Chihuahuas 4, Round Rock Express 1
Key Statistics: LHP Jay Groome 4.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 4 BB; RHP Angel Felipe (H, 2) 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 Ks; LHP Ray Kerr (S, 4), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 Ks; CF Taylor Kohlwey, 1-for-2, HR (2), R, 2 RBI, 2 BB; DH Rangel Ravelo, 1-for-3, 2B, BB
Prospect Watch: El Paso won the rare low-scoring affair in PCL action thanks to some clutch arms out of the bullpen, including Angel Felipe, who struck out the side in the eighth inning to earn his second hold of the season. Felipe, signed as a minor league free agent before the 2022 season, hasn’t fared well thus far in 2023, with a 7.98 ERA and 1.84 WHIP in 14.2 innings, but he dialed his fastball up to 98 mph Thursday. He earned a spot on the 40-player roster last year by posting a 3.18 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in his first season in the organization. … Southpaw Ray Kerr closed things out for his fourth save of the season. Kerr, a regular on the Southwest Airlines shuttle between El Paso and San Diego, is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 1.13 WHP in 13.1 innings with the Chihuahuas in 2023. With only five walks, Kerr has shown improvement so far in his control, the one factor keeping the flame-throwing lefty from big league success. … The Chihuahuas got on the board in the third inning thanks to a big fly off the bat of Taylor Kohlwey, who slugged his second home run of the season before also walking in a run in the eighth inning to add some insurance to a tight lead. Kohlwey, one of the very last Padres players sent to the minors before Opening Day, has struggled in the early go of the season, slashing .233/.355/.345 in 116 at-bats for El Paso. … The other extra-base hit of the evening belonged to Rangel Ravelo, who doubled and continued a solid start to the season at the plate. The 31-year-old first baseman is slashing .306/.434/.418 in 98 at-bats for the Chihuahuas in 2023.
Roster Moves: Before Thursday’s game, the Chihuahuas activated catcher Yorman Rodriguez from the seven-day injured list. Rodriguez should get plenty of reps behind the dish for El Paso. Alison Quintero was placed on the development list, opening a roster spot for Rodriguez.
Missions 8,Midland RockHounds 2
Key Statistics: RHP Nolan Watson (W, 2-2), 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 Ks; SS Connor Hollis, 4-for-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI; C Chandler Seagle, 2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI; 2B Ripken Reyes, 2-for-4, RBI
Prospect Watch: The Missions looked strong at the plate and on the mound, smacking 16 hits while allowing seven and riding an outstanding start by Nolan Watson to victory. Watson threw seven three-hit innings, walking two and striking out six to earn the win. The 33rd overall pick of the 2015 draft, the former Royals farmhand has been a strong contributor in his second season with the Missions, going 2-2 with a 1.35 ERA. While he’s struck out only 22, he’s allowed just seven walks in 35.1 innings of work and has drawn consistently weak contact. … Connor Hollis displayed the form that made the shortstop the 2022 Texas League batting champ with a .333 average, slugging a home run as part of a four-hit barrage at the plate. Hollis, a University of Houston alum, is slashing .222/.327/.378 in May as he tries to heat up from a slow start to the season. … On top of backstopping Watson’s stellar start, Chandler Seagle doubled as part of a two-hit evening and scored a run. Seagle is in his sixth season of play with the Padres organization, rejoining the Missions for 2023 after seeing action with the big league club in spring training. … Ripken Reyes continues to shine atop the Missions lineup, smacking a pair of hits and driving in a run to raise his average to .288. The University of San Diego alum has played mostly infield in 2023, but last season the 26-year-old made 34 starts in right field, the most of any position he played, followed by 20 starts at second base.
Dayton Dragons 7, TinCaps 6
Key Statistics: RHP Jared Kollar, 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 Ks; DH Colton Bender, 1-for-3, HR (1), R, 2 RBI, BB; CF Jakob Marsee, 1-for-5, HR (3), 2 R, RBI; 1B Nathan Martorella, 1-for-3, R
Prospect Watch: The TinCaps bullpen had a rough evening, as they failed to support four innings of one-run ball from starter Jared Kollar, who struck out seven. Kollar, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers last summer, is now 1-0 with a 2.77 ERA in 13 innings of work for Fort Wayne. He made the all-Big Ten Second Team in his lone season there after transferring as a grad student. … Colton Bender provided some power from the DH spot, belting his first home run of the season in the fifth inning. Bender, a catcher by trade, is now batting .200 with a .640 OPS for the TinCaps. … The other Fort Wayne, big fly came off the bat of Jakob Marsee, who scored a couple of runs from the leadoff spot. Marsee, selected in the sixth round in last summer’s draft out of Central Michigan, has a .734 OPS in 127 at-bats and has stolen 13 bases in 2023. Marsee slugged just .250 in April, but he’s flashed considerably more power in May. In 15 games this month, Marsee is slugging .441. … Nathan Martorella singled and scored a run. The 22-year-old first basemen who played his college ball at Cal is slashing .269/.386/.496 in 119 at-bats in 2023.
Inland Empire 66ers 8, Storm 2
Key Statistics: RHP Henry Williams, 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 Ks; SS Rosman Verdugo, 2-for-4, 2B; 2B Charlis Aquino, 2-for-4, CF Samuel Zavala, 1-for-3, HR (4), 2 R, RBI, BB
Prospect Watch: While the score was not what the Storm wanted to see, multiple prospect performances were worth highlighting in an otherwise tough evening for Lake Elsinore. Making his second professional start, Henry Williams threw two excellent innings, allowing a hit and walking one while striking out four. Selected by the Padres in the third round last year, the Duke alum has been on a strict pitch count as he works back from injury. … At the plate, Rosman Verdugo smacked a pair of hits, including a double. The 18-year-old Ensenada native is slashing .214/.309/.333 in 117 at-bats for the Storm in 2023. … Verdugo’s double play partner, Charlis Aquino, also contributed a pair of hits, demonstrating his speed on a bunt single in the bottom of the 4th. Aquino is now batting .271 in 59 at-bats for the 2023 season. … The power came courtesy of Samuel Zavala, who hit his fourth home run of the season to give the Storm a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st. The 18-year-old Zavala continues to rise in prospect lists as he posts a .259 average and .874 OPS in 108 at-bats for the Storm.