Game Recap 6/15: Captains Clinch Playoff Berth
Lake County trailed West Michigan 5-1 early in the game Tuesday night. With raining coming down the Captains rallied to tie the game up at five, in the fifth inning. Chen Chun with a runner on first hit his fifth homerun of year brining the Captains all the way back for a 7-5 win in a rain shortened game. The Lake County Captains the Class A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians clinched its third playoff spot in franchise history, and first as a member of the Midwest League.
The Captains are currently holding a one-game lead in the division over Great Lakes. The top two clubs in the division reach the playoffs in the first half of the season, which concludes on Sunday.
The Captains are guaranteed at least one home playoff game in the first round and will have home field advantage when it takes on a team from the second half playoff qualifiers. The 2010 home playoff schedule will be as follows, with all games starting at 6:30 PM:
Eastern Division Quarterfinals
Thursday, September 9 Game #2
Friday, September 10 Game #3*
Eastern Division Finals (schedule subject to the team with the best overall record)
Saturday, September 11 Game #1
Sunday, September 12 Game #2
Monday, September 13 Game #3*
Midwest League Championship Series
Wednesday, September 15 Game #1
Thursday, September 16 Game #2
* If Necessary
Playoff tickets for all home games will go on sale this Thursday at 10 AM at the Classic Park Box Office, over the phone at 440-954-WINS (9467) or on-line at CaptainsBaseball.com. All seating will be general admission for the playoffs and all playoff tickets will be the same price as regular season prices, with $9 adult and $8 senior / child pricing. Groups who purchase 20 or more tickets will receive a $2 discount off of the adult ticket price. The Captains will also offer a CAPTAINS PLAYOFF PACK that will include a ticket to each of the six potential home games for only $30.00 per pack.
Tickets that are purchased for any home playoff games that are not played can be redeemed for any regular season game in 2011 as no refunds will be issued.
Gomez and Goedert lead Clippers to series win
Jeanmar Gomez was the difference for Columbus in an 11-0 shutout win for the Clippers over the Norfolk Tides on Tuesday afternoon. Gomez, in his best start of the season, pitched seven innings allowing just three hits while striking out six in his fourth win of the year.
The Clipper hitters gave Gomez plenty of run support on the day with three home runs and 18 hits, as each Clipper recorded at least one hit. The 18 Columbus hits was just one shy of their season high, last time coming against Charlotte. Jared Goedert led off the scoring in the bottom of the second inning with his third home run of the season, a two-run shot to left field after Jordan Brown led off the inning with a single. Goedert added two singles for a three hit day, raising his average to .400 in his short stint with Columbus.
Michael Brantley bumped his average up to .306 on the season, going 3-for-4 with a walk in five plate appearances. Brantley recorded his third hit of the day on a triple off the right field wall in the fifth inning, driving home Jose Constanza from second base. Brantley would later score on a Nick Weglarz RBI single, ending the day for Tide starter, Tim Bascom.
The home runs continued for Columbus in the seventh and eighth innings, as Josh Rodriguez hit his fourth home run of the season to left field. Then in the five run eighth inning, Chris Gimenez connected on his eighth long ball of the year, a three run shot to deep left field.
The Clippers get the day off on Wednesday before traveling to Pawtucket to begin a four-game series with the Red Sox on Thursday night.
Fisher Cats Strike Late, Defeat Aeros 6-3
The host New Hampshire Fisher Cats led early Tuesday night and recaptured the lead late for a 6-3 victory over the Aeros. Catcher Brian Jeroloman broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI single in front of the 6,371 fans at Merchantsauto.com Stadium and third baseman Shawn Bowman followed an inning later with a two-run homer to left. After winning a franchise-record 12 consecutive games, Akron (32-32) has now lost two straight while New Hampshire (40-25) remains a half game behind first place in the Eastern Division.
The Cats got on the scoreboard in the very first inning against Aeros starter Scott Barnes, who shutout the team last Wednesday at Canal Park. Darin Mastroianni and Manny Mayorson began the game with a walk and a single and DH Eric Thames followed with a run-scoring single to right-center. That would be the only offense until the fifth inning as Barnes and New Hampshire starter B.J. LaMura controlled any potential damage.
Akron DH Jerad Head then tied the game with a solo homer on just the second pitch of the fifth inning against LaMura. The 1-1 score would not remain for long as the Fisher Cats responded quickly on a Mastroianni RBI single to score Danny Perales.
Reliever Adrian Martin replaced LaMura to begin the sixth, but faced the exact same result as he permitted a first-pitch homer to second baseman Jason Kipnis. That would finally wake up the New Hampshire offense, as three straight singles against Barnes loaded the bases for the clutch two-run base hit from Jeroloman to extend the lead to 4-2.
The Aeros threatened again in the seventh inning as the team loaded the bases with just one out in the frame. Newcomer Jordan Henry then grounded out to second, scoring Head while Kipnis struck out to end the rally. The hosts ended any potential drama by responding in the bottom half of that inning thanks to the two-run homer by Bowman against Akron reliever Bryan Price.
Barnes (2-6) took the loss for the Aeros in permitting the first four runs of the contest in 5.2 innings pitched. Martin (2-1) officially blew a save by allowing the tying run in the sixth, but eventually earned the win thanks to the Fisher Cats offensive comeback. Closer Danny Farquhar then earned his league-leading 15th save with a shutout one-hit ninth.
Catcher Damaso Espino recorded three singles on the night and the home runs were the second and first for Head and Kipnis in Double-A this season, respectively. Shortstop Carlos Rivero also finished with two hits and third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall