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Birmingham Blanks Mobile

Birmingham Blanks Mobile

Saturday April 30, 2011
Posted: 9:15 p.m.

WHITE SOXBirmingham AA
Josh Phegleys RBI single in the bottom of the ninth lifted Birmingham to a 1-0 victory over Mobile Saturday night at Regions Park.

The Barons and the BayBears battled in a dandy pitching duel for 8 innings before Brandon Short got the winning rally started with a two-out double. After Christian Marrero was walked intentionally, Phegley singled to center for the game-winner. Its been a struggle in the early going for Phegley, but he finished with two hits for his fourth multi-hit game of the year to push his average past the Mendoza Line to .203.

Dan Remenowsky picked up the win after pitching two perfect innings of relief. Matt Zaleski started and struck out eight while giving up two hits over seven innings. It was quite the contrast from his last outing, during which he allowed six runs on eight hits over 3 23 innings at Huntsville.
Winston-Salem A
Terry Doyle continued to pitch in tough luck Saturday as Winston-Salem dropped a 3-1 decision to Wilmington at Frawley Stadium.

Doyle 0-3 remained winless as the Dash fell to 0-5 in games that he has started. The loss also marked the 18th time in 22 games this season that Winston-Salem has played a game decided by three runs or less. Doyle certainly pitched well enough, allowing two runs in a season-high seven innings. He scattered six hits but allowed two third-inning runs and that was the difference.

Jose Martinez went 0-for-4, dropping his average to .382. Nick Ciolli had a double and an RBI while Ian Gac extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Hes hitting .364 16-for-44 during that stretch. Winston-Salem was 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

In other action, Chris Villanuevas RBI single in the bottom of the 10th lifted Hickory to a 2-1 victory over Kannapolis. Jimmy Ballinger took the loss. Brady Shoemaker and Dan Black each had two hits for the Intimidators. Spencer Arroyo started for Kannapolis and allowed a run over seven innings. Charlotte saw its modest two-game winning streak come to an end Saturday night as Columbus blanked the Knights 6-0. Gabby Hernandez had another miserable effort in falling to 0-4. He allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 13 innings.
CUBS Peoria A
The Chiefs exploded for five 10th-inning runs Saturday afternoon and scooted by Beloit, 13-8, at Pohlman Field.

Smaily Borges solo homer got the 10th inning started, snapping what had been an 8-8 tie. Richard Jones added a two-run single to fuel the inning and make a winner of Marcus Hatley 2-0, who pitched two scoreless innings and fanned four.

Hayden Simpson started and went the 4 23 innings, marking the fifth time in as many outings that he didnt make it past five innings. He gave up two homers and a season-high five runs. The Chiefs allowed a season-high six homers.

Matt Szczur and Micah Gibbs extended their hitting streaks to 12 games. Included in Gibbs effort was his first professional homer. While Greg Rohan didnt drive in a run, he did have three hits to finish April with a .357 average. His 22 RBIs are the most in April for a Chiefs player since Travis Hansen had 26 in 2003. Peoria had a season-high 19 hits.
Daytona A
Jae-Hoon Ha smacked a two-run homer Saturday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium to lead Daytona to a 4-2 victory over Dunedin.

Has blast was part of a three-run third inning. Justin Bour added a solo shot in the sixth to close out the scoring. The only other hit the Cubs picked up was a Logan Watkins triple but Nick Struck and a pair of relievers made it stand. Struck 3-1 struck out six and scattered five hits over five innings.

Jeff Beliveau and Frank Batista each pitched two scoreless innings, allowing only three hits.

In other action, Rafael Dolis walked four and gave up a hit while allowing four runs in two innings to allow Carolina emerge with a 7-6 victory over Tennessee. Matt Spencer, James Adduci each had a pair of hits while Rebel Ridling was 1-for-4 to finish April hitting .403.

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

43 Days to Kickoff: Shepard

43 Days to Kickoff: Shepard

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Shepard

Head coach: John Rone

Assistant coaches: Vincent Holmes, Andy Schindel, Chris Lewis, Justin Harris and Mark Thomas

How they fared in 2018: 8-3 (5-1 South Suburban Red Conference). Shepard made the Class 6A IHSA state football playoff field, defeated Springfield and then lost to Normal West in second round action.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Leyden
Sept. 6 vs St Francis
Sept. 13 @ Reavis
Sept. 20 @ Evergreen Park
Sept. 27 @ Eisenhower
Oct. 4 vs Oak Lawn
Oct. 11 @ Lemont
Oct. 18 vs Richards
Oct. 25 vs Argo

Biggest storyline: Coach Rone’s first season was a success. Can the Astros make another state playoff run in 2019?

Names to watch this season: LB Matthew Hightower (Sr.), WR/DB Jalen Smith (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Astros welcome back six returning starters back on defense, but they will feature nearly an entire starting offense with very limited experience.

EDGY's Early Take: Head coach John Rone was able to get the Astros into the  playoffs in his first season in charge of the Shepard program. It was also the fourth straight playoff appearance for the school. The Astros always have plenty on hand in the skills department. But the defense may need to carry a talented —but younger— offense. If the pieces can gel, they can challenge for another IHSA state playoff appearance.

Kyle Ryan's emergence is coming at exactly the right time for Cubs

kyle_ryan_emerging_as_a_force_slide_photo.jpg
AP

Kyle Ryan's emergence is coming at exactly the right time for Cubs

With the MLB trade deadline two weeks away, bullpen help figures to be on the Cubs' wish list.

But thanks in part to Kyle Ryan's emergence, the Cubs don't absolutely need that reliever to be left-handed (though it would probably be ideal).

The Cubs began the week with three southpaws in their bullpen, but at some point this weekend, Ryan may be the lone lefty remaining. Mike Montgomery was traded to the Royals late Monday night and with Carl Edwards Jr. progressing in his rehab (he threw again Tuesday), he might take Randy Rosario's spot in a couple days. 

The Cubs like Edwards against lefties and they also feel confident in Pedro Strop against either handed hitter when he's on. But Ryan has worked his way into Joe Maddon's Circle of Trust and is currently the only lefty residing there.

That's not to say the Cubs don't need another reliable southpaw in the 'pen, but Ryan looks like he's going to get some big outs for this team down the stretch.

"He's done a great job for us since he's been here," Jon Lester said of Ryan last month. "I don't think he gets enough credit for what he's been able to do."

Ryan impressed the Cubs with his work as a multi-inning reliever in Triple-A last season and turned heads again in camp this spring. Still, Rosario made the Opening Day roster over him, though Ryan got called up on the team's season-opening road trip and made his first appearance on April 6.

Since then, he's been a mainstay while Montgomery battled injury and ineffectiveness, Rosario and Tim Collins have bounced between Triple-A Iowa and Chicago and veteran Xavier Cedeno's time off the injured list was short-lived.

Ryan looked to be finding his way throughout his first month in the bullpen, but after his infamous "freeze" moment against the Marlins, he endured some struggles (7 runs allowed on 12 hits in 7 innings from May 8 through June 1).

He's righted the ship since then, permitting only 1 run over his last 17 appearances (14 innings) and lowering his season ERA to 3.21 to go along with a 1.31 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in 33.2 innings.

A big part of that recent success can be tied to Ryan's increased improvement against left-handed hitters. 

Lefties hit .344 with a .405 on-base percentage off Ryan through June 5. But since then, Ryan has surrendered only 3 hits — all singles — and zero walks to the 19 left-handed hitters he's faced (.158 AVG).

He credits part of that turnaround to working on a changeup, which he thinks has helped lock in the "feel" of all his other pitches as well as his mechanics. 

As he works to add a new pitch to his repertoire, Ryan has leaned on Cubs bullpen coach Lester Strode and pitching coach Tommy Hottovy for assistance, while also picking the brains of veterans like Cole Hamels, Kyle Hendricks and Brad Brach who have all thrown changeups for quite a while.

But even with all that work, he still hasn't resorted to using the changeup much in games. The pitch is so foreign that it's still being picked up as a sinker, including on the Wrigley Field video board Sunday when he threw one in his inning of work.

"Eventually, I'm gonna find the changeup and it's gonna be a comfortable, confident pitch," Ryan said. "But I do think it's gotten me behind all the rest of my pitches and it's maybe a little bit better feel for everything. It's gonna stay where it is for a while. I'm gonna keep trying."

Ryan said one of the things he likes about the changeup is that it can eventually be a nice weapon because it "goes in the opposite direction" of all his other pitches.

We'll see if the new pitch can ever become a factor for the 27-year-old. But if it's helped lock in his other pitches, that's great news for the Cubs, especially as they look to fortify their bullpen this month.