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Top Performances of 2021, No. 9: Ponce Surrenders One Run in Quality Start

November 23, 2021 - Triple-A East League (AAA East) - Indianapolis Indians News Release

INDIANAPOLIS - After surrendering a leadoff home run to give the Memphis Redbirds an early lead on June 17 at Victory Field, Cody Ponce blanked opposing batters with nine strikeouts in 7.0 innings. Following Ponce's lead, the Indianapolis Indians offense came back to walk off the Redbirds in the bottom of the 11th, 3-2.

Following Kramer Robertson's long ball to begin the game, Ponce shut down nine of the next 10 batters - five on strikeouts - to cruise through three innings. Sixty-one of his 88 total pitches were strikes, and his nine total strikeouts were his most in a start since July 9, 2016 at High-A Bradenton. His 7.0 innings marked his longest outing since Aug. 20, 2017 vs. High-A Frederick.

To add to his stellar strikeout tally, Ponce flashed his glove in the field to take an infield hit away from Matt Szczur. With one out in the sixth inning and the game tied 1-1, the 6-foot-6, 255-pound pitcher raced toward a bunt attempt on the third-base side, made a barehand grab and delivered an off-balance, accurate throw to catch Szczur by a half-step at first base.

Knotted at 1-1 through nine innings, the teams traded runs in the 10th before a walk-off single by Wilmer Difo scored Hunter Owen as the automatic runner on second base.

Ponce's quality start is No. 9 of the Indians Top Performances of 2021 countdown, ahead of an 8.0-inning gem by James Marvel. Two games will be announced each week, with the No. 1 performance being announced the week of Dec. 19.

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