Aeros Take 1-0 Lead, Scrappers Force Game DecisiveThree
Josh Tomlin turned in seven outstanding innings and the Akron offense didn’t skip a beat after two days off as the Aeros took game one of the Eastern League Championship Series 7-2 over Connecticut before 3,449 fans at Dodd Stadium Tuesday night. Akron leads the best-of-five series one game to none, with game two set for Wednesday night.
Defenders starter Ben Snyder tight-roped through a rocky top of the first and stranded the bases loaded, but wasn’t as fortunate in the second. Carlos Rivero drew a leadoff walk to start the inning, went to third on a double by John Drennen, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jose Constanza. The Aeros then strung together four straight two-out singles in the third with Rivero and Drennen delivering RBI knocks to stretch the lead to 3-0, and Beau Mills socked a two-run homer in the top of the fourth to stretch the margin to five runs.
That was plenty for Tomlin, who didn’t allow a hit until the fourth and a run until the fifth. Connecticut did make things interesting in said fifth inning, putting runners at first and second with one away. Bobby Felmy then lined out sharply to right field with Drennen reaching high over his head to haul in the scorcher, but Jackson Williams followed with a RBI single to get the Defenders on the board, and Drennen’s throwing error moved the runners to second and third. That set the stage for Connecticut’s Brock Bond, who won the league batting title with a .333 mark but went just 1-21 in six games against Akron during the regular season. Tomlin won the battle however, striking out Bond on a nasty 2-2 curveball to end the inning and deflate the Defenders.
Akron got the run back in the seventh when Rivero scored on a two-out fielding error by Brandon Crawford, Eddy Martinez-Esteve made it 6-2 with a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh, and Matt McBride cranked a solo shot of his own in the top of the eighth to finish the scoring.
Tomlin (2-0) was magnificent for the second time in the post-season, allowing just two runs on five hits for the victory. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter for the second straight start in the playoffs. Snyder (1-1) didn’t make it out of the fourth, getting roughed up for five runs and nine hits in 3.2 innings. Steven Wright and Neil Wagner delivered a scoreless inning each to close the game. McBride and Drennen paced the Aeros offensively with three hits each, while Mills and Lonnie Chisenhall both went 2-5. McBride’s home run was his first of the post-season and also marked his first RBI, while Mills homered for the second straight contest.
Game two in this best-of-five series is set for 6:35 p.m. Wednesday night, with the Aeros sending Eastern League Pitcher of the Year Jeanmar Gomez (1-0, 1.50 ERA) to the hill against Connecticut’s Daryl Maday (0-0, 9.00 ERA).
Chen Walk Off Home Run, Scrappers 3-2 Win in 11 innings
On Tuesday night, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers played game two of the best of three game series in the New York Penn League finals and defeated the Staten Island Yankees. The game went eleven innings with a final score of 3-2, forcing the deciding game on Wednesday night at Eastwood Field.
Scrappers starter Marty Popham went the first the first five inning and allowed two earned runs on four hits while walking one and striking out five. Antwonie Hubbard pitched the next two innings and gave up one hit while striking out three. Matt Packer pitched the next 2/3 of an inning and gave up one hit and struck out one. Cory Burns then tossed the final 3 and 1/3 innings and allowed one hit while walking one and striking out four.
It took until the 5th inning before either team was able to score a run. The Yankees scored first when Deangelo Mack delivered a two RBI single that scored Carmen Angelini and Jimmy Paredes. The Scrappers responded with two runs in the bottom of the 5th to tie the game up at two. Casey Frawley doubled home Jason Smit, who doubled to start the inning and then went to third on a Chun Chen sacrifice bunt. Argenis Martinez then followed with a single to right that scored Frawley and tied the game at two. It took until the bottom of the 11th before either team was able to score another run. Mahoning Valley was able to win the game in the 11th when Chun Chen hit a walk off solo home run, his first of the playoffs as the Scrappers won game two 3-2.
Wednesday, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers will play a winner take all game three of the New York Penn League Finals against the Staten Island Yankees. Wednesday’s game will be played at Eastwood Field and will start at 7:05 and can be heard on 1390 WNIO and online at www.mvscrappers.com.