Montgomery 15, Mobile 2. With the Durham Bulls having the night off, we will start in Montgomery…A career night for first baseman Gabriel Martinez. the 2001 27th round pick, went 4-6 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI, including a grand slam. He now has 9 home runs on the season and is hitting .270. Evan Longoria and Reid Brignac added 2 hits apiece, but the prospect that garnered the most attention was 2004 first round pick, Jeff Niemann. Niemann was making just his 10th start since returning from an injury that caused him to miss the first 3 months of this season and limited him to 8 starts in 2005. Earlier this season Niemann took a no-hitter into the 7th inning of a start. Last night he gave up his first hit with 2 outs in the 2nd, but that would be the only hit he would surrender in 6 shutout innings. He also showed excellent control with 1 walk and 8 strikeouts. He struck out 5 of the first 7 batters he faced. Up to this point, the biggest concerns with Niemann have been his endurance and his touch on the slider. He appears to have rediscovered the slider. Now it is just a matter of time until he gets his endurance back. When he does, expect to see him in a Devil Rays’ uniform…possibly as soon as opening day 2007.
Visalia 8, Stockton 6. John Jaso went 2-5 to raise his season average to .315, as the Oaks rallied from down 5-1. James Houser cruised through the first 3 innings before allowing 5 runs in the 4th and was pulled with 1 out in that inning.
Oneonta 10, Hudson Valley 7. 2004 6th round pick Ryan Royster went 2-5 with his 6th home run of the season. Royster, the left fielder, is now 3rd in the New York-Penn League in homers.
Kingsport 8, Princeton 7. Catcher Nevin Ashley, who was selected in the 6th round of this years draft went 3-4 with 2 RBI. He is now hitting .336-3-22 in 33 games and has the 3rd highest batting average in the Appalachian League.