Closeups of the 2019 San Antonio Missions

San Antonio Missions catcher/first baseman David Freitas won the Pacific Coast League batting title. - photo by Joe Alexander
San Antonio Missions catcher/first baseman David Freitas won the Pacific Coast League batting title. – photo by Joe Alexander
Even front row seats are a long way from some positions on a baseball field.

During the course of the 2019 San Antonio Missions season, I occasionally got closer a look at some of the players.

That seemed like a good way to wrap up my summer from Wolff Stadium.

Nate Orf, Tyrone Taylor power Missions past OKC

The San Antonio Missions' Nate Orf watches his fourth-inning grand slam sail out to left on Saturday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Nate Orf watches his fourth-inning grand slam sail out to left on Saturday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
Nate Orf hit his first professional grand slam and Tyrone Taylor added a home run as the San Antonio Missions pounded the Oklahoma City Dodgers 15-3 Saturday at Wolff Stadium.

The Missions are two games behind the Round Rock Express in the Pacific Coast League American Southern division. The Missions play their final home game of the regular season on Sunday at 6:05 p.m.

Orf’s 10th home run of the season came in the fourth inning, when the Missions scored six runs and batted around. That turned the game around, changing a 3-0 Dodgers lead to a 6-3 Missions advantage.

The Missions also put up six runs in the seventh inning. Taylor’s 12th home run of the season came in the eighth inning with one on and accounted for the Missions’ final runs of the game.

Orf finished with two hits, three runs and five RBIs. Taylor had three hits, three runs and four RBIs.

Corey Ray and Jacob Nottingham had two hits each for the Missions.

Trey Supak pitched the first four innings for the Missions and did not get a decision. He allowed three runs on five hits.

Missions reliever Jake Faria (1-0) pitched the fifth and sixth innings to earn the win. He did not allow a run on one hit and one walk with four strikeouts.

The San Antonio Missions' Tyrone Taylor had three hits including a home run Saturday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Missions’ Tyrone Taylor had three hits including a home run Saturday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander

Tyler Saladino returns, Missions homer their way past Grizzlies

Tyler Saladino singled and eventually scored the winning run in the eighth inning Monday afternoon at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
Tyler Saladino singled and eventually scored the winning run in the eighth inning Monday afternoon at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
The San Antonio Missions hit four home runs including three in one inning to beat the Fresno Grizzlies 9-8 on Monday afternoon at Wolff Stadium.

The Missions trailed 6-0 early in the game but narrowed the gap when Tyrone Taylor hit a three-run shot in the third inning, his eighth homer of the season.

The Missions took an 8-6 lead with four runs in the fifth inning. Troy Stokes Jr. hit a solo home run, his eighth of the season. Jacob Nottingham hit a two-run homer, his fourth of the season. Jake Hager hit a solo home run, his eighth of the season.

The Grizzlies scored single runs in the top of the seventh and eighth innings to tie it 8-8.

The Missions took the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth. Tyler Saladino led off with a single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Taylor. Saladino scored the winning run when David Freitas singled to right and Grizzlies right fielder Jose Marmolejos mis-handled the ball, allowing Saladino to advance two bases.

Missions reliever Angel Perdomo (3-0) pitched the seventh and eighth innings to earn the win. Ray Black pitched the ninth inning to earn his second save withthe Missions.

NOTES

  • Monday’s game was Saladino’s first action in a Missions uniform since being called up by the Milwaukee Brewers on June 28.
  • Missions pitcher Jimmy Nelson had his second strong appearance in a row in relief. He threw 1 2/3 innings with no runs, one hit, one walk and four strikeouts
  • Black, who came to the Brewers organization from the San Francisco Giants in a deal at the MLB trade deadline, hit 101 MPH on the stadium radar.

  • Trey Supak’s pitching, Blake Allemand’s hit carry Missions past Grizzlies in 10 innings

    The Missions' Blake Allemand celebrates after driving in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning Friday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
    The Missions’ Blake Allemand celebrates after driving in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning Friday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
    Trey Supak got the San Antonio Missions started on a shutout in his first game at Wolff Stadium.

    It still took a timely hit from Blake Allemand in the bottom of the 10th inning for the Missions to edge the Fresno Grizzlies 1-0 on Friday.

    After nine scoreless innings of regulation and the Grizzlies coming up empty in the top of the 10th, the Missions only needed one run in the bottom of the 10th to finish the game.

    In keeping with the extra-innings rules, the last batter from the previous inning started the 10th as a runner on second base. That was Jacob Nottingham. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Hager.

    That brought up former Boerne Champion star Allemand, a switch-hitter. Batting as a left-hander, Allemand hit the ball into left field to score Nottingham.

    Supak was 11-4 in Double-A Biloxi this season. He picked up a win on the road in his debut with the Missions on July 27.

    On Friday night, Supak pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed four hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.

    Danny Coulombe was the first pitcher out of the Missions’ bullpen and he got the final out of the seventh inning.

    Jimmy Nelson pitched in relief for the Missions for the second night in a row. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning and struck out the side.

    Angel Perdomo (2-0) pitched the ninth and 10th innings to earn the win and finish the combined shutout. He allowed one hit, struck out five batters and walked one.

    Trent Grisham, Hernan Perez power Missions past River Cats in series opener

    Hernan Perez (left) and David Freitas celebrate after Perez's fifth-inning home run. The San Antonio Missions to beat the Sacramento River Cats 8-4 Tuesday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
    Hernan Perez (left) and David Freitas celebrate after Perez’s fifth-inning home run. The Missions beat the Sacramento River Cats 8-4 Tuesday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
    The San Antonio Missions had 12 hits including three home runs to beat the Sacramento River Cats 8-4 Tuesday at Wolff Stadium.

    Trent Grisham homered twice and hit for the cycle and Hernan Perez had two hits including a home run. Grisham has 13 home runs since moving up from Double-A on June 20. Perez had five home runs in the last eight games.

    David Freitas had two hits, walked once and scored twice.

    Corbin Burnes started on the mound for the Missions and went two innings. The plan is for him to get reliever type innings, so the short was expected.

    Thomas Jankins, usually a starter, had the longest stint on the mound. Jankins (10-3) went five innings and allowed three runs on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks to earn the win.

    Alex Wilson and Angel Perdomo pitched one inning each to finish the game.

    Missions rally in 9th to beat Cubs

    The Missions celebrate after Jacob Nottinham scored the winning run on a ground ball by Trent Grisham on Tuesday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
    The Missions celebrate after Jacob Nottinham scored the winning run on a ground ball by Trent Grisham on Tuesday at Wolff Stadium. – photo by Joe Alexander
    The San Antonio Missions scratched out three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Iowa Cubs 4-3 on Tuesday at Wolff Stadium.

    The Missions got the job done in the final inning without a longball or extra-base hit. They put together two singles, a walk, a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring ground ball.

    (Cubs lead 3-1 going into bottom of the 9th)

    – Nate Orf singles.

    – Troy Stokes Jr. walks. Orf goes to second.

    – Jacob Nottingham singles. Orf scores. Stokes goes to second. (Cubs lead 3-2)

    – Lucas Erceg pinch-hits.

    – Wild pitch. Stokes goes to third. Nottingham goes to second.

    – Erceg sacrifice flies to right field. Stokes scores. Nottingham goes to third. (score tied 3-3)

    – Trent Grisham chops a grounder to first. Nottingham slides and beats the throw at the plate for the winning run (Missions win 4-3).

    The Missions’ other run scored on a solo home run by Hernan Perez in the fourth inning.

    Missions split series with Storm Chasers; Brewers announce roster moves

    Travis Shaw batting for the San Antonio Missions on Sunday at Wolff Stadium in his final game before returning to the Milwaukee Brewers. - photo by Joe Alexander
    Travis Shaw batting for the Missions at Wolff Stadium in his final game before returning to the Brewers. – photo by Joe Alexander
    The San Antonio Missions beat the Omaha Storm Chasers 8-3 Sunday at Wolff Stadium to earn a split of the four-game series.

    The game marked the final appearance in a Missions uniform for the Milwaukee Brewers’ Travis Shaw. He was rehabbing from an injury.

    Shaw was 1-of-2 and walked while batting second as the designated hitter. Shaw played in 10 games with San Antonio and batted .235 with one home run.

    David Freitas, Troy Stokes Jr. and Jake Hager had two RBIs each for the Missions on Sunday.

    Missions starting pitcher Thomas Jankins (4-2) got the win. He went five innings and gave up two earned runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and no walks.

    Roster moves

    Missions right-handed pitcher Jacob Barnes was called up by the Brewers.

    Missions right-handed pitcher Taylor Williams was called up by the Brewers.

    Catcher Jacob Nottingham has been optioned from the Brewers back to the Missions.

    Missions catcher and Brewers prospect Jacob Nottingham

    San Antonio Missions and Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jacob Nottingham playing for San Antonio this season at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
    Missions catcher Jacob Nottingham, playing for San Antonio this season at Wolff Stadium, was called up by the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday. – photo by Joe Alexander
    Jacob Nottingham had seen time as both a catcher and first baseman with the San Antonio Missions this season.

    Nottingham was called up to the majors on Thursday when an injury left the Milwaukee Brewers in need of another catcher.

    In 26 games with Triple-A San Antonio, Nottingham hit .247 with two home runs and 10 RBIs. He was on a hot streak before called up, recording hits in 9 of his last 12 games with the Missions and hitting .324 in that stretch.

    Nottingham played in nine games with the Brewers last season and 50 games in Triple-A.

    Jake Hager has another walk-off hit for Missions

    The San Antonio Missions' Jake Hager (right) and Jacob Nottingham celebrate after Hager's walk-off hit against the New Orleans Baby Cakes on Tuesday at Wolff Stadium - photo by Joe Alexander
    The Missions’ Jake Hager (right) and Jacob Nottingham celebrate after Hager’s walk-off hit. – photo by Joe Alexander
    Twice in three days, Jake Hager stepped up to the plate with the game on the line.

    Both times Hager came through with a hit that gave the San Antonio Missions a victory.

    After producing a walk-off hit on Sunday at Wolff Stadium, Hager did it again Tuesday night.

    This time Hager’s single in the bottom of the 10th inning gave the Missions a 1-0 victory over the New Orleans Baby Cakes.

    Under the extra-innings rule, the Missions started the bottom of the 10th with Cory Spangenberg on second base. Nate Orf had a bunt single to advance Spangenberg to third. Jacob Nottingham got an intentional walk to load the bases.

    That brought Hager to the plate. He responded with his 12th RBI of the season.

    The Missions used five pitchers to combine for the 10-inning shutout. Aaron Wilkerson started and pitched five innings. Alex Wilson (1-0) pitched the top of the 10th inning and got the win. The Missions got the final two outs in the top of the 10th with a double play.

    San Antonio Missions shortstop Mauricio Dubon turns a double play that ended the top of the 10th inning and kept the game scoreless on Tuesday at Wolff Stadium. - photo by Joe Alexander
    Missions shortstop Mauricio Dubon turns a double play that ended the top of the 10th inning and kept the game scoreless. – photo by Joe Alexander
  • Jake Hager’s walk-off hit gives Missions dramatic win over Express
  • Missions play musical outfielders and shuffle their catchers

    David Freitas, like all the Missions' catchers, also plays first base. - photo by Joe Alexander
    David Freitas, like all the Missions’ catchers, also plays first base. – photo by Joe Alexander
    Among the oddities on the roster of the Triple-A San Antonio Missions:

    There is currently only one active player on the roster listed as an outfielder and there are four players listed as catchers.

    Tyrone Taylor was the Missions’ only active outfielder on Sunday. And he didn’t start in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Oklahoma City Dodgers at Wolff Stadium.

    Corey Ray and Troy Stokes Jr. are listed on the roster as outfielders, but are both currently on the injured list. Ray was the Missions’ main center fielder to start the season. Taylor played primarily in right, but had been playing center with Ray out.

    Sunday’s starting outfielders on Sunday were Jake Hager in left, Cory Spangenberg in center and Nate Orf in right. All three are listed on the roster as infielders.

    Spangenberg has seen action all over the field this season. He has played first base, third base, shortstop, left field and now center field.

    While the Missions are short on players listed as outfielders, they have four active players listed as catchers: Skyler Ewing, David Freitas, Tuffy Gosewisch and Jacob Nottingham. All four got into the game on Sunday. All four have also gotten work as first basemen this season.

    Twice during Sunday’s game, three of them batted in a row and the other was coaching first base. The Missions use a player as a first base coach, so that part of the equation wasn’t unusual.

    Freitas was the No. 7 batter in the order on Sunday and played first base. Nottingham was No. 8 in the order and played catcher.

    In the fifth inning, after Freitas and Nottingham batted, Gosewisch went to the plate as a pinch-hitter. Ewing was coaching first base.

    In the seventh inning, after Freitas and Nottingham batted, Ewing went to the plate as a pinch-hitter. Gosewisch was coaching first base.