Results tagged ‘ Steven Hensley ’

AFL Update (10/10)

The Peoria Javelinas are off to a 1-4 start and in last place in the three-team AFL West division.  Shortstop Nick Franklin (’10) is off to an 0-for-8 start, but has walked an AFL-high four times in three games and has scored twice.  On the mound, right-hander Forrest Snow (’10-’11, pictured) is 1-0 with a scoreless 3.0 innings and three strikeouts.  Lefty Brian Moran (’09-’10) has an ERA of 9.00 with two runs over his first 2.0 relief innings.  Right-hander Steven Hensley (’09) has already served up a whopping five earned runs over two-thirds of an inning in his first outing for an ERA of 67.50.

Right-hander Evan Reed (’08) has thrown two scoreless outings for the Surprise Saguaros, each totaling one inning.  He’s walked one while fanning three in that span.

You can keep checking here for periodical AFL updates (please do, I need the traffic this time of year), but if you want up-to-date information, stats, stories, etc., go straight to the source.


Following Former Kings in the AFL

The 20th season of the Arizona Fall League formally kicks off today, and five former LumberKings are set to participate.  Pitchers Steven Hensley (’09), Brian Moran (’09-’10) and Forrest Snow (’10-’11), plus shortstop Nick Franklin (’10) are on the Mariners-affiliated Peoria Javelinas roster, while pitcher Evan Reed (’07-’08), now a Florida Marlins farmhand, will pitch for the Surprise Saguaros.

Peoria hosts Salt River at 12:35 PM Mountain Time (I believe that should be 11:35 AM here), while Surprise heads to Scottsdale for a 6:35 PM MT start (5:35 PM here).  I’ll be checking in periodically to see how they’re all doing.

Initially overlooked but not forgotten, former LumberKings’ outfielder Chad Tracy (’07) is part of the USA team participating in IBAF Baseball World Cup in Panama City, Panama.  The US squad has defeated Cuba for the gold medal in each of the last two World Cup finals.  The tournament started on October 2 and runs through the 15th.  Hopefully I’ll have something for you on Tracy in the near future as well.


Former Kings in the Cal League Playoffs

While I’ve obviously been following the Midwest League Playoffs in depth (Fort Wayne is currently up 2-0 on Burlington in the best-of-five Championship Series), I haven’t given any coverage so far to what has been a thrilling Cal League Playoffs.

That changes today.  Mention needs to be made of what several former LumberKings have done out West.

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Mauro Gomez (left) and Ian Gac drove in 16 runs combined for the Blaze in eight playoff games.

Ian Gac (’06-’08), Mauro Gomez (’07), Matt Lawson (’08), Kennil Gomez (’08) and others helped power Bakersfield to the post season, and the Blaze didn’t settle with a first-round letdown.  They came back from a 1-0 deficit to oust Modesto with 13-6 and 6-1 wins. 

In the second round, they fell behind 2-0 to Cal League powerhouse San Jose (league-best 93-47 during the regular season) as Ryan Tatusko (’08) yielded just a run and lost to Clayton Tanner in game one and the bullpen failed for a disastrous eight-run eighth inning in an 8-3 loss in game two.  Tim Murphy (’08) turned in 7.0 scoreless innings, but Justin Miller and Glenn Swanson (’06-’07) were beat up in relief. 

That’s when the Blaze turned it on.  The Gomez’s teamed up for a 7-3 win in Bakersfield as Kennil Gomez stifled the Giants to a run over 6.2 innings while Mauro Gomez homered and drove in three.  They evened the series with an 11-4 win in game four thanks to Gac’s season-best six-RBI night, including a three-run blast that cleared the famed Sam Lynn Ballpark batter’s eye.  Michael Main (’08) tossed 2.0 scoreless relief innings to help Tanner Roark get the win.

Unfortunately, that’s where the dream ended.  San Jose erased an early 2-0 Blaze lead and won going away, 12-3.  The Gomez/Gac combo went 0-for-7 with three strikeouts combined as Bakersfield fell short of meeting High Desert in the Cal Leage Championship Series.

As you well know, Bakersfield was our old High A affiliate and High Desert is our new High A affiliate.  It would have been great to see the two match up in the finals, but it’s still exciting to see the Mavericks enjoy continued success.

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Kyle Seager (left) and Steven Hensley will attempt to lead the Mavs to the title.

Three former LumberKings are with the Mavs, including Steven Hensley (’09), Travis Howell (’09), Kyle Seager (’09) and Stephen Penney (’09).

The Mavs had a first round bye thanks to a South Division-best 83-57 record.  Their second-round matchup pitted them against the Angels-affiliated Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.  That means a ton of former Cedar Rapids Kernels.

High Desert took game one behind Hensley’s outstanding complete-game, three hitter.  He struck out 10 Quakes and Jamie McOwen continued his dream season with a two-run blast to finish off a 5-0 victory.

The Mavs still wouldn’t let the Quakes on the board in game two as their second ace, former West Michigan Whitecap Mauricio Robles did his best to match Hensley with 7.0 scoreless frames in a 4-0 win.  Carlos Peguero was the man with the two-run clout this time around.

Rancho outlasted High Desert and staved off elimination with a 7-6 walk-off win in the 10th in game three.  Joe Dunigan was the offensive highlight thanks to yet another two-run homer in a 3-for-4, three RBI game.  The Quakes forced the deciding game five with an uneventful 2-1 win behind former Kernel Ryan Brasier’s 8.0 scoreless innings.

The series returned to Adelanto for the deciding game, and a 3-2 pitcher’s duel favored the Mavs through the first four innings.  Then, the bats took over.  Juan Diaz, Dunigan and Peguero all homered after the fifth and the bullpen was stellar in an 11-6 lashing to end the series.  The stiff-armed Penney was the man on the mound in a non-save ninth, and he turned in a scoreless frame to send the Mavs onward.

That sets up the best-of-five Cal League Championship Series, your High Desert Mavericks against the San Jose Giants.  The two best teams from their respective divisions rightfully meet up.  The series begins tonight in Adelanto with Hensley on the mound.

If you’re looking for more baseball to listen to, check out the Mavs tonight at 9:05 central time.  The link to the audio is here:


10-0 Win, Hensley Promoted

A big win for the Kings last night, 10-0 over the East Division-leading Fort Wayne TinCaps.  While the news for the offense and right-hander Adam Harben were good, the Clinton rotation received some bittersweet news after the game.  Right-hander Steven Hensley, the league’s ERA (0.00) and wins (4-0) leader is rightfully being promoted to double-A West Tennessee.  With the way he dominated this league, I’m not surprised.  We wish him luck with the Diamond Jaxx.

On to tonight’s notes:

Almonte, Mendez Power 10-0 Win:  The LumberKings handed the East Division-leading Fort Wayne TinCaps their most lopsided loss this season thanks to three-RBI performances by Denny Almonte and Maximo Mendez, winning 10-0 at Alliant Energy Field last night.  The Kings scored four times against TinCaps’ starter Stiven Osuna in the fourth inning…Nate Tenbrink doubled home Scott Savastano with a ball to the left-center gap and Travis Howell followed with another double, scoring Tenbrink.  Almonte got his night started with a triple to right-center, plating Howell…Ogui Diaz capped the frame with an RBI single to center.  Clinton struck again with six runs in the fifth, chasing Osuna (L, 1-2) from the game.  Howell put down a squeeze bunt to score Savastano, and Almonte followed with a towering drive to right-center for his second home run of the season.  Five batters later, Mendez tripled into the left-field corner, scoring Terry Serrano, Diaz and Daniel Carroll for a 10-0 lead.  Starter Adam Harben (W, 1-0) limited Fort Wayne to two hits and two walks while striking out four over 5.0 innings.  Left-handers Bobby LaFromboise and Jose Jimenez continued the shutout for the final 4.0 innings.  Tenbrink, Howell, Almonte and Diaz all had two-hit nights for the LumberKings.


Feast or Famine:  Last night’s 10 runs tied a season-high for the Clinton offense, set just three days prior in a 10-2 win over Burlington on 4/26.  In the two games between double-digit totals, the Kings scored just four runs, winning 1-0 against Burlington on 4/27 and losing to Fort Wayne, 6-3 on 4/28.  For the season, Clinton‘s .246 team average is sixth-best in the Midwest League…their nine home runs are tied for fourth-most.


Bat Men:  Four Kings are hitting over .300 over the team’s last 10 games, lead by Nate Tenbrink (.389, 14-for-36)…his 2-for-5 performance last night was his third multi-hit game on this homestand, included along with 3-for-3 and 3-for-4 games on 4/26 and 4/27 against Burlington.  His .313 average is tied for 16th best in the Midwest League.  Terry Serrano is hitting .318 (7-for-22) over his last seven games (see more on Serrano in “Great in the Eight”).  Denny Almonte’s 2-for-4, three RBI night gives him a .308 average (12-for-39) over his last 10…he’s homered twice and driven in six during that span, giving him a team-high 10 RBI.  Travis Howell is hitting .304 (7-for-23) with a homer and four RBI over the last 10 games…his three home runs are tied with 12 others for second in the MWL.  Tenbrink, Serrano and Howell are hitting over .400 in their last five games.


Been a While:  Last night’s win for 25-year-old right-hander Adam Harben was his first in the Midwest League since 8/29/04 in game two of a double-header against Peoria.  He was a member of the Swing of the Quad Cities at the time…Harben gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits, walked five and struck out three over 5.0 innings.  The 15th round pick by Minnesota way back in 2002, Harben is 1-0 with a 1.02 ERA (2 ER / 17.0 IP) so far in his third stint in the league.  He was acquired by the Mariners in February of 2009.


Hensley Heads to West Tenn:  The LumberKings have officially lost a member of the “big three”.  Right-hander Steven Hensley, currently the Midwest League leader in ERA (0.00) and wins (4-0) has been promoted to double-A West Tennessee.  The fourth-round pick by the Mariners in 2008, Hensley did not walk a single batter while striking out 16 over 19.2 innings, four outings (three starts) with the Kings.  Right-hander Chris Kirkland takes his place on the roster…Kirkland was the 36th round pick by the Mariners in 2008 and went 1-1 with a 2.47 ERA in 15 outings (18.2 innings) between Peoria (AZL), High Desert and Everett last year.


Rotation Domination:  The LumberKings boast the league’s best team ERA at 2.40 thanks to stellar starting pitching.  Even with Hensley moving up, the Kings still have the #2 and #3 pitchers in ERA.  Right-hander Brett Lorin is second with a 0.75 ERA over 24.0 innings and is 2-0 on the season…his 24 strikeouts are tied for fourth-most in the league.  Right-hander Aaron Pribanic dropped out of the top three after allowing four earned runs on 4/29, but right-hander Adam Harben has taken over his #3 spot…his 1.06 ERA is third-best.


Great in the Eight:  Eight hole hitter Terry Serrano was at it again last night, extending his hitting streak to four games with a 1-for-3 game.  He’s hitting .461 (6-for-13) with a triple, home run, four runs scored and three RBI on the streak.  Serrano has also been clutch during the span…he fisted a two-run homer over the wood wall in left-center for his first homer of the year as part of Tuesday’s 10-2 win, and added a walk-off RBI double the next night in a 1-0 win.  Serrano’s eight RBI are tied for third-most on the club.


Triple Trouble:  Triples by Denny Almonte and Maximo Mendez last night give the LumberKings 12 total as a team, the most in the Midwest League.  The next closest club is Great Lakes with 10 triples.  Mendez leads the way with three triples, tied for the league lead with three others.


Right-hander Kenn Kasparek (0-2, 7.71) throws tonight, he’s still looking for his first win after coming off a solid 5.1-inning no-decision his last time out.  Listen in on