Trois-Rivieres Aigles Struggling to Get Airborne Early
Week in Review, June 19-25
The Trois-Rivieres Aigles have found themselves playing a lot of international baseball this week. The club finished their three-game set with the Grand Prairie AirHogs in Texas last weekend, then returned home to play the traveling Japanese All-Star team, before beginning a four-game stretch with the Kansas City T-Bones.
After winning last Thursday’s game against the Grand Prairie AirHogs, the Aigles dropped the final two games of the series. They were both close games, but Trois-Rivieres’ inability to score more than two runs in either contest was pivotal in the losses.
In Game 2 of the series, it was tied through regulation, sending it to extra innings. The Aigles scored a run in the top of the 11th, but the AirHogs got a two-run homer by Ridge Hoopii-Haslam to win the game in the bottom half of the inning. Mike Bradstreet pitched brilliantly for Trois-Rivieres, allowing just 2 hits and 1 run in 7.2 innings pitched.
The final game of the series was another pitchers’ duel as Bennett Whitmore outpitched Ryan Bollinger in a 3-2 Grand Prairie victory. Bollinger allowed just 6 hits in 7 innings pitched.
The club went back home to face Shikoku Island, the traveling Japanese All-Star team. In the first game of the series Shikoku Island scored six runs combined in the second and third innings to take a four-run lead, and then held on for a 9-6 lead. Steve Brown went 3-4 with 2 runs and 4 RBI, including his third home run of the season.
In the second game of the series the club broke their three-game losing streak, downing the All-Star team 10-4. This game was actually a lot closer than the score would indicate. The Aigles scored four in the fourth to take a 1-0 lead, but Shikoku Island battled back to tie the game in the top of the eighth. In the bottom half of the inning, Trois-Rivieres plated six to take a commanding lead, and won 10-4. Daniel Mateo was 2-3 with a run and 4 RBI. He hit his second home run of the season.
In the rubber match of the series, the Aigles jumped out to a 6-0 lead, scoring four in the bottom of the seventh. Jose Cuevas went 2-5 with 2 runs and 2 RBI. Mateo had three hits and 2 RBI.
The Kansas City T-Bones came to town for the first game of their four-game series. They jumped out a 4-2 lead, but gave up three unanswered runs to fall 5-4. Cuevas added two more hits and 2 RBI.
June 19 – Grand Prairie 4, Trois-Rivieres 2
June 20 – Grand Prairie 3, Trois-Riveres 2
June 21 – Off
June 22 – Shikoku Island 9, Trois-Rivieres 6
June 23 – Trois-Rivieres 10, Shikoku Island 4
June 24 – Trois-Rivieres 6, Shikoku Island 1
June 25 – Kansas City T-Bones 5, Trois-Rivieres 4
Record: 13-16, 4th Place, 6 Games Out
Jose Cuevas had an outstanding week, going 9-23 with 3 runs and 6 RBI. He also added 3 doubles and raised his average from .253 to .281.
Mike Bradstreet did not get a decision in either of his starts, but that was not his fault. The right-hander pitched 13.2 innings, allowed just 7 hits and no walks, while allowing 3 earned runs to score. He also struck out 10 batters. It was good to see Bradstreet turn things around after struggling in his three prior starts.
June 21, the club released RHP Jerry Gil. The right-hander appeared in two games, allowing 4 earned runs in 1.2 innings.
Two days later RHP Kaohi Downing was signed to a contract. Downing has appeared in two games, allowing 2 runs in 2 innings pitched.
On June 25, RHP Matt Rusch went on the disabled list and RHP Kevin Thomas was released. Thomas had made five starts. He was 1-2 with a 6.94 ERA.
By Robert Pannier