (1-0, 2.16). The right-hander would strike out eleven batters while allowing just two runs on one hit and two walks while striking out 11 in a dominant performance.

 

Round Rock's lineup would fare a bit better against Sox starter Tyler Cravy (1-2, 5.06) in his six innings of work. Cravy allowed five runs on six hits and one walk, striking out a whopping nine Express batters.

 

The Express would score two in the first and fourth, adding another in the sixth to make the score 5-0.

 

Left-hander Jed Bradley would come on in relief of Cravy, allowing two runs on four hits over two innings of work.

 

With a 7-0 lead heading into the ninth inning, Eickhoff would look to secure a no-hitter with just three outs to go. The Sky Sox offense would not oblige, scoring two runs in off of Eickhoff on a walk to Donnie Murphy and two-run home run to Matt Long. The home run was Long's first of the season and ultimately chased Round Rock's starter from the game.

 

Express left-hander Sam Freeman would come on in relief of Eickhoff, closing out the Sox for the 7-2 win.

 

The Sky Sox are back home at Security Service Field on Saturday night. Taylor Jungmann (0-1, 8.53) looks to lead the Sky Sox to a series-opening victory against Carlos Pimentel (0-2, 14.09) and the Iowa Cubs at 6:05 PM MDT (5:05 Central).

 

***

 

Of course, a pitching effort like that nets a feature article from MiLB.com's home page --

 

Eickhoff takes no-no into ninth in PCL debut

Rangers prospect fans 11 to match career high in first Triple-A start

By Tyler Maun / MiLB.com

 

Over the last three seasons, Jerad Eickhoff made 35 appearances for Double-A Frisco. Judging by the way he pitched in his Triple-A debut on Friday night, he may never see the Texas League again.

 

The Rangers' No. 21 prospect carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning in his first game in the Pacific Coast League, matching a career high with 11 strikeouts, as Round Rock downed visiting Colorado Springs, 7-2.

 

"I'm kind of at a loss, really," Eickhoff said after giving up two runs on one hit over 8 1/3 innings. "I'm kind of shocked still. I was just trying to go out there and execute pitches, keep my defense on their toes, throw strikes. I was able to keep them off-balance enough to get good results on the scoreboard."

 

The 24-year-old right-hander was dominant from the outset, facing the minimum through five innings while issuing his first of two walks in the third. He erased the leadoff free pass when Bryan Petersen was caught stealing second to end the inning.

 

Eickhoff (1-0) littered the box score with strikeouts, recording at least one in seven of his eight full innings, thanks in part to a lively breaking pitch.

 

"My curveball as of late, the past month, month and a half out of Spring Training, has felt really good," he said. "Getting that over early in the count to the hitters opened up the floodgates, I guess you could say. It allowed me to get them off my fastball, finish them with the curveball and finish guys with the high fastball, too. That curveball was really key for me."

 

In the sixth, Colorado Springs' Donnie Murphy reached on a two-out by first baseman Kyle Blanks. That put Eickhoff over the minimum for the first time, but it hardly fazed the Evansville, Indiana native. He rebounded to retire the next eight batters through the first out in the ninth.

 

"You don't even acknowledge the fact that you're mowing them down," he said. "I was just trying to execute pitches, focus on each pitch. It was just a really individual process for each pitch and it was able to culminate into throwing eight strong."

 

Eickhoff headed to the mound for the ninth, nearing 100 pitches and in pursuit of what would've been the PCL's first no-hitter since Chris Rusin threw one for Iowa last year.

 

"I remember stepping on the mound before the inning had started, before I threw my first pitch, and I could feel my heart racing more than it should've been," he said. "Usually in a game, I'm pretty calm, especially late. I could feel that, but I made a conscious effort of honing back in. My job is to execute this pitch."

 

In his final frame, Eickhoff's command momentarily lapsed. After inducing a leadoff flyout from Ben Guez, the righty missed wildly on ball four to walk Murphy. His final two pitches to Murphy may have set the stage for the no-hitter to be broken up.

 

"I think the on-deck hitter [Matt Long] saw that I didn't throw those last two curveballs very well, so I think that was eliminated from his mind," Eickhoff said. "I threw a fastball, and he got on it."

 

On Eickhoff's first pitch, Long connected on his first home run of the season to right field, ending the no-hit bid and the shutout.

 

"I threw the pitch, I heard the crack and I said, 'That's hit pretty well,'" Eickhoff recalled. "I turned around and my right fielder [Jared Hoying] was just kind of drifting back. I think he knew it was gone, too.

 

"It was kind of surreal. I was frustrated with myself. I didn't execute the pitch, but overall, I was happy. I'd rather do that than walk the bases loaded and give up a cheap little broken bat hit or something. I'd rather have that home run clear the fence by a good ways than not at all."

 

Colorado Springs Box Score

 

Tyler Cravy and Jed Bradley combined to only walk one with ten K's, but were hit pretty hard...

 

Colorado Springs Game Log

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VIDEO: Earlier you watched the Wisconsin highlights with Chris Mehring's calls, here's another version from the MyNew32 TV broadcast

 

RHP Angel Ventura closed things out -- no way he's at his listed 6'2", 185, he's a big dude...

 

***

 

VIDEO: Heck, one more quick Timber Rattlers' look, including RHP Orlando Torrez firing a pitch...

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I thought these MLB depth veteran AAA teams were supposed to perform better? That certainly hasn't been the norm from the Brewer perspective.

 

What made you think they'd be better than the guys they had last year? Guys like Hermida, Halton, Gindl, Morris, are all capable AAA bats, and they are missing Rogers now. The guys who replaced them are all rejects from other organizations. This year's AAA roster was too left handed going in and with Rogers gone, they have no sock from the right side.

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