Has Gastonia found her ace?

This is the sixth installment of the Gastonia Honey Hunters Baseball Weekly Review. At the start of the game on Tuesday, July 20, the team is ranked 20-25, third in the South Division of the Atlantic Professional Baseball League.

The week that was …

Tuesday July 13

Gastonia 8, High Point 1 (Game 1): First baseman Jason Rogers was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and one run scored, along with Mike Papi (3-for-4, RBI, two runs) and Jesus Sucre (3-for-4, doubles, RBI , point) also finished with multi-hit games as the Honey Hunters claimed a win in Game 1 of a doubles program at High Point. Emmanuel Tapia also hit a solo homerun in the contest.

Austin Glorius played six innings for Gastonia, allowing one run on six hits and four strikeouts.

Highlight 7, Gastonia 2 (Game 2): Manuel Geraldo was 2-for-3 with a brace, but the Honey Hunters couldn’t muster much else in the nightcap.

Wednesday July 14

Highest point 12, Gastonia 1: Gastonia was held by two hits, one a solo homer by Ermindo Escobar in the eighth as the Honey Hunters found themselves on the wrong side of a rout at High Point.

Thursday July 15th

Highest point 11, Gastonia 2: Between the fifth and sixth inning, High Point scored 10 points to overwhelm the Honey Hunters in the series finale. Michael Osinski had two hits, while Jesus Sucre had RBIs in a brace in the second inning and a sacrifice ball in the sixth.

Friday July 16

Gastonia 16, West Virginia 1: After losing his last three games at High Point, Gastonia exploded for eight points in the second inning and never looked back in a West Virginia rout.

Michael Osinski was 3-for-5 with two runs batted in, one double and one run scored, while Emmanuel Tapia was 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Boog Powell and Mike Papi each had two hits and four RBIs for the Honey Hunters.

Starter AJ Merkel allowed a run on two hits in six innings of work, striking out three strikes for his third win of the season.

Saturday July 17th

West Virginia 12, Gastonie 7: Manuel Geraldo was 4-for-4 with two RBIs and one RBI, but his remarkable work at home wasn’t enough to help the Honey Hunters pass West Virginia.

Josh Sale was 2-for-4 with a solo homerun, two runs batted in and a pair of runs scored, while Mike Papi and Mike Osinski finished with two hits in a losing cause.

Sunday July 18

Gastonia 15, West Virginia 7: After allowing two runs in the opening frame, Gastonia would score the next 10 to propel him to a series victory over West Virginia.

The Honey Hunters hit six home runs in the contest, including two solo from Boog Powell. He was 4-for-5 with two RBIs and four runs scored. Jesus Sucre was also 4 for 4, hitting a two-run homer in the fourth as well as a double, four runs batted in and one run scored.

Jason Rogers (1-for-3, four RBIs, three runs), Jake Skole (2-for-4, two RBIs, run) and Mike Papi (2-for-5, two RBIs, two runs) have also hit home runs.

Austin Glorius had his second quality start in five days, allowing two runs on seven hits and two strikeouts.

A West Virginia base runner slides past a Gastonia infielder's tag during Saturday's game at CaroMont Health Park.

Ranking

From Monday July 19

North Division: Long Island Ducks (27-19); southern Maryland blue crabs (23-22); Lancaster Barnstormers (23-24); York Revolution (20-27)

South Division: Legends of Lexington (29-15); High Point Rockers (23-24); Gastonia Honey Hunters (20-25); West Virginia Power (18-27)

Player of the week

Jesus Sugar. The Venezuelan native was 10 for 23 last week with one homer, three doubles, eight RBI and three runs for the Honey Hunters. In 31 games, Sucre is hitting .295 with a homerun, 26 RBIs and 15 runs scored.

Pitcher of the week

Austin Glorius. The Sunshine State right-hander dominated each of his starts last week, allowing just three runs on 13 hits in 12 innings of work. Glorious has six strikes on strikes and five goals in those games.

Since his acquisition by the Honey Hunters, he is 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA. He struck out eight and walked seven.

Remarks

  • The pitch remains a priority for the Honey Hunters front office. Just check out the Atlantic Professional Baseball League (ALPB) trade thread, where all but one of the team’s trades this week involved the team looking to bolster their pitching staff. On July 13, the Honey Hunters signed 29-year-old southpaw Alsis Herrera. The team were also awarded right-hander Alexis Herrera, the 22-year-old pitcher recently released from the Philadelphia Phillies farming system. Gastonia also traded right-hander Alexis Candelario at West Virginia Power for compatriot Spencer Bivins. Additionally, the club released pitchers Ryan Caporice and Carl Brice, and signed southpaw John Anderson. As of July 19, Gastonia is the second-worst in the Atlantic League in terms of team ERA (6.69), runs allowed (323), earned runs allowed (285) and walks (294).
  • Gastonia placed shortstop William Salas on the 10-day injured list on July 16.
  • Josh Sale is tied for the Atlantic League lead in home runs (16) and tied for second with 43 RBIs.

Coming week

While rummaging in the box: At the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (July 20-22); Gastonia hopes to change her fate on her final trip to southern Maryland. The teams will play a double schedule on Wednesday July 21, including a postponement due to bad weather on July 8.

On the bridge: At West Virginia Power (July 23-25); After taking two of the three last weekend from their division rival, the Honey Hunters are hoping to continue a recent surge at the expense of West Virginia.

In the hole: Against High Point Rockers (July 27-29); the Rockers have taken seven of Gastonia’s nine this season. In five of those contests, High Point scored 10 or more points.

You can reach Joe Hughes at 704-914-8138, email [email protected] and follow on Twitter @JoeLHughesII.

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