Sugar Land Space Cowboys 5, Chihuahuas 3
Key Statistics: CF David Dahl, 2-for-4, R, BB, RBI; 1B Alfonso Rivas, 3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI; DH Tim Lopes, 1-for-4, BB; LHP Jay Groome (L, 1-3) 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K; RHP Eric Hanhold, IP, 2 K; LHP Jose Castillo, 0.2 IP, H, ER, 2 BB.
Prospect Watch: The El Paso bats were relatively quiet Friday night, and the Chihuahuas went down in Sugar Land. … Outfielder David Dahl made his first rehab appearance and had a pair of singles. The former MLB all-star also drew a walk and drove in a run. Dahl played his way onto the big league squad as a spring training invitee but was injured on April 9 with a quad strain after playing in just four games. … First baseman Alfonso Rivas continued his torrid assault of the PCL with his fourth three-hit game of the season. Rivas ranks eighth in the circuit with a 1.015 OPS – right behind teammate Preston Tucker. … Lefthander Jay Groome had an uneven night and ended up taking the loss. Groome gutted through five innings but allowed three runs, seven hits, and four walks before departing. This year, walks have been a huge issue for Groome, who is now tied for the league lead with 26 in 37.2 innings. When he is in the zone, opposing batters are hitting .305 off the former Red Sox first-rounder. Through eight starts, Groome has an unsightly 7.88 ERA. … Jose Castillo walked two and gave up a hit before Phillip Wellman came to get him with two outs in his second rehab appearance of the week for El Paso. The big lefty was up to 96 and averaged just a tick below 95 with his fastball but didn’t have much feel as the wind gusted around him on a very muggy night.
Missions 5, Corpus Christi Hooks 2
Key Statistics: 2B Ripken Reyes, 1-for-4, 2 RBI; 1B Pedro Castellanos, 1-for-4, HR (5), RBI, R; RF Tirso Ornelas, 2-for-3, R; RHP Nolan Watson (W, 1-2) 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, BB, 2 K; RHP Kevin Kopps (S, 2) 2 IP, BB, 3 K
Prospect Watch: San Antonio scored three times in the second inning and cruised to a victory Friday night. … Pedro Castellanos made his only hit of the night count as he connected on his fifth home run in the win. It was Castellanos’ first homer in two weeks. The former Red Sox farmhand leads the Missions, as no one else on the roster has more than two homers. … Nolan Watson allowed two runs on seven hits over six innings, walking one and striking out just two batters to earn his first victory of the season. Watson doesn’t miss many bats, but he has been very effective in 2023. The 26-year-old has allowed just 21 hits and walked only five in 28.1 innings for a sparkling 0.92 WHIP. While his run prevention has been elite, he’s only struck out 16 batters, which may not be a recipe for success over the course of the season. Watson’s 5.08 K/9 is the lowest mark among qualified pitchers in the Texas League. … Kevin Kopps nailed down his second save of the season by keeping the Hooks off the scoreboard over the final two innings, adding three strikeouts in the process. Kopps, 26, has had better results out of the gate this season after struggling with the Missions last year. The former Arkansas righty has been much better at preventing runs in 2023 despite many of the same issues that plagued him last year. After walking 34 batters in 54.1 innings last season, Kopps has already issued 10 walks in 17.1 innings. The difference this season has been Kopps’ improved ability to strikeout hitters with his cutter/slider hybrid pitch. He has a K/9 of 12.5 this season after producing a K/9 of just under 10 in 2022. The increased punchouts have helped Kopps pitch to a 2.60 ERA.
TinCaps rained out
John Conniff is in Fort Wayne this weekend, so it’s only natural for the rain to accompany him to the Summit City. The TinCaps will try to play two on Saturday. We will have on-site coverage for both games.
San Jose Giants 5, Storm 4
Key Statistics: DH Graham Pauley, 1-for-3, R, BB; 1B Griffin Doersching, 1-for-2, 2 BB, 2 RBI; LHP Robby Snelling, 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, K; RHP Ian Koenig (L, 1-1) 3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Prospect Watch: The Storm got another solid outing from Robby Snelling, but San Jose scored a run in each of the final five innings to scratch out a victory. Lake Elsinore has lost three of the first four in the series. … Snelling worked into the sixth inning for the first time as a professional but didn’t factor in the decision. The 19-year-old lefty recorded two outs in the sixth before giving way to Ian Koenig. Snelling allowed two runs on four hits, walking two and striking out just one. It was the first time that Snelling allowed more than one earned run in any start. The Padres’ second pick in last year’s draft has a 1.35 ERA through six starts. … Wherever Robby Snelling goes, Ian Koenig follows. Ian Koenig has taken over in each of Snelling’s six outings with the Storm. On Friday night, Koenig didn’t have his best stuff and took his first loss of the season. Koenig allowed three runs (one earned) and six hits in three innings of work. The 22-year-old signed with the Padres last season after pitching at Cabrillo Junior College. In 19.1 innings, the younger brother of Missions pitcher Jared Koenig has struck out 24 batters. … The Storm only tallied three hits, but first baseman Griffin Doersching reached base three times and drove in a pair of runs with a sharp single up the middle. The 24-year-old slugger endured a brutal April but turned things around in May. Through 10 games this month, Doersching is contributing with a .323/.373/.484 line with a homer and a pair of doubles. When Doersching is on time, his power is immense.
Roster Moves: Before Friday’s game, the Storm placed outfielder Kai Murphy on the seven-day injured list and brought up Braedon Karpathios from extended spring training to take his roster spot. The 19-year-old Karpathios signed as an undrafted free agent out of Harford Community College in Maryland and appeared in seven games for the ACL Padres last year.