MiLB AAA Baseball News

Gonzales Goes Yard and Plassmeyer Punches out Six in Indians’ Opening Day Loss

Indianapolis Indians

March 29, 2024 – International League (IL)
Indianapolis Indians News Release

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Nick Gonzales launched a two-run home run to plate the first Indians runs of the 2024 season and back Opening Day starter Michael Plassmeyer’s one-hit gem, but the Louisville Bats strung together a comeback effort to defeat Indianapolis on Friday night at Louisville Slugger Field, 9-8.

The Indians are now 0-2 in the Victory Field era when facing Louisville on Opening Day. Friday’s contest marked the first time since 1997 that the two teams have faced off in the season opener, with the then-Redbirds winning that first meeting, 10-3.

Gonzales, who launched 14 Triple-A home runs a year ago, jumped on a fastball from Louisville (1-0) starter Carson Spiers to give the Indians a 2-0 lead in the third inning, kicking off a stretch of four straight innings with a run for Indy. One frame later, an RBI single off the bat of Malcom Nuñez and run-scoring fielders’ choice by Joe Perez doubled Indianapolis’ lead before the Bats could record a hit.

Plassmeyer, making his second consecutive Opening Day start in the International League, spun a 4.0-inning one-hit gem in his Pirates organization debut. He fanned six during his outing, with the lone blemish coming via a solo home run off the bat of Hernán Pérez in the fourth.

Indianapolis (0-1) countered Pérez’s homer with an RBI single by Liover Peguero in the top of the fifth, but Louisville had gained momentum. The Bats put up crooked numbers with three runs in the bottom of the fifth and five in the sixth to overtake Indy’s early lead. P.J. Higgins singled home two against Kade McClure (L, 0-1) to drive in the game-winning runs.

Bats pitcher Sam Moll (W, 1-0) surrendered a two-run single to Gilberto Celestino in the sixth, but earned the win as Louisville took the lead in the bottom half. The Indians threatened in the ninth after Jake Lamb’s solo homer brought them within one run, but Tony Santillian (S, 1) clinched the victory by striking out the side.

Gonzales, Peguero, Nuñez and Perez all recorded two hits in the contest, with all nine batters reaching base safely at least once. Gonzales and Celestino led the ballclub with two RBI apiece.

The Indians and Bats continue their three-game set on Saturday afternoon in a 2:05 PM ET first pitch. Toeing the rubber for the Indians in his Triple-A debut is RHP Paul Skenes (0-0, -.–), the No. 3 prospect in Minor League Baseball according to MLB Pipeline. Countering for Louisville is…

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