The Undercards: Vettleson Blast Falls Just Short as Hot Rods Lose

Sometimes all you can do is shake year head and move on.

Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 6, Huntsville Stars (MIL) 3

We are still waiting for Jake Thompson. But at least he got the win on Wednesday night. Thompson went 5 innings allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, on 6 hits, striking out 2 while walking 3, but he battled, forcing an 11-3 groundout to flyout ratio, and that was enough in this game. The Biscuits actually managed just 1 more hit than the Stars, 11 to 10, yet won by 3 runs. How did that happen? An excellent day with runners in scoring position. The Biscuits went an insane 6 for 12 with RISP, led by Omar Luna and Ryan Garko. Luna went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles, 3 RBI, and a run scored, and Garko went 3 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored. Hak-Ju Lee went 1 for 5 with the only other RBI for Montgomery along with a run scored. The Biscuits really took advantage of their opportunities and came away with a crisp win.

High-A Florida State League: Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA)  2, Charlotte Stone Crabs 1

Bullpen collapses happen. Doesn’t mean we’ll ever like them when they happen to us. Albert Suarez had a nice outing for Charlotte, going 7 innings allowing no runs on 5 hits, striking out 4 while walking 3 and posting an 11-3 groundout to flyout ratio. But Edgar Olmos tossed 7 shutout frames of his own to make this game a scoreless battle of the bullpens. The Stone Crabs struck first against Jupiter’s Raudel Lazo, with Hector Guevara coming through with an RBI single. But Jupiter loaded the bases against Chris Rearick, Rearick got 2 outs before Taylor Crick laced a walk-off 2-run single as the Stone Crabs suffered a back-breaking 2-1 defeat. Mikie Mahtook went 2 for 4 and Cody Rogers went 2 for 3 for the Stone Crabs, but they went just 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position and that was the difference in this game.

Just missed. (Credit: Flickr user BeGreen90)

Low-A Midwest League: West Michigan Whitecaps (DET) 4, Bowling Green Hot Rods 2

One swing lost this game for the Hot Rods. But another swing could have changed that. Andrew Bellatti got a spot-start for Bowling Green after Jake Floethe was scratched with back spasms and tossed 2 shutout innings before allowing a Stephen Moye grand slam in the third inning, the only runs Bellatti would allow in 3 frames. In came Jacob Partridge and he came through with a herculean relief effort, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits in 6 shutout innings, striking out 5 while walking 1, and the Hot Rods clawed back into the game on a Todd Glaesmann RBI double and a Jeff Malm solo homer to pull within 4-2. Then in the 9th inning, they loaded the bases against Daniel Bennett. Drew Vettleson was the hitter. Vettleson drilled a ball out of the park… but foul. But then he got ahold of another pitch, slamming it to deep right field, but Moye made an outstanding leaping grab to rob him of a walk-off grand slam as the Hot Rods fell 4-2. Video of the play is here (start at 0:45), and here’s what players had to say on Twitter, especially after Moye’s grab made Sportscenter.

The Hot Rods went just 1 for 9 with scoring position in the game, losing despite banging out 14 hits to West Michigan’s 5. Malm went 3 for 4, Glaesmann and Joshua Sale went 2 for 4, and Vettleson went 2 for 5. But the Hot Rods simply could not get the timely hits (although boy they came close), and they lost the game and failed to make any progress in their quest to lock up a first half division title and clinch a playoff berth.

Topics: Albert Suarez, Drew Vettleson, Jacob Partridge, Jeff Malm, Omar Luna, Ryan Garko

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