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8/31 Minor League Wrap-Up

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- LATE.

- Speaking of LATE... turns out they did play Game 2 of the DSLMs playoff series after all.  They just had a delay in getting the results back to MiLB.com.

As expected, the DSLMs bats revived once the series returned to Santo Domingo North for Game 2... though only for a couple of well-timed big innings.  Bruno Mercedes, the relief ace in the Twins series, got the call to start and... ran into trouble.  Bruno had cruised through the 1st and 2nd, and was two outs on his way in the 3rd when Jose De La Cruz lined a single and the excessively named Robedluis Fuentes doubled him in to make it 1-0.  Bruno finished the 3rd without further damage, but met his demise in the 4th. Sundrendy Windster jacked one over the straightaway center wall with one out to make it 2-0, and Bruno plunked the next batter before he got the hook for Jose Perdomo.  Perdomo himself plunked a batter, allowed a lined single to load the bases, and leaked a runner home on a groundout to make it 3-0 before getting out of trouble.

And then the DSLMs awoke in the 5th.  Three batters reached base and two scored out of the gate to chase Argenis Sanchez, and Bertoni Garcia came in, struck out Rudy van Heydoorn... then walked the next two batters to reload the sacks before getting pulled himself for Alejandro Mendez, who uncorked a wild pitch to bring in Ramon Morla and TIE THE BALLGAME at 3.  Alejandro walked Hector Mercedes to reload the sacks... but Efrain Nuñez grounded out to 2nd to end the threat.

Hassiel Jimenez passed two balls in the 6th, including strike three agaist Cesar Osuna to put him on, to set up a go-ahead RBI single that cashed in Osuna to give Los Gigantes a 4-3 lead.  Miguel Celestino loaded the bases with two outs in that frame, but got Carlos Willoughby to strike out and end the threat.

The DSLMs got to the bottom 9th, three outs from their playoff demise.  Victor Ozuna lined a single and Ramon Morla bunted himself on.  Rudy van Heydoorn bunted them over for one out, and Alejndro Mendez, still in the ballgame for Los Gigantes, intentionally walked Axel Wel to load the sacks.  Hassiel Jimenez, having giveth runs via screw ups earlier, then tooketh runs away by facilitating a screw up himself, getting plunked to force in a run and TIE THE BALLGAME.

Then Hector Mercedes, needing only a sac fly, base hit or well placed groundball, took a page from Richie Sexson, went for the whole shebang and jacked a WALKOFF GRAND SLAM to tie the series up at one game apiece!

- The DSLMs now needed to remember their bats for yesterday's 3rd and deciding game in Boca Chica.  Manager (Not That) Jose Guillen turned once again to his horse Henry Perez, hoping that O Enrique could contain Los Gigantes on their home turf.

He failed.  The first two Gigantes batters reached base, and with one out, Victor Santana ripped an ill advised suck pitch over the LF fence to make it 3-0 Gigantes.

Perez held it together, though, getting out of the 1st, withstanding 2nd and 3rd with two outs in the 2nd to escape unscathed, and escaping the 3rd despite three hitters reaching base (Hassiel Jimenez atoned for yesterday's gaffes by catching the first runner stealing).  Perez, however, did not escape the 4th unscathed, as Jose De La Cruz led off with a walk, got bunted over to 2nd, and came home on a one out single from Julio Izturis to make it 4-0 Gigantes.  Series over, correct?

HELL NO.  Janelfry Zorrilla and Angel Zapata each bunt themselves on against Miguel Ferrer to lead off the 5th.  Ramon Morla walks to load the bases, and Rudy van Heydoorn himself draws a walk to force in Zorrilla, get the DSLMs on the board and keep them loaded... for Axel Wel.  And Wel singled to left to cash in Zapata, cut the lead to 4-2, and keep them loaded.  Ferrer ran like a scolded dog for the clubhouse and Franklin Noel came in to put out the fire, except the pine tar on the DSLMs bats was actually grease, and Hassiel Jimenez lined a single to right to cash in Morla, cut the lead to 4-3, and KEEP THE BASES LOADED.  Hector Mercedes then... lined a single to center to cash in van Heydoorn and TIE THE BALLGAME while... KEEPING THE BASES LOADED.  Maybe the actual Mariners should have sent a videographer down to the Dominican to take some notes on how to keep the pressure on in a rally.

But then Efrain Nuñez surprisingly got pulled for a pinch hitter, and his replacement, Augusto Marte... struck out.  Maybe Efrain got hurt, because otherwise I don't get it.  Janelfry Zorrilla, in his 2nd AB of the inning, flew out to right to end the rally.

Here they went again in the 6th.  Angel Zapata led of with a walk, then Victor Ozuna walked, and Franklin Noel got the hook for the neatest name in the Gigantes bullpen, Raymundo Montero.  Ramon Morla bunted them over to scoring position for one out, and while Rudy van Heydoorn's flyball was caught in left for two outs, Zapata came in to give the DSLMs a 5-4 lead, as Ozuna took 3rd.  Axel Wel got an intentional pass, and then once again, fate killed the rally like a turntable screech at a party.  Wel took off for 2nd on a pitch to Hassiel Jimenez, and on the throw, Ozuna broke for home, but he broke just a bit too early, because 2B Julio Izturis snifed it out, cut the throw off, threw to 3B Cesar Osuna and tagged Ozuna on the basepath for the 3rd out.

The DSLMs really could have used those potential runs.  Bruno Mercedes got treated like a high school pitcher, brought in for the 6th just one day after 3+ innings of work.  Julio Izturis led off the 7th by drawing a walk off Bruno, and Carlos Willoughby bunted him over, but it was all for naught, because Hector Sanchez took Bruno deep to give Los Gigantes a 6-5 lead.  Sundrendy Windster did get on with two outs and took 2nd on a wild pitch, but Bruno got out of it without allowing another run.

The DSLMs came up in the 8th six outs from doom.  Angel Zapata drew a one out walk, and then Victor Ozuna, two innings after his baserunning gaffe killed the 6th inning rally and potentially cost his team a valuable run... hit a laser over the left field fence to give the DSLMs a 7-6 lead!

The DSLMs got two more runners on, but Luis Azocar relieved a tiring Raymundo Montero, and Azocar got out of the jam without further trouble.  But then we went to the bottom 9th with Los Gigantes on the ropes for the first time in this series, three outs from doom themselves.

Julio Izturis repeated the last rally's harbinger and drew a walk, this time off Nelson Germocen, to lead off the bottom 9th.  Again, Carlos WIlloughby bunted him over for one out.  Germocen,in part to recreate the force out but also in memory of this guy's go-ahead HR the last time up, intentionally passed Hector Sanchez.  Sanchez took a seat for speedy Ramon Abad, representing the winning run, and Germocen put down Victor Santana on strikes for two outs.  One out away!

But Sundrendy Windster drew a walk to load the bases, the tying run now 90 feet away.  And with Cesar Osuna at the plate, a breaking ball got away from Germocen, got away from Hassiel Jimenez, and Izturis came on home to TIE THE BALLGAME.  Abad took 3rd and Windster took 2nd.

All Germocen needed to do was get Osuna, and the DSLMs at least could try to win it in extras.  But Osuna's grounder went right past Germocen and right between Bertin Sanon and Ramon Morla into center field!  Abad scored, and Los Gigantes walked off with the 8-7 victory and the series win to move on to the DSL Championship.

What a way to end your season, DSLMs.  Against the best offense in the DSL, you did not go down without one hell of a fight, and after building a 4-0 lead in the clincher, they still had to make two comebacks to sink you.  Great work, DSLMs.  May the best of you end up playing on the mainland in 2009.

- They snuck by me last week, but Luis Nuñez drew 2 more walks!  He walked on August 28 against Vancouver, and on August 30 against Salem-Keizer.  This brings his August total to 5.

Luis Nuñez season walks total prior to August:  1

- Military Man Nick Hill finished High Desert's 5-4 win with a scoreless 8th and 9th for his 1st Mavs save.  It's not spectacular in itself, but this is a big deal in that, with the Mavs' season finale today, yesterday's appearance was likely Hill's last (barring an unlikely relief appearance on no rest in today's game) before returning to the Army to serve two mandated years with the U.S. Armed Forces.  Word on the street is that he must do so after this season, and if so, I wish the Military Man the best of luck as he serves the United States in arms, and hope to see him again on the field, one way or another, by 2011.

- Brandon Morrow's final start went well despitethe usual iffy control.  The only hit he allowed was a hot grounder to 1B Shawn Garrett in the 1st that portly Paul McAnulty somehow beat out.

1st:  Flyball, groundball, groundball, flyball
2nd:  Strikeout (swing), groundball, strikeout (swing)
3rd:  Groundball, strikeout (swing), line drive
4th:  Groundball, strikeout (called), walk, groundball
5th:  Strikeout (swing), walk, pop up, flyball
6th:  Flyball, flyball, walk, line drive

Groundballs:  6
Flyballs:  5
Line Drives:  2
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  3
Strikeouts:  5

Stats below the jump.  Also, today is the season finale for several teams, so tomorrow's Wrap-Up will be the last full one of the season.  West Tenn's playoff games and Everett's final games will be all that remains beyond that.

DSL PLAYOFFS:  THEY LIVE FOR THIS... AND BY "THIS" I MEAN BIG LEAGUE BASEBALL, BUT THIS PARTICULAR FORM OF THIS WILL DO FOR NOW

Game 2 (Saturday):  DSL Mariners 8, DSL Gigantes 4
Series tied 1-1

Bruno Mercedes:  3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER (HR), hit batter
Jose Perdomo:  1.2 IP, 1 H, walk, 2 K, hit batter
Miguel Celestino:  4 IP, 3 H, (1 R) 0 ER, 3 walks, 6 K, wild pitch
Victor Ozuna:  1-3, R, RBI, walk, K
Ramon Morla:  3-5, 2 R, RBI
Axel Wel:  1-2, R, 3 walks, K
Hector Mercedes:  1-4, GRAND SLAM, walk, 2 K

Game 3:  DSL Gigantes 8, DSL Mariners 7

DSL Gigantes win series 2-1

Henry Perez:  4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER (HR), 2 walks, hit batter
Bruno Mercedes:  3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER (HR), 2 walks, 2 K, wild pitch
Nelson Germocen:  1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 3 walks, K, wild pitch
Victor Ozuna:  1-4, 2 run HR, walk, 3 K
Rudy van Heydoorn:  1-2, R, 2 RBI, 2 walks, K
Axel Wel:  1-4, RBI, walk, K
Hassiel Jimenez:  3-5, RBI
Hector Mercedes:  1-5, RBI
Janelfry Zorrilla:  2-5, R

A-:  Everett 7, Salem-Keizer 5

EVE:  32-41... S-K:  39-34
(League:  256/345/373... 4.18 ERA)

Sean White:  2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER (HR), K
Nolan Gallagher:  1.2 IP, 1 H, K, hit batter (6 GS +2, 2.94 ERA, 33.2 IP, 1 HR, 12/23 BB/K)
Robbie Dominguez:  3.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER (HR), 2 walks, 3 K (18 app, 6.10 ERA, 31 IP, 2 HR, 21/27 BB/K)
Javier Martinez:  1.2 IP, 2 walks, K (21 app, 3.95 ERA, 27.1 IP, 1 HR, 23/26 BB/K)
Luis Nuñez:  1-4, double, RBI (281/301/367)
Manny Pimentel:  1-3, solo HR, walk (221/328/304)
Brandon Fromm:  2-3, double, R, 2 RBI, K (245/311/354)
Ryan Royster:  1-3, R, RBI, walk, K (181/309/231)
Anthony Phillips:  2-3, double, R, 2 RBI, walk (201/300/295)

A:  Quad Cities 11, Wisconsin 10
WIS:  25-47... QC:  35-35
(League:  252/322/371... 3.68 ERA)

Keith Renaud:  4 IP, 6 H, (5 R) 3 ER (2 HR), 2 walks, 2 K (1 GS +1, 5.14 ERA, 61.1 IP, 4 HR, 34/37 BB/K)
Cheyne Hann:  1 IP, 2 K
Brett Lorin:  2 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 3 walks, 2 K (6 GS +2, 4.80 ERA, 30 IP, 1 HR, 16/32 BB/K)
Robert Harmon:  1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, K (31 app, 7.85 ERA, 39 IP, 3 HR, 33/42 BB/K)
Jose Escalona:  no outs recorded, 1 H, walkoff fail (36 app, 3.80 ERA, 47.1 IP, 6 HR, 21/50 BB/K)
Daniel Carroll:  2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB #30 (248/325/324)
Joe Dunigan:  3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI (240/299/421)
Alex Liddi:  2-4, double, R, 3 RBI, walk, K (244/313/360)
Denny Almonte:  2-5, R (249/303/420)
Blake Ochoa:  1-4, 2 R, RBI, walk (251/335/366)
Joe White:  2-5, R, RBI (266/374/418)

A+:  High Desert 5, Lake Elsinore 4
Mavs:  25-44... Lake:  39-30
(League:  273/340/412... 4.51 ERA)

Ricky Orta:  4 IP, 3 H, 2 walks, 4 K, wild pitch (15 GS +7, 5.05 ERA, 71.1 IP, 14 HR, 27/74 BB/K)
Michael Wagner:  1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER (HR), walk, K (51 app, 4.79 ERA, 67.2 IP, 4 HR, 22/53 BB/K)
Steve Uhlmansiek:  2 IP, 1 H, (1 R) 0 ER, 2 walks, K (36 app, 4.68 ERA, 57.2 IP, 6 HR, 32/45 BB/K)
Nick Hill:  2 IP, 1 H (35 app, 4.48 ERA, 94.1 IP, 10 HR, 32/69 BB/K)
Jamie McOwen:  1-4, double, R, walk, 2 K, SB #30 (264/325/394)
Carlos Triunfel:  2-5, triple (287/337/407)
Ronnie Prettyman:  1-5, 2 RBI, 2 K (301/343/478)
Kuo Hui Lo:  1-3, R, RBI, walk, K, SBs #19 & 20 (252/309/404)
Joe Simokaitis:  1-3, double, R, RBI, walk, 2 K (245/299/384)
Geraldo Valentin:  1-3, R, RBI, walk, SB (239/282/330)

AA:  Mississippi 6, West Tenn 1, 6 innings (rain shortened)

WTN:  29-39... MIS:  43-26
(League:  264/342/400... 4.21 ERA)

Luis Muñoz:  5 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 walks, 4 K (5 GS +2, 5.83 ERA, 29.1 IP, 2 HR, 15/22 BB/K)
Jason Kershner:  one out, 1 H (11 app, 6.28 ERA, 14.1 IP, 7/10 BB/K)
Johan Limonta:  1-3, double, K (296/366/501)
Marshall Hubbard:  1-2, double, walk (291/407/505)

AAA:  Tacoma 5, Portland 1
TAC:  79-64... POR:  70-73
(League:  277/348/444... 4.86 ERA)

Brandon Morrow:  6 IP, 1 H, 3 walks, 5 K (5 GS +1, 5.01 ERA, 23.1 IP, 2 HR, 11/26 BB/K)
Scott Shoemaker:  2 IP, 1 H, K, hit batter (32 app, 6.20 ERA, 90 IP, 17 HR, 34/59 BB/K)
Jon Huber:  1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER (HR), 2 K (51 app, 6.23 ERA, 69.1 IP, 7 HR, 21/56 BB/K)
Victor Diaz:  1-4, R, RBI, K (283/368/522)
Craig Wilson:  1-2, R, RBI, 2 walks (282/394/541)
Rob Johnson:  2-4, RBI (305/363/441)
Kevin Howard:  2-4, R, RBI (276/370/473)
Jon Nelson:  1-2, double, RBI (272/306/437)