- In advance of their playoff series, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels placed RHP Niklas Rimmel on the temporarily inactive list. Rimmel is joining Team Germany in a WBC Qualifying tournament this week.
- The organization also assigned perhaps a secret weapon in 2022 fourth-round draft pick, RHP Andrew Morris in his place.
Louisville 1, St. Paul 8
While they had just seven hits, they scored eight runs by taking advantage of five walks and two errors.
From the leadoff spot, Wallner reached base four times in the game, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a hit-by-pitch. He scored a run and drove in two, and his OPS for September is now up to 1.161. And if you’re under any impression those 11 games are a small sample, going back to the start of August his batting line is .290/.413/.573 (.986), and he’s hitting .322 in his last 23 games. I’ve also said it several times this year, but he absolutely demolishes just about everything he hits:
Then you have Andrew Bechtold, who outshined Wallner on this night by blasting two home runs and driving in four. They were his first two home runs with the Saints after knocking 14 with the Wind Surge.
Ariel Jurado made the start for the home team and completed five strong innings to pick up his first win with the Saints. He allowed just one hit, one walk, and struck out four. Ronny Henriquez finished the game with the rare four-inning save, allowing one run (on a home run, as expected) on two hits while striking out three.
In “you don’t see that everyday” news, there was a delay in this game's fourth inning, caused by a “UFO” that would not vacate the CHS Field airspace:
WIND SURGE WISDOM
Wichita 3, Midland 1
With their fellow affiliates starting their league playoffs tonight, the Wind Surge got good news before this one was over, as they clinched their division and will join their friends in the Texas League playoffs, which will start next week.
The Wind Surge took a 2-0 lead after the top of the first inning in this one when Edouard Julien reached base with a single and was driven in by a Yunior Severino bomb to right field two batters later. It was Severino’s seventh of the year with Wichita, and he wasn’t done on this night.
Making the start for Wichita was lefty Kody Funderburk. He was able to scatter five hits and three walks over 5 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four RockHounds along the way. In the sixth, a pair of walks to start the inning led to his replacement by Steven Cruz, who tossed the next 1 2/3 scoreless, striking out two.
Severino made the score 3-0 in the fourth with his second home run of the game, this one onto the berm in center field.
That was all the offense for the Wind Surge, but they got multiple hits from Severino (3-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI), Julien (2-for-3, R, BB), and DaShawn Keirsey Jr (2-for-3), who also stole his 40th base of the season.
KERNELS NUGGETS - Midwest League Division Series, Game 1 (Best of 3)
Cedar Rapids 1, South Bend 2
The Cedar Rapids Kernels made it to the Midwest League playoffs by winning the first half division title, with the best record in the league. South Bend won the division in the second half, and they ended the regular season playing each other last week, with the Kernels winning three of five.
As the road team for Game 1, Cedar Rapids took to the batter’s box first and thanks to Pat Winkel, wasted little time putting a run on the scoreboard. His no-doubt home run put them in front 1-0 for some early breathing room.
Right-hander David Festa took the mound for the Kernels and was unhittable for four innings. The only runner he allowed in that timeframe was on an error in the first, and he went on to retire 10 in a row, including six punchouts. The leadoff man in the fifth ended that bid with a single, and the Cubs had their first scoring threat a few batters later after another single. Festa kept his cool, however, striking out two and getting a groundball to keep South Bend off the scoreboard. That would be all the Cubs would muster, as Festa went on to strike out three of the final four hitters he faced, including Chicago Cubs' #1 prospect and #31 overall (per MLB.com), Pete Crow-Armstrong, for the last out of his start.
In all, Festa went six innings, allowing just two hits, no walks, and punching out 10 total hitters. He threw 88 pitches, with 59 going for strikes (64%), and racking up 19 swinging strikes. He even did this:
Sean Mooney came on for the seventh and delivered a one-two-three inning. Back out for the eighth, he gave up a leadoff double to put the tying run in scoring position and was removed for Bobby Milacki.
Playing for the tying run, the Cubs went with the bunting approach, and it proved successful. Milacki had to rush off the mound for a bunt in front of him for his first batter, and he threw it away toward first for a run-scoring error. He nearly made another mistake on a bunt from the next hitter, looking to third before realizing nobody was covering and having to spin himself around to go back to first. Fortunately, this one went down as a sacrifice, but the go-ahead run was now just 90 feet away with one out. A single from the next batter made it 2-1 Cubs before Milacki got out of the inning by getting Crow-Armstrong to fly out to center.
Deflated, the Kernels six, seven, and eight hitters were mowed down by Cubs reliever Jake Reindl, with all three striking out to end the game.
Cedar Rapids outhit South Bend 7-5 in the game, but were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base, while their opponent was 2-for-5 and took advantage of the late miscue to steal game one.
The top of the lineup accounted for five of their seven hits in the game, with Jake Rucker (2-for-4, 2 K), Brooks Lee (2-for-4), and Winkel (1-for-3, HR, BB, 2 K) accounting for five of their seven hits and their only run. Kyler Fedko also drew two walks as the cleanup hitter.
The remaining games of the series will take place in Cedar Rapids, with Travis Adams getting the start on Thursday at 6:35 PM CDT, with the Kernels needing to even the series up at one.
MUSSEL MATTERS - Florida State League Division Series, Game 1 (Best of 3)
Fort Myers 4, Dunedin 6
Like their High-A counterparts, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels made the Florida State League playoffs by winning their division in the first half of the season, also with the best record in the league. Dunedin clinched a playoff spot by winning the division in the second half, and the teams were 7-7 against each other during the regular season.
In the top of the first, the Mighty Mussels strung together three singles from Noah Miller, Noah Cardenas, and Ben Ross led to the first run of the game, but Cardenas was thrown out at third on the play to end the inning.
The Florida State League Pitcher of the Month for August, Pierson Ohl, was an easy choice to start game one for the Mighty Mussels, but things never even got on the rails for him in this one. Four consecutive hits to start the game (and an error on one of them) led to two runs and prompted a mound visit before he got his first out. After that, a balk and a sac fly led to two more runs and the Blue Jays had a 4-1 lead after the first inning.
Ohl had a one-two-three second inning, needing only five pitches, but the aggressiveness from Blue Jays hitters struck again in the third inning, as three singles (two on first pitches, and two other at-bats went only two pitches) led to another run and 5-1 lead. A one-out double in the fourth finally chased Ohl from the game, and Mike Paredes came on and got two outs to keep his team within four.
The Mighty Mussels lineup scratched single runs across in the fifth and sixth inning, with Miller driving in one with a single in the former, and Cardenas hitting a solo home run in the latter.
Paredes got them through the seventh inning, allowing one run of his own on four hits and one walk in 3 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out two. A.J. Labas pitched a scoreless eighth inning, striking out two to keep his team within three heading into their last at-bat.
Ben Ross did his best to kickstart a rally, leading off the inning by taking a 3-1 pitch deep to left field to make it 6-4. Kala’i Rosario followed with a single, but the next three hitters went down in order and they fell to the Blue Jays in game one.
Ross led the way with three hits in four at-bats, including a double, home run, two RBI, and a run scored. Miller (2-for-3, RBI, BB) and Cardenas (2-for-4, R, HR, RBI) also had multiple hits in the game.
The final two games of the three-game series will be in Fort Myers at Hammond Stadium, with the next on Thursday at 6:00 PM CDT. Right-hander Marco Raya will be on the bump for the Mighty Mussels with their season on the line.
TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day - David Festa, Cedar Rapids Kernels (6 IP, 2 H, 10 K)
Hitter of the Day - Yunior Severino, Wichita Wind Surge (3-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI)
#2 - Brooks Lee (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4
#4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-4
#7 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 2-for-3, RBI, BB
#9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 3-for-4, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, K
#13 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6 IP, 2 H, 10 K
#14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-3, R, BB, K
#15 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - S, IP H, BB
#16 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - S, 4 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 K
#18 - Tanner Schobel (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, R, K
#20 - Kala’i Rosario (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4
Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!