What a night! If you haven't gotten excited about the minor league playoffs, you need to because these two teams are putting on a show and doing big things. Tri-City won in the 10th inning to take a 1-0 lead in the NYPL Championship series and Lancaster won to take the South Division Championship and are now going to be fighting for the California League Championship starting tomorrow night!
Juri Perez got the start last night and outside for the first innings, pitched very well and didn't let the game get out of hand. Then, Vincent Velasquez made his return and pitched very well, especially since he hasn't pitched in over a month. But, he did give up a home run in the top of the 9th that allowed the game to be tied and head to extras. John Neely relieved him and continued his effectiveness.
At the plate, Austin Elkins continues to have an impact. He hit a home run and singled in the bottom of the 10th to advance Ryan Dineen to third and Joe Sclafani to second. That's significant as it brought Preston Tucker to the plate with the bases juiced and only one out. He did his job with a long fly-ball that was caught but deep enough for Dineen to score and end the game. Walk-off sac fly!
Like Perez, Nick Tropeano was shaky in the first inning but settled in very nicely. He gave up more hits than you'd like, but he was very effective and got better as the game went on. In fact, he struck out the side in his second to last inning. He was around the plate a lot, but he had some of his best stuff after the first inning. As for the bullpen, not so much. They struggled and gave up their one run lead immediately. Jorge De Leon, once again saved the day and settled in without giving up any runs. He's been clutch in the bullpen.
At the plate, the story revolves around Delino DeShields Jr., Erik Castro, and Rafael Valenzuela. They all picked up multiple hits, but it was their involvement in the exciting bottom of the eighth where they scored four runs to take the lead. Castro lead it off with a big ground-rule double and he advanced to third on a sacrifice by Jonathan Meyer, but Chris Epps lined out to strand him there with two outs. This is where Carlos Perez was so clutch with a two out RBI single to tie the game in his only at-bat. Rafy Valenzeula then doubled Perez home and DDJ pushed him to third with an infield single. Then, DDJ scored from first on a hit-and-run on a Jiovanni Mier single. All of that scoring with two outs. Just a very exciting inning and I'm pretty sure Jason Schwartz was jumping around in his radio booth.
Moving forward, the JetHawks have a night off to rest up for the championship which will be a five game series. The ValleyCats are at Hudson Valley hoping to finish things off and take that trophy home tonight with Aaron West on the mound.
Lancaster JetHawks WON 9-6
- Nick Tropeano-6 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 8/2 GO/AO
- Carlos Quevedo-2/3 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO
- Pat Urckfitz-2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R< 0 BB, 1 SO
- Jorge De Leon-1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO
- Delino DeShields Jr. 2B-2-4, BB, SO, SB
- Domingo Santana RF-0-4, 3 SO-Struggling in the last few games
- Erik Castro DH-2-3, 2B, BB, SB
- Jonathan Meyer 3B-1-2, BB, SO
- Carlos Perez C-1-1-One big hit!
- Rafael Valenzuela 1B-3-4, 2B, SO, CS
Tri-City ValleyCats WON 5-4
- Juri Perez-5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO,1 HR, 5/3 GO/AO
- Vincent Velasquez-3 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR, 5/1 GO/AO
- John Neely-1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO
- Joe Sclafani SS-1-3, 2 BB, SO, SB
- Austin Elkins 2B-2-5, HR-Clack, your boy is doing good!
- Dan Gulbransen LF-1-4, HR, SO
- Ryan Dineen 3B-2-4, 2B, SO