--Gallery by Roscelle Griffin
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--File Photo by Jared Anderson
The Louisville Bats took game one against Tim Tebow and the Syracuse Mets.
Tebow, 2007 Heisman trophy winner and Florida’s former quarterback; decided to play baseball in early August 2016. He found a club, the Mets, and climbed through the minor-league ranks. As a 31 year-old, he found himself in Triple-A, and at Louisville Slugger Field.
The quarterback- or left fielder, finished 0 for 3 with one strikeout. He and the rest of the Mets lost 3-1. It was a quick game that lasted only 1 hour and 59 minutes.
Lucas Sims was efficient. He threw 94 pitches over seven innings. Sims allowed three hits and one earned run, and walked two batters. He struck out seven batters. He also reduced his earned run average from 5.46 to 4.45.
Louisville catcher Juan Graterol tripled on a line drive to right, and drove in Rob Refsnyder for the Bats first run. It was a rare triple for the catcher, and his first of the year.
In the fourth, the Bats scored two more runs. First, Phillip Ervin hit his third double of the year to Tebow in left. Chrisitan Colon scored. Then, Refsnyder hit his seventh double to center. Ervin scored on the play.
After the fifth inning, Syracuse starting pitcher Chris Mazza was pulled. Mazza threw 62 pitches, and gave up three runs, all earned, on six hits and no walks. He struck out three Bats. His ERA raised from 4.50 to 4.91.
Two-time MLB all-star Carlos Gomez hit a deep home run in the top of the seventh inning. He turned a 1-2 curveball into a tank to left field.
Sims received the win, Mazza the loss, and Anthony Bass recorded his seventh save. Sal Romano was the other Louisville pitcher.
The Bats move to 14-18. They will take on the Mets at 11am tomorrow for game two. RHP Keury Mella (1-2, 5.46) goes up against LHP Hector Santiago (1-1, 4.20).
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
Their last time out, the Louisville Bats and Norfolk Tides set a Slugger Field scoring record.
This time out, there was not a scoring record set. But the Bats did get away with a victory; something they were unable to do in their record-setting night. Behind a walkoff hit, the Bats were able to defeat the top farm club of the Baltimore Orioles 5-4.
Keury Mella looked efficient in his first four innings. He gave up just one hit during his first four. The fifth, however, he gave up two back-to-back bombs. Mella finished with five innings pitched, and gave up five hits, and two earned runs. He walked one and struck out five.
In the bottom of the fourth, Rob Refsnyder grounded out to short, and scored Josh VanMeter. Then, Juan Graterol hit his second double of 2019 on a liner to center, plating Brian O’Grady and Nick Longhi. The Bats led 3-0 after four.
During the inning, Norfolk Starter Luis Ysla was pulled from the game. He only managed to pitch 3.2 innings, and gave up three runs, all earned, on two hits and four walks. He only struck out two.
Mella’s two earned runs in the fifth were to former Louisville Bats. Mason Williams, one of Louisville’s 2018 IL All-Stars, belted a home run to the patio in right-center field. Then, 2017 Bats alum Zach Vincej blasted a shot to left.
The Bats would get one of the runs back in the bottom of the fifth. Christian Colon perforated a single to right field, driving in Sherman Johnson.
After Mella, Cody Reed came on to pitch three really efficient innings. He gave up just two hits, while striking out five over 33 pitches.
Williams tied the game in the top of the ninth. He hit a massive two-run blast to center field. Anthony Bass blew the save.
In the bottom of the tenth, Brian O’Grady hit a walk-off single to win the game.
Louisville moves to 9-14. They look to win the series tomorrow. RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (1-1, 5.75 ERA) goes up against RHP Luis Ortiz (0-2, 5.87). The game is at 2pm, and is Military Appreciation Day.
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
If you liked offense, you should have been in Louisville. Pitching went out of the window.
The Louisville Bats and Norfolk Tides combined for them most runs in Slugger Field history. Unfortunately, the Bats were on the losing side, and lost 16-14.
Lucas Sims had a rough outing. There is no way to re-phrase it. He only threw 1.1 innings, and was ringed for eight runs, six earned, on five hits and three walks. He only struck out one batter. It was very uncharacteristic from the rest of the starts he made this year.
Sims gave up his first run in the first inning. Anthony Santander banked an RBI double to right, scoring Cedric Mullins.
Josh VanMeter hit his seventh home run of 2019 in the bottom of the inning, to deep right field. The home run gave VanMeter the Reds organizational home run lead. He was tied with Reds outfielder Jesse Winker before the home run.
Norfolk scored seven runs in the second. First, Christopher Bostick hit a three-run home run to right. Then, Santander deposited a double to right, scoring two. Jace Peterson hit a ground-rule double, and scored the final two runs of the inning.
Louisville responded with five runs in the second. Cortney Hawkins hit a two run double to right-center. Then, Christian Colon singled in Blake Trahan and Sherman Johnson. Josh VanMeter reached home on an RBI single from Rob Refsnyder.
Jack Reinheimer hit an RBI single to left, and gave Norfolk a three-run lead.
DJ Stewart and Austin Wynns both notced RBIs in the top of the fourth, and expanded Norfolk’s lead to five.
Johnson cut the Louisville deficit to two with his second home run of 2019. He hit a ball 379 feet to right, plating Stuart Turner.
Then, VanMeter hit his eighth Van-Dinger of the season, scoring Nick Senzel; and tying the game.
Bostick gave the lead back to Norfolk on a single and error. Two runs scored. Johnson committed an error on an infield single, and two more runs scored.
Peterson led off the top of the seventh with a home run to straightaway center field.
Johnson hit a deep home run in the bottom of the ninth to break the Slugger Field scoring record, and put the game at 16-14.
The Bats move to 8-14. RHP Keury Mella (1-1, 5.06) starts for the Bats. The opposing starter has not been named.
--Gallery by Mike Gilpatrick
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
Durham rained on Louisville’s parade Wednesday.
The Louisville Bats lost a game in less-than-ideal weather to the top farm club of Tampa Bay, 4-2. Because of the rain, the game ended in the fifth.
Jose Lopez did not have his best start. The right-hander threw 89 pitches over five innings, and gave up four runs, all earned, on six hits and two walks. Two runs were off back-to-back solo-shot home runs. Lopez struck out six.
Louisville led for the first two innings. In the bottom of the first, Reds top prospect Nick Senzel scored on an RBI single from Christian Colon. It was the 13th RBI for the Louisville shortstop.
Rob Refsnyder scored Louisville’s second run. Nick Longhi singled, but left fielder Jason Coats wasn’t able to field the ball correctly, allowing Refsnyder to score and Longhi to reach second. Longhi did not get the RBI.
Durham cut Louisville’s lead in half in the top of the third. Kean Wong tripled to center, scoring Emilio Bonifacio.
Michael Brosseau and Christian Arroyo both homered in the top of the fourth. They were both to left, and almost in the same spot. Brosseau’s homer went 433 feet, and Arroyo’s went 438.
Durham added an insurance run on a Wong single in the top of the fifth. Bonifacio scored.
The rain came at around 8:30, and never let up. Louisville moves to 8-12. Lopez received the loss, and the win went to Bulls SP Aaron Slegers.
The Bats will look to avoid the sweep tomorrow. RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (1-0, 3.60) toes the rubber against LHP Ryan Merritt (1-1, 7.27). The game is at 7pm.
-- By Jared Anderson
--Photos by Jared Anderson
The return home to Louisville was a cold one for the Bats, who fell to Durham in the series opener, 6-2. Nick Senzel's return to baseball following a season-ending injury last year was one of the few bright spots on the night.
Senzel, who led off for the Bats and played center field started the game with a base hit, but went 0-3 the rest of the evening. The Reds top prospect spent the entire game in the field and saw a fair amount of action off of a Durham team that recorded 11 hits.
Durham was on the board just two batters into the game. Jake Cronenworth walked and advanced to second on an error on the pick-off attempt. Kean Wong followed with a line drive up the middle to plate Cronenworth. A single to left field later in the inning by Michael Brosseau drove in Wong.
The Bulls doubled the lead with a pair of runs in the second. Emilio Bonifacio doubled with one out and was followed by a walk by Cronenworth Wong's doubled scored Bonifacio. Nate Lowe's sacrifice fly to left field drove in Cronenworth.
Louisville got on the board in the bottom of the third inning. Blake Trahan singled and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Josh VanMeter singled up the middle to send Trahan home.
Wong beat out a throw by Blake Trahan in the fifth inning before stealing second. Christian Arroyo doubled to deep right field after Courtney Hawkins misplayed the ball, scoring Wong.
Wong reached base on a fielder's choice in the seventh inning before rounding the bases to score on Brosseau's triple.
Colon led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk and advanced to third on Juan Graterol's double. Rob Refsnyder was a few feet short of a home run to near dead center, but his sacrifice fly was enough to drive in Colon.
Durham furthered their lead with a trio of runs in the ninth. Bonifacio singled and Wong walked. Lowe's double plated Bonifacio. Brosseau's single up the middle sent Wong and Lowe home.
Vladimir Guiterrez got the start on the mound, but managed just five innings after getting his pitch count up to 83. The righty surrendered five runs on six hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
Ian Krol, Sal Romano, and Jesus Reyes combined for the final three innings. The trio gave up four runs on five hits with three strikeouts and a walk.
Louisville and Durham will face off in the second game of the series tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m.
By Jason Wyrick
Photo by Jared Anderson
With a lineup heavily anchored by former (and current) big league standouts, the Columbus Clippers downed the Louisville Bats with a score of 8-5.
The Clippers jumped on Bats’ starter Jose Lopez early, with highly decorated Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor getting on base in the top of the 1st. The three-time Major League All Star was driven in by yet another player with ample big league experience. Ryan Flaherty, a seven-year big leaguer himself blasted a two run shot to score Lindor.
The Clippers would add to their lead in the 2nd behind a solo shot by catcher Eric Haase to extend the lead to 3-0.
Francisco Lindor flexed his two-time Silver Slugger winning bat in the 3rd with a solo blast, extending the Clippers’ lead to 4-0.
In the bottom of the 3rd, the Bats would get on the board. Josh Van Meter singled into the outfield, scoring Phillip Ervin.
Columbus would answer right away, adding that run back to their lead in the top of the 4th. Oscar Mercado singled to left field to score Bobby Bradley. Rob Refsnyder, the Bats’ South Korean outfielder by way of California gunned down Eric Haase to keep the deficit to a modest four. This would still be the end of the line on this Thursday night for Jose Lopez.
Jesus Reyes would have similar luck against these Columbus Clippers, quickly getting tagged with another run on a Brandon Barnes single in the top of the 5th. Ryan Flaherty also hit his second two-run home run of the game and the lead ballooned to 8-1.
Aristides Aquino hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 6th. What appeared to be an insignificant development actually was the first of a late rally by Louisville.
In the bottom of the 8th, Rob Refsnyder hit a three-run long ball to slash the Clippers’ six-run lead in half. Mother Nature did not have her rally cap on, however. In the middle of a Phillip Ervin at bat with the count full, the skies opened up causing a delay that eventually cut the Bats’ rally short, ending the game.
The Bats will travel north on I65 to Indianapolis tomorrow for a weekend series against the Indians.
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Seth Spalding
Francisco Lindor made a rehab assignment for Columbus in Louisville on Monday. Josh VanMeter was more impressive.
The Louisville Bats had an offensive explosion in the fifth inning, and defeated Lindor and the Cleveland affiliate 9-7. Both teams combined for four home runs. VanMeter, the Bats first baseman, went 2 for 4, and gained four RBIs and scored two runs.
Keury Mella had a bad outing. He threw 5.1 innings, but was shelled with two home runs. He gave up five runs, all earned, on ten hits and three walks. He only managed to strike out three.
Columbus gained the lead first in the first inning. Cameron Maybin singled on a ground ball to right field, plating Oscar Mercado.
In the bottom of the inning, VanMeter hit his fifth home run of 2019, a two-run shot with Christian Colon on-base, to center field. The home run came on the third pitch of the at bat, and travelled 422 feet.
Bobby Bradley tied the game in the fourth. He hit his third double of the year to Nick Longhi in left. Jordan Luplow scored.
Louisville re-gained the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a wild pitch.
Lindor hit a massive home run in the top of the fifth. It went to right field, and landed 412 feet away from home plate. It was Mella’s last home run allowed in the game. Ryan Flaherty hit an RBI single to right, scoring Maybin. It gave the Clippers the lead.
The Bats scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Colon plated the first run with an RBI double. It scored Sherman Johnson. Then, VanMeter hit his fourth double of the year, scoring Colon. Juan Graterol scored three runs on his first home run of 2019. The pitch went to left field.
Eric Haase hit his fourth home run in the top of the sixth.
Columbus cut Louisville’s lead to one run in the top of the seventh. Trayce Thompson hit a two-run single with the bases loaded.
VanMeter gained his fourth RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly in the eighth. Blake Trahan scored.
Mella was the winner(1-1), Shao-Ching Chiang was the loser, and Anthony Bass recorded the save.
Louisville moves to 6-7 overall. They look to at least split the four-game series with Columbus tomorrow. RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (1-0, 3.48) goes against LHP Sean Brady (1-0, 3.00). The game is at 11am and is Elementary School Day.