A-Ballers Party Like Big Leaguers With Walk-off Monday

Hey, the minor leaguers can’t let the big leaguers have all of the walk-off fun, right?

A+: @ St. Lucie Mets 6, Charlotte Stone Crabs (TB) 5 

The Walk Off
Darrell Ceciliani led off the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run.

The DC Story
Darrell Ceciliani was 4-for-5 with a triple and the game-winning home run. An impressed scout texted that he “smoked” four balls. Ceciliani has hit safely in all four of St. Lucie’s games and is 8-for-18 overall with three walks. He’s also 2-for-2 stealing bases. In 2011, Ceciliani was hampered by a pulled hamstring and hit just .245/.335/.370 in 48 games in the first half in Savannah. He said he felt great in spring training, but doesn’t every player say that?

Cory Vaughn
2-4, 2B, HR. He’s five-for-17 (.294) but has struck out eight times in four games.

Nice ‘Pen Start
Adam Kolarek. The lefty entered with runners at first and third and picked up a strikeout to get out of trouble in the fifth inning and then worked a 1-2-3 sixth. In 3.1 innings this year, he’s fanned four and given up just one hit.

 

A: @ Savannah Sand Gnats 1, Rome Braves 0

The Walk Off
2B Luis Nieves ground a single down the first base line with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th to bring home the game’s first run.
It sounded like this.
4-9 Nieves GW 1B

The Pitching Story
RHP Tyler Pill’s Savannah Debut: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K
LHP Jack Leathersich: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
RHP Jared West: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K

This was my first look at Pill. He was just an absolute strike-throwing machine. I counted 52 strikes and 23 balls among his 75 offerings, a superlative strike percentage of 69%. (When I’m counting pitches on air, I’m usually within a pitch or two, but recognize that I might be off a touch.) Point stands. He threw lots and lots of strikes. In the first three innings, he threw 28 of his 34 pitches (82%) for strikes. Nuts.
And what was he throwing? His fastball was 87-89 all night on the scoreboard gun. He mixed in heavy doses of a 75-77 mph curveball and a change-up at 78-80 that had nice arm action and sink.

Jack Leathersich came on in the seventh and fanned six of the 10 batters he saw. He was sitting 88-89 with his heater and touched 91 once. His slider was 76. He got swings and misses up in the zone.

Jared West was 88-90 with a slider.

Again, the stadium gun might be light by a mile or two, but it’s close.

Rome is 0-4 and has lost three 1-0 games, two to Charleston and one to Savannah. The Braves have scored one run in their first 39 innings. Wow.

Note: all of the above velocity references are off the stadium gun, which I now believe, based on conversations with other who had their own guns out last night, was about 2 mph light all night. For Pill, he was more 89-90 with some 91. For Leathersich, that puts him 90-91, with some 92. West, 90-92.

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