Buffalo ran up a huge lead and held on for a win and Vancouver clinched a playoff spot in decisive fashion. New Hampshire was swept in a doubleheader and Dunedin fell in extra innings.
Buffalo 10 Gwinnett 7
The Bisons built leads of 8-1 and 10-2 to knock off the Atlanta affiliate. Vinny Capra singled home the first run to tie the game at 1-1 in the first inning and capped off (get it?) the scoring in the sixth by belting a two-run homer. Yoshi Tsutugo also went yard in the second before Cullen Large belted a grand slam in the fourth before Spencer Horwitz doubled in a run. Tsutugo added an RBI double in the fifth. Horwitz, Capra, Tsutugo and Rafael Lantigua all had two hits with Horwitz getting two doubles and Tsutugo getting a walk. Otto Lopez and L.J. Talley also had base knocks.
Brandon Eisert was the opening and served up a solo homer in the first but struck out four over two frames. Matt Peacock, Colt Grffin and Tyler Saucedo all worked a scoreless frame and Saucedo got the win after punching out a couple of batters. Jackson Rees gave up a run in the sixth, Trent Thornton allowed two runs in two innings and Adrian Hernandez served up a three-run bomb in the ninth before finishing the game.
Reading 11 New Hampshire 10 (Game 1 - 8 Innings)
This one went back and forth before the Fightin' Phils prevailed. New Hampshire was down 4-0 and 7-3 but a three-run homer by John Aiello in the third and a grand slam by Addison Barger in the seventh tied the game. Cam Eden gave the Fisher Cats an 8-7 lead with an RBI double. Davis Schneider had an RBI single and Orelvis Martinez put the Cats ahead in the eighth. Aiello had two hits and two walks, Martinez had two hits and one walk and Eden had two hits. Schneider, Phil Clarke and Hugo Cardona had a base hit and a base on balls. Zac Cook walked and was hit by a pitch.
Adam Kloffenstein was knocked around for six runs over 4-1/3 innings. Four of the runs were earned after a Martinez throwing error at third in the first. The damage was done on seven hits and two walks. His strikeout and groundout totals were four and five respectively. Gabriel Ponce stranded a runner and got the final two outs of the fifth. Yosver Zulueta yielded an unearned run on a hit and a walk in the sixth after a throwing error by Clarke behind the plate and a fielding error by Eden in center allowed the runner to score after swiping second base.Jimmy Burnette was burned for four runs with two of them unearned after a Barger fielding error at short to take the loss. Jake Elliott was also charged with a blown save as he allowed two of three inherited runners to score. The Fisher Cats committed five errors.
Reading 4 New Hampshire 0 (Game 2 - 7 Innings)
The Phils scored in their final three at-bats to complete the doubleheader sweep. An unearned marker allowed by Alejandro Melean was the difference in the fourth inning after Orelvis Martinez made a throwing error at third. Melean gave up two hits and three walks over four frames but struck out seven to go with four outs on the ground. Brady Lail was beaten up for three runs, including a homer, over the final two innings.
John Aiello, Cam Eden and Martinez had the lone singles. Sebastian Espino had the lone walk.
Vancouver 9 Eugene 1
Dasan Brown set the tone with a leadoff homer to straightaway center field with the wind blowing in. Brown would single home another run and score again when P.K. Morris left the yard to punctuate a six-run second inning. The rally started with a Jommer Hernandez fielder's choice, a Garrett Spain run-scoring double and a Damiano Palmegiani check swing sacrifice bunt. Miguel Hiraldo also left the yard in the third and Gabby Martinez had a run-scoring fly ball in the sixth. Brown had three hits, Morris was on base three times with two hits and a walk and Hiraldo walked twice to go along with his homer. Martinez and Alex De Jesus also picked up a hit. Michael Turconi drew a walk.
Michael Dominguez held the Emeralds to just two singles and a walk and struck out nine batters over six shutout innings. Five of his six outs were in play as he earned his first win of the year. Sam Ryan worked a perfect seventh. Eric Pardinho uncorked a wild pitch that broke the shutout in the eighth. Devereaux Harrison got the final three outs to clinch the C's ticket to the Northwest League final. Games 1 and 2 will be in Eugene Monday and Tuesday. Game 3 will be in Vancouver Friday, September 16. Games 4 and 5, if necessary, are scheduled for Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18.
Palm Beach 6 Dunedin 3 (11 Innings)
Roque Salinas hit a two-out ground-rule double in the ninth to tie the game at 2-2 for the D-Jays and send the game into extra innings. That put runners at second and third but Victor Mesia struck out swinging. Cade Doughty tied the game again for Dunedin in the 10th and once again there were runners at second and third with two out but Peyton Williams grounded out. The Cardinals then scored three times in the 11th for the win. Salinas had two hits while Doughty, Josh Kasevich and Alan Roden had one apiece. Doughty and Roden were also hit by a pitch. Estiven Machado walked three times and Ryan McCarty walked once. Dunedin was 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on.
Irv Carter gave up a home run in the first but made it through four innings with two hits, a walk and two punchouts on his pitching line. Edisson Gonzalez surrendered a run over four frames. Conor Larkin had an unearned run over 1-1/3 innings and Trey Cumbie stranded a runner for Larkin but gave up three runs (two earned) over 1-2/3 innings to take the loss.
*** 3 Stars!!! ***
3. John Aiello, New Hampshire
2. Dasan Brown, Vancouver
1. Michael Dominguez, Vancouver
Extra Innings Extravaganza
Ben Steiner of CanadiansBaseball.com has a story on Damiano Palmegiani.