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Gobbel to AA, a Crowd of 2,900+, and a Double Rainbow Highlight the Series vs Hillsboro. 5/14-5/19

Welcome to another weekly recap from your man Jey, the unofficial beat writer for your Tri-City Dust Devils. We are killing it so far this season, and the Dust Devils are seeing record crowds of nearly 3k on Friday nights and tons of fun at the Ballpark. Let's recap the series, starting with some roster movement! 05/17/24 SS Andy Blake was assigned to Tri-City Dust Devils from Salt Lake Bees.

05/17/24 SS Ben Gobbel was assigned to Rocket City Trash Pandas from Tri-City Dust Devils.

05/16/24 RHP Ryan Langford was assigned to Salt Lake Bees from Tri-City Dust Devils.

05/14/24 Tri-City Dust Devils activated RHP Ryan Costeiu from the 7-day injured list.

05/14/24 RHP Roman Phansalkar was assigned to Inland Empire 66ers from Tri-City Dust Devils.

Game Recap 1: Dust Devils vs. Hillsboro Hops

Game Overview: The Dust Devils opened their series against the Hillsboro Hops with a dramatic comeback victory. Despite trailing early, a massive rally in the 7th inning propelled the Dust Devils to an 8-4 win, showcasing their resilience and timely hitting.

Key Moments:

  1. Massive 7th Inning Rally - The Dust Devils turned the game around in the bottom of the 7th inning with a series of clutch hits and heads-up base running. Mason Martin started the rally with an RBI single, followed by Caleb Ketchup's two-run double that tied the game at 3-3. Ben Gobbel's single brought Ketchup home, giving the Dust Devils the lead.

  2. Matt Coutney's Key Single - Matt Coutney delivered a crucial two-run single that extended the Dust Devils' lead to 6-3. This hit was pivotal in securing the Dust Devils' momentum and control of the game.

Pitching Performance:

  • Urena's Start: Urena had a challenging outing, allowing three runs on eight hits over 5.1 innings while walking seven and striking out 4. Despite the control issues, he managed to keep the game within reach.

  • Bullpen Brilliance: The bullpen was solid, with Langford, Martinez, and Suarez combining for 3.2 innings of relief, allowing only one unearned run. Martinez earned the win with 1.1 innings of scoreless pitching.

Hitting Highlights:

  • Top Performers:

  • Caleb Ketchup had a standout game, going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, driving in the game-tying runs in the 7th.

  • Ben Gobbel continued his hot streak, adding a double and an RBI single that gave the Dust Devils the lead.

  • Matt Coutney contributed with a critical two-run single in the 7th inning.

  • Supporting Cast:

  • Mason Martin and Joe Stewart also added to the offense, with Martin's sacrifice fly in the 7th and Stewart's stolen base showcasing aggressive play.

Team Highlights:

  • Offensive Efficiency: The Dust Devils excelled with runners in scoring position, going 5-for-9 and driving in critical runs during their 7th-inning surge.

  • Defensive Plays: The team played clean defense with no errors, including turning two double plays that helped limit the Hops' scoring opportunities.

In conclusion, the Dust Devils' dramatic 7th-inning comeback was the highlight of their game against the Hillsboro Hops. Critical contributions from Ketchup, Gobbel, and Coutney at the plate, combined with solid bullpen performances, led to a satisfying 8-4 victory. This game demonstrated the Dust Devil's ability to rally under pressure and secure crucial wins through teamwork and timely hitting.

Game 2 Recap: Dust Devils vs. Hillsboro Hops (Series tied 1-1)

Game Overview: In the second game of the series, the Dust Devils faced a tough battle against the Hillsboro Hops, ultimately falling short in a 4-1 defeat. The Hops' pitching kept the Dust Devils' offense in check, while timely hitting allowed the Hops to secure the win.

Key Moments:

  1. Matt Coutney's 9th Inning RBI - The Dust Devils scored their lone run in the bottom of the 9th inning when Matt Coutney grounded into a force-out, allowing Ben Gobbel to score. Despite this late effort, overcoming the Hops' lead wasn't enough.

  2. Hops' Steady Scoring - The Hops scored consistently throughout the game, with key hits in various innings that built and maintained their lead. The Dust Devils' pitchers limited further damage but couldn't entirely shut down the Hops' offense.

Pitching Performance:

  • Clark’s Outing: Starting pitcher Clark had a decent performance, pitching 5.2 innings and allowing 3 runs on 5 hits while striking out 6. However, he couldn't get the necessary offensive support to avoid his 4th loss of the season.

  • Relief Efforts: Southard and Espinosa combined for 3.1 innings of relief, allowing only 1 additional run while striking out 6. Espinosa pitched a clean final inning with 3 strikeouts, showing promise for future outings.

Hitting Highlights:

  • Top Performers:

  • Jadiel Sanchez was one of the few bright spots, collecting 2 hits and maintaining an improving batting average. (.218)

  • Pendleton also contributed with a double, one of the Dust Devils' few extra-base hits of the game.

  • Overall Struggles: The team struggled to string hits together and capitalize on scoring opportunities, going 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and leaving 5 runners on base.

Team Highlights:

  • Defensive Play: Despite the loss, the Dust Devils played clean defense, making no fielding errors and turning a double play, helping to limit the damage from the Hops' offense.

  • Pitching Resilience: The pitching staff managed 12 strikeouts, indicating a strong performance on the mound despite the lack of run support.

In conclusion, the Dust Devils' inability to produce runs ultimately led to their defeat in Game 2 against the Hillsboro Hops. While Jadiel Sanchez and the pitching staff gave standout performances, the team needs to find ways to capitalize on scoring opportunities to support their pitchers and secure victories in upcoming games. Game 3 Recap: Dust Devils vs. Hillsboro Hops (Dust Devils lead series 2-1)

Game Overview: The Dust Devils edged out the Hillsboro Hops in a closely contested Game 3, winning 4-3. Critical hits and strong pitching performances were crucial in securing this victory, with the Dust Devils showcasing their ability to capitalize on scoring opportunities and maintain their lead despite a late push from the Hops.

Key Moments:

  1. Early Lead with Bruggeman and Gobbel's Singles - In the bottom of the 3rd inning, the Dust Devils took an early lead. Caleb Ketchup scored on a single by Kevin Bruggeman, who then scored on a single by Ben Gobbel, putting the Dust Devils up 2-0.

  2. Ketchup's Home Run - Caleb Ketchup hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 7th, extending the lead to 4-0 and providing a crucial insurance run that proved vital as the Hops made a late comeback attempt.

Pitching Performance:

  • Costeiu's Effective Start: Costeiu set a solid foundation with 2.2 innings of no-hit ball, striking out 3 and walking 1, although he did not pitch long enough to earn the win.

  • Bullpen Efforts: The bullpen collectively held the Hops at bay, with notable performances including Rivera's 3 scoreless innings and Minacci closing the game for his 6th save, despite allowing a run in the 9th.

Hitting Highlights:

  • Top Performers:

  • Caleb Ketchup had a standout game, going 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, and scoring twice. His solo homer in the 7th was a game-changer.

  • Ben Gobbel was a consistent offensive force, adding two hits and an RBI.

  • Kevin Bruggeman also contributed with a key RBI single and a run scored in the 3rd inning.

  • Supporting Cast:

  • Jadiel Sanchez and Mason Martin added critical hits, with Sanchez driving in a run with a double.

Team Highlights:

  • Offensive Efficiency: The Dust Devils were effective with runners in scoring position, going 4-for-7, which was crucial for their scoring output.

  • Defensive Play: The team had a few fielding miscues, with errors by Ketchup and Costeiu, but managed to minimize the impact on the scoreboard.

In conclusion, the Dust Devils secured a narrow 4-3 victory against the Hillsboro Hops through timely hitting and solid pitching. Critical contributions from players like Caleb Ketchup and Ben Gobbel, combined with effective relief pitching, were instrumental in holding off the Hops' late-game surge. This win highlighted the Dust Devils' ability to perform under pressure and maintain their lead in critical moments.

Game 4 Recap: Dust Devils vs. Hillsboro Hops ( Dust Devils lead series 3-1)

Game Overview: The Dust Devils secured a 4-3 victory against the Hillsboro Hops in a game defined by solid pitching performances and timely hitting. The Dust Devils took an early lead and managed to hold off the Hops, thanks to practical bullpen work and key offensive plays.

Key Moments:

  1. Early Runs by Williams and Martin - The Dust Devils jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the 1st inning with Cam Williams hitting a two-run double, driving in Jadiel Sanchez and Matt Coutney. In the 2nd inning, Mason Martin extended the lead with a solo home run, his first of the season, making it 3-0.

  2. Insurance Run with Blake’s Sacrifice Fly - In the bottom of the 5th inning, Andy Blake hit a sacrifice fly to right field, bringing home Caleb Ketchup and extending the Dust Devils' lead to 4-2, which proved crucial as the Hops made a late push.

Pitching Performance:

  • Hurtado’s Strong Start: Hurtado delivered a solid performance, pitching 5.1 innings, allowing 6 hits and 2 earned runs while striking out 7. His effort earned him his third win of the season.

  • Bullpen Brilliance: Phillips and Suarez combined for 3.2 innings of no-hit relief. Phillips struck out 3 over 2 innings, and Suarez secured the save with 1.2 innings of perfect pitching, striking out 3.

Hitting Highlights:

  • Top Performers:

  • Cam Williams was crucial in the early innings, hitting a two-run double that set the tone for the game.

  • Mason Martin provided a critical insurance run with his solo homer in the 2nd inning, showcasing his power.

  • Supporting Cast:

  • Caleb Ketchup showed patience at the plate, drawing two walks and scoring a run.

  • Matt Coutney contributed with a hit and a run scored, adding to the Dust Devils' offensive efforts.

Team Highlights:

  • Offensive Execution: The Dust Devils were efficient with their opportunities, particularly in the early innings. They went 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left only 3 on base, ensuring they made the most of their chances.

  • Defensive Play: The team played a clean game on the field, aside from an error by Ketchup and a pickoff error by Hurtado. These did not significantly impact the outcome, thanks to strong pitching and solid defense.

In conclusion, the Dust Devils' combination of timely hitting and stellar pitching led to a narrow but decisive 4-3 victory over the Hillsboro Hops. Key performances by Hurtado on the mound and contributions from Williams and Martin at the plate were instrumental in securing the win. The team's ability to maintain their lead and shut down the Hops' offense in the later innings highlighted their resilience and effectiveness under pressure.

Double rainbow at Gesa Stadium
Ball Boy Jey

Game 5 Recap: Dust Devils vs. Hillsboro Hops (Dust Devils lead series 3-2)

Game Overview: The Dust Devils fell to the Hillsboro Hops in a high-scoring Game 5, with a final score of 10-5. Despite taking an early lead, the Dust Devils couldn't maintain their momentum as the Hops' offense surged, capitalizing on opportunities and consistently running.

Key Moments:

  1. Early Lead for the Dust Devils - The Dust Devils jumped to an early lead in the 3rd inning when Jorge Ruiz grounded out, allowing Werner Blakely to score. This was followed by a two-run double by Ronaldo Flores in the 4th, driving in Mason Martin and Cam Williams, making it 3-0.

  2. Mason Martin’s Home Run - In the bottom of the 8th inning, Mason Martin hit a solo home run to right-center field, his second of the season, giving the Dust Devils their final game run.

Pitching Performance:

  • Martinez's Solid Start: Martinez had a strong start, pitching 3 scoreless innings and striking out 3, providing a solid foundation for the Dust Devils.

  • Bullpen Struggles: The bullpen, however, struggled to contain the Hops. Garcia and Espinosa allowed 6 runs combined in their outings, while Smith and Southard gave up 4 more runs, sealing the Dust Devils' fate.

Hitting Highlights:

  • Top Performers:

  • Mason Martin was a standout, going 2-for-3 with a home run and scoring twice, showing his power and consistency at the plate.

  • Ronaldo Flores contributed with a crucial two-run double in the 4th inning.

  • Werner Blakely had a solid game, scoring twice and adding two hits.

  • Overall Performance: Despite some bright spots, the team struggled with runners in scoring position, going 1-for-12 and leaving 10 runners on base.

Team Highlights:

  • Offensive Efficiency: The Dust Devils managed to get on base but couldn't capitalize on their opportunities, a significant factor in their loss.

  • Defensive Play: The team had one error but turned a key double play (Blake-Ketchup-Coutney) to limit further damage.

In conclusion, despite taking an early lead and solid individual performances from Mason Martin and Ronaldo Flores, the Dust Devils couldn't hold off the Hillsboro Hops' relentless offense. The bullpen's inability to contain the Hops and missed opportunities with runners in scoring positions led to a challenging 10-5 loss. This game highlights the need for the Dust Devils to capitalize on scoring opportunities and tighten up their pitching to secure future victories.

Game 6 Recap: Dust Devils vs. Hillsboro Hops

Game Overview: The Dust Devils clinched the series with a 1-0 victory over the Hillsboro Hops in Game 6, winning the series 4-2. This tightly contested game was defined by outstanding pitching performances from both teams, with the Dust Devils securing the win through a key hit in the 8th inning.

Key Moments:

  1. Mason Martin's RBI Single - The game's only run came in the bottom of the 8th inning when Mason Martin singled on a soft line drive to left field, scoring Caleb Ketchup. This clutch hit proved to be the game-winner in a p