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 Rochester Red Wings

Plates, Mud Hens Split Quasi-Doubleheader

April 18, 2024 - International League (IL)
Rochester Red Wings News Release

After a mid-game suspension of Wednesday's match due to rain, the Rochester Plates resumed action on Thursday evening, playing in a quasi-double header against the Mud Hens, splitting the twin bill one game apiece. CF Alex Call played hero in game one when he drove in PH Darren Baker for the game-winning run to solidify a 6-5 win. Scoring in game two began with a grand slam from Toledo in the first inning, a lead they would never relinquish as the Plates fell 7-3.


Rochester was the first to strike, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. RF James Wood started the Plates' offense with a ground-ball single to shortstop, racing to first base and beating out the throw. After advancing to second off a wild pitch, a line drive double to right field off the bat of DH Juan Yepez brought Wood around to score.

After rain postponed the game Wednesday afternoon, both teams' bats remained quiet when play resumed Thursday. In the top of the fourth, Toledo RF Justice Bigbie broke the silence with a two-run homer to center field to give Toledo a 2-1 lead. The 417-foot homer brought home 2B Jace Jung, who was stationed at second after a ground-ball single and steal.

The Mud Hens were quick to extend their lead, adding on another run in the top of the fifth on a solo home run to center field off the bat of 1B Ryan Vilade.

With no response from the Plates, Toledo continued to pile on the runs in the top of the sixth, taking a commanding 5-1 lead. 3B Buddy Kennedy reached base after slapping a line-drive double to center and advanced to third when C Anthony Bemboom laced a line drive that hopped over the left field fence for a ground-rule double. Vilade finished the job, bringing Kennedy and Bemboom home with a ground-ball single to left field.

The Plates' bats came alive in the bottom of the sixth, adding two runs to the one run scored in Wednesday's first inning. Wood kickstarted the rally with a line-drive single to right field and hustled home via a double down the right field line by 1B Travis Blakenhorn. 3B Trey Lipscomb brought Blankenhorn home with a ground-ball single to right field, making the score 5-3 Toledo to end the sixth. The RBI single was the former Tennessee Volunteer's first Triple-A hit.

The score remained the same until the Plates set out to work some bottom-of-the-ninth comeback magic. Blankenhorn started the sequence with a fly-ball triple to center field, his first three-bagger of the season. Lipscomb brought Blankenhorn home to score on an RBI groundout in the next at-bat. Immediately following Rochester's fourth run, LF Jake Alu was able to work a walk. The Garden State native then found himself in scoring position, moving to second on a SS Jack Dunn ground out to shortstop. Down to their final out, PH Darren Baker tied the game at five, bringing home Alu with a ground-ball single to left field. The Plates, however, did not stop there; a walk to 2B Erick Meija put the game-winning run in scoring position for leadoff hitter CF Alex Call.

On his third pitch, Call rocketed a fly-ball double into the triangle in left-center field, bringing Baker around to score the winning run from second base. The final score was 6-5 in favor of the Plates.

RHP Jackson Rutledge started on the bump for the Rochester Plates on Wednesday, tossing 2.0 innings, allowing one hit and one walk, while striking out two. RHP Spenser Watkins took over for Rochester when the game resumed on Thursday and allowed five earned runs on seven hits across 4.0 innings, while striking out and walking a pair. LHP Joe La Sorsa replaced Watkins in the top of the seventh, and kept the Mud Hens at five runs through 1.1 innings pitched, allowing only one hit before handing the ball to RHP Luis Reyes. The Dominican Republic native tossed 1.2 hitless innings while allowing only one walk to close the door and earn his first win of the season.

OF Travis Blankenhorn is the Diamond Pro Player of the Game in the first half of the quasi-doubleheader. Blankenhorn went 2-for-4 with a triple, double, RBI, and two runs scored. This was his first triple since August 20, 2023 at Buffalo. He has now collected an extra-base hit in four of his last five games and a hit in nine of his last 11.


After a thrilling walkoff win for the Plates in game one, Toledo came out firing in the top of the first inning of game two. A leadoff single by DH Akil Baddoo and two straight walks to LF Justyn-Henry Malloy and 3B Jace Jung loaded the bases for 1B Keston Hiura, who stepped up to the plate and delivered a booming 106.1 MPH, 432-foot grand slam to give the Mud Hens an early 4-0 lead.

The Plates were unable to break into the score column until the bottom of the third inning. DH Carter Kieboom opened the inning with a single to left field, followed by a walk to SS Jack Dunn and a hit-by-pitch on C Brady Lindsly to leave the bases loaded for 2B Darren Baker. The lefty pushed the Plates' first run across with an RBI groundout to second base, and LF James Wood did the same in the next at-bat to cut the Toledo lead to 4-2.

The Mud Hens answered in the top of the fourth inning after a leadoff double off the bat of 2B Buddy Kennedy. RF Bligh Madris grounded out, moving Kennedy to third base and setting up a one-out sacrifice fly for C Dillon Dingler to extend the Mud Hens' lead to 5-2.

Rochester matched Toledo in the bottom of the fifth when Lindsly opened the inning with a walk and moved over to second on a Darren Baker groundout to the pitcher. The groundout set up a James Wood, 101.7 MPH single to center field that scored the Plates catcher from second base, cutting the deficit to 5-3.

The Mud Hens built on their lead in the top of the sixth inning. After a pair of one-out singles from Buddy Kennedy and Bligh Madris, a passed ball moved both runners into scoring position. CF Ryan Vilade took advantage and lined a single to left field, scoring both runners and extending Toledo's lead to 7-3. Rochester was unable to cross the plate over the last two innings, splitting the doubleheader at a game apiece.

RHP Robert Gsellman made his second career start for Rochester, recording seven strikeouts and allowing five earned across 4.0 innings. Following a Toledo grand slam in the top of the first, Gsellman notably went on to strike out six consecutive batters, the first Rochester player to do so since Lewis Thorpe (7 in 2019). RHP Adonis Medina took over for Gsellman to start the fifth inning. He allowed two runs, just one of them earned on four hits across 1.2 innings before LHP Tim Cate collected the final out of the sixth. The lefty would stay in the game for the seventh inning, finishing his outing with one strikeout and one hit allowed across 1.1 innings pitched.

Diamond Pro Player of the Game honors goes to LF James Wood, who drove in two of the Plates' three total runs. Wood finished the game 1-for-4 with a single, leading the team with a .345 batting average (20-for-58) and a 1.017 OPS.

The Rochester Plates look to extend their series lead to 3-1 Friday night. LHP DJ Herz (0-0, 6.14) takes the mound for Rochester against Mud Hens LHP Brant Hurter. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.

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