Sunday, August 19, 2007

GCL Twins, Pirates split double header

GCL Twins 3 at GCL Pirates 4

Current Record: 31 - 16

W: C. Amaro (2-1, 3.92); L: M. Hamburger (1-1, 1.64); SV: E. Cordero (5)
HR: None.

E: Revere (1, fielding), Wright (1, pickoff), Beresford (8, throw).

I told Nelson Prada before the start that I wanted 2 wins. I meant in the same day. The Pirates were already up in this game as it was the conclusion of Tuesday's rain suspended contest.

A Quincy Latimore single, a wild pitch by Glen Perkins and a Thomas Hagan single to center resulted in the run for the Pirates before the game was suspended.

The Miracle were batting, with 2 outs and the count 2-and-2 with Nick Biagini at the plate. So Nick got up there to face Carlos Amaro instead of William Kelly and drew a walk. However, Danny Rohlfing would be called out on strikes so it would be to no avail.

Chris Duffy, on major league rehab, would replace Latimore for this game. Also Ramon Santana had been sent up to Beloit, so James Beresford replaced him at short, and Yangervis Solarte moved over to 2nd base.

Thom Wright took the start for the Twins and struggled from the get go, walking Alex Vargas to lead things off. Ciro Rosero then hit a deep fly ball that was going over the wall, however outfielder Kevin Harrington caught it before it left the park, robbing Rosero of his trip around the bases. Vargas stole 2nd and then Daniel Bomback doubled him in.

I want to stop for a moment and tell you what a joy it is to watch James Beresford field. For the past couple of years watching Trevor Plouffe sleep through games at short, Steve Tolleson misread balls and Luis Ugueto look laxidasical, having a shortstop out there that makes the kind of defensive moves that I last saw out of Hanley Ramirez is such a pleasure.

So had it been Plouffe or Tolleson or Ugueto, Chad Rice would have had a hit. But Beresford snatched it out of mid-air and fired the ball over to Biagini for the ground out. Amazing. Aussie. Now...if we can just get his bat working...

Chris Duffy hit one to Juan Richardson at 3rd to finish off the first inning.

Harrington got up to bat and doubled out to right to cap off his defensive performance. A Ben Revere single brought the speedy Califoria kid home. Solarte then hit a triple to plate Revere and tie up the game.

Wright, however did not respond with the Wright stuff, as he allowed a single to Victor Alvarez, then overthew Biagini on the pick off attempt to move him to second. Revere got to John Fitzpatrick's fly to center, and Wright got Hagan to strike out. Alvarez, getting of tired of sitting on 2nd decided to steal 3rd. This seemed to upset Wright, who unleashed a wild pitch that brought Alvarez home. Josue Peley would single and move to 2nd on a passed ball by Rohlfing before Alex Vargas out be taken out on strikes.

Rosero would reach on a throwing error by Beresford in the 4th, but it proved immaterial as he was caught stealing 2nd and the Pirates could go no where with it.

The Twins tied it up again in the 6th when Richardson hit his way onto first base, then stole 2nd. Angel Morales doubled him over the plate.

Mark Hamburger would replace Wright and got a quick 6th inning. It was in the 7th with Caleb Fields aboard as a pinch runner and at second base when the problem occured. John Fitzpatrick hit the ball to short and Bereford again made a tough catch on the ball then threw to first to try to get the 3rd out. But Hamburger could not handle the catch, which got Fitzpatrick on base and allowed Fields to score. Beresford took it hard, but it wasn't his fault. Hamburger needs some work on his defensive plays. He's a good pitcher otherwise, and I really like having him on the team.

The Twins tried their best in the top of the ninth, with Prada bringing in his big guns in Jon Waltenbury, Alex Soto, and Nick Papasan, but only Soto could get a single, which moved Morales to 3rd but no farther when Papasan was taken out on strikes.

There would be a 30 minute break while the Twins licked their wounds, and the stadium field was groomed.


GCL Pirates 1 at GCL Twins 5

Current Record: 33 - 16

W: L. Hendriks (4-1, 1.13); L: S. Giblin (0-1, 7.47)
HR: None.

E: Papasan (1, throw).

As near as I can tell, Pirate 3rd baseman Carlos Silva has a broken nose. He had some sort of funny contraption on his face, which we all sort of felt was there to protect his nose. It would prove important in this game as it was blocking his vision.

We started out with another amazing Aussie, this time in the form of starter Liam Hendriks. Hendriks would pitch a 1 hitter through six innings, striking out 11. It was simpley an awe inspiring performance from the 18-year-old, who might well be good enough to make the jump to Beloit to start next season.

Silva had his first fielding error in the 2nd, which allowed Jon Waltenbury to get on base and Danny Rams followed on a force attempt that failed with shortstop Victor Alvarez could not handle the ball. But Nick Papasan lined out and Andres Diaz flew out to end the inning. It did however set the stage for what was to come in the 3rd.

James Beresford singled out to left, and Jeanfred Brito followed with a bunt. However, after both managers yelled at the umpires, Brito was ruled out on batter interferance and Berseford had to go back to 1st. It was okay. Ben Revere singled out to right which moved Beresford to 3rd. Yangervis Solarte followed it up a line drive plated Beresford. Juan Richardson's fly ball scored Revere before Waltenbury flew out to left. Danny Rams singled a ball to the mound which pitcher Sean Giblin couldn't handle. That prompted a pitching change and Gary Amato was brought in.

He led off with a wild pitch that brought Solarte in. Nick Papasan then batted straight to Silva, which hit him, and bounced off. Silva picked up it but mis-threw, which allowed Richardson to score. Andres Diaz followed suit hitting straight to Silva who couldn't see to get the ball, which brought in Rams. Beresford's grounder would end the run fest, but the Twins had 5 which proved a very comforatable lead as Hendriks allowed the Pirates nothing.

Silva was removed after the inning being replaced by Daniel Bomback.

The lone Pirate run came in the top of the 7th when Jakub Toufar took the mound and allowed a Caleb Field's single and a Bomback triple. He would get Thomas Hagan to ground out and Papasan made a nice catch on Andrew Biela's pop ball. Juan Garcia was taken out on strikes to end the game.

Solarte was 2-for-3 in the contest, the only Twins player with multiple hits in the game. (Bomback would be 2-for-2 for the Pirates.)

The split double header put the Twins 4 games up over the Orioles in the South Division with 7 games left to play. The Reds visit the Lee County Sportsplex on Monday for a noon contest.


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