Great Beginnings

Saturday, September 09 2006 @ 09:55 PM EDT

Contributed by: Mike Green

Auburn and Dunedin both received superb work from their starters, but all three farm affiliates lost in playoff action.

St. Lucie 5 @ Dunedin 3

The D'Jays fell behind 2-0 in the best-of-five FSL final.  It was the dreaded ninth inning bullpen blow-up again, and this time the victim was Connor Falkenbach.  Falkenbach, who was worked very hard in the previous round, surrendered a game-winning 3 run homer to Enrique Cruz.  Earlier Russ Savickas had been outstanding, throwing 6 shutout innings with 6 baserunners and 9 strikeouts.  Jeremy King and Daryl Harang each pitched an effective inning before the roof fell in.  Carlo Cota led the offence with a single, double and walk, while Cory Patton, Eric Arnold and Ron Davenport contributed with a couple of hits each.  Dunedin had the bases loaded with one out in the eighth, but could not score. 

West Michigan 9 @ Lansing 3

The Lugnuts were never really in the opener of the second round Midwest League playoff series.  The Whitecaps scored three unearned runs in the second innings and then two in each of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings salted the game away. A two run double by Brian Bormaster in the bottom of the eighth made the score a little more respectable. Jesus Gonzalez added two safeties for the 'Nuts.  Casey McKenzie went 5.2 innings as the starter and gave up 5 runs, 2 earned on 7 hits and 1 walk while striking out two.  Edward Rodriguez and Josh Sowers were each nicked for a couple of runs in short stints.
Tri-City 1 @ Auburn 0

2006 Fourth round pick Brandon Magee started for the Doubledays and threw 7shutout innings in the playoff opener, allowing 7 singles (5 on the ground, of which 3 were infield hits), striking out 7 and inducing 11 groundouts.  It was a performance worthy of his namesake on the big club.  Zach Dials came on in the eighth and gave up an unearned run on a throwing error, two groundouts and a single to take the hard-luck loss.  Auburn bats blew cold, as they could manage only 4 baserunners on 3 singles and a double.

3 stars

3rd star- Carlo Cota
2nd star- Brandon Magee
1st star- Russ Savickas