Chihuahuas 5, Albuquerque Isotopes 3

Daniel Johnson continues to surge with El Paso. (Photo: Jorge Salgado)

Key Statistics: CF Daniel Johnson, 2-for-4, R, HR (6), 3B, RBI; 1B Jantzen Witte, 2-for-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI; 2B Nik McClaughry, 1-for-2, BB, RBI, 3B, SB (1); RHP Jose Espada, 3.2 IP, 2 H, ER, 4 BB, 5 K; RHP Aaron Brooks (W, 4-3) 2.1 IP, H, BB, 2 K; RHP Kevin Kopps, IP, H, K

Prospect Watch: El Paso scored four runs in the fourth inning to win at home against the Isotopes. … It’s safe to say that Daniel Johnson enjoys hitting in the Pacific Coast League. The center fielder had two more hits, including a triple and his sixth Triple-A homer. In 21 games with El Paso, the former big leaguer is hitting .329/.424/.671. … With infielders Max Schrock and Tim Lopes hitting the IL this week, Jose Sanabria, who spent the year in the complex league, and 2023 10th-rounder Nik McClaughry were promoted to keep the Chihuahuas roster afloat. McClaughry made the start and tripled off of former big leaguer Connor Seabold in his Triple-A debut. The former University of Arizona hit well down the stretch for the Storm. … After Jose Espada made the start, veteran hurler Aaron Brooks came out of the bullpen and fired 2.1 innings to earn his fourth win of the season. The 33-year-old hasn’t put up big numbers this year, but he’s typically given the Chihuahuas a capable outing. He’s been a starter for most of his career, but he’s transitioned into a bullpen role this year. In 43 outings, Brooks has a 5.19 ERA. … Righty Kevin Kopps pitched a scoreless eighth inning, allowing a hit and striking out a batter. The 26-year-old has an 8.25 ERA in 12 innings with the Chihuahuas. While the ERA looks terrible, nine of the 11 runs he’s allowed came in a pair of ugly outings at the beginning of the month. Outside of that, Kopps has faired well in his first shot in the PCL. 

Graham Pauley ripped two more doubles on Friday. (Photo: San Antonio Missions)

Missions 3, Springfield Cardinals 2

Key Statistics: LF Ripken Reyes, 2-for-4, 2B, RBI; 3B Graham Pauley, 2-for-4, R, 2 2B; RF Cole Cummings, 1-for-2, BB; SS Connor Hollis, 2-for-3, 2 R, SB (12, 13); RHP Adam Mazur (W, 2-3) 5 IP, 5 H, R, BB, K; RHP Raul Brito, 2.2 IP, H, ER, BB, 4 K; LHP Daniel Camarena (S, 3) IP, 2 H, K

Connor Hollis is finishing strong. (Photo: San Antonio Missions)

Prospect Watch: The Missions scored two runs in the third inning to squeak past the Cardinals at home. … Third baseman Graham Pauley had two more doubles to continue his breakout campaign. His multi-hit effort raised his September batting line to .364/.447/.576. Overall, Pauley’s first full professional season has been a resounding success. Between Lake Elsinore, Fort Wayne, and San Antonio, the 22-year-old fielder has slugged 22 homers, knocked in 92 runs, and added 22 steals. In addition to his prowess at the plate, Pauley can play second and third and has seen some time in the outfield. … It’s been a trying season for 28-year-old Connor Hollis, but he is finishing the season strong. The former Rays prospect had a pair of hits Friday and stole two bases. Over his last three games, Hollis is 8-for-12 and he’s gone 13-for-29 in September.. … Righty Adam Mazur finished his 2023 regular season campaign on a high note, earning his second Double-A win of the year. The former Iowa righty threw five innings and allowed an unearned run on five hits, walking one and striking out just one batter. The 22-year-old threw 98 innings in his debut season between Fort Wayne and San Antonio. While he was a little too hittable with the Missions – opponents hit .301 against him – he showed good command and averaged more than a strikeout per inning. He could be a solid depth option for the big league club in 2023. 

Great Lakes Loons 3, TinCaps 2 (Great Lakes wins the best-of-three series, 2-1)

Key Statistics: LF Kai Murphy, 1-for-4, R, HR (1), RBI; 1B Griffin Doersching, 1-for-2, BB; C Anthony Vilar, 1-for-3; RHP Dylan Lesko (L, 0-1) 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K; LHP Austin Krob, 3 IP, H, BB, K; RHP Keegan Collett, IP, BB, 2 K

Austin Krob came up big for Fort Wayne. (Photo: Adam Gaddy)

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps traveled to Midland, Michigan, with two opportunities to advance to the Midwest League Championship series but they lost a pair of one-run games and were eliminated Friday night in a hard-fought game against the Loons. … Left fielder Kai Murphy sat on the bench for the first two games, but he started Friday and connected on a homer in a losing effort. The former Oregon State Beaver and Arizona State Sun Devil began the season in Lake Elsinore and posted solid results before earning a Fort Wayne promotion. In 27 games with the TinCaps, the 23-year-old hit just .204/.255/.280. … On the mound top prospect Dylan Lesko wound up with the loss on the scoresheet. Lesko sailed through the first inning, retiring the Loons in order. After a scoreless second inning, the 20-year-old ran into trouble in the third inning after a slow roller to third was ruled a hit and an RBI double was just off Lucas Dunn’s glove in an unfamiliar role in center feild. He escaped the jam, came out for the fourth inning, and allowed the first three inning batters to reach before being pulled. In three-plus innings, Lesko allowed two runs on four hits, walking two and striking out three. He threw 69 pitches, 39 for strikes. … Southpaw Austin Krob took over and quickly threw a runner out at third on a bunt attempt then induced a groundball for a double play to escape the jam. Krob continued the outing and pitched three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, walking one, and striking out one in the process. The 23-year-old had a solid season, showing a consistent ability to generate groundballs and induce weak contact. Krob threw just 4.1 innings after the Padres drafted him in the 12th round last summer, but posted a 2.72 ERA with 124 strikeouts across 109.1 innings this year.

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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