The Home team: Double-homer game a first for ex-Wildcat Rickard

2013-06-03T08:00:00Z 2013-06-03T14:15:39Z The Home team: Double-homer game a first for ex-Wildcat RickardAndrew Cockrum Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Joey Rickard hit 13 home runs in his three years at the University of Arizona, but never had he hit more than one in a game.

Almost 100 games into his pro career, Rickard has finally accomplished that feat. The Class-A Bowling Green (Ohio) center fielder hit home runs in the first two innings Wednesday, pacing the Hot Rods to an 8-5 victory over the Lake County Captains.

Rickard wasn't the only former Wildcat with two homers in the same game. Steve Selsky had his third multihomer game of his pro career Saturday, helping High-A Bakersfield (Calif.) to a 9-8 walk-off win over Rancho Cucamonga. Both homers were two-run shots with final the one coming in the ninth to tie the score at eight.

Three up

Alex Mejia • SS, Palm Beach Cardinals (Cardinals High-A affiliate)

• Two days after his ex-UA teammate Kurt Heyer was promoted to Palm Beach, Mejia joined him on St. Louis' High-A affiliate. The shortstop hit .281 in 40 games at Class-A Peoria.

Shelley Duncan• 1B, Durham Bulls (Rays Triple-A affiliate)

• The Canyon del Oro High grad hit .316 last week with four RBIs and one homer. He had three hits Tuesday, including a ninth-inning single to set up the next batter for the winning hit.

Cory Burns • RHP, Round Rock Express (Rangers Triple-A affiliate)

• Burns threw four scoreless innings with six strikeouts and four saves last week. The UA alum is now tied for third in the Pacific Coast League in saves with 12 on the year.

Three Down

Robert Refsnyder • 2B, Tampa Yankees (Yankees High-A affiliate)

• The 2012 College World Series MVP went hitless in 15 at-bats last week with six strikeouts in four games. Refsnyder did add two stolen bases Sunday, bringing his season total to eight.

Andy Burns • 3B, Dunedin Blue Jays (Blue Jays High-A affiliate)

• Burns has had a great bounce-back year since a season-ending injury in 2012, but Friday was a game to forget. The ex-Wildcat had his 11th error of the year and struck out four times.

Manny Barreda • RHP, Tampa Yankees (Yankees High-A affiliate)

• After the Sahuarita High grad earned his first win of the season Sunday, Barreda surrendered three runs and three hits - including two homers - Thursday to the Daytona Cubs.

Player of the week

Stefen Romero • LF, Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners Triple-A affiliate)

The Rainiers have been one of the best offensive teams in the PCL this season with the help of 342 runs and 319 RBIs. In the middle of their impressive lineup has been Pima College and Sunnyside High School product Stefen Romero.

The converted infielder hit .370 last week with eight RBIs and three runs, aiding Tacoma to five wins and first place in the Pacific Northern Division.

Romero compiled three hits in two games and now has 13 multihit games on the year.

Romero also was the Rainiers' designated hitter in their 25-6 win at Colorado Springs Wednesday. In that blowout he collected two hits, two RBIs and a run.

Since beginning the season on the disabled-list with an oblique muscle injury, he has driven in 24 runs off 39 hits in 33 games for Tacoma. He has 12 extra-base hits, including three homers.

The big number

1.65

Former Wildcat Jason Stoffel's ERA in 12 games since being called up to Triple-A Oklahoma City at the beginning of May.

Coming up

Thursday: The list of players with Tucson connections in the minor leagues is expected to grow after the 2013 First Year Player Draft begins Thursday at 3 p.m. Last year 10 players from Tucson were taken in the draft.

He said it

"The pressure is on you to get the job done, and I love going out there and doing that. I love pitching in close games and pressure situations. It's just my personality and my mentality."

Reliever Bryce Bandilla, in an interview with Giant Potential, a San Francisco Giants' prospect blog. The UA product recorded his second save of the season last Tuesday.

Andrew Cockrum is a Tucson-based freelance writer who operates baseballtucson.com. Reach him at baseballtucson@yahoo.com. On Twitter @baseballtucson

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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