4/18 Mets Farm Report: Wheeler, Montero, Hefner Deliver Dominant Performances, Gnats Turn Two

Wheeler was dealing, but took the loss.

Buffalo 4, Lehigh Valley 1

Starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner turned in his best performance of the young season to pick up his second win of the season. The hulking right-hander tossed seven dominant innings and allowed just unearned run on four hits and walk while striking out three. Hefner is now sporting a 1.96 ERA. Justin Hampson pitched the final two innings of the game and he was perfect in earning his first save of the season.

The Bisons scored their first run in the 4th inning when third baseman Zach Lutz doubled home Bobby Scales who started the inning off with a walk. In the 7th inning, the red hot Scales came up big with a two-out, RBI-double to score Josh Satin with the go-ahead run. Scales would then score along with Jordany Valdespin on Val Pascucci’s two-run single that put the Herd up 4-1. They would never look back.

Herd Rumblings: Justin Hampson retired all six batters he faced and picked up the save – the second of his professional career. Bobby Scales just keeps going and going and has now been on-base two or more times in his last eleven games and is batting .436 this season. Garrett Olson takes the hill this afternoon at 1:05 PM to clinch the series win.

New Hampshire 2, Binghamton 0

A strong outing by Mets top pitching prospect Zach Wheeler wasn’t enough to overcome an absent offense for the Binghamton Mets on Wednesday night in Manchester. Wheeler pitched six innings, giving up one run on three hits, while striking out eight in the B-Mets 2-0 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

New Hampshire starter Deck McGuire allowed only one B-Mets hit over 6 2/3 innings, that being a single by Juan Lagares in the top of the seventh. Lagares was thrown out by Fisher Cats catcher A. J. Jiminez attempting to steal second later in the inning. The B-Mets only other hit of the game came in the seventh as well, a single to left field by Josh Rodriguez off of reliever, and former Mets farmhand, Clint Everts.

Matt den Dekker’s nine game hitting streak came to end in this game. Over the nine games, den Dekker was 14/38 with three doubles, a triple, and a home run.

B-Mets Buzz: It’s back to NYSEG Stadium for the B-Mets now, a four game tilt on tap against the Portland Sea Dogs. Darin Gorski (1-0, 1.80) is slated to take the hill for the B-Mets on Thursday night, facing the Sea Dogs for the second time this season. Gorski pitched four innings his last time out against Portland, giving up two runs on four hits and striking out five in a no decision.

Savannah 4, Rome 3 (Game 1)

Let there be light! As was mentioned in yesterday’s Farm Report, the game between Savannah and Rome was suspended after a power failure caused the stadium to go dark.  The game would resume in the 3rd inning with the score already at 2-1.

Despite Logan Verrett being unable to finish what he started, Marcos Camarena stepped in and was able to pick up the slack and gave the Gnats a short, but so-so outing. Camarena tossed four innings and allowed two runs on two hits while striking out a pair.

The Gnats added their two runs in the 7th inning when first baseman Brian Harrison scorched an RBI double to score Brandon Brown to tie the game at 3-3. Shortstop T.J. Rivera came around to score on a fielders choice when left fielder Dustin Lawley grounded to short. Harrison went 4-5 with two doubles in the game.

Reliever Jack Leathersich closed out the game with two perfect innings to pick up his first save of the season.

Savannah 2, Rome 0 (Game 2)

Game two was a shortened seven inning affair. Gnats starter Rafael Montero was very impressive, as he went on to throw six scoreless innings and allowed just three hits and struck out seven batters. The game was not decided until the top of the 7th inning.

With the game scoreless in the 7th inning, Charles Thurber got the Gnats going with a single to left field followed by a walk by Travis Taijeron. Then, with runners on first and second, Greg Pron smacked an RBI single to bring home Thurber and Luis Nieves would add to that with an RBI single to bring home Taijeron.

Estarlin Morel would come on in the bottom of the 7th to earn the save for the Gnats.

Gnats Gnotes: T.J. Rivera is currently 3rd in the South Atlantic League with a .404 batting average.  With his six scoreless innings against the Rome Braves, Rafel Montero lowered his ERA from 5.40 to a 2.70. Jack Leathersich added to his already impressive start with two perfect innings and three more strikeouts. He’s now pitched nine scoreless innings and allowed just three hits, two walks and an amazing 15 strikeouts. Two more important notes.  After both games yesterday, the Gnats are now on a 6-game winning streak as they head into a series with the Hickory Crawdads. They also are tied for first place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division.