Moves by Eric Champion Yielding Positive Results for Grand Prairie AirHogs
Week in Review, June 15-21
Grand Prairie AirHogs manager Eric Champion has been tinkering with the club’s roster of late, and it is really starting to pay off as the AirHogs are getting more run production while still pitching well. The club won three of their five games they were able to get in this week and, most importantly, they won two one-run games, something that had been hurting the team early on in the season.
The Grand Prairie AirHogs took the first of the two games they were able to play. The club trailed 6-2 heading into the eighth inning, but scored five in the eighth inning to take a 7-6 lead. Amarillo tied the game in the ninth, but the AirHogs put one across the plate in the bottom half of the 10th inning to win 8-7. Zane Chavez drove in 3 runs on 2 hits, and Chris Elder scored 2, drove in 2 and had 3 hits. Zachary Dando earned his second win of the season.
Anthony Figliolia shut out Grand Prairie in the second game of the series, as the AirHogs lost 2-0. The final game of the series was rained out and postponed until June 29.
The AirHogs welcomed Trois-Rivieres Aigles from the Can-Am League for a three-game series. The Aigles won the first game of the season 6-1, giving Grand Prairie just one run in their last two games.
The second game of the series went extra innings, as Trois-Rivieres took a 1-o lead in the top of the first, and Grand Prairie tied it in the eighth. In the top of the 11th the visitors scored a run to take the lead, but in the bottom half of the inning Ridge Hoopii-Haslam hit a two-run walk-off home run to give the home team the 4-2 win. Hoopii-Haslam had 3 hits in the game.
The rubber match of the series saw a 2-2 tie head to the sixth where Grand Prairie plated a run to win the game 3-2. Victor Diaz drove home two runs and reached base three times (2 walks and his second home run of the season). Bennett Whitmore earned his first win of the year with eight outstanding innings of work and Dando recorded his second save of the season.
June 15 – Grand Prairie 8, Amarill0 7
June 16 – Amarillo 2, Grand Prairie 0
June 17 – Postponed, will be made up June 29
June 18 –Trois-Rivieres 6, Grand Prairie 1
June 19 –Grand Prairie 4, Trois-Rivieres 2, 11 INN
June 20 –Grand Prairie 3, Trois-Rivieres 2
Record: 9-19, 5th Place in South Division, 9.5 Games Out
Willie Cabrera continues to have a nice run since joining the club. He was 6-15 with a run, keeping his average above .400 (.467) since joining the Grand Prairie AirHogs.
On June 16, LHP Jeff Harvill was added to the roster. He has made two appearances since joining the club, and has yet to be scored upon in two innings of work.
Dando pitched three times during the week, earning a win and a save. In 3 innings, he allowed 1 walk, while striking out 1. He didn’t give up a run.
One day later infielder Trevor Harden was released. Harden had appeared in 15 games this season and had hit .189 with a home run and 2 RBI.
On June 19, the AirHogs signed RHP Colin Allen, who had just been released by Amarillo, and released OF Victor Ferrante. Ferrante was hitting .233 in 23 games at the time of his release. Allen has allowed just a walk and struck out three in his two innings of work since joining the club.
On June 20, the club announced that RHP Danny Gutierrez had signed with Laguna of the Mexican League. The right-hander had made five starts this season, and was 1-2 with a 2.57 ERA.
By Robert Pannier