Casey Harman Handcuffs Wichita Wingnuts in 3-2 Laredo Lemurs Win: American Association Playoffs
Laredo Lemurs left-hander Casey Harman had been challenged. His team trailed 1-0 in the best-of-five series. After Game 2 the two teams were moving to Wichita for the final three, and a loss on Thursday would have all but eliminated the team from contention. The Lemurs had battled back the night before to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, only to see the Wingnuts retake the lead on a controversial home run call in the top of the eighth. Harman was being called upon to turn the tide, and to lead his team with the outing of his life. Was he up to the challenge? You bet.
The left-hander had been 6-2 on the season in 17 appearances, 13 starts, but had given up 17 more hits than innings pitched. Where he really excelled was in his control, issuing just 12 walks in 84 innings pitched, yet the high hit total was the kind of thing that Wichita feasted on all year long, but not this night. Harman was on-fire from the start and he delivered an outing that enabled the team to even the series.
The Lemurs starter retired 9 of the first 10 batters of the game, only allowing a single to Jake Luce, who was caught trying to steal second. In the fourth inning Luce reached first again, this time walking. He would go no further. In the top of the fifth Abel Nieves singled to lead off the inning, but he too was caught trying to steal second base. Through five he had given up just two singles and a walk, and was just one over the minimum in the number of batters he had faced.
Meanwhile, the Lemurs staked the lefty to the early lead. Like the previous night, Denis Phipps scored in the first inning, this time not on a home run, but on a single by Byron Wiley to make it 1-0. In the third Travis Denker walked to lead-off the inning against Anthony Capra. One out later Bryon Wiley singled again and Devin Goodwin walked to load the bases. JP Ramirez grounded to third scoring Denker and increasing the lead to 2-0.
Capra wound up taking the loss for the Wingnuts and it was the walk that did him in. Both runners who scored reached base via the free pass and Capra walked six in all in five innings of work. He threw 105 pitches through five innings and 54 of them were for balls. After five his day was over.
In the sixth the Wingnuts finally had a runner reach second base. Chris McMurray singled. Chris McClendon hit into a fielder’s choice, but the throw to first went wild and McClendon reached second. That was as far as he would go.
In the bottom half of the inning Chris Peacock relieved Capra, but he got himself into trouble with the base on balls as well. Ramirez started the frame with a walk. Kyle Brandenburg singled one out later. Nick Van Stratten grounded into a fielder’s choice that put Ramirez at third. Denis Phipps then increased the lead to 3-0 with a single that scored Phipps. The insurance run proved to be quite necessary for the victory.
In the top of the seventh, Wichita finally got to Harman. Brent Clevlen walked with one out, and one out later Carlo Testa homered to pull the team within one. Interestingly enough of the five runs that scored, four of them were runners that had reached on a walk.
That was all the runs that Harman would allow however. The lefty gave up a single in the eighth, but he would allow no further runs. For the night he allowed just 5 hits in 8 innings, walking 2 and striking out 4. Caleb Graham relieved in the ninth and allowed a hit, but he struck out the last two batters to earn the save.
This was a huge victory for the Lemurs, as they had to have this win if they were going to have any shot in this series. The two teams move to Wichita Saturday night. RHP Jason Vank Skike will go for the Wingnuts against league ERA champion Cesar Carrillo.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA
- Winning Pitcher: 20 – Casey Harman
- Losing Pitcher: 35 – Anthony Capra
- Save Pitcher: 26 – Caleb Graham
- Date: 09/04/2014
- Start Time: 08:04 PM
- Duration: 3:31
- End Time: 11:35 PM
- Plate Umpire: Anthony Sheets
- Field Umpire #1: Trent Delmont
- Field Umpire #2: Shaun Hicks
- Field Umpire #3: Brandon Childe
- Location: Uni-Trade Stadium Laredo Tx.
- Attendance: 1135
|4||Van Stratten, N||CF||4||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
HR: C.Testa (1).
RBI: C.Testa 2 (2).
CS: J.Luce (1), A.Nieves (1).
Team LOB: 4.Fielding
A: A.Nieves (3), C.McClendon 2 (4).
PO: D.Espinosa 3 (7), B.Clevlen 2 (2), A.Nieves 2 (5), C.Testa 4 (6), V.Diaz 6 (14), C.McMurray 6 (14), C.McClendon (2).
TC: D.Espinosa 3 (7), B.Clevlen 2 (2), A.Nieves 3 (8), C.Testa 4 (6), V.Diaz 6 (14), C.McMurray 6 (16), C.McClendon 3 (6).
RBI: D.Phipps (2), B.Wiley (1), J.Ramirez (1).
Team LOB: 10.Fielding
A: T.Denker 3 (4), D.Goodwin 4 (7), C.Harman 2 (2).
PO: N.Van Stratten 2 (6), D.Phipps 3 (4), J.Alonso 11 (15), J.Ramirez 2 (5), C.Ramirez 6 (14), K.Brandenburg (1).
TC: N.Van Stratten 2 (6), D.Phipps 3 (4), T.Denker 3 (6), J.Alonso 11 (15), D.Goodwin 4 (12), J.Ramirez 2 (5), C.Ramirez 6 (16), K.Brandenburg (2), C.Harman 2 (2).
BF: A.Capra 24, C.Peacock 7, D.Bennett 3, C.Johnson 3.
P-S: A.Capra 105-51, C.Peacock 27-13, D.Bennett 11-6, C.Johnson 9-8.
BF: C.Harman 29, C.Graham 4.
P-S: C.Harman 106-65, C.Graham 18-12.