Portland Sea Dogs Fall Victim to Unearned Runs

Portland Sea Dogs

After a solid 4-1 series-opening victory against the Binghamton Mets at NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton, New York on Monday night, the Portland Sea Dogs were unable to overcome three unearned runs and dropped the second game by a final score of 3-1.

Mike McCarthy got the start and took the hard-luck loss for Portland, allowing no earned runs on five hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings. The loss brings McCarthy’s record to Portland Sea Dogs2-3 on the season and his ERA currently sits at 5.32.

Portland took their first and only lead of the game in the top of the second inning, when center fielder Blake Tekotte notched and RBI single after Keury De La Cruz singled and Luis Martinez was hit by a pitch to set up runners at second and third. Tekotte has put up a respectable season for the ‘Dogs thus far, hitting .250/.337/.342 with six extra-base hits and nine runs batted in over 24 games.

Trouble for the Sea Dogs started in the bottom of the frame, when Josh Rodriguez singled on a ball to left field before advancing to second on a throwing error by Sea Dogs’ shortstop Mike Miller. Gavin Cecchini, brother of Red Sox prospect Garin Cecchini, then singled to center field to put the Mets on the board.

Portland again found themselves in trouble in the bottom of the fifth after Met’s left fielder Jared King reached on a Mike McCarthy throwing error before advancing to second on another throwing error by Luis Martinez. After a Brandon Nimmo fly-out, Binghamton received RBI singles from both T.J. Rivera and Josh Rodriguez to push the score to 3-1, where it would stay for the remainder of the game.

William Cuevas (3-1, 3.44 ERA) will take the mound for the Sea Dogs opposite Rainy Lara (2-0, 2.91 ERA) in the third game of the series on Wednesday night at 6:35 PM. Portland returns home to take on the Colorado Rockies Double-A affiliate New Britain Rock Cats on Friday night at Hadlock Field.

 

Photo Credit: Kyle Leeds Photography

Sea Dogs’ Jantzen Witte Making Transition from Third to First Look Easy

Jantzen Witte sea dogs

Jantzen Witte has been one of the Portland Sea Dogs best hitters to this point in the season, posting a .348/.392/.500 line with seven extra-base hits, 19 runs batted in, seven runs scored and six walks in 18 games.

He began his transition from third to first base in Spring Training last sJantzen Witteeason, and so far has made the job look easy, posting a .996 fielding percentage at first base over 960 career innings.

“Last year I kind of got moved over there the last day of Spring Training, and then played the majority of my games at first,” Witte told Yawkey Way Report. “I actually felt okay with it.

“As far as ground balls and things like that, I don’t think it’s a huge adjustment, but as far as my footwork around the bag and picks and things like that, it looks so easy, but there’s a lot of stuff going on. A lot of moving parts that I think a lot of people don’t realize. That’s something that I am still working on.”

Witte was selected by the Red Sox in the 24th round of the First-Year player draft in 2013 out of Texas Christian University. He was named to the 1st-Team Academic All Big-12 Team his senior year, when he hit .293 with 15 doubles, two triples, three home runs and 34 runs batted in.

The 25-year old talked about how his college baseball career has helped ease the transition into professional baseball, although there are some major differences.

“I think anybody that played college baseball, they have so many more reps than these guys [that come out of] high school,” he said. “The earlier levels of [professional baseball] we have so much more experience in close ball games, and so many AB’s [while] facing some pretty good arms.”

“I think the hardest thing to do is be consistent in pro ball, [because] you play so many games—[Double-A] is where the level is that everyone is at an even playing field.”

So far this season, the New England weather has had little effect on the Ft Worth, Texas native.

“In college we played in places like Air Force in Colorado in the snow. When we were in the Mountain West, BYU, you know we’re up in the snow, it’s icy, so it’s something I have played in before,” he said. “It might take an extra one or two sprints to get loose, but you know, you just got to play the game regardless of what the temperature is like.”

In 181 career minor league games, Witte is hitting .293/.361/.457 with 13 home runs, 54 doubles, eight triples and 122 runs batted in while splitting time between third and first base.

Sea Dogs Manage Four-Game Split With Trenton Thunder

Portland Sea Dogs

After two straight wins, the Portland Sea Dogs dropped the series finale to the Trenton Thunder by the score of 8-2 on Sunday, giving them a split in the four-game series at Hadlock Field.

Justin Haley was handed his third loss on the young season, as he failed to getSea Dogs through the fifth inning after allowing six earned runs on eight hits, including two home runs, and four walks, bringing his ERA on the season to 9.42.

Keury De La Cruz, who was playing in his first contest in over a week after suffering a leg injury, provided the lone offense for the Sea Dogs. After back-to-back singles by Jantzen Witte and Oscar Tejeda, De La Cruz drove them both in with a fly ball double to left field.

One bright spot in the series came on Friday, when the Sea Dogs were able to hand the New York Yankees number one prospect, Luis Severino, the worst loss of his Double-A career, after tagging him with six runs, three of them earned, on eight hits and three walks over five innings.

They were able to chase Severino in the bottom of the sixth inning, after he committed a throwing error on a Jonathan Roof bunt with two men on which allowed a runner to score, then gave up an RBI single to Sea Dogs’ right fielder Kevin Heller. The Sea Dogs added an RBI single by second basemen Carlos Asuaje in the inning, followed by a two-run double off the bat of left fielder Oscar Tejeda.

Portland added three more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, and won by a final score of 10-2.

The Sea Dogs will host last year’s Eastern League champions, the Binghamton Mets, for a three-game series at Hadlock Field beginning at 6:00 PM on Monday night. The New England Patriots Super Bowl hero, Malcolm Butler, will be in attendance, throwing out the first pitch, as well as signing autographs and taking pictures.