Minor League Player of the Day – Jonathan Martinez (LoA) - 6 IP, 2 hits, 0 walks, 11 K's. Martinez, who is still just 19 years old despite this being his fourth professional season, had an outstanding season debut on Thursday as he led the Loons top an opening day victory. His 11 strikeouts were a personal best and one away from the Great Lakes franchise record.
AAA – The season opener was postponed due to rain, which was no surprise given that the game was to be played in Tacoma, Washington.
AA – The Lookouts used a pair of dramatic late homers to send their season opener into extra innings, but the Generals (Mariners) fought back and put up a 5 spot in the 11th to pull out a 12 to 7 win. Down by 4 after 7 frames, Chattanooga staged a two out rally in the 8th that concluded with a 3-run homer by Chris O'Brien. Still trailing by a run in the bottom of the 9th, newcomer Daniel Mayora, the Lookouts starting 3rd baseman, then connected on a solo shot which sent the game into overtime. The offense couldn't generate any offense in the extra frames, however, while Jackson utilized 4 walks by Craig Stem in the top of the 11th to plate the aforementioned 5 runs. Going back to the beginning of the game, starter Carlos Frias was solid for the first two innings, but ran into trouble in the 5th and ended up allowing 5 runs. Hector Nelo then gave up 2 runs in relief, but Juan Noriega and Pedro Baez combined for 3 scoreless frames out of the bullpen. The only other offensive player of note was Scott Schebler who went 2 for 6 in his AA debut with a 2-run homer.
HiA – 2013 first round pick Chris Anderson couldn't get out of the first inning in his California League debut as the Quakes fell to the Giants 7 to 1 on Thursday. Anderson allowed 3 hits, walked a pair, and hit a batter before being pulled after recording just two outs. His replacement, Freddie Cabrera, threw very well in relief as he tossed 3.1 scoreless frames, but Daniel Coulombe struggled later in the game and gave up 3 more runs to put the game well out of reach for a Rancho offense that managed just 4 hits. Big Chris Jacobs, who is returning to the Quakes for his 3rd straight season, was the only one to generate any kind of excitement at the plate as he went 2 for 3 with a solo homer and a double. The rest of the club didn't do much at all, including Corey Seager who was 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts.
LoA – Opening day for the Loons couldn't have gone any better as Great Lakes blanked the TinCaps (Padres) 9 to 0 on Thursday. Starter Jonathan Martinez was brilliant as the struck out 11 over 6 shutout innings, allowing just two hits without issuing a walk. He was followed by Francisco Villa who fanned 3 over the next two frames, and then Mark Pope completed the 3-hit shutout with a scoreless 9th. At the dish Justin Chigbogu had a big game as he crushed a 2-run homer then added a triple later in the game, while Kyle Farmer knocked in 3 with a couple of base hits. Jesmuel Valentin went 2 for 4 with a double and a RBI, and Joey Curletta drove in two runs with a two-bagger of his own.
Coming up – Stephen Fife's start will get pushed back until Friday as the Isotopes will try again to open their season, while Duke von Schamann will make his 2014 debut for the Lookouts. Josh Beckett is scheduled to make a rehab appearance for the Quakes and will be followed by teen sensation Julio Urias, and Zachary Bird will take the mound for the Loons.
Chattanooga Lookouts Box Score (AA)
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Box Score (HiA)
Great Lakes Loons Box Score (LoA)