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White Sox Minor League Update: April 23, 2019

Mendick makes heroics in Charlotte, and killer starts by Varnell and Kubat for the A teams

Extra heroic: Down to their last out in the 10th, Danny Mendick crushed a three-run homer for a Knights win.
Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights
Brett Ballantini started at South Side Sox in 2018 after 20 years of writing on basketball, baseball and hockey, including time on the Blackhawks and White Sox beats. Follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and email your site feedback to

Charlotte Knights 11, Toledo Mud Hens 9 (10)

Danny Mendick (2B) 2-for-5, 3 R, 4 RBI (12), 2B (3), HR (3), BB, 2 K, SB (3, home), .215 AVG, .738 OPS **MVP**
Alcides Escobar (SS) 2-for-5, 2 RBI (13), 3 K, .393 AVG, .971 OPS
Daniel Palka (RF) 1-for-4, R, BB, 3 K, SB (1), .231 AVG, .675 OPS
Seby Zavala (DH) 1-for-5, R, RBI (9), 4 K, .203 AVG, .688 OPS
Zack Collins (C) 0-for-3, R, 2 BB, 3 K, .229 AVG, 1.001 OPS
Charlie Tilson (CF) 3-for-5, R, RBI (11), K, .371 AVG, .953 OPS
Matt Skole (1B) 2-for-4, R, RBI (10), HR (5), BB, .275 AVG, 1.018 OPS
Dylan Covey (SP) 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, 2 K, 2 HR, 2.19 ERA, 58 pitches/38 strikes
Spencer Adams (RP) 2 13 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 K, 2 HR, 8.10 ERA, BS (1)
Aaron Bummer (RP) 1 13 IP, H, 3 K, 0.00 ERA
Thyago Vieira (RP) 1 IP, H, R, 2 K, 3.39 ERA, W (2-0)

What a treat for 6,708 fans at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte tonight. Lots of offense, a steal of home, and a two-out, walk-off, three-run homer by Danny Mendick.

Per the Knights, Charlotte entered Tuesday’s play second in the International League in batting average, second in runs scored, first in hits, first in doubles, second in home runs, and first in RBIs. And they didn’t disappoint tonight, scoring 11 runs on 11 hits, and despite 18 (!) strikeouts. It marked the seventh time in 19 games that Charlotte has scored in double figures.

Dylan Covey got the start and pitched well, touched for just two solo home runs in four innings. Up 4-2 in the seventh in part on the strength of Matt Skoles’ fifth homer of the season, Spencer Adams threw it all away, surrendering six runs over 2 13 innings. But Charlotte fought back with four runs in the bottom of the seventh, one on a steal of home (double steal) by Mendick. Later, Brandon Guyer drove in a run with a HBP.

The game was knotted 8-8 at the end of regulation, and Toledo pushed home one run on Thyago Vieira in the 10th. That set the stage for Mendick, who had three hits on the night. With Nate Nolan running for Seby Zavala on second base and a Preston Walker base on balls to put two on with two out, Mendick worked a full count before launching a 424-foot winner — the first walk-off home run of his career.

Jackson Generals 3, Birmingham Barons 0

Blake Rutherford (RF) 2-for-4, K, assist at 2B, .131 AVG, .356 OPS
Joel Booker (LF) 1-for-3, BB, SB (7), .375 AVG, .896 OPS
Gavin Sheets (1B) 1-for-4, 2 K, picked off first (1), .250 AVG, .692 OPS
Luis González (CF) 1-for-3, BB, K, assist at 2B, .217 AVG, .619 OPS
Felix Paulino (SP) 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 2 HR, 3.13 ERA, L (2-1), 104 pitches/70 strikes
Luis Martinez (RP) 1 IP, 3 K, 4.15 ERA **MVP**

Not a ton to report here, as the Barons, what new, had their offense in the deep freeze. The club actually mustered seven hits on the night, just one fewer than Jackson — but none for extra bases. Felix Paulino had a decent start, but was no match for General Sam Lewis tonight. The defeat sent Birmingham back below .500, at 9-10.

Winston-Salem Dash 6, Wilmington Blue Rocks 2

Tyler Frost (CF) 0-for-4, BB, 3 K, .265 AVG, .774 OPS
Nick Madrigal (2B) 1-for-5, R, SB (4), .274 AVG, .682 OPS
Jameson Fisher (1B) 3-for-4, 2 R, RBI (5), 2B (6), BB, SB (3), .211 AVG, .568 OPS
Zach Remillard (SS) 3-for-4, R, 2 2B (4), BB, .288 AVG, .742 OPS
Kyle Kubat (SP) 5 IP, 2 H, R, BB, 6 K, 1.23 ERA, 82 pitches/56 strikes **MVP**
Codi Heuer (RP) 2 IP, H, R, BB, 3 K, 1.50 ERA, WP, BS (1), W (1-0), 36 pitches/25 strikes

Kyle Kubat was robbed of a win tonight, by some seventh-inning shenanigans: a throwing error by Yeyson Yrizarri at third base, and later a wild pitch to score the tying run by Codi Heuer. But overall, the pitching was fabulous for W-S, allowing the club to get back to .500 at 10-10. After the score was knotted 2-2 in the seventh, the Dash Boys got to work. Singles by Jameson Fisher and Zach Remillard, and a well-timed error from Blue Rocks hurler Collin Snider set the table for a three-run inning that would prove to be more than enough for the win.

Kannapolis Intimidators 5, Charleston RiverDogs 2

Luis Basabe (CF) 2-for-5, R, 3B (1), 2 K, assist at 3rd base, .200 AVG, .600 OPS
Steele Walker (RF) 1-for-3, RBI (9), SB 2 (4), 2 BB, .340 AVG, 1.007 OPS
Luis Curbelo (3B) 2-for-4, 2 RBI (12), E (2), .154 AVG, .480 OPS
Bryce Bush (DH) 2-for-5, R, .136 AVG, .377 OPS
Taylor Varnell (SP) 6 IP, 4H, 2 ER, 6 K, 1.96 ERA, W (2-1), 87 pitches/65 strikes **MVP**
Wilber Perez (RP) 1 IP, 3 K, H (2), 6.14 ERA, 11 pitches/10 strikes
Bennett Sousa (RP) 2 IP, K, 0.82 ERA, 18 pitches/16 strikes

Wow, what a pitching effort from the I’s tonight, not only issuing no walks all night, but throwing just 25 balls all night! Offensively, Kanny didn’t set the world on fire, but Luis Basabe got himself on the season board both offensively with his first two hits (including a triple) and defensively (gunning out a runner at third base). Bryce Bush got a day off and out of the field, and responded with two hits. The Intimidators scored all they’d need with three runs in the second inning, keyed by singles from Bush, Luis Curbelo and Ian Dawkins.