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Minor League Minute for Saturday, April 7th

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AAA Durham Bulls:

BULLS 9, Syracuse 5-Jeff Niemann pitched five decent innings in his Triple A debut, and the Bulls scored five in the eighth to pull out their first win of the season, 9-6 over the Syracuse SkyChiefs. Niemann pitched four innings in his pro debut, surrendering four hits and two runs, both earned, on one walk and seven strikeouts. He left after 87 pitches with the Bulls holding the lead, however Chad Orvella struggled in 1.1 innings of work, being charged with three runs total. Jeff Ridgway and Scott Dohmann relieved him, and pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, with Dohmann picking up the win for holding the Bulls' five run eighth. Durham came back from a 16-0 thrashing last night to put up a good offensive effort on the day. Elliot Johnson and Justin Ruggiano each had two hits for the Bulls, and they scored two runs and one run, respectively. The clear offensive star of the day, however, was Wes Bankston, who had three hits, including a double and a two run homer in the third off of Syracuse starter Josh Banks. Jorge Cantu and Joel Guzman each added one hit for the Bulls, who pounded out 12 total on the evening.

BULLS Up Next-vs Syracuse, 5:00 ET

AA Montgomery Biscuits:

BISCUITS 6, West Tenn 5-Montgomery staked out an early lead, and the Biscuits' bullpen held on as the team improved their record to 3-0 by dispatching the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx 6-5 on Saturday night. The Biscuits, the only undefeated team in the organization, were fronted by an unimpressive starting effort from James Houser, who allowed four runs in five innings of work. The Montgomery bullpen pitched exceptionally well, however, as Jeremy Flanagan and Evan Meek spotted the D-Jaxx just one run in the final four frames to hold on for the one run win. Only one Montgomery hitter, Evan Longoria, manged more than one hit on the well-balanced day, as he reached base three times via a walk, single, and double. He also committed an error on a missed catch. The Biscuits got one extra base hit each from Fernando Perez (triple) and Reid Brignac (double), while Brignac also stole a base. Chris Nowak and Shaun Cumberland added hits for the Biscuits, still the only undefeated team in the Devil Rays organization.

BISCUITS Up Next-vs West Tenn, 3:05 ET

A+ Vero Beach Devil Rays:

St. Lucie 7, V-RAYS 6-Vero Beach scored their first run of the season in the first inning, as well as another five later in the ballgame, however the offensive jolt still wasn't enough as the V-Rays dropped their third straight decision, 7-6 to the St. Lucie Mets. Vero Beach is winless on the young season. Getting the start on the evening was Vero southpaw Mike Wlodarczyk, who pitched four innings and spotted St. Lucie but two runs as he departed with Vero Beach in the lead. Alas, Kevin Lynn gave up four runs in two innings of relief immediately following his departure. However after Vero scored three in the top of the eighth, closer Greg Dupas immediately led off the bottom of the inning by serving up the winning home run to St. Lucie LF Sean Henry, and afterwards was ejected by home plate umpire Philip Mulroe for undisclosed reasons. He took the loss, as the Vero offense was unable to come up with any more runs in the top half of the ninth. The Vero offense had a wakeup day meanwhile, against a very formidable opponent; Mets top prospect Mike Pelfrey. The V-Rays scored three runs off of Pelfrey in his six innings of work, and added three more of of St. Lucie's bullpen in the loss. The unit was led by OF Garrett Groce, who went 3 for 4 with a home run and a stolen base on the afternoon. He is 6 for 11 on the year. Patrick Cottrell also homered, one of his two hits on the evening, while James Hall added two hits as well. Sergio Pedroza, starting at catcher for Vero, did not get a hit in two at bats, but walked twice.

V-RAYS Up Next-Sunday: OFF; Monday: vs St. Lucie, 7:05 ET

A- Columbus Catfish

Kannapolis 4, CATFISH 1-Ryan Morse pitched six solid innings, but the Catfish suffered from a lack of offensive support and a late ninth inning collapse ensured their second straight defeat, 3-1 to the Kannapolis Intimidators. Morse gave up but three hits and one run while striking out two in his day of work while not walking anyone the whole evening. The Columbus pitching continued to hold until the ninth inning, when Brain Baker, in for his third inning of work, gave up three runs in the ninth inning to allow the Intimidators to take a lead that they would hold. Baker ended up getting the loss, and gave up all of his four hits and one walk in that ninth inning; he had gotten Kannapolis to go 1-2-3 in the two prior frames. The Catfish offense struggled on the day, with the team registering six hits total while committing three errors. Desmond Jennings was the only player with two hits in the lineup, as John Matulia and Ryan Royster were held hitless. Nevin Ashley added a hit for the Catfish.

CATFISH Up Next-vs Kannapolis, 2:00 ET