L – Rupe (0-1)
The Oklahoma offense failed to produce for the third consecutive day, as the RedHawks dropped 3-out-of-4 in their season opening series in Memphis.
Despite a rather mediocre line (6 IP, 8 H, 4 ER), starting pitcher Josh Rupe pitched exceptionally well before running out of gas in the sixth inning. Rupe – who was sporting a large goatee to go along with his long hair – had allowed no runs on four hits in his first five frames. However, the righty struggled mightily in the sixth, giving up a solo home run to John Rodriguez and a three-run bomb off the bat of Nick Stavinoha. With the game lasting just over two hours, not only did Rupe work quickly, but just 26 of his 81 pitches missed the strike zone.
Wes Littleton was extremely sharp in relief of Rupe. The sidewinding righty retired all six batters that he faced, recording one strikeout. A sinkerball specialist, Littleton coaxed four groundouts and an infield popup. Littleton's mechanics appeared to be more under control and he had little trouble finding his release point.
Leadoff hitter Freddy Guzman flashed his power, as he was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles. First baseman Nate Gold was also 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.
Left fielder Jason Botts' slump was prolonged after another hitless performance. Botts, who hit .309 with OKC last season, is just 1-for-15 (.067) to begin the 2007 campaign.
W – Mendoza (1-0)
HR – Duran (1), Manriquez (1)
The Frisco pitching staff continued its phenomenal start to the 2007 season with yet another outstanding effort on Sunday afternoon.
Starting pitcher Luis Mendoza – who was acquired from the Red Sox for pitcher Bryan Corey in mid-2006 – took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Mendoza ended up yielding only two singles in 5.1 scoreless innings. The native of Mexico walked three and fanned four.
Right-handers Steven Rowe (1.2 IP) and Michael Bumstead (1 IP) followed with scoreless relief. Closer Jesse Ingram gave up a single ninth inning run.
Through the first four games of the 2007 season, the RoughRiders pitching staff has amassed an eye-popping 1.29 earned run average.
But the bats made a little noise of their own in the contest. Second baseman German Duran (1/3) hit a solo home run off Springfield starter Mitchell Boggs. The homer was Duran's first as a RoughRider.
Backstop Salomon Manriquez, a Minor League Rule 5 draft pick from the Washington Nationals organization, added a solo home run of his own in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Third baseman Adam Fox was the lone Frisco player to reach base multiple times. Fox was 2-for-3.
L – Ramsey (0-1)
Even though the game contained a combined 19 runs on 31 hits, it wasn't too far out of the ordinary for the series. The Bakersfield Blaze and the Lancaster JetHawks played four consecutive California League-style slugfests, with each team winning two.
Taylor Teagarden's perfect day at the plate was the story for the Blaze, as the backstop went 4-for-4 with a double and a walk. He has walked five times in his first 15 plate appearances. Teagarden also threw a runner out at second base. Opposing base-stealers are 0-for-2 on the young season against the native Texan.
Shortstop Matt Smith had a 3-for-5 performance, giving him a .600 (6-for-10) start in his first three games of the year.
Right fielder John Mayberry, left fielder Jake Blalock, and DH Hunter Harrigan each had a pair of hits. Mayberry doubled while Blalock added a double and a walk.
Southpaw Keith Ramsey, a 27-year-old minor league free agent signee, coughed up six runs on nine hits in just four frames. Ramsey allowed a pair of home runs, making him the third Bakersfield starter in as many days to give up two long balls.
The L-Kings were idle on Easter Sunday. Clinton, 2-1, will begin a four-game series at Wisconsin on Monday at 6:35 p.m. CST. Southpaw Broc Coffman is expected to get the nod for the LumberKings.