Friday Sept. 10, 2010
By Kevin Czerwinski
WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
It took a bit longer than the Dash would have liked but Jose Martinez punctuated a riveting affair at Grainger Stadium Friday with the 12th-inning homer, giving Winston-Salem a 10-5 victory and a series sweep of Kinston in the opening round of the Carolina League playoffs.
The Dash will now play for the Mills Cup Championship against the winner of the Potomac-Frederick series which Potomac leads, 2-1. The finals are set to begin Monday.
Jon Gilmores RBI single in the ninth inning tied the score at 5-5, where it stayed until the 12th. Gilmore got the winning rally started with a single and was followed by Seth Loman, who also singled. After Ozzie Lewis popped out to first, Martinez sent a Matt Langwell offering over the wall in left for the three-run blast that would put the Dash in position to win a record 12th Mills Cup crown.
T.J. House came on for the Indians and fared no better. He walked Luis Sierra and then allowed an Andrew Garcia double that put runners on second and third. Greg Paiml followed with a two-run double to cap the inning and complete the sweep. The Tribe went down in order in the bottom of the inning with Bo Greenwell flying out to Martinez to end the game.
Paiml finished with three hits and three RBIs while Gilmore had three hits, drew a pair of walks, drove in a run and scored twice. Brandon Short, who was activated off the disabled list earlier in the day, had two hits, including a homer, and two RBIs.
Jacob Rasner allowed one hit over four shutout innings to earn the victory. Nate Jones had started but after walking six was gone after 323 innings. Charlis Burdie pitched two scoreless innings before Taylor Thompson surrendered three eighth-inning runs. Brandon Kloess also allowed a run in the eighth and would have been on the hook for the loss had Gilmore not tied the score in the ninth.
Great Falls Rookie
The Voyagers were among the hottest teams in the minor leagues heading into Fridays Pioneer League playoff opener at Helena. But the Brewers quickly quieted Great Falls, earning a 5-3 victory at Kindrick Legion Field before the best-of-three series shifts back to Cetene Stadium Saturday night.
Great Falls had won six straight and 15 of 17 to close the regular season. It had won Northern Division titles in both halves of the regular season. The Voyagers had even won 10 of the 16 games played between the two clubs this year.
But Stephen McCray, a 16th-round pick out of Tennessee, allowed four runs on five hits in three innings, putting the Voyagers in a hole from which they wouldnt recover. He had a 0.87 ERA in 10 13 innings against the Brewers this season but was in trouble right from the outset.
Great Falls scrapped its way back, scoring single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings but wasnt able to sustain anything against Erc Marzec, the Helena reliever who tossed one-hit ball over three shutout innings in relief of winner Matt Miller.
Mike Blanke had three hits and an RBI for the Voyagers.
The Smokies struck back in a big way at visiting West Tenn Friday night, erupting for an 11-1 victory to even their Southern League playoff series at a game apiece. Game Three is slated for Saturday night at West Tenn. It will be the only game that the Diamond Jaxx will host.
Tennessee erupted for 16 hits and scored nine of their runs in the sixth through eighth innings. The fifth through ninth hitters in the Smokies lineup accounted for most of the damage, going 14-for-23 with three homers and nine RBIs. Tennessee hit four homers in the game.
Russ Canzler led the hit parade with four hits and an RBI. Robinson Chirinos had three hits, including a homer, two RBIs and three runs scored. Tony Thomas had three hits, including a homer and three RBIs while Matt Spencer had two hits, including a homer and three RBIs. Brett Jackson added a solo homer.
Chris Carpenter earned the victory, allowing a run on four hits over six innings while the game was still a nail-biter. He tied a season high with eight strikeouts, picking up his first win since Aug. 7.
Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at email@example.com.