by Ryan Christoffersen / A’s Farm Beloit Correspondent
The Beloit Snappers split a 4-game series with the Clinton LumberKings, the Mariners’ Midwest League affiliate, that concluded this Sunday at Pohlman Field in Beloit.
It’s been a rough year for the LumberKings, and nothing sums it up better than the fact that they’re currently on their third manager this season after their first two skippers resigned.
Beloit, meanwhile, continues to battle with the Peoria Chiefs for a Midwest League Western Division playoff spot.
Game #1: Beloit 4 – Clinton 1
*LHP Kyle Twomey allowed no earned runs in 5 innings of work. And in 15 ⅔ frames over his last 3 starts, Twomey has given up just 1 earned run. During that stretch, he’s lowered his ERA almost a full run to 4.15 for the Snappers.
*Left fielder Josh Vidales, the A’s 28th-round pick in 2016, reached base in all 4 of his plate appearances. The 24-year-old had 3 singles and a walk and also drove in a run for the Snappers.
*Second baseman Jesus Lopez cracked a line-drive home run to left field with two outs in the bottom of the 2nd inning to put Beloit on the board. It was his 1st home run of the year for the Snappers.
*Lopez struggled last season, putting up a slash line of .193/.256/.262 between Beloit and Vermont. The native of Nicaragua came back this season with a couple of changes. He’s grown his hair out and, more notably, he’s abandoned switch hitting and is hitting strictly from the right side now. Lopez has looked good this season in his second stint with the Snappers. He’s currently slashing .313/.356/.422 for Beloit, and at just 20 years old, there’s still plenty of time for improvement.
Game #2: Beloit 4 – Clinton 2
*Matt “The Burn” Milburn had another solid outing for the Snappers, giving up just 1 run and striking out 6 in 5 innings of work. The A’s 29th-round pick in 2016 has shown some real swing-and-miss ability, as evidenced by his 8.8 K/9 rate.
*RHP John Gorman worked 1 ⅔ scoreless innings to close out the game and earn his 1st save for the Snappers. He’s proved to be a great addition to the Beloit bullpen. In 16 ⅓ innings for the Snappers, Gorman has compiled a 1.10 ERA and an excellent 20/1 K/BB ratio.
*Both designated hitter Kyle Nowlin and second baseman Jesus Lopez went 3 for 4 with a double, an RBI and a stolen base for the Snappers.
Game #3: Clinton 5 – Beloit 4
*First Baseman Miguel Mercedes went 2 for 3 with a walk. He hit a double and a towering home run to center field, his team-leading 16th of the year.
*RHP Xavier Altamirano battled through 5 innings without his best stuff. His final line was 5 IP/9 H/4 ER/1 BB/2 K.
*The Snappers put a run on the board in both the 8th and 9th innings but still came up short, stranding the tying run on third base in the bottom of the 9th to end the game.
Game #4: Clinton 4 – Beloit 2
*LHP Zack Erwin gave up 2 runs while striking out 6 in 5 innings of work. After three terrific pitchers (Dalton Sawyer, Brendan Butler and Brandon Bailey) were promoted from Beloit to Stockton this season, Erwin has become the ace of the Snappers pitching staff in the second half.
*RHP Joseph Camacho, signed as an undrafted free agent after last year’s draft, struck out 4 in 3 scoreless innings of relief. He’s compiled a 3.07 ERA with a 23/5 K/BB ratio in 29 ⅓ innings for the Snappers this season. Thus far, Camacho has looked like a real find by the A’s scouting staff.
*RHP Sam Sheehan, a 31st-round pick by Oakland in 2016, had a rare bad day on the mound. He surrendered 2 runs in the top of the 9th to suffer his 1st loss for the Snappers.
*Nowlin has made some immense strides in his hitting as well as his play at first base this season for the Snappers. While he doesn’t possess great range, Nowlin has learned how to better scoop out throws in the dirt. And he’s come on strong at the plate of late, putting up a slash line of .307/.409/.473 for the Snappers in the second half.
A’s Prospect of the Series:
Left Fielder/Second Baseman Josh Vidales
(7 for 16 / Triple / Walk / 4 RBIs / Stolen Base)
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