Chihuahuas 11, Sacramento River Cats 8
Key Statistics: DH Robinson Canó, 2-for-4, R, BB, 2B, RBI; C Luis Campusano, 3-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI; 1B Taylor Kohlwey, 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI; 2B Eguy Rosario, 2-for-4, 3 R, 2B, RBI; 3B C.J. Hinojosa, 3-for-5, R, RBI; RHP Jesse Scholtens, 3.2 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K; RHP Grant Gavin (W, 1-0) IP, BB; LHP Ray Kerr (S, 1) IP, BB, 2 K
Prospect Watch: El Paso scored three in the ninth to notch the win in Sacramento. … The game-winning hit came off of the bat of infielder C.J. Hinojosa. He stroked an RBI single in the ninth – his third hit of the game. The versatile infielder was invited to big league camp after posting a career-high .832 OPS last year with Triple-A Sugar Land. This season, Hinojosa is hitting .249/.327/.379. …Catcher Luis Campusano also had three hits, including a double in the Chihuahuas’ win. The El Paso catcher also paced the offensive attack with three RBI. His multi-hit affair raised his batting average to .329. The 23-year-old catcher has hit at least .300 every month thus far but he hasn’t homered since May 21. He’s hitting .309 in June, but slugging just .368. … Taylor Kohlwey extended his hitting streak to 14 games Friday night. The 27-year-old first baseman/outfielder singled, doubled, and drove in a run. We’ve written a lot about how hot Eguy Rosario and Esteury Ruiz have been in El Paso, but Kohlwey has been the best hitter in Sun City this month. The Wisconsin native is hitting an outrageous .442/.483/.731 with four homers, 20 RBI, and just five strikeouts in 58 plate appearances this month. Kohlwey’s .340 batting average and .431 on-base percentage lead the PCL and he is sixth in OPS at .953. At 27, perhaps Kohlwey is too old to be considered a prospect, but all he has done the last two years is hit. He’s left-handed, he controls the strike zone and he can play four positions. It will be interesting to see if his continued excellence gives him an opportunity at the next level. … Jesse Scholtens started and missed plenty of bats but struggled with command. The 28-year-old tied a season-high with seven strikeouts but he walked three in 3.2 innings. Scholtens missed two weeks at the end of May and is starting to stretch back out after working in relief earlier in June. In terms of depth, he might represent the best minor league option should the Padres need to reach off the 40-man for a starter capable of throwing five innings.
Missions 11, Wichita Wind Surge 2
Key Statistics: CF Korry Howell, 2-for-5, 2 R, HR(6), 3 RBI; 2B Domingo Leyba, 2-for-5; 1B Yorman Rodriguez, 2-for-5, R; LF Tirso Ornelas, 4-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI; DH Jorge Oña, 2-for-5, 2 R, RBI; RF Thomas Milone, 2-for-3, 2 R, HR (2), 2 RBI; SS Connor Kaiser, 4-for-5, 2 R, 2 RBI; RHP Reggie Lawson (W, 3-4) 6.2 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, 6 K
Prospect Watch: The Missions pounded out 19 hits and cruised to a victory against Wichita. The Missions’ victory gave them the first-half title. They are the second Padres’ affiliate to clinch a playoff berth so far this season. The Storm clinched a playoff berth earlier in the week. The Missions’ first-half title is remarkable, considering they lost 13 of their first 16 games. … San Antonio got the party started in the second inning by putting up five runs. The big hit came from outfielder Korry Howell, who with two on and two out, hit his sixth homer of the year. The former Brewer prospect struggled in April, hit well in May, and has been tremendous in June, despite spending 12 days on the COVID-19 list. Howell is hitting .308/.386/.538 this month. … Tirso Ornelas had a four-hit night to tie his career-high. Ornelas had three singles, a double, and scored a pair of runs. The 22-year-old has been a very streaky hitter throughout his tenure in the Padres’ system and 2022 has been no exception. Ornelas hit .317 in April, .188 in May, and he’s been scorching in June. Ornelas’ four-hit night raised his June slash-line to .393/.433/.554. The left-handed-hitting outfielder hasn’t found his power stroke in Double-A but he’s continued to show a solid approach and good bat-to-ball skills. … Ornelas wasn’t the only Mission to notch four hits. Shortstop Connor Kaiser also had four hits, including a two-run single that kicked off the Missions’ scoring. It was the first time since 2019 that Kaiser notched four hits in a game. The former Pirate prospect has broken out a bit offensively this month, flashing power that he really hasn’t displayed before. Kaiser is hitting .244/.354/.561 in June with four homers. Kaiser’s career-high in homers is seven, which he achieved in 2019, while in Low-A. … Not to be lost in the offensive onslaught is Reggie Lawson‘s outing. It’s been a winding road for the High Desert native since having Tommy John in 2020. He started just four games last year and struggled mightily out of the gate this season. Despite all the adversity, Lawson pitched well in Wichita, working into the seventh inning. Lawson completed 6.2 innings and allowed just five hits, two walks and a single earned run, striking out six. Lawson last pitched at least six innings since May 2, 2019, when he was a member of the Amarillo Sod Poodles. Still just 24, Lawson could emerge as an interesting storyline this summer.
Great Lakes Loons 10, TinCaps 6
Key Statistics: LF Corey Rosier, 1-for-4, 2 R, 2 BB, RBI; CF Robert Hassell III, 3-for-6, 2B; 3B Lucas Dunn, 1-for-4, R, BB; RHP Efraín Contreras, 3 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K; RHP Luis Madrazo, 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, L; RHP Luke Boyd (L, 0-3) 0.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER
Prospect Watch: This one got a little wild late in the evening. Great Lakes carried a 5-0 lead into the eighth inning. The TinCaps scored a pair in the eighth and three more in the ninth to tie the game but the wheels came off in the tenth, as Fort Wayne allowed five runs. Robert Hassell III had three hits, one more than the rest of the TinCaps lineup. Hassell tied the game in the ninth with a two-run single. After a pair of hitless games to start the series against Great Lakes, The 20-year-old prospect is 6-for-10 over the last two games. The former first-rounder struggled through a poor May but he’s picked it up in June, hitting .360/.389/.660. … Outfielder Corey Rosier drew two walks and singled at the top of the Fort Wayne lineup. The single extended Rosier’s hitting streak to six games. Rosier has also scored at least one run in seven straight. The speedy outfielder has some bad luck with balls in play this season but thanks to an excellent walk rate, he has put up a .367 on-base percentage in 2022. … Efraín Contreras had one of his best outings of the season Friday night, allowing just one earned run over three innings. The 22-year-old has pitched in an abbreviated fashion since returning from 2020 Tommy John surgery on May 6. He has yet to pitch longer than four innings this season. Over his last three starts (eight innings), Contreras has allowed three earned runs.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 11, Storm 10
Key Statistics: SS Max Ferguson, 1-for-4, 2 R, BB, SB (49); 2B Nerwilian Cedeno, 2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, BB, 2 RBI; 1B Cole Cummings, 2-for-4, 2B, BB, 2 R; 3B Marcos Castañon, 1-for-3, R, 2 BB, 3 RBI; RHP Garrett Hawkins, 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 8 K; LHP Ben Miller (L, 2-3) 1.1 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, K
Prospect Watch: The Quakes and the Storm have played some wild games this season and Friday night was no exception. The Storm entered the ninth inning down six but they put up a five-spot in the ninth to make things interesting. … Third baseman Marcos Castañon hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning to bring the Storm within a run. The 23-year-old infielder has flashed some surprising pop to go with a good eye at the plate. He has seven homers in just over 200 plate appearances and his .777 OPS is above-average in the 2022 version of the Cal League. … Nerwilian Cedeno tripled, singled, walked, and drove in a pair of runs. The 20-year-old switch hitter joined the Storm at the end of May and has helped the offense deal with the loss of top prospect Jackson Merrill. In 21 games with the Storm, Cedeno is hitting .283/.362/.413 with a homer and 17 RBI. … Garrett Hawkins started and completed five innings. He allowed four runs, two earned, and a pair of homers. The 22-year-old Hawkins racked up eight strikeouts without allowing a walk. Hawkins has struck out 78 batters in 53.1 innings but he’s had some issues with allowing homers. He’s allowed nine this season, the third-most in the Cal League. He has an excellent fastball but he’s battled some issues with leaving pitches in the heart of the plate. It’s typically unheard of for a pitcher with a K/BB ratio of nearly six-to-one to have a 5.40 ERA but Hawkins has achieved that in 2022.
Roster Moves: The Storm had two additions to their roster on Friday. Outfielder Michael Green was activated from the injured list after a short rehab stint in the desert. Left-handed pitcher Danny Denz will join Green in Lake Elsinore. The left-handed pitcher had a lot of success last season but struggled with Fort Wayne this year and will look to right the ship at a lower level.
ACL Reds 7, ACL Padres 3 (7 innings)
Key Statistics: SS Victor Acosta, 1-for-3; 1B Kelvin Alarcon, 2-for-3, R; LF Ruben Salinas, 1-for-2, R, 2B, 2 RBI; RHP Miguel Rondon (L, 0-2) 3 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; LHP Matt Sparling, IP, 2 BB, 2 K
Prospect Watch: The ACL Padres went down in a seven-inning affair in Goodyear. … Kelvin Alarcon had a pair of singles and scored a run Friday night. The well-traveled veteran is playing for his third affiliate of the year. He didn’t make a club out of spring training but he saw some time in El Paso and San Antonio earlier in the month. He’s 4-for-13 in five games in the desert. … Shortstop Victor Acosta singled in three at-bats. The 18-year-old is stateside for the first time and he’s off to a slow start. In 12 games, Acosta is hitting just .158/.289/.263 with a homer and three RBI. The switch-hitter has especially struggled from the left side thus far. … Matt Sparling pitched a scoreless frame in relief, walking a pair and striking out two batters. The 24-year-old was signed by the organization as an undrafted free agent last season out of Florida Atlantic. He pitched in eight games with the Storm this season, going 2-1 with an 8.10 ERA in 10 innings. He was sent back to the ACL earlier in the week.