photo: Thomas Spitz (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
Thomas Spitz’ three hits and two RBI and Jake Woodford’s six one-run innings lifted Palm Beach to victory in their post-season opener. State College had a walk-off win as their season nears its end.
Results from games played Tuesday, September 5th.
Memphis – off
The Memphis Redbirds begin their quest for the Pacific Coast League Championship, following a historic season in which they set a franchise-best 91-50 mark. The Redbirds host the first two games of the best-of-five series versus Colorado Springs (80-57) (MIL).
Wednesday’s game: vs. Colorado Springs (0-0), 7:05 pm CT, Dakota Hudson
With Hurricane Irma triggering a revamping of the post-season schedule, Thomas Spitz carried his team to a 3-2 victory over Fort Myers. The best-of-three series concludes with a Wednesday twin bill at Palm Beach (1-0). The series winner will be declared co-Florida State League Champions along with either Tampa (NYY) or Dunedin (TB) as the league finals have been cancelled.
Spitz, our Player of the Day, accounted for all three tallies, ending up a home run shy of the cycle in four at bats. The right fielder tripled to right in the third, scoring on Chris Chinea’s two-out single and knotting the game at one all. That remained the score until the sixth when Spitz came to the plate with Shane Billings (force) and Luke Dykstra (single) on first and second. The Pennsylvania native doubled to center, plating both runners. Chinea singled twice in five at bats, the only other Beach Bird with more than one of the team’s nine hits.
That was sufficient offense for Jake Woodford and a quartet of Cardinals relievers. Woodford (W, 1-0) held the Miracle to a first-inning run in his six-inning stint. The Florida native yielded four hits and a walk with three strikeouts, 11 ground- and two fly-ball outs.
Derian Gonzalez struck out the side in the seventh, issuing a free pass. But Estarlin Arias ran into trouble the next frame, giving up consecutive singles to his only two batters, putting runners at the corners for Ian McKinney. McKinney and Eric Carter limited the damage, the former sandwiching a walk to Fort Myers’ clean-up hitter between a sac fly and caught looking K. Carter left the tying run at second when he struck out his first batter looking. Carter worked around a two-out double in the ninth for his first post-season save.
Wednesday’s games: vs. Fort Myers (0-1) (MIN). Game one – 5:00 pm ET, TBA/TBA
Peoria – off
The best-of-three Midwest League semifinal begins with Wild Card Peoria hosting Quad Cities, the Western Division champions. Games 2 and 3, the latter if necessary, will be played at Modern Woodman Park, home of the River Bandits. Peoria finished the regular season by winning eight of their last nine games while Quad Cities won the season finale to snap a six-game losing skid.
Wednesday’s game: vs. Quad Cities (0-0) (HOU), 6:30 pm CT, Ian Oxnevad
Ricardo Bautista’s fourth home run of 2017 gave the Spikes (40-33) an 8-6 walk-off victory over the Doubledays (28-45) in the rubber game of the three-game series.
Bautista’s bomb came with J.D. Crowe (force) aboard and was his only hit in five at bats. It made a winner out of Jesus Cruz, who fanned the side in the ninth in only his fourth appearance since being promoted from the GCL club.
State College banged out 12 hits with four Spikes garnering two apiece: Bryce Denton, Zach Kirtley, Caleb Lopes and Edwin Figuera. Denton did the most damage, singling and doubling in five at bats, crossing home twice and knocking in two. Kirtley went 2-for-4 with a walk and double, scored one and drove in another. Lopes doubled once in four at bats with two RBI.
Johan Oviedo went the first five innings, permitting six runs, four earned, on nine hits and two bases-on-balls. But the bullpen proved solid, tossing four frames of scoreless ball. Levi MaVorhis pitched two one-two-three innings, followed by Spencer Trayner, who worked around a walk and his own two-base throwing error on a pick-off attempt.
Wednesday’s game: vs. Williamsport (35-37) (PHI), 7:05 pm ET, Jonathon Mulford (2-5, 4.01)
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