Gators in Pro Baseball: Zunino’s walk-off topples Twins in the 12th

Seattle Mariners Mike Zunino, second from right, is doused with sports drink by teammate Guillermo Heredia, right, after Zunino hit a walk-off solo home run against the Minnesota Twins during the 12th inning of a baseball game, Saturday, May 26, 2018, in Seattle. The Mariners won 4-3. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

By Kyle Bennett and Aaron Brand

In true Mike Zunino style, the sixth-year Mariner catcher got his only hits of the week when he smashed two home runs over the fence and struck out a combined 10 times along the way. One of his home runs did happen to win a home game for the Mariners Saturday as he knocked a walk-off home run to left field to top the Twins in the extra innings 4-3. Zunino’s all or nothing strategy at the plate isn’t uncommon in baseball these days and would seem to serve as a template for a possible Tim Tebow MLB debut at some point, but not so fast. Zunino adds a lot of value at behind the plate as a catcher and his batting average in Triple-A was well above where Tebow’s is now in Double-A. 

(The following is a complete and updated list of major and minor league players who went to UF, listed alphabetically by last name)

MLB Players

Harrison Bader (OF) — St. Louis Cardinals
Bader picked up a couple of RBIs and stole a base for the Cardinals despite only starting one game this week. The fourth-year outfielder had nine at bats through six games for the Cards this week and had an odd moment that amounted to his lone strikeout of the week while facing Pirates relief pitcher Kyle Crick.

Anthony DeSclafani (RHP) — Cincinnati Reds

After two starts at Double-A Pensacola, Disco was moved up to Triple-A Saturday where he made a rocky start for the Louisville Bats. He allowed six runs on eight hits, including three home runs. He did strike out eight batters through five innings of work and said after the game that he was not discouraged after the rough start. In two rehab starts at Double-A Pensacola, DeSclafani struck out 12 in eight innings, giving up only two earned runs. DeSclafani is now eligible to come off the DL for the Reds and is expected to make one more rehab start before a decision is made about his return to the bigs.

Brian Johnson (RHP) — Boston

Johnson gave up zero runs through six innings over three appearances this week for the Red Sox. He had two outings where he gave up one hit and on Thursday, he gave up four hits to Tampa Bay but nothing came of it. He also helped complete a four-pitcher shutout against the Orioles on May 20 and cut his ERA from 6.00 to where it stands now at 4.67.

Austin Maddox (RHP) — Boston

Red Sox relief pitcher Austin Maddox began his week by earning a win for Triple-A Pawtucket after allowing four walks and getting one strikeout against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Following up that performance, Maddox allowed his first runs of the season as he got rocked for back-to-back solo home runs through 1 ⅔ innings against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Update: Maddox was sent down to Double-A Portland where he got rocked for three runs in two innings off two home runs.

Darren O’Day (RHP) — Baltimore Orioles

O’Day is still battling an elbow injury that landed him on the DL earlier this month. O’Day received a cortisone shot on Friday and Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he expects O’Day to be back sooner than fellow reliever Zach Britton, who has been on the DL (achilles) all season but is scheduled to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday, so that could mean O’Day could throw as soon as today.

Bobby Poyner (LHP) — Boston Red Sox

Poyner was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket Thursday to make room for Hector Velazquez who was brought off the DL. Poyner didn’t allow a run in the two outings since his latest callup through 1 ⅔ innings. He threw an inning for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday with poor results, giving up two runs off two hits.

Preston Tucker (LF) — Atlanta Braves

Tucker got a hit and a run for the Braves in a 7-1 win over Boston on Sunday, but that was his lone highlight of the week. The left fielder failed to get a hit and struck out twice on Monday in his first start in the month of May for the injured Ronald Acuña. It should be interesting to watch Tucker with the Braves going forward to see if he can regain his momentum from early in the season as Acuña’s injury might keep him out a month if the Braves want to be cautious.

MiLB Players

Peter Alonso (1B) — Binghamton Rumble Ponies (New York Mets Double-A)

Alonso went 6-for-28 this week with two home runs and seven RBIs but his average dipped to .333. The Rumble Ponies first baseman still leads the Eastern League in home runs with 14 dingers and is second in RBIs behind Vlad Guerrero Jr.

Shaun Anderson (RHP) — Richmond Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants Double-A)

After giving up four earned runs in his last start, Anderson put together a solid six innings against Binghamton on Wednesday allowing just one earned run on three hits. He earned the win after pitching six innings with 7 Ks.

Kevin Chapman (LHP) — Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers Triple-A)

The Detroit Tigers signed Chapman to a minor league contract on May 21 and was assigned to the Toledo Mud Hens on May 22 where he pitched in his first action since June of 2017. Chapman made three one-inning appearances and gave up just one hit with three Ks and two walks across those innings.

Jonathon Crawford (RHP) — Daytona Tortugas (Cincinnati Reds Class A Advanced)

Crawford remains on the disabled list.

Matt den Dekker (LF) — Las Vegas 51s (New York Mets Triple-A)

The left fielder had another stellar week with the 51s, collecting 10 hits in 34 at bats, including a home run, a triple  and a double. He amassed three RBIs and his average is still good, sitting at .298. Den Dekker’s best game came against the Tacoma Rainiers when he went 3-fo-5 at the plate and hit a home run.

Dane Dunning (RHP) — Birmingham Barons (Chicago White Sox Double-A)

Dunning allowed two earned runs on three hits through a five-inning no decision game for the Barons Thursday. Fielding errors have been an issue behind Dunning in Double-A as teams have scored a combined seven unearned runs in Dunning’s last three starts.

Alex Faedo (RHP) — Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit Tigers Class A Advanced)

Faedo had seven Ks and allowed one earned run on five hits through 4 ⅔ innings Friday. The seven Ks are tops for him as a professional pitcher and the earned run he allowed snapped a streak of 11 ⅔ scoreless innings.

Nolan Fontana (SS) — Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels Triple-A)

Fontana returned from the 7-day DL and did not register a hit in four at bats for Triple-A Salt Lake but turned it around for a solid 11-for-25 week at the plate with three RBIs. Fontana will be prominently featured with Salt Lake this season and would be a utility player should he get called up for the Angels. His best game came Friday when he went 3-for-3 with two doubles.

Daniel Gibson (LHP) — Jackson Generals (Arizona Diamondbacks Double-A)

Gibson was assigned to Double-A Jackson Generals from Triple-A Reno Aces after being on the DL since April 4.

Taylor Gushue (C) — Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals Double-A)

Gushue hit 6-for-15 this week with three RBIs and hit a home run against the Altoona Curve on Friday. Gushue’s average has gone up to .243, and his slugging improved as well. His best outing this week was his home run game where he also went 2-for-3 and scored two runs.

Dalton Guthrie (SS) — Lakewood BlueClaws (Philadelphia Phillies Class A)

Guthrie went 2-for-4 with a home run and a double against the Delmarva Shorebirds on Saturday. He totaled three RBIs on a 4-for-24 hitting week, dropping his batting average to .237.

Eric Hanhold (RHP) — Binghamton Rumble Ponies — (New York Mets Double-A)

Hanhold went 3-for-4 on save opportunities this week with five Ks and allowed no runs across four appearances for the Rumble Ponies.

Mark Kolozsvary (C) — Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds Class A)

Kolozsvary had a great game on May 20 where he went 3-for-5 with two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored. Overall, Kolozsvary went 3-for-15 for the week and is now hitting .207.

Taylor Lewis (RHP) — Free agent

Johnny Magliozzi (RHP) — Released

Magliozzi was released by Binghamton on May 23.

Richie Martin (SS) — Stockton Ports (Oakland A’s Class A Advanced)

Martin raised his average from .292 to .306 with an 11-for-32 week, including a game where he went 3-for-5 with a double and a triple. He did have one stolen base this week but was also caught stealing in the same game.

Scott Moss (LHP) — Daytona Tortugas (Cincinnati Reds Class A Advanced)

Moss picked up a win after going seven innings with four Ks and allowed no runs on four hits. Moss improves his record to 4-2 and lowered his ERA to 5.12.

A.J. Puk (LHP) — Stockton Ports (Oakland Athletics Class-A Advanced)

Puk underwent Tommy John surgery and is out for the rest of the season.

Ryan Raburn (OF) — Free agent

Buddy Reed (CF) — Lake Elsinore Storm (San Diego Padres Class A Advanced)

Reed stole six bases and was caught stealing only once. He hit four home runs, had 11 RBIs and scored eight runs this week.  He also raised his batting average to .351, which is second overall in the California League, after successfully hitting in all but one game. Reed is also first in hits, stolen bases and total bases in the league.

Mike Rivera (C) — Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians Class A)

Rivera remains on the DL. He hit just .185 in his first 10 games of the season.

Paco Rodriguez (LHP) — Chattanooga Lookouts (Minnesota Twins Double-A)

Rodriguez was promoted to Double-A ball on Friday but was rocked for five runs on two hits and three walks in just one inning on work on Saturday.

Frank Rubio (RHP) — Augusta GreenJackets (San Francisco Giants Class A)

Rubio hasn’t allowed a run since May 5 and remained perfect on save opportunities this season as he earned his ninth on May 21.

Justin Shafer (RHP) — Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays Triple-A)

Shafer was promoted to Triple-A on May 19 after giving up only one run all year in Double-A ball. He immediately gave up a run in his first outing with the Bisons, but he’s been solid in three appearances since.

Logan Shore (RHP) — Midland RockHounds (Oakland A’s Double-A)

Shore was promoted back to Double-A on May 22 after posting a 1.21 ERA through four starts for Stockton. His first start was a good one on Thursday as he went 4 ⅔ innings with three Ks and allowed no earned runs on two hits for the RockHounds.

Kirby Snead (LHP) — New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays Double-A)

Snead’s 12-game streak of not allowing a run ended on Saturday when he blew a save opportunity. He allowed three runs to score on three hits and a walk and had no strikeouts in the loss.

Tim Tebow (LF) — Binghamton Rumble Ponies (New York Mets Double-A)

Tebow went went 5-for-18 overall this week with zero RBIs. The lefty also struck out five times but did have a 2-for-3 game on Monday that kept his average respectable at .248.

Josh Tobias (2B) — Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox Double-A)

Tobias went 6-for-27 this week with three RBIs and a double.

Casey Turgeon (3B) — Free agent

Danny Young (LHP) — New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays Double-A)

Young earned his first win of the year on May 20 after pitching two innings with one K and allowing two hits.


Red Sox pitcher Austin Maddox (10-day DL)
Red Sox pitcher Brian Johnson
Red Sox pitcher Bobby Poyner
Orioles pitcher Darren O’Day
Mariners catcher Mike Zunino (10-day DL)
Braves outfielder Preston Tucker



Angels infielder Nolan Fontana