Preps Talk

On The Farm: Ciolli Drives In Seven For Kannapolis; Young Tosses Gem at Bristol

On The Farm: Ciolli Drives In Seven For Kannapolis; Young Tosses Gem at Bristol

Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010
Posted: 10:20 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com

WHITE SOX Kannapolis A
Nick Ciolli drove in a career best seven RBIs on Wednesday evening as the Intimidators drubbed Lexington, 13-1, at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium.

Ciolli had three of Kannapolis 15 hits, including a fourth-inning grand slam that broke open what was still a relatively close game. He already had an RBI single in the third inning before coming to the plate in the fourth and later added a two-run single in the seventh.

I was just trying to keep fueling the fire, said Ciolli, who had a five-RBI game on July 27 against Asheville. We had a lot of rhythm going tonight and I was just trying to get everyone going, get some momentum going. I was just trying to get a couple of extra RBIs here and there.

I was just trying to go up there and get the next guy up in the fourth. I had been watching him and he came in with a fastball and followed up with a curve and I guessed curve and picked it up knee high and got it out of the park.

Daniel Wagner also had three hits and drove in a pair while John Spatola added a homer and two RBIs.

It made for an easy night for Cameron Bayne 12-9, who won his sixth consecutive start. Bayne allowed a run in 6 23 innings.

Bristol Rookie
Robert Young is beginning to pitch more like a top-10 selection in the draft that someone who was chosen in the 31st round. Yet, thats where the White Sox took him in June. But over the last two weeks Young has made the Chicago front office look very smart.

He was brilliant again on Wednesday night as Bristol defeated visiting Bluefield, 5-1. Young 3-3 earned his third consecutive victory, allowing an unearned run in six innings while scattering only four hits. The former Dartmouth star struck out a career high eight and has a 0.36 ERA in his last four starts 24 23 innings.

Qualon Millender had two hits and two RBIs.

Winston-Salem A
Lynchburg and the Dash traded shutouts Wednesday evening as the two teams split a doubleheader at Lynchburg City Stadium.

Winston-Salem took the opener, 5-0, as Dylan Axelrod went the distance, scattering seven hits and striking out eight. Axelrod 7-2 has a 0.75 ERA in his last five starts, a stretch of 36 innings.

The Dash hit four homers with Ken Williams, Seth Loman, Jason Bour and Kyle Shelton going deep.

The Hillcats returned the favor in the nightcap, scoring in the sixth inning to pick up a 1-0 victory. Brandon Kloess 1-2 took the loss.
Peoria A
The Chiefs split a doubleheader with Cedar Rapids, dropping the opener, 6-3, before rallying to win the nightcap, 10-5, at OBrien Field.

Peoria scored nine first-inning runs in the second game mostly as a result of three errors committed by the Kernels. Hak-Ju Lee had a pair of hits in the inning, including a two-run single, while Justin Bour had a two-run double. Jose Guevara also had a two-run double.

Luis Liria picked up the win despite allowing four runs in three innings. Bour had two hits and two RBIs in the opener. Ryan Searle took the loss after surrendering six runs on 11 hits in 4 23 innings.

In other action, Birmingham dropped an 8-5 decision at Carolina. Dale Mollenhauer had a homer and three RBIs. RHP Jeff Sues was promoted to Birmingham from Winston-Salem prior to the game. Gwinnett downed visiting Charlotte, 9-6. Kyle McCulloch started and allowed seven runs in five innings, giving up a pair of homers in the process. Brent Morel went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Pitchers Lucas Harrell Erick Threets were recalled by Chicago prior to the game.
CUBSDaytona A
Evan Crawfords sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth lifted Daytona by Clearwater, 2-1, on Wednesday at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Cubs, who have won three in a row, picked up a half game on first-place Tampa, which split two games with Brevard County.

The Cubs loaded the bases in the ninth before Crawford lofted a fly ball to right field off Jon Velasquez. Crawford scored on a wild pitch in the third inning after the Threshers had taken a 1-0 lead in the first.

Robert Whitenack started and went the first five innings. Chris Siegfried then pitched three one-hit innings before Jeff Beliveau worked a scoreless ninth for the win.
In other action, West Tenn scored a ninth-inning run and bested Tennessee, 5-4. Kyle Smit, whom the Cubs acquired from the Dodgers in July, suffered his first loss with the Smokies. LHP Jeremy Papelbon came off the disabled list prior to the game and started, allowing a run in three innings. Brett Jackson had a solo homer for the Smokies. LHP Luke Sommer 2-2, 2.23 was promoted to Iowa.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Show Roundup

IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Show Roundup

CLASS 1A

Revealing the Class 1A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 1A Bracket

CLASS 2A

Revealing the Class 2A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 2A Bracket

CLASS 3A

Revealing the Class 3A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 3A Bracket

CLASS 4A

Revealing the Class 4A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 4A Bracket

Predicting Class 1A-4A

CLASS 5A

Revealing the Class 5A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 5A Bracket

CLASS 6A

Revealing the Class 6A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 6A Bracket

CLASS 7A

Revealing the Class 7A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 7A Bracket

CLASS 8A

Revealing the Class 8A Bracket

Analyzing the Class 8A Bracket

Class 7A and Class 8A Predictions

 

In ugly home opener, Lauri Markkanen gives a glimmer of hope

In ugly home opener, Lauri Markkanen gives a glimmer of hope

Keeping the game simple is often a tough task for rookies entering the NBA, but it seems Lauri Markkanen has been a quick learner in that aspect.

Through two games he’s probably the lone bright spot, especially after the Bulls’ cringe-inducing 87-77 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in their home opener at the United Center.

Jumper not falling? Okay, go to the basket.

“It wasn’t falling so I tried to get to the rim a couple times,” Markkanen said. “At the end, I was like let’s do it and I connected on a 3-pointer, I felt more open just because I was at the rim. I think that helped.”

He was asked what the difference was in the second game of his career compared to the first.

“I mean the crowd was chanting for us (tonight),” Markkanen said, referring to Thursday in Toronto.

He wasn’t attempting to display any dry wit but applying common sense seems to work for him, even though he’s been thrust into a situation after an incident that doesn’t make any sense.

With Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic out for the foreseeable future, playing a game-high 37 minutes will be more common than anomaly.

“Whatever your minutes are, you gotta play them to the best of your ability,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s being allowed to play through some mistakes right now. He’s gonna play heavy minutes every night.”

He only shot five of 14 but achieved his first double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds after a 17-point, eight-rebound debut against the Raptors Thursday.

No, someone didn’t open a door for a draft to come into the United Center on that three-pointer that went wide left, but it didn’t stop him from being assertive and continuing to look for his shot.

There was plenty of muck, easy to see on the stat sheet. The 38 percent shooting overall, the lack of penetration, the 29 percent shooting from 3-point range and 20 turnovers.

It’s not hard to imagine what Markkanen will look like with competent and effective NBA players around him, along with a true facilitating point guard that will find him in this offense.

“Markkanen is a wonderful player,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s aggressive, he’s smart and obviously, he can shoot the ball. He’s just going to get better and better as he figures things out.”

He received a crash course, facing the likes of Pau Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay Saturday night. On one instance, Gay drove baseline and made Markkanen buckle with a 3-point play.

Aldridge had 24 shots in 32 minutes as a new focal point with Kawhi Leonard out with injury.

So he’s not getting treated with kid gloves, nor is he backing down from the assignments.

“He didn’t shoot the ball well but he battled,” Hoiberg said. “He had a tough assignment with Pau, who’s gonna be in the Hall of Fame one day. Good experience. He guarded Aldridge, Rudy Gay some. He battled, he fought them.”

Even with the airball, had the moment that gives the Bulls fans hope, when he drove on Gasol, spun and hooked a lefty layup while being fouled by the veteran in the first half—giving the United Center faithful something to have faith in for a moment.

“Sometimes you get labeled as a shooter. That’s the label Lauri had,” Hoiberg said. “But he really is a complete basketball player. He’s versatile, he can put in on the deck. He slides his feet very well for a guy that’s seven feet tall, someone his age. Yeah, he’s learning on the fly. He’s gonna have ups and downs, as young as he is. He’s gonna have some struggles at times. But he’s played pretty darn well for everything he’s been through, understanding two days ago he’s gonna be in the starting lineup.”

And for all the bad air around the Bulls right now, from the on-court product to the off-court drama that seems to follow them around like Pigpen, it would be even worse if Markkanen’s first two games had him looking like a corpse, or someone who would be a couple years away from reasonably contributing to an NBA team.

“He’s good, he’s very good,” Gasol said. “I like him. I like his game.”