YMLN - Hilligoss The Hit Man

Hilligoss was showing off the power

TAMPA, FL - While Dellin Betances' strong start wasn't enough in Charleston's 6-0 loss at the Yankees minor league complex on Monday, Mitch Hilligoss was showing off his power in Tampa's 8-0 blanking of the Phillies on the other field.

  • Mitch Hilligoss has set for the goal of hitting for power in 2008 and he certainly has been heading that way during Spring Training. He hit a double down the left field in his first at-bat and later scored a run to give Tampa a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning, and later crushed a monstrous three-run home run to deep left-centerfield. Hilligoss, who went 2-4 on the day, seemingly had flied out to deep centerfield in his final at-bat when the Phillies outfielder lost the ball in the sun. Hustling on the play, he made it to second base standing up.

  • Once again Dellin Betances retired the first seven batters he faced. An error by Carmen Angelini [0-3 in his second game back from the wrist injury] in the third inning was the first base runner Betances allowed. He wound up giving up three hits and one earned run in his four innings of work, and he didn't allow a walk while striking out five batters. He was sitting mostly in the 92 MPH range with his fastball, topping out at 95 MPH, and showed some wicked looking curveballs along the way.

  • Hilligoss wasn't the only one hitting the ball sharply for Tampa. Josue Calzado, who had been nursing a minor injury the last week or so, went 3-4 with a pair of hard-hit doubles. Driving in three runs on the afternoon, he had a two-run single to centerfield in the first inning and got tagged out trying to stretch it into a double.

  • It was another day at the office for right-hander Eric Hacker on Monday. He pitched another four scoreless innings and recorded seven ground ball outs along the way. He did allow a single in his first inning of work but was helped out the Kyle Anson [0-3] cannon when he easily threw out the first base runner attempting to steal...nobody else for the Phillies attempted another stolen base.

  • Austin Romine [1-2] collected the first hit for the Riverdogs when he singled sharply to centerfield in his first at-bat. Unfortunately for Charleston, however, it accounted for 25 percent of the hits in the loss.

  • Third baseman Brandon Laird went just 0-1 with a walk in limited duty on Monday, but boy was he flashing the leather. He made three incredible defensive plays in the field, two on slow-roller plays in front of him where he had to bare-hand the balls and make quick throws over to first, and another slow-roller play where he ranged far to his left [beyond the pitchers mound] where he once again had to bare-hand the ball.

  • Tim Battle, subbing in for Alvaro Ramirez [0-1, run] later in the game, went just 1-3 but did hit a two-run home run to right-field in his second at-bat when the opposing outfielder attempted to rob him of the dinger but fell out of his glove for the round-tripper.

  • Wilkins De La Rosa relieved Betances and wasn't as sharp command-wise, but was still quite impressive. He walked the very first batter he faced and then got into deep counts on the next two batters he faced before the proverbial light turned on, striking out the final two batters he faced in order. Hitting 94 MPH with his fastball, he was once again showing some good secondary pitches in his lone inning of work.

  • Bradley Suttle [1-3, single, K], Chris Raber [1-3, double], and Kelvin De Leon [1-2] were the only other Charleston hits on the afternoon.

  • Damon Sublett [1-2] and Braedyn Pruitt [0-2] each drew a pair of walks for Tampa on Monday, and shortstop Eduardo Nunez [1-2] had one of the more impressive at-bats after he quickly got down 0-2 in one-bat before fouling off several pitches to ultimately draw a walk of his own.

  • Taylor Grote was on his way to another rough day at the plate after grounding into a double-play in his first at-bat and then striking out in his next two plate appearances, but did manage to get a single in his final at-bat.

  • Charleston outfielder Austin Krum wasn't as lucky, however, striking out in all three of his plate appearances, and Jesus Montero couldn't find his way on base either, striking out in his first at-bat before grounding out in his final two plate appearances.

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