TRIPLE-A INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE
Richmond 4, Durham 2
(Richmond leads series 1-0)
Richmond broke through for three runs against Bulls’ ace J.P. Howell in the seventh inning, breaking a scoreless tie and chasing the lefthander with 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings. Second baseman Mike Rozema clubbed the two-run double that ignited the Braves’ rally, and center fielder Gregor Blanco followed with a run-scoring groundout.
Righthander Jeff Bennett tossed six shutout innings for Richmond, striking out six and walking two, to pick up the win. Joey Devine notched the save with 1 2/3 innings of one-run ball.
TRIPLE-A PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE
Sacramento 5, New Orleans 3
(Sacramento leads series 1-0)
New Orleans lefthander Adam Bostick gave up just two runs in six innings’"and struck out nine’"but it wasn’t enough to cool the streaking River Cats, winners of three straight playoff games.
Sacramento DH Jorge Piedra’s tie-breaking two-run single, his only hit of the game, in the top of the seventh proved to be the difference. River Cats’ righthander Shane Komine allowed two runs in six innings, and righthander Brad Ziegler pitched a flawless ninth, fanning one, for the save.
DOUBLE-A EASTERN LEAGUE
Trenton 5, Akron 3
(Trenton leads series 1-0)
Trenton center fielder Austin Jackson went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs to lead the Thunder past Akron, 5-3 in the EL championship series opener on Monday.
Third baseman Marcos Vechionacci and second baseman Gabriel Lopez also collected two hits each and scored three runs between them.
Jordan Brown, who is hitting .435 in the postseason for the Aeros, went 2-for-4 with his second home run of the playoffs.
DOUBLE-A TEXAS LEAGUE
San Antonio 6, Springfield 2
(San Antonio leads series 1-0)
Chase Headley and Peter Ciofrone homered and Brett Dowdy tripled in a pair of runs as the Missions jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the Texas League championship series.
Headley also walked four times, and righthander Josh Geer picked up his first postseason victory. Geer allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out three over seven innings of work.
HIGH CLASS A CALIFORNIA LEAGUE
Lake Elsinore 14, Lancaster 9
(Lake Elsinore wins series, 3-1)
Lake Elsinore roughed up Lancaster righthander T.J. Nall and then tagged a pair of relievers for seven runs in the sixth inning to rout Lancaster and advance to the championship series.
The Storm built a 5-0 lead by scoring in each of the first three innings against Nall, including a Mike Baxter solo home run in the third. They batted around in the sixth, with Seth Johnston, Sean Kazmar, David Freese and Craig Cooper providing run-scoring hits.
Lefthander Cory Luebke earned the win for Lake Elsinore by yielding one run on three hits over 5 1/3 innings.
San Jose 7, Visalia 5
(San Jose wins series, 3-1)
Left fielder Fred Lewis hit a pair of home runs and four pitchers combined to scatter 11 hits as San Jose topped Visalia to earn a trip to the league championship series.
Lewis, who hit .275/.356/.401 in 142 at-bats with the big league club before being sent down to Triple-A Fresno to nurse an ankle injury, hit a solo home run in the third inning and added a two-run shot during a four-run sixth inning that put the Giants ahead for good. Catcher Pablo Sandoval also hit a two-run homer in the sixth.
San Jose righthander Ronnie Ray earned the win in relief of righthander Darren Sack after two innings. Ray went four innings and yielded two runs on seven hits. Righthander Matt Torra took the loss, giving up six earned runs on 11 hits over 5 1/3 innings.
HIGH CLASS A CAROLINA LEAGUE
Frederick 5, Salem 1
(Frederick wins series, 3-1)
Righthander Chorye Spoone pitched his second complete game in five days to lift Frederick past Salem for its second Mills Cup title in three years.
Spoone, who earned MVP honors for the championship, took a no-hitter into the bottom of the ninth against Wilmington in the Northern Division title game on Sept. 6 before giving up a two-out hit against Wilmington. Last night he scattered 11 hits while striking out eight and walking one, and did not allow a run until the ninth inning.
First baseman Mark Fleisher hit a first-inning solo home run off Salem lefthander Polin Trinidad and the Keys added two more runs in the fourth on a double by right fielder Brent Krause and a single by center fielder Kennard Jones.
HIGH CLASS A FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE
Clearwater 5, Brevard County 2
(Clearwater wins series, 3-1)
Righthander Drew Carpenter limited Brevard County to two runs over 6 1/3 innings while striking out six and second baseman Brad Harman finished a triple shy of the cycle as Clearwater knocked off the Manatees for its first FSL title since 1993.
Harman hit a two-run home run–his second of the series–during a three-run first inning that put the Threshers ahead for good. Brian Burgamy added a solo shot in the fourth as the Threshers chased Brevard County lefthander Micah Wright after yielding five runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Righthander Ronald Hill relieved Carpenter after a Yohannis Perez solo homer in the seventh and pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings to earn the save.
Brevard County first baseman Brian Errecart doubled and hit his second home run of the postseason.
LOW CLASS A MIDWEST LEAGUE
West Michigan 4, Beloit 3
(West Michigan leads series 1-0)
Outfielder Jeramy Laster and second baseman Scott Sizemore each had a two-run home run to power the Whitecaps to a 4-3 victory over the Snappers. Laster’s came in the bottom of the first while Sizemore’s was in the fifth.
Righthander Jonah Nickerson pitched six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits to earn the win.
LOW CLASS A SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE
Columbus 5, West Virginia 2
(Columbus leads series 2-0)
Outfielder Maiko Loyola led off the game with a home run and the Catfish never trailed on their way to a 5-2 win against the Power. Designated Hitter Quinn Stewart did the rest of the work, knocking in three runs with a single and sacrifice fly.
Righthander Shawn Ferguson gave up five runs on six hits in six innings in the loss while Catfish righthander Jeremy Hall pitched 4 1/3 innings of relief for the win.
The Catfish are just one win away from capturing the SAL title.
SHORT-SEASON NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE
Auburn 4, Oneonta 3
(Auburn wins series 2-1)
Brad Emaus hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning, and the Doubledays held off a comeback in the top of the ninth to beat Oneonta 4-3. Auburn will face Brooklyn in the championship series.
The Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth, but Cody Crowell came in from the bullpen to face Justin Henry, who struck out swinging to end the game.