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2005 Wilmington Blue Rocks season review

September 23, 2005 - Carolina League (CarL) - Wilmington Blue Rocks News Release

2005 SUMMARY: The Blue Rocks finished tied for third place in the Carolina League's Northern Division with a 31-39 record and nine games back of first-place Lynchburg during the first half of the regular season under manager Dann Bilardello. Lynchburg finished with a 40-30 record during the first half and qualified for the postseason for the fourth time in six years. Wilmington compiled a 29-41 record during the second half and finished in last place, 15 games behind first-place Frederick. The Rocks overall record of 60-80 was the worst regular season record in franchise history and Wilmington failed to qualify for the Carolina League's postseason for only the third time in 13 years. Wilmington lost six in a row and 11 of its final 14 to close out the season 20 games below .500, which was a high-water mark for 2005.

CAROLINA LEAGUE'S TOP DRAW: The Rocks led the Carolina League in attendance and average attendance for the eighth straight season, drawing 322,287 (an average of 4,810) in 67 home dates during the 2005 regular season. Wilmington experienced three rainouts at Frawley Stadium in 2005. The Blue Rocks have drawn 300,000 or more in each of their 13 seasons in the Carolina League, dating back to 1993. The Blue Rocks had seven sellout crowds at Frawley during the regular season, including a stadium-best 7,535 on August 19 versus Lynchburg. ESPN's SportsCenter 50-50 Tour broadcast live from Frawley on that night.

LONG-TERM SUCCESS: The Wilmington Blue Rocks have compiled the second-best winning percentage of all full-season minor league clubs for the last 13 years (1993-2005). The Modesto franchise went 72-67 during the 2005 California League regular season to take over the top spot.

THE VOICE OF FRAWLEY GOES SILENT: John McAdams, who served as the voice Frawley Stadium since the club's inaugural season in 1993, passed away at the age of 64 on June 16. Johnny Mac was recognized as a true friend by everyone associated with the Blue Rocks over the years. He also served as the voice of the Big 5 and the Palestra in Philadelphia. Johnny Mac was remembered by the likes of Philadelphia Phillies public address announcer Dan Baker and former LaSalle basketball coach Speedy Morris in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, June 18 at Frawley Stadium.

NOT SO FRIENDLY CONFINES: The Blue Rocks compiled a 34-37 record at home during the 2005 regular season, marking only the second time in franchise history that the club finished with a below .500 record at home. Wilmington went 33-37 at home in 1997. The home record for Wilmington was the worst in the Carolina League. The Blue Rocks longest home winning streak was five games (July 28-August 8). Wilmington's longest losing streak at home was also five in a row, which it did on three separate occasions.

THE ROAD HIT BACK: The Blue Rocks had the second-worst road record in the entire league in 2005, compiling a 26-43 record away from home. It marked the fifth time in franchise history that the club finished with a below .500 on the road. Kinston and Wilmington had a game rained out in Kinston and it was made up as a home game for the Blue Rocks at Frawley Stadium during the first half of the season. Wilmington lost seven in a row and six in a row at two different points during the regular season. The Rocks had only one winning road trip for the entire season and went winless in five games through Lynchburg and Salem in July.

NORTHERN EXPOSURE: Wilmington compiled a 23-37 record against the three clubs from the Northern Division (Frederick, Potomac, and Lynchburg). The Blue Rocks went 5-15 against the Frederick Keys, losing eight of 10 at Frawley and seven of 10 at Harry Grove Stadium against the Keys. The Rocks went 6-14 against Lynchburg, winning nine of 11 at Frawley and five of the nine meetings in Lynchburg. The Rocks went 12-8 against the Nationals, winning seven of 10 at Frawley and winning five of 10 at Pfitzner Stadium.

VS. THE SOUTH: Wilmington went 37-43 against the four clubs from the Southern Division during the 2005 regular season. Wilmington went 13-7 versus the Kinston Indians, winning nine of the 11 meetings between the two clubs at Frawley. The Blue Rocks lost 13 of the 20 meetings with both Salem and Winston-Salem. The Rocks won only three of the 10 meetings with the Avalanche at Frawley and dropped six of the 10 meetings at Salem.

THE 2005 ROSTER: The Blue Rocks used a franchise-record 52 different players during the 2005 regular season. Wilmington used 28 pitchers in 2005, including 16 different starting pitchers. The Rocks had seven players, who were 25 years old or older during the regular season. Wilmington also had three teenage players appear in games in 2005.

REACHING MORE MILESTONES: The Blue Rocks franchise collected its 1000th regular season win, dating back to 1993, with a 2-0 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on August 24 at Frawley Stadium. The Rocks have compiled a 1003-808 (.554) record since entering the Carolina League in 1993. Three nights later, Wilmington dropped a 10-1 decision on the road to Lynchburg, which marked the 800th regular-season loss in club history.

WEEKLY HONORS: Anibal Sanchez was the only Wilmington player to be recognized with the Carolina League's weekly honor of Pitcher or Batter of the Week during the course of the 2005 regular season. Sanchez garnered weekly honors on two different occasions (April 7- 17 & May 2-8).

ALL-STAR SELECTIONS: Zach Borowiak and Anibal Sanchez were named to the Carolina League's mid-season all-star team. Sanchez was the starting pitcher for the Carolina League and Borowiak appeared as the starting second baseman. The Blue Rocks did not have one player selected to the postseason All-Star team. Sanchez represented the Boston Red Sox as a member of the World Team in the 2005 XM Satellite Radio Futures Game in Detroit.

PROMOTIONS: The Blue Rocks had 10 players promoted to Double-A Portland during the 2005 regular season. Randy Beam, Zach Borowiak, Dirimo Chavez, Pete Fisher, Barry Hertzler, Edgar Martinez, Anibal Sanchez, Chad Spann, Matt Van Der Bosch, Scott Youngbauer were all promoted to Double-A Portland during the regular season. Beam, Borowiak, Hertzler, Martinez, Sanchez, Spann, Van Der Bosch, and Youngbauer were all on the active roster for the Portland Sea Dogs for the postseason.

TRADE WINDS: Wilmington had two pitchers involved in two separate trades during the regular season. Juan Cedeno was traded along with outfielder Chip Ambres to the Kansas City Royals for Tony Graffanino on July 19. Kyle Bono was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks along with infielder Kenny Perez in exchange for Jose Cruz, Jr. on July 30.

THE PITCHING STAFF: The Rocks pitching staff finished fourth in the Carolina League with a 4.36 earned run average during the regular season. Jose Vaquedano (7th) led the pitching staff with a 3.75 ERA, seventh best in the Carolina League. The Blue Rocks staff led the league with 11 shutouts during the regular season. Wilmington's staff led the league in home runs allowed (131) and also yielded the fewest walks (412).

FOR STARTERS: The Blue Rocks pitching staff did not have one 10-game winner in 2005. Jose Vaquedano paced the staff with eight wins. It marks the fourth time (1997, 99, 04, 05) in franchise history where the Blue Rocks did not have one pitcher win 10 or more games in a season. Tommy Hottovy and Vaquedano each led the staff with 23 starts during the season.

THE BULLPEN: The Rocks bullpen combined to go 33-31 with 3.82 ERA and 32 saves during the 2005 regular season. Pete Fisher notched a team-high eight saves and Edgar Martinez registered seven. The bullpen combined to allow only 38 home runs over 516.1 innings pitched.

THE GOPHER BALL: The Blue Rocks pitching staff led the league by allowing a franchise record 131 home runs in 2005. Tommy Hottovy allowed a team-high 18 during the regular season, which tied him for second most in the league. Luis Mendoza yielded 17 home runs during the season. On April 23, the Frederick Keys hit six home runs against Wilmington pitching, tying a franchise record against the Blue Rocks for a single game. Jarrett Gardner allowed five of the six home runs in the game against Frederick, which established a new club record for home runs allowed by a pitcher.

PITCHER'S HOME RUN BREAKDOWN: Total- 131; Home- 51; Road- 80; Solo- 75; 2-R HR- 38; 3-R HR- 12; GS- 5; April- 32; May- 14; June- 33; July- 20; August- 28; September- 4; vs. Frederick- 28; vs. Kinston- 15; vs. Lynchburg- 17; vs. Myrtle Beach- 11; vs. Potomac- 20; vs. Salem- 9; vs. Winston-Salem- 31.

MORE NOTES ON THE LONG BALL: The Wilmington pitching staff allowed an opposing player to lead off a game with a home run on five occasions during the 2005 regular season. Kinston's Nathan Panther led off a game against Wilmington with a home run three times in 2005. Opposing teams hit five grand slams against Wilmington in 2005, including four by the Frederick Keys. Frederick's Mario Delgado hit a walk-off home run against Wilmington's Randy Beam at Frederick in the opener of a doubleheader on April 23. In the same game, Dustin Yount, Mario Delgado and Jeff Fiorentino hit back-to-back-to-back home runs against Jarrett Gardner.

A LACK OF OFFENSIVE PUNCH: The Blue Rocks hit .246 as a team during the regular season, which was the worst team batting average in the Carolina League. The Rocks finished sixth in the league with 103 home runs and sixth in runs scored with 619. Wilmington went 34-31 when hitting a home run in a game in 2005. Wilmington established franchise records for most strikeouts (1114) and fewest stolen bases (69) in a season. The 103 home runs for the club marked the third time in franchise history that Wilmington hit 100 or more in a season.

OFFENSIVE HOME RUN BREAKDOWN: Total- 103; Home- 45; Away- 58; Solo- 54, 2- R HR- 32; 3-R HR- 16; GS- 1; April- 8; May- 19; June- 17; July- 26; August- 28; September- 5; vs. Frederick- 17; vs. Kinston- 8; vs. Lynchburg- 16; vs. Myrtle Beach- 12; vs. Potomac- 24; vs. Salem- 15; vs. Winston-Salem- 11.

GRAND SLAMS: Dusty Brown hit Wilmington's first and only grand slam home run of the season in an 11-10 come-from-behind win at Winston-Salem on August 18. It came against Winston-Salem's Fraser Dizard in Wilmington's six-run sixth inning. The Blue Rocks have hit 24 grand slams, dating back to 1993.

GO SCOTT GO!!! Scott Youngbauer hit safely in 17 in a row from June 14 to July 8, tying him for the third longest hitting streak in franchise history. Over the 17-game hitting streak, Youngbauer hit .377 (26-for-69) with five doubles, three triples, two home runs and 15 RBI.

DOUBLE DIPS: The Blue Rocks played eight doubleheaders in 2005, including five during the first half of the season. The Rocks swept three, were swept three times, and split two other doubleheaders during the season. Wilmington had two games suspended due to rain and concluded on the next available date during the season.

WALK-OFF WINS: The Blue Rocks had four walk-off victories at Frawley Stadium during the 2005 season. The Rocks were 10-20 in games decided in the final at-bat during the season.

WALK-OFF DEFEATS: Wilmington lost 10 games on the road in the opponents final turn at-bat in 2005, including three losses at Lynchburg against the Hillcats.

ONE-RUN AFFAIRS: The Blue Rocks played in 48 one-run games during the 2005 regular season, going 15-33 in one-run affairs. The Blue Rocks had 88 games decided by three runs or less during the regular season.

THE HIT CLUB: The Blue Rocks had three players collect 100 or more hits during the 2005 regular season. Brant Ust led the club with 116 hits. The other hitters to collect 100 or more hits were Scott White (106) and Zach Borowiak (103).

PICKING THE LINEUP OUT OF A HAT: Wilmington used 137 different lineups during the course of its 140-game regular season. Dann Bilardello only used the same lineup on three occasions overall during the season.

TO ERR IS HUMAN: Wilmington led the Carolina League with 162 errors and had a leagueworst fielding percentage of .969 during the 2005 Carolina League regular season. The Blue Rocks went three straight games without an error only once during the entire season. Iggy Suarez committed a league-high 32 errors at shortstop in 2005. Wilmington committed a season-high four errors as a team on three different occasions.

NOT TOO MANY COMEBACKS: The Blue Rocks went 3-68 when trailing after seven innings and only 2-62 when trailing after eight innings in 2005. The Rocks lost only twice in 2005 when leading after eight innings.

THIS WAS A COMEBACK: The Blue Rocks established a new franchise record by coming from nine runs down en route to an 11-10 win over the Winston-Salem Warthogs at Ernie Shore Field on August 18. Twice during the regular season, Wilmington squandered six-run leads and eventually fell to the opposition.

APRIL: The Blue Rocks went 9-13 during the first month of the regular season. Anibal Sanchez went 1-1 in four starts and struck out 35 hitters over 20 innings of work in April. The Wilmington pitching staff surrendered 32 home runs in 22 games during the first month. Wilmington hit only .217 as a team during the month of April. Chad Spann hit .221 (17-for- 77) with three home runs and 11 RBI in 21 April games.

MAY: Wilmington went 15-15 during the month of May. Anibal Sanchez went 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA in five starts. In 28 innings of work, he allowed only 20 hits and five earned runs. Mickey Hall and Jeff Ontiveros each hit four home runs for Wilmington in May. Hall also knocked in 17 runs. Randy Beam collected four saves and did not allow a run over eight appearances, spanning 12 innings of work.

JUNE: Wilmington started the month of June with five straight losses en route to a 9-16 record during the month of June. The pitching staff surrendered 33 home runs over 25 games. Edgar Martinez worked in eight games and notched four saves. He allowed two hits and no runs over eight innings of work.

JULY: Wilmington lost four in a row to open up July and ended up 11-16 overall for the month. Brant Ust hit .308 (32-for-104) with six home runs and 24 RBI in 26 games.

AUGUST: The Blue Rocks collected their only winning month of the season by going 16-14 in 30 games during August. Jose Vaquedano went 3-2 with a 3.71 ERA in six starts in August. Michael James recorded three saves in 11 appearances. Bryan Pritz hit .316 (24- for-76) with eight doubles and 11 RBI in 23 games.

SEPTEMBER: Wilmington closed out the regular season with six straight losses during the month of September. The Rocks were swept in a four-game series at home by Frederick to conclude the season.

BIG LEAGUE DEBUTS: The 2005 campaign saw five former Blue Rocks debut at the major league level. Jonah Bayliss, who pitched for the Blue Rocks in 2004, made his major league debut with the Kansas City Royals on June 21. Shane Costa was called by Kansas City from Double-A Wichita (Texas League) and made his major league debut with the Royals on June 2. Joe Dillon, who played with the Blue Rocks in 1999, made his major league debut with the Florida Marlins on May 18. Alejandro Machado played with the Blue Rocks in 2002 as a member of the Kansas City farm system and made his big league debut with the Blue Rocks current parent club, the Boston Red Sox on September 2. Brian Shackelford was a position player with the Blue Rocks in 2000 and made his major league debut as a relief pitcher with the Cincinnati Reds on June 26. The Blue Rocks have had 80 former players make it to the big leagues since their inaugural season in 1993.



#30 - Randy Beam: One of the leaders of the Blue Rocks bullpen over the first half of the season, Beam accumulated five saves and held opponents to a .181 average against. Had a scoreless streak of 16 innings pitched from April 28 through May 31 and allowed just six hits in that stretch. Was promoted to Double-A Portland on June 13.

#34 - Kyle Bono: Pitched out of the bullpen during his stay in Wilmington. Struck out 56 batters in 48.2 innings pitched. Allowed five home runs, the most of any Blue Rocks reliever. Was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks along with Kenny Perez for OF Jose Cruz, Jr. on July 30 prior to the MLB trading deadline.

#37 - Juan Cedeno: Wilmington's opening night starter in 2005, the lefthander compiled a 2-6 record with a 5.49 ERA before being traded to the Kansas City Royals with Chip Ambres for INF Tony Graffanino on July 19. Earned first win of the season on May 13, allowing just one run on four hits over seven innings against Salem. Did not win again until July 9 against Myrtle Beach. Allowed three homers in a game twice, April 14 at Kinston and again on May 8 at Frederick.

#46 - Andrew Dobies: Joined the Blue Rocks after being promoted from Single-A Greenville (SAL) on June 4. Earned win in his first start as a Blue Rock, throwing 5.2 innings in a 6-2 victory over Kinston on June 7. Allowed a combined 17 runs (11 earned) on 18 hits in back-to-back starts against Potomac and Lynchburg on June 22 and June 30. Matched a Wilmington season-best with 8.0 innings pitched in 3-2 win over Salem at Frawley Stadium on July 5. Finished up with a 4-6 record and a 4.40 ERA over 16 starts.

#38 - Pete Fisher: Began the season as a set-up man before becoming the closer in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. He led the Blue Rocks in 2005 with eight saves. Fisher earned six saves prior to becoming the first Blue Rock to earn a promotion to Double-A Portland on June 2. Did not allow a run in the five appearances leading up to his promotion. Returned to Wilmington on July 15 after appearing in seven games for the Sea Dogs (0-0, 9.82 ERA). Beginning with a rough outing at Frederick on August 1, he gave up at least one run in six consecutive appearances. He was released by the Boston Red Sox on August 20.

#46 - Gene Flores: Signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Boston Red Sox in June out of the University of Houston. After pitching out of the bullpen in Lowell of the NYPenn League from July 11 - August 29, he finished the season with Wilmington. Flores appeared in just two games, allowing two runs in two appearances.

#14 - Jarrett Gardner: Coming off of a 2004 season in which he led the entire Red Sox organization in wins (14), Gardner struggled in the Wilmington rotation in 2005. Assigned to Wilmington after Spring Training, he went 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 10 appearances before being sent to Greenville of the South Atlantic League on June 4. Gardner allowed a franchise-record five home runs to the Frederick Keys in a 9-8 loss on April 23. Struck out a season-high seven batters in his lone win of the year, a 4-1 victory over Kinston on May 31, his last appearance as a Blue Rock.

#25 - Matt Goodson: Was assigned to Wilmington on July 4 from Greenville of the South Atlantic League. Served as a starting pitcher and compiled a 1-1 record in four starts before being placed on the disabled list from July 28 to August 20 with a strained right groin. Upon returning, Goodson pitched out of the bullpen and allowed just one earned run in seven innings over five appearances.

#32 - Barry Hertzler: A member of Wilmington's opening day roster, Hertzler was one of the more consistent performers in the Rocks bullpen. The righthander appeared in 33 games (one start) and had a 5-3 record with a 4.21 ERA. Had a 13.1 inning streak without allowing an earned run from June 2 to June 19. After giving up a home run on April 14, he did not allow another longball until August 3 at Frederick. Pitched in the Hall of Fame Game for the Boston Red Sox against the Detroit Tigers. Hertzler was promoted to Double-A Portland on August 27.

#28 - Tommy Hottovy: The lefthander led the Blue Rocks in losses in 2005, with a 3- 12 record in 25 appearances (23 starts). His 12 losses were also the most in the Red Sox organization for the season, and ranked him second in the Carolina League. Allowed a team-high 18 home runs, which ranked him second in the Carolina League as well. Threw five innings of two-hit shutout ball to combine on a 2-0 blanking of Myrtle Beach with Felix Romero and Randy Beam on May 21.

#20 - Michael James: Joined Wilmington after notching 11 saves at Single-A Greenville. Was assigned to the Blue Rocks on August 1. Pitched 6.2 innings over his first three outings for Wilmington without allowing a run. Had saves in back-to-back outings at Winston-Salem, including slamming the door on the Blue Rocks' 11-10, comeback win over the Warthogs in a game in which they trailed, 9-0. Finished the season with three saves for Wilmington to go with an 0-1 record and a 3.06 ERA.

#39 - Steve Langone: In his return to baseball following Tommy John surgery, Langone was sent to Wilmington from Extended Spring Training on May 13. Appeared in 17 games (five starts) and compiled a 3-4 record with a 3.92 ERA. Struck out a season-high five in four innings against Myrtle Beach on July 20. Was credited with a complete game in five-inning, rain-shortened defeat at Salem on July 25. Placed on disabled list with a right elbow strain on August 4 and did not pitch for the rest of the season.

#45 - Edgar Martinez: In just his second year as a pitcher, "El Guapo," a former catcher, had an electric season out of the Wilmington bullpen before he was promoted to Double-A Portland on July 21. In a spectacular month of June, Martinez allowed no runs on two hits over eight innings in eight appearances and recorded four saves. Was named the Whitten's Fine Jewelry Player of the Month for his efforts in June. Held opponents to a team-low .167 batting average against in his 28 appearances.

#31 - Luis Mendoza: Spent two stints with the Blue Rocks in 2005, scraping together a 4-9 record with a 6.34 ERA. Started the season by going 3-0 with a 3.50 ERA in his first eight starts, but struggled the rest of the way. Allowed a Blue Rocks season-high 11 earned runs on 13 hits against Salem on July 4. Waived by the Boston Red Sox and claimed by the San Diego Padres on July 9. Went 0-1 in two starts with the Lake Elsinore Storm. Claimed off waivers by the Boston Red Sox from the San Diego Padres on July 28. Earned a win on August 19 against Lynchburg, his first win since May 14. Finished the year by losing his last three starts, allowing a combined 12 runs in 12.2 innings pitched. Allowed a team-high 145 hits to opponents.

#31 - Cla Meredith: Made major league debut with Boston Red Sox on May 8 against Seattle. Played mostly with Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket, but appeared in one game as a Blue Rock, striking out two batters in one inning pitched against Frederick on July 13.

#39 - Wade Miller: After being acquired by the Boston Red Sox in the off-season from the Houston Astros, appeared in Wilmington as part of a minor league rehabilitation assignment as he recovered from a shoulder injury. Earned no-decision in Wilmington's 4-2 victory over Kinston on April 18, allowing a lead-off home run to Nathan Panther and striking out six Indians batters. Miller became the first major leaguer to rehab in Wilmington since Carlos Beltran in 2000.

#14 - Randy Newsom: Appeared in just two games for Wilmington after being assigned to the Blue Rocks on June 8 out of extended spring training. Earned a two-inning save at Winston-Salem on June 10 in Wilmington's 10-8 victory. Sent to Single-A Greenville on June 20.

#24 - David Pahucki: Pitched in four games for Wilmington, going 2-1 with a 1.23 ERA. Assigned to Wilmington from Double-A Portland on June 2. Was placed on the disabled list from June 8 - June 13 with a strained right hamstring. Did not allow an earned run in his first two appearances, including a win against Potomac on June 13 in his Blue Rocks debut. Placed on the disabled list again, this time with a right shoulder sprain, from July 5 until the end of the year.

#26 - Felix Romero: Began the year as a closer for Wilmington, but was moved to the setup role following the opening week of the season, finishing the year 5-7 with a 2.93 ERA. The righthander led the Blue Rocks staff with 34 appearances (three starts) in 2005. He also had the most strikeouts per nine innings of anyone in the Wilmington bullpen (10.6). Was placed on the suspended list for 15 days on June 6 for violation of the Minor League Baseball Substance Abuse Program. Earned his only save of the year on August 10 in a 10-5 win over Winston-Salem.

#24 - Brett Rudrude: Joined the Blue Rocks on July 21 from the Gulf Coast League. Allowed one earned run in his Wilmington debut (7-22 vs. Lynchburg), but did not allow another earned run to score the rest of the season, a stretch of 13 appearances and 18.2 innings pitched. Finished the year with a 2-1 record and a 0.46 ERA in his first year back following arm surgery.

#19 - Anibal Sanchez: Pitched with the Blue Rocks from opening day until being promoted to Double-A Portland on July 4. Was 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA, along with 95 strikeouts in 78.2 innings pitched at the time of his promotion. Had a season-high 14 strikeouts against Salem in 2-0 win on April 16. Started the Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown for Boston against the Detroit Tigers. Named a mid-season Carolina League All-Star, and started against the California League in the All-Star Game at Frederick. Also appeared in the XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game, pitching for the World Team at Comerica Park during the Major League All-Star break.

#43 - Ryan Schroyer: After joining the Blue Rocks from Single-A Greenville on July 21, the righthander helped shore up the Wilmington bullpen. Went 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA over 13 appearances. Combined with Justin Sturge to shutout the Salem Avalanche, 1-0, on August 31, his first win of the season. Took the loss in the final game of the season, allowing two runs in a 6-5 loss to Frederick.

#34 - Scott Shoemaker: Pitched at three different levels (Triple-A, Double-A, Low-A) in the Red Sox system before joining the Blue Rocks on August 12. Went 1-3 with a 7.94 ERA in five starts over the final month of the season. Earned the win in his Wilmington debut with five solid innings against Potomac on August 12. Did not win another start the rest of the year, however, going 0-3 with a 9.68 ERA over his final four starts of the season.

#31 - Justin Sturge: The lefthander joined the Wilmington bullpen on July 21 from Double-A Portland. Went 3-1 with one save and a 4.56 ERA in 11 appearances out of the pen. Finished the season by making two starts, both no-decisions, lowering his overall ERA to 3.58. Had a streak of 14.1 scoreless innings from August 21 to September 4.

#7 - Kyle Tabeek: Joined the Blue Rocks on August 27 from the Gulf Coast League and appeared in just four games. Went 0-1 with one save and a 19.64 ERA in 3.2 innings pitched. Allowed six runs on seven hits in two-thirds of an inning in Blue Rocks' 16-7 loss at Salem on August 30. Took loss in extra-inning defeat to Frederick on September 4.

#17 - Jose Vaquedano: Went 8-7 with a 3.75 ERA in 28 appearances (23 starts). Led Wilmington in starts, innings pitched (146.1) and strikeouts (117). The only member of the Blue Rocks pitching staff (and one of four players overall) to be on the roster from opening day through the end of the season. Led all Carolina League pitchers with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 2005. CATCHERS:

#15 - Dusty Brown: Missed a large portion of the season rehabbing injuries in the Gulf Coast League. On the disabled list from April 9-17, and again from May 4-July 6. Missed a total of 69 games due to injury in 2005. Upon his return in July, played the bulk of his time in the outfield, where he did not make an error in 36 appearances in left field and right field. Hit .256 with eight home runs and 36 RBI. Connected on Wilmington's only grand slam of 2005, a game-tying shot in the sixth inning off of Winston-Salem's Fraser Dizard on August 18 that was part of Wilmington's 11-10, come-from-behind victory in a game in which they trailed, 9-0. Had nine-game hitting streak from July 7-19.

#25 - Clint Chauncey: Struggled at the plate in his time with the Blue Rocks, hitting a team-low .144 (minimum 100 PA) with one home run and six RBI. Hit only home run of the season in Wilmington's 4-1 victory at Kinston. Was released by the Boston Red Sox organization on July 6.

#44 - Jon Devries: Joined the Blue Rocks on June 30 from Single-A Greenville. Hit .283 with four home runs and 13 RBI. Led Blue Rocks minimum qualifiers with a .478 slugging percentage. Started 33 games as catcher, second only to Jeff Ontiveros' 51. Threw out just 17 percent of base-stealers, the lowest percentage in the Carolina League.

#40 - Jeff Ontiveros: The only catcher who was with Wilmington from opening day through the final day of the season. He led the Blue Rocks (along with Chad Spann) with 13 home runs, although he did not have a homer after July 19. Of his 13 homers, 10 were solo home runs. Hit eighth-inning home run at Potomac (6-13) to break a 1-1 tie, sending the Blue Rocks to a 3-1 win. Struggled in the month of August, hitting just .213 over 13 games. INFIELDERS:

#10 - Ian Bladergroen: Battled a wrist injury throughout most of the season, and was on the disabled list from May 14 until July 6, missing 48 games. Overall, batted .240 with four home runs and 31 RBI in his first season in the Red Sox organization following an off-season trade with the Mets. Launched two home runs at Salem on September 1, accounting for Wilmington's only runs in a 5-2 loss to the Avalanche. A sure handed fielder, made just five errors in 2005.

#6 - Zach Borowiak: Named the Whitten's Fine Jewelry Player of the Year for the Blue Rocks, hitting .254 with 11 home runs and 59 RBI. Notched 103 hits, including a teambest 27 doubles. Played second base, shortstop, third base, left field, and center field. Named to the Carolina League Midseason All-Star team. Hit go-ahead home run in eighth inning at Winston-Salem on August 18 to cap largest comeback in franchise history (nine runs) in 11-10 win. Went 4-for-4 in that game, scoring three runs. A clutch hitter, he led the Blue Rocks with 26 two-out RBI. Promoted to Double-A Portland on August 29.

#5 - Dirimo Chavez: Had three tours of duty with Wilmington in 2005, as he was shuffled around the Boston organization. Began the season in Wilmington, and served as a utility infielder. Overall, Chavez batted .205 with one home run and 12 RBI. Pitched one scoreless inning against Frederick in Wilmington's 14-3 loss on August 1. Hit only homer against the Keys on May 8. Was sent to Portland on June 12, returned to Wilmington on June 17, and was sent to Greenville on June 30. Chavez came back to the Blue Rocks on July 21 from Greenville, and was traded to the New York Mets for a player to be named later on August 12.

#20 - Dustin Kelly: Joined Wilmington out of extended spring training on May 14, and played in 11 games for the Blue Rocks. Had a six-game hitting streak from May 31-June 7. Was sent to Short Season-A Lowell on June 14.

#16 - Bret LeVier: Came to Wilmington in the last few weeks of the season after being promoted from Single-A Greenville on August 24. Hit .238 (5-for-21) in seven games with three RBI. Had only multi-hit game of the year against Lynchburg on August 27, going 2-for-3 with a run scored in Wilmington's 10-1 loss to the Hillcats.

#5 - Luis Segovia: Became the 14th teenager - and third of the season - to play for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, when he debuted on August 30 at the age of 19 year, 42 days old. Was the third-youngest player in Wilmington history, behind Andres Blanco and Zack Greinke. The switch hitter batted .083 (2-for-24) in eight games with one RBI. After going 2-for-5 in his debut on August 30, he did not record a hit the rest of the season. Did not disappoint in the field, however, as he played a perfect second base in five games and made just one error at shortstop in three starts.

#16 - Chad Spann: Tied with three others for the Wilmington lead in home runs with 13. Hit .248 with 48 RBI in 111 games played. Started 74 games at third base, but struggled defensively, making 20 errors at the hot corner. Rattled off an 11-game hitting streak from August 2-14, during which he raised his batting average 10 points. Went 3- for-4 and was a triple short of the cycle in Wilmington's 10-5 loss to Winston-Salem on August 17. Was promoted to Double-A Portland on August 24, where he contributed to the Sea Dogs' postseason run with a walk-off grand slam to defeat the Trenton Thunder in the Eastern League Divisional Playoffs.

#13 - Iggy Suarez: One of four players to be with the Blue Rocks from opening day until the final game of the season. Suarez hit .233 with no home runs and 38 RBI in 116 games. He had the most errors of any player in the Carolina League with 32. Suarez delivered the game-winning RBI in Wilmington's 5-4, 11-inning walk-off victory over the Winston-Salem Warthogs on August 6. Put together an 11-game hitting streak from June 8-21. Was among the leaders for the Blue Rocks with a .304 batting average with runners in scoring position.

#41 - Brant Ust: Was assigned to the Blue Rocks after being signed as a minor league free agent by the Boston Red Sox on April 16. Was a consistent performer offensively, batting .262 with a team-high 13 home runs and 71 RBI. Was an infielder by trade, but started 74 games in right field for the Blue Rocks before moving to the infield over the last month of the year. Had a five-RBI game against Potomac in Wilmington's 14-5 drubbing on June 14. Launched two home runs against Kinston on July 8. Had two 10- game hitting streaks: May 10-21 and July 6-19. Selected to Team USA for the IBFA Baseball World Cup in September of 2005. Left the Blue Rocks on August 30 to join the team in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

#35 - Scott White: Led the Blue Rocks in games played (123), splitting time between third base (50 starts), first base (42 starts) and designated hitter (27 starts). Hit .238 with a team-high 13 home runs and 60 RBI. Had game-winning hits in back-to-back victories over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on May 19 and May 21, the only Blue Rock with two walk-off hits this season. After starting the season 0-for-8, went on a 12-game hitting streak during which he hit .409. Hit two home runs against Potomac on August 4, one of four multi-homer games by a Wilmington hitter in 2005. Led the Blue Rocks with nine three-hit games.

#20 - Scott Youngbauer: The switch-hitting infielder joined the Blue Rocks after being signed as a minor league free agent by the Boston Red Sox on June 14. Had begun the year at the Double-A level in the Cleveland Indians organization. For Wilmington, Youngbauer hit .321 with two home runs and 18 RBI in 27 games before he was promoted to Double-A Portland on July 21. Hit safely in his first 17 games for the Blue Rocks, giving him the longest hitting streak of the season and tying the third-longest streak in franchise history. Went 4-for-5 against Potomac on June 21 in Wilmington's 8- 4 victory. Overall, reached base by either a hit or walk in 25 of his 27 games with the Blue Rocks. OUTFIELDERS:

#23 - Claudio Arias: Joined the Blue Rocks from Single-A Greenville on August 24, and homered in his first at-bat as a member of the team, sending a 1-1 pitch from Ricardo Rodriguez over the centerfield fence. In 14 games with Wilmington, Arias hit .245 with four homers and nine RBI. Six of his 13 hits were for extra bases.

#18 - Pat Boran: An opening day starter for Wilmington, the switch hitter was released by the Red Sox on April 17, becoming the first Blue Rock player to be released in 2005. In five games, Boran hit .250 with one RBI.

#32 - Ian Cronkhite: Was promoted to Wilmington on August 29 from Single-A Greenville and finished the year with the Blue Rocks. A lefthanded batter, Cronkhite appeared in six games, including a 2-for-3 effort at Salem on September 1.

#7- Bryan Goelz: Excellent defensive outfielder who made just one error in 134 chances, giving him a .993 fielding percentage - second-best mark in the Carolina League. At the plate, hit just .208 with two home runs and 19 RBI. Had two three-hit games: May 16 at Lynchburg and July 30 vs. Kinston. Was released by the Boston Red Sox on August 8.

#12 - Mickey Hall: Became the 12th teenage player in franchise history when he started in left field on opening night in Myrtle Beach at 19 years, 323 days. Was the Whitten's Fine Jewelry Player of the Month for May, as he hit .325 with four homers and 17 RBI, but broke his right index finger when he was hit by a pitch on May 25. The injury kept Hall out for 65 games, as he was on the disabled list from May 27-August 8. Struggled at the plate in his return, batting just .145 in 26 games following the injury. Homered on the final day of the season, his first homer since May 19, a span of 38 games. Overall, finished with a .216 average with six home runs and 25 RBI.

#38 - Willy Mota: Appeared in six games for Wilmington, and was the 13th teenager to suit up for the Blue Rocks in franchise history. He was 19 years, 226 days old at the time of his debut on June 6. Had one hit in 18 at-bats, a home run at Winston-Salem on June 11. Was sent to Short Season-A Lowell on June 17.

#18 - Bryan Pritz: A steady performer and versatile defensive outfielder, Pritz was a constant contributor at the plate and in the field. Joined the Blue Rocks from Greenville on April 29. Played for the Red Sox in the Hall of Fame game at Cooperstown against the Detroit Tigers. Led Wilmington in hitting with a .299 average. Added two home runs and 25 RBI, along with a team-high 18 steals. Had hitting streaks of 10 games (June 13-24), 12 games (July 20-August 8), and finished the season with a nine-game streak. Led the Blue Rocks in walks (53) and on-base percentage (.396).

#23 - Greg Stone: Played in 15 games for the Blue Rocks before being released by the Boston Red Sox on April 29. Hit .129 (4-for-31) with one RBI. Did not make an error and added two outfield assists.

#23 - Matt Van Der Bosch: Joined Wilmington from Single-A Greenville on May 28. As a Blue Rock, hit .283 with five home runs and 28 RBI, all out of the lead-off spot in the lineup. Had a two-homer game against Potomac on June 14, including a lead-off homer. Started in 64 games in centerfield before being promoted to Double-A Portland on August 24 following a torrid month in which he hit .390.

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Carolina League Stories from September 23, 2005

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