De La Cruz Makes Huge Impact in 2017 Debut
Akron, Ohio- The Akron RubberDucks took the field on a Tuesday afternoon at Canal Park to take on the Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) for their first of two “education days” this week that the organization holds for local middle school students to come enjoy the game. Luckily for those kids, they were able to see some quality baseball today.
Nick Pasquale, who came into the game sporting a 2-2 record with a 3.38 ERA, definitely had to “bulldog” his way through this one. Only going 5 innings with 106 pitches, Pasquale did not have his best stuff but only walked 3 while striking out 5 en route to a run-less outing for him.
For Richmond, Sam Coonrod would suffer the loss, going only 5 and a third innings while allowing 3 hits and 4 walks on 4 earned runs.
The hero of the day would come early in the form of Juan De La Cruz, who made his first start (and appearance) this year for Akron. His debut would certainly not go unnoticed. In the bottom of the first, De La Cruz found himself in a bases-loaded situation and stung a ball into the right center gap that would clear the bases and place him on second to open up the scoring.
Pasquale would work from there as Richmond managed to get runners into scoring position on a number of occasions but could not get to Pasquale.
Akron reliever Cameron Hill would come on to replace Pasquale in the 6th and he would have a solid outing. He worked a quick 3 innings while only allowing one run on a Dylan Davis home run that placed a Hill fastball in the Tiki Terrace in right.
A Luigi Rodriguez sac fly in the bottom of the 5th and a Mark Methias 2 run shot in the 8th would round out the scoring for Akron and seal the game as the RubberDucks marched on to a 6-1 victory.
The loss drops Coonrod to 1-4 while Pasquale moves to 3-2 on the year. The RubberDucks now stand at 16-18 (3rd in the EL West) while Richmond drops to 16-21 (4th in the EL West). The RubberDucks finish their series with Richmond tomorrow at 10:35 at Canal Park!
Game Notes: Akron reliever Cam Hill’s first 4 games had a total stat line of a 4.91 ERA, 6 BB’s and 4 K’s. Through his last 5 outings, however, Hill has dominated opponents bats, posting a .059 ERA with 10 K’s and just 1 BB. Todd Hankins (Akron) also recorded his second multi-hit game of the year. Bobby Bradley (Akron) also left the game for precautionary reasons dealing with a right middle finger sprain.