As the old saying goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Curt Casali took advantage of that chance for the Biscuits in the first game of their double header, having a perfect day at the plate as Montgomery won their opening matchup.
Durham Bulls 3, Gwinnett Braves 2
After Merrill Kelly had been carving through the International League without much difficulty, he appeared to be human for one of the few times for Durham in the first. Gwinnett loaded the bases with one out, and Kelly walked Stefan Gartrell to force in a run. He then got Philip Gosselin to fly out to center, where Kevin Kiermaier made an excellent throw to catch Tyler Pastornicky trying to score from third to end the threat. After the Braves put another run on the board in the third, Kelly settled in, and pitched as he had since being called up to the Bulls. Durham came back in the bottom of the inning, putting runners on second and third with one out before Leslie Anderson plated a run with an RBI groundout to cut the lead in half. The Bulls borrowed some of the Rays two out magic in the fourth. With runners on first and third, Kiermaier stole second to put two runners in scoring position for Jason Bourgeois. Bourgeois delivered, singling to center to plate both runners and give Durham a 3-2 lead. Kelly held the Braves to only two hits after the third, and the Bulls held on for the victory. Kelly picked up the win, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out six. Bourgeois had a nice night with the bat, going 2-5 and accounting for all three runs, with one run scored and two RBIs. However, not everything was positive for Durham, as Brandon Guyer had to leave in the third with a fractured finger on his right hand. As of now, there is no timetable on his return.
Montgomery Biscuits 6, Jacksonville Suns (Marlins) 1 (Game One – Seven Innings)
The Biscuits offense was ready from the start in the first game of the double header, putting runners on second and third with one out in the first. Cameron Seitzer drove in a run with a base hit, and Todd Glaesmann followed with an RBI single of his own. A single by Curt Casali with two outs plated Seitzer, and the Biscuits took a 3-0 out of the gate. Those three runs would end up being more than enough for starter Mike Colla, who held the Suns offense in check, with the only blemish a sixth inning home run by Chris Gutierrez. Montgomery put the game away in the bottom of the inning, using some two out magic of their own. With runners on first and third, Hector Guevara doubled to plate a run, and Robi Estrada followed with a two run single as the Bulls pulled away for the 6-1 victory. Colla picked up the win, allowing the one run on five hits, striking out four in his six innings of work. Casali was 3-3 with a run scored and an RBI in his first game with the Biscuits.
Montgomery Biscuits 4, Jacksonville Suns 2 (Game Two – Seven Innings)
This time, it was Jacksonville’s turn to get out to a quick start, as they scored a run in each of the first and second innings to take a 2-0 lead. However, the Biscuits came back in the bottom of the inning, as Kyeong Kang led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly. Montgomery took the lead in the fourth, putting runners on first and third with two outs. Estrada singled to tie the game, and Evan Frey followed with an RBI base hit to put the Biscuits on top. An infield hit loaded the bases, and Mikie Mahtook singled to plate Estrada. Frey attempted to score on the hit, but was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. However, the Suns were unable to mount much of a scoring threat after the second, and the Biscuits held on for the 4-2 victory. Braulio Lara picked up the win, allowing one hit in two shutout innings of relief. Estrada had an excellent game, going 2-3 with a run and an RBI.
Charlotte Stone Crabs 4, Tampa Yankees 4 – Suspended
Tied at 4-4 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, play was suspended due to rain. The game will resume with Ali Castillo at first for the Yankees tomorrow at 5:30 pm.
Bowling Green Hot Rods 2, Great lakes Loons (Dodgers) 0
It is always a good feeling when a pitcher can make first inning runs stand up, and Dylan Floro did exactly that for the Hot Rods last night. Bowling Green started quickly, as Andrew Toles led off the game with a double and scored on a base hit by Leonardo Reginatto. After a groundout, Luke Maile reached on an error by Corey Seager, which allowed Reginatto to score from second. Those two runs were all Floro needed, as he allowed only one runner to reach second in his outing. The Loons never managed to put together a true scoring threat, as the Hot Rods escaped with the 2-0 victory. Floro gave up six hits and two walks over his 6.2 shutout innings, striking out four. Marcus Jensen was excellent in relief, picking up the save while giving up one hit in 2.1 innings, striking out five. Reginatto was the offensive star for Bowling Green, going 2-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
Tri-City ValleyCats (Astros) 1, Hudson Valley Renegades 0
The Renegades were completely held in check by the ValleyCats, managing only two hits. Oscar Hernandez singled to lead off the second inning and was erased on a double play, and Ariel Soriano singled in the sixth. However, the Renegades had a decent scoring chance in the third. James Harris struck out with one out, but reached on a wild pitch. After a groundout moved Harris to second, he advanced to third on another wild pitch. Soriano ended the inning by flying out to center, stranding Harris. The ValleyCats broke the scoreless tie in the top of the ninth, as Jon Kemmer homered with one out. That home run would account for all the scoring, as the Renegades were shutout for the second straight night, falling 1-0. Rick Teasley took the loss, giving up one run on four hits in three innings of relief.
Pulaski Mariners 2, Princeton Rays 1
Scoreless through three, the Mariners broke the tie with one swing of the bat. Jeffrey Zimmerman led off the bottom of the fourth with a walk, and Kristian Brito followed with a two run homer to put the Mariners on top. Meanwhile, the Rays offense was stymied until the eighth. Enmanuel Paulino had a two out double to drive in Johnny Eierman, putting Princeton on the board and cutting the lead in half. However, the Rays were unable to get any closer, as they fell 2-1. D.J. Slaton took a tough loss, giving up the two runs on five hits and a walk over six innings. Paulino was 1-3 with a walk, a double and an RBI.
GCL Rays 8, GCL Red Sox 3
After spotting the Red Sox a run in the top of the fourth, the Rays offense came alive in the bottom of the inning. Taking advantage of two errors and a wild pitch, the Rays pushed three runs across the board to take the lead. They put the game away in the fifth, scoring five more times all with two outs. Thomas Milone had a two run single with the bases loaded, and Jeremy Hadley followed with a two run triple before coming around to score on a throwing error as Clayton Henning stole second. The Red Sox got a run back in the sixth and ninth innings, but it was not enough as the Rays cruised to the victory. Freddy Alvarez picked up the win, giving up two runs on two hits and three walks over 3.1 innings. Hadley was 2-4 with a triple, two runs scored and three RBIs in the win.