Minor League Roundup - 6/12

The Round Rock and Hickory offenses were sizzling on Sunday, but Myrtle Beach and Kinston stole the show by playing a 23-inning marathon––the longest game in Carolina League history. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Round Rock 9 – (@) Iowa 2
W - Jackson (5-2)
HR - Tracy (13), Cruz (7), Braden (4)
36-27, 0.5 GB

Over the past week, no hitter in the Rangers' organization has been hotter than Round Rock cleanup man Chad Tracy.

Tracy (.281/.364/.528) had another big blow on Sunday, launching a grand slam to put the game out of reach in the seventh inning. He also singled.

The Pepperdine product has been a slugging monster since June 4. In his last eight games, Tracy is 12-for-32 with four doubles, a triple, and five home runs. He has also gone deep in three of his last four contests.

The club also got some power from third baseman Brian Barden (1/4, HR, HBP) and second baseman Luis Cruz (2/5, HR). Both players added home runs of their own.

Right fielder Joey Butler (.331/.377/.496) was 2-for-5 with a double, extending his hitting streak to 13 games.

Starting pitcher Zach Jackson (5.81 ERA/.302 BAA) cruised his way through six innings on 84 pitches, giving up just one unearned run. He scattered five hits, walked two, and struck out three.

Right-hander Manny Delcarmen, recently signed as a free agent, hurled a perfect seventh inning, getting one strikeout. The 29-year-old threw eight of his 12 pitches for strikes.

Player of the Game: DH Chad Tracy
5 1 2 0 1 4 0 1 .281

AA: Frisco 2 – (@) Midland 9
L - Perez (4-1)
HR - Bianucci (13)
33-28, 9.0 GB

With Frisco's series-opening loss at Midland on Sunday, the San Antonio Missions officially claimed the Texas League South Division's first-half title.

Martin Perez (3.03 ERA/.260 BAA) walked just one batter in 5.2 innings, but he surrendered a career-high 12 hits, leading to six runs (five earned). He struck out three.

While Perez has been hit a bit harder in his last three starts, he has cut down on the free passes. He has issued two walks in 17.2 innings over those three outings.

Reliever Mike Perconte, fresh off the disabled list, recorded a strikeout to get out of a jam in the sixth inning. He didn't fare as well in the seventh, and that's when the RockHounds broke the game open. Perconte yielded three runs without getting an out in that frame.

Ben Snyder finished it off with two shutout frames––striking out three––on 34 pitches.

Third baseman Tom Mendonca (.305/.348/.558) made it three consecutive multi-hit games, as he was 3-for-4 with his 14th double of the year. After a brief slump, Mendonca is batting .348 in 11 games this month.

Mike Bianucci (.263/.321/.491) launched a solo homer––his 13th––for his only hit in four trips.

Catcher Jose Felix, making his return from the disabled list, singled twice in four at-bats.

Player of the Game: 3B Tom Mendonca
4 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 .305

A+: Myrtle Beach 2 – (@) Kinston 3 (23 innings)
L - Kiker (1-2)
36-27, 3.0 GU

That's not a typo. The Pelicans and Indians played the longest game in the 66-year history of the Carolina League on Sunday. It was game number 36,601 all-time in the circuit.

The 23-inning contest took six hours and twenty-seven minutes to complete. Myrtle Beach lost its designated hitter after the ninth inning, causing multiple pitchers to hit. Shockingly, no position players pitched in the game.

Seven Myrtle Beach pitchers combined to strike out a team-record 32 batters in the game. On the flip side, the Pelicans hitters were just 1-for-13 with men in scoring position and stranded 16 runners on base. The starting position players got 10 plate appearances.

Way back at 1:30 p.m. local time, Joe Wieland (2.08 ERA/.235 BAA) got the start and gave up one run in six innings. He yielded four hits and fanned nine without issuing a walk.

The 21-year-old Wieland has struck out 90 while walking just four in 78 innings on the season.

But the fun was just beginning.

After Kenny Gomez allowed a run in the seventh inning, the Pelicans' bullpen hurled scoreless ball for the next 15 frames. Those pitchers were Gomez for one more inning, Trevor Hurley (2 IP), Ryan Kelly (3 IP), Zach Osborne (4 IP) and Chad Bell (5 IP).

Bell (4.35 ERA/.265 BAA), who was a starter last season but entered the day with just 15.2 innings while struggling out of the bullpen this year, made his bid for a return to starting. The 22-year-old held Kinston to one hit over five shutout frames, striking out eight without walking a batter.

Bell's most impressive work came in the 22nd inning, when Kinston loaded the bases with nobody out. He got out of the jam with a strikeout and a double play ground ball.

For the hitters, there obviously wasn't much to write home about. Left fielder David Paisano was 3-for-9 with his first triple. Centerfielder Ryan Strausborger went 2-for-8 with a double and two walks. Leury Garcia (2/9, BB) and Zach Zaneski (2/10) both singled twice.

Vin DiFazio, who entered the game in the 11th inning, still had five plate appearances. He was 0-for-4 with a walk and three strikeouts.

Of the pitchers to bat––Ryan Kelly laid down a sacrifice bunt, Zach Osborne grounded out and struck out, and Chad Bell grounded out and laid down a sacrifice bunt.

Kinston finally claimed the marathon in the 23rd inning, when Kasey Kiker yielded a run on two hits sandwiched around a sacrifice bunt.

After the game, the Pelicans boarded the bus and––in true minor league fashion––made the five-hour trip to Woodbridge, Va. They'll start a series against the Potomac Nationals on Monday, and the club will surely be hoping that starter Justin Grimm can eat up a few innings.

Player of the Game: LHP Chad Bell
5.0 1 0 0 0 8 0 4.35

A: Hickory 12 – (@) Asheville 3
W - Buckel (2-2)
HR - Selen (4, 5)
35-27, 2.0 GB

The Crawdads bats appear to be heating up once again this month, and they raced out to a 10-0 lead through four innings in Sunday's series opener.

While the offense was firing on all cylinders, starting pitcher Cody Buckel (2.25 ERA/.270 BAA) was able to keep the Tourists at bay in a hitter-friendly environment. The 18-year-old surrendered one run in five innings, scattering five hits, walking three, and fanning four.

DH Alejandro Selen (.327/.377/.694) was 2-for-4 with two homers and three RBI.

The 22-year-old Selen is intriguing on a number of levels. After crushing the ball at extended spring, he has appeared in 13 games with the Crawdads, going 16-for-49 (.327) with three doubles, five homers, and 19 strikeouts. He has some surprising power out of his 5-foot-10 frame, but he has also struggled to find a position in the field and doesn't run particularly well.

Two other hitters who appear to be heating up are infielder Jonathan Roof (2/5, 2 2B) and outfielder Jake Skole (3/4, 2 2B, BB). Both of them doubled twice on Sunday.

Odubel Herrera (2/5, 2B) and Josh Richmond (2/5, 2B) singled and doubled once.

Cleanup hitter Andrew Clark reached three times, getting a single and two base on balls in five trips.

Jorge Marban (2.95 ERA/.145 BAA) closed out the victory, getting a strikeout in a perfect ninth. He has yielded only nine hits in 18.1 innings with Hickory.

Player of the Game: DH Alejandro Selen
4 2 2 0 2 3 0 1 .327

DSL: DSL Rangers – OFF
7-4, 0.5 GU

The Dominican Rangers got Sunday off. After winning seven consecutive games, they're currently stuck in a three-game losing streak. They'll return to action against the DSL Giants (7-5) on Monday morning.

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