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Link Report for Wed. 7/25 - Chapman Homers Twice for Power

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Wednesday's Daily Menu:


All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: LHP Adam Pettyjohn at home vs. Fresno (Giants), 11:45 AM pre-game; 12:00 PM gametime


Audio link:



Huntsville: LHP Lindsay Gulin at Jacksonville (Dodgers), 11:50 AM pre-game; 12:05 PM gametime


Audio link:



Brevard County: RHP Mike McClendon at home vs. St. Lucie (Mets), 5:50 PM pre-game, 6:00 PM gametime


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



West Virginia: LHP Mike Ramlow at home vs. Hagerstown (Nationals), 5:55 PM pre-game, 6:05 gametime


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



Helena: RHP Nick Tyson at home vs. Casper (Rockies), 7:50 PM pre-game, 8:05 gametime


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



Arizona: 18-year-old RHP Joel Morales at home in Maryvale vs. the Royals' kids, 10:30 AM local time in Arizona, 12:30 Central; never any audio for Arizona Rookie League games

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Follow Wednesday'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". 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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These links will be included in each daily report when the Nashville Sounds and/or Huntsville Stars are scheduled to play. Normally they are updated an hour or two prior to gametime, with Nashville's usually earlier:


Nashville Media Notes (Adobe .pdf format):




Huntsville Media Notes (Adobe .pdf format):



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Standings through Tuesday's action:
 Pacific Coast League (AAA) - PCL American North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Nashville 62 41 .602 - 32-15 30-26 L3 Iowa 58 46 .558 4.5 34-22 24-24 W3 Omaha 50 54 .481 12.5 33-18 17-36 W1 Memphis 42 62 .404 20.5 22-31 20-31 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Huntsville 20 12 .625 - 10-5 10-7 W1 Chattanooga 17 15 .531 3.0 8-9 9-6 W2 Carolina 15 16 .484 4.5 8-7 7-9 L1 Tennessee 14 17 .452 5.5 11-5 3-12 W1 West Tenn 14 18 .438 6.0 7-10 7-8 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brevard County 19 13 .594 - 10-6 9-7 W3 Jupiter 15 15 .500 3.0 7-4 8-11 W4 Palm Beach 14 16 .467 4.0 7-12 7-4 W1 Daytona 12 19 .387 6.5 6-11 6-8 L2 St. Lucie 12 20 .375 7.0 4-11 8-9 L4 Vero Beach 8 23 .258 10.5 3-12 5-11 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hickory 21 12 .636 - 13-7 8-5 W8 Lake County 17 14 .548 3.0 8-8 9-6 L1 Lakewood 17 14 .548 3.0 10-5 7-9 L4 Delmarva 16 16 .500 4.5 5-11 11-5 W4 Lexington 16 17 .485 5.0 10-8 6-9 W1 West Virginia 15 18 .455 6.0 7-8 8-10 L7 Greensboro 14 19 .424 7.0 9-6 5-13 W6 Hagerstown 9 23 .281 11.5 5-11 4-12 L4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Pioneer League (R+) - PIO North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Great Falls 23 11 .676 - 14-3 9-8 W2 Helena 23 11 .676 - 10-7 13-4 L1 Billings 17 17 .500 6.0 10-6 7-11 L1 Missoula 14 20 .412 9.0 6-12 8-8 L4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Arizona League (R) - Arizona League Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AZL Mariners 20 7 .741 - 11-2 9-5 W4 AZL Angels 17 9 .654 2.5 14-4 3-5 W2 AZL Padres 16 10 .615 3.5 9-3 7-7 W1 AZL Giants 14 13 .519 6.0 8-6 6-7 L2 AZL Cubs 13 14 .481 7.0 6-7 7-7 L1 AZL Athletics 12 15 .444 8.0 6-6 6-9 W5 AZL Royals 11 16 .407 9.0 5-8 6-8 L3 AZL Rangers 10 17 .370 10.0 4-8 6-9 L3 AZL Brewers 7 19 .269 12.5 2-11 5-8 W1

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Final: Nashville 13, Fresno (Giants) 7


Nashville Site Game Summary:

Link for Adam Pettyjohn photo, text follows --




Sounds Bats Wake Up In 13-7 Win Over Fresno


NASHVILLE ? Nashville's bats came to life Wednesday afternoon at Greer Stadium as the Sounds tallied 13 runs on 16 hits to even their series against Fresno at one game apiece with a 13-7 victory.


The Sounds fell one short of season highs in both runs and hits. Nashville hitters had combined for a .244 team batting average during the month of July.


Sounds starter Adam Pettyjohn (7-2) continued his success against PCL opponents by winning his fourth straight start. Pettyjohn went six innings giving up three runs and striking out five for the victory. He has now won nine of his last twelve starts dating back to his time spent with Double-A Huntsville.


Nashville (63-41) struck first in the bottom of the first inning when Callix Crabbe led off the game with a single up the middle. Joe Dillon followed two batters later with a two-out single to center that moved Crabbe to third before Andy Abad (2-for-4) hit a fly ball to deep center field for two of his three RBIs on the afternoon. He would score one batter later when Charles Thomas hit a ground ball chopper into shallow left to bring the score to 3-0 in favor of Nashville. Thomas went 3-for-5 on the day with four RBIs, a personal season high.


Fresno (55-50) countered in the top of the second when former Sounds All-Star (Pirates organization) Tomas de la Rosa hit a solo homer to left field off of Pettyjohn.


In the top of the third, Nashville outfielder Gabe Gross (2-for-5) led off with his first hit as a Sound by getting a double down the right field line. Drew Anderson then singled him home with a line drive up the middle before stealing his eighth base of the year to put a man at second with no outs. Two batters later, Thomas hit a deep fly ball to center that scored Anderson.


Ozzie Chavez led off a three-run fourth for the Sounds with his fourth longball of the year, a solo shot to deep left-center field. Pettyjohn followed by reaching on a throwing error by shortstop Luis Figueroa before scoring on a Gross triple. Gross came in to score two batters later thanks to a line drive single to left from Dillon (2-for-3), giving him his team-leading 70th RBI of the season.


Clay Timpner added another run for the Grizzlies in the top of the fifth with a solo shot off of Pettyjohn before William Bergolla went yard in the top of the sixth for Fresno's final run against the Sounds? starter.


Nashville would add four more in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to another Abad RBI, an error by Grizzlies third baseman de la Rosa, and a Mike Rivera RBI single, bringing the score to 12-3.


The Grizzlies scored four in the top of the ninth on a Dan Ortmeier grand slam off of Nashville reliever Tim Dillard to bring the final score to 13-7 in favor of Nashville.


Grizzlies starter Chris Begg (7-3) took the loss, giving up six earned runs in 3 2/3 innings while striking out one.


The series will continue tomorrow at 7:00 PM as Nashville's Mark DiFelice (0-0, 2.25) takes the mound against Fresno right-hander Sun Woo Kim (2-6, 6.86).


Nashville Box Score:

An amazing seven Sounds with multi-hit games...




Nashville Game Log:



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Final: Jacksonville (Dodgers) 5, Huntsville 4


Huntsville Site Game Summary:

Link, text follows --




Suns Hand the Stars Another Tough Loss


James Tomlin knocked in the winning run with an eighth inning sacrifice fly in Jacksonville?s 5-4 comeback win over Huntsville Wednesday afternoon in the middle game of a five-game set at the Baseball Grounds. The Suns won for a second time in the series by a run to improve to 23-10 in the second half and push their lead in the South Division to two and a half games over Montgomery, while the Stars slipped to 20-13 in the second half and saw their North Division lead trimmed to two over Chattanooga after the Lookouts win over Mississippi earlier in the day. The Suns downed the Suns for a 15th time in their last 18 meetings.


Stars? reliever Bo Hall struck out Kevin Howard to escape a bases loaded jam in the seventh inning but wasn?t as fortunate in the eighth. A.J. Ellis and Cory Dunlap opened the frame with singles and Anthonly Raglani legged out a sacrifice bunt attempt for a single to load the bases for Tomlin, who flied out deep enough to bring Ellis in with the go-ahead run and drive in his 17th run since joining the Suns. Hall retired the next two hitters but was saddled with the loss to end a personal five-game win streak dating back to May 12. The run was only the second earned run allowed by the Huntsville bullpen in its last 34 innings of work covering the last 13 games.


Steve Moss opened the ninth with a single but Suns? reliever Ramon Troncoso got the next three hitters to ground into force outs at second base to end the game and earn his fifth win. The Stars stranded at least one base runner in every inning and left 14 on throughout the game, including leaving the bases loaded twice for a third straight game.


Adam Heether?s two-out, run-scoring double in the first gave the Stars the lead against Justin Orenduff. The Stars have scored in the first inning in all three games in the series and in six of their last eight games. Starting pitcher Lindsay Gulin singled in a two-out run in the second inning and Moss doubled home a pair in the third to extend the lead to 4-0. Jacksonville tied the game on two-run home runs by Juan Gonzalez in the third and Raglani in the fourth, marking the first time Gulin had allowed two long balls in a start. The veteran southpaw gave up four runs, two earned, on six hits, while fanning six in his five frames and did not pick up the win for the first time in six starts.


The series continues Thursday night with Stars southpaw Steve Hammond taking the hill against Suns? right-hander Jimmy Norrito. Coverage begins at 5:50 pm central time and can be heard on SportsRadio 730 WUMP and via the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com.


Huntsville Box Score:




Huntsville Game Log:



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Final: Arizona Royals 19, Arizona Brewers 9


Arizona Box Score:

Could have been worse, as Brewer "closer" Guillermo Salinas, who has been effective, came on to strand the bases loaded in the 9th; while the nine runs scored might seem impressive on offense, it was done on only five hits (seven walks); LHP Tony Drinkard with a decent four-inning outing...




Arizona Game Log:



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The last 2 days have temporarily sucked my enthusiam for the entire minor league system. I know it sounds stupid, but it's true.

"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: St. Lucie (Mets) 10, Brevard County 2


Brevard County Box Score:

Mike McClendon's up to 112 innings now -- no excuses, just sayin'; Manatees 10th in the 12-team league in drawing walks -- none again tonight...




Brevard County Game Log:



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Final: West Virginia 7, Hagerstown (Nationals) 5


West Virginia Box Score:

Steve Chapman two home runs, now with 17; Taylor Green another nice game -- details from Power site soon with newspaper reports in the AM; bullpen won this game, especially a career-best outing from RHP Jared Sutton...




West Virginia Game Log:



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St. Lucie Top 4th


- Mike Nickeas grounds out, third baseman Mat Gamel to first baseman Chris Errecart.

- Jonathan Malo pops out to first baseman Chris Errecart in foul territory.

- Sean Henry singles on a ground ball to left fielder Cole Gillespie.

- Emmanuel Garcia walks. Sean Henry to 2nd.

- Dustin Martin singles on a ground ball to center fielder Darren Ford. Sean Henry scores. Emmanuel Garcia to 3rd.

- Nick Evans singles on a ground ball to pitcher Mike McClendon. Emmanuel Garcia scores. Dustin Martin scores. Throwing error by pitcher Mike McClendon.

- Pitcher Change: Kevin Roberts replaces Mike McClendon.

- Dan Murphy singles on a ground ball to right fielder Lorenzo Cain. Nick Evans to 2nd.

- Ambiorix Concepcion singles on a ground ball to third baseman Mat Gamel. Nick Evans to 3rd. Dan Murphy to 2nd.

- Ender Chavez strikes out swinging.


Mike McClendon took a shot off his left leg on that base hit and limped off the field. He hadn't pitched particularly well, but was forced to leave at that point with the leg injury. You can hear the call at the one hour, 20 minute mark of the July 25th archived audio. Something to keep an eye on:



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West Virginia Site Game Summary:




Steve Chapman belted two home runs on Wednesday night at Appalachian Power Park as the West Virginia Power snapped their seven game losing streak with a come from behind 7-5 victory over the Hagerstown Suns.


Joe Napoli ripped a two out, RBI triple in the top of the first inning to give the Suns an early lead. In the second, Jonathan Castro and Jhonathan Solano hit RBI singles to give the Suns a 3-0 edge. The Power got on the board in the third inning on Chapman?s first home run of the game. Michael Martinez?s sacrifice fly plated Lindon Bond in the fourth inning to give the Suns a 4-1 edge.


Kenny Holmberg ripped a two out, RBI base hit in the fourth inning and Jimmy Mojica?s single plated Chapman in the fifth before Chapman blasted his second home run of the game in the sixth inning. It was his 17th of the season, a two-run blast that gave the Power the lead. In the seventh, Martinez began the inning with a triple and scored on Marcos Cabral?s sacrifice fly. Andrew Lefave and Chuckie Caufield hit back-to-back two out singles and Taylor Green knocked them in with a single to center field to put the Power ahead for good.


Jose Romero (3-0) allowed a run on one hit and struck out four over two innings of relief to get the win, Travis Wendte (5) pitched a scoreless ninth to get the save and Chris Lugo (1-5) was tagged with the loss after surrendering two runs on three hits in one inning of relief.


The Power improved to 64-38 overall and 16-18 in the second half, while the Suns fell to 38-62 overall and 9-24 in the second half with the loss. Steve Chapman went 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBI. His two home run performance was his second of the season.


The Power will continue the four game series against Hagerstown Thursday night. The Power will start right hander Chris Toneguzzi (4-1, 6.27) and the Suns will counter with right hander Erik Arnesen (0-2, 7.52). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM (6:05 Central).

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Final: Helena 17, Casper (Rockies) 7

Yes, enjoy the box score offense, but keep in mind that Casper is the lowest rung on the Rockies' chain. It's the near-equivalent of going up against the Arizona squad -- plenty of game details for you in the AM...


Helena Box Score:




Helena Game Log:



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Ill make a couple of comments about the Helena - Casper series.

Yes Casper is very young but they do have quite a bit of talent. Shaky defense and a lack of experience in the pitching staff is obvious. Tonight the Brewers took them apart and should have done the same thing yesterday. Yesterday the Brewers let them back into the game by playing very uninspired ball after going up 5 - 0. They deserved to lose. I dont think that Casper will win the second half but they are much more talented than their record and are at least a .500 ball club.

Concerning tonights game, it was nice to see the all the hitting but I dont think it was very wise of Isom to have played the starters all 9 innings. This is not the indy league and it is bs to show up another team up. It will only come back to haunt the Brewers. Also there is a whole bench full of guys looking for playing time and at bats and should have played the last couple of innings of this one. I will have to say thay I think that Isom has done a good job so far but have questions about the number of innings some of these guys are playing. Especially in light of the hot weather up here - its been 90+ almost every day since the start of the season. Also alot of these guys have been playing since Feb.

I understand that the organization wants to see the top draft choices and you like to play your hot hitters but this is a pretty deep club/I hope to see more plaing time spread around come the second half.

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Chapman homers carry Power

By Michael Polak

For The Charleston Gazette


Steve Chapman helped make the Power?s seven-game losing streak history Wednesday, as he went 3-for-4 with two home runs, three RBIs and three runs in a 7-5 victory over Hagerstown in front of 2,675 at Appalachian Power Park.


?I?m glad it?s finally over,? Chapman said of the team?s losing streak. ?It?s a big win for us.?


Left-handed reliever Jose Romero, the third of four Power pitchers, improved to 3-0 with the victory, working two innings. Travis Wendte earned his fifth save with a perfect ninth.


Chris Lugo (1-5) was tagged with the loss as the Power?s batting woes came to an end against Hagerstown pitching. West Virginia knocked out 10 hits on the night. Along with Chapman?s three hits, Taylor Green picked up two.


The Power broke a 5-all tie with a pair of runs in the seventh on a two-out, none-on rally.


Andrew Lefave started it with a single and Chuck Caufield also ripped a hit, bringing up Green. His high fly into the outfield dropped between three Suns players for a single to score both Lefave and Caufield.


Power pitchers retired six of the next seven batters, locking up the victory and finally putting an end to the team?s season-high losing streak.


Chapman got the Power, trailing 3-0, on the board in the bottom of the third with a leadoff homer. It was the Power?s first hit of the night.


?It?s always big to get the first hit,? Chapman said. ?It shows the other guys that the pitcher is hittable.?


The Suns built their lead back up to three runs in the top of the fourth. Lindon Bond scored on a Martinez sacrifice fly to make it 4-1. The Power cut it back to one, scoring a run in the fourth on a Kenny Holmberg single and in the fifth on a Jimmy Mojica single.


Down 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth with one out and Green aboard after a leadoff walk, Chapman went yard for the second time in the game, giving the Power its first lead.


?I didn?t think either [of the homers] were going out,? Chapman said. ?The wind was coming in both times.?


Early on, it looked like the Power was in trouble as Hagerstown raced out to a 3-0 lead in the second.


Michael Martinez led off the game for the Suns with a single. Jhonatan Solano doubled to right, but Martinez was tagged out at the plate, with Caufield?s throw relayed home by second baseman Mojica. Joe Napoli tripled, scoring Solano and giving the Suns the early lead.


Power starter Mike Ramlow gave up two more runs in the second. Jonathan Castro singled in Patrick Nichols and Solano picked up an RBI single, putting the Power in a 3-0 hole. Ramlow was pulled after just two innings, allowing six hits, three runs and walking one.


Even after they lost the lead in the sixth, the Suns would not go quietly into the night. In the seventh, Martinez led off with a triple and scored on a Marcos Cabral sacrifice fly to tie it at 5.


With the win, the Power improves to 16-18 on the second half and Hagerstown falls to 9-24. The teams continue their series at 7:05 tonight (6:05 Central) at Power Park.

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Sounds romp to win over Fresno

Newcomer Gross has double, triple


Tennessean Staff Writer


The Sounds wasted no time making sure they wouldn't get shut out this time.


After failing to score in two of their previous three games, the Sounds put up three runs in the first inning and rolled to a 13-7 victory over the Fresno Grizzlies in front of 4,667 at Greer Stadium on Wednesday.


"You're just going to go through stretches where you can't hit anything," Manager Frank Kremblas said. "Their pitcher left us some pitches to hit and we took advantage."


That went for everyone. Gabe Gross, recently optioned to Nashville from Milwaukee, recorded his first hit with the Sounds and finished with a double, triple and two runs scored.


Charles Thomas went 3-for-5 with four RBIs, and Andy Abad went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.


"We just took the same approach as we always do," Thomas said.


Of course, having Adam Pettyjohn (7-2) on the mound helps.


The left-hander won his fourth straight decision by allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out five.


With the victory, the Sounds maintained their grip on the Pacific Coast League American Conference.


They led Iowa by five games before Iowa's late game Wednesday against Colorado Springs.


"We proved we have the best record for a reason," said Pettyjohn, who played for the Grizzlies in 2004. "We have an experienced group that knows how to get things done."


The two teams play again at 7 p.m. today at Greer.


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Sounds get Gwynn back from Milwaukee

Tennessean Staff and Wire Reports


The Milwaukee Brewers optioned Tony Gwynn Jr. to Triple-A Nashville after activating outfielder Bill Hall from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday.


Gwynn will not report to the Sounds until Monday at the earliest because his father is being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend.


Gwynn was called up July 6 to fill in for Hall and hit .200 in 10 games, including eight starts in center field. It was his second stint with the Brewers this season.


Sent packing: Sounds left-hander Joe Thatcher was traded to the San Diego Padres organization as part of a package deal.


The Brewers acquired reliever Scott Linebrink (3-3, 3.80 ERA) from the Padres for three minor league pitchers. Also traded from the Brewers organization were right-hander Will Inman (Double-A Huntsville) and left-hander Steve Garrison (Single-A Brevard County).


Thatcher was 1-0 with a 0.55 ERA in 14 relief appearances at Double-A Huntsville, and 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 24 appearances for the Sounds.


Padres Manager Bud Black said Thatcher will join the team today in Houston.


"Thatcher is the one guy we hope will help us," Padres General Manager Kevin Towers said.


Don't I know you? The Sounds and Grizzlies are no strangers to each other. Sounds starter Adam Pettyjohn was making his second appearance against his former club Wednesday. In 2004, Pettyjohn made 21 appearances for the Grizzlies, posting a 3-6 record and a 5.42 ERA.


Grizzlies third baseman Tomas de la Rosa played for the Sounds from 2002-04.


Also, Grizzlies shortstop Luis Figueroa represented the Sounds in the 2001 Triple-A All Star game.


Safety nets: Despite the Sounds posting second-worst batting average (.244) in the Pacific Coast League in July, some Sounds players have been hitting with consistency. Joe Dillon ranks third among PCL hitters with a .594 slugging percentage, hitting safely in 26 of his past 31 games. Andy Abad has gotten a hit in 19 of his last 23 games.

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Helena Site Game Summary:


Helena Drops Casper, Awaits Showdown with Great Falls


HELENA--The Helena Brewers collected a season high 24 hits to defeat the Casper Rockies 17-7 on Wednesday night. The Brewers now await a three-game series with the Great Falls White Sox to determine the first-half winner. Casper took a 4-1 lead into the fifth inning, but Helena's offense suddenly awoke to grab the lead--a lead that would not be relinquished.


Zelous Wheeler hit the first pitch of the night he saw for a solo home run in the second inning and gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead. It was the first hit of a solid night for Wheeler. He finished 4-for-5 with five RBIs.


The Rockies touched Brewer starter Nick Tyson for four runs in the fourth inning. Wilin Rosario provided the big charge of the inning on a three-run home run.


Much like Casper did Tuesday night, Helena found its swing as the game progressed. The Brewers scored six runs in both the fifth and sixth innings with four more runs in the eighth inning. The Rockies added three more runs in the seventh inning, but the Helena offense was just too much to overcome.


Every Helena starter collected at least one hit with seven players recording multiple hit games. Kurt Crowell joined Wheeler with a 4-for-5 performance; Crowell also had a home run and four RBIs. Caleb Gindl went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to maintain his hold on the Pioneer League batting average lead. Eric Farris and Jonathan Lucroy also had solid nights with three hits, including two doubles each. Catcher Eric Fryer made his lone hit of the night count when he sent a three-run home run sailing over the left field wall in the eighth inning.


On the mound Tyson earned his third win in as many starts. Tyson tossed six innings and allowed four runs on five hits. He also struck out six Rockies. Pitcher Curtis Pasma earned the save by pitching three innings of relief. Pasma struck out six batters, including the side in the ninth inning to close out the Brewer win.


Helena (24-11) will have a day off Thursday before taking to the road to play the first of a three-game set 7:00 PM Friday (8:00 Central) at Great Falls (24-11). Both teams enter the series tied for the Pioneer League North Division lead. With just three games left in the first half the winner of the series will take the first-half crown. Helena must win two of three games because entering the series Great Falls holds the tie-breaker, which is head-to-head record; Great Falls leads the series four games to two.


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Brewers back in the lead for 1st-half title

By TOM COTTON, Helena Independent Record Sports Editor


The two-horse race in the Pioneer League?s North Division will come down to a three-game series.


The Helena Brewers routed the Casper Rockies 17-7 at Kindrick Legion Field and after the game got some good news. Orem downed Great Falls 7-6 in Utah giving Helena a one-game lead in the standings. The two teams will meet beginning Friday in Great Falls in a series that will determine the first-half champion. Whichever team wins two games in the series will claim the first-half title.


?We really haven?t talked to the team (about the series),? said Helena manager Jeff Isom. ?They are smart enough to know what is going on. It?s mano y mano so it will be a fun series.?


Before Helena could look forward to playing the White Sox they had to take care of business against a Casper team that is the worst in the Pioneer League, but had beaten Helena on Tuesday night.


For the first four innings Wednesday, they looked like they would turn the trick again as they held a 4-1 lead. Casper starter Jeff Fischer held Helena to just two hits over that span. A three-run home run by Wilin Rosario was the big blow that posted Casper to a lead.


Then the wheels came off.


A small adjustment by Brewers? hitting coach Paco Martin was all that was required to get the Helena bats on track. Isom said that Martin told his charges to not overswing and stop pulling the ball. After that, Casper had no answer for a Brewers team that scored 34 runs in the three-game series.


Helena batted through the lineup in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings as they scored 16 runs over the final four times at bat.


The most impressive offensive performance came from Zelous Wheeler. The stocky third baseman was 4-for-5 at the plate with 5 RBI, and three runs scored. He was one of two Helena players that were one leg short of the cycle. Wheeler needed a double to get the job done and Kurt Crowell needed a triple.


?I tried to stay back on the ball,? Wheeler said. ?I just let the ball come to me.?


Wheeler?s offensive outburst may have also been due to a new shipment of bats he received recently ? a set of Diablo bats with which to torment opposing pitchers. He added that Martin?s advice helped him as well.


?A couple of times he got to two strikes and didn?t give in to their pitchers,? Isom said. ?He put some tough pitches into play.?


Not to be outdone by the prolific Brewer offense, Helena starter Nick Tyson turned in a solid performance. Tyson was perfect through three innings, before giving up four runs in the fourth. He, however, came back to shut down the Rockies in the fifth and sixth inning before yielding to Curtis Pasma. Tyson upped his record to 3-0. Pasma pitched three innings, picking up the easy save.


The Brewers will have an off day before the crucial series starts. Roque Mercedes has drawn the start for Helena and Juan Moreno will take the mound for Great Falls.

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Chapman's bat boosts West Virginia to win

Christopher Wade

For the Charleston Daily Mail


When seeing West Virginia Power left fielder Steve Chapman's statistics Wednesday, one would have to be impressed.


After all, Chapman did hit two home runs, go 3-for-4 at the plate, and drive in three runs in helping lead the Power to a 7-5 come-from-behind South Atlantic League baseball victory over the Hagerstown Suns at Appalachian Power Park in front of 2,675.


Chapman's two home runs, both to right-center field, were very impressive, but it was his second hit in between the two long bombs that left an impression on both himself and Power Manager Mike Guerrero.


After Chapman hit a solo home run in the third inning to get the Power on the scoreboard and cut the Hagerstown lead to 3-1, in his next at-bat in the fifth inning, he laid down a perfect bunt single down the third base line.


The at-bat didn't lead to any more Power runs, but it showed Chapman's willingness to do the little things and anything needed to help his team earn a much-needed win.


With the victory, the Power (16-18) snapped a seven-game losing streak. That included a four-game sweep at home against Delmarva. It marked the first time all season that the Power had been swept in a series.


"This was a big win for us, especially after losing seven or eight in a row, whatever it was," Chapman said. "We're not used to losing and nobody likes to lose. Hopefully, we can carry this over to (today)."


Chapman certainly has the power numbers. He now has 17 homers on the season. However, he has been working on other things on his game offensively, including bunting.


"I've been working with Corey (Hart, Power hitting coach) a lot lately and was actually bunting before the game," Chapman said.


"I like to say I'm fast, but I haven't had many bunt hits. I got the first hit out of the way so I figured I might as well try it. I'm glad it worked out for me. I'll take that with me the rest of the season."


Chapman entered Wednesday's game with seven stolen bases, and had been caught stealing three times. He also had delivered two sacrifice bunts.


Guerrero was equally impressed with Chapman's willingness to bunt and try whatever possible to try to get the Power back on the winning track.


"Steve is coming around real well and has been making good adjustments at the plate," Guerrero said. "That is part of his game. We've been working with him on that. It's a part of his development."


Chapman went back to his power game in the sixth inning, hitting his second homer of the game, a two-run shot to give the Power their first lead of the game at 5-4.


Hagerstown (9-24) quickly tied the game up at five with a run in the top of the seventh inning, but just as quickly as the Suns responded, the Power did so in the bottom half of the inning.


After the first two Power batters were retired, Andrew Lefave and Chuckie Caufield hit back-to-back singles to put runners on first and third for third baseman Taylor Green.


Green hit a pop-up to short center field as three Hagerstown fielders converged on the ball. However, none could field it. The bloop single scored both runners, who proved to be the game winning runs.


"We haven't been getting many breaks lately but finally caught some tonight," Green said. "It felt awesome. We finally get a freak broken-bat hit, but we will take it however we can get it."


Guerrero agreed that while the win might not have been pretty at times, breaking the long losing streak was the only thing that mattered.


"Some things went our way and it's nice to get back in the win column," Guerrero said. "You take a win anyway you can get it. Ugly, good looking, it doesn't matter, a win is a win."


Game 2 of the four-game series with the Suns is scheduled tonight at 7:05 (6:05 Central).

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