Ex-Cat Bandilla's relief helps San Jose clinch title
It took 28 games before Bryce Bandilla finally earned his first win of the season for the High-A San Jose Giants.
That victory for the ex-Arizona Wildcat pitcher was a crucial one.
After walking the leadoff batter in the bottom of the ninth Friday, Bandilla held the Visalia Rawhide scoreless behind two strikeouts to send the game into extra innings. The Giants scored in the top of the 10th to put Bandilla in line for the victory and clinch the first half Northern Division title in the California League.
The win capped off a great first half of the season for the left-hander, who punched out 62 batters in 36 innings.
Player of the week
Andy burns • 3B, Dunedin Blue Jays (Blue Jays' High-A affiliate)
Seth Mejias-Brean • 3B, Dayton Dragons (Reds' Class-A affiliate)
• Mejias-Brean batted .393 last week and is riding a 10-game hitting streak. The Arizona and Cienega alum collected seven extra-base hits including two home runs during the streak.
Konrad Schmidt • C, Louisville Bats (Reds' Triple-A affiliate)
• The Reds released the one-time Wildcat Thursday, after he hit .187 in 28 games for Louisville. It is second time Schmidt has been released this year, after the Rangers let him go in March.
The member of the 2011 UA squad completed an outstanding first half of the season by batting .315 with eight home runs and 47 RBIs for Dunedin. Burns was also one of the top base stealers in the Florida State League tying for the fourth most with 20.
In his last game before the All-Star break, Burns collected two hits and three RBIs in a 13-5 win over Palm Beach on Thursday. The victory also secured a first-place finish atop the Northern Division standings for the Blue Jays.
Burns' first-half performance was rewarded Saturday with two honors. The former Wildcat participated in the Florida State League Home Run Derby and later started at third base for the North team in the All-Star Game.
Burns is in his third season of professional baseball after being selected by Toronto in the 11th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
Stefen Romero • LF, Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners' Triple-A affiliate)
• The Pima College and Sunnyside product compiled four hits, four RBIs, and hit two home runs in an 11-0 win over Las Vegas on Thursday. Romero has five home runs for the season.
Julio Felix • RHP, West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers' Class-A affiliate)
• Felix started two games last week earning his third loss in the first game and yielded two runs including a home run in his second outing. The ex-Aztec has a 4.50 ERA in 20 games.
The big number
Konner Wade was the only player with Tucson ties on an opening day roster in the short-season Northwest League last Friday. The ex-Wildcat is a member of the Tri-City Dust Devils' pitching staff.
Jordan Brown • 1B, New Orleans Zephyrs (Marlins' Triple-A affiliate)
• After batting .316 and hitting his second home run of the season for New Orleans last week, the Miami Marlins recalled the former Wildcat to the big leagues Saturday.
Kyle Simon • RHP, Reading Fightin Phils (Phillies' Double-A affiliate)
• The UA product was roughed up as a reliever against the Bowie Baysox on Tuesday, surrendering two homers in a third of an inning. He was charged with his second loss of the year.
Friday: Pitchers Augey Bill and Nick Cunningham, recent draft picks out of Arizona, will begin their professional careers with the Gulf Coast League Orioles when the Rookie League season opens play Friday.
He said it
"We are extremely excited for Eric (Fredrick) to get this opportunity with a great organization like Tampa Bay. Eric ended his collegiate career throwing the ball as well as anyone, and we are excited to see him carry it over to the next level."
Chris Klimas, Oklahoma Baptist University coach said about the PCC and Mountain View product signing a minor-league contract with the Rays. Fredrick won seven games as a senior with OBU and will start his pro career in the Gulf Coast League.
Andrew Cockrum is a Tucson-based freelance writer who operates baseballtucson.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @baseballtucson