A-ball Struggles, Rest Roll (5/18 Recaps)

Toledo and Erie both picked up victories as Erie dug itself out of the cellar with the help of the long ball from Chris Maples in the bottom of the ninth. Toledo's win came on the legs of Jordan Tata, who picked up his first victory of the year. Meanwhile both West Michigan and Lakeland lost, but both teams remained atop their division.

AAA Toledo Mud Hens - TOLEDO 8, NORFOLK 2
20-20, 2nd in West division
The Toledo Mud Hens continue to dominate their series with Norfolk, pulling off another convincing 8-2 victory Thursday night to take their second straight with against the Tide. Mike Hessman had three RBI's and reclaimed a share of the International League's home run race, belting two home runs in last night's game. Hessman went deep in the second inning with a solo shot before connecting with a two-run blast in the fifth to bring his home run total now to nine. Ryan Raburn was also outstanding at the plate with three hits, two RBI's and a pair of home runs, including one along side Hessman in the fifth and another in eighth inning making it eight round trippers on the season. David Espinosa was solid going four-for-five, while Jack Hannahan picked up a pair of hits and chipped in with an RBI as well. The Mud Hens were responsible for an impressive 16 hit attack against Norfolk (14-27) pitching which saw starter Brian Bannister (0-1) exit the game early with a knee injury. The New York Mets right-hander, currently in a rehab assignment, tossed just five pitches before suffering a leg injury covering first base in the opening inning, eventually becoming the losing pitcher on record. Toledo's Jordan Tata (1-1) picked up his first win on the season after going five full innings striking out seven Tide batters, walling four, and giving up just one earned run. Tony Fiore came on in the sixth to finish the game. Fiore allowed one-run as well, but held the Norfolk bats at bay to pick up the save. The two teams conclude their four game series Friday night beginning at 7:15p.m.
- Tim Law, Toledo Correspondent

AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 4, READING 3
17-22, 5th in Southern division
Erie gave up a lead in the top of the ninth but regained it in the bottom of the same inning, beating Reading 4-3 Thursday night. Virgil Vasquez pitched well, spreading out seven hits over eight innings and only giving up one run. Kody Kirkland's two RBIs, including a solo home run in the sixth, gave the SeaWolves a 2-1 lead going into the last frame of the game. John Ennis came in to close out the game, but ended up giving up two earned runs off of three hits and two walks. Chris Maples saved the game a half-inning later with his two-run homer, his only hit in five at bats that night. The series continues in Erie on Friday, at 6:35pm.
- Sam Ginsburg, Erie Correspondent

HiA Lakeland Tigers - BREVARD CTY. 10, LAKELAND 3
22-18, t-1st in West division
Lakeland loses the final game of the series to Brevard County Thursday night 10-3. Lance Davis took the loss (1-2) after going 6 innings and allowing 2 homeruns. Davis only gave up 3 earned runs, but because of 4 errors, Brevard County scored 7 runs in those six innings. Clete Thomas got the L-Tigers on the board in the 3rd with a 2-out single to knock in Chris Robinson who had doubled earlier. Jeff Larish led off the 4th inning with his fifth home run of the season. The L-Tigers final run came in the 5th when Gilberto Mejia tripled and Robinson, who went 3-4, hit a sac fly to score Mejia. Lakeland travels to Palm Beach to start a weekend series Friday night at 7:05pm.
- Steve Varcardipone, Lakeland Correspondent

A West Mich. Whitecaps - PEORIA 2, W. MICH. 1
23-15, 1st in Eastern division

The 'Caps lost a crazy eleven inning affair to the Chiefs 2-1 despite a dominant start by Ramon Garcia and a deep blast by Matt Joyce. Garcia (5-1) continued to harass opposing batters, striking out six while allowing only a run on seven hits, in nine innings of work. Orlando Perdomo pitched a scoreless tenth, and Anthony Claggett (2-1) allowed his first run of the season - which just happened to be the game winner. Matt Joyce provided the offense for the 'Caps, a solo shot to right, and finished the night 2-for-5. Pedro Cotto, Dusty Ryan, Jeramy Laster and pinch-hitter Rafael Mendez added the only other 'Caps hits on the evening. The weirdest moment of the game came in the ninth as Jeramy Laster switched from DH to center and the 'Caps lost their DH. The 'Caps face the Chiefs again the 19th at 7:30, as Sendy Vasquez (2-3) squares off against Mitch Atkins (3-0).
- Jared Wells, West Michigan Correspondent

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