Sugar Land Space Cowboys 5, Chihuahuas 4 (10 innings)

Key Statistics: 2B Matthew Batten, 1-for-4, 2B, BB, 3 RBI; 1B Alfonso Rivas, 2-for-4, R, 2 BB, SB (2); CF Taylor Kohlwey, 2-for-3, R; LHP Ryan Weathers, 4 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 5 K; LHP Jose Castillo, IP, BB, 2 K; RHP Eric Hanhold, IP, 3 H, 3 ER, BB, 3 K; RHP Drew Carlton (L, 2-1) 0.1 IP, H, R, K

Taylor Kohlwey gets down the line for the Chihuahuas. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Prospect Watch: The Chihuahuas opened up this week’s series with a heartbreaker in Sugar Land. El Paso took a 4-0 lead into the eighth inning before allowing a run. Things completely unraveled when the Space Cowboys scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth then pushed across a run in extras to snatch the victory. The pitching staff shouldn’t bear all the blame for the loss; the offense went 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position. … Center fielder Taylor Kohlwey didn’t start the game but took over for Luis Liberato and chipped in with a pair of hits. The 28-year-old had a fantastic spring with the big league camp and made a case for a spot on the big league roster. However, the typically reliable Kohlwey has struggled out of the gate in 2022. Last season, Kohlwey hit .297/.389/.443 with a career-high 11 homers. This season, he is hitting just .208/.311/.297 – numbers that look especially ugly, considering the Pacific Coast League context. Kohlwey’s strikeouts have increased slightly this season but the biggest issue has been a 52.7% ground-ball rate that’s the fifth highest in the PCL. This has contributed to a .237 average on balls in play – about 100 points lower than the mark he produced in a solid campaign last year. When Kohlwey is going right, he has a compact, left-handed swing that is capable of making consistent contact. … Alfonso Rivas continued his strong campaign by reaching base four times. The former Cub had a pair of singles and two walks. The 26-year-old is hitting .435/.500/.609 in six May games. … Ryan Weathers made his second outing since being optioned to Triple-A and once again, pitched well on a limited workload. Weathers completed four shutout innings, allowing just two hits and two walks, striking out five o 56 pitches. In eight innings with El Paso, the former first-rounder has not allowed a run. The most encouraging development has been the rise in strikeouts. Last season, Weathers had the lowest K-rate among qualified starters in the Pacific Coast League. Thus far in a small eight-inning sample, Weathers has punched out eight batters. Tuesday, his velocity trended up each inning and he threw his hardest pitch of the night at 96.6 mph on his final offering to get a swinging third strike. … Jose Castillo joined the El Paso roster on a rehab assignment Tuesday. Castillo was thrown into the fire right away and pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out two. The southpaw sat at 93-96 mph with his heater. The former big leaguer should make a few more appearances with El Paso before being an option for the Padres’ bullpen. … Liberato left the game after laying down a sacrifice bunt in the first inning. The outfielder returned to the dugout walking gingerly and appeared to have a minor right leg injury.

Missions Rained Out
The Missions had their series opener against Corpus Christi postponed due to rain. The two squads will make up this one as part of a doubleheader on Saturday. The two teams will now play seven games over five days as they were already scheduled to play a doubleheader Wednesday to make up the April 23 game postponed in Corpus Christi due to rain. The Hooks will play that game as the home squad at Wolff Stadium.

Beloit Sky Carp 14, TinCaps 4

Key Statistics: CF Jakob Marsee, 1-for-4, R, HR (2), RBI, BB; SS Jackson Merrill, 2-for-5, R, SB (2); 3B Marcos Castañon, 2-for-4, R, 2B, BB, RBI, SB (1); 1B Nathan Martorella, 2-for-3, R, 2 RBI, 2B, RBI; RHP Keegan Collett (L, 0-2) 2.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; RHP Chris Lincoln, IP, 2 K

Jacob Marsee is starting to hit with more authority. (Photo: Fort Wayne TinCaps)

Prospect Watch: After winning their first series of 2023 last week, this one got away from Fort Wayne. They allowed 11 runs over the last four innings, losing in a laugher at Parkview Field. … For the second straight game, Jakob Marsee connected on a homer. He worked a 3-2 count and socked a line drive that just cleared the wall in right. The 21-year-old has been an on-base machine since joining the organization last year out of Central Michigan. The former sixth-rounder came into Sunday’s game slugging just .267. Thanks to the pair of homers, he’s raised that mark to .330. Marsee ranks seventh in the circuit with a .419 on-base percentage. … Jackson Merrill had a pair of singles, scored a run, and stole a base in the TinCaps’ loss Tuesday. The top prospect is off to a good start in May after a slow April. In six games this month, the 20-year-old is hitting .321/.333/.500. Merrill has a groundball-heavy approach; he came into Tuesday’s game with the circuit’s eighth-highest groundball percentage (51.4%). That has led to a .211 average on balls in play coming into Tuesday’s action – nearly 200 points lower than it was last season in Lake Elsinore. One difference this year is that Merrill is pulling the ball more. Last season with the Storm, Merrill hit the ball with authority the other way, something he hasn’t done much this year. Perhaps it’s a change in approach to tap into the power the young hitter possesses. It’s something to watch for as the season progresses. … Righthander Keegan Collett made his first start since 2019 and while the overall line looks ugly, he was impressive for the majority of the outing. Collett carved up a Beloit lineup littered with top prospects in the first two innings. In fact, Collett struck out the first seven batters he faced. He used a fastball that touched 95 mph, a power slider in the upper 80s, and a 12-6 curve that touched 80 mph. However, things unraveled in the third after Collett walked a batter, then allowed a two-run homer. When all was said and done, Collett left the game after allowing three runs. The Florida Gulf Coast product has an unsightly 9.53 ERA in 5.2 innings with the TinCaps but that doesn’t tell the whole story. He’s recorded 14 of his 17 outs via the strikeouts. The strikeouts are nothing new for Collett who has 200 in 113.2 professional innings, but has also walked 99. Despite the inconsistent command, Collett’s stuff has the potential to be special.

Roster Moves: Collett was pressed into the rotation because the TinCaps placed RHP Garrett Hawkins on the seven-day injured list. In addition, righthander Jose Geraldo went on the development list. Righty Ruben Galindo was promoted from Lake Elsinore after a solid start to his season. Raul Brito was also added to the TinCaps’ roster. The 25-year-old signed a minor league deal with the Padres in the offseason. He spent 2022 pitching for the Beloit Sky Carp, pitching to a 3.10 ERA in 33 games.

San Jose Giants 9, Storm 8

Key Statistics: CF Samuel Zavala, 3-for-4, 3 R, 3 SB (3, 4, 5); RF Albert Fabian, 1-for-3, R, HR (5), 3 RBI; C Jacob Campbell, 1-for-4, HR (1), RBI; RHP Henry Baez, 3.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K; RHP Dylan Nedved (L, 1-2) 2 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 K

Samuel Zavala. (Photo: Jerry Espinoza)

Prospect Watch: The Storm opened up a six-game set in San Jose with a wild one. They led at three different points, but ultimately fell to the Giants in an early afternoon game. Lake Elsinore stole nine bases without being caught in the loss. … Three of the stolen bases came from Samuel Zavala. He stole one bag on three different pitchers. He also singled three times and scored three runs in the loss. The 18-year-old has been red-hot in May with an interesting split. Overall, he’s hitting .389/.478/.611 in seven games this month. Strangely enough, Zavala has been held hitless in four of the seven games this month. In the other three games he’s played, he has seven hits. … Catcher Jacob Campbell only had one hit but it was his first professional home run. The 22-year-old was signed by the Padres as an undrafted free agent last year out of the University of Illinois. In his final year at Illinois, he hit .257/.331/.433 with eight homers. … Right-hander Henry Baez made the start and battled command issues. He worked into the fourth inning but could not complete it. He allowed four runs (three earned) with a season-high 4 walks and three strikeouts. The poor outing raised his ERA to 2.75 in five outings.

Roster Move: With Galindo promoted to Fort Wayne, lefthander Andrew Vail took the vacated roster spot. The 22-year-old was the Padres’ final draft pick last season, drafted 600th overall as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. He will become the sixth Storm pitcher to make his professional debut this year when he appears in his first game.

Posted by Kevin Charity

Kevin Charity has written for MadFriars since 2015 and has had work featured on Fox Sports San Diego. He is a lifelong San Diego native and is looking forward to seeing the current wave of prospects thrive in San Diego.

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