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Thursday Pebble Report: Scahill Sparkles as Tulsa Ties Division Lead, Historic Winning Streak

AAA Colorado Springs -  L 5-3 (62-77, 3rd, 13.0 GB)

Greg Reynolds (2006, 1st round) was superb, holding the Salt Lake Bees to just one run in 6.2 IP as he scattered six hits (four of them for extra bases).  Unfortunately, the bullpen took on water.  Leading 3-1 in the eighth inning, Eric Stults (2011, MiLB FA) allowed two singles and departed.  Sean White (2011, MiLB FA) then took over the game.  His night:  HBP (leading to ejection of manager Stu Cole), BB, 2 RBI 1B and resultant 8-3-4-2 putout, BB, 1B, WP, 4-3 GO.  The disastrous inning turned a 2-run lead into the final 2-run deficit.  #14 PuRP Jordan Pacheco (2007, 9th round) and Mike Paulk (2005, 13th round) each singled three times for the Sky Sox, who had twelve hits on the night, all singles.


AA Tulsa - W 5-1 (34-31, 2nd, 1.0 GB)

The Drillers won for the ninth consecutive time, their best winning streak in ten years, and moved into a tie for first place in their division with four games remaining.  Brian Rike (2007, 2nd round) stayed hot by hitting his 13th home run and fourth in his last eight games.  #10 PuRP Tim Wheeler (2009, 1st round) singled twice, Thomas Field (2008, 24th round) doubled home a run and #19 PuRP Ben Paulsen (2009, 3rd round) singled home two. 

The real star of the night, though, was undoubtedly Rob Scahill (2009, 8th round), who doubled home Tulsa's first run and scored their second in addition to a single.  You might remember Scahill is a pitcher.  On the mound, the right-hander took a no-hitter into the 7th inning and finished with just one run allowed on three hits (all 7th inning singles) in eight innings.  He struck out seven and has now gone 6.0+ IP with 1 ER or less in 4 of 5 starts.  Keep him under strong consideration for the 20-30 range of your PuRPs ballot.

High-A Modesto - L 2-5 (37-28, t-1st)

#5 PuRP Nolan Arenado (2009, 2nd round) and #24 PuRP Josh Rutledge (2010, 3rd round) just keep hitting.  Both hit solo home runs last night for Modesto, Arenado his 18th and Rutledge his 7th (an opposite field poke), which would be all the runs the Nuts could muster.  Rutledge also singled twice, but other than an Angelys Nina (2007, DR) double, the offense was all Arenado/Rutledge.  Daniel Perkins (2009, 27th round) pitched six strong innings, striking out seven, walking two and allowing two runs on just three hits.  Coty Woods (2009, 33rd round) earned the loss by serving up a tie-breaking solo home run.  He then walked two batters, who would both come home to score on singles off Kurt Yacko (2008, 8th round).  

With the loss, Modesto fell into a tie for first place in the North Division with first half champion San Jose, but they still popped champagne as losses by Bakersfield and Visalia clinched a playoff spot for the Nuts, their fifth straight trip to postseason. 


Low-A Asheville - Off Day (36-29, t-3rd, 2.0 GB)

The Tourists enjoyed their final off-day of 2011.  They travel to Charleston to open a five game road series to close out the season, two games back of the division title.  Charleston has the second worst record in the Southern Division out of seven teams, so hopefully the Tourists can get after it.  Unfortunately, the two teams they are chasing play the 5th and 7th best of 7 teams in the division to close out the season. 


Short Season-A Tri-City - L 0-4 (19-15, 1st)

The Dust Devils had eleven at-bats with runners in scoring position last night, yet they were unable to keep themselves from being shutout.  One of those at-bats did result in a hit, a ninth-inning single by Taylor Featherston (2011, 5th round) to load the bases.  Featherston and Brian Humphries (2011, 14th round) each had two-hit evenings, though the rest of the Tri City offense managed just two knocks combined.  Ricardo Ferrer (2007, VZ) allowed three runs in five innings for the loss.


Rookie Casper -  L 7-9 (10) (12-18, 4th, 7.0 GB)

With Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd and myself in attendance, the Ghosts knew they had the eyes of the big wigs on their every move.  They were skittish early on, as Francisco Sosa (2008, DR) overran a routine flyball for two runs and Julian Yan (2009, DR) whiffed on a very catchable line drive for two more.  Trevor Story (2011, sandwich) ole'd a one-hopper for another hit.  All three were ruled hits, so starting pitcher Benjamin Hughes (2011, 10th round) had a much uglier line (5.0IP, 9 H, 5 ER) than he deserved.  The Ghosts would only have one hit mid-game before O'Dowd departed.  

Just as soon as he did, David Kandilas (2009, Australia) continued to flash in his show-me season be pelting no doubt home run to left-center.  The Raptors gave back on defense, as third baseman bobbled a 2-out bases loaded routine grounder, then fired a five-hop throw into right field.  After trading single tallies in the 6th and 7th, the game went to extra innings, where Russell Brewer (2010, undrafted) allowed two runs to score on a HBP, two walks and a bloop single.  Rosell Herrera (2009, DR) hit a clutch game-tying single in the eighth and walked three times.