What does one do with a pitcher like Joey Williamson? There's something to be said for poor AAA defenses not bailing a pitcher out (the errors were on Chris Nelson and Ryan Spilborghs - AAAA defenses?), such as Williamson's Sunday, where he went 6 innings and allowed 4 runs, only 1 of which was earned. Then again, when he only strikes out 2 batters and allows 8 hits, it leads one to wonder just how "unearned" those runs really were. Andy Graham did nothing to help the situation, allowing 2 runs in a 4-out relief appearance. Keith Weiser came to his rescue, cleaning up the 8th and pitching a scoreless 9th.
The bats did their jobs effectively enough, with multi-hit games coming from Ryan Spilborghs, Scott Beerer, and Ryan Rohlinger. Every Sky Sox batter reached base at least once.
The Sox bats should be given a LITTLE credit, as they did bring the game within 1 in the 9th inning, but consecutive popouts from Joe Mather and Jesus Merchan finished the day for the Springs.
In an exciting Sunday for the Drillers, Tim Wheeler went ahead and tied the Tulsa Drillers' single-season HR record. His 2nd-inning homer put the Drillers up 5-0, and added a critical tally in the win column for Tulsa, who is making a late playoff push. Josh Sullivan pitched very well for Tulsa, going 5 innings while striking out 4, walking 1, and allowing only 1 run. Cory Riordan had a shaky inning of relief, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits, and Joe Torres let the Naturals sneak in a little closer, but Dustin Mollekin slammed the door shut in the 9th with a perfect save.
Sunday was the game that showed all of Tim Wheeler's strengths and weaknesses all at once. Wheeler homered, drove in 3 runs, and struck out twice. There's question still of his MLB viability, but 32 HR hit in the Texas League is nothing to sneeze at. Something tells me that Ken Guettler's 1956 mark with Shreveport of 62 HR in a season is safe, but kudos to Wheeler all the same.
Parker Frazier was just on his game on Sunday. Going 5 innings, Frazier punched out 8 batters, walking only 2, and allowing 2 runs on 4 hits. Will Harris allowed another 2 runs in the 9th, but it all ended up just fine, as 4 multi-hit days from the Nuts' lineup (Delta Cleary Jr, Eliezer Mesa, Angelys Nina, and Orlando Sandoval) and 4 errors from the Rawhide put the Nuts over the top. Oh, and Nolan Arenado had 3 walks. He was 0-1 on the day with a run and an RBI.
How can you not love it when the bottom 4 batters in your lineup combine for 11 hits, 11 RBI, and 8 runs? You just can't. Chandler Laurent and Mark Tracy both hit homers in this rout, and Peter Tago.... well, let's just say that it's a good thing the bats showed up to play. Tago continues his struggles with control in Asheville, walking 6 over 3 innings while allowing 4 runs.
Dust Devils 6, Canadians 4
Whenever a Canadian team names itself "Canadians", I like to think that our team is beating the entirety of Canada. So does Tyler Massey, apparently, as his 3-for-5 night ignited the Dust Devils' offense for 6 runs. Jayson Langfels (I thought the Nix' had the corner on name spellings like that) added 2 hits and 3 RBI of his own, and Chris Jensen's strong 5 innings powered the Dust Devils to an organizational-best .563 winning percentage.
Ghosts 4, Mustangs 9
Alex Gillingham had a tough outing, allowing 7 runs (6ER) on 9 hits over 5 innings. David Kandilas, Trevor Story, and Juan Ciriaco all did their best with multi-hit days to try and overcome the early deficit, but ultimately is just wasn't enough, as the Ghosts were trailing 7-1 by the start of the 6th inning. Kandilas did hit his 4th home run of the Pioneer League and raised his season line to .321/.390/.535.