Saturday Pebble Report: Tyler Matzek, Peter Tago shine

Tom Szczerbowski

Tyler Matzek and Peter Tago's fine pitching performances fueled the only two wins in the Rockies organization Friday night. Meanwhile, poor offensive performance defined the night for most of the Rockies affiliates.

Colorado Springs 7, Tucson 8 (10 innings)

After falling behind through the first five innings, the Sky Sox were able to come back and lead 7-5 by the end of the seventh. However, ineffective pitching was the story of the night, and after the Tucson Padres came back to tie the game in the eighth, and walk off with the win in the 10th inning.

Chris Volstad, Jeff Francis, Coty Woods, and Steven Hensley combined to allow 8 runs off of 14 hits. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, Volstad walked a batter for the first run of the inning. A critical fielding error by Reid Brignac allowed two more runs to score. Volstad gave up a two-run homer in the third, but settled down after that. Francis pitched a scoreless inning before allowing two consecutive singles in the eighth. Coty Woods allowed both of his inherited runners to score. Stephen Hensley pitched the ninth and tenth innings, and allowed the walk-off single to Jaff Decker (who had four hits on the night).

The Sky Sox offense was dogged throughout the game, putting up runs in four innings, and collecting 10 hits and six walks. The offense started strong, with a 3-run first inning, and was able to regain the lead in the sixth after falling behind, but ultimately it was not enough in light of the poor pitching. Ryan Wheeler collected his seventh home run of the year, a solo shot in the sixth inning off of Jorge Reyes. Every starting position player collected at least one hit.

Tulsa 2, Arkansas 0

Tyler Matzek was brilliant in last nights start against the Arkansas Travelers, though he did demonstrate that control is still an issue. He allowed one hit but five walks in six innings. Matzek plowed through the first eight batters, before giving up a single in the third. In the next two innings, he demonstrated some control issues, allowing two walks and a wild pitch in the fourth and two more walks in the fifth. Matzek was aided in the fifth inning by Angelys Nina'sunassisted double play to end the inning.

When Matzek exited the game after the sixth, relief pitchers Leuris Gomez, Mitchell Boggs, and Juan Gonzalez were able to complete what Matzek had started and shut out the Arkansas team. In the last third of the game only three players reached base, one via a fielding error from Jayson Langfels.

Outside of a 2-run seventh inning, the Tulsa offense had a quiet night. Cristhian Adames and Kyle Parker walked to lead off the inning. Then, Tyler Kuhn hit a line drive single to score the first run of the game, and Angelys Nina hit a sacrifice fly to center field for the second run of the game. Only Kuhn, Adames, and Delta Cleary collected a hit, while four more reached via walk. The team amassed nine strikeouts.

Modesto 2, San Jose 3

Neither San Jose nor Modesto had great games last night, but San Jose was slightly better and game away with the win. Chris Jensen's fine pitching performance was for naught, as the Modesto offense stayed quiet.

Chris Jensen pitched five innings, allowing three hits (including one solo home run) and a single walk. He struck out 9 batters. The bullpen allowed two more runs to score.

The Modesto team struggled tremendously at the plate. The team collected 7 hits, with Taylor Featherston's double being the only extra base hit, and struck out 15 times. Each player on the team struck out at least once. The only runs came in the sixth inning, off the bat of Brian Humphries. With Trevor Story and Jose Rivera on first and third, Humphries hit a line drive single to right field, allowing Rivera and Story to score.

Asheville 0, Greenville

After Max White doubled in the top of the first, the next nine batters were reired. Rosell Herrera broke the streak with a single in the fourth, but hits were the exception, not the rule, as the team was shut out by the Greenville Drive. Of the six hits that the team collected, three were doubles. Two of these came off the bat of Max white. Only White, Herrera, Francisco Sosa, Dillon Thomas, and Derek Jones reached base.

Following last week's surprise performance, pitcher Matt Carasiti allowed five runs off of five hits and three walks. All five of the hits he allowed were singles. He left the game following a four-run fifth inning. Rayan Gonzalez allowed the sixth run to score off of four wild pitches.

Tri-City 7, Salem-Keizer 10

Salem-Keizer amassed 17 hits and 6 walks off of the Dust Devils' pitchings staff. Six pitchers made an appearance in last night's game. Only Troy Neiman (1.1 IP) and Jonathan Vargas (who was only responsible for one out) did not allow a run to score.

The offence was able to collect seven runs of their own, all in the first two innings. Only Kyle Von Tungeln did not collect a hit. With two runners on in the first, Julian Yan hit a line drive triple to left field and reached home following a throwing error. The team rallied in the second to collect three more runs, but did not manage to threaten to score again until the eighth. Then, with the bases loaded and only one out, Kyle Von Tungeln and Chris O'Dowd struck out to end the threat.

Grand Junction 3, Billings 2

Peter Tago was fantastic in last night's start. He allowed two runs, only one earned, off of four hits and three walks. He pitched three perfect innings, and induced 10 groundouts. Only Jonathan Reynoso had any success against Tago; he collected three hits, including two doubles. Scott Firth and Dylan Stamey combined to allow only one hit and two walks in three innings of work.

The offense rallied in the third inning to score three runs. Raimel Tapia continued his dominant play, collecting a single and a double. Outside of this, however, the team was largely ineffective, amassing a total of only six hits and one walk, while accruing 8 strikeouts.

DSL Rockies 3, DSL Rangers 4

The DSL Rockies maintained a 3-0 lead through the first seven innings before falling victim to a wild pitching performance from relief pitcher Salvador Justo. Luis Jean hit a solo shot, his first of the year, to score the first run of the game, Luis Castro chased this with a double to center field. After only one out, Rangers pitcher Jonathan Hernandez was replaced by Johan Juan. Juan allowed one more run to score in the first, and another in the third.

Salvador Justo entered the game in the seventh inning, replacing David Martinez, who had pitched six innings of 5-hit shutout ball. Justo left the game after only one out, after one hit-by-pitch, one wild pitch, two singles, and a passed ball by catcher Wilkyns Jimenez. Jesus Torres replaced Justo and gave up a double which allowed both inherited runners to score.

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