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Atlantic League Bullpen, September 19, 2023

 
The Week Ahead: The Atlantic League Division Championship series start on Tuesday, Sept. 19 with the opening games at Lancaster and Gastonia… Action shifts to the homes of the first half champions Long Island and High Point for the weekend.
 
The Week That Was: Lancaster secured its second straight North Division second half championship, winning its final six games and eight of its last 10… Gastonia forged a co-championship with High Point on the final day of the season in the South.
Streaking: Long Island’s Carlos Castro ended the season with a 16-game hitting streak… Lancaster’s Andretty Cordero posted the longest streak of the year at 18 games… High Point’s D.J. Burt set a league record with a 60-game on-base streak… Leobaldo Cabrera of Spire City had the league’s longest streak of games with a home run at six… Charleston’s Joe Testa was the only pitcher to win six straight games… Long Island’s Al Alburquerque went 25 outings without allowing an earned run… High Point RF Ben Aklinski went 100 games without committing an error.
 
Milestones: Lexington’s Thomas Dillard hit his league-leading 39th homer vs. Gastonia on 9/16… So. Maryland’s Braxton Lee collected his 1,000th career professional base hit in the season finale vs. Charleston on 9/17.
 
Major Milestones: Lancaster’s Andretty Cordero and High Point’s Ben Aklinski became the first ALPB players with multiple 100 RBI seasons… In addition, Aklinski became the first player in league history with two 100 RBI and 100 runs scored seasons.
 
Homer Highlights: Lexington’s Thomas Dillard led the league with 39 home runs… That’s the sixth-most in a season in the league… Charleston’s Telvin Nash finished the year with 124 career ALPB homers, tied for the fifth-most in league history… Gastonia clubbed a league-record 220 homers this year, surpassing the previous mark of 205 set in 2021 by Lexington… Spire City became the third team to surpass 200 homers, finishing with 203… The Ghost Hounds duo of Leobaldo Cabrera (34) and Cole Kottam (30) became the third pair of teammates to each hit 30 homers in a season… The Ghost Hounds and Honey Hunters became the first clubs with five players to each hit 20 homers… Spire City took it a step further, becoming the first with four to hit 25 or more.
 
Hurling Highlights: Long Island’s Robert Stock was the lone ALPB pitcher to roll four double play balls in a game vs. High Point on 8/4… Lancaster’s Bret Clarke threw the most pitches in a game in 2023 with 141 vs. Spire City on 7/9… Gastonia’s Zach Mort led the league in strikeouts and also had the game-high with 14 Ks against York on 8/17… Mort also averaged a league-record 11.39 strikeouts per nine innings… Long Island’s Robert Stock was the lone pitcher with a dozen or more whiffs on two occasions.
 
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: Two records occurred in 2023 that have rarely happened in professional baseball at any level… Spire City’s first five hitters all homered in a 7-5 win over Lexington on 9/10… High Point had four consecutive players hit by a pitch against Staten Island on 7/13.
 
Top Ten Finishes: Long Island’s Alex Dickerson was the only player in the league to rank in the top 10 in average, home runs and RBI… He was 10th in average at .314, tied for seventh with 26 home runs and eighth with 91 RBI… Among pitchers, Gastonia’s Gunnar Kines, Staten Island’s Christian Capuano, York’s Nick Raquet, High Point’s Mickey Jannis and Lexington’s Aaron Ochsenbein each finished in the top 10 in ERA, wins and strikeouts.
 
Team Work: Gastonia’s .489 slugging percentage is the second-highest in league history behind Lexington’s .509 in 2021… Southern Maryland remains the only club in league history to be hit by a pitch 100 or more times in the season… The Blue Crabs posted their third-straight season with 110 HBP… Gastonia’s pitching staff fanned 1,167 hitters this year, the second-most ever behind Long Island’s 1,210 in 2019… Spire City allowed a league-record 210 homers.
 
Longest At-Bat of the Week: York’s Nick Raquet needed 12 pitches to strike out Jose Marmolejos of Spire City on 9/15.
 
3 of a Kind
Mickey Jannis, High Point
Ryan Grotjohn, High Point
Ethan Skujia, Staten Island
 
Division Championship Series
All Series are best of five (All times EDT)
 
Tuesday, September 19, 2023-Game 1
North: Long Island (RHP Robert Stock 9-4) at Lancaster (RHP Brent Teller 11-6), 6:30
South Dvision: High Point (LHP Brandon Leibrandt 4-3) at Gastonia (LHP Gunnar Kines 12-4), 6:35
 
Wednesday, September 20, 2023-Game 2
North: Long Island (LHP Kyle Lobstein 5-5) at Lancaster (RHP Matt Swarmer 4-1), 6:30
South: High Point (LHP Justin Nicolino 4-1) at Gastonia (RHP Zach Mort 13-3), 6:35
 
Thursday, September 21, 2023
Travel day/Make-up game
 
Friday, September 22, 2023-Game 3
North: Lancaster (LHP Brady Tedesco 1-1) at Long Island (LHP Ian Clarkin 3-5), 6:35
South: Gastonia (RHP Brett Daniels 7-1) at High Point (RHP Mickey Jannis 14-5), 6:35
 
Saturday, September 23, 2023-Game 4 (if necessary)
North Division: Lancaster (TBD) at Long Island (TBD), 6:35
South Division: Gastonia (TBD) at High Point (TBD), 6:35
 
Sunday, September 24, 2023-Game 5 (if necessary)
North Division: Lancaster (TBD) at Long Island (TBD), 5:05
South Division: Gastonia (TBD) at High Point (TBD), 4:05
 
3 of a Kind (answer)
All three played college baseball
at Cal State Bakersfield
 
BY THE NUMBERS
4
Record number of Spire City players to hit 25 or more home runs in 2023
 
11.39
ALPB record strikeouts per nine innings for Gastonia pitcher Zach Mort
 
220
League record home runs hit by Gastonia in 2023
 
1,000
Career professional base hits by Southern Maryland 
OF Braxton Lee
 

 



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