The New York-Penn League playoffs are in full swing, and in very exciting fashion. All four games have been won by just one run each. Last night's Brooklyn-Jamestown game went into extra innings in similar fashion as the Tri-City-Brooklyn game from two night's ago. Both series have been extremely exciting to follow and I have no doubt that the final games of both series will not disappoint tonight.
But, on to last night's Tri-City game, which I know you all are more interested in. The result wasn't the way we all would have wanted with the good guys losing by a score of 5-4. But, I was fortunate enough to listen to the last four and a half innings of the game and I'll tell you this, it was an exciting finish. The 750-ish fans in attendance and all of the people in the pressbox just went nuts on the final play to the point I had to pull my head phones off my ears to keep from going deaf (my wife was watching Friends, so I was kind enough to put head phones in).
I'll recap the game as well as the box score after the jump!
Tri-City struck first with a two-run top of the first inning led by Ben Orloff's leadoff double which was followed by an Austin Wates groundout that advanced Orloff who then scored on a Tyler Burnett groundout. But, the pitcher walked the next three batters and Dan Adamson was hit by a pitch that walked in Marcus Nidiffer for the second score.
James Robinson allowed just one run over the next four innings but gave up two runs in his final inning of work in the fifth. He was hit around a little bit with seven hits surrendered and uncharacteristically gave up three walks. Although he struck out four and got a few groundouts when he needed them (six groundouts to three flyouts). Going through the box scores, quite a few of the hits were groundballs which doesn't really surprise me being that Kike Hernandez is playing on a sprained ankle at second and Ben Orloff is better at second but was playing shortstop.
Jason Chowning came in as the reliever in the sixth inning and pitched two solid innings, although he gave up one run. He struck out three and walked one while surrendering just two hits. His slider was apparently a lethal weapon for him as he got a lot of strikes with it. He's been one of the best relievers for them this season, even with his extreme flyball tendencies. Joan Belliard came in for the eighth inning and allowed a run himself. He also allowed two stolen bases that Chris Wallace couldn't throw out because the ball was in the dirt. The announcers said he has been quite good behind the plate since his call-up.
The top of the ninth was the exciting part when they started off down 5-2. Telvin Nash pinch hit for Adam Bailey and took a leadoff walk but was immediately replaced with pinch-runner Wilton Infante (the fastest player on the bench). Chris Wallace then stepped to the plate and blasted a flyball to right field. Although, then wind had started coming in from the outfield and it went off the wall. The ball dropped in for a double that kept Infante at third. Infante actually slipped trying to go back to third and touched the 3B coach which caused some discussion. He was allowed to stay on base and was not called out. Batavia also switched pitchers during this delay. Dan Adamson came to the plate and hit a blooper to short center that the second baseman made a good catch on and held the runners. Mike Kvasnicka (pronounced quaz-nicka, nic-name Quazi) grounded out and Infante scored while Wallace held up.
This is where it got really exciting. There were two outs with one runner in scoring position and down two runs. Kike Hernandez battled and fouled off several 2-2 pitches before reaching on an error by the shortstop. Jacke Healey then came in to pinch run for the ailing Kike. Down to their last strike for the second batter, Ben Orloff singles on a flyball to center and Wallace scores from second. This play was even more exciting as Healey then rounded third and headed home but was unable to beat the throw from the center-fielder.
This could have been managed differently in hind-sight. Healey could have pinch-runned for Nash and then Infante for Kike, but in all liklihood, it wouldn't have made a difference. It was a tough but yet very exciting finish.
On to Game 3 tonight! Because of audio difficulties I know a few were unable to hear the live footage of the game and I gave them live tweeting play-by-play from the audio I was able to hear. I will likely go ahead and do it again tonight. So, if you want to check up on how it's going without listening to the game, follow me on twitter for the final game of the series!
- James Robinson (5.40)-5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO
- Ben Orloff SS (.444)-2-5, 2B, SO
- Chris Wallace C (.444)-1-3, 2B, BB
- Kike Hernandez 2B (.222)-1-4, 2B