Prospect Watch: Solid Pitching Debuts for Ashcraft and Florez; Lolo Walks it off in Greensboro

Your daily Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch article for recaps of all of today’s games. Be sure to pick up your copy of the latest Prospect Guide in our store, available as an ebook or a limited edition paperback.

INDIANAPOLIS

Season preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher: Cody Ponce 2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO

Notable Performances:

Travis Swaggerty 0-for-3, BB

Cole Tucker 2-for-4, 3B, SB

Kevin Kramer 0-for-4, RBI

Will Craig 0-for-4

Game Recap: Indianapolis won 5-4 over Iowa, as Chris Sharpe and Troy Stokes Jr each homered for the first time this season. Sharpe’s homer was a two-run shot in the second inning that gave the Indians an early 3-0 lead. Starter Cody Ponce allowed solo runs in the second and third innings before being removed with 66 pitches and a man on base. Joe Jacques stranded the runner, then tossed a shutout fourth inning. Sean Poppen, fresh from his stint with the Pirates, allowed one run over two innings. Chasen Shreve and Geoff Hartlieb each tossed a scoreless frame, while Jandel Gustave recorded his second save, despite allowing a ninth inning run. Cole Tucker had his first two hits of the year, including a triple. He also recorded his first steal. Dustin Fowler had three walks and scored a run. The homer by Stokes was a pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning.

ALTOONA

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher: Noe Toribio 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO

Notable Performances:

Ji-Hwan Bae 0-for-5

Oneil Cruz 0-for-3

Mason Martin 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB

Rodolfo Castro 1-for-4, RBI

Canaan Smith-Njigba 2-for-4, 2B, RBI

Game Recap: Altoona lost 8-4 despite a late comeback attempt, leaving them 0-for-3 on the season. Noe Toribio started and gave up two earned runs over 3.2 innings on three hits, including two homers. Oddy Nunez allowed two runs on two hits and three walks in 2.2 frames. John O’Reilly allowed three runs on four hits and two walks in 1.1 innings. Shea Murray finally settled things down with 1.2 scoreless frames, striking out three batters. Daniel Amaral had quite the season debut, going 3-for-3 with two walks. Mason Martin and Canaan Smith-Njigba each had a single, double and an RBI. Brendt Citta had two hits and a run scored.

GREENSBORO

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher: Braxton Ashcraft 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO

Notable Performances:

Liover Peguero 2-for-4, BB, 2 SB

Lolo Sanchez 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, BB

Matt Gorski 2-for-5, RBI, 2 SB

Jared Triolo 1-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI, BB

Game Recap: Greensboro won 8-7 on a two-run walk-off homer from Lolo Sanchez with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. The first start for Braxton Ashcraft in full-season ball went well, with three shutout innings and three strikeouts. The bullpen had some issues afterwards. Grant Ford walked three batters and hit two others while recording just two outs in the fourth inning. Alex Manasa followed with three runs over 2.1 innings. Christofer Melendez didn’t do poorly, serving up a solo homer in his two innings of work, while striking out five batters. Will Kobos allowed a run on one hit and two walks in his one inning.

Greensboro had an early 5-0 lead in this game, but they trailed 7-6 going into the ninth before Sanchez’s heroics. Jared Triolo had the big hit in the first, collecting a two-run double. Matt Gorski got things started with an RBI single, which was followed by an error that made it 2-0, before Triolo’s double doubled the score. Triolo made it 5-0 with a third inning grounder to second base, which scored Gorski. In the seventh inning, Francisco Acuna drove in a run with his first double of the season. Liover Peguero had two hits, a run scored and two stolen bases.

BRADENTON

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher: Santiago Florez 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO

Notable Performances:

Jasiah Dixon 0-for-4, SB

Hudson Head 0-for-3, BB, RBI

Dariel Lopez 0-for-3, BB

Alexander Mojica 1-for-3, HBP

Eli Wilson 1-for-3, HR

Sergio Campana 0-for-3

Nick Garcia 3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO

Game Recap: Bradenton won 3-1 behind a strong start from Santiago Florez, who pitched four shutout innings on one hit, with no walks and seven strikeouts. Nick Garcia, last year’s third round pick, tossed three innings in his pro debut. He allowed a run on a hit and a walk, while striking out three batters. Steven Jennings closed out the win with two scoreless innings, giving up two walks, while striking out four batters. The big hit on offense was Eli Wilson’s third inning solo homer. The Marauders added two runs in the fifth on a ground out by Hudson Head and a passed ball that scored Jasiah Dixon. Will Matthiessen went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. Bradenton struck out 14 times in the games, as did Fort Myers.

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