WWW.NRLL.ORG: Minors News/Recaps
RIVER BANDITS ROCK THE MINORS
|2018 NRLL Minor League Champion River Bandits|
Minor League Championship Game: River Bandits 7, Thunder 3
The River Bandits stormed out to a 6-0 early lead, then held on thanks to clutch pitching and defense to upend the Thunder, 7-3, in the Minor League title game Saturday at Benevento Park. Pacing the winners' offense were Nolan Barrette, who had two hits and drove in a pair of runs, Charlie Cooper, who had a pair of RBI, and Scotty Costello and Matthew Mancinell, who each brought home runs.
On the mound, Mancinelli, went 3.2 strong innings, fanning nine to earn the victory. Reliever Jakob Hulett closed out the game in dramatic fashion with the tying run at the plate and the Thunder attempting to pull off a huge rally. Two runs had already scored and the bases were loaded with one out when Hulett snared a soft liner for the second out. He then astutely flipped the ball to Barrette at first base before the runner could get back to the bag to complete the double play, end the game, and start the championship celebration. Earlier in the game, Barrette made a diving stop at first base to end the fourth inning.
Christian Lava had a two-run single for the Thunder as part of that sixth-inning rally.
Thursday, June 21
Thunder Strikes For A Spot In Final
|Bruce McLaren's two-RBI single was a big blow for the Thunder.|
June 19: Thunder 5, IronBirds 2
The Classified Realty Thunder advance to the Minor League Championship game by outlasting the #3 seeded Iron Birds, 5-2, on Field 2. In their fourth meeting of the season, the Thunder improved to 4-0 vs the Birds, this time behind a five-run fourth inning, a win that moved them into the league finals Saturday vs the River Bandits.
The Thunder once again found timely pitching, defense, and a big inning to secure the win. Chris Libby started on the mound, going two innings, striking out three, and giving up only a run. Christian Lava would match that effort, going two innings, fanning three, and permitting just one run to cross the plate. Tyler Boviard then closed out the game – picking up the with two innings of shutout work and recording 4 Ks.
The Thunder's big inning was led by Colin Brady, who walked and stole two bases. James Nelson singled him in, tieing the game and then advanced to second on an overthrow. Lava walked and Boviard singled to right, scoring Nelson with the go-ahead run while advancing the runners into scoring position. Libby followed with the game-winning RBI by hitting back to the box, scoring Lava on tight play at home and moving both Libby and Boviard into scoring position. After two strikeouts, Bruce McLaren delivered a rope up the middle, scoring two more runs and giving the Thunder a 5-1 lead going into the fifth.
The Iron Birds would have their chances offensively, bending the Thunder but unable to find that breakthrough inning as they left 13 men on base, including 10 in scoring position. The Birds opened up the first inning with a run on a Ben Cook double, but eventually left the bases juiced. They stranded four more runners across the second and third innings. After a 1-2-3 fourth, Casey Alston scored on bases-loaded walk in the fifth before the rally would be halted. They again loaded the bases in the sixth before Boviard closed the door with 2 Ks to end the game. The IronBirds' Massimo Ranieri threw a gem of a game, striking out nine as he pitched into the fourth inning.
Wednesday, June 20
River Bandits Reach The Finals
June 19: River Bandits 10, Red Wings 8
An exciting back-and-forth matchup went the River Bandits' way as they edged the Red Wings, 10-8, in the NRLL Minors semifinals.
The Red Wings jumped out to an early two-run lead, but River Bandits took it right back, leading 6-2 after one frame. In the third inning, the Red Wings put up a six-spot of their own to grab the upper hand, 8-6, but the Bandits again answered, this time with three runs to go up, 9-8. They then held on for the win.
Charlie Cooper hit an inside-the-park grand-slam to cap the Bandits' big first innning, one of three hits he had on the day. He also nailed a would-be base stealer from the catcher position in the sixth inning to put the brakes on a potential Red Wings rally. Max Mathews and Matthew Mancinelli each had multiple hits and drove in runs for the winners, while on the mound, Jakob Hulett and Ben Shore steadied things, combining for 3.2 masterful innings by not allowing an earned run.
Cole Baker paced the Red Wings with a pair of RBI.
The River Bandits will face the Thunder in the Minors championship game on Saturday, June 23, at 2 p.m.
Monday, June 18
IronBirds Advance to Semifinals
|Massimo Ranieri's first inning moon-shot tater gives the Iron Birds an early lea|
June 16: IronBirds 7, Lugnuts 3
The IronBirds and Lugnuts faced off in a quarterfinal battle Saturday afternoon at Benevento, where the Birds quickly scored three runs to take the lead in the first. With two runners on base, Massimo Ranieri got all of the ball for a fence-rattling inside-the-park homer to clean up the bases.
The Lugnuts tried to strike back, sending their lead runner to third for a steal, but Birds catcher Corbin "Fisk" Day said "no," connecting with third baseman Ben Cook for the out.
In the fifth inning, the Lugnuts turned the tide quickly. A nail-biter ensued as the Lugnuts' bats came alive, resetting the score at 3-3 and sending the Birds back on their heels.
The IronBirds, however, answered back with four runs of their own, started off by Jacob Freedman stealing his way to third and coming around with the lead run. The rally was capped off by Dylan Harris’ two-RBI hit.
Wednesday, June 13
IronBirds Outlast Lugnuts
The Birds and Lugnuts traded punches across three innings, tied 2-2 entering the fourth.
But in that inning, on the list of things you almost never see – like unicorns and triple plays – the latter was accomplished with a 6-5-3 hookup on a Lugnuts line drive to short with runners on first and third. Massimo Ranieri caught the hard shot and threw to Ben Cook at third for out number two. Cook then rifled the ball to Derek Scott at first for the third out.
That play incited the IronBirds bats into a six-run hitfest, started off by Jaxson Donahue knocking Dylan Harris and Casey Allston across the plate. Jacob Freedman also added to the rally tally.
The Lugnuts didn’t take the outburst lying down, scoring twice in the sixth in a comeback attempt, but the IronBirds held on as the final out was called on a Ranieri strikeout with Brendan "Brick Wall" Trentsch working behind the plate.
Wednesday, June 13
Ring One Up For The River Bandits
June 12: River Bandits 17, Scrappers 3
Matthew Mancinelli paced the River Bandits' 17-3 season-ending win over the Scrappers with three hits, four RBI, and three runs scored. On the mound, he threw three solid innings, striking out nine and not allowing a run. Other big contributors for the victors were Max Mathews (2 hits, 3 RBI), Scotty Costello (2 hits), and Connor Abruzzese (3 RBI).
On defense, the Bandits' Ben Shore made a heads-up play on a ground ball to short, flipping to Matthew Capalbo at third for a force out to end the inning. Mancinelli, meanwhile, gunned down a Scrapper trying to steal third base in the first inning.
The Scrappers received big efforts from Nathan Barstow and James Wyatt, who each had a hit an RBI.
Wednesday, June 13
Red Wings Silence the Thunder
June 12: Red Wings 11, Thunder 4
The Minors regular season closed out with the Red Wings thumping the Thunder, 11-4, to gain momentum heading into the playoffs.
Leading the victors were Cole Bakr and Gavin Griffith, who were solid on the mound. Griffith also came up with the big hits to drive home the team's key runs. Highlights for the Thunder included strong pitching by Christian Lava and powerul hitting by Chris Libby.
Tuesday, June 12
Thunder Keeps Rolling
|Hendrik Schomp takes a big cut for the Thunder.|
June 10: Thunder 11, Scrappers 6
The Classified Realty Thunder rallied from a 6-4 deficit heading into the fifth to claim another come-from-behind victory over the Scrappers, 11-6.
The Thunder were led by James Nelson, who pitched 3 innings and struck out six. Nelson also went 1-for-3 on the day with a double, walk, and two runs scored. The Thunder combined their arm strength with Colin Brady, who struck out two, Tyler Boviard (4 K’s), and Christian Lava (2 K’s) to outduel the Scrappers.
Trailing by a pair of runs going into the fith, Lava singled and was brought home by a Boviard RBI hit. Later that inning with the bases loaded, Christian Ganem was walked to send in the tying run.
The sixth innning saw Kelvin Ma start the inning with a walk, spurring on a five-run explosion. Key hits in the frame came off the bats of Boviard, who delivered a two-run single, and Hendrik Schomp, who drove in another run with a hit. Boviard ended the day 3-for-3 with a walk, three RBI, and a pair of runs scored.
Monday, June 11
Thunder Knocks Off IronBirds
|The IronBirds' Dylan Harris slides into third ahead of the throw to Kelvin Ma.|
June 9: Thunder 9, IronBirds 2
The Classified Realty Thunder put together another gem of a game – using pitching, solid defensive plays, and timely hitting to hold back the IronBirds, 7-2, on Field 2.
Chris Libby led the way with four solid innings of pitching, striking out nine and allowing only a run. Libby also helped his team by going 2-for-2 at the plate with 4 RBI.
Colin Brady followed up by pitching 1.2 innings and making several key defensive plays, including the final out of the fifth on a tight play to the plate when Christian Lava applied the tag to end an IronBirds rally. Brady also had a hit, walked twice, and scored three times.
Lava added a decisive double in the fifth, plating two runs to give the Thunder breathing room. The Birds did push across a run in the sixth on Corbin Day's RBI, but pitcher Tyler Boviard closed out the game with a strikeout.
Monday, June 11
Bandits Come Up Big
June 10: River Bandits 11, Lugnuts 4
The River Bandits scored nine times in the first two innings and then made some big plays in the field to keep the lead on their way to an 11-4 triumph over the Lugnuts.
Jakob Hulet had three hits and three RBI, Ben Shore, Matthew Mancinelli, and Max Mathews each pounded out two hits, and Connor Abruzzese smacked a big single to help carry the River Bandits' offense.
Mathews earned the win on the mound, and was followed to the hill by Nolan Barrette, Hulett, and Mancinelli. From his pitching position, Barrette made a diving catch of a popup and then flipped the ball to first to complete a double play in the third inning. Matthew Capalbo's hustle and strong arm center field preempted another Lugnuts rally, when he threw out Trevor Carter after Carter tried to stretch his laser drive to the fence into a triple.
Ryan Lehane, Xander Villaroel, and Carter all drove in runs for the Lugnuts, and Dessie Brown was a defensive stud. While catching, he gunned down a River Bandit trying to steal third base, and while playing first base, he made two great plays, catching a line drive to end the third inning and making a diving stop in the fourth to rob Abruzzese of his second hit of the game.
Monday, June 11
Bandits Blank the Wings
June 9: River Bandits 10, Red Wings 0
An 11-hit attack, led by Ben Shore's three hits, two RBI, and three runs scored, carried the River Bandits to a 10-0 victory over the Red Wings Satuday at Benevento Park. Matthew Mancinelli, Charlie Cooper, and Jakob Hulett all had multiple hits for the River Bandits as well.
Shore and Nolan Pierce combined for a one-hit shutout. Shore struck out seven to get the win, while Pierce threw two innings of relief, fanning five.
The River Bandits broke the game open in the third inning, scoring five times to make it 7-0.
Monday, June 11
Birds Prove To Be Better
June 10: IronBirds 15, Red Wings 6
It was an offensive slugfest from the start, with the Red Wings jumping out quickly by scoring four runs in the top of the first, sending a clear message they came to score runs and chew bubblegum ... and they were all out of gum.
The IronBirds' hit machine proved to be in high gear, too, by answering with four runs to tie the game, highlighted by Ben Cook sending one into orbit for a three-bagger in the first and Massimo Ranieri crushing a pair of doubles – one in the third and another in the fifth. Corbin Day hammered five RBI in total, earned with a long single and a triple. Dylan Harris thumped an RBI hit in the third and Owen Bouchie was on fire at the plate, earning two singles and crossing home twice. Jacob Freedman also cranked a single, later stepping across the plate as part of the Birds' third-inning rally.
On the hill, Ranieri finally calmed the Red Wings' bats in middle relief, blanking them across two innings, and Day was the shutdown closer the sixth, striking out the side to end the game.
Monday, June 4
Thunder Offense Strikes Big
|Bruce McLaren delivers a pitch for the Thunder in their win.|
Monday, June 4
Red Wings Roll Again
June 2: Red Wings 14, Scrappers 9In a back and forth game, the Red Wings emerged with a hard-fought 14-9 win over the resilient Scrappers. The Red Wings' Jake Tiberio pitched three strong innings and Cole Bakr finished the game by striking out the side. Big hits by Tiberio, Branden Levine, and Nate Dyer helped lead the way for the victors.
Wednesday, May 30
River Bandits Roll Over The Thunder
|Matthew Mancinelli delivers a strike for the River Bandits.|
May 29: River Bandits 9, Thunder 3
A battle between the Minors' top two teams saw the River Bandits jump out to an early lead and then pull away for an impressive 9-3 victory.
It was 2-0 in the first inning after Max Mathews drove in a run on a ground out and Ben Shore hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Matthew Mancinelli, who showed some heads-up baserunning by tagging from third. Mancinelli then worked his way out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the frame by striking out two batters to end the inning.
Mancinelli went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a stolen base, and Max Mathews was 2-for-3 with three RBI. Charlie Cooper added a hit as well. The pitching trio of Jakob Hulett, Mancinelli, and Cooper recorded 16 strikeouts.
For the Thunder, Christian Lava drove in two runs and struck out seven while pitching. James Nelson also had a hit and fanned five batter in two innings of work.
Wednesday, May 30
Birds Soar Again!
May 29: IronBirds 8, Scrappers 1
Brady Eng established momentum at the mound to start the game, striking out the side in the first. In the second inning, the IronBirds attacked the ball, making solid contact for six runs, with Corbin Day and Ben Cook each walloping stand-up doubles and Levi “Once Again” Gray slugging yet another big RBI single.
The IronBirds’ defense was flying high throughout the game, highlighted by second baseman Casey Allston’s swift scoop-and-throws to first-sacker Brendan Trentsch for two critical outs, and shortstop Day’s laser beam to first baseman Derek Scott in a full stretch, barely beating the runner to retire the side in the third.
Owen Bouchie anchored the Birds behind the plate with Scott on the hill to close the game, striking out four and silencing the Scrappers' bats in the final two innings.
Sunday, May 27
Late Rally Lifts Thunder
|James Nelson (l) is held on 1st by his brother Brendan, a call up from Minors.|
May 26: Thunder 3, Red Wings 2
With Memorial Day weekend and "Wood Bat" day in full swing, the Classified Realty Thunder slipped by with yet another one-run come-from-behind win, 3-2 over the Red Wings. The Thunder improved to 4-1 in these tight contests for the season.
Pitching, pitching, and, yes, more pitching was the theme for both teams. James Nelson started for the Thunder going 2.1 innings and striking out seven. Nelson also added a hit and a run on the night. Colin Brady followed up with 2.2 solid innings, whiffing six. Brady also singled in what proved to be the game-winning RBI in the fourth, scoring Kelvin Ma.
Tyler Boviard closed things out in the sixth, earning the save by striking out all three batters he faced. Boviard also was hot at the plate, going 2-for-3 with 2 RBI.
For the Red Wings, Nate Dyer pitched 4.1 innings, striking out 10 and helping out his mates at the plate by going 3-for-4 with a double, RBI, and a run scored. Branden Levine threw 1.2 innings, striking out five to keep the Red Wings close.
Sunday, May 27
River Bandits Hold Off Scrappers
May 26: River Bandits 10, Scrappers 4
Ben Shore (4-for-4) and Matthew Mancinelli (3-for-3, 4 RBI) sparked the River Bandits past the Scrappers, 10-4, on Saturday in a "Wood Bat Week" game. Jakob Hulett and Max Mathews each drove in two runs for the victors.
Mathews earned the victory on the mound, fanning seven over three innings, and Mancinelli, Scott Costello, and Hulett finished things off. For Costello, it was his pitching debut, and he shined with a pair of strikeouts.
It was just a one-run game when Mancinelli came in with the bases loaded in the fourth to strike out the side, and the River Bandits then broke it open in the bottom of the inning by scoring five times. Costello started the rally with a sharp single up the middle.
For the Scrappers, Kian Grabar had two RBI and scored twice, and on the mound, Wyatt Ares struck out five batters over three innings of work. Catcher James Wade turned in the defensive gem of the game with an amazing diving catch on a foul pop up runners on base to end an inning and get the Scrappers out of a jam.
Wednesday, May 23
Late Strike Lifts Thunder
|Jack OConnell-Coyne beats out the play to Ben Cook at first base.|
May 22: Thunder 6, IronBirds 5
While Mother Nature threatened another Benevento ballgame, she still couldn’t stop the Thunder. After three onsecutive rainouts, the Classified Realty Thunder once again edged the IronBirds by the exact same score as their previous meeting – in a thrilling, 6-5 come-from-behind win on Field 2.
The Thunder shook off their layoff rust and jumped out of the gate quickly as leadoff hitter Colin Brady singled and, two batters later, Christian Lava drove him in with an RBI hit. The Iron Birds answered right back, scoring four runs and extended their lead to 5-1 with another run in the bottom of the second.
The third inning would bring the rumbling as the Thunder's Jack Gattuso, Jack O’Connell-Coyne, Brady, and James Nelson all crossed the plate to knot the game at 5-5. The deja vu wouldn’t end there as Christian Ganem would again score the winning run. He led off the fourth with a single to right and found his way home on Gattuso’s game-winning single.
The Birds threatened, but were shut down by the arm of Lava, who tossed four scoreless innings that included 10 strikeouts.
For the Iron Birds, Ben Cook lit up the hitting effort with two doubles and a single, contributing two RBI to the score. Levi Gray came through once again with a big single that knocked around another run during the IronBirds’ first-inning rally. Dylan Harris then completed the early outburst with a shot to the outfield for a stand-up double.
Brady Eng delivered four strong innings on the hill for the Birds, striking out nine. Jaxson Donahue was on his horse in the outfield, hunting down a long hit and getting the ball returned quickly to hold the Thunder runners from advancing.
Wednesday, May 23
River Bandits Edge the Red Wings
May 22: River Bandits 7, Red Wings 5
Nolan Barrette's fifth-inning single brought home two runs to snap a tie and lead the River Bandits to a 7-5 victory over the Red Wings Tuesday night at Benevento. It was one of three hits for Barrette, who finished with four RBI and also stole a base.
Ben Shore contributed a hit and scored three runs for the victors, while Matthew Mancinelli went 2-for-3 with an RBI, a run scored, and three stolen bases. On the mound, Nolan Pierce earned the win by throwing 3.1 innings, allowing just one earned run and striking out six. He also made two great plays on grounders up the middle in the fifth to keep the game knotted.
For the Red Wings, Cole Baker went 1-for-3 and drove in three runs, and also pitched 2.1 solid innings, yielding just one earned run while recording five strikeouts. Branden Levine went 1-for-3 with two RBI. Defensively, Michael DelVecchio caught a line shot off the bat of Mancinelli for a big first-inning out.
Wednesday, May 9
IronBirds Throw Wrench Into Lugnuts Plans
|The IronBirds' Jaxson Donahue gets ready to smash a strike into play.|
May 8: IronBirds 10, Lugnuts 3
IronBirds anchorman catcher Dylan Harris and southpaw chucker Ben Cook kept the Lugnuts at bay, teaming up to strike out eight and allow just three runs in 2.1 innings of work, propelling their team to an 10-3 triumph.
Levi Gray jacked a long single in the third, pushing across the go-ahead runs, and then added another RBI in the fourth. Casey Allston reached the bases in all three of his at-bats for the winners.
Corbin Day and Derek Scott then finished the job at the mound, leaving the Lugnuts scoreless for the remainder of the game, striking out the side in the final inning.
Wednesday, May 9
Thunder Rocks The Red Wings
|The Thunder's Colin Brady is at the plate with Gavin Griffith at catcher.|
May 8: Thunder 9, Red Wings 7
In a showdown between two of the hottest teams in Minors, the Classified Realty Thunder held on for a thrilling 9-7 win over the first-place Red Wings.
Christian Lava led the Thunder, going 2-for-3 with a triple, 2 RBI, and two runs. Hendrik Schomp contributed what proved to be the game-winning hit when he doubled in a run that made it 8-5 in the bottom of the third.
Tyler Boviard went 2-for-2 with two RBI and also scored twice for the victors. In the field, Colin Brady came up with a key double play in the top of the fifth, which preceded Boviard setting down the remaining batter for the save.
The Red Wings’ Gavin Griffith went 2-for-2 with two walks and two runs; teammate Cole Bakr added two hits, two runs, and an RBI.
Wednesday, May 9
River Bandits Prove Scrappier
May 8: River Bandits 12, Scrappers 4
The River Bandits stormed out to an early lead and never looked back en route to a 12-4 victory over the Scrappers Tuesday evening at Benevento Park. The victors tallied 10 hits offensively and also made some great plays in the field to keep their foes at bay.
Matthew Capalbo was solid all around with two key singles driving in runs while also flashing the leather defensively. Matthew McManus was impressive on the base paths with his aggressive running, Nolan Barrette had two RBI and three runs scored, and Max Mathews finished 2-for-3 while driving in three runs. Mathews also picked up the win, striking out three in two innings on the mound.
Aiding the River Bandits’ cause were the two double plays they turned. The first one came off the bat of Nalo Benedict, who lined to Ben Shore at shortstop for an out. Shore then stepped on second to double off Michael Manu. The second one also was hit by Benedict, who drilled another liner to short that Matthew Mancinelli caught, who then gunned the ball to first base to double off Drew Nichols.
Glen Mello went 1-for-2 for the Scrappers and drove in a pair of runs.
Monday, May 7
Lightning Strikes Again For Thunder
|Christian Ganem (left) reaches third. Brendan Trentsch is playing third.|
May 5: Thunder 6, Iron Birds 5
The Classified Realty Thunder struck late once again with a 6-5 walk-off win Saturday night under the Benevento lights.
It all happened quickly as Christian Ganem led off the bottom of the fifth with an infield hit and then circled the bases as the ball was tossed around the field. He was given a hero’s welcome from his teammates after crossing home plate.
Ganem went 2-for-2 on the night, while ace Chris Libby pitched 3.1 innings, allowing only three runs with six strikeouts. Tyler Boviard closed out the game on the mound, earning the win by giving up two runs and striking out five. The Thunder’s Christian Lava remained hot, going 2-for-2 with three RBI.
Defensively, Colin Brady and James Nelson each flashed the leather, making spectacular catches to squash separate Ironbird rallies.
Brendan Trentsch led the Ironbirds’ attack, reaching base in all four at-bats and scoring once. Owen Bouchie was solid behind the plate, working every pitch with all his effort, and Ben Cook once again knocked ‘em around at the cleanup spot with a pair of RBI on two clutch singles.
Sunday, May 6
River Bandits On A Roll
May 5: River Bandits 8, Red Wings 3
The River Bandits then tripped up the Red Wings, overcoming an early two-run deficit and breaking the game open in the third inning en route to an 8-3 victory.
Barrette and Shore each had a hit and two RBI for the victors, while Nicolas Boudoya and Nolan Pierce drove in runs as well. Shore also started on the mound and struck out four in two innings, and was followed to the hill by Mancinelli, who fanned 11 in four innings of shutout work.
Jake Tiberio, Ben Ferreira, and Cole Bakr drove in the Red Wings' runs. Tiberio fired four innings of shutout relief, striking out eight and allowing just one hit. He also made an amazing catch on a line drive off the bat of Mathews.
Defensively for the River Bandits, Charlie Cooper made several great plays at first and Mathews caught all six innings in 80-degree weather.
Wednesday, May 2
Thunder Double Up Scrappers
|Christian Lava unloads one of his two triples in the Thunder's win.|
May 1: Thunder 14, Lugnuts 7
The Classified Realty Thunder doubled up the Scrappers, 14-7, led by the bat eruption of Christian Lava, who had two triples on the night with three RBI and two runs scored. Lava also started at pitcher, torching seven strikeouts through 2.1 innings.
Wednesday, May 2
Red Wings Slip Past IronBirds
|Cole Bakr delivers a pitch for the Red Wings.|
May 1: Red Wings 4, IronBirds 2
In a Thursday night thriller, the Red Wings slipped past the Ironbirds, 4-2. The Wings' Charlie Considine, Branden Levine, and Brenden Gazda all played stellar defense to keep the pesky Ironbirds at bay, and Levine chipped in offensively with an opposite field run-scoring double.
The Red Wings’ Nate Dyer pitched five strong innings as he dueled the Ironbirds' "Big Three" of Massimo Ranieri, Brady Eng, and Derek Scott.
Tuesday, May 1
River Bandits Rally Late
May 1: River Bandits 5, Lugnuts 4
Max Mathews’ double to left-center field brought home Ben Shore with the winning run as the River Bandits rallied for a 5-4 walk-off victory over the Lugnuts.
The River Bandits' Matthew Mancinelli pitched out of a jam in the top of sixth inning, striking out two with runners on first and third to keep his team close. Jakob Hulett then scored the tying run in the bottom of the frame with some heads-up base running on a ground ball, setting up Mathews' heroics.
In the fifth inning, the Lugnuts turned a great double play on a grounder to first base with Ben Russell stepping on the bag and then throwing home to Dessie Brown to tag the runner trying to score.
For the River Bandits, Shore went 1-for-1 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Mathews had a triple in addition to his game-winning double. Nolan Barrette and Connor Abruzzese also drove in runs for the victors.
For the Lugnuts, Charlie Scott threw 3.2 solid innings, striking out eight, and Trevor Carter drove in a pair of runs with a triple.
Monday, April 30
Red Wings Rally Past Scrappers
April 28: Red Wings 10, Scrappers 8
The Redwings and Scrappers fought hard throughout the game with great pitching performances by the Red Wings' Cole Bakr, Samuel Schiafano, and James Wyatt – leaving the game close, 4-2, after heading into the bottom of the fourth.
In the fourth, the Scrappers broke through with six runs to take what appeared to be a commanding 8-4 lead with Nathan Barstow and Wyatt contributing RBI hits.
But in the fifth inning, with two outs and nobody on base, the Redwings staged their comeback with clutch hits and at-bats by the entire team, leading to six runs. Brenden Gazda came in to close out the game by pitching a scoreless inning to preserve the victory.
Sunday, April 29
Thunder Strikes Again!!!
|The Thunder's Chris Libby delivers a pitch in his team's win.|
April 28: Thunder 13, Lugnuts 1
Chris Libby pitched 2.2 scoreless innings giving up no hits while striking out eight as the Thunder rolled past the Lugnuts, 13-1, under the Benevento lights on Saturday night.
Christian Lava hurled a 1.1 innings of scoreless ball with four strikeouts while adding a two-run single in the fourth. Colin Brady closed out the evening giving up a single run with fanning three. Brady also singled, scored three times, and had an RBI.
Sunday, April 29
River Bandits Steal One From IronBirds
April 28: River Bandits 15, IronBirds 7
The River Bandits staked a 5-3 lead, then stayed ahead by tacking on five more runs in the fourth inning and four runs in the fifth en route to a 15-7 triumph. Still, the game remained in doubt until reliever Nolan Pierce artfully worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth to preserve the River Bandits' advantage.
Jakob Hulett was among the offensive stars for the victors, collecting a pair of hits, driving in three runs, and scoring three times himself. Max Matthews roped a two-run triple, Charlie Cooper had two hits and crossed the plate four times, and Ben Shore went 1-for-1 with three walks and a stolen base. For the IronBirds, Ben Cook went 2-for-4 at the plate, including a triple, and drove in two runs, while Massimo Ranieri had a hit and three RBI.
Shore was the winning pitcher, fanning six and not allowing an earned run in his three innings on the hill. Hulett made a great play on Cook’s triple, sprinting after the ball and getting it back in to the infield quickly to prevent an inside-the-park home run.
Wednesday, April 25
Scrappers Slip Past the Iron Birds
April 24: Scrappers 9, Iron Birds 8
The Iron Birds exploded in the first inning against the Scrappers, pushing five runs across home plate, with Jaxson Donahue ripping an RBI single to contribute.
Pitching rookie phenom Derek Scott made his sensational debut, holding the Scrappers’ bats at bay with six strikeouts in two innings, while Levi “Crazy Legs” Gray scooted around the bags to stretch out a triple in the second.
However, the Scrappers, true to their name, battled back in the third and fourth – scoring eight runs to move ahead.
Massimo Ranieri unloaded a deep outfield thumper for an inside-the-park homer, and a sonic boom could be heard as Casey Allston beat the throw to first with a dash through the bag to lead off the fourth with a single.
In the final inning, the Birds rallied back as Brady Eng led the charge by smacking a triple, followed by Corbin Day’s RBI double. The Birds muster came up short as the final out was called with one run still in deficit.
Wednesday, April 25
Thunder Rolls To Walk-Off Win
|James Nelson starts the Thunder's sixth-inning rally.|
April 24: Thunder 8, River Bandits 7
The Thunder rallied with two runs in the bottom of the sixth for a walk-off victory Tuesday night at Benevento Fields.
Tuesday, April 24
Red Wings Start Off Red Hot
April 21: Red Wings 4, Thunder 3
The Red Wings opened their 2018 season with an exciting 4-3 win against the Thunder, scoring all of their runs in the first inning and then holding off their pesky opponents.
Cole Bakr made his Minor League pitching debut and showed great poise as he held the mighty Thunder to only one run in two innings of work. Nate Dyer was next to the mound and threw two innings, also only giving up one run. Finally, Brenden Gazda earned the save, getting a great defensive play by Michael DelVecchio at third base and then striking out the last two batters.
Christian Lava pitched three solid innings for the Thunder to keep his team in the game.
April 24: Red Wings 7, Lugnuts 2
A pitchers' duel between the Lugnuts' Xander Villaroel and Nate Dyer of the Red Wings kept the bats silent until the Wings finally broke through with six runs in the bottom of the third. Timely hitting by Dyer sparked the big inning, which was capped off by a huge hit from Cole Bakr.
Monday, April 23
Iron Birds Show Their Mettle
April 21: Iron Birds 21, Lugnuts 10
The Iron Birds came out with their bats soaring, taking a 21-10 Opening Day victory over the Lugnuts. Ben Cook led the hit parade with three big singles.
Brendan Trentsch delivered the hit of the day for the victors when he jacked a long liner in the fourth inning for two RBI, and he later flashed the leather with a sweet solo double play at first base to end the frame. Derek Scott crushed the ball in the third inning for a stand-up double.
Brady Eng was another standout in the field for the Iron Birds, snagging a well-hit grounder at shortstop and connecting with Corbin Day at first to turn a hot hit into a routine out. Eng then took the hill to close out the game, slamming the door on the win.
Wednesday, June 14
Scrappers Claw Into Minors Championship Game
The Scrappers picked a great time to play their best game of the year, earning a 14-3 victory over the Red Wings that secures the team a spot in the Minors championship game Saturday morning at Benevento Field. The temperature outside was in the mid-90s and the Scrappers bats were even hotter! The team collected 13 hits and scored 14 runs, both totals are the second-highest outputs of the season and the most since the third game of the year.
As has been the trend, the Scrappers got another great pitching outing out of their two aces, Jackson Wesley and Nick Torra. The Scrappers have now held their opponents to three runs or less in five straight games. They combined to strike out 11 batters and only walk two in five innings of work. A model of efficiency, Torra needed only 14 pitches to get through 1.1 innings of relief.
The Scrappers started the first inning on fire, as their first six batters reached base via hits and five runs were scored before an out was recorded. Zach Emery, Gavin Wesley, Ryan Stringer, Jackson Wesley, Finn Rodger, and Torra all recorded hits in the opening inning.
The Scrappers tacked on three more runs in the second inning. Brendan Trentsch led off with a line-drive single to center and was driven home by Emery’s second hit of the game. Stringer then crushed a triple, his second hit of the game, to bring home Emery and then scored on Jackson Wesley’s RBI single. They added another run in the third. Nick Torra smashed a double over everyone’s head and was driven home by Jason Puglia. The Scrappers closed the game out with five more runs in the fourth inning, the big hits coming from Trentsch and Rodger.
The Red Wings received multiple hits from Tanner Dupriest and Liam Blanchette. Otto Indelicato laced a triple to the right-center field gap, Ben Cook crushed a double over the left fielder, and Nathan Hadaad hit a line-drive single in the fifth inning.
Thursday, May 25
2018 Majors Tryouts Set For June 10
Monday, June 27
Lugnuts Are Minors Champs!
Sunday, June 28
They're the Iron of the Minors
Congratulations to the 2015 Minor League Champion Iron Birds, who pulled off a 10-7 win in the final over a gutsy River Bandits team that battled until the final out.
Sam Morelli took the mound for the Iron Birds and was masterful, allowing just four hits in four innings. When the ball was put into play, the defense had Morelli's back. Owen Delano scooped up a few ground balls for outs, and then was on the receiving end of a terrific throw from catcher Aldo Vittozzi to catch a runner stealing third. Clutch catches from Nick Jones helped keep the innings short.
The bats were hot for the Iron Birds, as both Vittozzi and Morelli went 3-for-3. In the forth inning, the Iron Birds plated three runs with a clutch leadoff single by Luke Beneke, and great at-bats by Eli Nikoloppulos and Ruari Maynes that put them on base with a pair of well timed walks.
The Birds seemed to relax with a nice lead and Morelli throwing so well on the mound, but the Bandits seized this opportunity the say that they were not going down without a fight. They scored five runs in the fifth inning with hits by Andrew Taylor, Andrew Mountain, and Sean Heins. A monstrous triple from Theo Sifikas plated two and was topped by a home run from Dylan Mills.
Vittozzi regained his composure on the mound and finished off the last two innings to preserve the win. He had constant support from Jack Conrad and captain of the infield Garrett Trentch. A terrific all-round game was played by John Paolucci, as he was sound in the field and feared at the plate. He had a single, then took one for the team off the wrist late in the game.
A tip of the cap has to go to the talented River Bandits team for a great effort. Garret Arden played well with two hits and a strong pitching performance. Brandon Eng hit a nice triple early in the game and Jack Cronin pitched terrific for the Bandits.