Healy's big blast nets Midland late win
The Midland RockHounds' hot start on the mound continued on Saturday, but it took a ninth-inning rally by the RockHounds' offense to get Midland its second win of the season, 4-1 over the Arkansas Travelers.
Daniel Mengden followed Chris Jensen and Raul Alcantara with the RockHounds' third straight strong start to begin the season. Mengden was brilliant in his six innings. He allowed only five base-runners (two hits and three walks) in six scoreless innings. Mengden struck-out eight and he left the game with the RockHounds leading 1-0.
The game was tied 0-0 in the top of the sixth inning when Matt Chapman unloaded on a 3-2 pitch from Jordan Kipper for an opposite field homerun. The homer was Chapman's first of the year.
The RockHounds were leading 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh when Arkansas rallied against Corey Walter. Walter allowed a lead-off double, but looked like he was poised to get out of the inning when the runner was still on third with two-outs. Bo Way singled on a 2-2 pitch to tie the game.
The game was still knotted at 1 in the top of the ninth when the RockHounds rallied. With one out, Viosergy Rosa doubled and Brett Vertigan replaced him on the bases. Beau Taylor and J.P. Sportman walked to load the bases for Danny Oh. Oh battled in an eight pitch at-bat but eventually struck-out swinging. That brought up Ryon Healy, who wasted no time. Swinging at the first pitch, Healy launched a drive to left field that bounced just short of the fence for a three-run double.
The three-run rally would give Aaron Kurcz plenty of wiggle room in the bottom of the ninth, but he didn't need it. Pitching his second inning, Kurcz worked a one-two-three frame, striking out the last two batters he faced. Kurcz struck-out four over two perfect innings and earned his first win of the season.
Before the game, the A's sent Midland starter Dylan Covey back to extended spring training. Joel Seddon and Sam Bragg will be the fourth and fifth starters in the Midland rotation now. The RockHounds have allowed just five runs as a staff over the first three games of the season.
Sounds avoid history, but fall to OKC
The Nashville Sounds were three outs away from making the wrong kind of history. They avoided being no-hit but weren't able to complete a comeback in their 2-1 loss to the OKC Dodgers.
It was a tough night for offense all around in Nashville on Saturday, as the two teams combined for just three runs and 10 hits. The Sounds had exactly none of those hits until the bottom of the ninth inning. Sam LeCure, Ian Thomas and Adam Liberatore were only a walk to Bruce Maxwell away from carrying a perfect game into the ninth inning. Holding a 2-0 lead, Chin-hui Tsao looked to close out the no-hitter and the win. Renato Nunez had other ideas. On an 0-1 pitch, he hit a line-drive to the right-field corner for a clean double. Maxwell followed with an RBI single and suddenly the Sounds were not only not being no-hit, they were threatening to win the game.
Tyler Ladendorf bunted to move pinch-runner Matt McBride to second. However, Joey Wendle and Andrew Lambo both struck-out to end the threat.
Dillon Overton was stuck with a tough-luck loss. He worked in and out of trouble in four innings, but he had good stuff. In those four innings, Overton allowed just two runs (one earned) on seven hits and a walk. He struck-out eight. Overton was lifted after four innings and 82 pitches thrown.
Ryan Brasier, Eduard Santos and Tucker Healy kept the Dodgers off the board for the final five innings of the game. Healy struck-out three in two scoreless innings. The Nashville staff has allowed seven runs over the first three games of the season.
Ports, Snappers postponed
The weather was not kind to the Stockton Ports and Beloit Snappers on Saturday, as both games were postponed. Heath Fillmyer will take the hill for Stockton on Sunday and James Naile will make his 2016 debut for Beloit on Sunday.