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Around the Farm: May 21, 2017: Merritt Solid Despite Walk-off Loss

While two teams were making up previously rained out contests, one had Mother Nature wreak havoc on their game as only the Hillcats could muster a win in Game 2 of their doubleheader on Sunday. The IBI's Jake Dungan recaps all the highlights, including Ryan Merritt's tough luck loss and more.

Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Scoreboard

Game 1 R H E Game 2 R H E
Columbus 0 7 0 Columbus 3 7 0
Louisville 1 6 1 Louisville 4 6 2
BOX BOX
R H E Game 1 R H E
Akron 2 8 1 Potomac 4 4 1
Lynchburg 5 6 0 Lynchburg 3 11 0
BOX BOX
Game 2 R H E R H E
Potomac 2 2 1 West Michigan
Lynchburg 3 5 3 Lake County
BOX Cancelled - Rain

Highlights

Ryan Merritt (Columbus, SP): *Game 1* 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K, L (3-5). You can't say Ryan Merritt hasn't been durable and reliable this season. Even with his 4.40 ERA entering Sunday, the left-hander has not missed a start or failed to take the ball when asked and he has averaged six innings per start. That being said, the 2016 Indians ALCS hero had it all working in Game 1 of Sunday's twin bill for Columbus giving up just one run on six hits in 6.2 innings of work. Unfortunately, that one run came with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to give Louisville a walk-off win and hand Merritt a tough-luck loss.

Triston McKenzie (Lynchburg, SP): *Game 1* 6.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R/ER, 5 BB, 6 K, ND. McKenzie had a bit of a bizarre outing on Sunday in that he pitched into the seventh inning having allowed no runs on one hit, but a pair of walks with one out in the seventh before departing set up a scoring chance for Potomac, which they were able to capitalize on against the Hillcats bullpen scoring three runs, two of which were charged to McKenzie. The five walks issued by the right-hander on Sunday tie a career high as he had only walked that many once before in his career on July 14th of last season with Mahoning Valley.

The Rest

  • Joe Sever (Akron, RF): 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI. Sever drove in one of Akron's two runs on Sunday with a solo home run, marking his second of the season. With that blast, the 26-year-old is now already halfway to his total from last season of four through only 29 games.
  • Ka'ai Tom (Lynchburg, LF): *Game 1* 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 SB; *Game 2* 1-2, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB. Looks like Tom might be heating up at the plate again as he has gone six for his last 18 with a double and three RBI's running his hit streak to five games. He has also drawn seven walks versus just four walks in that span.
  • Francisco Mejia (Akron, C): 1-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K. The RubberDucks are still easing Mejia back into full game action as he was pulled after five innings on Sunday, but not before the Dominican catcher went deep for the second time in as many games since returning to the Akron lineup.
  • Sicnarf Loopstok (Lynchburg, 1B): *Game 1* 1-4, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 BB; *Game 2* 0-3, 1 RBI, 1 K. Loopstok had only one hit in Sunday's doubleheader against Potomac, but it was a big one as he drove in two with his second triple of the year in the third inning of Game 1. The 24-year-old has also matched last season's RBI total of 21, which also ties his career high.
  • Connor Marabell (Columbus, LF): *Game 2* 2-3, 1 RBI, 1 CS. Who would've thought a promotion to Triple-A would get Marabell's bat going? Well, so far in five games for the Clippers the Florida native has gone 7-for-15 (.467) with two doubles and an RBI while filling the spot vacated by Bradley Zimmer.
  • Mitch Brown (Akron, RP): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 1 K. Brown's walk-less streak may have come to an end on Sunday as he issued two free passes in two innings against Hartford, but that doesn't mean he was any less dominant pitching no-hit ball with a strikeout as he has now lowered his ERA to 2.25 on the season.
  • Willi Castro (Lynchburg, SS): *Game 1* 1-4, 2 K; *Game 2* 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI. Castro's latest hot streak has ballooned his numbers back up to impressive levels as he now has a .290/.355/.395 slash line after hitting .447 over his last 10 games. At the start of his ongoing nine-game hit streak, the 20-year-old shortstop was owned just a .216 average.
  • Austin Jackson (Columbus, CF): 2-3. As he closes in on potential reactivation, Jackson has looked good numbers-wise in his first two rehab games recording three hits, including a home run and two RBI's, in six at-bats. Sunday was the first game the veteran played in the outfield playing five innings in center before being subbed out.
  • Robbie Aviles (Akron, RP): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR. Aviles pitched one of his better outings of the season thus far firing a pair of no-hit frames against Hartford with no walks and a strikeout. Over his last three appearances, the right-hander has not allowed a baserunner while recording a save and lowering his ERA from 5.02 to 4.15.
  • Giovanny Urshela (Columbus, 3B): *Game 1* 0-3; *Game 2* 2-3, 1 RBI. Urshela drove in one of the three runs for the Clippers in Game 2 of Sunday's twin bill, but unfortunately it wasn't quite enough as Columbus would fall 4-3 to complete Louisville's doubleheader sweep. Urshela's 0-for-3 performance in Game 1 also snapped an eight-game hit streak.
  • Dominic DeMasi (Lynchburg, SP): *Game 2* 4 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 5 K, ND. DeMasi has fared well in two bullpen-day starts in a row as he has allowed only one run on three hits over seven combined innings with two walks and eight strikeouts. The Lynchburg lineup was also able to supply adequate run support as the Hillcats were able to split the twin bill with a 3-2 win. 
  • Jodd Carter (Lynchburg, CF): *Game 1* 2-4, 1 2B, 2 K; *Game 2* 1-2, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB. Over his last seven games, Carter has been on a roll batting an even .400 (10-for-25) with three doubles, a triple and five RBI's. In Game 2 on Sunday, the 20-year-old outfielder drove in a run in the fourth inning with an RBI triple to break a 1-1 tie en route to the Hillcats' 3-2 win.
  • Nick Pasquale (Akron, SP): 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, L (3-3). Pasquale pitched easily his least effective outing of the year lasting only two innings while giving up five runs (three earned) against Hartford. That's a testament to how well the right-hander has pitched so far, though as Sunday marked just his second outing of less than five innings in eight starts.
  • Kyle Crockett (Columbus, RP): *Game 2* 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 0 K. It looks like Crockett may be figuring things out again on the mound. After two straight seasons of inconsistency both in the majors and in Columbus, the young southpaw has been dominant in 2017 pitching to the tune of a 2.25 ERA in 17 appearances thus far while posting a 1.05 WHIP and fanning 22 in 20 innings.
  • Adam Moore (Columbus, C): *Game 1* 2-2. The veteran catcher is starting to find his groove again at the plate hitting .296 over his last 10 games as his 2-for-2 performance was his second multi-hit performance in that span.
  • Cladio Bautista (Lynchburg, 3B): *Game 1* 2-4, 1 R; *Game 2* 0-2, 1 BB, 2 K. Bautista's Game 1 performance marked his second straight game with multiple hits. It also was the first time since April 26th and 28th where the Dominican infielder has recorded hits in back-to-back contests.
  • Louis Head (Columbus, RP): *Game 2* 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K. Head has battled through inconsistency this season, especially of late where he has posted a 7.71 ERA over his last 10 appearances. However, he took a step back in the right direction on Sunday with a scoreless inning allowing only a walk while striking out one.

Jake Dungan is the Managing Editor for IBI and a podcast host on the Smoke Signals Network. Email him at jdungan@indiansbaseballinsider.com or follow him on Twitter @JakeDBaseball.


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