On The Farm: Winston-Salem Wins Carolina League Playoff Opener

On The Farm: Winston-Salem Wins Carolina League Playoff Opener

Wednesday Sept. 8, 2010
Posted: 9:15 p.m.

By Kevin czerwinski
CSNChicago.com

WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
Finding a way to win at Winston-Salem hasnt been easy for Kinston and Wednesday night proved to be no different. The Dash opened up the Carolina League playoffs with a 3-2 victory over the Indians at BB&T Ballpark, once again exhibiting their dominance over the Tribe.

Winston-Salem improved to 10-1 at home against Kinston this season with the win. The lone victory the Indians had at BB&T Ballpark this season snapped a 17-game losing streak on the Dashs home turf. Then again, Winston-Salem was 47-22 at home this season, the second best home record in the minor leagues.

So when Jason Bours RBI single in the sixth inning snapped what had been a 2-2 tie, the Dash were only following the script they had been reading from all-season. Hector Santiago and Tyson Corley made the lead stand up, throwing 3 13 innings of shutout ball with Santiago earning the victory. Corley earned the save with a perfect ninth.

Terry Doyle started and allowed two runs on eight hits over 5 23 innings. He fanned a pair and walked three before turning things over to Santiago.

The Dash took a 2-1 first-inning lead on a Seth Loman fielders choice and an Ozzie Lewis RBI single. Kinston knotted things up in the sixth, setting the stage for what would be Bours game-winning hit in the bottom of the frame.

Lewis finished with two hits as did Andrew Garcia and Greg Paiml.

Great Falls Rookie
The Voyagers made it a clean sweep of division titles Wednesday evening, defeating Billings, 5-2, at Dehler Park to earn another Pioneer League Northern Division crown. Great Falls, which also won the first-half title, opens the best-of-three semifinal at wild-card winning Helena on Friday.

Great Falls scored four times in the eighth inning to break open what had been a scoreless game. Aided greatly by Billings, the Voyagers took advantage of an error and a wild pitch. They scored twice on a pair of bases-loaded walks, brought in another run on a Mike Earley single and closed out the frame when Drew Hayes uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Dusty Harvard to score.

Harvard finished with two RBIs while Earley had a pair of hits.

The eighth-inning outburst made a winner of Doug Murray, who pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Spencer Arroyo started and allowed one hit over six shutout innings in his second Pioneer League appearance. He had been 7-2 with a 2.49 ERA with Bristol before moving up last week. He has a 0.82 ERA in 11 innings with the Voyagers.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

Illinois State, Loyola, Northern Iowa all in action Saturday on CSN and CSN+

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USA TODAY

Illinois State, Loyola, Northern Iowa all in action Saturday on CSN and CSN+

Illinois State, Loyola and Northern Iowa will all be in action Saturday.

And you can catch all three games on CSN and CSN+.

Tennessee-Martin at Illinois State, 2 p.m., CSN+

The Redbirds (4-3) are coming off of a tough loss on the road at Tulsa, but they're off to a solid start early in the season. Senior point guard Paris Lee, a Proviso East product, is having a monster season for Illinois State so far, averaging 15 points, 6.4 assists and three rebounds per game while shooting 54 percent from 3-point range.

Tennessee-Martin (8-2) is off to a great start with only a pair of road losses to SEC opponents Ole Miss and Kentucky.

Milwaukee at Loyola, 3 p.m., CSN

The Ramblers (8-2) have won three straight games and will try to carry that momentum into Horizon League play. Junior forward Aundre Jackson is off to a great start, averaging 16.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Loyola features a few former local high school stars. Senior Milton Doyle (Marshall) and junior Donte Ingram (Simeon) are both playing well.

Milwaukee (4-5) is off to a decent start in a rebuilding year under new head coach LaVall Jordan and is coming off a road win against Montana State.

Rockford Boylan product Brock Stull is the Panthers' leading scorer and rebounder. The sophomore guard is averaging 11.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

North Dakota at Northern Iowa, 7 p.m., CSN

Northern Iowa (4-4) is coming off of a blowout win over South Dakota State.

Senior Jeremy Morgan has been doing it all for the Panthers. He leads the team in points, rebounds and assists per game. Morgan is putting up 15.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists per contest this season.

North Dakota (5-2) has two straight wins, including a victory over in-state rival North Dakota State.

The Fighting Hawks are led by Quinton Hooker, who's averaging 16.7 points per game this season.

Bears establishing smash-mouth core with Jordan Howard

Bears establishing smash-mouth core with Jordan Howard

Eric Kush was in some pain after the Bears win over the San Francisco 49ers. But it was a “good” pain, particularly since part of it was inflicted by a teammate.

The teammate was running back Jordan Howard, and the Bears left guard was learning along with his linemates that when Howard is coming, “he’s a-comin’,” Kush said.

“Oh man, sometimes you’re, ‘[groan-groan-groan], and he’ll hit you right in the back, you fall and try to take your guy down with you and stick him in the snow so you’re not the only one getting soaking wet and cold. But Jordan’s a lot fun and we try to kick some butt for him.”

The rookie running back has become more than simply a draft nugget from the fifth round of this year’s draft. Howard has established himself as an integral part of a winning formula of complimentary football, the concept long favored by John Fox, Lovie Smith and coaches who operate from the foundation of a premier running game, impact defense and solid special teams.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

The Bears’ three wins have come this season in the only games in which Howard has been given 20-plus carries: 23 vs. Detroit, 26 vs. Minnesota, 32 vs. San Francisco. Add to those the 3 pass receptions against the Lions and the 4 against the Vikings and the true centerpiece of the 2016 Bears offense is more than a little apparent.

For obvious reasons beyond simply the rushing numbers.

“Especially pass protection,” said offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. “I think he's taken a big jump that way. When you're young in this league, those are the things that can get grey for you. You run the football, he's obviously a talented player there, but in pass pro, he's made his biggest growth.”

As a corollary to Howard, San Francisco was only the second game this season in which the Bears called fewer than 30 pass plays (the only other time was at Green Bay, when the Bears only ran a total of 45 plays, 27 of them pass plays). In that respect, the snow was viewed as an ally by some in the locker room who have been unhappy at the run:pass balance, which was just 36-percent-run coming into the 49ers game.

“It was one of these games where, with the weather, we couldn’t pass the ball like we normally do —  30 times — so we had to keep it on the ground,” said one member of the offense.

Howard’s breakout game as an NFL ball carrier came against the Lions (23 carries, 111 rushing yards, 3 receptions). The Bears, looking for a breakout of their own in the form of a first two-game win streak in more than a year, are expected to keep it simple — and in Howard’s hands.

“I always expected a lot out of myself,” Howard said. “I didn’t really think that things would happen maybe this soon or this fast. I’m definitely grateful for it.”