A Game Short of a Sweep (6/15 Recaps)

The Tigers almost had a perfect day on Thursday, if only for West Michigan coming up well short in the first game of a doubleheader. They came back in the nightcap though to get a victory, totaling the farm teams' records at 4-1, getting strong performances from starters Jordan Tata, Virgil Vasquez and Jon Connolly.

AAA Toledo Mud Hens - TOLEDO 7, SYRACUSE 3
33-33, t-2nd in West division
The Toledo Mud Hens evened their series with the Syracuse SkyChiefs with a 7-3 win on Thursday night. Despite Syracuse jumping out to a 2-0 lead after one inning of play, the Mud Hens exploded for a five-run fifth inning, adding two more insurance runs in the seventh capping off a ten hit performance. Ryan Ludwick led the way with four RBI's, including his 11th home run, a two-run shot in the seventh. David Espinosa, Brian Peterson and Kevin Hooper each picked an RBI on the night for the Mud Hens. Jordan Tata (3-2) won his third game of the season, going eight innings, striking out seven, walking one and allowing three runs. Chris Spurling came on in relief to close the ninth inning. The two teams continue their series Friday night at Fifth Third Field in Toledo.
- Tim Law, Toledo Correspondent

AA Erie SeaWolves - ERIE 5, READING 4
29-36, 4th in Southern division
Erie fought off a late surge by Reading to beat the Phillies 5-4 Thursday night. Virgil Vasquez pitched seven strong innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, no walks and six strikeouts. Vasquez and Ian Ostlund combined to give up runs in the eighth inning, while John Ennis recorded both his second blown save of the season and his second win. Chris Maples, playing shortstop in place of an injured Tony Giarratano, went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Vince Blue went 1 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored, and Brent Clevlen went 2 for 4 with a run and his eleventh double of the season. Erie begins a home-series against Harrisburg Friday night, starting at 7:05pm.
- Sam Ginsburg, Erie Correspondent

HiA Lakeland Tigers - LAKELAND 10, TAMPA 2
36-30, 2nd in West division
Lakeland belts 12 hits and beats Tampa Thursday night 10-2. Jon Connolly got his first win of the year after going 6 innings and allowing only 2 runs. The L-Tigers had four players with 2 RBI and scored in four different innings. Garth McKinney hit a two-run, two out home run in the 8th, his fourth of the year to finish off the scoring. Jeff Frazier, 2 RBI in the 5th, Nick McIntyre, 2 RBI in the 5th with two out, and Chris Robinson, an RBI in the 2nd and 5th led a balanced attack. Jeff Larish did not have an RBI, but did score three runs on the night. Lakeland plays Monday Night at Ft. Myers at 7:05pm.
- Steve Varcardipone, Lakeland Correspondent

A West Mich. Whitecaps - GM1: FT. WAYNE 8, W. MICH. 0
GM2: W. MICH. 6, FT. WAYNE 5

39-26, t-1st in Eastern division

The Whitecaps showed their all-or-nothing demeanor during their doubleheader with the Wizards, as the Wizards won 8-0 in the first game and it took the 'Caps extra innings to win 6-5 the second. In the first game, Josh Geer pitched a complete game shutout for the Wizards, allowing only three hits, and baffling the 'Caps hitters all game long. Sendy Vasquez (3-6) started for the 'Caps and was nowhere near as dominant, being hit hard for six runs on six hits in just three and a third short innings of work. The offense for the 'Caps proved to be anemic, with only Matt Joyce, Mark Haske, and Dusty Ryan getting hits. The second game was exactly the opposite, showcasing the streaky nature of the 'Caps offense - which scored five runs in the first inning - but also the clutch hitting - with a game winning, bases loaded single by Joel Roa for the win. Erik Averill (2-3) was impressive through three innings, then fell apart in the fourth allowing four runs, to finish with five runs (four earned) allowed over four innings of work. Ricky Steik pitched two innings of scoreless relief for the 'Caps, and then Anthony Claggett (4-1) pitched two innings of scoreless relief to earn the win and drop his ERA to a minuscule 0.29 in twenty-four innings of work. Offensively, Joel Roa was the hero, going 2-for-4 with two RBI singles - one in the first and then the game winner in the bottom of the eighth. Cory Middleton also drove in two, finishing 1-for-3, and Mike Hernandez drove in one. The most impressive moment of the second game unfortunately came when Wizards first baseman Kyle Blanks blasted a towering two-run shot to left field. The 'Caps play the Wizards again the 16th as Burke Badenhop (6-2) squares off against Grant Varnell (2-6).
- Jared Wells, West Michigan Correspondent

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