Knowles, Saunders experience action in the minors

Bahamian Minor League Baseball (MiLB) players D’Shawn Knowles and Warren Saunders were in action on Wednesday, making the most of an opportunity on the diamond, particularly after their season was canceled last year.

Los Angeles Angels’ prospect Knowles had a strong outing on Wednesday, helping the Inland Empire 66ers come away with a 19-8 road victory over the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at LoanMart Field in Rancho Cucamonga, California, in Low-A Affiliate action.

Knowles finished the night 2-for-5 and was able to score three runs. His batting average is up to .226. It was the 66ers second straight victory over the Quakes with four more games left including last night’s game.

Knowles had a single to center field in his first at-bat in the top of the first inning. He then scored the first run for his team in that same inning off a wild pitch.

So far in July, Knowles has gone 12-for-48 and has a batting average of .250 this month – higher than his .226 average this season. He has one home run this month, and showed his speed and baserunning ability by stealing four bases.

In the Low-A West League, the 66ers sport a 32-29 win/loss record which is good enough to have them perched atop the South Division. In their last 10 games, they are 8-2.

Saunders was in action twice on Wednesday as one of the games was a makeup game after being it was postponed on Tuesday due to rain. He helped the Port St. Lucie Mets take down the Palm Beach Cardinals in both games.

The New York Mets prospect was able to come away with two hits in four at-bats in the first game, scoring one run in a 6-3 victory. His batting average went up to .293. The Freeport, Grand Bahama native played first base in this game. After his first two at-bats came up empty, Saunders got on base with a single to center field in the top of the fifth inning. The Mets scored four runs in that inning.

When he returned to the plate for his final at-bat in the sixth inning, he hit another single.

In the other game where he was the designated hitter, Saunders finished 1-for-4 at the plate in his team’s 4-2 victory. His only hit came in the top of the third inning. It was a line drive single to center field.

The Mets pulled away in the sixth inning, scoring three runs to break a 2-2 deadlock.

Like Knowles, Saunders is batting above his season average so far in July. He has an average of .314 for July, well above his .292 season average. He also has eight RBIs (runs batted in) this month.

Saunders’ team posts a 33-29 record. They lead the Low-A Southeast League’s East Division.

The two teams went at each other again last night, but no result was available up to press time.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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