Although rain forced Asheville’s season opener back by a day, the Tourists seem to be in mid-season form already, starting the year off with an 11-1 blowout of the Hagerstown Suns.
20-year-old Erick Julio got the start for Asheville, giving his team five excellent innings of one-run ball. The Columbian right-hander walked just one batter, allowed six hits (including a home run), and struck out two.
On the offensive side, prospects Jose Gomez and Colton Welker led the way. Gomez, who hit .367 in 66 games with Grand Junction last year, had three hits, including a double, and added a stolen base for good measure. Colton Welker, the Rockies’ 4th-round selection in the 2016 draft, had a two-run double and a two-run home run, as well as a walk.
The eighth inning featured a relatively rare occurrence on the mound. Reliever Justin Lawrence recorded four strikeouts in the inning, as his second victim reached base on a wild pitch. Indeed, he only faced four batters in the inning.
For Hartford, Jack Wynkoop made his double-A debut and pitched for 6.1 innings, allowing just a single run. Although he walked ‘just’ two batters, it was actually unusual for Wynkoop, as he had only 12 walks in the 170 innings he pitched for Modesto and Asheville last season. However, he allowed just three hits, and struck out three batters. The Yard Goats backed up his strong start with six runs on 15 hits, and the bullpen shut out Richmond over the remaining innings to secure the 6-1 win.
The Albuquerque Isotopes and the Lancaster JetHawks both fell in their second games of the year. The Triple-A ‘Topes lost 5-2 to Salt Lake after relievers Shane Carle and Sam Moll both allowed 2 runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Lancaster, despite missing superprospect Brendan Rodgers (placed on the disabled list yesterday with a hand injury), still managed to score 6 runs against the Visalia Rawhide, but Salvador Justo’s five-run meltdown in the 9th inning lead to a 10-6 defeat.
Raimel Tapia (No. 4 PuRP): 1-for-4, BB
Jordan Patterson (No. 13 PuRP): 0-for-2, BB
Matt Flemer: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Jack Wynkoop (PuRP HM): W, 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Ryan McMahon (No. 7 PuRP): 2-for-5, 2B, RBI
Ashley Graeter: 4-for-5, 2 RBI
Forrest Wall (No. 15 PuRP): 3-for-5, 2B
Brian Mundell (PuRP HM): 3-for-4, 2B, BB, 2 RBI
Garrett Hampson (No. 22 PuRP): 2-for-5
Jose Gomez (No. 30 PuRP): 3-for-5, 2B, RBI, SB
Colton Welker (No. 19 PuRP): 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, BB
Erick Julio: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Triple-A: Zach Jemiola
Double-A: Yency Almonte, No. 12 PuRP
High-A: Peter Lambert, No. 11 PuRP
Low-A: Gm 1: Antonio Santos, Gm 2: Bryan Baker