Here is a recap of the day’s events.
El Paso Chihuahuas (Lost to the Las Vegas Aviators 10-4) (26-29 on the season)
Anderson Espinoza: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 4 K (95 pitches, 58 strikes)
Tim Lopes: (2-for-4), 2 R, 2B
David Dahl: (2-for-4), 2B, 2 RBI
Jantzen Witte: (1-for-4), 2 R, 2 SB
El Paso opened the series with 47 runs in the first three games, taking all three, but Las Vegas found the magic cure on Friday to limit the Chihuahua’s juggernaut offense. Kyle Muller, the Athletics opening day starter, went 5.1 innings while limiting the damage. The left-hander gave up four runs, three earned. The bullpen behind him was even better, combining to allow just two baserunners in 3.2 scoreless innings while striking out six.
What started as a close game, thanks to another solid outing from Anderson Espinoza, the Aviators broke out in the sixth inning against El Paso reliever Jake Sanchez. Las Vegas would go on to score ten runs on 14 hits. Four players had multiple hits, including Dermis Garcia, who led the way with his 10th home run of the season as part of a three-hit day.
El Paso managed to rack up eight hits, including doubles from Tim Lopes and David Dahl.
San Antonio Missions (Lost to the Frisco RoughRiders 8-7) (26-23 on the season)
Duncan Snider: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R (0 ER), BB, 6 K (87 pitches, 58 strikes)
Connor Hollis: (1-for-3), R, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB
Daniel Johnson: (3-for-3), 2 R, 2 BB, 3 SB
Jorge Ona: (1-for-4), R, HR, RBI
Juan Fernandez: (1-for-4), R, RBI, BB, SB
The Missions entered Friday night having won 15 of their last 21 games, largely on the heels of an elite bullpen and sound defense. San Antonio got neither of those against Frisco. After starter Duncan Snider got the first out in the second inning, Nick Tanielu would single to left field. Liam Hicks came up next and also hit it to left field, reaching base after Jorge Ona misplayed the ball. Two batters later, Jax Biggers brought both of them in on a single.
Snider would settle in afterward before leaving the game in the sixth inning. The right-hander now has a 3.38 ERA in 42.2 innings pitched this season. Snider actually left the game with a decent-sized lead thanks to a six-run outburst in the fourth inning that included two home runs, a three-run shot from Connor Hollis, followed by a solo blast via Ona. San Antonio added on an insurance run in the top of the ninth to take a 7-2 lead.
Michel Baez came on in the ninth for his second inning of work, and disaster stuck. After allowing Biggers to lead off with a double, Baez would walk the next two batters. He would be replaced by the hard-throwing Kevin Kopps, who hit the first man he faced before giving up a game-tying grand slam. Luisangel Acuna would walk it off in the tenth inning to take the 8-7 victory.
Fort Wayne TinCaps (Defeated the South Bend Cubs 4-3) (21-28 on the season)
Ryan Bergert: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K (80 pitches, 46 strikes)
Carlos Luis: (2-for-4), 2 RBI
Jackson Merrill: (3-for-4), R, 2B, SB
Marcos Castanon: (1-for-4), R, 2B, RBI
Fort Wayne only scored in one inning on Friday, but that’s all they needed. With one on in the third inning, Jackson Merrill picked up his second of three hits on Friday. Justin Farmer and Merrill would pull off a double steal, forcing an errant throw from Cubs catcher Ethan Hearn, scoring Farmer as Merrill moved to third. Marcos Castanon would double him in during the next at-bat. A few batters later, Carlos Luis lasered a ball to center, bringing in two to make it 4-0. Merrill extended his streak to six games, hitting .462 in that span.
A productive third inning at Parkview Field! pic.twitter.com/Rbkg3uYZtw
— Fort Wayne TinCaps (@TinCaps) June 3, 2023
Ryan Bergert was excellent again, striking out five in six shutout innings. The right-hander has now thrown 15 consecutive scoreless innings. Bergert lowered his ERA on the season to 1.42 and now has 42 punchouts in 38 innings. The Cubs fought back, though, in the eighth inning, scoring three runs off TinCaps reliever Ruben Galindo, who was pulled after only facing four batters. Bobby Milacki would get the final five out of the game to get the save. Fort Wayne has now won 7 of their 11 games.
6 IP, 0 ER, 5 Ks, 3 BB, 2 H
Lowered season ERA to 1.42 pic.twitter.com/oFI4J8JhNr
— Giannis Auntiegotapoodle (@TooMuchMortons_) June 3, 2023
Lake Elsinore Storm (Lost to the Visalia Rawhide 12-8) (25-21 on the season)
Henry Baez: 4.2 IP, 10 H, 9 R (8 ER), 2 BB, 3 K (72 pitches, 45 strikes)
Ethan Salas: (0-for-3), R, 2 BB
Graham Pauley: (3-for-5), 3B, RBI
Nick Vogt: (3-for-4), 2 R, 2 2B, RBI
Wyatt Hoffman: (0-for-1), R, 2 RBI, BB
Henry Baez suffered his worst start of the season on Friday night. The young right-hander was hit for nine runs, including four in the fifth inning. Adrian Morejon also made another rehab appearance, giving up three runs in 1.2 innings, including a home run. The lefty did strikeout four, however, as he works to return through an elbow injury. He left the game with Lake Elsinore trailing 12-1.
The Storm didn’t roll over, though, scoring seven runs in the final four innings. Graham Pauley had an RBI triple in the third inning, and Nick Vogt picked up three hits on the night, including a pair of doubles. Despite plenty of opportunities, the Storm went a ghastly 0-for-17 with RISP, stranding nine runners on base.
— Lake Elsinore Storm (@Storm_Baseball) June 3, 2023
El Paso: TBD
San Antonio: Efrain Contreras (1-4, 5.30 ERA, 45 K)
Fort Wayne: Bodi Rascon (1-2, 5.09 ERA, 24 K)
Lake Elsinore: TBD
Al was born in Fresno, California with a passion for talking and writing about sports. The lifelong Padres fan is currently attending Fresno State as he pursues a degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to being a student, he does public address announcing at both the high school and collegiate levels.