I suppose I could have gone with "2 1 4-3", but that takes us away from a minor league update headline and into an obnoxious text-messaging language. Both Dunedin's and Lansing's playoff games ended with a score of 4-3 -- but who won?
Game 2: Fort Myers 3 @ Dunedin 4
Series tied 1-1
Dunedin went into last night's game facing elimination, but a terrific start from Jesse Litsch saw Fort Myers without a lead for all five innings he was in the game.
It was 4-1 Dunedin through 6 (a two-run Christian Snavely single being the highlight to that point), then after the Knology Park fans stretched a bit and presumably enjoyed Chad The Beer Guy's singing abilities, Fort Myers went walk-triple-single-single against Danny Core. In from the bullpen came T.J. Gornati who promptly retired all six batters he faced in the 7th and the 8th. Thus, the ninth inning started with a 4-3 lead for Dunedin.
Connor Falkenbach popped up the first batter on two pitches, got the next batter to ground out on the first pitch, then Trevor Plouffe singled to right field. The Fort Myers radio announcer seemed very excited when David Winfree (who had homered in the fourth) came up. Robinzon Diaz had other plans, however, and a snap throw to first caught Plouffe napping at first for the third out and the first win for Dunedin in this series.
The final game in the series is tonight, in Dunedin. Orlando Trias vs Anthony Swarzak.
Game 1: Lansing 4 @ South Bend 3
Lansing leads 1-0
After Luke Hetherington scored on a Jacob Butler groundout in the top of the first, South Bend tied it up in the third and then Justin Upton put them up 3-1 with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. The very next inning saw the Lugnuts tie it up again, this time with an Anthony Garibaldi single scoring on a groundout and Hetherington's second double of the day coming around to score on an error.
Lansing finally scored on a non-out-making play when Butler doubled home none other than Luke Hetherington, who singled for his third hit. This made it 4-3 going to the bottom of the ninth. Paul Phillips, who has been very good for the Lugnuts this year, gave up a leadoff single and a sac bunt. Jesus Gonzalez made a great play up the middle to preserve the one-run lead and Upton -- who turned 19 five months after I did; I now feel old -- stepped to the plate with the tying run about 80 feet away, depending on Gregory Thomson's lead. You already know how it turned out if you glanced at the bold font above, but I'll tell you anyway. Upton struck out on three pitches (foul, swinging strike, swinging strike) and Lansing has a 1-0 lead in the series.
Aside from Upton's home run, Chi-Hung Cheng's night was fairly good (5 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 6 K) and Sean Stidfole retired seven in a row, paused to walk one batter, then got the next two to set up the ninth inning recounted above.
Game 2 is tonight (in Lansing), it's a 7:05 ET start and it's a Thirsty Thursday.
In regular season news, Auburn and Mahoning Valley were rained out. According to the Citizen, the Doubledays have clinched the Pinckney Division title for the fifth year in a row. So these games might very well be next to useless.
Three Star Selection, Playoff Edition
3. T.J. Gornati
2. Jesse Litsch
1. Luke Hetherington
Tonight's playoff games can be heard here.