MMN Recap: Michael, Alonso Push Rumble Ponies to Extra Inning Win

By Ryan Kolakowski

May 31, 2018 No comments

Peter Alonso/ Photo by Rick Nelson of MiLB.com

Reno (23-31) 8, Las Vegas (22-32) 5  Box Score

The 51s had a lot of chances, but blew most of them going just 4-21 with runners in scoring position. Down 5-1 in the sixth, they manufactured a few runs on RBI groundouts from Jose Lobaton and Patrick Biondi as well as a sac fly from Matt den Dekker and an RBI single by Zach Borenstein, but it wasn’t enough. Borenstein, who’s had a rough and inconsistent May, collected three hits on the night, including an RBI double that got the 51s on the board in the fourth inning. Kaczmarski continued his white-hot start to his Triple-A career with four hits, although it’s still a very small sample. Smith, playing right field again, recorded an extra-base hit but went just 1-for-5, and now has a weak .733 OPS in the month of May.

  • RHP Aaron Laffey (L, 0-2, 12.60 ERA): 5.0 IP, 8 H, 8 R, BB, 2 K
  • RHP Kevin McGowan (1-1, 4.76 ERA): 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
  • LHP Matt Purke (1-0, 5.82 ERA): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Laffey did not fare well in his second start with the 51s. His control was fine and he was around the strike zone but he got hit hard and didn’t overpower anyone, collecting only two strikeouts and giving up a startling five home runs. McGowan pitched two good innings in relief, while Purke needed only seven pitches to get through his scoreless inning. Purke has been better in May after a disastrous April, but he still has way too many walks on the season. Even last night when he threw just seven pitches, four of them went for balls. He really needs to work on his control if he wants to become a reliable option for the Mets.

Binghamton (28-23) 7, Erie (18-33) 3 (F/11) Box Score

Jannis took the mound for the Rumble Ponies and twirled a gem against the SeaWolves. In his eighth start of the year for Binghamton, Jannis served up one of his better performances of the year. He went seven innings deep for the second consecutive start, and he matched his season high with eight strikeouts. The 30-year-old knuckleballer started the year in Las Vegas, but struggled in his first two starts. He has been far more reliable in Binghamton, pitching to a 4.37 ERA with the Rumble Ponies.

Reliever Ryder Ryan earned a promotion to Binghamton after posting a 1.77 ERA in 16 appearances with St. Lucie this season. He had the opportunity to make his Eastern League debut in the eleventh inning. Ryan came in for the eleventh inning, and a baserunner was placed on second base in accordance with the new minor league extra inning rules. A wild pitch moved the baserunner to third, and he proceeded to score on a sacrifice fly. Ryan struck out two in the frame, allowing only the one unearned run to score.

With the score knotted 2-2 in the eleventh inning, a Rumble Ponies baserunner was placed on second base. The SeaWolves walked Matt Oberste, and Jeff McNeil later reached on an error to load the bases. Levi Michael came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. A run-scoring single gave the Rumble Ponies a 3-2 lead. Michael had three hits in the game and is has a .836 OPS in the month of May.

Once again, Peter Alonso was in the middle of the action for Binghamton, and he drove in the runs that would give his team some breathing room. With the bases loaded and a 3-2 lead, Alonso lined a two-run single to left field to give his team a three-run cushion. Tim Tebow walked twice in the game but also struck out three times.

Jupiter (33-18) 7, St. Lucie (19-25) 1 Box Score

St. Lucie pitchers struggled on the night, starting with 24-year-old Gary Cornish. In his fifth start of the year for St. Lucie, Cornish was hit around for four earned runs in his first two innings of work. He eventually settled down and pitched into the sixth inning, but he staked the Hammerheads out to a four-run lead.

Reliever Adam Atkins had an uncharacteristically poor night on the mound for the Mets. He coughed up two earned runs after not giving up any in his previous 4 1/3 innings of work. His ERA rose from 2.49 to 2.93 on the night.

The Mets had a quiet night at the dish, failing to get anything going offensively. Collectively, St. Lucie gathered five hits on the night, none of which went for extra bases. Designated hitter J.J. Franco was the only player to record multiple hits. Third baseman Michael Paez also reached base twice with two walks.

The lone run of the night for St. Lucie came in the eighth inning as a result of a throwing error by Jupiter. With Gimenez on second and Desmond Lindsay on first, Luis Carpio grounded into a force out at second base. Andres Gimenez advanced to third and then scored on the throw.

Columbia Fireflies (28-22) 2, Charleston (23-28) 1 Box Score

  • RHP Tony Dibrell (2-2, 3.88 ERA): 6.1 IP, 5 H, ER, 3 BB, 3 K
  • RHP Stephen Villines (2-3, 5.67 ERA): 1.2 IP, H, K
  • RHP Trey Cobb (2-1, 2.50 ERA): IP, H, K

Columbia starting pitcher Tony Dibrell had a solid outing, allowing only one earned run over 6 1/3 innings. Dibrell has now allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his last six starts, dropping his ERA to 3.88 for the year. Dibrell, a 2017 fourth-round pick from Kennesaw State University, has shown the ability to go deep into games. In nine starts this year, he has gone at least six innings on five occasions, including four of his last five starts.

Reliever Trey Cobb continued to pitch well for Columbia. The Oklahoma State University product threw a scloreless ninth inning to record his seventh save for the Fireflies. However, he struggles with allowing baserunners, and he has now allowed a hit in each of his last eleven appearances.

The Columbia offense struggled to find consistency throughout the night. Usual contributors Blake Tiberi and Jeremy Vasquez continued to lead the Fireflies offense. Columbia trailed 1-0 in the sixth inning when Tiberi lined a two-out single to put runners on the corners. The fireflies tied the game on a Matt Winaker groundout, advancing Tiberi to second base. Vasquez then hit a go-ahead triple to give Columbia a 2-1 lead that would hold for the remainder of the night.

Left fielder Raphael Gladu recorded a hit for the fifteenth consecutive game. Prior to the start of his hitting streak on May 9, Gladu was hitting only .224 on the season. With his hit against Charleston, Gladu has raised his average to .272 for the year. Gladu, 22, has not shown much power, and he has yet to hit a home run this season, but he continues to find hits and make his way on base.

Wuilmer Becerra had two hits in the game but has yet to walk or get an extra base hit in eight game for Columbia.

Las Vegas portion of recap done by Mojo Hill. Binghamton, St. Lucie and Columbia recaps done by Ryan Kolakowski. There was a flurry of roster moves yesterday which we have covered for you here