Not a good day for the Smokies, who were no-hit in one of their two games. But it was a good day for South Bend and Myrtle Beach.
I realize that every game Ben Hecht pitches belongs on The Front Page, but the real news is in South Bend and with the Pelicans.
The Iowa Cubs doubleheader with Omaha was snowed out. No makeup date has been set yet.
Game one was a pitcher’s duel between two top ten prospects in their respective organizations—the Smokies’ Ben Brown and the Biscuits’ Cole Wilcox. Neither starter allowed a run. Brown’s final line was three hits and two walks over five scoreless innings. Brown struck out seven.
After the Smokies scored the ghost runner in the top of the eighth, Ben Hecht came within one out of closing out the win. Instead, he gave up a walk-off three-run home run to Logan Driscoll. The final line on Hecht was three runs, two earned, on one hit over 1.1 innings. He walked one and struck out two.
The Smokies had two hits in game one and shortstop Luis Vazquez had both of them. Both of his two hits were doubles. Vazquez was 2 for 3 with one run scored and one run driven in.
The Smokies were sunk by a nine-run fourth inning in game two. Starter Porter Hodge cruised through the first three innings, but he gave up a home run to lead off the fourth inning. After a double and a walk, Hodge exited the game for Chris Kachmar, who allowed both of those runners to score and six more runs of his own.
The final line on Hodge was three runs on two hits over 3+ innings. Hodge walked three and struck out four.
Pablo Aliendo walked in the sixth inning and Jordan Nwogu reached on a strikeout/wild pitch in the fifth. That was all of Tennessee’s baserunners in game two.
Yes, they were no hit in a seven-inning game.
South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs decoyed the Beloit Sky Carp (Marlins), 10-2.
In his first start of the season (and of his career) earlier this year, Connor Noland allowed one run over four innings. In his second start today, Noland allowed one run over four innings. That’s some nice consistency. The one run was a home run by the first hitter of the game, Dalvy Rosario. Noland gave up two hits. He walked two and struck out five.
Because Noland didn’t go five innings, the win went to Sam Thoreson, who allowed one run on two hits over two innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Carlos Guzman got the three-inning save. He deserved it as he gave up no runs and just two hits. Guzman struck out three and walked no one.
Catcher Casey Opitz had a pair of doubles in a 2 for 4 game. He also hit a sacrifice fly and had three overall RBI. Opitz scored once.
Center fielder Bradlee Beesley also hit two doubles, going 2 for 4 with a walk and a steal. Beesley scored twice and had two runs batted in.
First baseman Haydn McGeary continued his torrid start to the season, going 3 for 5 with three RBI. McGeary scored once. McGeary is now hitting .378 (14 for 37) on the season.
Left fielder Yohendrick Pinango got on base every time he came up, going 1 for 1 with four walks. Pinango scored three times and drove in one with an infield single in the sixth inning.
One of Opitz’s doubles.
Casey Opitz gives South Bend a 6-1 lead with a 2 run Double. pic.twitter.com/1xs2TTZlLk— Jordan Miller (@Miller_MiLB) April 16, 2023
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans neutered the Lynchburg Hillcats (Guardians), 6-5.
Kevin Valdez made his first start of the season for the Pelicans and he didn’t make it out of the first inning. Valdez allowed two run, one earned on no hits over two-thirds of an inning. He managed that through four walks and three wild pitches. Valdez had one strikeout.
Nick Hull kept the Hillcats scoreless over four innings of relief, which allowed the Pelicans to come back and gave Hull the win. Hull gave up just one hit. He struck out three and walked no one.
Left fielder Andy Garriola hit a two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning to tie the game up 5-5. It was Garriola’s second home run this year. Garriola had a huge day with nine total bases: 4 for 5 with two doubles and the home run.
Catcher Miguel Papon hit a sac fly later in the eighth inning to give the Pelicans their first lead of the game at 6-5. Pabon was 2 for 3 with a double and one run scored.
Center fielder Christian Franklin hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning, which was his first home run since 2021. Franklin went 1 for 5.
DH Moises Ballesteros was 3 for 5 and scored once.
Here is Garriola’s home run.