Twenty-one year old Jesse Litsch was making a big climb up the organizational ladder Saturday…
BMLN: Banks and Litsch Dominate in Debut
Banks Marvelous in Triple-A Debut Josh Banks had to wait an extra day to make his Triple-A debut, but in the end he was simply marvelous as he led the SkyChiefs to a 4-1 victory Saturday afternoon against Rochester. Banks had allowed just one hit over his first five innings of work before showing signs of fatigue as he began the sixth inning. It was understandable considering Banks was never stretched out above 75 pitches during spring training. The right-hander opened the sixth inning allowing two straight hits and was then lifted for Brandon League. Banks would finish with five-plus innings under his belt, and allowed one run on three hits. The right-hander picked up the victory in his first Triple-A start as he struck out five without issuing any walks. Banks continued to show he is a fly ball pitcher recording nine outs in the air, and one on the ground. League, making his first appearance of 2006, was just as effective in relief of Banks, pitching three perfect innings, while striking out two batters. "Mr. Saves", Lee Gronkiewicz, picked up his first save of the 2006 season pitching a perfect ninth inning. John-Ford Griffin led the offensive attack for the SkyChiefs with a home run, a double, and a single in four at bats. The left fielder finished the game 3-for-4 with a run scored and two runs batted in. Wayne Lydon reached base three times, once with a single and twice via the walk, but was thrown out at second base for his first caught stealing of the season. Rain, Rain Postpones the Game Saturday's game between the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and New Britain Rock Cats was postponed due to rain. No makeup date was announced, but the two teams will meet again at 1:35 p.m. ET on Sunday. Litsch Lifts Dunedin to Victory Jesse Litsch made his Florida State League debut Saturday evening for the Dunedin Blue Jays and struck out eight over 6 2/3 innings on his way to victory. Litsch, who at one point retired 16 straight batters, allowed just one run on two hits. Daryl Harang came on to preserve the lead for the Jays after Connor Falkenbach ran into trouble in the eighth. Harang struck out Brian Burgamy to end the eighth and Milton Tavarez set down the Threshers in order in the ninth to pick up his first save. Falkenbach allowed a hit and issue a walk, while striking out two batters in his inning of work. Tavarez struck out one batter in the ninth. Ryan Patterson and Dustin Majewski provided the offense for the Blue Jays. Both players had a double with Majewski driving in a pair of runs, and Patterson drove in one run. Despite hitting just .167 early in the season, Patterson has come through when it matters the most. In six at bats with runners on base the outfielder had a single and a double, while in three at bats with runners in scoring position, Patterson has a home run and a double. Majewski is a perfect 3-for-3 on the season with runners in scoring position, and is also 2-for-2 on the season with runners in scoring position and two outs. Ryan Klosterman also contributed with a double in the victory. Josh Kreuzer had a single to extend his hit streak to three games. Lugnuts Fall in 12 All good things come to an end. The Lansing Lugnuts did not have an offensive explosion for a third straight game, and dropped a 2-1 decision to Southwest Michigan Saturday afternoon in 12 innings. The winning run scored on a sacrifice fly with one out with Aaron Tressler on the mound. Tressler opened the inning with a leadoff walk, but Brian Bormaster's quick feet and defensive skills helped Lansing for a while. With Southwest Michigan attempting a sacrifice attempt, Bormaster sprang off the plate and got the force out on the lead runner at second. Tressler, however, allowed a single to left on the next at bat, and the ball was bobbled by Brian Pettway, which allowed the runner to advance to third base. The game was over the next at bat with the sacrifice fly. Russell Savickas started the game for Lansing and allowed a run on three hits in 5 2/3 innings of work. Savickas allowed two walks and struck out four on the afternoon. The right-handed pitcher was effective against left-handed batters Saturday as he faced ten batters and issued just one hit. Jordan Timm followed Savickas on the mound and proceeded to toss 2 1/3 scoreless innings, with two strikeouts. Edward Rodriguez matched the outstanding pitching of the game with three scoreless innings, before he gave way to Tressler in the 12th. The Lugnuts were prone to the strikeout all afternoon as Sean Shoffit, Chris Gutierrez, Brian Pettway and Anthony Garibaldi all suffered the strikeout hat trick with three in the game. Sean Shoffit drove in the only run for Lansing, which was scored by Brian Bormaster, who had one of three hits for Lansing. Metropoulos and David Hicks had the other two hits for Lansing. Metropoulos extended his hitting streak to three games and is batting .333 on the season. With runners on base Metropoulos is hitting 3-for-7.
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