Scoreboard

Triple-A: Columbus Clippers 6, Louisville Bats 3

Double-A: Akron RubberDucks 5, Binghamton Mets 4

High-A: Lansing Lugnuts 8, Lake County Captains 1

Low-A: Lynchburg HIllcats 16, Potomac Nationals 3

HIGHLIGHTS

Jhonkensy Noel (Lynchburg, 1B): 3-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SF – Noel, who was not only playing his first game in a full-season league, but also his first professional game outside of a development complex, definitely looks like he belongs in Low-A based on his Opening Day performance. It’s only one game, but if this is any sort of preview of coming attractions, his name will be one you hear a lot more of.

Xzavion Curry (SP, Lynchburg): ND, 4 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP – The Tribe’s seventh-round pick from the 2019 draft shone in his professional debut, a hit batter representing the only blemish on a stellar, albeit short, outing, His remaining starts this season are sure to be must-watch games for Hillcat (and Captain?) fans and Indians prospect enthusiasts alike.

THE BEST OF THE REST

Ben Gamel (Columbus, LF): 3-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 SB – Gamel started his Triple-A season with a three-hit Opening Day effort. Whether it’s enough to earn him a return to Progressive Field is still an open question.

Ryan Lavarnway (C, Columbus): 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI – Both of the Clippers’ multi-hit efforts, accounting for five of their nine hits, came from veterans.

Gabriel Arias (SS, Columbus): 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K – Arias didn’t get a hit after the opening frame, but his first-inning line-drive homer to right capped off a five-run first that would be all the scoring the capital city nine would need and was enough to make him the most impactful position player prospect in the Clips’ return to the field.

Kirk McCarty (SP, Columbus): W (1-0), 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R (both earned), 3 BB, 1 HR allowed – McCarty was solid, if not spectacular in his first game above High-A. Not bad for a guy who skipped Double-A (Yes, I’m aware the Alternate Site existed. I’m also aware it was a substandard substitute for the development value of real minor league game action.).

Blake Parker (RP, Columbus): S (1), 1 IP, perfect, 3 K – Another veteran, but an immaculate inning for the Opening Day save is too impressive to overlook.

Tyler Freeman (Akron, SS): 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 K – Freeman had the only multi-hit effort on a mostly quiet night for the bats of the Mallards of Main Street.

Oscar Gonzalez (Akron, LF): 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 K – Gonzalez started the rain-delayed opener with a hat trick. None of that mattered, however, when he hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the RubberDucks the win in a game they had never lead up until that point.

Justin Garza (Akron, RP): 1 IP, 2 BB, 1 K – Despite some control issues, Garza hurled a scoreless frame in his Double-A debut.

Jake Miednik (Akron, RP): 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K – Miednik was also impressive in his first outing for the ‘Ducks.

Bryan Lavastida (C, Lake County): 2-4, 1 SB – Lavastida was one of the two offensive stars of a rough night for the Captains’ bats.

Brayan Rocchio (Lake County, SS): 2-4, 1 SB, 1 K, 1 E – The other Br(a)yan in the lineup was the other, complete with a nearly identical stat line.

Thomas Ponticelli (Lake County, RP): 4 IP, 2 H, 5 K – Ponticelli was stellar in long relief after Hunter Gaddis’ disastrous full-season debut (3 IP, 7 H, 7 R [4 ER], 2 BB, 1 HR allowed, 2 HBP).

Micah Pries (Lynchburg, DH): 2-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 HBP – A two-run homer in the second highlighted a stellar professional debut for the 13th-round selection from two seasons ago.

Christian Cairo (Lynchburg, 2B): 2-4, 3 R, 2 BB, 1 K – A three-run game is a good way to start one’s first full professional season (played in the Arizona League in 2019 after being selected in the fourth round).

Johnathan Rodriguez (Lynchburg, RF): 3-6, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K – Rodriguez, who was a member of the final professional Mahoning Valley Scrappers squad in his most recent competitive season, also had a huge night in the Hillcats Opening Day blowout victory.

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