Twins Minor League Report (9/6): Balazovic, Chalmers Boost Blue Wahoos While Winder, Snyder Advance Kernels
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Josh Winder)BLUE WAHOO BITES
Pensacola 3, Biloxi 2 (Biloxi leads best of five series 2-1)
Jordan Balazovic: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 73.2% strikes (52 of 71 pitches)
HR: Alex Kirilloff, Ryan Costello
Multi-hit games: Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR)
Facing elimination tonight, Pensacola turned to a pair of pitchers making their Double-A debuts. The element of surprise paid off. Jordan Balazovic struck out seven batters in his 4 2/3 innings of work, allowing two runs on three hits.
Dakota Chalmers finished off the fifth inning for Balazovic and ended up pitching 3 1/3 no-hit innings while striking out four batters. Quite the first impressions in Pensacola for Balazovic and Chalmers.
ALex Kirilloff opened the scoring with a solo home run in the third inning, his third homer in as many postseason games for the Blue Wahoos.
Ryan Costello added a solo homer of his own in the fourth inning. Biloxi tied the game in the top of the fifth inning, but Travis Blankenhorn delivered a key two-out, go-ahead single that plated Royce Lewis and would prove to be the difference in this game.
Anthony Vizcaya struck out the side in the ninth inning to earn the save and keep the Blue Wahoo’s 2019 season alive. They still trail in the series 2-1, so they’ll have to win the next two games in order to advance.
Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 2 (Cedar Rapids wins series 2-1)
Josh Winder: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 71.4% strikes (55 of 77 pitches)
HR: Gabe Snyder
Multi-hit games: Snyder (2-for-4, HR, 2B), Wander Javier (2-for-4, 3B), DaShawn Keirsey (2-for-4, 2B)
Behind big efforts from familiar faces, the Kernels won Friday night to advance in the Midwest League playoffs. Starting pitcher Josh Winder and first baseman Gabe Snyder set the tone in this game.
Winder provided Cedar Rapids with six shutout innings. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter. This is the fourth time in 2019 Winder has gone at least six innings and surrendered zero runs.
Winder was pitching with a lead the entire night thanks to Snyder’s home run in the top of the first inning. He added a double in the fourth inning and came around to score on a Chris Williams hit. Winder led the Kernels in virtually every pitching stat while Snyder was the top dog on the team in nearly every hitting stat, so it seemed fitting those two were the catalysts who pushed Cedar Rapids' season into the next round.
Wander Javier had a two-hit night that included a triple and an RBI single. DaShawn Kerisey led off the top of the ninth inning with a double and scored a huge insurance run on a Tyler Webb RBI single. Austin Schulfer pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to earn the save.
STARS OF THE DAY
Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Josh Winder, Cedar Rapids
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids
TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY
Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed:
1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 1-for-4, R, K, E (fielding)
2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI
4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 1-for-3, 3B, BB, K
5. Wander Javier (CR): 2-for-4, 3B, R, RBI, K, E (fielding)
6. Jordan Balazovic (PNS): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 73.2% strikes (52 of 71 pitches)
13. Ryan Jeffers (PNS): 0-for-4
15. Matt Wallner (CR): 0-for-4, 3 K
20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 1-for-3, BB, RBI
SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Pensacola at Biloxi, 6:35 pm CT (TBD)
Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
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