Alexandria Beetles: Second season starts

The road-weary Beetles were once again tested in extra innings Sunday, just hours removed from a 10-inning win in Battle Creek. Alexandria, after traveling through the night and arriving in Rochester at 7 a.m., hung on for a 4-3, 10-inning win at...

Sean Olenek
Sean Olenek (left) slid safely into third with a triple for the Beetles Tuesday afternoon as Alexandria shutout Duluth.

The road-weary Beetles were once again tested in extra innings Sunday, just hours removed from a 10-inning win in Battle Creek. Alexandria, after traveling through the night and arriving in Rochester at 7 a.m., hung on for a 4-3, 10-inning win at Mayo Field. Austen Siwiec (Valparaiso) worked 3.2 innings in relief, picking up his league-best fifth win of the season. Nick Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton) took the loss, giving up a pair of runs in the tenth inning.  Kevin Vangheluwe (Michigan) earned his first save of the year, striking out Rance Roundy (UNLV) to end the ballgame.

Alexandria jumped out in front in third inning, plating an unearned run on a two-out infield single by Mikel Alvarez (FGCU). Rochester responded in the home half of the fifth, posting an unearned run of their own on a PJ Sequeira (Oral Roberts) RBI single.

The tie game didn't last long though, as Jayson Langfels (Eastern Kentucky) launched his second homer of the season in the top of the sixth, a solo blast over the right-center field wall.

Both starters were pulled after six innings with the Beetles leading 2-1. Matt Fyffe (Eastern Kentucky) gave up four hits and one unearned run while walking four and striking out six. Bret Mitchell (MSU-Mankato) left trailing, giving up five hits and an earned run while walking one and striking out three.

Rochester would answer in the eighth against Siwiec. A leadoff error put the tying run aboard, and after a walk, back-to-back sacrifices led to the second run of the game. However, both ball clubs missed key opportunities to hang crooked numbers. Alexandria left seven runners stranded (five in scoring position) while Rochester left nine stranded (five in scoring position).


In the 10th, Alvarez drew a leadoff walk against Ramirez. After a Harry Austin (Elon) sacrifice bunt, Keith Castillo drove in his second 10th inning RBI in as many nights. With the Beetles back in front by a run, Castillo broke for third as Langfels struck out. Sliding in safely, the ball was mishandled by third baseman Danny Pulfer (Oregon), allowing Castillo to score a run that would prove to be the game winner.

In the home half, the Honkers racked up three singles by the first four batters, plating the third run of the game. But, with runners on first and second and one out, Rochester put on the double steal. Tim Roberson (FGCU), who pinch-hit in the tenth, threw out potential base-stealer Scott Berke (UNLV).

After Siwiec walked the next batter to fill first base, Roundy came to plate with a chance to walk off. Kevin Vangheluwe entered and, after working ahead of the heavy hitter, got him to swing through a breaking ball, ending the game.

Beetles push

past Bombers in 10

The Alexandria Beetles stole tonight's game from the Bombers, winning 6-4 in extra innings. Trailing 4-1 in the top of the ninth, the Beetles tied the game with four singles and a sacrifice bunt. In the 10th, a two-out single by catcher Keith Castillo (USC) brought in the go-ahead run, splitting the series 1-1.

The Bombers' offense got things going in the second, loading the bases with nobody out. However, Beetles starter Mitch Handley (North Alabama) forced the Bombers to ground into a double play, escaping the early threat, giving up only one run.

The Beetles would tie it up in the fifth, as Wes Patterson (Tennessee-Martin) hit a two-out solo shot onto the fan deck in left. The Bombers would respond in the bottom half of the inning. After the leadoff man lined out to short, the Bombers loaded the bases again. This time, the Beetles were unable to turn a double play, and the Bombers took a 3-1 lead. The Bombers would add on what seemed to be an insurance run in the seventh, but the night was far from over.


In the ninth, Trevor Edwards (UNC-Greensboro) led the inning off with a pinch-hit single. Mikel Alvarez (Florida Gulf Coast) followed suit with a bunt single, and catcher Keith Castillo drove in a run on a single to center. Castillo would later score the tying run as the Bombers attempted to capture shortstop Jayson Langfels (Eastern Kentucky) in a rundown.

In the 10th, Bombers' closer R.J. Hively (Cal State Fullerton) would walk two batters, setting the stage for Keith Castillo to shine. After working the count full, Castillo grounded a single through a hole on the right side of the infield, driving in the go-ahead run. Castillo ended the night 4-for-5 with two RBI and one run scored.

Alexandria relief pitcher Matt Miller (Michigan) did an excellent job shutting down the Bombers in the late innings. Miller entered the game in the eighth and pitched three innings of one-hit baseball. Miller would strike out seven batters, striking out the side in both the seventh and the eighth innings, and record his second victory of the season.

Beetles drop second-half opener

Taking a four-game winning streak into Battle Creek, the Beetles forgot to bring their bats to the park, as the Bombers knocked off Alexandria 4-1 in the second-half opener. Chase Porch (North Alabama) was the tough-luck loser for the Beetles, falling to 2-4 after going 7.1 innings in the start. Porch gave up all four runs, three earned, while walking five and striking out four. The win went to James Jones who improved to 4-0. Jones worked seven innings, allowing just the one run while walking one and striking out five on four hits.

Battle Creek jumped ahead early, taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a bases loaded ground out. In the third, leadoff batter Alan Denman bounced a pitch down the left field line. It rattled around in the corner long enough for the speedy Denman to round the bases for an inside-the-park homerun, his first homer of the season.

Alexandria mounted their only threat in the sixth inning. With one out, Hary Austin laid down a bunt single. Then, Mikel Alvarez singled into left field. After Keith Castillo walked to load the bases, Tim Roberson knocked in Austin with a sacrifice fly.

Battle Creek responded with a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, proving to be plenty of support for R.J. Hively, who struck out the side in the ninth, earning his seventh save of the season.


Beetles close out half with fourth straight win

Curtis Hudson (Elgin CC) won his Beetles debut on Thursday night, tossing six scoreless innings as Alexandria completed the sweep of Waterloo, winning 5-1. Jerod Wagoner took the loss for the Bucks, falling to 0-3 on the season.

The Beetles led from start to finish, taking a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Wagoner started the game by setting down the first 11 batters he faced. Then, Keith Castillo lined a base hit into right field and Tim Roberson doubled to right. With two out and a two-strike count, Jayson Langfels delivered a base knock into left.

In the bottom of the fourth, Waterloo responded with a Christian Griffiths double to start the inning. Then, after a sacrifice bunt, Josh Lyon hit a fly ball to right field. Griffiths tagged up but Tyler Mills threw a two-hopper to the plate to cut down the runner.

Mills' big night was just beginning.

In the seventh, with runners on the corners and two out, Mills picked up his first hit as a Beetle, a two-RBI double to left field. Again in the ninth in a 3-1 ballgame, Mills drove another two-RBI double to right field, cushioning the lead for his Wolverine teammate Matt Miller who picked up his third save of the season.

Mills finished the game 2-4 with two doubles and four runs batted in.

In his debut, Hudson went six innings, allowing only four hits and no runs, while walking two and striking out five.  In the losing effort, Wagoner tossed seven innings, giving up five hits and three runs, walking two and striking out three.

Alexandria 5, Waterloo 1

Alexandria's recent road success continued on Wednesday as the Beetles handed Waterloo their fourth straight loss. Bryce Uhrig picked up his second win of the year, tossing seven innings of one-hit ball.

Injuries plagued the night, as two players were forced to leave the game early. Just one out into the game, Bucks starting pitcher Rick Dodridge took a line drive off his lower leg. The lefty walked one and gave up three straight singles before leaving after just one-third inning of work, but Waterloo was able to tie the game in the bottom of the first, pulling Dodridge off the hook.

In the sixth inning, Vance Albitz took a fastball to his face and had to leave the game. Albitz' condition is unknown at this time, but it appears unlikely he will play on Thursday.

C.J. Rose came on in relief and threw well through four innings for the Bucks, but ran into trouble in the fifth. Trevor Edwards led off with a walk and, after a Mikel Alvarez bunt single and pair of groundouts, Keith Castillo came through with a two-out, two RBI single. Tim Roberson followed with an RBI double, and the Beetles had opened up a 4-1 lead. Alvarez finished the night a perfect 4-4 with a walk. He scored twice and drove in one.

The Bucks couldn't find an answer all evening long against Uhrig. At one point, the righty faced 19 straight batters without allowing a hit. Tyler McKendree pitched the last two innings of the game in a non-save situation, giving up three singles but no runs.

Alexandria 8, Duluth 0

For the second time this year, a Beetle has gone the distance and shut out Duluth. On Tuesday, it was Nick Brown tossing all nine innings, giving up just three singles in the game. Brown struck out six and walked none in the outing, earning his second win in as many tries. Justin Leith took his second straight loss against the Beetles, allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings of work.

While Duluth was held at bay all afternoon long, Alexandria quietly built a lead. In the third inning, Sean Olenek drilled a triple into left field - his first extra base hit of the season - and later scored on a Marcus Semien RBI single. In the fourth, a leadoff walk came around to score on a Jayson Langfels groundout.

Langfels would add an RBI double in the sixth, pushing the lead to 3-0.

In the seventh, the Beetles would double their lead to 6-0, taking advantage of two Chance Brull passed balls and a Zach Walters error. Langfels would come through with his second double of the game to plate one run, and Tim Roberson finished a 3-3 day with a two RBI single.

Alexandria would add two more in the eighth on a pair of sacrifice flies, and Brown set down the side in order in the ninth to finish his spectacular start.

The win assures the Beetles of a winning record in the first half and is the ninth win in the last eleven games.

The first half comes to an end in Waterloo this week as the Beetles open up a two-game set from Riverfront Stadium against the Waterloo Bucks. It's the first trip to Iowa since June of 2007.


ALEXANDRIA 001 001 000 2 4-8-2

ROCHESTER 000 010 010 1 3-8-2

PITCHING - Matt Fyffe 6IP-4H-1R-0ER-4BB-6SO; Austen Siwiec,WP, 3.2IP-4H-2R-1ER-2BB-1SO; Kevin Vangheluwe 0.1IP-0H-0R-0ER-0BB-1SO.

HITTING - Mikel Alvarez 1-4, 1 run, 1 rbi, 1bb; Keith Castillo 2-5, 1 run, 1 rbi; Josh Langfels 2-5, 1 run, 1 rbi; Wade Patterson 1-3, 1 run, 1 bb; Brendan Alvey 2-4.

ALEXANDRIA 000 010 003 2 6-8-1

BATTLE CREEK 010 020 100 0 4-9-1

PITCHING - Mitch Handley 6IP-6H-3R-1ER-3BB-0SO; Tyler McKendree 1IP-2H-1R-1ER-0BB-0SO; Matt Miller, WP, 3IP-1H-0R-0ER-1BB-7SO.

HITTING - Harry Austin 1 bb; Trevor Edwards 1-1; Mikel Alvarez 1-3, 2 runs, 1 bb; Keith Castillo 4-5, 1 run, 2 rbi; Josh Langfels 1-4, 1 rbi; Wade Patterson 1-4, 1 run, 1 rbi; Tyler Mills 1 run, 1 bb; Sean Olenek 1 bb.

ALEXANDRIA 000 001 000 1-5-0

BATTLE CREEK 011 000 020 4-5-1

PITCHING - Chase Porch, LP, 7.1IP-4H-4R-3ER-5BB-4SO; Kevin Vangheluwe 0.2IP-1H-0R-0ER-0BB-0SO.

HITTING - Harry Austin 2-4, 1 run; Mikel Alvarez 1-4; Keith Castillo 2 bb; Tim Roberson 1 rbi; Josh Langfels 2-4.

ALEXANDRIA 000 100 202 5-8-2

WATERLOO 000 000 010 1-6-1

PITCHING - Curtis Hudson, WP, 6IP-4H-0R-0ER-2BB-5SO; Matt Fyffe 1IP-0H-0R-0ER-1BB-1SO; Tyler McKendree 0.2IP-2H-1R-1ER-1BB-1SO; Matt Miller,S, 1.1IP-0H-0R-0ER-0BB-3SO.

HITTING - Keith Castillo 1-4, 1 run; Tim Roberson 2-4; Josh Langfels 2-4, 1 run, 1 rbi; Brendan Alvey 1-3, 1 run, 1 bb; Wade Patterson 1 run, 1bb; Marcus Semien 1 run, 1bb; Tyler Mills 2-4, 4 rbi.

ALEXANDRIA 100 030 010 5-12-2

WATERLOO 100 000 000 1-4-3

PITCHING - Bryce Uhrig 7IP-1H-1R-0ER-2BB-4SO; Tyler McKendree 2IP-3H-0R-0ER-0BB-1SO.

HITTING - Mikel Alvarez 4-4, 2 runs, 1 rbi, 1 bb; Vance Albitz 1-4; Keith Castillo 2-5, 1 run, 2 rbi; Tim Roberson 2-5, 2 rbi; Josh Langfels 1-4; Chase Porch 1-5; Diallo Fon 1-4, 1 run; Trevor Edwards 1 run, 1bb.

DULUTH 000 000 000 0-3-1

ALEXANDRIA 001 101 320 8-10-0

PITCHING - Nick Brown 9IP-3H-0R-0ER-0BB-6SO.

HITTING - Harry Austin 1-4, 1 bb; Marcus Semien 1-4, 1 run, 1 rbi; Vance Albitz 1 run; Keith Castillo 1-3, 3 runs, 1 bb; Tim Roberson 3-3, 2 rbi, 1 bb; Chase Porch 1 run, 1 bb; Josh Langfels 2-4, 1 run, 2 rbi; Wade Patterson 1 rbi; Sean Olenek 2-3, 1 run.

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