The Lookouts score three in the first and hold on. The Miracle end their season. Lewin Diaz has a big day to lead the Kernels. Edwar Colina and Jovani Moran carry the E-Twins into the championship round.
CHATTANOOGA 4, MONTGOMERY 3 IN CHATTANOOGA
Joe McCarthy led off the game with a home run, but the Lookouts responded with three in the bottom of the first to take a 3-1 lead. LaMonte Wade delivered a two-run single and Andy Wilkins followed with a one-run single in the inning. T. J. White homered in the fourth to make it 4-1. Two walks and a Brett Sullivan single cut the margin to 4-2 in the sixth. In the ninth, two walks and a passed ball put men on second and third for the Biscuits with none out. A strikeout followed, but a sacrifice fly made it 4-3 with the tying run on third base. A ground out ended the inning and the game.
Zack Littell struck out six in 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on three hits and five walks. Anthony McIver pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief. Wilkins and Nick Gordon were each 2-for-4. White was 1-for-4 with a home run. Chattanooga takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
PALM BEACH 3, FORT MYERS 2 IN PALM BEACH
A ground out scored a run in the second and Jose Martinez doubled home a run in the fourth to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. A walk and an error brought home the first Miracle run in the sixth. Nelson Molina homered in the eighth to tie it 2-2. Fort Myers had men on first and third with one out, but a pair of strikeouts ended the inning. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, a walk, a single, and an intentional walk loaded the bases. A hit batsman then forced in the winning (or losing, depending on your perspective) run.
Sean Poppen pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Chris Paul was 2-for-3 with a walk. Molina hit a pinch-hit home run. The Miracle lose the playoff series, two games to none.
CEDAR RAPIDS 6, KANE COUNTY 5 IN CEDAR RAPIDS
Lewin Diaz hit a two-run double in a three-run first that put the Kernels up 3-0. Manny Jefferson had a two-run single for the Cougars in the second, but Diaz struck again in the bottom of the second with another two-run double that made it 5-2 Cedar Rapids. Stephen J. Smith singled home a run in the third. It stayed 5-3 until the seventh, when Ramon Hernandez hit a two-run homer to tie it 5-5. That was the last hit Kane County would get, however, and in the eighth, Diaz led off with yet another double and scored on a Jimmy Kerrigan single for the go-ahead and ultimately winning run.
Tyler Wells struck out eight in 5.2 innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on seven hits and no walks. Logan Lombana and Hector Lujan each pitched a scoreless inning. Diaz was 3-for-4 with three doubles and four RBIs. Kerrigan and Travis Blankenhorn were each 2-for-4 with a double. The Kernels take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
ELIZABETHTON 6, GREENEVILLE 0 IN ELIZABETHTON
The Twins scored three in the third to take a 3-0 lead. Gorge Munoz singled in one run, another scored on an infield out, and J. J. Robinson doubled home the third run. It stayed 3-0 until the eighth. In the top of the inning the Astros loaded the bases with one out, but Jovani Moran came in to strike out the next two batters. In the bottom of the eighth, Elizabethton scored three more to put the game out of reach. A sacrifice fly scored one and Mark Contreras followed with a two-run single.
Edwar Colina struck out eight in 6.2 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and three walks. Moran struck out three in 1.2 scoreless innings. Robinson was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Greeneville wins the best-of-three series two games to one. They move on to play Pulaski in a best-of-three championship series that starts tonight.
6:00 Pulaski at Elizabethton
6:15 Montgomery (Anthony Misiewicz, 3-1, 3.49) at Chattanooga (Dereck Rodriguez, 5-4, 3.94)
6:30 Cedar Rapids (Clark Beeker, 11-3, 2.03) at Kane County (Sam McWilliams, 11-6, 2.84)
Pulaski at Elizabethton
Chattanooga leads Montgomery 1-0 in the best-of-five series.
Fort Myers lost in the first round of the playoffs, 2-0.
Cedar Rapids leads Kane County 1-0 in the best-of-three series.
Elizabethton wins its first-round playoff series with Greeneville, 2-1. They will play Pulaski in a best-of-three championship series beginning tonight.
*The Southern League has followed the Florida State League's example and cancelled its championship series due to the threat of Hurricane Irma. The winners of the division playoffs will be declared co-champions. One wonders if even this might be subject to change. The last I saw, the hurricane was expected to reach Florida sometime Saturday. If the division series go the full five games, the fifth game is currently scheduled for Sunday. Perhaps not, however, as games three through five, if necessary, of the other series have been re-located from Jacksonville. Game three is scheduled to be played in Pensacola and games four and five, if necessary, are scheduled to be played in Biloxi.