The Atlantic League Bullpen, August 30, 2022
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Pennant Races: Gastonia continues to hold a 7.5 game lead over Kentucky in the South Division after going 3-3 last week... Lancaster increased its lead over So. Maryland to 4.5 games by going 6-0 last week to the Blue Crabs’ 4-2 mark... Lancaster remains atop the Wild Card standings by 1.5 games over High Point and two games over Kentucky... The Rockers and Genomes each posted 3-3 records last week.
Hail Lew Ford: Long Island’s venerable Lew Ford became the fourth player in Atlantic League history to reach the 1,000-hit mark… Ford earned his 999th career hit on a sharp line drive to right off Charleston starter Derrick Adams on 8/28… He then singled to left in the fourth off Adams to score Phil Caulfield to mark his 1,000th career safety… Ford then moved to 1,001 career hits with a single to right off Nate Peden in the seventh inning… Ford is the first player to accumulate all of their ALPB hits as a Long Island Duck, though Ray Navarette’s 1,000th hit, a homer on 8/3/13, came as a Duck… Bryant Nelson earned his 1,000th hit as a Blue Crab on 6/2/16… The first to 1K was Jeff Nettles of Somerset who passed the mark on 7/27/12.
Hats Off to Hawkins: Courtney Hawkins had a day on 8/28 vs. the Wild Health Genomes… The Lexington OF was 4-for-7 with four home runs, 10 RBI, three walks (one IBB) and five runs scored in a doubleheader sweep… Hawkins finished the day with 40 home runs on the season and 101 RBI… He is just the fourth player in ALPB history to eclipse the 40-homer mark… Hawkins joins Ozzie Canseco of Newark (48 in 2000), Brian Becker of Nashua (41 in 2005), Telvin Nash of York (41 in 2019) and Jose Viera of Lehigh Valley/Somerset (40 in 2000) among the elite to hit 40 homers in a season.
Salute to Sandford: Another ALPB career record in jeopardy is the career stolen base mark… Lexington’s Darian Sandford enters the week with 287 career stolen bases… The current record is 290 set by Somerset’s Billy Hall from 2000-05… Sandford is the three-time defending league stolen base champ, having swiped 82 bases for Lancaster in 2018, 74 in 2019 and 78 with Lexington and York in 2021… Currently with the Legends, Sandford has eight stolen bases on the year.
First Half-Week Standouts: Lancaster’s Andretty Cordero had four hits vs. Long Island on 8/23… Teammate Ariel Sandoval had four hits and three RBI in a win over Long Island (8/24)… York’s Eduardo Rivera improved to 7-3 with seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts vs. So. Maryland on 8/24… Gastonia’s Luis Roman had five RBI on a two-run double and a three-run homer vs. Charleston on 8/24… Gastonia’s John Anderson threw six-plus innings and allowed a single run on three hits to improve to 11-4… Alex Sanabia of Gastonia hurled six innings of no-hit baseball and struck out 10 in a win over Charleston (8/25)… Staten Island’s Ricardo Cespedes had four hits and four RBI vs. Kentucky on 8/25… Cespedes was seven-for-11 in two games vs. Kentucky with three doubles and six RBI… Luis Roman of Gastonia drove in eight runs in the series vs. Charleston… Kentucky’s Jimmy Paredes had four extra base hits including a pair of homers in the Staten Island series… York’s Jim Fuller had a pair of saves in the mid-week series vs. So. Maryland.
Second Half-Week Standouts: Long Island’s Joe Iorio (7 IP) and Chas Cywin (2 IP) combined to four-hit Charleston in a 12-0 win on 8/26… Kentucky’s Elih Villanueva (8 IP) and Jamie Callahan (1 IP) combined to two-hit Lexington (8/26)… Villanueva fanned 10 in his eight innings… High Point’s Logan Morrison was 5-for-5 with a home run and three RBI vs. Gastonia (8/26)… Lancaster’s Oscar De La Cruz struck out eight in eight innings vs. Staten Island (8/26)… Lancaster’s Erik Manoah, Jr. struck out nine in 6.1 innings of work vs. Staten Island (8/27)… Long Island’s Scott Harkin went five innings vs. Charleston on 8/27 and allowed just two hits while fanning seven… Southern Maryland’s Mitch Lambson allowed just two hits over eight innings and retired the final 19 batters he faced while striking out 11 in a 2-0 win over York (8/27)… Kelsie Whitmore started in left for Staten Island on 8/27 and recorded a pair of putouts… Lexington’s Isaias Tejeda had four hits for Lexington vs. Kentucky in game 2 on 8/28… The Genomes’ Gavin Johns was 5-for-8 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and six RBI in a twinbill vs. Lexington 8/28… High Point’s Logan Morrison hit .538 (7-for-13) vs. Gastonia on the weekend.
Best of the Week: Lexington’s Courtney Hawkins had five home runs, 24 total bases, eight runs scored and 13 RBI in six games last week… So. Maryland’s Matt Hibbert hit .529 (9-for-17) last week… Lancaster’s Nile Ball, So. Maryland’s Eddie Butler and Lexington’s Daniel Corcino each had two wins as starters while Lancaster’s West Tunnell picked up two wins in relief… York’s Jim Fuller had a pair of saves.
Long At-Bats: Charleston’s Joe Testa threw 12 pitches to Gastonia catcher Stuart Levy who flew out to right… Long Island’s Deibinson Romero walked on 12 pitches from Charleston’s Kit Scheetz.
Gastonia Stolen Base Record: The Honey Hunters broke the Atlantic League record for the most stolen bases in a season when they swiped their 266th base of the year vs. Charleston on 8/24… Somerset set the mark of 265 in 2000 in 140 games . . . Gastonia broke the record in 110 contests… Cole Freeman stole second base in the third inning to set the mark.
Team Hitting: The Wild Health Genomes overcame an 8-1 deficit with a 10-run second inning and went on to defeat Staten Island 13-11 on 8/25… During the 10-run second, the Genomes banged out 10 straight hits including three doubles, three singles, and two homers… Staten Island hit seven doubles vs. Kentucky (8/25).
Team Pitching: Gastonia held Charleston to two-hits while striking out 15 in a 9-1 win on 8/25.
Streaks: So. Maryland’s Jack Sundberg has reached base in 30 consecutive games, the third-longest streak in the ALPB this year.
League Leaders: Alejandro De Aza of Long Island holds the league lead with a .339 batting average though Andretty Cordero of Lancaster is close behind at .337… Cordero’s 103 RBI lead the Atlantic League as does his 159 hits… So. Maryland’s tandem of Eddie Butler and Daryl Thompson each have 12 wins while Gastonia’s John Anderson (11) and Sam Bordner (10) have each reached double figures along with Kentucky’s Elih Villanueva (10)… Daryl Thompson’s 158.1 innings pitched leads the league and marks his third consecutive 150+ inning season.
Records: York’s Nellie Rodriguez has 99 walks this season… The ALPB record is 105 by York’s Telvin Nash in 2019… Only three players have ever had 100 walks in a season.
Milestones: York’s Melky Mesa made his 32nd career outfield assist vs. So. Maryland on 8/25 to tie the franchise record… Andretty Cordero reached 100 RBI in a season faster than any other Barnstormer in history when he crossed the threshold on 8/26 in his 11th game… So. Maryland’s Jared Walker (74) and Jack Sundberg (74) are on the verge of breaking the club record for walks in a season which is currently 75… York manager Mark Mason enters the week with 599 career ALPB victories… He is fourth all-time in victories behind Butch Hobson (1,102), Sparky Lyle (1,024) and Wayne Krenchicki (704)… Only eight managers have reached 400 wins in the ALPB... So. Maryland’s Stan Cliburn enters the week with 395 career ALPB wins and would be the ninth ALPB manager to reach 400 wins.
Anomalies: York reliever Carlos Ventura struck out three hitters in 2/3 of an inning on 8/23… He fanned Matt Hibbert, struck out Michael Baca on a wild pitch in which Baca reached first, then struck out Michael Falsetti looking for the third out of the inning.
Grand Slams: Lexington’s Teodoro Martinez vs. High Point (8/23).
Walk-Offs: High Point’s Ben Aklinski hit a sac fly to walk-off Lexington on 8/24… Ariel Sandoval lined a two-run single to walk-off Long Island on 8/24… Lancaster had a walk-off win over Long Island for a second straight night with a 4-3 win on 8/25 on a Melvin Mercedes single.
Off-Field: While Staten Island manager Edgardo Alfonzo and pitching coach Nelson Figueroa attended Mets’ Old-Timer’s Day events, the FerryHawks recruited College of Staten Island baseball Coach Mike Mauro to manage the club, assisted by former MLB All-Star Jason Marquis and St. Peter’s baseball coach Bobby Glennerster… Other Mets Old-Timers Day participants included Ducks’ manager Wally Backman and former ALPB player Pat Mahommes, Sr.
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