Jey Young/ Ball Boy Blog
A sea of Dust Devils blue, pink, camo, Rooster Tail red/baby blue, and Vineros Purple filled the seats at GESA Stadium tonight as the 1,575 fans in the stands looked on, hoping for Vineros to win tonight.
Watching pre-game, I spotted Vineros OF Mike Peabody officially joining the mustache movement of 2022; as Peabody was flaunting his stache around warmups, 3B Christian Molfetta was focused on a yoga session to begin the game. At the same time, Edwin Yon donned some excellent cleats.
Fresh off a 14-K outing against the Eugene Emeralds, Tri-City's SP Robinson Pina started the 1st, allowing just 1H and notching 2K. DH Jordyn Adams reached on a slightly wild throw by Canadians SS Leo Jimenez and avoided the tag by 1B Trevor Schwecke to reach 1st safely. He then moved into scoring position quickly, and SS Jose Guzman notched a BB. A past ball followed, and the Vineros had 2 RISP with 1out for CF Osmy Gregorio. Gregorio hit into a fielder's choice that got Adams out at 3B. However, RF Steven Rivas jumped on a pitch, lining it out to CF to score Guzman. The Vinores left 1 RISP to end the first and lead 1-0.
Pina started the 2nd with command issues that followed him the rest of the game, as he allowed a couple of runners on with free passes. Canadians RF Mueller hits a single to score 1B Schwecke and tie the game 1-1. Pina could work out of the jam and leave the bases loaded to turn it over to the offense, which he did with a timely ground ball after a pitching coach Doug Henry's visit.
The "generous" strike zones continued to be an issue for both sides as Home Plate Umpire Matthew Blackborow made questionable calls against both sides. Nonetheless, Vineros C Straton Podaras led the bottom of the 2nd with a BB, followed by a screamer off the bat of 3B Christian Molfetta that barely missed Canadians SP Zulueta for a single into CF. Jordyn Adams followed the hit with one of his own that hopped right over Canadians 3B Hugo Cardona's glove and into LF, scoring both Podaras and Molfetta. A sac-bunt by Jose Guzman looked like amove to simply, but Adams on 3B turned into a scoring play as Zulueta sailed the ball of 1B Schwenke's head to allow Adams to score, and Guzman ended up on 2B. 2B Kyren Paris followed up with a double of his own to score Guzman from 2nd. A strikeout from Osmy Gregorio ended the inning with the Vineros up 5-1.
The Canadians threatened as SS Leo Jimenez and 2B Miguel Hiraldo reached base. However, nothing came of it as the Pina could stand them on base. The Canadians then brought on RHRP Abdiel Medoza, who went on to lock down 3rd, 4th, and 5th without allowing a single hit.
Outside of spectacular plays by Vineros 1B Kenyon Yovan and RF Steven Rivas's decisive strike of a throw for outs in the 5th, and Canadians LF Davis Schneider continuing his hot hitting in the series, The game was quiet until the 7th.
The bats woke up the crowd at GESA stadium again as SS Jose Guzman hit a hard grounder right past the glove of Canadians 1B Schwecke for a double. Paris followed the double up with a BB to bring Gregorio up. Gregoria hit a sac-fly to CF to allow Guzman to advance to 3B. RF Steven Rivas provided a little more offense with a 2-out 2R double to extend the lead to 7-2 going into the 8th as the Vineros handed the ball over the flamethrower RHRP Brandon Dufault.
Dufault came on and struggled with command in this one as he opened the 8th hitting Canadians C Andres Sosa, and a 2R HR followed that up for RF Mack Mueller of a 96MPH fastball he did not miss. Dufault then surrounded another HR, this time a solo shot to Canadians CF Steward Berroa. Dufault was able to end the 8th with a lead, as he ended the frame with the club still leading 7-5.
The Canadians sent out 6'9" RHP Taylor Ruwe for the 9th as he struck out one batter and set down the side 1-2-3. The Vineros sent on 6'6" RHP Dakota Donovan to get the save and take the series lead. Donovan understood the assignment as he allowed 1H but didn't allow a run. He earned his 2nd save of the season, as the Dust Devils win this one 7-5 heading into tomorrow's double header.
My takeaways for tonight focus around the pitching, as the night for the Dust Devils/Vineros, made the Canadians leave ten on base in this contest. While also holding the Canadians to 2-9 with RISP in this one. My other takeaway tonight on the offensive side of things is the Dust Devils went 5-12 with RISP and only had 5 LOB for the game, and they made the opposition pay for their two errors in this one. Heads up, aggressive baserunning helped the Dust Devils jump to an early lead. It's also worth noting that the Vineros tonight knocked out Canadians SP Yosvar Zulueta in the 3rd; that's significant because Zulueta ranks as the Blue Jay's #19 prospect.
Tomorrow brings an exciting double header for the Dust Devils, as they will face Blue Jays #4 prospect LHP Ricky Tiedemann in game 1, and LHP Jose Salvador makes his High-A Debut for the Dust Devils in game one as well. The first pitch in this one is at 4 pm. Please get to know Salvador and his journey to High-A by clicking here.
Fun Fact: Since I began covering games a week, the Dust Devils are 5-2 and 5-1 in games that I have attended. I'm just saying.
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