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2011 Connecticut News Articles

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Media Day is Wednesday, June 15. Open practice to the public is Thursday at 6:00.

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Micro recently tweeted the C-Tigers' roster. The differences with the official milb.com roster are as follows: Dan Gentzler shows up with a 'reserve' status on the official roster, while Micro has him (apparently) active. Nick Avila and Dean Green are on the official roster but missing from Micro's.

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Nice...from Norwich Bulletin link...any True baseball fan / purist will enjoy this interview from Media Day yesterday. Good luck to this kid as he will catch NO breaks due to his last name: Colin Kaline

Also Bo McClendan:

Manager Andrew Graham

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My season preview article will be running tomorrow.....

All the guys listed on the Reserve List on the MiLB.com roster are actually on the GCL roster, except for Gentzler who is on the active Connecticut roster.

Dean Green will head there when his family issues are dealt with.

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Micro (or anybody), any word on where (and when) Brian Flynn might surface?

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Connecticut Tigers get down to business tonight.

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Tigers manager Andrew Graham Wednesday, June 15, 2011 during media day at Dodd Stadium in Norwich.

By JOE PEREZ

The Bulletin

Posted Jun 16, 2011 @ 11:18 PM

Norwich, Conn. — The Connecticut Tigers’ first season began with many unknowns and ended with the team missing out on the playoffs on the final day of the season.

With Year Two set to begin tonight in Lowell, Mass. (7:05 p.m., WICH 1310 AM) against the Red Sox affiliate, the Tigers believe this can be their year.

It starts with first-year manager Andrew Graham.

Graham spent the last two seasons as a roving instructor in the Detroit farm system. The 29-year-old native of Australia intends to bring an aggressive style of play to the team.

As is usually the case, Dodd Stadium has pitcher-friendly confines. Eight of the 16 pitchers on Connecticut’s Opening Day roster played with the team last season and should be more comfortable with the New York-Penn League.

Optimism abounds

“From the draft and the kids we’ve got coming up, we’ve got good expectations,” Graham said. “We’ve got a solid team, we’ve got some nice college draft picks. ... The players we have now are very excited.”

Drew Gagnier, Kevan Hess and Tim Mowry return to the bullpen. They are joined by starters-turned-relievers Rayni Guichardo and Clemente Mendoza.

Taking the hill tonight will be another player back for a second stint with Connecticut, Luis Sanz. Sanz made three starts for the Tigers last season, going 3-0 with a 0.56 ERA. Wilsen Palacios, another once-again Connecticut Tiger, will follow. Patrick Lawson also is back at Dodd Stadium this season.

“We’re going to want to get the New York-Penn League Championship, focus on getting wins at home and just coming out every day with the attitude that we want to win every game,” Mowry said.

The other pitchers are Nick Avila, Jeff Barfield, Tyler Barrett, Fernando Celis, Matt Crouse, Melvin Mercedes, Pedro Perez and Ryan Woolley. Avila, Barrett, Crouse and Woolley were drafted last week.

Graham said the last three spots in the rotation are yet to be determined because last-minute signings of draft picks can change the landscape.

Up in the air

Because of the probability of change, Graham said Friday that he doesn’t know yet who will be in the outfield (Edwin Gomez, Bo McClendon, Samir Rijo, Chad Wright and returnee Les Smith) or catching (Zach Maggard or Adolfo Reina). He does know who will comprise his starting infield.

At first base is Jeff Holm, a 12th-round draft pick last week; Colin Kaline, the grandson of Detroit legend Al Kaline, is at second; Javier Azcona is at shortstop; and fourth-round pick Jason King is at third base. Eleventh-round pick Rodger Green is the only other infielder on the roster.

Having such a large portion of the last year’s team reunited bodes well for chemistry and may give the Tigers an early leg up on the competition.

“A lot of these guys, we’ve been together for three months now in extended (spring training), so we’ve been through a lot plus last year,” Smith said. “It’s kind of like we’re coming together and gelling like a family. We have a lot of new draft guys, they seem like good guys. Chemistry is definitely key. It’s going to help us out a lot more this year.

“I think it will help us get off to a faster start and try to maintain that throughout the course of the year.”

Connecticut Tigers get down to business tonight - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

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Connecticut Tigers win season opener

Posted Jun 17, 2011 @ 11:52 PM

Lowell, Mass. — The Connecticut Tigers started the 2011 season with a 7-2 win against the Lowell Spinners on Friday night.

Luis Sanz (1-0) pitched five strong innings and the Tigers' pitching staff combined to allow just five

hits against the Red Sox affiliate.

The Tigers' offense was as equally effective at the plate with nine hits and seven walks. Connecticut had a base runner in every inning.

Matt Perry had a home run and a double, while Samir Rijo hit two doubles.

Game two of the three-game series is at 5:05 p.m., today. Pre-game coverage can be heard at 4:50 p.m. on WICH AM-1310 and cttigers.com

Connecticut will play its home opener on Monday against the defending New York-Penn League champion, Tri-City ValleyCats. The first 5,000 fans will receive a 2011 magnet schedule, with fireworks after the game.

Connecticut Tigers win season opener - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

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Tigers rookie Jason King looks forward to future.

By JOE PEREZ

The Bulletin

Posted Jun 18, 2011 @ 10:36 PM

Norwich, Conn. — The past two weeks have been a whirlwind for newly minted Connecticut Tigers third baseman Jason King.

His college career ended on June 4 with a loss to Illinois in the NCAA Regionals. He and his Kansas State teammates then returned to campus, and King then went home to Dublin, Ohio, before being drafted on June 7. By the time he and Detroit hammered out a new contract, King was ready to practice on Friday.

That he’s now a professional baseball player hasn’t set in.

“It’s just crazy. ... I’ve been across the whole country in like a week and a half,” King said. “It’s been a lot of traveling, but well worth it, obviously.”

Family legacy

King grew up in an Ohio State University family. His father, Jeff, played baseball for the Buckeyes, and later in the New York Yankees farm system. His maternal grandfather, Frank, played football under Woody Hayes.

Former Ohio State coach Bob Todd, King said, told him that he would be a Buckeye.

Yet, when it came time to decide upon a college, there was no pressure to follow the family ties. He wanted to face better competition and decided upon Kansas State.

Then the day before King was to sign his letter of intent, his mother, Susan, died of colon cancer.

“That was supposed to be a really awesome day, but it wasn’t,” King said.

The way she cared for other people stuck with King. It carried over to the field, where he became more of a leader at Kansas State.

“He’s a great example for our team, a great example, particularly for our young kids,” Wildcats coach Brad Hill said. “(It’s great) to see guys with talent work as hard as he did, because there are talented kids who don’t like to work hard.”

Originally an outfielder at Kansas State, King moved to third base following his freshman season. As a sophomore, King tied a school record for games played and led the Wildcats to their first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. But that success was tempered when King was forced to miss the 2010 season because of Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

His leadership was so valuable that Hill made sure that King traveled with the team despite his inability to play.

King came back with a vengeance, hitting .326, 10 home runs, 59 RBIs, 19 doubles and 46 runs en route to helping Kansas State reach the postseason again.

The St. Louis Cardinals selected King in the 48th round his senior year in high school. But he knew he wasn’t ready.

“More than anything else, along with all the things he does, (he wanted) to be the best. Unfortunately, he also has a perfectionist attitude,” Hill said. “On the baseball field, that doesn’t work sometimes. He was too analytical of himself, too critical. This year, he really grew up and learned that baseball is a game of failure.”

King couldn’t be happier to be a Tiger. Former Kansas State teammate Jordan Cruz spent a couple years in the Detroit farm system and thought King would be a great fit for the organization.

“He told me ‘You need to be picked by the Tigers,’ ” King recalled. “ ‘Your personality type, you need to be picked by the Tigers.’ When I did, I couldn’t be happier. That’s who I wanted to get picked by after hearing that kind of stuff. It’s awesome.”

As accomplished as King is on the field, he might have been a better student. A three-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, King left college with a 3.96 grade point average as a marketing major.

It’s one thing, he said, to do well athletically. But it means more to do so academically.

“I kind of fit into the meathead stereotype when people see me, but once they talk to me, they are like, ‘There’s more to him than being an athlete,’ ” King said.

He’s excited that now he can focus solely on baseball, which begs the question: What won’t Jason King be able to accomplish?

It should have the Connecticut Tigers and their fans excited.

Tigers rookie Jason King looks forward to future - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

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Connecticut Tigers win season-opening series.

By Staff reports

The Bulletin

Posted Jun 19, 2011 @ 11:07 PM

LOWELL, Mass. — The Connecticut Tigers scored two runs in the top of the first inning and Brennan Smith shut down the Lowell Spinners, striking out nine in 51⁄3 scoreless innings in the Tigers’ 3-1 win Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Samir Rijo plated Edwin Gomez, who reached on a hit by pitch, on a sacrifice fly to put Connecticut (2-1) on the board first and Zachary Maggard’s RBI single gave the Tigers their second run of the inning. Jason King tripled to lead off the fifth for Connecticut and Rijo brought him home with his single to end the scoring.

Fernando Celis allowed Lowell (1-2) to score its lone run and Jeff Barfield picked up the seven-out save, striking out three and allowing just one hit and one walk.

Connecticut’s home opener is at 7 p.m., tonight against the Tri-City ValleyCats at Dodd Stadium. Call (860) 887-7962 for tickets.

Connecticut Tigers win season-opening series - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

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Tri-City bats prove too much for Tigers.

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Connecticut’s Javier Azcona tags outs Tri-City’s Zach Johnson on Monday during the fourth inning of the Tigers’ home opener at Dodd Stadium in Norwich. The Tigers lost, 11-2.

PreparationNorwich Travel. By JOE PEREZ

jperez@norwichbulletin.com

Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 11:56 PM

NORWICH — It’s fundamental pitching and defense. Throw the ball over the plate, and when the ball is hit, catch it.

The Connecticut Tigers had difficulty with both of these elements Monday in the team’s home opener.

Defending New York-Penn League champions Tri-City took advantage of eight walks and three errors and thumped Connecticut, 11-2, before 3,569 fans at Dodd Stadium. Add the 14 hits by the ValleyCats, and it was an ugly home debut for Connecticut.

Tigers pitchers were routinely behind in counts, and when forced to make a pitch,

didn’t. Of the eight batters walked, three scored.

The five Connecticut (2-2) hurlers gave up seven two-out hits, which produced six ValleyCats (2-2) runs. Two runners who reached via error also scored.

Tri-City scored in all but three innings.

“You can never win when you have eight walks,” Tigers manager Andrew Graham said. “Walks will kill you, that’s basically what it is. We need to have our pitchers bear down and throw more strikes. That’s all that matters. … Errors hurt, too. You mix them (and) you get a bad combination there.”

Matt Crouse (0-1), making his first professional start, was on a 50-pitch limit. He threw 48 over 2 2/3 innings, allowing three runs — two earned — and striking out one. His pitch count will increase to approximately 70-75 his next time out, Graham said.

Pitchers such as Crouse have to be eased into a five-day rotation, something that wasn’t a factor in college ball.

It was a tough night behind the plate for catcher Zach Maggard. He has barely had a chance to catch each member of his staff in a bullpen session, never mind an actual game.

“It’s tough getting on the same page,” Maggard said. “It’s part of the process. They didn’t locate a lot of strikes, but that happens sometimes. I try to do my best to help them out as much as possible.”

There wasn’t much for Connecticut to be thrilled about, but there was a highlight in the second inning.

After Jeff Holm reached on an error, Maggard crushed a 2-2 fastball over the second deck of signs in left field. It gave the Tigers a 2-1 advantage, their only lead in the game.

The second contest of the three-game set versus Tri-City is at 7:05 p.m., tonight.

The ValleyCats will send RHP Nick Tropeano to the mound against Tigers lefty Tyler Barrett in the first start for both pitchers. Barrett was a 20th-round draft pick out of Lewis and Clark State earlier this month.

Tri-City bats prove too much for Tigers - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

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Home opener at Dodd a special day for all Tigers involved.

By JOE PEREZ

jperez@norwichbulletin.com

Posted Jun 20, 2011 @ 11:42 PM

NORWICH — No matter what level of baseball it may be, the home opener is a special day.

Even in the minor leagues, playing that first home game is memorable.

First-year Connecticut Tigers manager Andrew Graham said the excitement of the home crowd behind you is a great feeling for players and managers. Monday’s game against Tri-City has special meaning for Graham as it is his first home game as manager.

“I’m not nervous at all, more excitement and a little bit of adrenaline when I run out there the first time in front of the home crowd,” Graham said.

Pitcher Dan Gentzler said his most memorable opening day came in his senior season at the University of Maryland.

“Just because I knew it was my last year going there,” he said. “We lost, but it was the start of my last year. It was just a cool moment.”

Making moves

Relief pitcher Tim Mowry retired rather than accept a demotion to Detroit’s Gulf Coast League team in Lakeland, Fla. Mowry was in his second professional season out of Western Michigan. He didn’t make an appearance in Connecticut’s first three games and pitched three games for Detroit’s West Michigan affiliate, going 4 2⁄3 innings with a 9.64 ERA.

Graham said Mowry “didn’t see himself moving” in the system. Despite the right-hander having not appeared in any of the team’s three games and having done “everything we asked of him,” Graham said it was difficult to have a player hang up his cleats.

“You feel like you’ve done something wrong,” said Graham. “We gave him all the opportunities and it was a personal decision and that’s what he’s doing.”

P.J. Polk replaces Mowry on the roster. Polk, a 13th-round draft pick by Detroit last season, was a New York-Penn League All-Star. In 2010, the outfielder hit .267 with 35 runs and 29 stolen bases. This year, he struggled with the West Michigan Whitecaps, however, hitting .169 in 40 games with 15 runs and only two steals.

Polk will come off the bench for the Tigers and is expected to play every other day. Graham likes that Polk can hit first or second, provide a spark on the bases and plays solid defense.

Outfielder Les Smith is on the temporarily inactive list and should be back with the team before the end of the series.

Tigers staff

As Connecticut’s parent club, the Detroit Tigers occasionally send officials and roving instructors to visit the minor-league affiliates.

Detroit’s roving outfield and base-running coach Gene Roof has been with the team since the players arrived last week. During his time in Connecticut, he received a guided tour of UConn’s campus in Storrs.

Present for Monday’s home opener was Detroit’s Director of Player Development Mike Rojas and Director of Minor League Operations Dan Lunetta.

Rojas said part of his job is to show the affiliates how much the major league team appreciates the efforts throughout the farm system.

Visiting Connecticut for the three-game, home-opening series, this will be his first chance to see the players Detroit drafted two weeks ago. He tries to visit each team two to three times a month.

“With the kids that we have coming off the draft, this is the first day I get to see a few of them on the field, because all you have is scouting reports,” Rojas said. “With the guys who have been with us for a year or two, it’s just to assess what the talent level is.”

Keeping score

During a recent storm, the Dodd Stadium scoreboard was struck by lightning. The strike destroyed several bulbs on the scoreboard, but also fried the operation console in the press box. Fortunately for the team, it had a backup console.

Tiger tales

UConn baseball coach Jim Penders threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Huskies had 10 players drafted in the First-Year Player Draft and reached the Super Regional where it lost two games to defending national champion South Carolina. … The Tigers introduced themselves and their hometowns before the game.

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One inning all Tigers need

Connecticut scores 5 in 8th to offset pitching.

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Connecticut Tigers third baseman Jason King throws to

of their baseball game at Dodd Stadium in Norwich.

Norwich, Conn. — A night earlier, Connecticut Tigers manager Andrew Graham said it’s difficult to win a game when your team walks seven batters and commits three errors.

On Tuesday, the Tigers would up the ante with 10 walks, three errors and two hit batters before rallying for a stunning 5-2 victory over Tri-City.

“We definitely didn’t want to get 10 walks, but in the late innings we put pressure on them and they made the errors like we were making the last couple of games,” Graham said. “It’s all about putting pressure on them, making them press a little bit, and mistakes will happen”

Everything went wrong for the Tigers (3-2) for seven innings. It was in the eighth that got all the good fortune.

Rally time

Adolfo Reina walked, Jonathan Ogden singled and Chad Wright reached on an error by ValleyCats’ second baseman John Hinson, scoring Reina. P.J. Polk followed with an RBI single and Jason King drove in another with an infield hit to put the Tigers on top, 3-2.

Then, with cleanup hitter Dean Green at the plate and no one out, Graham had the 6-foot-4, 225 pounder bunt.

Green, who was making his professional debut, sent the ball toward third, moving Polk and King into scoring position.

After nearly three-and-a-half weeks without seeing live pitching, Detroit’s 11th-round draft pick was admittedly rusty in his first game.

“Long flights and everything, just getting adjusted to the team, seeing different things — it’s different for me,” he said. “I feel like after (Tuesday), I’ll be ready for whatever comes my way.”

Samir Rijo hit a sac fly to right for the fourth run, and Jeff Holm’s grounder to first baseman Matt Duffy was mishandled when Duffy’s underhand toss to Ryan Cole at the bag went over the pitcher’s head.

The Tigers were glad to see they weren’t the only ones making mistakes.

“It’s just baseball, though,” Polk said. “That’s why they tell you to keep swinging, because you never know what’s going to happen. I think we did a good job of keep battling, and eventually stuff went our way and we got the win.”

The Tigers’ lineup was lifeless for the better part of the game, getting only one hit against the ValleyCats (2-3) through seven innings.

They stranded a runner in scoring position with no outs in the fourth and another with one out in the fifth.

Graham said he will have a meeting with the pitchers today to discuss the base-on-ball epidemic that’s stricken his hurlers (17 walks in two games), but he was happy to see the staff didn’t fold.

Starter Tyler Barrett reached his pitch limit two batters into he third inning. He was replaced by Pedro Perez, who gave up a three-run homer on Saturday. Perez wasn’t great, walking four, but he also struck out four in four shutout innings. Had it not been for him, the Tigers might not have had the opportunity to win.

“When he needed to get a big out he got it,” Graham said. “That’s what we needed out of him. We needed Perez to come in and be a long relief guy and that’s what he did. He got us deep into the ball game.”

Melvin Mercedes (1-0) followed for the win and Kevan Hess earned his first save.

Pitching tonight’s series finale for Tri-City is RHP Juri Perez (0-1, 9.00) against Connecticut RHP Luis Sanz (1-0, 1.80). Game time is 7:05 p.m. The Tigers will then head to Vermont for a four-game set with the Lake Monsters beginning Thursday.

http://www.norwichbulletin.com/carousel/x898079244/One-inning-all-Tigers-need#axzz1Q1QaG0V5

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Tigers' pitchers adjust to new surroundings.

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Tiger's Matt Crouse Wednesday, June 15, 2011 during media day at Dodd Stadium in Norwich.

By JOE PEREZ

The Bulletin

Posted Jun 22, 2011 @ 11:08 PM

Norwich, Conn. — Making the move from college to professional baseball isn’t as simple as throwing strikes. For two Connecticut Tigers starters, Matt Crouse and Tyler Barrett, getting used to new surroundings is just the beginning.

In college, both sometimes had a week between starts. But Barrett, a 20th-round pick in this month’s First-Year Player Draft, and Crouse, a 24th-round pick, are learning to take the ball every five days.

Part of the process is preparing for the toll a professional season exacts on their bodies.

“In college, I could take at least one day off from throwing,” said Crouse, from the University of Mississippi. “Here, if you are sore, you have to throw through it. Your body will get used to it once you go through the process every week.”

Crouse hopes the shorter time between starts will benefit him mentally as he looks to get into a better rhythm over the course of the season.

Connecticut’s parent club, the Detroit Tigers, had the pitchers on a 50-pitch count for their first starts of the season, and manager Andrew Graham said the count will rise to 70-75 pitches when the pair pitch again this weekend. But because of the unknown number of pitches thrown this past college season — and without that being under Detroit’s supervision — the club is playing it safe. It’s part of the reason Connecticut is carrying 16 pitchers on its roster.

“They just need to get used to the mentality of professional baseball, of pounding the strike zone,” Graham said. “The hitters are more disciplined here; they’re not going to chase the balls where (pitchers) are nibbling away with the offspeed pitches. A good curveball just missing or a changeup down, some good hitters might take that.”

The schedule for the starters is pitch, take the next day off, long toss the next day and throw a bullpen session — working on location and feel for the ball while going at about 80 percent effort — then another day off before beginning the cycle again.

After a few weeks, Graham said, the pitchers should be used to the change.

It’s also a concern because they haven’t pitched in a game in nearly a month.

Barrett said in college, pitchers would throw until tired or encountered trouble. The last time he was on a pitch count was early in his college career at Lewis and Clark State.

Getting the hook early in a game because they’ve maxed out their allotment of pitches is a different experience. The arm and mind say yes, but Graham says no.

“It’s a lot different atmosphere from college to pro ball,” Barrett said. “These are top-of-the line guys, professionals. It’s a little different from college when you have three or four starters going to a five-man rotation with a big bullpen. But everyone’s here for a reason.”

Welcome back

Right-handed pitcher Daniel Bennett, who recently signed his first professional contract, was assigned to Connecticut on Tuesday.

Stepping onto the field at Dodd Stadium, Bennett had a degree of familiarity that most of his teammates didn’t have. That’s because Bennett, a 19th-round pick out of Florida State, played in Norwich last year when the Seminoles participated in the NCAA Regional hosted by UConn.

He pitched against Central Connecticut State and Oregon during that event.

“It was kind of ironic,” he said. “Of all the places in the United States to go to a regional, and then of all the places to play your first season of (pro) ball, it was weird.

“Everybody in Tallahassee was giving me a hard time, saying, ‘It’s the same field. We played on that field, so the adjust should be easy.’ ”

The 6-foot-4 righty said the past few weeks have been hectic. Between being drafted, playing with FSU in a Super Regional 10 days ago, signing his contract and arriving in Connecticut, Bennett is happy with being a Tiger.

“It’s exciting to start a new chapter in my life,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

Rescheduled

Wednesday’s rainout will be made up as part of a doubleheader on July 21. Tickets to the postponed game can be exchanged at the Dodd Stadium ticket window for another game.

http://www.norwichbulletin.com/sports/x1260743063/Tigers-pitchers-adjust-to-new-surroundings#axzz1Q6SiN2W2

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Tigers fall on the road.

The Bulletin

Posted Jun 23, 2011 @ 11:06 PM

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Luis Sanz allowed five runs in 41⁄3 innings, and the Connecticut Tigers dropped the first game of a three-game series with the Vermont Lake Monsters, 6-1, on Thursday.

Sanz, whose record dropped to 1-1, struck out six.

Chad Wright had two hits and Dean Green recorded his first professional RBI for Connecticut (3-3).

The teams play tonight at 7:05 p.m.

Tigers fall on the road - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

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Six errors cost Tigers game vs. Monsters.

By Staff reports

The Bulletin

Posted Jun 24, 2011 @ 11:08 PM

BURLINGTON, Vt. — The Connecticut Tigers committed six errors and lost, 4-2, to the Vermont Lake Monsters on Friday night.

Vermont took an early 2-0 lead on a Jordan Tripp two-run home run in the first inning and the Tigers came back in the fourth to tie it up at 2-2 on a Les Smith two out, two-run double.

Two seventh inning errors helped the Lake Monsters take a 3-2 lead and they scored in the eighth on a Diomedes Lopez solo homer to left field that hit off the foul pole.

Ryan Woolley suffered the loss out of the bullpen for the Tigers (3-4) despite only giving up one hit in 2 1/3 innings. Drew Bailey and Tanner Peters combined to hold the Tigers hitless over the final 4 1/3 innings.

The teams will play the final game of the three-game series tonight at Centennial Field at 6:05 p.m.

Six errors cost Tigers game vs. Monsters - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

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Connecticut Tigers' game suspended.

The Bulletin

Posted Jun 25, 2011 @ 11:01 PM

Burlington, Vt. — The Connecticut Tigers took a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning Saturday night before the skies opened up, ultimately suspending their game against the Vermont Lake Monsters.

The game will be finished as part of a doubleheader on either Aug. 28 or Aug. 29. It was stopped in the top of the fifth with no outs, Jonathan Ogden on first base and Les Smith at the plate.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Zach Maggard's RBI groundout, scoring Dean Green.

Starting pitcher Brennan Smith allowed just one hit and a walk through four shutout innings for Connecticut

Connecticut Tigers' game suspended - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

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Patrick Leyland’s debut a successful one for Tigers.

By Staff reports

The Bulletin

Posted Jun 27, 2011 @ 11:08 PM

Troy, N.Y. — Patrick Leyland made his season debut for the Connecticut Tigers and was a key component in their 6-0 win over the Tri-City ValleyCats Monday night.

Leyland, the son of Detroit Tigers’ manager Jim, had an RBI single in his first at-bat of the year and then added another RBI base knock in the ninth inning.

Leyland’s contributions led to the Tigers’ second-biggest offensive output of the season; they scored seven runs against Lowell in the season opener.

Samir Rijo, Matt Perry and Jeff Holm all had two hits for the Tigers who also recorded their first shutout of the season.

Tyler Barrett threw five scoreless innings, giving up just two hits with three strikeouts and no walks.

Nick Avila, Drew Gagnier, Pedro Perez and Clemente Mendoza each pitched a scoreless inning for Connecticut (5-4)

The two teams conclude their three-game set at 7 p.m. tonight in Troy, N.Y. Connecticut returns home to Dodd Stadium at 7:05 p.m., Wednesday to open a three-game series versus Vermont.

Patrick Leyland?s debut a successful one for Tigers - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

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Tigers' hope for sweep dies in 9th inning.

By Staff reports

The Bulletin

Posted Jun 28, 2011 @ 11:16 PM

Troy, N.Y. — The Connecticut Tigers failed to complete the three-game sweep of the Tri-City ValleyCats despite a season-high 14 hits, falling, 6-5, on Tuesday night at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.

The Tigers trailed, 6-3, heading into the ninth inning. Javier Azona led off the frame with a double to left field followed by a base hit from Chad Wright, his third hit of the game, advancing Azcona to third base. Colin Kaline would drive in Azcona on a sacrifice fly to make it a 6-4 game. After Jason King grounded out, Samir Rijo got on base thanks to a Neiko Johnson throwing error.

With runners on the corners Dean Green slapped a base hit into right field to score Wright and bring the Tigers within one. With the tying run represented by Rijo at second base and Green the go-ahead run at first, Jeff Holm swung at the first pitch he saw and flew out to right field to end the game.

Kaline had a season-high two RBI’s in the game, while Green also had a season-high three-hit performance in the loss.

Juri Perez collected his first win of the year for the ValleyCats, while Luis Sanz suffered his second loss of the season and second of the road trip, after giving up five runs on six hits through five innings of work.

The Tigers will head home for a five game homestand beginning tomorrow night with game one of a three-game series with the Vermont Lake Monsters. First pitch is set for 7:05 PM at Dodd Stadium.

Tigers' hope for sweep dies in 9th inning - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

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Tigers open homestand with marathon loss.

By MARC ALLARD

mallard@norwichbulletin.com

Posted Jun 29, 2011 @ 11:49 PM

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The Tigers’ Javier Azcona avoids the Lake Monsters’ Diomedes Lopez’s tag to score Wednesday during Connecticut’s 8-7 loss at Dodd Stadium.

The Connecticut Tigers opened a five-game homestand on the wrong side of the scoreboard as they lost to the Vermont Lake Monsters, 8-7, Wednesday night at Dodd Stadium.

The 3-hour, 33-minute affair was the longest game in the New York-Penn League this season.

The Tigers slipped behind the Lake Monsters early when starting pitcher Wilsen Palacios gave up three runs in the first inning, but Connecticut fought back.

Chad Wright doubled to left field, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a ground out. The Tigers added five more runs in the third inning when Javier Azcona sent a one-out double to left field, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when he ducked under the tag of catcher Diomedes Lopez on a knubber in front of the plate.

Chad Wright reached on the fielder’s choice, stole second and scored on Jason King’s base hit to center field. Dean Green followed with an infield single and Jeff Holm walked.

The Tigers were the beneficiaries of an infield flub when three players went for a Zach Maggard pop up. It ended up bouncing off the glove of pitcher Argenis Paez which allowed two runners to score. Connecticut (5-6) executed a double steal as Maggard drew a throw to second, which allowed Holm to steal home.

Vermont scored twice in the fifth inning and again in the sixth to tie the game. The Tigers went ahead briefly on a Maggard RBI double which scored Holm, who had singled in the bottom of the seventh.

Vermont won it with two runs in the top of the eighth.

King and Azcona had two hits each for the Tigers.

The two teams play again tonight at Dodd Stadium at 7:05 p.m.

Tigers open homestand with marathon loss - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

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Connecticut drops third straight.

By JOE PEREZ

The Bulletin

Posted Jun 30, 2011 @ 09:47 PM

NORWICH — Connecticut gave up a three-run home run in the third and fell to Vermont, 6-3, Thursday for its third consecutive defeat.

P.J. Polk hit a solo home run and Dean Green had two doubles for the Tigers (5-7).

Connecticut drops third straight - Norwich, CT - The Bulletin

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Tigers roughed up by Spinners.

The Bulletin

Posted Jul 02, 2011 @ 10:46 PM

NORWICH — Connecticut pitching gave up 24 hits and allowed a run to score in all but two innings and the Tigers fell to Lowell, 16-8, Saturday night at Dodd Stadium.

A pair of fielding errors — one by third baseman Jason King and another by shortstop Javier Azcona — hurt starter Tyler Barrett. Barrett went just 1 2⁄3 innings, allowing seven runs but only two were earned.

The Tigers’s parent club in Detroit, inked its 10-round draft pick, Curt Casali of New Canaan, and assigned him to Connecticut on Saturday.

Casali played for Vanderbilt, leading the Commodores to their first College World Series.

http://www.motownsports.com/forums/newreply.php?do=newreply&noquote=1&p=2519652

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