So this one's on me. I was out enjoying Father's Day with my old man and didn't write this, so this going to be a special 4-game edition. A few top stories:
- Billings roster is out already, and it's a doozy so far. It's highlighted by last year's #1 pick Robert Stephenson, but the Mustangs pitching staff will boast interesting names like Wes Mugarian, Lucas O'Rear, Sal Romano, Ismael Guillon, Alejandro Chacin, and Drew Cisco. On offense, Gabriel Rosa and Jesse Winker lead the team, but on paper this like it'll be a successful year for the boys in Billings.
- Congratulations are in order to the Bakersfield Blaze, who clinched their division title for the 1st half of the season, guaranteeing them a playoff place.
- Pitching performance of the weekend: Pensacola's Daniel Corcino, who pitched 8 innings of no-hit ball, striking out 6 and walking 3 against Mobile. It's about time he put himself on the map this year, as he's been having a quietly pretty good season. Great numbers going under the radar? Does that sound familiar?
- Hitting performance of the weekend: Bakersfield's Juan Duran, who went 3-for-4 with 3 runs scored, a double, and 2 solo homers on Saturday against Lake Elsinore.
- Louisville split their series, winning 2 and losing 2. They lost 4-1 Friday despite a good start by Chad Reineke and 2 hits by Dioner Navarro. They bounced back to win 11-5 on Saturday behind 3 hits from Felix Perez. They lost 7-4 on Sunday as Pedro Villarreal got rocked. Monday was much better, as they won 9-2 behind 5 Sean Gallagher innings and 16 hits overall. Up next: Ryan Feierabend takes on Scranton at 7:05.
- Pensacola won 2 of their 3 to head into their all-star break. J.C. Sulbaran put up 5 1/3 innings of 1-run ball with 6 strikeouts to win 3-2. Saturday, of course, you already heard about, but Daniel Corcino pitched 8 no-hit innings to give way to Wilkin de la Rosa, who finished off the effort with a no-hit 9th in a 6-0 win. David Vidal homered in this one too. They were on the other end of a 10-0 drubbing on Sunday, but managed to get 3 hits. Kyle Lotzkar and Chris Manno got the brunt of it, combining to give up 8 runs. Up next: The Southern League All-Star game is tonight. Ryan LaMarre and Didi Gregorius will be representing the Wahoos in the starting lineup, and Josh Fellhauer, Daniel Corcino, and J.C. Sulbaran will be acting as reserves. Should be a good one.
- Bakersfield split their two games before their break. They lost 8-4 on Friday behind 2 homers by Juan Duran. They won 8-7 on Saturday, as Billy Hamilton stole 5 bases to bring his total to 80 at the All-Star break. Seriously. Up next: California vs. Carolina ASG today, with Billy Hamilton representing the Blaze in the starting lineup and pitchers Chad Rogers and Brian Pearl set to appear in relief.
- Dayton won 2 of their 3 games heading into their break. They won 9-3 on Friday, behind homers from Steve Selsky, Junior Arias, and Juan Silva. Tanner Robles' rough start meant that they got shelled 11-2 on Saturday. They won 5-3 on Sunday behind a solid start by Stalin Gerson and a homer by Joe Terry. Up next: All-Star game is today, with Ryan Wright the only Dragon being represented.
- Billings got their clocks cleaned on their season debut, 13-3 to Missoula. Wes Mugarian gave up 3 runs in 4 innings, and Joel Bender gave up 8 less than 2 to really break it open. Batting 3rd, this year's supplemental first rounder Jesse Winker got his first pro hit and RBI, and Gabriel Rosa was 1-for-4 too. Up next: Robert Stephenson is scheduled to make his first pro start against Missoula. First pitch at 9:05 ET, tune into that one.