Beetles split fourAlexandria took one of two from both Duluth and Rochester
By: By Andrew Tichy Beetles' Director of Media Relations, Alexandria Echo Press
The Alexandria Beetles split outings with both Rochester and Duluth last week. They had Sunday night off.
Beetles, Huskies split twinbill
In game one, Duluth got 5.1 innings of three-hit ball from RJ Fondon (Florida International) and the Huskie offense exploded for six runs in the seventh inning, plenty of support to knock off the Beetles 8-2 in game one of the rain-induced doubleheader. Curtis Hudson (Elgin CC) took his first loss of the season, despite giving up just two runs on nine hits in five innings.
Each club exchanged runs in the second inning, before Duluth took the lead for good on an Andy Burns (Kentucky) RBI single.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Beetles mounted their biggest threat of the night, loading the bases with only one out. However, Fondon would settle back into a groove, striking out Tim Roberson (FGCU) and Ben Kuhlmann (Wisconsin-Whitewater) to end the inning. In the sixth, a Chase Porch double play ball ended a threat that featured runners at first and second with one out.
In the seventh, Duluth put the game on ice, sending t10 batters to the plate against Kevin Vangheluwe (Michigan) and plating six runs. Four Huskie doubled, including a three-RBI double by Pete Cappetta (Illinois).
Roberson would chip in his franchise record 18th double of the season in the home half of the inning, plating a run, but the damage had been done as Duluth picked up an 8-2 win.
In game two, Mitch Handley (North Alabama) squared off against Tyler Clark (Missouri) in a game-two pitchers duel. Handley mowed through the Huskie order while Clark struck out five batters through two innings in a 2-1 win.
Despite going hitless through two innings, the Huskies took a 1-0 lead on a walk, stolen base, ground out, and fielder’s choice at the plate.
The Beetles responded with the tying run in the home half of the third. After Mike O’Neil (USC) doubled and Mikel Alvarez (FGCU) singled to left field, Roberson bounced into a double play, scoring O’Neill from third.
Meanwhile, Handley was on fire, allowing one hit in the outing, a two-out single in the third inning. Handley retired the last 13 batters he faced, and walked just one while striking out six in the winning effort.
In the bottom of the seventh, Brodie Brumley (Harding) relieved, looking to send the game to extras. But leadoff batter Chase Porch (North Alabama) drew a walk and, after a Marcus Semien (Cal) sacrifice bunt, Brendan Alvey (Navarro JC) singled to left field.
With runners on the corners, Mike O’Neill (USC) was intentionally passed to load the bases. Mikel Alvarez (FGCU) stepped to the plate with a chance to drive in the winning run, but walked instead to end the ballgame.
The split puts the Beetles just 2.5 games back with nine games remaining. After an off day on Sunday, the Beetles returned to action on Monday with the first of two at Mankato.
Big fourth inning paces lopsided win
One night removed from being on the wrong end of a blowout, the Beetles responded, scoring a season high 19 runs on 18 hits in an impressive 19-10 thumping of the Rochester Honkers. Mike O’Neill (USC) paced the Beetle offense, finishing the night 3-5 with four runs and four RBI. Erik Johnson (Cal) picked up the win despite struggling through five innings. Drew Gagnon (Long Beach State) was roughed up in three innings of work. Gagnon, who has now dropped two games against the Beetles, gave up seven runs (five earned) with four walks and his first five wild pitches of the season.
Scoring started early and often, with the Honkers actually jumping out to a 2-0 lead after half an inning. But the Beetles were able to answer with two of their own in the home half. Then, three more in the second inning.
And, for good measure, Alexandria’s Keith Castillo (USC) launched a two-run homer in the third, and the Beetles then opened up a 7-2 lead.
But they were just getting started.
Danny Brock (St. Louis), who had an excellent night at the plate, moved from DH to the mound in the fourth. But on this night, it didn’t matter who was throwing. The Beetles were flat out hitting.
The frame started with a pair of singles. After a ground out, a string of five straight singles brought in four runs. O’Neill then drove in the dagger with a bases-clearing, three RBI triple. A walk and Tim Roberson (FGCU) double plated the eighth run of the inning, all earned and charged to Brock.
In the fifth, Rochester answered with a Brock RBI double, but the Beetles countered with three in the home half.
The Honkers would add three home runs late against reliever Tyler Mills (Michigan), but despite a 10-run, 16-hit performance, Rochester still fell nine runs short.
Honkers blow out Beetles 11-3
Rochester led from start to finish Wednesday night, taking advantage of two first inning errors to post an early three-run lead. The Honkers would tack on six more in the fourth inning on six hits, batting around against Porch.
The Beetles had little to answer with, getting their only three runs in the bottom of the fourth, two on an RBI single by Sean Olenek (Mercer).
Jeff Burleson (Oral Roberts) countered for the Honkers and, with plenty of run support, went six very good innings, not allowing an earned run in the winning effort.
DULUTH 010 000 000 1-1-0
ALEXANDRIA 001 000 100 2-6-0
PITCHING – Mitch Handley, WP, 7IP-1H-1R-1ER-1BB-6SO.
HITTING – Mike O’Neill 2-3, 1 run, 1 bb; Mikel Alvarez 1-2, 1 rbi, 2 bb; Trevor Edwards 1-3; Chase Porch 1-1, 1 run, 2 bb; Brendan Alvey 1-3.
DULUTH 010 100 600 8-15-3
ALEXANDRIA 010 000 100 2-4-1
PITCHING – Curtis Hudson, LP, 5IP-9H-2R-2ER-1BB-2SO; Kevin Vangheluwe 2IP-6H-6R-6ER-2BB-1SO.
HITTING – Mike O’Neill 1 run, 1 bb; Mikel Alvarez 1-3; Tim Roberson 1-4, 1 rbi; Keith Castillo 1-2, 1 bb; Marcus Semien 1 run, 2 bb; Chase Porch 1-3, 1 run; Tyler Mills 1 bb.
ROCHESTER 200 021 032 10-16-3
ALEXANDRIA 232 830 010 19-18-1
PITCHING – Erik Johnson, WP, 5IP-6H-4R-4ER-3BB-2SO; Bryce Uhrig 2IP-4H-1R-1ER-0BB-0SO; Tyler Mills 2IP-6H-5R-5ER-2BB-1SO.
HITTING – Mike O’Neill 3-5, 4 runs, 4 rbi, 1 bb; Mikel Alvarez 2-3, 1 run, 3 rbi, 1 bb; Tim Roberson 4-5, 2 runs, 2 rbi, 1 bb; Sean Olenek 1 run, 1 bb; Ben Kuhlmann 1-4, 2 runs, 1 rbi, 2 bb; Keith Castillo 3-5, 3 runs, 4 rbi, 1 bb; Trevor Edwards 2-4, 2 runs, 1 rbi, 2 bb; Chase Porch 2-5, 1 run, 1 rbi; Marcus Semien 1-4, e runs, 2 bb.
ROCHESTER 300 600 020 11-11-1
ALEXANDRIA 000 300 000 3-6-3
PITCHING – Chase Porch, LP, 4IP-7H-9R-6ER-2BB-2SO; Tyler McKendree 3IP-2H-0R-0ER-0BB-2SO; Kevin Vangheluwe 1IP-2H-2R-2ER-0BB-2SO; Matt Miller 1IP-0H-0R-0ER-2BB-2SO.
HITTING – Mike O’Neill 1 bb; Mikel Alvarez 1-4; Tim Roberson 1-4, 1 run, 1 bb; Keith Castillo 1-4, 1 run, 1 bb; Ben Kuhlmann 1-3, 1 bbb; Josh Langfels 1 run; Sean Olenek 1-2, 2 rbi, 2 bb; Tyler Mills 1-4.