Atlantic League Bullpen, June 21, 2022

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Pennant Races: Southern Maryland is now within two games of clinching the first half North Division title... The combination of two Blue Crab wins and/or Long Island losses gives SMD the North pennant… SMD has won eight straight after a seven-game undefeated homestand… Gastonia’s magic number is eight to clinch the South Division over second-place High Point.

Player Transfers: The Milwaukee Brewers purchased the contract of Gastonia starter Marcus Walden who was 3-0 with a 2.86 ERA in nine starts and leading the Atlantic League in ERA and WHIP (0.87).

First Half-Week Standouts: SMD’s Jack Sundberg went 6-for-10 in a four-game series vs. Staten Island… York’s Carlos Franco had seven hits, three doubles, three homers, six extra base hits and eight RBI vs. Lexington while teammate Connor Lien drove in seven runs with six hits in the three games.

Second Half-Week Standouts: SI’s Javier Betancourt was 6-for-9 vs. York over the weekend… SMD’s Michael Wielansky was 8-for-12 with two homers and six RBI vs. Lancaster… He led all weekend hitters with eight hits, five extra base hits and 18 total bases… High Point’s Jerry Downs hit three homers vs. Charleston… Wielansky and HP’s Zander Wiel each drove in six runs in their weekend series… Oscar De La Cruz (LAN) and Jorge Martinez (YRK) each struck out 10 hittters on 6/18 while Elih Villanueva (KY) fanned 10 on 6/17.

Best of the Week: Michael Wielansky (SMD) hit .542 for the week while YRK’s Carlos Franco pounded four home runs and drove in 10 runs… Wielansky had 13 hits during the week including two triples while Franco had four doubles, eight extra base hits and 27 total bases… Mitch Lambson (SMD) fanned 15 in 14.2 innings spanning two starts.

Managers: York’s Mark Mason won the 573rd game of his career on 6/18 to pass Willie Upshaw for the fourth-most wins in ALPB history… Mason trails Butch Hobson (1,102), Sparky Lyle (1,024) and Wayne Krenchicki (704) in Atlantic League career victories.

Long At-Bats: Charleston’s Nick Heath walked after facing 12 pitches from HP’s Kyle Mott on (6/19). 

Team Pitching: Gastonia’s staff struck out 11 Dirty Birds and walked just one in a 7-inning 2-0 win on 6/16… Lexington (13) and Gastonia (12) combined to strikeout 25 hitters on 6/18… Long Island’s staff tossed a pair of one-hitters last week, vs. High Point (6/16) and Kentucky (6/18)… During the weekend sweep of Kentucky, Ducks pitchers allowed one run, 13 hits and six walks while striking out 26… Gastonia’s staff held Lexington to four runs and a .170 average while striking out 34 in a three-game weekend series.

Batting Masters: Nick Longhi went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBI in a 6-4 win over Gastonia on 6/14… York’s Carlos Franco went 4-for-5 with two homers, two doubles, and five RBI vs. Lexington 6/15… KY’s Luke Becker had a four-hit night vs. York on 6/15 and GAS’s Reece Hampton had four hits vs. Charleston (6/15)… High Point’s Zander Wiel drove in all six runs in a 7-6 loss at Charleston 6/17…  SMD’s Michael Wielansky was three-for-three with a pair of homers, three RBI and two walks vs. LAN (6/19). 

Pitching Gems: Williams Ramirez of SI pitched two innings vs. York on 6/17 and recorded all six outs via strikeout… Lancaster’s Cam Gann struck out 12 vs. Kentucky on 6/15… LI’s Stephen Tarpley allowed High Point just one hit in eight innings of the Ducks’ 2-0 win on 6/16… Randall Delgado picked up his first win for Gastonia, combining with two relievers to toss a one-hitter in a 2-0 win over CWV on 6/16… Daryl Thompson tossed nine innings in a 10-inning 4-3 win over Lancaster on 6/17… Long Island’s Anderson DeLeon threw a complete game shutout, allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out nine in a win over Kentucky on 6/18... GAS’s Zach Godley did not allow a hit in five innings in a start against Lexington on 6/19… SI’s Matt Solter retired 11 straight during one stretch of the FerryHawks win over York on 6/19… SI’s Kelsie Whitmore worked a scoreless top of the ninth vs. York on 6/18 and now owns back-to-back scoreless innings… Lexington’s Daniel Corcino fanned eight in five innings of work vs. York (6/14)… LEX’s Keyvius Sampson threw six innings, allowing just two hits and striking out five vs. Gastonia on 6/17… Jorge Martinez of York fanned 10 in six innings vs. SI on 6/18… LAN’s Oscar De La Cruz recorded 10 strikeouts in five innings vs. SMD (6/18... SMD’s McKenzie Mills tossed 7 ⅓ innings of one-run ball, striking out seven in a win over Staten Island on 6/16… 

DEE-fense: Melky Mesa threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning as York topped Staten Island 3-2 on 6/17…  

Streaks: York has hit a homer in 18 straight games and hit two or more in seven of the last eight… YRK’s Carlos Franco has reached base in 34 consecutive games… SMD’s McKenzie Mills has won five straight games.

League Leaders: York’s Carlos Franco has surged into the Atlantic Lead with 19 homers and 58 RBI… He also leads the loop with 133 total bases… Kelly Dugan maintains his lead in batting average (.348), slugging (.750) and OPS (1.173)… Staten Island’s Matt Solter holds the league ERA-best among active players at 2.91… GAS’s Sam Bordner and SMD’s McKenzie Mills share the league lead in with with seven apiece… Mitch Lambson of SMD is the league strikeout leader with 74… Mat Latos (SMD) continues to lead the league with 15 saves but GAS’s Jesus Balaguer has narrowed the gap with 10… 

Records: York’s Carlos Franco has tied the club record with four multi-homer games in 2022… His four extra base hits vs. Lexington on 6/15 also tied a club record… York concluded its most recent road trip with a 7-5 record tying the mark for wins on a road trip… High Point set a club record by hitting five batters vs. CWV 6/19…  

Anomalies: Charleston posted three walk-off wins at home over High Point over the weekend, two of them in 10 innings… Gastonia turned a 5-4-3 triple play against Lexington on 6/19… The 12 walks issued by CWV vs. HP on 6/19 matched the league-high for the year… Likewise, the five batters that HP pitchers hit on 6/19 also matched the league-high.

Grand Slams: LeDarious Clark broke a 4-4 tie with KY on 6/14 with a fifth inning grand slam… YRK’s Connor Lien hit a grand slam to highlight a six-run 11th inning in a 13-7 win over Lexington 6/14.

Walk-Offs: SMD’s Joe DeLuca hit a two-run homer to walk-off Staten Island in game 1 of a DH on 6/15… In the nightcap, Michael Wielansky singled home the winning run in a 4-3 win… DeLuca also walked off Lancaster 4-3 in 10 innings with a single on 6/17… Charleston walked off High Point in consecutive games on 6/17 and 6/18… Engel Beltre got the winning hit on 6/17 and Tyler Blaum on 6/18… T.K. Koontz singled for Lexington to walk-off Gastonia 3-2 on 6/18.

Milestones: Melky Mesa now has 64 homers in his career with York, the third-most all-time… York’s Jim Fuller earned his 38th save as a Rev, one shy of the franchise record… York set a franchise record by homering in 16 straight games… SI’s Hector Guance, the No. 1 selection in the 2022 ALPB Draft, made his season debut on 6/15 and threw five innings, allowing just one run in a start.



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