Monday, March 2, 2015

Miami 7, FIU 2

Don Kelly and Reid Brignac each doubled and knocked in two runs as the Miami Marlins beat Florida International University 7-2 in an exhibition game on Monday.
Donovan Solano singled, walked twice and scored two runs for Miami.
FIU's Josh Anderson hit a two-run homer.

Detroit 12, Florida Southern 2

Andrew Romine, Manny Pina and Wynton Bernard each knocked in two runs and the Detroit Tigers beat Florida Southern College 12-2 in an exhibition game on Monday.
Right-hander Tim Melville struck out two in a hitless two-inning start and lefty Kyle Ryan picked up the win despite giving up two runs in two innings.
Junior outfielder Jhalen Jackson had an RBI double for the Division II Moccasins.
The Tigers begin Grapefruit League play on Tuesday against Baltimore.

FIU Baseball Drops Monday Afternoon Exhibition with the Miami Marlins, 7-2

The FIU baseball team took on the Miami Marlins in an exhibition on Monday afternoon from Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. The Panthers fell to the Major League Baseball team, 7-2.
 
FIU rattled off seven hits, including a mammoth home run by senior Josh Anderson over the left field fence in the fourth inning. The two-run shot produced the only scoring for FIU as Anderson went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Also notching hits in the game were freshman Jack Schaaf (1-for-3), senior Brian Portelli(1-for-3 with a run scored), junior Edwin Rios (1-for-3), freshman Mitchell Robinson (1-for-2) and juniorAustin Rodriguez (1-for-2).
 
Sophomore Williams Durruthy got the start and was saddled with the loss, allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits while striking out two in three innings of work. Freshman right-hander David Lee had a strong outing out of the pen, tossing three scoreless innings, allowing three hits. Junior left-handed hurler Brandon Diaz saw one and two-thirds inning of action, allowing one run on one hit. Freshman reliever Ian Expositorounded out FIU's pitching staff for the game, throwing a third of an inning with on strikeout.   
 
The Marlins jumped out to a 6-0 lead scoring one run in the first, two in the second and three in the third before Anderson's two run shot in the top of the fourth cut the deficit to 6-2. Neither team plated any runs until the Marlins scored one run in bottom of the eighth to take a 7-2 lead.
 
Miami scored seven runs on 12 hits with no errors and stranded 14 base runners. FIU notched two runs on seven hits and committed one error with five runners left on base. The Marlins threw nine different pitchers including starter Brad Hand, who had a 1-2-3 first inning and was credited with the win.
 
The Panthers will host the UConn Huskies in a three-game set this weekend. First pitch for the series opener on Friday, March 6, is set for 7:00 p.m.

Out of options, Hand keeping it simple

By choice, Brad Hand didn't give himself much of a honeymoon period. In fact, the Marlins' left-hander is literally going to take his honeymoon sometime in the offseason.
For now, it's all business for the 24-year-old. On Monday, two days after getting married, Hand started Miami's spring season off by throwing a scoreless first inning at Roger Dean Stadium in a 7-2 win over Florida International University.
Hand and his wife, Morgan, got married on Saturday in West Palm Beach. In a small ceremony, 26 immediate family members were invited.
"It just worked for everybody getting down here at the same time," Hand said. "We knew we didn't want to do some big wedding or anything. We wanted to do family only. Keep it simple. It worked out."
The keep-it-simple approach also worked out for Hand on Monday. Granted, he was facing college batters who used wooden bats. But Hand did his part.
In a perfect first inning, he had a strikeout and commanded his fastball. Of the nine pitches he threw, six were strikes.
"He threw strikes," manager Mike Redmond said. "These guys haven't been on the mound very much. I was happy with the way we went out and competed."
The jam Hand actually faces in camp is making the team.
Out of options, his situation is simple -- win a rotation spot. If not, Miami must make a decision. Hand could go to the bullpen, but that isn't necessarily his strength. The third possibility is a trade.
Hand's seven strong innings
The situation is pretty much the same as last year. Hand ended up making 32 total appearances, with 16 starts.
"I've got to go out there and pitch well and make them have to make a tough decision," Hand said. "All you can do is go out there and pitch well."
Last year, Hand was 3-8 with a 4.38 ERA. His career mark is 5-18 with a 4.42 ERA.
The Marlins' second-round Draft pick in 2008, Hand understands he can only control what he can control -- his performances.
"I feel like I made some good strides," he said. "Obviously, I was going back and forth from the bullpen to starting. I'm more comfortable starting, but I'm willing to do whatever they need. I think I made a lot of good strides moving into this year. Hopefully, it pays off."
If he is traded, Hand knows that is also part of the game.
"Mostly everybody's been through it," he said. "I've been with the Marlins ever since [I was drafted]. I know I'm not going to spend my whole career here. It's part of baseball."

Marlins get first taste of pace of play clock

Picking up the pace was not an issue for the Marlins in their exhibition opener on Monday at Roger Dean Stadium. What surprised the team was that the between-innings clock was implemented for a game against Florida International University.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond became aware the clock was in play when it immediately started the two-minute, 25-second countdown after the third out of the top of the first.
Miami was under the impression the clock would first be used on Thursday in its Grapefruit League opener against St. Louis. But the club was able to get a head start on speeding things up in its 7-2 win over FIU.
"I didn't know they were doing it in these games until I saw it up there," Redmond said. "I knew we were doing it in [Grapefruit League] games."
The clock is attached to the bottom of the scoreboard in center field, and Redmond joked it was hard to miss.
"I saw it right away," he said. "It's kind of hard to miss. I was checking out the 50/50 [drawing] to see what we can get it up to, and then I happened to notice the shot clock."
The clock began counting down from 2:25 immediately after the third out of each frame. Overall, the Marlins had little issue getting ready to pitch or hit.
"I thought all of our guys were in there with 30-40 seconds left," Redmond said. "If it was during the season, we would have been waiting to start that inning. I thought it was fine for not really paying much attention to it.
"The biggest adjustment for hitters will be staying in the box when you take a pitch. I don't think we have any guy on our team that really gets way out of the box and walks around. So that will probably be the biggest adjustment."
The clock wasn't the only thing in play on Monday:
• Don Kelly, in the mix for a bench spot, went 1-for-2 with an RBI double and two runs batted in. Kelly is a non-roster invitee who bats left-handed and can play outfield and first base.
• Catcher Jhonatan Solano started behind the plate and helped bring home a pair of runs without the benefit of a hit.
• Prospect Justin Nicolino struck out two in the fourth inning, but he gave up a two-run homer to Josh Anderson.
• Another top prospect, Jose Urena, will start on Thursday against the University of Miami at Roger Dean Stadium. 

Mocs Hold Fourth Inning Lead, Before Falling to Detroit Tigers in Annual Exhibition Game

Florida Southern scored two runs in the fourth inning to take a 2-1 lead over the Detroit Tigers in its annual exhibition game here Monday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium, but the Tigers would answer with six runs in the bottom of the third en route to posting a 12-2 victory over the Moccasins. 
It was the first time the Mocs had scored a run against the four-time defending AL Central Champions since 2012 when they fell 12-1 to the Tigers. Detroit had shutout out the Mocs the last two seasons as they posted an 11-0 win in 2013 and a 12-0 win last season. Monday's game was the 29th all-time meeting in the series that began in 1979.
"It is special playing the Detroit Tigers. I'm definitely thankful that the Tigers and the city of Lakeland still allow us to play the game," Moccasin head coach Lance Niekro said following Monday's contest. "Odds are, not many of these guys will ever get the chance to even have the opportunity to move onto the next level. This game in general, being able to do it once a year, it's fun for us to come out and be on the same field as these guys."
Junior Ben Richardson (Orlando, Fla.), who got the start on the mound for the Mocs, retired Ian Kinsler, Jose Iglesias and J.D. Martinez in order to open the game. In the second inning, sophomore Craig Savage (Apopka, Fla.) retired Yoenis Cespedes, Rajai Davis and Nick Castellanos in order. 
"I wanted to throw another inning. To get the first one (out) is great, and once the next batter steps in the box, it's a completely different game," Richardson said about his 1-2-3 first inning. "This is something that all of us will always remember (playing the Tigers). We get to do it every year and a lot of teams around the country never get to do it. It's something special."
In the third, Detroit would score the game's first run as they took advantage to two Savage walks, a fielder's choice and a run scoring single by Andrew Romaine. Romaine's single made the score 1-0.
The Mocs, though, would respond in the fourth inning off of Detroit reliever Kyle Ryan as they recorded two hits and scored two runs to take a 2-1 lead. In the inning, senior third baseman Chris Dennis (Rockledge, Fla.) led off with a single and would score one batter later on an RBI double to left center by junior rightfielder Jhalan Jackson (Winter Haven, Fla.). Jackson would then move to third on a groundout by junior first baseman Blake Swann (Live Oak, Fla.) and scored the game's second run on a groundout by junior designated hitterDominic Brugnoni (St. Clair Shores, Mich.). 
"I was going to ask (Detroit manager) Brad (Ausmus) if he didn't mind if we just stopped the playing then and we could get the win," said Niekro with a chuckle when asked about his team taking the lead in the fourth inning. "It's all in good fun, though."
Detroit, though, would come roaring back in the bottom of the fourth as they sent 10 hitters to the plate and scored six runs off of senior hurler Austin Barnett to take a 7-2 lead. In the inning, Barnett walked two and allowed five hits in the inning, including run scoring doubles by James McCann and Hernan Perez. 
Barnett allowed five hits and six runs in the fourth inning, while walking two and striking out none to earn the loss.
In the fifth, the Mocs put its first two runners on base thanks to back-to-back walks issued by Omar Duran, before Duran got out of the jam by inducing senior leftfielder Kyle Richards (Groton, Conn.) to hit into a double play and then getting junior centerfielder Sam Machonis (Tampa, Fla.) to line out to short to end the inning. 
The Tigers pushed its lead to 8-2 in the fifth inning as Austin Green was hit by pitch from senior Casey Eskew (Sarasota, Fla.) with the bases loaded. 
Detroit's lead increased to 9-2 in the sixth ininng thanks to an RBI single off the bat of pinch hitter Wynton Bernard off of junior hurlerJason Carmichael (Cape Coral, Fla.), who made his season debut in Monday's game. 
The Tigers would complete the scoring in the seventh inning as they sent eight hitters to the plate and recorded five hits and scored three runs, including scoring the 10th run of the game on a wild pitch from Moccasin junior pitcher Stephen Brooks (Glen Allen, Va.).
For the game, the Mocs got five hits from five different players as in addition to Dennis and Jackson, the other Moccains hits were recorded by senior second baseman Trevor Freeman (Shalimar, Fla.), senior catcher Joey Miller (Sarasota, Fla.) and senior shortstop Casey Eddinger (Crawfordville, Fla.).
Miller's single in the third was the first hit of the game for either team. 
Ryan, who is an Auburndale, Fla., native, was the winning pitcher for the Tigers as he pitched two innings and allowed three hits and two runs, while walking one and striking out one.
Tim Melville started on the mound for Detroit and the 6-foot-4 righty, who pitched in Double A last season with Northwest Arkansas, threw two hitless and scoreless innings and struck three of six batters he faced.
The Tigers finished the game with 15 hits as they hit three doubles and drew seven walks from seven Moccasin pitchers. Avery, Bernard and Arvicent Perez each had two hits for Detroit as those three players went a combined 6-for-6 at the plate with three runs scored. 
On the day, the Mocs used seven pitchers as in addition to Richardson, Savage, Barnett, Eskew, Carmichael and Brooks, sophomore A.J. Smith (Melbourne, Fla.) pitched a scoreless eighth inning. FSC's pitchers combined for seven walks and two strikeouts on the day.
The Tigers seven pitchers combined to record 11 strikeouts and three walks in the game that took a little under three hours to play. 
FSC will return to action this coming Wednesday, March 4 as they travel to St. Augustine for a 6 p.m. non-conference game at Flagler. 

Phillies get 'cobwebs out' in spring-opening exhibition loss

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg downplayed the end result Sunday afternoon at Bright House Field.
The Phillies scheduled an exhibition against the University of Tampa, which is the No. 1 Division II baseball team in the country. The club wanted to give its younger players and non-roster invitees some work against the wide-eyed kids before opening the Grapefruit League season Tuesday against the Yankees.
Philadelphia lost to the amateurs, 6-2.
"Well, you know," Sandberg said, asked if it was embarrassing to lose to a college team, "it kind of shows where we're at as far as seeing players and workouts and seeing the work that needs to be done. I think it just emphasizes that."
Chase UtleyRyan HowardCarlos Ruiz and other Phillies veterans never touched the field, but the youngest player on the field for the Phils (Odubel Herrera, who was born Dec. 29, 1991) was older than every player on the Spartans. They also have years of professional experience in the Minor Leagues.
In a twist, the Spartans took the lead in the seventh inning with a big assist from Andrew Amaro, the nephew of Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. The Spartans first baseman worked a bases-loaded, two-out, nine-pitch walk against right-hander Nefi Ogando to score the tying run.
"It was one of my coolest baseball games ever," said Amaro, who is from Bensalem, Pa., and attended Penn Charter. "Obviously my name means something in the Philadelphia area. It was just cool to go out there and compete and have a pretty good game against my favorite hometown team."
Amaro said there was no trash talking with his uncle leading up to the exhibition.
"My uncle said he didn't even know about the game until four days ago," he said.
Right-hander Hector Neris replaced Ogando, but served up a grand slam to Giovanny Alfonzo to give the Spartans the four-run lead.
"That was awesome," Amaro said. "Giovanny is on Cloud 9. He said that was the coolest experience of his life."
It wasn't for the Phillies.
"You just get some of the cobwebs out," Sandberg said. "It kind of shows after some practices where we're at on certain things."

No. 1 Spartans Defeat MLB's Philadelphia Phillies

The No. 1 University of Tampa Spartans baseball team defeated Major League Baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies contest in an exhibition, Sunday afternoon. Senior Giovanny Alfonzo smashed a game-winning two-out grand slam in the top of the seventh to propel the Spartans to victory.
Tampa entered the game with a record of 13-1, and although the win does not affect their NCAA record, the Spartans made history.
The victory stands as the first time an NCAA-sanctioned team has defeated an MLB team since the Division I University of Miami Hurricanes defeated the Florida Marlins (now the Miami Marlins) in 2011.
The Sunday afternoon game marked the opening for 2015 Spring Training and signaled the first game played by a Major League Baseball team this spring. It served as an exhibition game for the Spartans, who are currently the No. 1 team in NCAA Division II. UT has an overall record of 13-1 this season.
Junior RHP David Heintz started on the mound for the Spartans, tossing four complete innings and allowing just one earned run. The starter allowed four hits and two walks, striking out two.
Junior righty Dylan Barrow appeared on the mound first in relief, allowing two hits in two innings pitched. He earned the win in the exhibition.
Junior lefty Michael Calkins appeared for the seventh and eighth innings, allowing no hits and striking out one.
Righty Zac Favre and LHP Kevin Martin tag-teamed to close out the bottom of the ninth for the Spartans, allowing no hits and no runs. Martin earned the save in the outing, his first of the year.
On the day, Tampa’s pitching staff allowed just six Phillies hits, stranding ten runners on base and striking out six.
Both teams were quiet offensively through the first inning, and it was the Phillies who jumped on the board in the bottom of the second to take the lead. Philadelphia strung together a double and two singles before closing out the at-bat with a two-run lead.
Neither team scored during the next three innings, but Tampa came out swinging offensively in the top of the sixth inning. Senior Andrew Amaro led off the inning with a one-out outfield single, and stole second to give the Spartans a runner in scoring position. Senior Giovanny Alfonso then answered the call, sending a single to centerfield that scored Amaro to give Tampa their first run of the contest.
The top of the seventh featured an exciting outing for the Spartans, as Tampa came out in full force to take a 6-2 lead. Junior Ty Cooler led off the inning with a pinch-hit one-out single to centerfield, stealing second to give Tampa a runner in scoring position. One out later, junior pinch hitter Joe Walsh took first base on a walk. Senior pinch hitter Brett Joes then responded with a two-out infield single to load the bases, and all runners advanced on the next walk to Andrew Amaro, which tied the game at 2-2. With the bases still loaded, senior Giovanny Alfonzo blasted a homerun over the leftfield fence to propel the Spartans to a four-run lead. It was the defining score of the game.
Collectively, No. 1 Tampa recorded eight hits in the victory. Andrew Amaro, Giovanny Alfonso,Stephen DezziTy CoolerNick Tindall, and Brett Jones each registered hits against the MLB team, while Alfonso racked up five of the six RBI.
The UT baseball program is no stranger to big games, having traveled to Cuba to play some of the top teams in Cuba in January of 2014. The Spartans also defeated The Netherlands national team, 7-6, in a game prior to the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
Tampa will get back to NCAA action on Wednesday, March 3 when they host the visiting Lake Erie College Storm at UT Baseball Field.