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White Sox Minor League Update: August 12, 2019

Intimidators come back to walk off; Voyagers two-hit Vibes; AZL Sox three-hit Indians, lose; Benyamin Bailey is an on-base machine masquerading as a 17-year-old

There’s plenty of joy in Kannapolis, mighty Ramón Beltre has hit a two-run double for the walkoff victory

Kannapolis Intimidators 7, Greensboro Grasshoppers 6 — 10 innings

Kevin Folman: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
Lane Ramsey: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (W, 4-6)
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Alex Destino (RF): 1-for-4, 1 K, 1 HBP
Tyler Osik (DH): 2-for-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 3 K
Amado Nuñez (1B): 1-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 3 K
Cameron Simmons (LF): 1-for-5, 1 2B, 2 K
Michael Hickman (C): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 3 K
Ramón Beltre (2B): 3-for-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB **MVP**

It took one rollercoaster of a tenth inning, but the Intimidators were able to snatch this one unhygienically from the jaws of defeat. Kevin Folman allowed a home run in the first, a run-scoring double in the third, and a two-run triple in the fifth. In relief, JB Olson walked none but gave up one run on two hits over two innings. Lane Ramsey pitched the last three, including the tenth; he allowed just one run to score, unearned, but it was a big one, breaking the tie in favor of the Grasshoppers. In fact, this happened in the first at-bat of the inning, with the automatic runner placed on second; Romy González, an outfielder who’s been getting time at third base, made an error on a bunt that allowed the run to score.

Kannapolis scored in clusters, four in the fourth, one in the ninth, two in the tenth. In the fourth, Amado Nuñez hit a single to score González from a walk, and Michael Hickman drove in Tyler Osik from a double. Ramón Beltre singled in Nuñez, and Lenyn Sosa, who’s batting .325 over his last 10 games, knocked in Hickman. Sosa also drove in the crucial game-tying run in the ninth with a single, after Beltre doubled and stole third. Alex Destino and González were both hit by a pitch back-to-pack, loading the bases with one out, but Osik and Nuñez both struck out swinging to end the inning.

At first, it was looking dire in the I’s half of the tenth, which started off with Cam Simmons popping up a bunt foul for the first out of the inning. Hickman singled Auto-Runner Nuñez to third and advanced on the throw, then Beltre decided he’d had enough of baseball for the day and hit his 20th double of the season to drive in both baserunners for the walk-off win.

Great Falls Voyagers 3, Rocky Mountain Vibes 1

Dan Metzdorf: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Kaleb Roper: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K (2-0)
Caleb Freeman: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (H, 1)
Pauly Milto: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (S, 2)
Harvin Mendoza (1B): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Ty Greene (DH): 2-for-4, 1 SB
Jonathan Allen (LF): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K **MVP**
Kleyder Sánchez (C): 2-for-4, 1 K, 1 E

What a game for the Great Falls pitching staff, which allowed just two hits, one walk, and one unearned run in a full nine innings of work, striking out 12. The lone Vibes run came off fifth-rounder Dan Metzdorf, and scored after a steal of second base turned into a two-base error in the third inning, the runner driven in on a sacrifice fly. Kaleb Roper (29th round) threw three sharp innings, allowing just one baserunner, and Caleb Freeman (15th round) added two perfect innings of his own, striking out four. Pauly Milto (23rd round) capped it off, granting the Vibes their second hit of the day and first since the third inning, but striking out all three other batters he faced swinging.

Jonathan Allen and Harvin Mendoza provided most of the firepower today, both hitting solo shots, Allen’s first at the level and Mendoza’s sixth. Allen also singled to open the fourth, advanced to second on a wild pitch, scrambled to third on Kleyder Sánchez’s single (Sánchez ignominiously thrown out trying to stretch it into a double), then scored on Tom Archer’s single.

AZL Indians Red 2, AZL White Sox 1 — 10 innings

Manny Banuelos: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K
Jeremiah Burke: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 WP
Samil Polanco (2B-SS): 2-for-5, 1 2B, 1 CS
José Rodríguez (SS): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K
Micker Adolfo (DH): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 3 K
Bryan Ramos (3B): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 E
Logan Glass (CF): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E **MVP**
Victor Torres (C): 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K

This ten-inning adventure didn’t go the AZL squad’s way, despite only allowing three hits to the catchily-named AZL Indians Red. The rehabbing Manny Bañuelos performed as well as you’d hope a major leaguer would perform in the AZL, walking one and allowing no other baserunners through four innings. Jeremiah Burke (17th round) took over and held his own, giving up just one run over five innings of work. Mac Welsh has yet to allow an earned run in his professional career (5 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K), but still gets the loss as the Auto-Runner scored on a single in the tenth.

The sole AZL Sox run came in the seventh inning, which started off with a Logan Glass ground-rule double, a wild pitch to advance him to third, and a Victor Torres single to drive him in. Instead of having a big inning, though, Torres was picked off and that was it. They had a final scoring chance in the ninth, when Bryan Ramos singled to lead it off, Josue Guerrero bunted him to second, and Glass was intentionally walked, but the Indians strategy worked and Torres grounded into a double play to end the threat.

DSL Blue Jays 7, DSL White Sox 5

Ronaldo Guzman: 4 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (L, 1-3)
Erick Perez: 4 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 WP
Yolber Sánchez (SS): 1-for-4, 1 R, 2 BB
Johnabiell Laureano (CF): 0-for-5, 1 R, 1 K
Benyamin Bailey (LF): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB **MVP**
Jefferson Mendoza (DH): 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Lazaro Leál (RF): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Alberto Bernal (1B): 2-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP

The DSL Sox went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded 14 on base en route to a 7-5 loss to the DSL Blue Jays. They did rally for four in the bottom of the ninth, but it was three fewer than what they needed. Starting pitcher Ronaldo Guzman, age 16, has had an up-and-down year, as most of us did at age 16; this wasn’t his best start, and it wasn’t his worst. The lefty has now struck out 65 over 45 ⅔ innings so far this season. Jendersson Caraballo, who evidently missed 2018 with an injury, returned for his third appearance and allowed one unearned run in one inning. Erick Perez walks a ton of guys (4.53 BB/9) but also strands them all (10 earned runs in 49 ⅔ innings for a 1.81 ERA; 3.83 FIP). Here, he stretched out to four innings, allowing six hits and just one earned run.

At the plate, the DSL squad was fairly lethargic; their first run came in the first on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jefferson Mendoza, scoring Johnabiell Laureano, who had also reached via fielder’s choice. That was it until the ninth, which was, as is tradition in the DSL, walk-heavy. Yolbert Sánchez drew his second walk of the game to open the inning, then after Laureano struck out, Benyamin Bailey (.349/.500/.488) also walked, reaching base for the third time. A wild pitch and error scored Sánchez and advanced Bailey to second, then Jefferson Mendoza walked, then a second wild pitch advanced them both a base (this is all par for the league). Another walk, this one to Richard García, loaded the bases, then Alberto Bernal was hit by a pitch to score Bailey, the second run of the inning (score, Jays 7, Sox 3). Matthew Mercedes also walked — the fifth free pass of the inning — to score another run, then Jhoneiker Betancourt was hit by a pitch to force in the fourth and final run of the inning. Nobody came through with the big hit here, but DSL games are often wars of attrition; let them go long enough and anything can and will happen.