The International Baseball Federation has set the dates and sites for the 2009 World Cup, which will be held across Europe in September 2009.
The 22-team event, originally scheduled for Cuba but moved to Europe to try to help kick-start the sport’s growth there, will have five preliminary groups from Sept. 9-27. The groups will be in Prague, Czech Republic; Barcelona, Spain; Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow, Russia; and Regensburg, Germany. The United States will be in Group E in Regensburg, where the event was announced in a Friday press conference.
The groups will contain four teams apiece (20 teams), and the other two teams—second-round hosts Italy and Netherlands—will receive byes to the next round.
“Here in Europe,” IBAF secretary general John Ostermeyer said. “Baseball is considered an American sport that is played also somewhere. With this effort we are trying to make it also here an international sport that is played in America."
All eight 2008 Olympic teams have qualified for the Cup, and the Americas will have a tournament that begins in two weeks in Venezuela where five more teams will qualify.
Burlington 12, South Bend 0 (Burlington leads best-of-five series 2-0)
One night after shutting out South Bend 6-0 to win game one of the Midwest League championship series, Burlington doubled its total and won 12-0. The Bees jumped out early with five in the first, fueled by a David Lough leadoff homer and a Jamar Walton two-run shot. Second baseman Johnny Giavotella had a huge night (3-for-4, 3 R), hitting a two-run blast in the second, his second straight game, to push the lead to 7-0.
The Bees scored their final run in the third inning, when they added five more, highlighted by outfielder Nick Van Stratten’s second RBI-double of the game. Given so much early support made Bees righty Alexander Caldera’s (2-0) start extremely easy. Caldera did not fail to impress, throwing six scoreless and allowing only three hits with six strikeouts. The Bees will now try to close out the Silver Hawks Friday night at South Bend at 6:30 CST. [...] Continue Reading »
Stockton 9, Lancaster 5 (Stockton leads best-of-five series 1-0)
Stockton took the lead in the California League championship with a 9-5 victory over Lancaster. The Ports got most of their offense from one man, left fielder Archie Gilbert. Gilbert, a former Red Sox prospect, went 3-for-4 and drove in six runs (he also stole two bases) to lead the Ports to victory. Helping Gilbert out were second baseman Frank Martinez (2-for-3, 3 R, 1 RBI) and right fielder Michael Massaro (2-for-3, 2 R).
Neither starter factored in the decision, but Ports righthander Jason Glushon (1-0) got the win throwing three innings and allowing just one run in relief. The two teams were tied after four innings at 5-5, but Stockton scored four unanswered runs after that point and secure the game one win. Catcher Jon Still drove in two with a double in the third paced the JetHawks offense. Game two is tonight at Stockton at 7:05 EST.
Potomac 8, Myrtle Beach 7 in 10 Innings (Potomac leads best-of-five series 2-1)
Myrtle Beach, the best team in the Carolina League regular season, is one loss away from having their season ended after falling 8-7 in ten innings to Potomac last night. The Pelicans had a 7-4 lead entering the ninth before everything came crashing down. With two outs and two on in the ninth Pelicans lefthander Ferdin Tejeda gave up a three-run homer to Nats catcher Jhonatan Solano that tied the game at seven. The Pelicans never recovered and relief pitcher righty Brett Butts lost the game in the tenth walking three batters, including walking in the winning run.
The Nats got on the board early with two runs in both the first and third, led by a two-run homer in the third by second baseman Michael Martinez that gave them a 4-2 lead. Myrtle Beach then rattled off five unanswered with the big hit coming off the bat of first baseman Ernesto Mejia with his two-RBI single in the fifth. Shortstop Brandon Hicks added a solo homer in the eighth to extend the lead to 7-4. Nats righthander Josh Wilkie (1-0) got the win in relief allowing no runs in two innings of work. Center fielder Gorkys Hernandez also had a big night for Myrtle Beach going 2-for-4 with two runs and a pair of doubles in the losing effort. The Pelicans will attempt to force a fifth game Friday night as they send lefty Cole Rohrbough to the mound at Potomac at 7:05 EST.
Durham 3, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 2 (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre leads the best-of-5 series 2-1)
Backed into a corner, Durham got out to an early lead, hoping to avoid a series sweep. In the second inning, Bulls second baseman Elliot Johnson hit a solo home run off of Yankees starter Kei Igawa for the first run of the game. The Bulls added another run in the bottom of the fifth when Johnson scored from first due to a throwing error made by Igawa after fielding a bunt by center fielder Nathan Haynes. But the Yankees didn’t go down easy, scoring a run of their own in the top of the sixth and another in the top of the eighth to tie the game at two. But the Bulls mimicked their major-league counterpart and won the ballgame in the bottom of the ninth when Johnson scored from first on a double by Haynes, who ended up going 3-for-4 with two doubles. Bulls righthander Jeff Neimann struck out eight over 6 2/3 innings, giving up five hits, one walk and one run in the process.
Carolina 9, Mississippi 3 (Carolina leads the best-of-5 series 2-1)
Mudcats righthander Brett Sinkbeil pitched well for Carolina, striking out five over six scoreless innings and allowing just two hits and two walks. But it was the Mudcats’ bats that really came alive this game. Everyone in the lineup had at least one hit as Carolina combined for nine runs on 16 hits. First baseman Gaby Sanchez went 3-for-5 with a home run, left fielder John Raynor went 2-for-4 with two doubles and Sinkbeil even helped himself out, getting as many base hits as he allowed, in a 2-for-3 night at the plate. A lot of the damage came off of Braves righthander Tommy Hanson. After a solid season, Hanson got roughed up last night, giving up four runs on nine hits over six innings.
Great Falls 4, Orem 3 (Great Falls leads the best-of-3 series 1-0)
Orem had the best record of the regular season, but that meant nothing as the Owlz faced off against Great Falls righthander Dexter Carter. Carter struck out nine over five innings, giving up two runs on four hits. The Voyagers put up four runs in the bottom of the fourth and that’s all they would need to hold off Orem. The big inning included a two-run home run by Great Falls catcher Zach Larson, who didn’t hit a single home run in his 63 regular-season at-bats.
Burlington 6, South Bend 0 (Burlington leads best-of-five series 1-0)
Burlington took a 1-0 lead in the Midwest League Championship Series with a 6-0 win over South Bend on the strength of an outstanding start from righthander Danny Gutierrez (1-0). Gutierrez went six innings allowing only two hits and striking out eleven. The Bees gave Gutierrez all the support he would need with a four-run third led by Mike Moustakas three-run homer. Silver Hawks ace Jarrod Parker (1-1) struggled in the loss allowing four runs in five innings. The Bees got late homers from Johnny Giavotella (2-run HR) and Jamar Walton (solo) to seal the victory, and the bullpen held South Bend hitless for the final three innings. The series resumes on Thursday night with the Bees hosting South Bend at 6:30 CST.
South Atlantic League
No games scheduled
9/11/2008 Augusta at West Virginia 7:05 EST (Augusta leads best-of-five series 2-0)
Lancaster 10, Lake Elsinore 8 (Lancaster wins best-of-five series 2-1)
In the deciding game of the California League semifinals, Lancaster was able to secure a late 10-8 victory over Lake Elsinore and advance to the Cal League Finals. The Storm jumped out early with five runs in the third led by RBI-doubles from Cedric Hunter (2-for-6) and Eric Sogard (2-for-4, 2 RBIs). Lancaster came out early as well with eight in the first three innings with the big blow coming on a Kris Negron three-run homer in a six-run third. Storm third-baseman James Darnell had a big night, going 3-for-5 with an RBI in the fifth. In the eighth, Sam Carter doubled in two to tie the game 8-8. Lake Elsinore righthander Brandon Gomes (0-1) could not keep the game tied as he allowed two runs in the bottom of the frame to take the loss. Righty Jason Blackey got the save for the JetHawks with a perfect ninth. The JetHawks will now travel to Stockton for the Cal League Finals Thursday night at 7:05 PST.
Stockton 9, San Jose 4 (Stockton wins best-of-five series 2-1)
Stockton wanted to leave little doubt in eliminating defending Cal League champ San Jose. The Ports jumped on early with seven runs in the first two innings. San Jose answered with three of their own (all unearned) in the first two, but couldn’t keep up with Stockton after that. Ports righty Graham Godfrey (2-0) bounced back from his poor early defense to go seven, allowing no earned runs and striking out five for the win. Giants lefthander Jesse English (0-1) did not bounce back allowing seven runs in the first two frames without recording an out in the second. The bulk of the Giants offense came on a Bobby Felmy two-RBI double in the second. The Ports got big hits from the usual suspects: Chris Carter went 1-for-3 with two runs and an RBI, Josh Donaldson went 2-for-3 and drove in two, and Corey Brown had the big hit of the game a bases clearing three-RBI double in the second. Stockton hosts Lancaster tonight at 7:05 PST to begin the Ca League Finals.
No games scheduled.
9/11/2008 Myrtle Beach at Potomac 7:05 EST (Best-of-five series tied at 1-1)
Florida State League
Daytona won Florida State League Title Series 3-1
Akron 13, Trenton 10 (Best-of-5 series is tied 1-1)
After a low-scoring first game, both teams had the lumber ringing in game two. With a combined 27 hits, 23 runs, 13 walks, five errors and two hit batters, the game took more than four hours to complete. The game was tied at six after seven innings, but Akron exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the eighth, bringing 12 batters to the plate. Trenton came back to score four in the top of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough and now the series is knotted up at one game each. Right fielder Bronson Sardinha had a great night at the plate for the Aeros, going 4-for-5 with a double, a home run and four RBIs. Trenton center fielder Austin Jackson had a solid night at the plate as well, going 3-for-6 with two doubles.
[...] Continue Reading »
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 1, Durham 0, 13 innings (Scranton leads the best-of-5 series 2-0)
Durham out-hit Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in this game, 9-4, but couldn’t manage to bring anyone home. Their best chance was in the second inning when left fielder Jonny Gomes struck out to end the inning, leaving the bases loaded. The Bulls held the Yankees to just three hits over the first 12 innings in what was a great pitchers’ duel, including an epic battle of the bullpens. Durham righthander Mitch Talbot went eight innings with three hits, three walks and eight strikeouts. Talbot was relieved by lefthander Heath Phillips, who pitched two no-hit innings with five strikeouts and then righthander Dale Thayer added two more no-hit innings with two strikeouts. Yankees righthander Ian Kennedy pitched five innings, allowing five hits while walking four and striking out eight. After Kennedy, righthander Steven Jackson gave up three hits over three innings while striking out five. Righthanders Mark Melancon and Scott Strickland each threw two no-hit innings, striking out two apiece. For Melancon, it was his second appearance in two days—he got the win after throwing a scoreless inning in game one. The Yankees have backed the Bulls into a corner as the series comes to Durham.
[...] Continue Reading »
NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE
Batavia 3, Lowell 2 (Batavia won the best-of-3 series 2-1)
Batavia righthander Adam Veres cooled Lowell’s hot bats, giving up just one run on two hits over seven innings while walking one and striking out seven. Coming into the game, the Spinners were averaging 10 hits per game in the month of September. Batavia righthander Ramon Delgado struck out the side in the eighth inning and manager Mark DeJohn handed the ball to righthander Adam Reifer to close out the game. Things got tense when Reifer—who blew a save on Tuesday—walked the first batter, Lowell second baseman Ryan Dent. Dent stole second and right fielder Mitch Dening singled him home. But Reifer got out of the inning and the Muckdogs came away with the series victory. Batavia will now face the Jamestown Jammers for the New York-Penn League championship—a title neither team has ever won.
South Bend 4, Dayton 3 (South Bend wins series 2-1)
South Bend advanced to face Burlington in the Midwest League Final on the strength of a 4-3 comeback victory. Dayton jumped out early with three runs in the first two frames led by homers from Jacob Kahaulelio and Michael McKennon. Unfortunately for Dayton that was all the offense the Dragons would muster as South Bend righty Bryan Henry settled down to allow just those three runs through five innings. The SilverHawks bullpen (RHP Bryan Shaw, RHP Daniel Schlereth and LHP Clay Zavada) then closed out the game with four innings of one-hit ball as they struck out nine. The Silver Hawks offense was led by Collin Cowgill who belted a three-run homer in the four-run fourth that was the only offense the Silver Hawks would muster or need. South Bend will now travel to Burlington for game one of the Midwest League Championship Series on Wednesday night at 6:30 CST.
South Atlantic League
Augusta 5, West Virginia 1 (Augusta leads best-of-five series 2-0)
Augusta had to feel good about sending Sally League Pitcher of the Year lefty Madison Bumgarner to the mound up 1-0 in the Sally League Final over West Virginia. The GreenJackets got just what they expected from their ace as Bumgarner went six allowing four hits, one unearned run while striking out six. Augusta firstbaseman Angel Villalona had a two-run home run in the win. The GreenJackets will try to finish the series at West Virginia Thursday night at 7:05 EST.
NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE
Batavia 13, Lowell 9 (The best-of-3 series is tied 1-1)
It was a rollercoaster ride for the Batavia Muckdogs. In a must-win game to keep their season alive, Batavia got out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. It didn’t last long, however, as Lowell put up three runs in the top of the second, one in the top of the third and another in the top of the fifth. Heading into the sixth inning, Batavia trailed 5-2 and it was about to get worse. Lowell scored three more runs in the top of the sixth to go ahead 8-2. But, like The Goonies, Muckdogs never say die. Batavia stormed back with a vengeance, scoring six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the game at eight apiece. The hot bats carried over to the next inning, when they put five more runs on the board for a 13-8 lead. Lowell scored one run in the top of the ninth, but Batavia hung on for the win and the chance to play another day. Lowell’s offense was led by third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who went 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. Middlebrooks has been on fire during the playoffs, hitting .667. Leading the Muckdogs offense was catcher Charles Cutler, who went 4-for-4. Left fielder Shane Peterson went 3-for-4 with a double and DH Chris Swauger went 2-for-5 with two doubles.
Jamestown 4, Staten Island 1 (Jamestown won the best-of-3 series 2-0)
Jamestown got out to an early lead, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. Staten Island answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning, and that would be all they would get all night. Jamestown righthander Elih Villanueva carved up Staten Island, allowing just the one run on four hits over six innings, while walking one and striking out 10. Jammers catcher Robert Taylor went 1-for-4 with a home run—a solo shot in the seventh inning that was icing on the cake. Jamestown will now face the winner of the Batavia-Lowell series.
San Jose 2, Stockton 1 (Best-of-five series tied 2-2)
A fifth and deciding game will be needed to decide who will advance to the California League Finals as San Jose came from behind to defeat Stockton. San Jose took its first lead on a Sharlon Schoop two-RBI double in the seventh. The Giants would hold on as righty Dan Otero threw a perfect 1 1/3 innings to close out the contest. Josh Donaldson was 2-for-3 and Jermaine Mitchell (1-for3) drove in the Ports only run, as both players kept their playoff hot streaks alive. Ports lefthander Carlos Hernandez had another excellent start. He allowed just four baserunners in six innings while striking out ten. Giants righthander Daryl Maday matched him for five, allowing only six runners and striking out eight in a no decision. The series finale takes place tonight in San Jose at 7:00 PST.
Lancaster 4, Lake Elsinore 3 (Best-of-five series tied at 2-2)
In similar fashion to the other California League semifinal Lancaster took the lead late to tie the series at two and force a final and deciding game with a 4-3 win Tuesday. In the sixth, with the game tied at two, Daniel Nava ripped his second RBI double of the game to give the JetHawks the lead for good. Lancaster starter right-hander Blake Maxwell (1-0) was solid going six allowing only two runs, and lefty Derrick Loop gave the JetHawks three innings of one run relief to hold onto the victory. Luis Durango and Eric Sogard had good nights for the Storm in the loss both hitters going 3-for-5. The final and deciding game of this series takes place tonight at 7:00 PST in Lancaster. [...] Continue Reading »
Trenton 3, Akron 1 (Trenton leads the best-of-5 series 1-0)
Trenton first baseman Chris Malec led the offense by going 2-for-4 with a double and 2 RBIs as the Thunder edged the Aeros, 3-1. Shortstop Ramiro Pena and catcher Francisco Cervelli also had good games at the plate—Pena went 3-for-5 and Cervelli went 2-for-4. Trenton righthander Eric Hacker wasn’t dominant, in that he didn’t strike anyone out over his six-inning stint. But he did hold Trenton to one run on three hits. Aeros first baseman Stephen Head got three of the team’s four hits.
[...] Continue Reading »
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 8, Durham 7 (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre leads the best-of-5 series 1-0)
The Bulls were forced to change their lineup a bit after Tampa Bay recalled first baseman Dan Johnson, who had been one of the Bulls’ best hitters, and designated third baseman Joel Guzman for assignment. Durham could have used Johnson’s thump—but he was busy hitting a home run for the big club. Bulls lefthander David Price struck out nine over six innings—the most he’s whiffed since being called up to triple-A—but also gave up four runs on seven hits. The Bulls were winning, 8-6 going into the ninth inning, but righthander Scott Dohmann couldn’t close it out, giving up two runs—blowing the save and the game. Yankees DH Ben Broussard went 1-for-2 with a first-inning home run off of Price and walked three times.
[...] Continue Reading »
Reds righthander Scott Carroll, a third-round pick from Missouri State in 2007, tested positive for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a performance-enhancing substance, and received a 50-game suspension that will take effect at the start of the 2009 season.
Carroll, 23, finished the season with high Class A Sarasota, where he went 6-5, 3.51 in 14 games (12 starts). He struck out 58, walked 21 and surrendered two home runs in 82 innings in the Florida State League. Carroll opened the year with low Class A Dayton, for whom he went 1-2, 3.75 in nine starts, with 24-16 K-BB in 48 innings.
Stockton 7, San Jose 6 (Stockton leads best-of-five series 2-1)
Stockton took a step closer to the California League Finals by beating San Jose 7-6 on a Jermaine Mitchell walk-off single. The Ports stormed back after entering the eighth down 5-2, but scored five runs in the final two innings. Josh Horton (2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI), Chris Carter (1-for-3, HR, 42 on season), and Matt Spencer (3-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI) led the attack, all contributing in the comeback. Corey Brown spraked the ninth inning outburst for the Ports with a two-RBI double. The Giants got a big night from Mike McBryde (3-for-5, 3 R), and Sharlon Schoop added a three-run homer in the loss. Left-hander Joe Paterson (0-1, BS 1) took the loss for San Jose allowing Mitchell’s single, but right-hander Juan Trinidad allowed the Ports to tie it up giving up two to start the ninth. Left-hander Branden Dewing (1-0) got the win with two scoreless innings of relief. Stockton will try to close out the series at home tonight at 7:05 PST.
Lake Elsinore 5, Lancaster 4 (Lake Elsinore leads best-of-five series 2-1)
One night after scoring four runs in the last two innings to tie the series at one the Storm came from behind again to win 5-4. Storm leftfielder Luis Durango singled home the game winner in walk-off fashion to put the Storm up two games to one in the series. Lancaster scored four in the fourth to take control of the game paced by Michael Jones and Reid Engel each going deep in the inning. Eric Sogard paced the comeback for the Storm scroring Cedric Hunter on a triple in the fourth. The bullped was outstanding for the Storm throwing 5.2 scorelss, led by right-hander Robert Woodard’s two innings and right-hander Evan Scribner’s (1-0) perfect ninth. JetHawks lefty reliever Kyle Fernandes (0-2) took his second playoff loss thanks in large part to two ninth inning walks. The Storm have a chance to end the series with a home game tonight at 7:08 PST.
Dayton at South Bend Postponed Rain (South Bend leads best-of-three series 1-0)
Winner plays Burlington in Midwest League Championship Series which will begin on either Wednesday or Thursday at Burlington.
South Atlantic League
Augusta 9, West Virginia 3 (Augusta leads best-of-five series 1-0)
Game one of the Sally League Championship Series held little drama for either team. Augusta jumped all over West Virginia with a nine run outburst in the first two innings to lead them to a 9-3 victory. Juan Ciriaco (3-for-5) hit a three-run blast in the first to get the GreenJackets off on the right foot against the Power. Nick Noonan (2-for-3, 2 R) and James Simmons (3 RBI) both had big nights for the GreenJackets as they won game one with ease. Jackets lefty Craig Clark (1-0) got the win going six allowing six hits, two runs, one earned, and striking out eight. Power starter righthander R.J. Seidel (0-2) took the loss going one allowing nine runs (seven earned) in the loss. Zelous Wheeler led the Power’s offense with a 2-for-4 performance. Game two takes place tonight at Augusta at 7:05 EST.
NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE
Lowell 4, Batavia 3 in 12 innings (Lowell leads the best-of-3 series 1-0)
Lowell got out to an early lead, putting one run on the board in the bottom of the first inning. That would hold up until the sixth when the Muckdogs busted out for three runs in a crazy inning that included two walks, a hit-by-pitch, an error and two wild pitches. Lowell didn’t give in and scored another run in the bottom of the eighth—cutting the lead to 3-2. Batavia closer Adam Reifer had the second-most saves in the league this year, but was a bit wild last night, walking two batters, hitting another and throwing a wild pitch. He also served up a game-tying home run to Lowell third baseman Will Middlebrooks, resulting in his third blown save of the year. Middlebrooks’ home run came as part of a 3-for-5 night. Lowell second baseman Ryan Dent also had a good night at the plate. He went 0-for-2, but drew four walks. Batavia pitchers combined for 11 walks in the game. [...] Continue Reading »
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