Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
RubberDucks win five of six and now have the fourth best record in the Double-A Northeast
The Akron RubberDucks won five of their six games in the week of games starting on May 18, bringing their overall record to 12-5. The Ducks took advantage of a struggling Reading Fightin Phils squad whose record now falls to 3-15 on the year. As a team, the RubberDucks produced a .271/.398/.438 slash line as they outscored the Phillies Double-A squad 39-15 over the six-game series. The pitching staff was also excellent for the team in Akron as they accumulated a 2.33 ERA of 54 IP. The bullpen continued their excellence as they picked up three saves on the week, as two came from Nick Mikolajchak and one came from Aaron Pinto, who fired off three scoreless innings to finish off Thursday’s win. Six different offensive players picked up five or more hits as well, as the offense really began to roll this past weekend. Akron will head to Binghamton on Tuesday, who they are currently 5-0 against, as the RumblePonies visited Canal Park to start the season and couldn’t pick up a win.
5/18: W 3-1 vs. Reading; W: J. Hillman (1-1); L: C.Eastman (0-2); SV: N. Mikolajchak (1)
5/19: L 4-8 vs. Reading; W: B. Zarbinsky (1-0); L: T. Tully (1-2)
5/20: W 5-3 vs. Reading; W: A. Royalty (1-0); L: M. Appel (0-1); SV A. Pinto SV (1)
5/21: W 3-2 vs. Reading; W: S. Arias (1-0); L: J. Hennigan (0-2); SV: N. Mikolajchak SV (2)
5/22: W 11-0 vs. Reading; W: E. Lingos (2-0); L: F. Morales (0-3)
5/23: W 13-1 vs. Reading; W: J. Hillman (2-1); L J. McArthur (0-2)
Player of the Week
1B/OF Trenton Brooks: 6-17, HR, 3B, 2B, 6 RBI, 5 R, 10 BB, 1.313 OPS
Trenton Brooks was on fire this week, and quietly has been a very productive bat in the middle of the Akron order so far this season. Making the transition to first base from the outfield, Brooks had an excellent week, finishing the week with strong weekend play. On Saturday and Sunday, the left-handed hitting first baseman went 4-6 with a HR, 3B, 3 RBI, 4 R, SB, 4 BB, and just one strikeout. He is currently walking (13 BB) more than he has struck out (11 SO).
SS Tyler Freeman: 6-19, HR, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 3 HBP, 1.014 OPS
Tyler Freeman continued his scorching stretch at the plate, following up a 10-23 week with a 6-19 week. Freeman connected on his first homerun of the season the day after his 22nd birthday and was able to drive in three runs as well. The contact-oriented shortstop impressively managed to not strike out throughout the week as well, showing the advanced hit skill that he has at such a young age.
OF/DH Oscar Gonzalez: 7-20, HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB,
Oscar Gonzalez had an outstanding week in Akron as he recorded seven hits and connected on another big homerun for the RubberDucks. His homerun on Friday night gave the Ducks a lead they would not give back. A very impressive statistic was that Gonzalez struck out just a single time over 20 at bats, which can be difficult at times for a power hitting player. Gonzalez has done a good job avoiding that throughout his career and continued to do so this week.
SP Juan Hillman: 2 GS, 13 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 5 SO, .182 Opponent BA
Juan Hillman had an excellent week recording the two longest starts of the season for the RubberDucks on the day of each start. He began his week with six innings of one-run ball and followed that up with a seven-inning effort, giving up just one run. Hillman did an excellent job of suppressing hard contact, holding batters to a slim .182 average. He was able to work deep into games and was efficient throwing just 90 pitches in six innings Tuesday and 85 pitches in seven innings on Sunday.
RP Nick Mikolajchak: 2 G, 2 SV, 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO
Nick Mikolajchak continued to show off his electric stuff against the Fightin Phils. He picked up his first two saves of the 2021 season and the sixth and seventh of his career. The hard throwing right hander topped out at 96 MPH in his outing on Friday night, striking out all three batters he faced.
SP Tanner Tully: 1 GS, 4 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB
Tanner Tully struggled again this week, taking the only loss of the series for the RubberDucks, letting up five earned runs in just four innings of work. Most of the damage came in the top of the third, as the Fightin Phil connected on a two-run triple and a two-run double. Despite the consecutive bad outings, Tully was promoted to Columbus on Monday and will make his first Triple-A start on Tuesday.
C/1B Josh Rolette: 3 G, 1-11, RBI, R, 4 SO, .245 OPS
Josh Rolette had a tough week against Reading pitching staff, starting 0-7 before finishing the week with a 1-4 performance. Rolette has struggled to find playing time as the third catcher on the roster but has seen time at first base as well. Rolette has never been much of a slugger in his pro career and that has continued at the start of this season as he is just 2-23.
5/25: at Binghamton, 6:35 p.m.
5/26: Doubleheader at Binghamton, Times TBD
5/27: at Binghamton, 6:35 p.m.
5/28: at Binghamton, 7:05 p.m.
5/29: at Binghamton, 6:35 p.m.
5/30: at Binghamton, 6:35 p.m.
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