Sunday Pebble Report: MVP David Dahl Has Grand Junction in Position for Division Title

AAA Colorado Springs - L 1-3, (71-64, L2, 2nd, 4.0 GB)

Five Sky Sox accounted for ten hits, with #9 PuRP Tim Wheeler (2009, 1st round), Charlie Culberson (2012, trade), Brendan Harris (2012, MiLB FA), HM PuRP Matt McBride (2011, trade) and Brandon Wood (2012, MiLB FA) each having two hits. With nine of the ten being singles (Culberson had a ninth-inning triple), that didn't turn into much offense against Bear Bay (yes, really) and the Tucson Padres. Guillermo Moscoso (2012, trade) couldn't get through five innings and allowed two home runs in his 83 pitches. He managed to hold Tucson to three runs on seven hits.

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AA Tulsa - W 2-1, (27-34, W1, 3rd, 11.5 GB)

Offense was hard to come by last night at OneOK Field, but in a span of two pitches, the Drillers produced a walkoff win. Ben Paulsen (2009, 3rd round) singled with one out in the ninth, then Angelys Nina (2007, DR) doubled to center to give Tulsa the win. #14 PuRP Corey Dickerson (2010, 8th round) had two hits and scored the Drillers first run in the opening frame. Dickerson singled, advanced to second on a flyout, stole third, then sauntered home as the throw sailed into left field. In what might have been his last minor league appearance this year, Josh Outman (2012, trade) pitched very effectively, holding the Naturals to one run on five hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked three. Outman has four consecutive quality starts with at least six punchouts in Tulsa. Zach Simons (2012, MiLB FA) threw two perfect innings for the win, lowering his AA ERA to 1.59. Jason Giambi struck out and walked in his two plate appearances before being replaced by Paulsen.

High-A Modesto - W 5-3, (35-26, W2, 1st)

The Nuts offense wasn't clicking last night, but they got a spark in the 7th inning in the name of the Bakersfield Blaze bullpen. Modesto scored four times in the inning, twice on bases loaded walks by Andrew Brackman, once on an infield single to third by Jared Clark (2009, 12th round), and once on a sacrifice fly from Dallas Tarleton (2009, DR). The Nuts produced just two hits in the inning, the infield hit by Clark and a grounder up the middle from #12 PuRP Rafael Ortega (2008, VZ). Clark and Tarleton each had two hits on the night, while Ortega rapped three singles. Nick Schnaitmann tossed 3.2 scoreless innings for the win cleaning up for Juan Gonzalez, (2006, VZ) who had allowed three runs in 3.1 innings, walking four. The win over the first half division champs gave Modesto a three game lead in the North Division with nine games to play.

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Low-A Asheville - W 4-1 (9), (36-26, W1, 2nd, 4.0 GB)

It's a strange line to read, but the Tourists' game truly was completed early in the ninth inning. With the Greenville Drive already eliminated from playoff contention, the bottom of the ninth was not played even with Asheville trying to protect a lead. That helped the Tourists (somewhat) keep pace with the Rome Braves, who swept a doubleheader in Savannah.

The odd result gave Tyler Gagnon (2009, 15th round) a save despite not taking the mound in the ninth. Gagnon struck out three in two scoreless innings, and Chris Jensen (2011, 6th round) improved to 12-3 by allowing just one unearned run (due to a Featherston error) on three hits in six strong frames. #3 PuRP Trevor Story (2011, sandwich pick) hit his 18th home run, Ryan Casteel (2010, 17th round) doubled twice and singled, and Taylor Featherston (2011, 5th round) tripled and singled in the win.

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Short Season A Tri-City - L 4-5, (11), (12-20, L1, 4th, 9.0 GB)

#17 PuRP Rosell Herrera (2009, DR) followed a hit batter with a two-out single in the ninth inning. Tom Murphy (2012, 3rd round) hit a clutch, game-tying double to send the game into extra innings, but the Dust Devils proved to be out of magic. Matt Flemer (2012, 27th round) got the loss in a tough luck 11th inning, as the right-hander allowed a bunt single, then saw the runner get caught stealing only to be called safe when Rosell Herrera dropped the throw. That runner then scored the game-winning run on a groundout. Herrera did have four hits on the night and is leading the Dust Devils in batting average, an encouraging improvement from his tough stint in Asheville. TJ Oakes (2012, 11th round) allowed two runs in four innings and Taylor Reid (2010, 14th round) continues to struggle, allowing two runs in one inning of relief.

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Rookie Grand Junction - W 7-4, (15-11, W3, t-1st)

Newly named Pioneer League MVP David Dahl (2012, 1st round) just won't quit hitting. The center fielder collected four more hits to push his league-leading total to 91, eleven more than the next highest hitter. Jason Stolz (2012, 17th round) hit his first pro home run, and every member of the lineup reached base, including Carl Thomore (2011, 2nd round), who played for the first time since June 27. Thomore went 1-for-3, grounding out to first base, lining out to second and lining a single to right, scoring on one of Dahl's hits. Eddie Butler (2012, sandwich pick) was impressive again, striking out seven in 6.2 dominant innings. He allowed just one run (unearned) on three hits. His 2.19 ERA ranks 2nd in the Pioneer League.

With the win, the Rockies kept pace with the Orem Owlz and remain tied for the South Division lead with 12 games left, notable as the Rockies have never had a Pioneer League team even make the playoffs.

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DSL Rockies - PPD

The Dominican team got rained out of playing the Cubs1 squad for the second consecutive day.

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