Photo credit: TCP Photography/Courtesy Akron RubberDucks

Akron RubberDucks 17, Harrisburg Senators 2

It looked like a varsity vs JV scrimmage at Canal Park on Wednesday night as Akron defeated Harrisburg 17-2. The crushing ensued as the ‘Ducks outplayed the Senators in every facet of the game from start to finish. 

Effective pitching allowed Akron to hold Harrisburg in check while the offense built the lead. Starting left hander Joey Cantillo looked solid and threw five innings of one hit ball, allowing no runs. Even so, it wasn’t necessarily his sharpest start. He had some trouble locating as his curveball missed outside several times. However, he was still able to use his other pitches to get a lot of weak contact. Cantillo limited damage and was helped out by the Akron defense who made two double plays and threw out Harrisburg’s Justin Connell at third, whose double was the only hit against Cantillo.

Cantillo final line: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 1 HBP, 3 K 

Velocity: 91-94

After Cantillo left, hard throwing right hander Carlos Vargas took the mound for just the second time since 2019. The Dominican, who missed 2020 due to minor league cancellations and 2021 due to Tommy John Surgery, reached 99 on the gun in his scoreless inning of work. Akron manager Rouglas Odor says the goal is to get him time in the bullpen now and stretch him out with the chance of being a starter later in the year. 

Vargas final line: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Velocity: 98-99

RHP Cade Smith also made his Double-A debut in the seventh allowing one base hit and striking out three with a fastball sitting at 93.

One the offensive side of the ball, Akron feasted on Harrisburg pitching. The ‘Ducks tagged Senators starter Luis Reyes for six runs over five innings and were far from satisfied. In the seventh, they scored nine runs before getting an out and 11 total. Former Akron RubberDuck Dakody Clemmer left with an infinite ERA in the game allowing five to cross in zero innings of work. 

Eight of nine Akron starters got on base at least twice on Wednesday, by way of hit or walk. Within that group, were five impressive performances with Micah Pries having a career night getting on base four times and launching a three run homer.

Wednesday’s Big Bats

1B Micah Pries: 2-3, 4 RBI, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 BB

DH Ray Delgado: 3-5, 3 RBI, R, SB

LF George Valera: 3-5, 2 RBI, 2B, 4 R, BB

2B Jose Tena: 3-5, RBI, R

CF Chris Roller: 2-5, 2 RBI, 2B, 2 R

Since getting the call-up from Lake County earlier this month, Ray Delgado has already made a big impact in Akron. He’s played seven games and is 9-25 with a pair of walks, including an intentional walk on Tuesday when he came on as a pinch hitter. Delgado feels settled in with the solid start to his Double-A career.  

“It’s what you work for,” he said. “To get a good start like this is incredible. I just hope that we can keep it going as a team and clinch this first half.”

Delgado feels there’s something special going on in Akron as they now lead the Eastern League Southwest division, which puts them in a good position to make the playoffs with the first half of the season ending on Sunday. 

“It’s just fun,” he said. “Every day we come in and there’s a winning atmosphere and it’s fun to be around these guys. There’s a lot of talent and everybody wants to compete so that’s why I like it here.”

The ‘Ducks continue their playoff push Thursday at Canal Park against the Senators behind left hander Logan Allen. 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.