Game Recaps 9/4: K-Tribe clinches playoff spot
By Jim Pete
September 5, 2011
The K-Tribe secured a berth in the 2011 postseason with a doubleheader sweep of the Potomac Nationals Sunday afternoon. Kinston won game one 5-3 before taking game two 1-2.
The Indians continued a trend of early dominance in the series by jumping on top in the first inning of game number one. Tyler Holt leadoff with a double to right-center and was advanced to third on Bo Greenwell's bunt. Jeremie Tice walked to load the bases and Jesus Aguilar drew a bases full pass to bring Holt in from third. The first inning came to close with the bases loaded and the Indians on top 1-0.
Kinston kept the gas pedal floored in the second. With two outs, again it was Holt reaching on a single and advancing to third on a throwing error on Potomac third baseman Justin Bloxom. Holt came home when Greenwell looped a single to left. Adam Abraham provided the exclamation point by roping his 17th home run of the year to left.
Abraham has collected three home runs in Kinston's last four games.
Delvi Cid added insurance in the sixth by racing home from first on an errant pickoff throw from pitcher Neil Holland.
Toru Murata picked up his third win of the season in a crucial spot start. Murata allowed three earned runs over six innings while striking out five. Preston Guilmet worked a perfect seventh complete with two strikeouts to pick up his league-leading 35th save of the season.
A game two pitchers duel saw Mitchell Clegg and K-Tribe newcomer Michael Goodnight carry a scoreless tie to the fifth.
Kinston again drew first blood, this time on a Potomac error. With Casey Frawley on second base, Jordan Casas dropped a bunt down the third base line. Bloxom charged, barehanded and threw wild to first to allow Frawley to stroll home.
In the sixth Frawley again was in the middle of the action. With Greenwell aboard and two outs, Frawley laced a single to give Kinston what would be a crucial insurance run.
Eury Perez scored in Potomac's half of the inning to cut Kinston's lead to one.
With a 2-1 lead, Trey Haley allowed a seventh inning leadoff double to Brian Peacock. Peacock moved to third on a sacrifice bunt which forced the Indians offense to draw in. With a postseason on the line and a man at third, Haley clinched the second half title by striking out Cutter Dykstra, walking Eury Perez and punching out Francisco Soriano swinging to clinch the second half title.
Just one day after joining the K-Tribe, Michael Goodnight earned the win in his Carolina League debut. Goodnight struck out six over five and one third innings. Kinston's newcomer allowed one run on three hits. Haley picked up his first save of the season.
Through three games the Indians have not trailed against the Nationals. Kinston also guaranteed a series victory.
With the postseason clinching win, at least one more game will be played at Historic Grainger Stadium.
Kinston will be opposed by the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the 2011 Southern Division Championship Series. Game three is Friday night in Kinston followed by games four and five if necessary. By winning the second half, Kinston gathered home field advantage and will get the final three games at home if the matchup needs five games. In the Northern Division Championship Series, Frederick will face Potomac.
Toledo drops the Clippers 6-2
A four-run 6th inning by Toledo doomed Columbus as the Clippers dropped a 6-2 decision to the Mud Hens.
It would be the Clippers grabbing an early lead. In the top half of the first, Time Fedroff got things going with a one out double to left field. After a Jared Goedert flyout that allowed Fedroff to advance to third, Travis Buck came to bat with a two-out RBI opportunity. Buck put the ball in play and got some help from sloppy Mud Hens defense as Mud Hens second Justin Henry was charged with an error. It allowed Buck to reach safely and Fedroff to score, giving Columbus a quick 1-0 lead.
The lead would not last long for the Clippers as the Mud Hens came to bat in the bottom of the first. Justin Henry singled to begin the inning. Toledo then executed a hit and run to perfection as Henry went to third on a Danny Worth single. Clippers starting pitcher Joe Martinez found himself in trouble at that point. Although Henry would come into score to tie the game at 1-1, Martinez was helped by his defense on a much-needed groundball double play. Martinez got Scott Thorman out on a long flyout to centerfield and the Toledo side was retired.
The Clippers would come through on another two out RBI scenario. Thomas Neal reached on an infield single with one out. After a Paul Phillips lineout to right field, Argenis Reyes singled on a sharp line drive to center field, advancing Neal to third. Luis Valbuena, who has had a tremendous season offensively for Columbus, improved on his offensive numbers with an RBI single that gave the Clippers lead back 2-1.
The Mud Hens would regain the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Scott Thorman led off the frame with a single. After Thorman sacrificed over to second on a Ben Guez bunt, Clete Thomas bashed his 12th home run of the season over the right field wall, giving Toledo its first lead of the night 3-2. The Mud Hens were just getting started offensively. The Thomas longball was followed by a Jeff Salazar single to left field. Salazar stole second, and Martinez walked Argenis Diaz. There was still only one out in the inning when Max St. Pierre delivered with an RBI single, extending the Mud Hens advantage to 4-2. The next batter, Justin Henry, continued the Toledo frame with an RBI double off of the right field wall, making it 5-2 Mud Hens. Martinez got Danny Worth and Timo Perez to groundout to third to end the inning, but the damage was done as Toledo emerged with a three run lead.
The Mud Hens would add on to their lead in the bottom of the seventh. Jeff Salazar singled to right field, driving in Clete Thomas and augmenting Toledo's lead to 6-2.
The Clippers offense was held in check in the glass city. First it was Taiwanese righthander Fu-Te Ni, who handcuffed the Clippers to two runs on six hits while walking three and striking out two in 7 1/3 innings of work. From there, Brendan Wise came out of the bullpen and shut down the Columbus bats in the final 1 2/3 innings as Toledo triumphed over the Clippers 6-2. Fu-Te Ni (6-3) got the win. Martinez (8-9) was hit with the loss.
The Clippers will be back at it tomorrow against Toledo and will wrap up the 2011 regular season in the process. Corey Kluber (7-10) will get the nod on the hill for the Clippers. He will oppose Mud Hens lefty Adam Wilk (8-6). First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 pm.
Aeros Rally Late, Down Senators 6-4
The Akron Aeros scored two runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to erase a two-run deficit as they won game three of a four-game series against the Harrisburg Senators 6-4 Sunday at Metro Bank Park.
Right-handed pitcher Bryce Stowell recorded the win for Akron pitching an inning and a third of scoreless relief, giving up one hit, walking one and striking out three. Right-hander Cory Burns got the last four outs to earn the save. Righty Brett Brach got the start for the Aeros tossing six innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits, walking two and striking out five.
Left-handed pitcher Cory VanAllen suffered the loss for Harrisburg lasting two innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and striking out three while walking none.
The Aeros jumped in front 2-0 in the top of the first inning on a Michel Hernandez two-RBI double.
The Senators answered in the bottom of the frame with back-to-back home runs. Chris Rahl hit a two-run home run to tie the game 2-2 and Tyler Moore followed with a solo shot to give Harrisburg a 3-2 lead.
The Senators took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the third inning on a Tim Pahuta RBI single.
It remained 4-2 until the top of the seventh inning when the Aeros rallied. Cristo Arnal led off with a walk and, following a fly out, advanced to third on a Juan Apodaca double. With two outs, Karexon Sanchez singled home Arnal and Apodaca to tie the game 4-4.
An inning later, the Aeros took the lead. With two outs, John Drennen and Kyle Bellows rapped back-to-back singles. Cristo Arnal followed with a two-RBI single to give the Aeros a 6-4 lead as they went on to the win.
The Aeros will go for the sweep of the Senators as they conclude the 2011 season on Monday. Akron will give the ball to right-handed pitcher Steve Wright, who is 2-3 with a 5.62 ERA in 2011. He will face left-handed pitcher Oliver Perez, who is 3-5 with a 3.27 ERA this season. First pitch is at 2 p.m. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1350 AM or online at sportsradio1350.com. Coverage begins at 1:45 p.m.
Giovanny Urshela's RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the tenth inning scored LeVon Washington lifting Lake County past Bowling Green 3-2 in walk off fashion. It was just the third walk off win for the Captains this season.
In the fifth, Hot Rod Derek Dietrich gave his team a 2-0 lead with a two-run double to leftfield scoring Kevin Kiermaier and Robby Price.
Giovanny Urshela crushed a ball that hooked the leftfield foul pole for his ninth homerun of the season putting Lake County on the board at 2-1.
Chase Burnette with two outs and Alex Monsalve on second base ripped a double off the wall in right field to tie the game up at two.
Drew Rucinski (1-0) gets the win in his second appearance pitching the tenth inning and striking out all three hitters. Austin Hubbard (5-3) took the loss after blowing the save working 1.1 allowing two runs. Joe Colon (0-0) in Captains debut fired six strong innings allowing two runs on five hits, walking two and striking out four in a no-decision.
Lake County finishes the 2011 season Monday afternoon at Classic Park against Bowling Green with first pitch set for 1:00PM. The Captains will start RHP Danny Salazar (0-2) against LHP Braulio Lara (5-11) for the Hot Rods. Catch all the action AM 1330 WELW or online at captainsbaseball.com.
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Jim is currently the co-site editor, the ATF/Carolina Mudcats/Indians/General Site Columnist, and the co-host of IPI's weekly online radio show, Smoke Signals. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IPI, or contact him via e-mail at email@example.com.