Tulsa Blanks Arkansas, Scores Early and Often
A night after a walk-off 5-4 defeat, the Drillers came out swinging Thursday night, getting to Travelers’ starter Anthony Misiewicz in each of the first three innings, totaling four runs on eight hits off the left-hander through 3.1 innings. Arkansas reliever Trevor Frank shined in 2.0 innings of work, allowing just one walk and one hit while striking out five in a scoreless outing, but without much production from the offense, the Travelers fell 6-0.
The Travelers bats never got going, as they failed to record an extra-base hit and ended the night with more walks (5) than hits (4). Cleanup man Joey Curletta managed to work two walks, and Logan Taylor added a pair of singles to the otherwise non-noteworthy nice on offense.
With the series now tied 1-1, Game 3 takes place tonight in Tulsa with right-hander Chris Mazza taking toeing the rubber for the Travs fresh off winning Texas League Pitcher of the Week honors. The Drillers will counter with Dodgers #4 prospect Dustin May, who was recently named a Postseason All-Star for High-A Rancho Cucamonga, where he made 17 starts before finishing the year with six starts for Tulsa. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05pm.
Everett Forces Game 3 With Big 4th Inning
Through three innings of Thursday’s Northwest League Divisional Championship, Everett’s Orlando Razo and Spokane’s Jake Latz were entrenched in a pitcher’s dual, each throwing up 0’s through the first three frames before both sides’ offenses exploded in the fourth, combining for nine runs in the inning. Latz was perfect his first time through the order, but things fell apart as he reached the top of the AquaSox lineup for the second time, allowing seven straight hitters to reach base via a sequence of single-double-hit by pitch-walk-single-double-walk before being yanked from the game, his team suddenly trailing 4-0. Everett added on two more runs before the inning wrapped up—both charged to Latz.
Spokane answered with three runs off Razo in the bottom half of the inning when Spokane catcher Isaias Quiroz hammered a three-run homer to cut the lead in half at 6-3. That’s where things would remain over the next four innings, which featured 3.0 scoreless innings out of indy ball signing Cody Brown, before the AquaSox struck again in the top half of the ninth. Everett strung together three hits and took advantage of a pair of Spokane errors in the inning to tack on two insurance runs, putting Spokane in a five-run hole headed into their last turn at the dish. Closer Dayeison Arias slammed the door for the AquaSox, striking out two of three hitters in the ninth after retiring the side in order in the 8th as well.
Everett got contributions all up and down their lineup throughout the eight run effort, highlighted by a three-hit night from Jansiel Rivera out of the nine hole. 2018 10th, 12th, and 13th rounders Matt Sanders, Ryne Ogren, and Charlie McConnell all checked in with two-hit nights as well, each posting a double and a single. 2nd round pick Josh Stowers and 3rd round selection Cal Raleigh combined to go 0-7 on the night and are a combined 1-14 on the series and will look to finish strong against a tough pitcher Friday. It’s also worth noting that Spokane may be pitching around Raleigh, as he’s walked twice in each of the series’ first two games.
The win or go home Game 3 will take place Friday at 1:00pm on account of Spokane’s Avista Stadium sharing a parking lot with the the Spokane County Fair, which opens Friday as well (if that isn’t the most Minor League Baseball thing you’ve ever heard...). Everett will send Venezuelan RHP Jheyson Caraballo to the mound to square off against rehabbing 2013 1st round pick Chi Chi Gonzalez. Gonzalez made a start for Spokane last weekend, dominating the Vancouver Canadians with 5.0 perfect innings, striking out four. Gonzalez has allowed just three hits and no walks through 14.0 innings on his current rehab assignment, and would likely be pitching above the Short Season A level if Texas had any other affiliate clubs still playing.