by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent
The Beloit Snappers took three out of four games from the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Milwaukee’s Midwest League affiliate, in their series this week at Pohlman Field in Beloit.
The matchup featured the only two minor league teams in the state of Wisconsin, and there’s always a lot of energy in the air anytime these two Dairy State rivals meet. Beloit came into the series just one game behind Wisconsin in the Midwest League Western Division standings and finished it one game ahead of their in-state rivals.
The Timber Rattlers currently possess the worst team batting average in the Midwest League, but one of the team’s top hitting prospects is catcher Mario Feliciano. The 18-year-old has put up an impressive .291/.365/.418 slash line, which is especially remarkable considering he is one of the youngest players in the Midwest League and he’s playing such a demanding position. Wisconsin’s top starter, RHP Trey Supak, started the second game of the series and threw 5 scoreless innings. The 20-year-old now carries a 1.76 ERA, placing him in the top ten in the Midwest League.
Game #1: Beloit 12 – Wisconsin 2
*Speedy outfielder Luis Barrera smashed a 3-run homer to right field in the 5th inning that was estimated to travel 440 feet!
*Center fielder Mike Martin and second baseman Nate Mondou both legged out hustle doubles in back-to-back at bats in the 5th inning. These are the type of plays that don’t show up in the box score, but these two players showed tremendous effort that also put extra pressure on the opposing team’s defense.
*The A’s #13 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, RHP Dakota Chalmers, continued to have unhittable stuff, in more ways than one. The 20-year-old struck out 8 and gave up just 1 hit, but he still walked 4 batters over 5 innings. And for the season, Chalmers has walked 29 batters in 29 innings. Learning to control his stuff will be the key for Chalmers’ development this season, and that will be something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
Game #2: Beloit 2 – Wisconsin 1 (7 innings)
*RHP Brandon Bailey, the A’s 6th-round pick in last year’s draft, turned in a strong 4 IP/3 H/0 ER/1 BB/5 K line in his second appearance since returning from the disabled list.
*Bailey has now pitched 16 consecutive scoreless innings and has a 2.32 ERA on the season. He joins LHP Dalton Sawyer and RHP Brendan Butler to form a formidable trio of starting pitchers for the Snappers.
*Two sacrifice flies were all the Snappers needed to win the game, the second of which, courtesy of third baseman Nate Mondou, drove in the game-winning run to help the Snappers win in a walk-off in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.
Game #3: Wisconsin 4 – Beloit 3 (7 innings)
*The A’s 12th-round draft pick last year, left fielder Luke Persico, did not record an official at-bat in the game. He drew a pair of walks and hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the Snappers’ first run in the 3rd inning.
*Second baseman Nate Mondou, normally a very cerebral player, uncharacteristically made two outs on the base paths; he was picked off and caught stealing in the loss.
*The 31st-round pick of the A’s in 2016, RHP Sam Sheehan, pitched 2 scoreless innings in relief. He has a unique 3/4-sidearm slot that would appear to be very tough on right-handed hitters.
*Beloit native Cameron Roegner made the start for Wisconsin, bringing a lot of family and friends out to the ballpark to see the hometown boy. He allowed just 1 run over 6 innings of work and left the game with a 3-run lead.
*With Roegner out of the game though, Beloit was able to battle back within a run in the bottom of the 7th. The Snappers put 2 runs on the board with the help of 4 walks by Wisconsin’s Braden Webb as well as a force out. Unfortunately, the Snappers weren’t able to come through with the big hit, or any hit for that matter, in the final frame and suffered a 1-run loss in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.
Game #4: Beloit 15 – Wisconsin 2
*Left fielder Luke Persico had a big game at the plate, going 4 for 6 with 2 doubles and 5 RBIs.
*Persico continues to smack line drives all over the diamond, with a 24.4 % line-drive rate. In 148 at-bats, he’s slashing .311/.366/.480 for the Snappers. And he’s done all that during the coldest months of the season in the chilly Midwest League, where conditions can often be brutal.
*A pair of Dominican-born players, center fielder Luis Barrera and first baseman Miguel Mercedes, both homered in the game. Barrera cracked a leadoff homer in the bottom of the 1st, while Mercedes hit his 8th of the season to straightaway center in the 8th inning.
*As Oakland’s 9th-round draft pick last year, there were some expectations for LHP Dalton Sawyer, and he’s more than lived up to them. Sawyer pitched 6 innings, giving up 2 runs while striking out 7 to earn his 4th win on Thursday. And for the season, Sawyer has an ERA of 2.00 with a brilliant batting-average-against of just .165.
*RHP Seth Martinez came on in relief and pitched 3 scoreless innings of 1-hit ball for Beloit. Martinez, a 17th-round pick last year, actually picked up a save in the game even though it was a 15-2 final score.
*Speedy outfielder Luis Barrera, known mainly for his ability to hit for average and his blazing speed, hit two home runs in the series. As previously mentioned, Barrera’s home run in the first game went an estimated 440 feet, which is the longest home run hit by a Snapper at Pohlman Field this season.
*Infielder Nate Mondou went 7 for 15 with a walk in the series, and his batting average is currently sitting at a team-leading .321.
*The Snappers outscored the Timber Rattlers 32-9 in the 4-game series, and it was one of the team’s most dominating series wins of the season.
A’s Prospect of the Series:
Outfielder Luke Persico
(5 for 8 / 2 Doubles / 3 Walks / 6 RBIs)
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