Playoff Dish: Sept. 18

See also: Friday’s Playoff Dish


Toledo 10, Rochester 1 (Toledo wins series 3-2)

The Mud Hens erased a 2-games-to-1 series deficit to repeat as IL champs. After being stifled by Rochester’s Kevin Slowey and Glen Perkins in Games 2 and 3, Toledo exploded for 16 runs in the final two games. Mike Hessman clubbed five playoff home runs, while Dustan Mohr and Josh Phelps chipped in with three apiece.

Tucson 6, Round Rock 3 (Tucson wins series 3-0)

The Sidewinders made quick work of Round Rock, outscoring them 15-7 in the series. Though Tucson featured one of the minors’ best offenses, righthanders Dustin Nippert (2-0, 0.63, 13 strikeouts in 14 innings) and Micah Owings (0-0, 1.35, 13 strikeouts in 13 inings) turned out to be the Sidewinders major weapons.


Portland 8, Akron 5 (Portland wins series 3-2)

Though Akron came back to make a series over it after dropping the first two games at home, the Aeros couldn’t solve Portland righthander Devern Hansack, who allowed three runs on seven hits and struck out eight in eight innings of work. It was the 28-year-old’s second win of the series, and he was rewarded with a callup to the majors on Sunday. Overall, Hansack went 2-1, 2.11 with a 17-3 strikeout-walk ratio in 21 innings, helping Portland to win its first-ever Eastern League title.

Montgomery 12, Huntsville 4 (Montgomery wins series 3-1)

Montgomery also claimed its first title, as second baseman Elliot Johnson hit for the cycle in Game 4 of the series. Evan Longoria and Michael Coleman connected for three-run homers to pace the Biscuits offense, and lefthander Jason Cromer allowed four runs over six innings to earn the win.

Corpus Christi 8, Wichita 7 (Corpus Christi wins series 3-1)

In one of the wildest playoff games in Texas League history, the Hooks edged Wichita in 14 innings to claim their first Texas League title in the franchise’s second year.

Wade Robinson singled in Jorge Cortes in the 14th for the win, but that was only the final act in an amazing game. The Wranglers took a 6-5 lead into the eighth, but Corpus Christi tied the game thanks to a pair of walks and a pair of hit batters. Wichita seemed to be in position to send the series to a deciding Game 5 in the ninth, as Minor League Player of the Year Alex Gordon came up with no outs and runners at second and third. But Gordon lined to first baseman Josh Bonifay, who stepped on first, then threw to second to complete a triple play.

“It was probably one of the best-played
ballgames that I’ve been a part of,” Josh Bonifay told the Corpus Christi Caller Times. “They’d score three,
and we’d score four. They’d score some more, and we’d score some more.
Then we’d get a timely hit and it goes on for 14 innings.”


Inland Empire 8, Visalia 2 (series tied 2-2)

Inland Empire slugged three home runs to force a deciding fifth game in the Cal League championship series. The 66ers, who had not homered in their previous 11 games spanning more than two weeks, got a three-run shot by first baseman Johan Limonta in the fifth inning to take a 4-1 lead they would not relinquish. Left fielder Casey Craig went 3-for-4 with a triple and a home run, and catcher Omar Falcon added Inland Empire’s third homer in the eighth inning. Righthander Justin Jordan picked up the win with six solid innings of work, allowing one run on five hits and a walk while striking out no one.


West Michigan 8, Kane County 4 (West Michigan wins series 3-1)

The Whitecaps scored eight runs over the first four innings and finished off Kane County behind six strong innings by lefthander Eric Averill. Outfielder Cameron Maybin again paced the offense, going 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored. Maybin batted .343 overall in the postseason for West Michigan.

Lakewood 5, Augusta 0 (Lakewood wins series 3-1)

Lakewood wrapped up its first South Atlantic title, behind lefthander Matt Maloney’s strong outing, shutting out Augusta, 5-0. Maloney whiffed 11 over seven innings, and outfielders Mike Spidale and Jeremy Slayden combined to go 6-for-8 with three RBIs to lead the Blue Claws.

Staten Island 2, Tri-City 0 (Staten Island wins series 2-1)

Staten Island won their second-straight New York Penn-League title, as George Kontos struck out 11 in six innings and Kyle Larsen drove in both runs. It was Kontos’ second win of the playoffs. Nick Peterson and Mark Melancon pitched the final three innings to complete the shutout.