Daytona Advances in FSL; Great Falls Clinches In Pioneer League

Daytona Advances in FSL; Great Falls Clinches In Pioneer League

Thursday Sept. 8, 2011
Posted: 10:00 p.m.
CUBS Daytona A
The Cubs exploded for four eight-inning runs Thursday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium, racing by Dunedin, 4-3, to capture their opening-round series in the Florida State League playoffs. Daytona will face St. Lucie, which topped Bradenton, in the best-of-five finals beginning Friday at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Dunedin held a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the eighth before Mike Brenly and Evan Crawford led off with back-to-back singles. Logan Watkins walked to load the bases and the Jays changed pitchers, bringing in Aaron Loup. He fared no better, though, giving up consecutive run-scoring singles to Matt Cerda and Justin Bour.

Greg Rohans sacrifice fly then tied the score. Abner Abreu singled to reload the bases and Dunedin went to the bullpen again, bringing in Vince Bongiovanni. He promptly allowed an RBI single to Matt Szczur, giving the Cubs a 4-3 lead.

Jordan Latham earned the victory while Frank Batista picked up the save.

Tennessee AA
Tennessee used five pitchers and a monstrous fourth-inning outburst Thursday night at Smokies Stadium to earn a 9-6 victory over Chattanooga in the Southern League semi-final playoff series opener.

Hung-Wen Chen pitched 1 13 shutout innings in relief of Brooks Raley, who lasted only 3 23 innings, to pick up the win. He was the beneficiary of the big fourth inning in which the Smokies scored seven times. Josh Vitters and Blake Lalli each connected for two-run homers in the inning to fuel the rally. Lalli finished with three RBIs while Jim Adduci chipped in three hits.
WHITE SOXGreat Falls Rookie
The Voyagers clinched the Pioneer League North Division title Thursday night, topping Missoula, 11-8, in the regular-season finale. Great Falls will host Missoula in Game One Friday night before the series shifts for Game Two and Three, if needed.

Mike Earley, Andrew Douglas and Martin Medina were dominant for the Voyagers, combining to go 7-for-14 with two homer, nine RBIs and six runs scored. Earleys three-run double in a five-run sixth erased an Osprey lead, giving the Voyagers an advantage they wouldnt relinquish.

Stew Brase 3-2 earned the win despite allowing three runs on a pair of homers in 2 13 innings of relief. The Voyagers have reached the playoffs five consecutive seasons. Pioneer League pitcher of the year Blake Walters 9-0 will start the opener.
Birmingham AA
The Barons exploded early and then left the game in the hands of Terry Doyle and the ace did the rest in a 9-1 victory over Mobile at Regions Park in a Southern League semi-final playoff series opener.

Doyle, who had eight wins during the regular season, allowed a run in 6 23 innings. He allowed one run or less 10 times during the regular season between Birmingham and Winston-Salem, finishing the regular season with four consecutive victories.

The offense made it easy for Doyle, though, scoring five times in the first and four more times in the third inning. Jake Oesters three-run homer in the first inning was the big blow. He would added a run-scoring sacrifice fly to kick off the fourth-inning barrage. Ken Williams, Tyler Kuhn and Brandon Short added RBI singles.

Fast Break Morning Update: Cubs visit White House; Blackhawks, Bulls in action tonight

Fast Break Morning Update: Cubs visit White House; Blackhawks, Bulls in action tonight

Here are some of the top Chicago sports stories from Monday:

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Avalanche tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Bulls host Mavericks in search of third straight win

Cubs meet President Obama in unforgettable, symbolic White House visit: ‘They said this day would never come’

Blackhawks' rough weekend 'a little bit of a wake-up call'

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

Reports: Dolphins assistant Jeremiah Washburn to be Bears' new O-line coach

Does Cubs president Theo Epstein have a future in politics?

President Obama, with Cubs at White House: 'Among Sox fans, I'm the Cubs' No. 1 fan'

At Cubs' White House visit, President Obama touts Michelle Obama's Cubs fandom, shouts out Jose Cardenal

Fire trade for midfielder Dax McCarty

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

Who are the Bulls? The team that beat Cleveland and Toronto or lost to Dallas, Minnesota and Milwaukee?

That's the question Bulls fans are currently asking and the one Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill posed in the video above.

The Bulls have had impressive wins and shocking losses, but neither of those should be surprising at this point. The Bulls are, as Goodwill put it, consistently inconsistent.

The first half of the season has proven that Dwyane Wade still has some memorable moments left to give and Jimmy Butler continues to approach superstardom. On the downside, the drama surrounding Rajon Rondo has meant the 'three alphas' that were hyped up in the preseason haven't been the dynamic trio some Bulls fans had hoped.

Coach Fred Hoiberg doesn't have the shooters his system needs, but can he still rally the troops and get something out of Rondo?

Watch the video to see Goodwill's look back on the Bulls' first half and what could be ahead.