The Memphis Redbirds have been almost unstoppable over the past three weeks.
Heading into Tuesday’s game against the AAA team of the Chicago Cubs organization in Iowa, the Redbirds were on an 11-game winning streak, and posted one of the best records in AAA baseball. However, not only did they lose the game, they lost one of their top players due to a nasty injury.
Daniel Poncedeleon, the youthful Redbirds pitcher who boasts an outstanding 2.25 ERA, got the start on the mound. After a scoreless first inning, he trotted back out to the mound for the second. He only faced one batter during the inning, that being Victor Caratini. Caratini fired a shot right back at Poncedeleon that hit the pitcher square in the head, immediately throwing him to the ground.
The first inning went as follows: Poncedeleon surrendered a leadoff single, trailed by a groundball force out at second, then a fielder’s choice, then his only strikeout of the day.
As for the season, Poncedeleon has thrown twenty-eight innings and surrendered just eighteen hits and seven earned runs.
Caratini, who went 4-for-4 on the afternoon, rushed to the mound in an act of class and sportsmanship when Poncedeleon went down, as did the rest of the team. According to the official Memphia Redbirds Twitter and from the Des Moines Register, Poncedeleon was then put on a stretcher, and waved to the crowd as he was sent out of the stadium.
The Redbirds will look to use this tragic incident to inspire them to play harder, especially for their injured teammate and friend, and look to get back to their winning ways on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, we all wish nothing but the best to Daniel Poncedeleon, and hope for a speedy and healthy recovery.
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