MadFriars' Farm Report August 15

With less than 3 weeks to go in the regular season, it is crunch time for our teams. Tucson and AZL are far out of it but the rest still have a shot. The Storm and Tin Caps currently have spots locked up. The Ems are a game out while the Missions are 4. Time to put up or shut up for the #1 ranked farm system.

Iowa Cubs 4 – Tucson Padres 0

Key Stats: Josh Spence 3.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K; Dan Robertson 2-4, 2 SB (15)

Chris Rusin pitched six scoreless innings and earned his eighth win of the year on Wednesday as the Iowa Cubs defeated the Tucson Padres 4-0 at Kino Stadium. Rusin also contributed offensively with two hits and one run scored.

The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the top of second when Brian Esposito grounded out to first base scoring Blake Lalli from third. Iowa's Tony Campana, Diory Hernandez, and manager Dave Bialas were all ejected from the game in the third inning after Campana was called out at first base on a sacrifice bunt attempt.

The Cubs began the top of the fifth with four straight hits, leading to three runs. The first run scored on Nate Samson's broken-bat RBI single to left field. Alfredo Amezaga followed with a single to bring home Rusin and Samson later scored on a double play to give Iowa a 4-0 advantage.

Jesus Merchan's single to left field in the sixth inning extended his current hitting streak to six games.

Padres starting pitcher Matt Palmer was forced to leave the game in the third inning after suffering an injury while pursuing a bunted ball. He threw 2.1 innings, allowing two hits, one unearned run, and lost his ninth contest of the season. Tucson has lost eight consecutive games.

Courtesy of Tim, Media Director for the Tucson Padres

San Antonio Missions 1 – Springfield Cardinals 6

Key Stats: Adys Portillo 4.2 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 K; Keyvius Sampson 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K; Jon Galvez 1-3, 2B, RS, BB; Rymer Liriano 1-3, 3B, RBI, BB, K, SB (29), Outfield Assist

Adys Portillo pitched better than his line score would insinuate. Portillo would retire 9 of the first 10 batters he faces with the only hit being a HR in the 3rd to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. In the 4th Portillo would run into bad luck. A leadoff seeing eye single, was followed by a slow grounder to 2nd. Rather than taking the sure out at 1st, Galvez tried for the force. The runner was called safe, and the inning became a lot tougher. Portillo would pitch out of it surrendering only 1 run.

Finally in the 5th, the flood gates would open, but only after Portillo left the game. After striking out the first batter Portillo would give up a single, than a "Texas League single" (pop up just out of reach of Galvez and Liriano). A long fly out allowed both runner to tag with 2 outs. For whatever reason they decided to intentionally walk the next hitter to load the bases. After a long AB Portillo would walk the next hitter to force in a run and end his night. Bases loaded, 2 outs, Missions down 3-0. Robert Lara then came in and cleared the bases allowing back to back singles in the gap. The inning only mercifully came to an end when Rymer Liriano threw a bullet from center to 3B to nail the runner for the final out of the inning.

Down 6-0, Missions would get on the board in the 6th, thanks to a 2 out 2B by Galvez followed by a 3B by Liriano. This would be the Missions only run of the game.

Keyvius Sampson would come on and retire 6 of the 7 batters he faced allowing only a single up the middle. It was Sampson's first relief appearance of the year, and shouldn't have to do with innings as he is currently at 105.1 IP and had 118 last year.

Courtesy of me , reporter for Inland Empire 66ers 4 – Lake Elsinore Storm 5

Key Stats: Matt Andriese 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K; Kevin Quackenbush 1 IP, 1 BB, 2 K (S, 25); Tommy Medica 3-4, 2 HR (14), 3 RS, 3 RBI; Chris Bisson 1-3, 2B, RS, BB

Lake Elsinore - For the first time since July 13 & 14, the Storm won back-to-back games with a 5-4 win over the Inland Empire Sixty Sixers. Tommy Medica went 3-for-4 on the night including two home runs that traveled over 420 feet.

The Storm picked up two of their three doubles in the first as new leadoff man Chris Bisson doubled to right field. Medica singled scoring Bisson before Everett Williams doubled giving the Storm a two run lead. Bisson is currently 17-for-40 during a nine-game hitting streak with a .295 batting average.

Luis Domoromo doubled to right to begin the second and Robert Kral hit an RBI single to right field scoring a third run for the Storm as the Sixers remain scoreless. In the third, the Sixty Sixers put some hits together to quickly even the score. Brennan Gowens hit an infield single and advanced to third on a wild pitch and a groundout by teammate Brandon Brewer. Taylor Lindsey hit an RBI infield single to put Inland Empire on the board. Lindsey stole second before Ryan Jones hit a two-run home run to tie the score at 3-3.

The tie would be broken up in the bottom of the inning when Medica smashed a 420-foot home run over the wall in right center field for the 4-3 lead for the Storm.

In the fifth, Brewer doubled to centerfield looking for the comeback. Although, he would score on a wild pitch and tie the game at 4-4, that would be the last hit for the Sixty Sixers in the game. Storm starter Matt Andriese went six innings allowing four runs on five hits striking out five batters in the outing.

Medica hit a 423-foot solo shot to lead off the sixth inning for his second home run of the game and to give the Storm the 5-4 lead that would be good enough for the win. This is the third time this season Medica has had a two-home run game. He hit two home runs in his season starting debut with the Storm on May 18 and did it again on May 27. Medica who is now officially eligible in the league is third in hitting with a .338 batting average and is tied for first with 33 doubles.

Relievers Chris Haney, Jerry Sullivan and Kevin Quackenbush would combine to retire the final 11 batters. Haney collected his first win of the season in 15 relief appearances for the Storm and Quackenbush picked up his 25th league leading save of the season.

The Storm have 19 games remaining this season and only 11 left at The Diamond. Fans can enjoy $1 BEERS & SODAS through the seventh inning tomorrow for another Thirsty Thursday. Join DJ RPM for live music as the Storm look to sweep the Sixty Sixers at 7:05 p.m. with gates opening at 6 p.m.

Courtesy of Eric Theiss, Media Director for the Lake Elsinore Storm

Fort Wayne TinCaps 9 – Lansing Lugnuts 1

Key Stats: Colin Rea 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; Austin Hedges 4-5, HR (10), RS, 2 RBI; Jace Peterson 2-3, 2 RS, BB, 2 SB (46); Travis Whitmore 2-5, 3B, RS 3 RBI

LANSING, Mich. – A season-high-tying 16-hit attack coupled with an off night by the Lansing defense delivered the Fort Wayne TinCaps to a series-opening 9-1 victory over the Lansing Lugnuts on Wednesday night. TinCaps starter Colin Rea pitched five innings and allowed just one run, earning his fifth win of the season.

Fort Wayne (30-21, 61-60) scored first when Travis Whitmore grounded into a second-inning fielder's choice, scoring Yeison Asencio, and giving the TinCaps a 1-0 lead against starter Aaron Sanchez (8-3). Sanchez, making his first start since July 30, lasted three innings. Fort Wayne increased its early lead to 3-0 on back-to-back sacrifice flies by Tyler Stubblefield and Mike Gallic in the fifth inning. Stubblefield went 1-4 in his return from a 10-day stint on the disabled list.

The lone run allowed by Rea came in the bottom of the fifth. He allowed a leadoff double to Gustavo Pierre, who moved to third on a Shane Opitz single and scored on a throwing error by Rea. The pitcher's attempted pickoff throw to first sailed wide, sending Pierre home and Opitz to second.

Following Rea's departure, the offense continued to flourish tacking on two runs in the sixth, one run each in the seventh and eighth and two more in the ninth. Lansing (27-22, 74-44) committed three errors in the ninth inning and four total on the night, equaling its season-high for miscues in one ballgame.

Austin Hedges led the TinCaps offense with a four-for-five night, including his 10thhome run of the year. Hedges is now tied with Lee Orr for the team lead in home runs. Whitmore finished the night two-for-five with three runs batted in. The other occasion on which the TinCaps collected 16 hits was a 12-1 win on April 20thagainst the Kane County Cougars.

Courtesy of Mike Couzens, media director for the Fort Wayne Tin Caps

Tri-City Dust Devils 3 – Eugene Ems 5

Key Stats: Justin Hancock 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K; Chris Nunn 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (1st ER allowed in 25 innings); Jeremy Baltz 1-2, 2B, 3 RS, 2 BB; Mallex Smith 1-3, RS, BB, SB(15)

Ems win 5-3, despite being out hit once again 9-7. However they scored 3 times in the first 3 innings thanks to a couple of 2 out RBI and 4 wild pitches.

Tri-City would come back 3-2 after 4, but the Ems would seal the game in the 5th. After a leadoff single and walk the Ems would get a swinging bunt out of Tissenbaum to put both runners in scoring position. A line drive single by Dane Phillips would plate 2 and essentially end the game.

AZL Mariners 5 – AZL Pads 1

Key Stats: Andrew Lockett 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K; Edwin Moreno 1-4, 2B, RBI; Luis Tejada 2-4; 4 more errors by the AZL team today

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