Buffalo 7, Charlotte 6
By Pete Shapiro
The Bisons hung on to win a nail-biter as SS Omar Quintanilla made a diving, sprawling catch in shallow left-field, with two-outs in the ninth and the tying run rounding third-base and on it’s way home. Had Quintanilla not made the spectacular play to stifle a two-out rally the game would have been tied up, instead the Herd held on to defeat the Charlotte Knights by a score of 7-6 on Sunday, snapping a three-game losing streak.
RHP Elvin Ramirez (2-0 0.00) picked up the win for the Bisons by pitching two scoreless innings in relief of starter Matt Harvey. Harvey made his eighth start of the year, going the first six innings and giving up four earned runs on seven hits, one homer, two walks, and six strikeouts. He may very well have been following orders to “pitch-to-contact” today due to the fact that he hurled 91 pitches on the day, with 63 of them going for strikes.
The Bisons scored first, in the second inning by reaching RHP Charles Shirek for three singles, a double, and a HBP. Lucky for Charlotte, 3B Matt Tuiasosopo got caught stealing which cost the Herd an additional run when Dustin Martin doubled moments later. They still managed to plate two in the inning but their lead would be fairly short-lived.
Charlotte scored one in the second, one in the fifth, and two in the sixth off Harvey to take a 4-2 lead into the eighth inning. The game would turn in the top-of-the-eighth inning when the Herd sent nine men to the plate, and scored five runs in the process, to make the score 7-4.
C Lucas May led off the inning with a single to left. With one out Fred Lewis reached safely on a fielder’s choice due to a throwing error by the Charlotte shortstop. RF Vinny Rottino then doubled to left to drive in May making it 4-3, and send Lewis to third. Charlotte brought in RHP Brian Omogrosso to face Valentino Pascucci, who struck out swinging.
Tuiasosopo then came up with a big two-out hit to drive in both runners, and give the lead back to the Herd at 5-4. But the scoring wasn’t over yet. Back-to-back doubles were to follow by 1B Josh Satin and CF Dustin Martin, his second of the game, plating both Tuiasosopo and Satin and making the score 7-4.
Bisons manager Wally Backman, wanting this game very badly after three straight losses, acted aggressively by bringing in his closer to pitch the ninth despite a three-run cushion. RHP Fernando Cabrera had been perfect this season in save opportunities, but he failed to get the job done here.
He started out by giving up a single and a walk to the first two men he faced. It seemed as if perhaps he would wriggle off the hook however, when he struck out the next two batters swinging. The only thing standing between Cabrera and his ninth save of the year was Charlotte 2B Drew Garcia. Garcia slashed a line-drive double into CF for his first AAA hit, to score both runners making it 7-6, and moving himself into scoring position at second as the tying run with two-out.
This brought lefty slugging DH Dan Johnson to the plate as the winning run, so Backman summoned lefty Josh Edgin from the pen. With the count one and one, Johnson lifted a looping fly ball into shallow left-field behind the third-baseman. There was very little hang time, certainly not enough for Tuiasosopo to make a play on it. Garcia, off like a shot as the bat made contact, was already rounding third with the tying run when Quintanilla went sprinting from his shortstop position, and diving all out, made a desperation grab of the dying quail, to preserve the victory 7-6 and give Edgin his first AAA save.
Herd Rumblings: Valentino Pascucci is a streaky hitter and he’s starting to get hot again. After a string of games in which he went 0 for 16, he has now put together a 7-game hit streak. During the seven games he is 9 for 25 for a .360 average, with three runs scored, a double, a home run, and four RBI’s. Matt Tuiasosopo has also been heating up, going 12 for 30 over his last ten games with three walks. That’s good for a .400 batting average over that span, with six runs scored, two doubles, two home runs, and six RBI’s. For the year Tuiasosopo, who has played all three OF positions plus 3B for Wally Backman, is hitting .292 with three HR’s and 13 RBI’s. In 110 AB’s, SS Omar Quintanilla has hit five HR’s and driven in 18 runs while putting up an impressive slash line of: .282/.352/.509 (.509 SLG is good for 6th in the league). The Bisons will try and split the four-game series with Charlotte with a victory tomorrow night in the final game. RHP Jeurys Familia (3-1 4.41) will make his eighth start for the Herd while RHP Matt Zaleski (1-0 4.63) goes for the Knights.
Binghamton 7, New Hampshire 6
By Tim Burns
The Binghamton Mets short road trip ended on a positive note on Sunday afternoon when they defeated the New Hampshire Fisher Cats by a score of 7-6. The B-Mets took three out of four in their second trip to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium this season, outscoring the Fisher Cats by a 27-21 margin.
Greg Peavey started the game for the B-Mets and went five innings for the visitors. Peavey allowed five earned runs on seven hits, striking out three and walking two. The third inning would prove to be his most difficult frame of the afternoon, one in which he hit two batters, gave up two singles and a double, and a two-run home run to Fisher Cats third baseman Mark Sobolewski. Four of the five earned runs given up by Peavey came in that third inning.
Armando Rodriguez came on in the sixth in relief of Peavey, and in two innings worth of work only allowed one hit and struck out two New Hampshire batters. Rodriguez would earn his second win of the season as he was the pitcher of record when the B-Mets took their final lead of the afternoon in the top of the seventh.
Jeff Kaplan and Robert Carson were the other two pitchers out of the pen for the B-Mets on the afternoon. In one-third of an inning, Kaplan allowed one hit and struck out one, earning his first hold of the season. Carson pitched the eighth and ninth, giving up one run on two hits. Things got a little interesting for the B-Mets and Carson in the bottom of the ninth. With one run across, and the tying run standing on second base in the form of pinch runner Brad McElroy, Carson was able to get the Fisher Cats Brad Glenn to strike out swinging for the final out of the game, earning Carson his first professional save.
Behind home runs by Matt den Dekker, Sean Kazmar, and Jefry Marte, the B-Mets were able to chisel out their seventeenth win of the season. Den Dekker’s team leading fifth home run of the season came as a solo shot in the top of the fifth and was the second of the inning after Sean Kazmar hit his first of the season leading off the same frame. Jefry Marte’s home run in the seventh would be the difference maker on the afternoon for the B-Mets, as his two run shot brought their run tally to seven.
Den Dekker went 2/5 on the day, with the homer and a double to his credit. He had three RBI’s in the game as well, the most by any B-Mets batter. Jefry Marte ended the day 2/4, with a single added to his two-run shot completing his totals.
B-Mets Buzz: The B-Mets have an off day Monday, readying for a three game set against the Trenton Thunder. This will be the team’s first meeting of the 2012 campaign. B-Mets starters Mark Cohoon (2-3, 2.06), Zack Wheeler (2-2, 2.05), and Gonzalez Germen (1-1, 5.54) should be on tap for the series.
St. Lucie: Off Day
Lucie Logistics: After a day off on Sunday, St. Lucie returns home for a brief three-game home stand against Bradenton beginning Monday night. At 28-8 the first place Mets enjoy a 9.0 game lead over the second-place Palm Beach Cardinals. Probables for the Bradenton series opener are: RHP Tyler Waldron (3-1 4.55) will throw for the Marauders and RHP Johan Almonte (2-0 5.79) goes for Lucie.
Savannah: Cancelled Rain
The fourth game of the four-game set between the Sand Gnats and the Hickory Crawdads was rained out on Sunday and no make-up date has been announced. The Gnats were leading the series two games to one.
Gnats Gnotes: The road-trip continues as the Gnats head to Charleston for a three-game series starting on Monday night at 7:05 pm. The visiting Sand Gnats will send RHP Rafael Montero (2-2 3.58) to the hill against RiverDogs RHP William Oliver (1-2 3.14).