Trash Pandas score 9 in win over Barons

Trash Pandas win first road game of Southern league season
The Rocket City Trash Pandas defeat the Birmingham Barons 9-2 Tuesday night
The Rocket City Trash Pandas defeat the Birmingham Barons 9-2 Tuesday night(Rocket City Trash Pandas)
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 11:07 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Rocket City Trash Pandas jumped out to a lead just three pitches into the game, extended the lead early, and never looked back in a 9-2 win over the Birmingham Barons on Tuesday night at Regions Field.

Leading off the Trash Pandas’ first road game of the season, shortstop Zach Neto wasted little time in jumping on Birmingham starter Hunter Dollander. Neto began the at-bat with a swing and a miss and a foul ball to fall behind 0-2. Dollander then left a fastball over the heart of the plate and Neto crushed it to center for a leadoff home run, his first homer of the season and an early Rocket City lead.An inning later, the Trash Pandas extended the lead with a big rally. Two walks and a hit by pitch loaded the bases to start the inning. Jose Gomez followed with a double down the left field line, plating two runs for a 3-0 advantage. Neto’s second hit in as many innings was an RBI single to score David Calabrese. Kyren Paris capped the inning’s scoring with a fielder’s choice ground out, scoring Gomez for a 5-0 Trash Panda lead in the second.

The early runs would prove to be plenty for Victor Mederos. Making his Double-A debut, the 2022 sixth round draft pick retired the Barons in order in the first, striking out Luis Mieses to complete a one, two, three inning. A leadoff walk in the second was erased by an inning-ending double play from Tyler Osik.

Moises Castillo recorded the Barons’ first hit with a two-out single in the third. Mederos stranded him on base by getting a ground out from Duke Ellis to end the frame. A leadoff walk in the fourth was wiped out with a double play from Mieses. That would be the end of Mederos’ night. Over four scoreless innings, he allowed just one hit, walking two and striking out a pair in his first start with the Trash Pandas.

The Trash Pandas continued to extend the lead in the fifth, with Orlando Martinez coming home on a wild pitch after a leadoff single and Calabrese’s RBI fielder’s choice making it a 7-0 game.

Birmingham got on the board in the fifth with Adam Hackenberg’s RBI single off José Soriano. In the sixth, Trash Pandas reliever Ivan Armstrong worked into a bases loaded jam before escaping on Hackenberg’s fly out to right.

Neto drove in another run in the eighth, getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Kevin Maitan, who began the inning with a walk. Kenyon Yovan pitched the bottom of the inning, walking two while inducing another double play. Tucker Flint’s first Double-A hit scored Edgar Quero for the ninth Rocket City run of the evening in the eighth.

Yovan worked around runners to get through the eighth and Brandon Dufault finished the game by pitching the ninth inning, allowing a run in his Double-A debut.

At the plate, Neto led the way with a career-high four hits by going 4-for-5 with a home run, three RBI, and a hit by pitch. Flint went 1-for-2 with three walks and a run scored while Gomez also drove in a pair.

With Mederos’ scoreless start, Rocket City starting pitching continues its impressive streak to start the season. Through four games, the pitching quartet of Mason Erla, Coleman Crow, Sam Bachman, and Mederos have combined to not allow an earned run over 19.1 innings, striking out 26.

The Trash Pandas and Barons continue their series on Wednesday night with a 7:05 p.m. matchup at Regions Field.

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