Kluber Debuts, Offense Shines as RubberDucks blast BaySox 10-0


Cleveland Indians Pitcher Corey Kluber makes his rehab start versus the Bowie BaySox

AKRON, Ohio — Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber served the first night of his rehab assignment for the Akron RubberDucks tonight as they defeated the Bowie BaySox 10-0. This marks the RubberDucks fifth consecutive win moves them to 22-21 and above .500 for the first time this season. The loss for the BaySox moves them down to .500 at 24-24.

It was a near sellout crowd at Canal Park to see the former Cy Young winner on the mound. Kluber threw 69 pitches in five innings while only allowing two base hits, the only hits the RubberDucks defense allowed the entire game.
Aside from Kluber taking the mound, the story of the night was the RubberDucks offense which exploded for ten runs in seven innings.

After three scoreless innings to start the game, left fielder Dorssys Paulino singled to center-field to bring in the RubberDucks first run of the night in the fourth. They reeled in two more runs in the following inning off a Francisco Mejia single and a Bobby Bradley double to extend their lead to 3-0.

Catcher Francisco Mejia was one of six RubberDucks to score in the 10-0 win over the BaySox.

The seventh inning proved to be the most prolific of the night for the RubberDucks on offense. First baseman Bobby Bradley led in his second runner of the night with a base single. Mejia then scored off a sacrificing fly ball. Three more runs were scored in the seventh inning via hit singles from first baseman Tyler Krieger and outfielder Jordan Smith, while second baseman Mark Mathias doubled to left-field to bring Smith home for the fifth score of the inning.

The win not only moves the RubberDucks above .500 for the first time this season but also ties them with the BaySox for second place in the Eastern League Division. The two teams will face each other three more times from Saturday through Monday before the RubberDucks travel to Pittsburgh for a series versus the first-place Altoona Curve on Tuesday.

Photos by Khalil Smith

Access to Legal Aid in Akron

When most people think of nonprofit organizations they picture soup kitchens, clothing donations, medical care, and other fundamental necessities of life. Generally one does not think about other services or even providing access to them. The nonprofit organization Community Legal Aid Services, Inc. is an organization out of the Akron area providing legal counsel and assistance to low income individuals that need it the most. It serves a need most people are unaware even exists in our community by supporting people through something one would think is already covered by our legal system.

The general misconception with the law is the right to an attorney. Our constitution does provide you the right to an attorney in the event you are subject to a criminal case; yet many of the cases in our legal system are civil in nature. What does this mean though? In our legal system, we have divided the nature of cases between criminal and civil. Criminal cases are generally considered a crime against the state, or general society as a whole brought to court by the state, whereas in civil cases it is a crime against a person or institution that is brought by said party. In regards to civil cases, one does not have the constitutional right to an attorney, and though many people can afford legal aid, to many this is a necessity that is financially out of reach. Think of it as this, something has happened that either damaged you or you are being accused of damage, and instead of having a lawyer, you are forced to attempt to represent yourself against a trained one. It’s the legal equivalent of a pickup basketball league stepping onto the court with a professional team. Not only does one’s chances look grim, but they are almost definitively going to either not have their proper compensations, or be forced to attempt to pay back a potentially unfair damage accusation.

That is where organizations like Community Legal Aid come into play. People who don’t have the money to afford legal representation in their time of need can turn to community services like this for assistance, whether for issues like their disabilities being taken away, wrongful home evictions, predatory loans, domestic abuse, or even back pay or wrongdoings at the workplace. This makes a major impact in our community as their organization alone has contributed by closing 5,151 cases in 2016, accounting for an approximate 16.26 million dollars for their clients. They have served many needs including 660 veterans cases, 1,230 senior cases, 877 domestic violence victim cases, and 1,707 disabled persons cases. They have also defended others in consumer protection, health and education as well as housing needs, record theft, and tax. The beneficial impact to society is massive by having institutions like this available and able to provide such services to our community. It not only helps benefit those in need, but on normal circumstances these people may not have been able to get proper representation. To imagine in a year nearly 16 million dollars of damages may have gone unpaid or simple pushed under the rug is staggering, but it does make one think about the reality and society we live in. Community Legal Aid received 15,928 requests for assistance in 2016 alone, and unfortunately not all of those are able to be met. Institutions like this can only handle so much in a year, and there is only so much funding to support this.

Institutions like this are funded through a mix of donations, other organizations contributions, the Legal Services Corporation, 501 non-profit corporation established by Congress. With the upcoming changes in the federal budget however, organizations like this may lose a substantial amount of funding, so donations of both time and assistance may be key to maintaining such unseen but important entities of society. Akron University law students may seek internship here, as well as can donate their time and assistance of such a vital service to the community, giving them both a grand experience with the legal system, as well as the satisfaction in knowing what they’re contributing their efforts to is a benevolent use of their skills for the greater of their community.

After interviewing the Executive Director Steven McGarrity, and hearing his words reflecting the best part of his job is knowing he is able to truly help people makes me hope that this organization thrives and continues to positively impact our community. Though everyone has the right to legal aid, there are many in our community that do not have access to it financially, and organizations like Community Legal Aid help amend this social injustice and protect people’s civil legal needs.


Listen to the interview by following the link below:


You can donate to their organization by following the link below:


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.



Pasquale Pitches Gem in RubberDucks’ Rubber Match Against Trenton


The Akron RubberDucks got an early start in their early Wednesday game against the Trenton Thunder, with Tyler Krieger blasting a leadoff home run. The solo shot was all Nick Pasquale would need, as the pitcher went six innings without allowing a hit, getting the win in the RubberDucks’ 4-2 victory.


“He’s always been a confident guy…he continues to get better,which is a credit to him, that’s what to try to get guys to do down here,” Akron RubberDucks Manager Mark Budzinski said, “he’s starting to learn how to pitch and work his secondary pitches.”


Pasquale recorded just four strikeouts over his seven innings of work, but limited the Thunder to mainly fly balls to get out of innings. Even after the no-hitter was broken up in the top of the seventh inning, Pasquale was able to get out of a potential dangerous situation with two runners on and a run already in. The 6-foot pitcher credited his fastball command to his quality outing.


“I didn’t really throw much off-speed (pitches),” Pasquale said, “but I could use them when I wanted and when I needed a big pitch I could throw the fastball down in the zone.”


As for the no-hitter, did Pasquale feel the pressure?


“Nah, I knew (about the no hitter) after the second inning,” Pasquale said, “it was just a 1-0 game so I just wanted to get the win.”


Pasquale’s teammates would help his cause in the sixth inning with a burst of scoring. First, highly touted first-baseman Bobby Bradley laced a double into the gap in right-center, which scored one. Then catcher Eric Hasse sent himself and Bradley home with a rocket to left-center that would have gone down to the towpath had it not smacked off the advertisement board, making the score at Canal Park 4-0 in favor of the RubberDucks.


Dylan Baker took the hill in the eighth for the RubberDucks and gave up the same amount of hits as Pasquale with one but did not give up a run. Closer David Speer came on in the ninth for the save and made things interesting, giving up a run, but he slammed the door and a fly-ball for the third out gave Akron the series victory over Trenton.


Pasquale got the win and moves to an even 2-2 record on the mound this year, and lowered his season ERA to 3.38. Krieger’s dinger was his second of the year, while Hasse, playing for his second straight day in relief of number one prospect Francisco Mejia, blasted his third home run of the year.


With the win, Akron improves to 13-17. This weekend, the RubberDucks go on the road for a series against Binghamton, which will feature five games in four days.