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Hooks Advance, Avs Eliminated

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Troy Patton throws a pitch during Wednesday's Game Two victory

Josh Bonifay doubled three times and Josh Anderson went 3 for 5 with 3 RBIS last night as the Astros' AA affiliate at Corpus Christi completed their sweep of the Midland Rockhounds in the first round of the Texas League playoffs.

The sweep was more than a little surprising, considering that Midland had won 11 of 12 to close out the regular season, while Corpus had lost 7 of 9 to wind it down. And there was the matter of a four-game sweep the Rockhounds had laid on the Hooks as recently as August 26 - 29.

Yet the team expected to win found itself unable to score, and the Hooks never trailed during the entire series.

Minor League Baseball's story is here and Greg Rajan's account for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times is also worth reading.

Next up for the Hooks in their quest for the Texas League championship will be the winner of the Tulsa-Wichita series, which Wichita leads 2 - 1. That series will start on the road for the Hooks, next Monday.

The news was not quite as good in the Carolina League, as Salem was eliminated two games to none by the Kinston Indians last night. The story there was similar to that in the Texas League: the hot second-half team makes an early exit against the first half champion. That, and the fact that Salem's pitching--which led the Carolina League in ERA and strikeouts while finishing second circuitwide in WHIP--uncharacteristically failed them.On Wednesday it was Jimmy Barthmaier getting lit up for six over 4-1/3, and on Thursday, it was Rory Shortell, who gave up 4 runs over only 2 innings of work.

In other news, the AAA affiliate Round Express evened up their PCL Division series with Nashville, and Lexington had the night off in their Sally league series against Lakewood. Both series resume tonight.