Friday Five: Kleinknecht Pitches His Way To Victory
Today is week two of the Friday Five. Each Friday we will take a look back at the last week of the season and highlight some of the best performances of those we have featured on our website. We hope you enjoy this new edition to the site as we follow these players as they chase their way to the major leagues.
Infielder Kleinknecht Pitches The Mississippi Braves To 16 Inning Victory
On April 15th the Mississippi Braves squared off against the Jackson Generals. The Braves got off to a 3-0 lead but the Generals tied it up with three runs in the sixth inning of the game. Ten more innings would pass before a run was scored, a pinch hit game winning home run by Braves prospect Ian Gac. While Gac’s home run was a huge part of the story in this epic 16 inning game, not to be lost is the performance of Braves infielder Barrett Kleinknecht who pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win for the Braves.
“I honestly didn’t think I would get the opportunity to pitch in pro ball, it definitely has crossed my mind a few times but I never thought I would actually get the opportunity”. Kleinknecht said when we caught up to him a few days after the game. “Earning the win was a pretty cool feeling but honestly it was just nice to win after a 5 hour baseball game against a really good team whether I was pitching or not”.
Kleinknecht did not just get on the mound and throw at the catcher’s mitt “I thought about mixing in all my pitches from college but I decided to stick with the three that gave me my success in college; fastball, cutter, change-up” Kleinknecht said in regards to the pitches he through.
During his final year at FMU the right hander put up some impressive numbers going 6-1 with an ERA of 1.74. Now he has his own impressive pitching line at the AA level, 1-0 with an ERA of 0.00. In his 2 inning pitched he also recorded strike outs of 2 Jackson Generals, Denny Almonte and Gabriel Noriega.
Thomas Sparks Pawtucket In Return From DL
Second Baseman Tony Thomas returned from the seven-day disabled list on April 15 and has been a spark for the Red Sox. In only his second day back on the diamond Thomas made a big impact at the plate, hitting two home-runs off Syracuse pitcher Tanner Roark. In that game the Red Sox went on to defeat the Chiefs 4-3. Pawtucket is currently riding a four game win streak. In the four games since Thomas has returned he is hitting .294 with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs.
Brigham Shuts Down Springfield For Victory
In Brigham’s lone start since last Friday he earned his first victory of the season in a 6-2 victory over the Springfield Cardinals. Brigham pitched a strong 5 innings only allowing 2 earned runs and striking out four Cardinals batters. For the season Brigham is now 1-0 in his two starts. He has struck out eight in 11 innings pitched and opposing batters are hitting just .211 against the right hander.
Selik Dominate In The Potomac Bullpen
In his last three outings covering the course of 3 2/3 innings, Nationals relief prospect Cameron Selik has only allowed one hit while striking out five opposing batters. In his most recent outing on April 16th, the right hander earned his first victory of the season against the Frederick Keys. Carolina League batters are hitting just .176 off of Selik for the season when his name has been called upon out of the Nationals bullpen.
Vettleson Hits First Home Run In Hot Rods 22 Run Explosion
On April 15th, The Bowling Green Hot Rods and Lake County Captains squared off in what ended up being a wild high scoring affair. After nine innings where complete the Hot Rods defeated the Captains 22-12. Drew Vettleson, who originally had the day off for the Hot Rods entered the game late as a pinch runner but managed to get two at-bats in at the plate. He ended the day a perfect 2-2 with 5 RBI and hit his first home run in a Hot Rods uniform. In the game the Hot Rods set franchise records for runs (22), games (23), and home runs (6).
Vettleson is currently off to a solid start for the Hot Rods batting .289 for the season while driving in nine runners in 38 at bats.
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