Friday, July 27, 2012

Game 33: Bluefield Blue Jays at Princeton Rays

Listen live right here and check out the @BluefieldJays Twitter page for mid-game updates


BLUE JAYS (15-17)

1 Jorge Vega Rosado 2B
2 Christian Lopes SS
3 Dwight Smith Jr. CF
4 Santiago Nessy C
5 Seth Conner 1B
6 Matt Dean 3B
7 Dickie Joe Thon DH
8 Jacob Anderson RF
9 Nico Taylor LF

RHP Jeremy Gabryszwski (1-0, 1.50)

RAYS (17-18)

1 Brandon Martin SS
2 Reid Redman 2B
3 Andrew Toles CF
4 Willie Argo RF
5 Ariel Soriano DH
6 John Alexander 1B
7 Oscar Hernandez C
8 Darryl George 3B
9 James Harris Jr. LF

LHP Blake Snell (3-1, 0.84)


BROADCAST INFO: Listen live right here for Blue Jays pregame at 6:50. The games are also carried on local radio on WKEZ 1240 AM The Rooster Classic Country

WEATHER: 77and partly cloudy. We had a huge storm roll through in the early afternoon, but it's long gone

UMPIRES: PLATE Jordan Albarado  FIELD Jeremie Rehak

ABOUT LAST NIGHT...: The Bluefield Blue Jays turned what was a tight game for five innings into a laugher. Matt Dean belted his first professional home run in the fifth inning to start a 4-for-4 night in which he drove in three and scored twice in the Jays’ 9-2 win over the rival Princeton Rays at Hunnicutt Field on Thursday. Bluefield leads the best-of-11 Mercer Cup series four games to two. The two sides exchanged unearned runs in the first inning. Christian Lopes scored for the Jays in the top half on an interference error by third baseman Daniel Duran. Princeton evened the score in the bottom half when Brandon Martin reached on a Dean throwing error and scored on Ariel Soriano’s groundout. Bluefield starter Kevin Comer cruised along after the first, retiring nine in a row and 11 of 12. The Rays rallied against him after Dean’s homer and tied the game in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Duran. Princeton was poised to take the lead when they loaded the bases with only one out, but Comer struck out Andrew Toles and set down Soriano on a fly out to preserve the tie. The Jays busted out in the sixth inning with a four-run rally ignited by Santiago Nessy’s homer, his fourth of the season. Everything else came with two outs against lefty Chris Kirsch. Seth Conner singled and Jacob Anderson was hit by a pitch. Dean singled to score Anderson before Dennis Jones, making his Bluefield debut after a call-up from the Gulf Coast League, doubled in two runs to make it a 6-2 game. Bluefield wasn’t done as they scored two more in the eighth on an RBI double from Anderson and another run-scoring hit from Dean. They tacked on one more in the ninth on a Dwight Smith Jr. ground out. The Anderson-Dean-Jones bottom third of the lineup combined to go 6-for-11 with a homer, two doubles, six runs batted in and four runs scored. Griffin Murphy was brilliant again in relief for the Baby Jays. Just as he did on Friday night, the southpaw worked a scoreless sixth, seventh and eighth with three strikeouts. Julio Carmona pitched around a leadoff walk in the ninth to finish the game.

VS. THE RAYS: The Blue Jays won three of the first five games in this year’s Mercer Cup series. The Rays and Jays split two one-run games in Bluefield before the third game was rained out. Jeremy Gabryszwski and Griffin Murphy combined for a shutout in Princeton on Friday, then the two clubs split a doubleheader at Bowen Field on Saturday. The Blue Jays defeated Princeton in seven of 11 games last year to win the Mercer Cup. They took three of four in Princeton from June 30 to July 3 before dropping a July 4 meeting at home, 5-4. Princeton won two of three at Bowen Field at the end of July in a set that included a doubleheader split. So the Mercer Cup was tied 4-4 with three games to play in Bluefield on August 9-11. The Jays won 6-2, then Deivy Estrada pitched five shutout innings the next night to win the clincher and keep the Rays from retiring the Cup.


RHP JEREMY GABRYSZWSKI: It was deja vu for right-hander Jeremy Gabryszwski on Friday. After shutting out the Twins on four hits in a season-high five innings in his previous start, the 19-year-old out of Crosby, TX did it again at Princeton on Friday. He teamed with lefty reliever Griffin Murphy on a five-hit shutout in a critical Mercer Cup game. He was taken in the second round of last year’s draft, splitting time between the Gulf Coast League and Bluefield. After four and one-third scoreless innings in three GCL games, Gabryszwski moved up to the Appy League on August 29, turning in a shutout inning of relief at Danville. He relieved twice in the postseason for the Jays, allowing two runs in four and two-thirds innings. A graduate of Crosby High School, he had committed to play college ball at Lamar before signing with Toronto.

LHP BLAKE SNELL: In a pairing of two of the Appalachian League’s best pitchers, 19-year-old left-hander Blake Snell gets the ball for Princeton. He ranks second in the circuit in ERA (0.84) and batting average against (.157) while his 0.87 WHIP is fourth-best. Burlington southpaw Colin Rodgers leads in all three categories with eye-popping numbers (0.73, .113, 0.65). In 32.1 innings he has struck out 36 batters, five off the league lead. Snell faced the Jays in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, tossing five shutout innings while striking out six and allowing only three hits. He was matched zero-for-zero by Tucker Jensen before Bluefield rallied against the bullpen to win it. With eight and two-thirds shutout innings of one-hit ball and 13 strikeouts over his first two games in 2012, he earned Appy League Pitcher of the Week honors. He was home-schooled until his senior year at Shorewood High School in Washington, when he posted a 1.00 ERA and 118 K’s in 56 innings. That made him Tampa Bay’s supplemental first-round pick in 2011, 52nd overall and one ahead of Bluefield CF Dwight Smith Jr. He went 1-2 with a 3.08 ERA in 26.1 innings in the Gulf Coast League last year.

DEAN’S LIST: Bluefield third baseman Matt Dean broke out in a big way in last night’s win. He set a new 2012 team high with four hits, including his first professional home run, and knocked in a career-high three runs. After a second-inning single, the Highland Village, Texas native belted an opposite-field, tie-breaking solo homer in the fifth. Up 3-2 in the next inning, he singled home Seth Conner during a key two-out rally. He delivered another two-out run-scoring hit in the eighth that helped put the game out of reach. A 13th-round draft pick last year, Dean was ranked by Baseball America as Toronto’s 11th-best prospect before the 2012 season. He struggled out of the gate in his first 15 games as a professional, hitting only .189. He’s turned it on of late, hitting .333 (11-33) with seven runs scored and seven runs batted in over his last 11 contests.

WELCOME ABOARD: Two players saw their first action as a Bluefield Blue Jay in last night’s win. Left fielder Dennis Jones was called up from the Gulf Coast League on Saturday and after starting 0-for-2 last night, he stroked a key two-out two-run double into the left field corner to give Bluefield a 6-2 lead. Jones was a 20th-round selection in this June’s draft out of Hillsborough Community College in Tampa. He got on base at a .365 clip in 17 games in the GCL to earn his call-up to the Appy League. The other new addition is first baseman Jordan Leyland, a ninth-round pick in this year’s draft. He swapped places with Art Charles, who was called up to Short Season-A Vancouver. He played first and batted fifth in his first Bluefield game last night, going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.

Bluefield Blue Jays Game Notes 7-27

Check out the @BluefieldJays Twitter page for mid-game updates

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