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White Sox Minor League Update: April 9, 2019

A big debut for Dylan Cease keys a Charlotte shutout sweep; two heartbreakers in extras for the A-teams

Hammer down: Cease was dominating in his first Triple-A outing.
Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

Game 1: Charlotte Knights 4, Norfolk Tides 0

The beautiful BB&T Ballpark was abuzz for the opener of tonight’s doubleheader, as Dylan Cease took the mound for this first Triple-A start. The way he pitched, it’s easy to imagine him on the Michael Kopech track to Chicago this season.

Norfolk led off the game with an infield single from Stevie Wilkerson and a safety to center from DJ Stewart, but Cease coaxed a 6-4-3 double-play grounder from Anthony Santander and lineout from Chance Sisco to escape the early jam.

It would be the biggest rally the Tides would muster against Cease in the game. In the second inning, Cease punched out Ryan Mountcastle for his first strikeout of the season:

His second strikeout came on some 98 mph cheese:

And the big fella ended his outing strong, with two straight strikeouts, giving him five for the night:

Alcides Escobar (SS): 2-for-3, 2B (2), 2 RBI (5), R, K, .462 AVG, 1.313 OPS
Seby Zavala (C): 1-for-3, 2B (4), R, K, .313 AVG, .876 OPS, 1-for-1 CS
Brandon Guyer (RF): 1-for-3, 3B (1), R, .308 AVG, 1.015 OPS
Charlie Tilson (LF): 2-for-2, RBI (1), BB, .400 AVG, 1.071 OPS
Dylan Cease (0.00 ERA): 5 IP, 3 H, 5 K, 73 pitches/47 strikes, W (1-0) **MVP**
Josh Osich (2.25 ERA): 2 IP, H, BB, K, 23 pitches/15 strikes

The man of the hour had some postgame words about the experience:

Game 2: Charlotte Knights 3, Norfolk Tides 0

The Knights swept the doubleheader in most dominating fashion, shutting out Norfolk in both games. This time around, it was Dylan Covey with the start. Returning to Charlotte to stretch out as a starter once again, Covey was sparkling for three innings, giving up just one hit (a double to DJ Stewart in the game’s second at-bat) and whiffing four. Zach Thompson and Thyago Vieira threw two hitless innings apiece, capping the combined one-hitter. Yefry Ramírez threw four innings for the Tides and, matching Covey and then some. It took Charlotte until what would become their final bats of the night to break through for three runs, set off by a Zack Collins bomb:

Danny Mendick led off with a single, took second on a wild pitch, and advanced to third on Nicky Delmonico’s ground out to first base. So Collins was thinking about getting at least a sacrifice fly out of the at-bat; oops, 393 feet later, Charlotte was up, 2-0.

Zack Collins (C): 1-for-3, HR (4), 2 RBI (9), R, K, .357 AVG, 1.732 OPS **MVP**
Nicky Delmonico (1B): 2-for-3, 2 2B (3), .318 AVG, .815 OPS
Preston Tucker (LF): 1-for-3, 2B (2), RBI (6), .429 AVG, 1.253 OPS
Zach Thompson (4.15 ERA): 2 IP, BB, 4 K
Thyago Vieira (0.00 ERA): 2 IP, 2 K (W, 1-0)

Birmingham Barons

With the Barons getting an off-day in anticipation of their home opener on Wednesday, let’s take a look at some early numbers through five games:

  • Only three players are hitting better than .300: Alfredo González, Ramon Torres and Trey Michalczewski.
  • In five games, no Baron has hit a home run or earned a save — and the team has committed only one error (Laz Rivera).
  • Micker Adolfo has 10 strikeouts in 17 at-bats.

Wilmington Blue Rocks 2, Winston-Salem Dash 1 (10)

A heartbreaker for the Dash, losing in extras despite some hot pitching and a triple play in the second inning. The table was set for the triple play by a throwing error by Yeyson Yrizarri and a walk from Dash starter Cristian Castillo. Castillo then provoked a sharp grounder to Yrizarri at third, who stepped on the bag, fired to Johan Cruz at second, who delivered the final out to Jameson Fisher at first. Not bad, fellas. Yrizarri on the front end of a double steal in the fourth led to W-S’s only run, with Craig Dedelow scoring from third on a throwing error. Great outings from Castillo, Codi Heuer, Alec Hansen and Will Kincanon ended up wasted by a rough 10th inning. For the Dash, Luis Robert started on second base and Fisher singled, putting runners on the corners with none out. Unfortunately, Zach Remillard, Tyler Frost and Dedelow all whiffed. In the bottom of the frame, Kincanon yielded a single to Nick Pratto, and with a runner already on second, the game was lost. The Dash had 12 Ks, were 1-for-12 with RISP, and had no extra-base hits in the game.

Jameson Fisher (1B): 3-for-4, BB, .192 AVG, .472 OPS
Tyler Frost (CF): 0-for-5, 3 K, .143 AVG, .357 OPS
Craig Dedelow (LF): 1-for-5, R, 3 K, .318 AVG, .899 OPS
Yeyson Yrizarri (3B): 0-for-3, .227 AVG, .792 OPS, SB (1), E (2)
Carlos Perez (C): 2-for-4, .308 AVG, .746 (OPS), E (1)
Cristian Castillo (1.80 ERA): 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 76 pitches/46 strikes **MVP**
Codi Heuer (0.00 ERA): 2 IP, 4 K, 21 pitches/15 strikes
Alec Hansen (0.00 ERA): 1 IP, 1 K, 14 pitches/8 strikes

Delmarva Shorebirds 8, Kannapolis Intimidators 5 (10)

What a stab in the heart this one was, in Kannapolis. Delmarva rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game 4-4. In the 10th, the Shorebirds scored four more, with the I’s only able to answer with one, for the loss. Life was good when the sun was still setting, with Kade McClure making his first start back from knee surgery and pitching four sparklingly good innings. Also, an eagle-eyed Bryce Bush tapped two RBI singles, to tie the game in the first and give Kanny the lead in the fifth. But unfortunately in the ninth, Delmarva benefited from four outs, starting with a first-batter K from Lane Ramsey that turned into a baserunner on a dropped third strike. Two ground outs and a walk later, with the Shorebirds down to their last two strikes, Robert Neustrom clocked a three-run blast, tying the game. In the 10th, it was a battery meltdown, as Gunnar Troutwine added to his earlier dropped third with a passed ball, and Ramsey added three wild pitches of his own, helping gift four runs to Delmarva. The I’s could get back only one, as Ian Dawkins had a clutch, two-out single to bring home Steele Walker, but that’s all Kannapolis could muster, dropping to 3-2 on the season.

Ian Dawkins (LF): 3-for-5, R, 2B (1), RBI (1), 2 K, 3 SB (4), .235 AVG, .529 OPS
Bryce Bush (3B): 2-for-5, 2 RBI (3), 2 K, E (2), .235 AVG, .470 OPS
Steele Walker (CF): 2-for-5, 2B (3), 2R, 2 K, .278 AVG, .937 OPS
Logan Sowers (RF): 0-for-4, 3 K, .077 AVG, .220 OPS
Gunnar Troutwine (C): 0-for-2, R, 2 BB, K, 2 PB (4), .333 AVG, .944 OPS
Kade McClure (0.00 ERA): 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 63 pitches/43 strikes **MVP**
Lane Ramsey (4.91 ERA): 1 23 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 3 WP, L (0-1), BS (1)