Chihuahuas 15, Reno Aces 3
Key Stats: RHP Matt Waldron (W, 1-4) 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 6 K; 3B Jantzen Witte 5-for-5, 2 R 5 RBI, 2 2B; CF Taylor Kohlwey 1-for-2, HR (3), 2 R, BB; RF David Dahl 1-for-3, 2 BB, 3 R; SS Matthew Batten 1-for-3, HR (4), 3 RBI, 2 BB; 1B Rangel Ravelo 2-for-4, HR (3), 2 R, 2 RBI
Prospect Watch: After two weeks at sea level, the Chihuahuas announced they are back at elevation with authority. The club had 13 hits, including three home runs, and drew eight walks in the game. The offense was led by third baseman Jantzen Witte who had a perfect day at the plate. The 33-year-old matched his career high with five hits, including a pair of doubles. The one game raised his average by 40 points and his OPS by nearly 80 points. … While Witte was powering the offense, Matt Waldron dominated on the mound. The righty retired the first 14 batters of the game before issuing a two-out walk in the fifth. He kept the no-hitter going until giving up a single with two outs in the sixth, then lost the shutout on a home run that just kept carrying despite a 92 mph exit velocity. In three of his last four starts, Waldron has given up a combined three earned runs on 12 hits and three walks over 16.2 innings. … After a hit and two walks Wednesday, outfielder David Dahl has reached base in eight of the 10 games he’s played in El Paso, but he is not tearing the cover off the ball. He has a current line of .250/.327/.341 and has not had an extra-base hit in over a week. … After a strong 2022 season, shortstop Matthew Batten has struggled to find close to the same success this year. Batten is following up an average of .202 in April, with a .197 mark in May. He connected on his first home run in nearly two weeks and just his fourth of the year as part of the offensive fireworks Wednesday. That’s just half the total he had at this point last year.
Missions 4, Amarillo Sod Poodles 3
Key Stats: RHP Nolan Watson 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; RF Tirso Ornelas 1-for-4; CF Kory Howell 2-for-3, 2B, 3 R, BB; DH Cole Cummings 2-for-2, 2B, RBI, BB; C Chandler Seagle 2-for-3, RBI
Prospect Watch: The Missions won as a walk-off single by second baseman Ripken Reyes drove in the winning run to get the Missions back over .500. While Reyes had the big hit, the entire offense revolved around two players who were not on the team three days ago. After a month on the IL, center fielder Korry Howell scored two runs in his return Tuesday, then did one better and scored three of the Missions’ four runs Wednesday. Not only does Howell show strong defensive tools, but up until a wrist injury last year, he was arguably the best player on the Missions. He had a .876 OPS and led the team with 12 stolen bases in 46 games. While Howell started this year off incredibly slowly, he has reached base safely five times in the series. … The other offensive leader was designated hitter Cole Cummings, who was promoted on Monday from Fort Wayne. Cummings singled to drive in the club’s first run and reached base in all four of his plate appearances. Despite playing in his first-ever Double-A game, with the tying run on third in the ninth inning, the Sod Poodles decided to intentionally walk Cummings to load the bases. … The pitching staff was also bolstered by a new edition. Aaron Leasher, who opened the year on the IL for El Paso, where he was one of the top contributors last season, was activated in San Antonio Tuesday. The lefty was rusty in his first appearance, walking three of the five batters he faced. While he struck out one, he also threw a wild pitch to score a run. The former sixth-round pick’s return was a welcome sight for the Missions.
TinCaps 5, Lansing Lugnuts 3
Key Stats: RHP Jared Kollar (W, 2-0) 5 IP, 3 H, 3 K; SS Jackson Merrill 1-for-4, 3B, R, RBI; 2B Lucas Dunn 1-for-2, 2B, RBI, 2 BB; CF Jakob Marsee 2-for-4, HR (4), 2 R, RBI; RF Joshua Mears 0-for-3, BB, K
Prospect Watch: Eight of the nine TinCaps reached base in a well-balanced offensive attack. Center fielder Jakob Marsee had the team’s only multi-hit game in his first appearance anywhere but the leadoff spot in the lineup. The drop in the order worked out as Marsee, who came in 0-for his last 10 at-bats. He hit his fourth home run of the season. While Marsee leads the club with 13 stolen bases, he hasn’t stolen a base in nearly two weeks. After posting a .418 on-base percentage but collecting just one extra-base hit in April, the 21-year-old has jumped his power production this month, but is not reaching base as often. … Shortstop Jackson Merrill, still shaking off the rust from his recent illnesses, showed off his wheels by hitting his second triple in a week as he slid into the leadoff spot for Marsee. While the overall numbers are still below league average, he is hitting a much more respectable .300/.306/.467 in May. … With starters Garrett Hawkins and Miguel Cienfuegos on the IL, undrafted free agent Jared Kollar has impressed in four starts. The former Rutgers righthander tossed a season-high five scoreless innings with three strikeouts and no walks. He has allowed one run over his last nine innings. Kollar does not have overpowering stuff, but has a good feel for all his pitches. Lugnuts hitters looked uncomfortable at the plate all game.
Storm 8, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 2
Key Statistics: LHP Jagger Haynes 2.2 IP, BB, 5 K; RHP Manuel Castro 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 5 K, 3 BB; CF Samuel Zavala 1-for-4, R, RBI, 2 BB; 1B Griffin Doersching 3-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB; 2B Charlis Aquino 3-for-5, 2 R; 3B Graham Pauley 1-for-6, 2 R, 2 RBI
Prospect Watch: After not pitching in nearly two weeks, lefty Jagger Haynes returned to the mound and spun his best career outing. The 2020 draft pick, who finally made it to the mound this season, struck out 5 and didn’t allow a hit. While he is still under careful watch as he rebuilds after Tommy John, he threw more than two innings for the first time as he got up to 41 pitches. The start was a nice rebound for Haynes who had his first rough outing last time out giving up three runs in 1.2 innings. … After an incredibly rough April, Griffin Doersching has turned it up in May. Wednesday was his third multi-hit game in his last four and the 24-year-old is hitting a robust .327/.381/.564 in May. The big first baseman’s two doubles matched his total in 30 games across two levels last season. … Second baseman Charlis Aquino is one of three Storm players from the Padres’ 2018 international free agent class. The versatile infielder collected a season-high three hits to raise his May average up to .297. Aquino has the bat skills and speed to be interesting, but his lack of power hurts his value. He hit a double on April 27 for his first extra-base hit on the season, but is still waiting for his second.