Game Recaps: Sunday 9/6
Armando Camacaro scored all the way from first on a delayed steal in the bottom of the seventh, and that run proved to be the difference in Akron’s 4-3 triumph over Erie before 7,270 fans at Canal Park Sunday afternoon. The Aeros climbed a season-high 35 games over .500 with their seventh straight win, improving to 88-53 and tying the 2003 club for the second most wins in team history. Erie dropped to 71-69.
Reading also defeated Connecticut 6-0, which means the Aeros will host the Phillies in game one of the Southern Division Championship Series Wednesday night.
The SeaWolves opened the scoring for the second straight game, as Akron starter Connor Graham struggled with his command all day. Brennan Boesch drove a double to left with two down in the top of the first, and after a four-pitch walk to Casper Wells, Michael Bertram fisted a soft single down the right field line to make it 1-0. Cale Iorg pushed the advantage to 2-0 with a run-scoring base hit in the top of the third, but the Aeros answered with John Drennen’s solo home run in the bottom of the inning.
Akron used the long ball again in the sixth to pull ahead, as Carlos Santana smoked a solo shot down the right field line and Beau Mills followed two pitches later with a bomb that cleared the bleachers in right field to put the Aeros in front 3-2. Bertram answered in the next half-inning with a solo homer off reliever Carlton Smith to tie the game, but Camacaro struck in unexpected fashion in the bottom of the seventh.
With the bases empty and two down, Camacaro lined a base hit up the middle to extend the inning. Then with Jose Constanza at-bat, Camacaro took off for second after Alfredo Figaro’s first pitch. Erie catcher Adrian Casanova was as stunned as anyone in the ballpark at the sight of the 30-year-old catcher trying to steal second, and after waiting for someone to cover the bag skipped his throw into center field. Camacaro popped to his feet, saw the ball rolling away, and immediately began lumbering toward third. Wells collected the ball in center field but airmailed the throw into the Akron dugout, allowing Camacaro to rumble home at a slightly more dignified pace with the deciding run.
Smith (6-2) got the win out of the Akron bullpen, while Steven Wright was perfect in the eighth and Josh Judy punched out a pair in the ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances. Figaro (6-3) took the loss, with Camacaro’s run being unearned against him. Graham did not factor into the decision and held Erie to two runs in five innings, surviving eight hits and five walks while notching five strikeouts.
The Aeros won despite being out-hit 11-6 in the game, with Santana recording Akron’s lone multi-hit effort. Mills extended his hitting streak to nine games with the home run, tying his season-high.
Akron will look for the sweep in this four-game series in the final game of the regular season Monday afternoon at 1:35 p.m. Left-hander Scott Barnes (1-2, 6.66 ERA) will take the hill for the Aeros while southpaw Ramon Garcia (4-3, 5.76 ERA) gets the call for Erie.
K-Tribe Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive With Win
The K-Tribe kept their playoff hopes alive, exploding for six runs in the sixth inning to beat Potomac 9-3 Sunday afternoon in Woodbridge, Virginia. The Kinston win combined with a Salem loss means the K-Tribe is now one game behind Salem for the final playoff spot with one game to play. A Kinston win combined with a Salem loss on Monday afternoon would leave the two teams tied for the final playoff spot in the Carolina League Southern Division. If the two teams are tied at the end of play on Monday, Kinston would play a one game playoff at Salem on Tuesday night. Kinston takes on Potomac Monday afternoon at 1:05 pm; Salem is at Lynchburg at 2:05 pm.
Kinston trailed 2-0 going into the top of the sixth inning when Tim Fedroff led off with a single. Fedroff was still at first base with two outs in the inning when the rally began. Doug Pickens kept the inning going with a single. Adam Davis put Kinston on the board with an RBI single. Ronald Rivas gave the K-Tribe a 3-2 lead with a two RBI double. Mark Thompson, Roman Pena and Lucas Montero each followed with RBI singles, making the score 6-2. The K-Tribe sent ten men to the dish in the inning, scoring all six runs on six two-out hits.
The K-Tribe added three more runs in the ninth inning on RBI from Davis and Thompson. Every K-Triber in the lineup got a hit, Ole Sheldon, Davis and Rivas each had two hits. Lucas Montero went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Kinston blasted 14 hits on the night.
Paolo Espino (9-6) picked up the win, as he has now won his last six straight decisions. Espino gave up two runs on five hits in five innings. David Roberts, Chen-Chang Lee and Dallas Cawiezell cleaned things up from the K-Tribe bullpen.
The K-Tribe will play their final game of the regular season Monday afternoon at 1:05 pm in Virginia. Nick Hagadone will take the mound for Kinston.
Pitching Paces Captains Win
T.J. House threw six shutout innings and Kaimi Mead picked up his first career save as the Lake County Captains defeated the Hagerstown Suns 2-1 on Sunday. The Captains and Suns have split the first four games of the series.
The Captains led 1-0 in the top of third inning when Karexon Sanchez tripled and scored on a ground out by Bo Greenwell. The Captains added another run in the top of the sixth inning when Chris Nash scored on a throwing error by Suns shortstop Steven Souza and it was 2-0. The Suns scored a run in the bottomed the seventh inning when Brett Newsome scored from third base on a wild pitch by Captains reliever Jose Urena to cut the lead to 2-1.
Captains starter T.J. House (6-11) got the win pitching four scoreless innings allowing five hits, walking three and striking gout four. It was his seventh outing this season where he did not surrender a run. Urena made his Captains debut working two innings and allowing the one run unearned run. Kaimi Mead picked up his first career save pitching a scoreless ninth inning. Suns starter Marcos Frias (9-5) took the loss working six innings allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits, walking two and striking out five.
The Captains and Suns wrap up the season and the Captains run in the South Atlantic League on Monday with the Captains sending RHP Alexander Morales (0-0, 1.50) to the mound to face RHP A.J. Morris (0-3, 3.58).
Scrappers Fall 14-4
On Sunday night, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers wrapped up the regular season with a loss to the State College Spikes 14-4. With the loss, the Scrappers finished the regular season with a record of 49-27, the most wins in franchise history.
The State College Spikes’ offense exploded on Sunday night against Scrappers pitching scoring fourteen runs on seventeen hits. Scrapper bats were limited to just four runs while collecting ten hits. Tim Plaincsar played a key role for Mahoning Valley, hitting a three run home run in the 6th, his third of the year, and pitching the final inning of the game.
Tuesday, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers travel to Brooklyn, NY to start the New York Penn League playoffs against the Brooklyn Cyclones. Tuesday’s game starts at 7:00 PM and can be heard on 1390 WNIO and online at mvscrappers.com.