Courtesy of RedWingsBaseball.com
By Nick Sciarratta and Collin Hetherington
Zack Littell was sharp in his Triple-A debut, helping the Rochester Red Wings to an 8-0 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs Saturday afternoon at Frontier Field.
Lehigh Valley threatened in the second after Wings starter Littell allowed a pair of walks to begin the frame. The righty then settled in, sitting down the next three batters to come to the plate to end the top half of the inning.
A two out rally in the bottom of the second against IronPigs starter Tom Eshelman allowed Rochester to jump out to an early lead. After Taylor Featherston and James Ramsey singled, Featherston stole third to put runners on the corners. Sean Miller blooped a single between first and right field, scoring Featherston to give the Wings an early 1-0 lead. Jermaine Curtis followed up by singling for the second time of the game, scoring Ramsey to extend the lead to 2-0 after the inning.
Littell, in his Red Wings and Triple-A debut, surrendered a two-out walk in the fourth after retiring the previous eight batters. Joey Meneses followed up with a double, putting runners on second and third. The two out rally was stopped short after Littell struck out Andrew Pullin to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Featherston walked to begin the inning. After Ramsey singled, Featherston moved to third. The throw to third was cut off and thrown to second where Ramsey caught himself in a rundown. During the play, Joey Meneses was called for obstruction after running into Ramsey, which put men on second and third with no outs.
Two batters later, Curtis was intentionally walked, loading the bases with one away. Leonardo Reginatto singled, scoring both Featherston and Ramsey to give Rochester a 4-0 lead. With Jake Cave at the plate, a passed ball allowed both Curtis and Reginatto to move into scoring position. Cave wrapped a double around the first base bag, bringing the runners in to score, increasing the Rochester lead to 6-0. After Kennys Vargas singled, an error by Pullin allowed for both Vargas and Cave to reach scoring position. Brock Stassi was then intentionally walked, loading the bases for Willians Astudillo with one away. Astudillo flew out which allowed Cave to score, making it 7-0.
Littell went 6.0 innings, allowing no runs on two hits, while striking out six and walking four. Littell threw 98 pitches, 57 were for strikes. Alan Busenitz took over on the mound in the top of the seventh.
Featherston hit his second homer of the season in the seventh inning against Eshelman, making the score 8-0. Eshelman finished with a line of 6.1 innings pitched, with 12 hits and eight runs (six earned) allowed. Eshelman walked four, struck out two, and threw 102 pitches – 71 for strikes.
Busenitz struck out four and allowed a hit in two scoreless relief innings. John Curtiss pitched the ninth inning, allowing a hit, a walk, and wild pitch but worked around the jam to keep the shutout intact.
Cave had three hits, and Curtis, Featherston, and Ramsey each had a pair of hits.
The homestand concludes with a 1:05 p.m. game Sunday, another Bark in the Park game, a Knot Hole Kids’ Club game, plus kids can run the bases with Spikes and Mittsy after every Sunday home game.