Monday night it was pitcher Ranfi Casimiro just missing a five inning “no-no” for the Lakewood BlueClaws. Tuesday night it was KC Serna just missing a three run homer with two out in the bottom of the ninth which would have tied up the Clearwater Threshers game against the Tampa Yankees.
Serna was a 42nd round draft pick by the Cleveland Indians in 2011 and played independent ball last year in Amarillo Texas. He hit .304 as a shortstop for the American Association team. He hit only one homer all of last season but just miss one last night that would have tied the game. He had to settle for a two run double to left in the game at Bright House Field.
It was a strange game as the Yankees jumped out to a big lead but the Threshers never gave up. Rehabbers Freddy Galvis with a tripled and Mike Adams pitching a strong inning in relief helped the Clearwater get back into the game. First baseman Art Charles who was sporting an “0 for the season” finally broke out with a two-run homer to right center in the fifth. The Threshers fought back down 7-4 going into the bottom of the ninth. Then things got interesting.
With one more inning to tie or win the game, the left-handed hitting Charles continued his hitting by lining a single to center off of left-handed Yankee pitcher Tyler Webb. Nick Ferdinand walked to put runners at first and first second wit one out. After Justin Parr flew out to center, Serna came to the plate and hit the first pitch, driving a high long fly ball down the line in left. The wind, blowing left to right, kept the ball fair but knocked it down enough to keep it in the park. It fell in for a double just in front of the left field wall. Charles and Ferdinand scored and Serna wound up at second making the score 7-6 with two outs and the tying run at second. SEE HERE
The next moved by the Threshers manager Nelson Prada stunned me. He pitch hit for left-handed hitting catcher Logan Moore with switch hitter Willie Carmona. Moore who singled earlier in the game off a lefty is 3 for 7 already this season off of left-handed pitching. Carmona is now 1 for 9 off of lefties. Moore also in previous seasons has been an excellent clutch hitter with runners in scoring position. Carmona ground out to short to end the game.
It is rare to see pinch hitting at the Advance A ball level. Pitchers do not hit and most of the time pinch hitters are not used no matter what the situation is in the game. It was absolutely a bizarre move by Prada who was going by the “Book” just to get a lefty- righty matchup. Class A ball is about developing hitters in high leverage situations and Logan Moore was the right hitter to have up there with the game on the line.
In any event KC Serna gave the Threshers a chance to win the game and the manager took it away from them by managing by the “Book”, not what made sense in that situation.