D. J. Baxendale pitched seven strong innings and Fort Myers got a touchdown in the third to move to the championship round. Cedar Rapids was blanked and needs to win tonight to stay alive.
FORT MYERS 6, BRADENTON 2 IN FORT MYERS (PLAYOFF GAME 2)
Batting stars: Travis Harrison was 2-for-4 with a double, scoring once and driving in two. Dalton Hicks was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer and a walk. Aderlin Mejia was 2-for-4 with a double, scoring once and driving in one.
Pitching stars: D. J. Baxendale pitched seven innings, giving up an unearned run on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Todd Van Steensel pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk with one strikeout.
Opposition stars: Jin-De Jhang was 2-for-3 with a run. Adam Frazier was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.
The game: Frazier opened the scoring with an RBI single in the third. Fort Myers responded to that run with a half-dozen in the bottom of the third. An error scored the first run, Mejia singled in the second, Harrison hit a two-run double, and Hicks hit a two-run homer. That was all the runs the Miracle got, but it was all they would need. Bradenton did not threaten again until the ninth, when a single, two walks, and a sacrifice fly scored their other run.
Of note: Max Kepler was 2-for-3 with a walk. Adam Brett Walker II was 1-for-4.
Playoff update: Fort Myers wins the series 2-0. In the other series, Daytona defeated Dunedin 9-4 to win that series 2-0. Oddly, there will be no day off before the championship series. The Miracle will host Daytona tonight in the first of the best-of-five series.
BURLINGTON 2, CEDAR RAPIDS 0 IN CEDAR RAPIDS (PLAYOFF GAME 1)
Batting stars: Alex Swim was 2-for-4. Max Murphy was 2-for-4.
Pitching stars: Chih-Wei Hu struck out seven in five shutout innings, giving up four hits and a walk. Dallas Gallant retired all six batters he faced in 2.1 perfect innings, striking out four of them.
Opposition stars: Victor Alcantara pitched six shutout innings, allowing four hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Eric Aguilera was 2-for-4 with a home run. Brian Loconsole struck out five in two shutout innings, allowing one hit.
The game: Each team got a man to third base in the third inning, but there was no scoring until the sixth, when Aguilera led off the inning with a home run. Burlington added a run in the seventh when, after the first two men went out, Kody Eaves walked, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Brandon Bayardi single. Cedar Rapids did not get a man past first after that.
Of note: Jonatan Hinojosa was 1-for-4. Chad Christensen was 0-for-3 with a walk. Mitch Garver was 0-for-2.
Playoff update: Cedar Rapids trails the best-of-three series 1-0. In the other series, Lake County beat South Bend 6-2, Fort Wayne defeated West Michigan 7-5, and it was Kane County over Wisconsin 7-3.
6:05 Daytona (TBA) at Fort Myers (TBA)
6:30 Cedar Rapids (Mat Batts, 2-0, 2.20) at Burlington (TBA)