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Minor League Report 9/18 A No Hitter?!*

Matt Braun

Twins Daily Contributor

One of the Twins minor league teams threw a no-hitter that, while fun, is most certainly not an official no-hitter. You'll see what I mean. Chase Petty made his second career outing, Aaron Sabato ripped, and Sawyer Gipson-Long punched out fools. 

INF Drew Maggi selected by Twins from AAA St. Paul

Saints Sentinel
St. Paul 5, Indianapolis 9
Box Score
Bryan Sammons: 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
HR: None
Multi-hit games: Tomás Telis (3-for-5), Drew Stankiewicz (2-for-4, RBI)

The Saints lost on Saturday.

Bryan Sammons had a rough day at the office. He allowed seven runs as Indianapolis put up back-to-back four-run efforts in the 3rd and 4th innings. 

The score was close at times. The Saints originally took the lead in the 2nd inning thanks to singles by Sherman Johnson and Drew Stankiewicz, but that lead did not last for long. Indianapolis instantly responded with five runs over the next two innings; runs that were capped off with a bases-clearing double from Taylor Davis.

Damek Tomscha brought the game within striking distance with a triple and eventually came around thanks to a balk. 

The good news ends there as Indianapolis piled on four more runs in the 4th inning and essentially ended the game there.

Mitch Garver went 1-4 with a single and a strikeout in his rehab appearance. 

Wind Surge Wisdom
Wichita 3, Arkansas 5
Box Score
Austin Schulfer: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
HR: None
Multi-hit games: None

The Wind Surge lost a close one on Saturday.

Offensively, Wichita was limited to only singles and walks, but the team was able to scrap themselves to a few runs. Austin Martin, Aaron Whitefield, Jermaine Palacios, and Leobaldo Cabrera all stole a base on Saturday (and Palacios stole two). The steals directly to the three runs the Wind Surge scored.

Three runs would not be enough to win. Austin Schulfer allowed two runs in his start, but Evan Sisk matched that total in relief of Schulfer. The Travelers tacked on another run, but that proved to just be unnecessary breathing room. 

Wichita put together a rally in the 9th inning as Palacios and Trey Cabbage both took walks, but Whitefield and Andrew Bechtold were unable to bring any more runners home.

Kernels Nuggets
Cedar Rapids 6, Peoria 3
Box Score
Sawyer Gipson-Long: 6 1/3 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
HR: Edouard Julien (14), Aaron Sabato (8)
Multi-hit games: Alex Isola (2-for-4)

The Kernels won a close game on Saturday.

Sawyer Gipson-Long continued his ridiculous strikeout streak by punching out eight Chiefs. He now has 134 punchies on the season, which, by my count, is pretty darn good. Gipson-Long might still fly under the radar on prospect lists, but he certainly is a name that should be kept track of. 

Offensively, the Kernels dominated. Only one hitter had multiple hits but that was because every other hitter was too busy taking walks. The team walked eight times with Aaron Sabato leading the way with three free passes on top of his homerun.

Let’s talk about his homer. Sabato’s 5th inning shot was his eighth in 92 plate appearances with the Kernels. Over a 600 plate appearance season (a traditional full year of play), that would be good for 52 blasts. I don’t think you need me to tell you how good that is.

Not to be outdone, Edouard Julien blasted his 14th homer with the Kernels in the 3rd inning. Julien has seen a dramatic boost in home runs since his promotion (three with Fort Myers, 14 with Cedar Rapids over a comparable amount of playing time), and the new power is quite intriguing. If he can find the perfect mix of discipline and power, then we may be looking at a great hitter for the Twins.

Osiris German and Tyler Watson combined to end the game for Cedar Rapids with 2 2/3 clean innings of work between the two pitchers.

Mussel Matters
Fort Myers 5, Tampa 6 (7 innings)
Box Score
Jackson Hicks: 0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
HR: Willie Joe Garry Jr. (4)
Multi-hit games: Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI)

The Fort Myers Miracle lost their paused game on Saturday.

Cade Povich took over for Jackson Hicks and performed admirably. He struck out five batters over his two innings of work without allowing an earned run. Povich now has 16 strikeouts over eight innings with Fort Myers, not a bad start at all.

Fort Myers held the lead late in the game thanks to Willie Joe Garry Jr’s. two-run homer, Misael Urbina’s double, and some early-inning shenanigans from Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Kole McKinnon. The 6th inning proved to be the back-breaker, though. A single from Tyler Hardman, with the aid of a Garry Jr. error, scored the game-ending go-ahead run. The Mighty Mussels had three total errors in the game.

The three errors, along with going 1-9 with RISP, proved to be too much for Fort Myers to overcome.

Game two:
Fort Myers 3, Tampa 0
Box Score
Regi Grace: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
HR: None
Multi-hit games: None

The Mighty Mussels threw a no-hitter* in game two.

...Kind of. MLB already established that a seven-inning no-hitter does not technically count, but I find that to be lame, so Fort Myers threw a no-hitter on Saturday (as declared by Matt Braun.)

Regi Grace was astonishingly efficient in his start. Landon Leach, Bradley Hanner, and Matthew Swain combined to complete the game in relief of Grace. In total, the Mighty Mussels struck out 11 batters, allowed no hits (duh), and walked just one batter. That lone walk proved to be the sole blemish on the night.

The Fort Myers offense, to their credit, did their part as well. Will Holland doubled home a run, Jake Rucker brought in another with a sacrifice fly, and Patrick Winkel added on with a run-scoring double. Those three runs were more than enough for the Mighty Mussels in game two.

Quotes following the game: 

Matthew Swain, who struck out the side in the ninth inning, said, "I just focused and took it pitch-by pitch. Just trying to get strike one and eliminate hitters. Just wanted to finish out the season strong, on a good note. I had a little chip on my shoulder this game." 

Tonight's starter, Regi Grace, said of the group, "It's just our organizational philosophy; throw nasty (stuff) in the zone. I guess all four of us were all a little extra nasty tonight." 

Catcher Patrick Winkel said, "(Manager) Brian (Meyer) told us before the week, this might be the last time you guys play together, so try to have fun with it, and that's exactly what we're doing. That just comes through on the field, the level of energy and the focus we have. We're just trying to enjoy these last few days as a group. We don't know if or when we'll ever play together again. Just trying to go out on a good note." 

Winkel said of his pitchers, "Regi was dominating with his fastball and then going to his curveball, keeping them off balance. Leach came out and was working really fast, not giving them a chance to breathe and catching them off guard. Working down and away. Putting the ball where he wanted to put it. Hanner came in and had great energy and focus. He didn't back down. He had the top of the order, some of the best hitters in this league, and obviously Swain came in and closed the door by just blew fastballs by them." 

Hanner said, "I just wanted to end the season on a high note, and I can't think of a better way to do it." 

Complex Chronicles
FCL Twins 4, FCL Red Sox 3 (7 innings)
Box Score
Mike Paredes: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
HR: Kala’i Rosario (5)
Multi-hit games: Kala’i Rosario (2-for-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Gregory Duran (2-for-3, 2B)

The FCL Twins won their paused game on Saturday.

Technically, Kala’i Rosario kicked off the game yesterday with a monstrous first-inning home run. But, because the game did not end until today, I am commandeering the content for today’s write-up. Here it is:

Mike Paredes mowed through the FCL Red Sox offense to begin the game before Chase Petty took over to carry the torch. His second professional outing resulted in three earned runs over his three innings of work-not the best performance on the surface, but he also struck out four batters. 

Those three earned runs turned the tide of the game against the FCL Twins as they now found themselves down by a run. The team was not finished, though. A 6th inning double-steal brought home the tying run, and a 7th inning single from Ricardo Olivar ended the game for good. 

The Twins and Red Sox were supposed to play a second game, but that game was canceled. Today was also the last day of the season for the FCL and it appears that the team will not make up the game on Sunday.

Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long
Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Aaron Sabato

Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed:
#1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL)
#2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4, K
#3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch
#4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch
#5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain)
#6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, 2B
#7 – Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch
#8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain)
#9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - 3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
#10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play

#11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement)
#12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, R, 2 K
#13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-3, 2 R, K
#14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch
#15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 1-3, RBI, BB, 2 K
#16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-3, BB, K
#17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery)
#18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-6, R, RBI, 2B, BB, K
#19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch
#20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K

Tampa @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) LHP Zarion Sharpe 
St. Paul @ Indianapolis (11:35 AM) RHP Drew Strotman
Arkansas @ Wichita (12:05 PM) RHP Simeon Woods Richardson
Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (12:35 PM) TBD

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Perhaps the biggest news for Sabato wasn't his home run, rather, he had 5 plate appearances and DID NOT strike out.  Certainly appears to be taking a step forward after moving up to Iowa. 

Noticed your comment about Julien's power surge after joining the Kernels.  Could it be partially due to the ballpark in Cedar Rapids compared with the ballpark in Fort Myers?  Plus, the Florida State League has always been considered a pitchers league.

Hopefully, the Kernels all have a big day today and put themselves into the playoffs.

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