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Playoff Recap: 9/6

September 7, 2008
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Aeros Take Southern Division Title with Win
EL Championship Series Begins Tuesday Night

AKRON, OH – Indians rehabber Travis Hafner and Matt LaPorta each powered home runs and Frank Herrmann worked seven excellent innings as the Aeros took Game 4 of the Southern Division Championship Series at Canal Park Saturday night, 5-1 over the Bowie Baysox. The Aeros claimed their fourth straight Southern Division pennant, and will face the Trenton Thunder in the Eastern League Championship Series for the second straight year.

For the second consecutive night, Hafner’s bat jolted the Akron offense early. Matt LaPorta worked a full count, fouling off several pitches before drawing a walk with two away in the bottom of the first. Hafner then blasted a Chris Tillman offering into the bleachers in right to give Akron a 2-0 lead.

In the third inning, Brandon Chaves drew a walk to lead off and Josh Rodriguez singled to put runners on first and second. LaPorta then loaded the bases with a single off the forearm of Bowie starter Chris Tillman, who was immediately pulled from the game. Ryan Keefer came on and hit Hafner with his first pitch to bring in a run, and a wild pitch allowed another run to score to make it 4-0. Akron’s final run came on a one-out, solo blast by LaPorta in the fifth for his third home run of the series.

Herrmann did not need that much support as he dominated the Baysox over seven innings. The right-hander did not allow a run until the seventh inning when Carlos Rojas led off with a double, moved to third on a fly out, and scored on a Matt Weiters grounder, but by that point the Aeros were happy to trade runs for outs.

Herrmann (1-0) was the winner, allowing just three hits with no walks and one strikeout. Tillman (0-1) took the loss, surrendering four runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 2.1 innings. Reid Santos and Randy Newsom each tossed scoreless innings of relief to close the game and the Southern Division pennant. LaPorta was 2-3 with a homer, a walk and two runs, and Hafner drove in three with a homer.

The Aeros now advance to the Eastern League Championship Series for a rematch of the 2007 series against the Trenton Thunder, a series the Thunder won in four games. Game one in the best-of-five series is set for 7:05 p.m. Tuesday night at Canal Park, and starting pitchers have yet to be announced for the contest. The game broadcast begins at 6:50 p.m. on SportsRadio 1350 AM and online at www.akronaeros.com.

CAPTAINS FALL IN GAME THREE, SEASON OVER

(Eastlake, OH) – The West Virginia Power has eliminated the Lake County Captains from the South Atlantic League playoffs with 4-1 win on Saturday. The Captains had won game one of the best of three but the Power swept both games in Eastlake and the Captains second most successful season has come to a close.

The Power scored the first run of the game in the first inning when with runners at first and third, Captains starter Erik Berger balked home Eric Farris from third and it was 1-0. The Captains tied it up in the fourth when Matt Brown doubled off of Power starter Lucas Luetge to drive Dustin Realini home from first and it was 1-1.

The Power scored three unearned runs in the eighth inning off of reliever Jonathan Holt when with two outs Steffan Wilson reached on an error by Captains third baseman Karexon Sanchez. After an Intentional walk to Caleb Gindl, Zelous Wheeler singled home Wilson and then Curt Rindal doubled home Gindl and Wheeler to make it 4-1.

Holt took the loss going 2.1 innings and allowing the three unearned runs on three hits. Mike Ramlow got the win hurling 3.1 scoreless innings in relief. Rob Wooten recorded the save pitching the final 1.1 innings.

The Captains 2009 home opener will be Thursday April 9th against the Hagerstown Suns, the Class “A” affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Season ticket and mini game plans are on sale at the Classic Park box office, by phone at 440-954-WINS(9467) or at captainsbaseball.com.

SCRAPPERS SHUTOUT DOUBLEDAYS 3-0 TO END THE SEASON

In the final game of the season the Scrappers started things off with a bang as Cord Phelps hit a two out solo home run in the bottom of the first giving the Scrappers a 1-0 lead after the first.

The Scrappers tacked on their second run in the fifth when Brock Simpson doubled, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly from Ryan Blair making it 2-0 after five innings.

In the seventh the Scrappers tacked on a third when Phelps hit a solo home run, his second of the night and the first Scrapper to hit two home runs in a game this season.

The Scrappers used four relievers along with the starting work of Russell Young to finish off the Doubledays on just three base hits and the Scrappers won the final game of the season 3-0.

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