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Playoff Recap: 9/5

September 6, 2008
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DH Travis Hafner will be in the lineup again for Akron in Game Four on Saturday evening.

Hafner’s Slam Powers Akron to 6-2 Win
Edell Shines as Well, Aeros Claim 2-1 Series Edge

AKRON, OH – A rehabbing Travis Hafner drilled a grand slam to cap a five-run rally in the bottom of the second, and the Aeros sat back and allowed starter Ryan Edell to do the rest in a crucial 6-2 win over Bowie in game three of the Southern Division Championship Series before 4,768 fans at Canal Park Friday night. The Aeros took a two games to one lead in the best-of-five series, with game four set for 6:05 p.m. Saturday night in Akron.

The Aeros struck first for the second straight night, as the duo of Josh Rodriguez and Bronson Sardinha combined for a run once again. Rodriguez sliced a leadoff triple into right-center field on the second pitch of the night from Bowie starter David Hernandez, and Sardinha singled him home with a soft liner the opposite way to left for a 1-0 lead. Akron would go on to lead the bases with no one out in the bottom of the first, but Hernandez escaped the jam with no further damage. He would not be as fortunate in the second, however.

After Matt Whitney bounced to first to start the second, Wyatt Toregas followed with a nice at-bat in which he fouled off a pair of two-strike offerings before lacing a double inside the third base bag. Hernandez came back and got Brandon Chaves on a fly to left, but then couldn’t put away any of the next three hitters. He had two strikes on Rodriguez but lost him on a full-count walk, and Sardinha followed on another full count with a grounder to third that ate up Jeff Nettles for an infield single as Toregas scored to make it 2-0. Matt LaPorta then worked Hernandez for another walk on the third straight full count, loading the bases and setting the stage for Hafner. After taking a pitch low for ball one, the slugger crushed a fastball right down the middle, sending it off the scoreboard in right-center field while pushing the lead to 6-0.

The Aeros managed just a walk and two infield singles the rest of the way, but Edell ensured they wouldn’t need any insurance. He allowed a hit in each of the first three innings, but after walking Matt Weiters to open the fourth proceeded to record 13 straight outs before Blake Davis chased him from the game with a one-out double in the eighth. Bowie would get on the board in that eighth inning on a two-run double from Nolan Reimold, and then got the tying run to the on-deck circle in the ninth before Tony Sipp induced a game-ending double play from pinch-hitter Brian Peterson to finish it off.

Edell (1-0) earned the win with a masterful outing, surrendering just a run on four hits in 7.1 innings. He walked one and struck out seven. Hernandez (0-1), who had gone 5-0 with a 2.84 ERA in six starts in August, was ejected after the second inning but probably wouldn’t have seen the third anyway. He was roughed up for six runs and five hits in two frames, with three walks and only one strikeout (he led the league in Ks in the regular season). Hafner finished 1-3 with the grand slam, while Rodriguez had two hits and two runs scored for the second straight night and Sardinha drove in two runs for the second straight night as well.

Game four in the series is set for 6:05 p.m. Saturday, with Akron’s Frank Herrmann (11-6, 4.10 ERA) squaring off against Bowie’s Chris Tillman (11-4, 3.18 ERA). Herrmann was 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA in four starts against the Baysox in the regular season, while Tillman was 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA in seven starts against Akron. Hafner will be in the lineup again for the Aeros. The game broadcast begins at 5:50 p.m. on WHLO-AM 640 and online at www.akronaeros.com.

CAPTAINS FALL TO POWER, SERIES TIED AT 1-1

(Eastlake, OH) – The West Virginia Power forced a decisive game three of the series defeating the Lake County Captains 10-0 on Friday. Like the Captains did on Wednesday, the Power scored early and often scoring nine runs in the first two innings and never looked back.

The Power put up five runs in the first inning off of Captains starter Chris Archer on a two RBI double from Steffan Wilson and a three run home run from Zelous Wheeler to take a quick 5-0 lead. The Power scored four more runs in the second inning. Two runs scored on a throwing error by Archer, a third on a wild pitch and the fourth on a RBI single by Curt Rindal and the lead was upped to 9-0. It went to 10-0 when Lee Haydel homered off of Joanniel Montero in the sixth inning.

Archer took the loss lasting only 1.1 innings and allowing nine runs, seven earned, on seven hits and he walked three. Montero was outstanding out of the Captains bullpen pitching 6.1 innings and allowing a run on six hits. Evan Anundsen got the win going seven scoreless innings and allowing only two hits, walking one and striking out six.

The Captains and Power will play game three of the series on Saturday at Classic Park in Eastlake, with game time at 7:05 PM. The Captains will send LHP Erik Berger (0-0, 2.08) to the mound to face the Power’s LHP Lucas Luetge (2-1, 3.72).

In Regular Season Action...

DOUBLEDAYS WIN RAIN SHORTENED GAME 3-2

On a rainy night at Eastwood Field the Auburn Doubledays scored first in the first off of Scrappers starter Kaimi Mead. Brian Van Kirk doubled in the first run of the game. Only to see the Scrappers respond in the in the first to tie the game up at 1-1 on a RBI single from Jeremie Tice.

The Doubledays added two runs in the fifth on a sacrifice flay and a RBI single from Brian Van Kirk and the Doubledays took the lead for the first time 3-1 after five innings.

The Scrappers added a run in the fifth on a throwing error and the Doubledays lead was cut to one at 3-2 after six innings.

Then in the top of the seventh the heavy rains started and the game was called in the top of the seventh as an official game 3-2 Doubledays.

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