Thursday was another exciting day in the battle for division leads and saw another team clinch a playoff spot. Catch up on any action you may have missed before a big final weekend:
Équipe Québec scored two and won on a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning to take the series finale against the New York Boulders 6-5. Two runs came for Québec in the first inning, after an RBI double by Jeffry Parra and an RBI groundout by Ruben Castro. New York’s Zach Kirtley homered in the third before Parra also homered to make it 4-1. The Boulders plated two in the fifth when Kevonte Mitchell doubled home a run and Tucker Nathans hit an RBI single to cut the score to 4-3. They’d add two more in the eighth to take the lead after home runs by both Ray Hernandez and Marcus Mastrobuoni. In the bottom of the ninth, Québec would answer. Raphael Gladu singled home the tying run, and two batters later, Parra drew a bases-loaded walk that would force home the winning run.
The Tri-City ValleyCats and the Sussex County Miners each took a game from their doubleheader, with the ValleyCats winning the continuation of Wednesday’s suspended game 13-10. Kaleo Johnson got Sussex County on the board first with an RBI single, but Brad Zunica answered with an RBI groundout in the bottom of the first. In the fourth, Juan Kelly hit a solo shot and Trevin Esquerra hit a two-run home run to give the Miners a 4-1 lead. Luis Roman singled home another run for the ValleyCats in the bottom half to close it to 4-2 before Sussex County tacked on two more in the fifth. Chuck Taylor and Johnson both homered in the inning before Tri-City unloaded for six runs to take the 8-6 lead. Denis Phipps homered, Carson McCusker drew a bases-loaded walk, Roman hit a two-run single and Connor Lien capped the scoring in the inning with a two-run double. In the seventh, Kelly hit his second home run of the game—a two-run blast to tie the game at 8-8. Lien would respond in the bottom half with a three-run blast that once again gave Tri-City the lead and Phipps followed with his second of the game. Taylor added two more in the eighth for Sussex County on a double. Sussex County took the second game by shutting out the ValleyCats 7-0. The first run did not come until the fourth inning, when Kaleo Johnson homered. Two innings later, Juan Kelly singled home a run and Trevin Esquerra hit a three-run home run to make it 5-0. Audy Ciriaco connected on a two-run home run in the seventh to bring the game to the final score of 7-0. Starter Tyler Luneke tossed the complete seven innings, allowing just four hits and striking out two in the win.
After clinching the Northeast Division with a loss by Sussex County, the Washington Wild Things scored three unanswered runs to come back and defeat the New Jersey Jackals 6-4. The Wild Things’ Bralin Jackson hit an RBI double to make it 1-0 early, but New Jersey’s Josh Rehwaldt singled home two in the bottom half to give the Jackals the 2-1 lead. In the fourth, Grant Heyman hit a sacrifice fly and Hector Roa singled home a run to help Washington regain the lead at 3-2. The Jackals would answer once again with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning coming on an RBI single by Alex Kachler that gave them a one-run lead. Washington was not done, however, as a Roa sacrifice fly tied the game at 4-4 in the sixth. Cody Young followed with a home run that put them up by a run, and in the eighth, Heyman homered to make it 6-4.
The Schaumburg Boomers never trailed as they earned a 5-1 victory over the Lake Erie Crushers. Braxton Davidson doubled home the first run in the first inning. In the fourth, Matt Bottcher singled home two and Matt McGarry was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home the fourth run. The Crushers’ lone run came in the bottom of the fourth when a run scored on a fielder’s choice that allowed Steve Passatempo to reach first. Davidson tacked on one more for Schaumburg with a solo home run in the seventh to make it 5-1. Andrew Dean struck out five and allowed the one run on five hits and three walks over his six innings of work in the win.
After a six-run first inning, the Joliet Slammers held on late to capture an 8-7 victory over the Evansville Otters. Brylie Ware doubled home the first run for Joliet in the first. Luke Mangieri would later hit a grand slam in the inning, and Dylan Hardy doubled home one more run to cap the inning. Evansville got on the board in the third after a run scored on an error that allowed Jeffrey Baez to reach base. Evansville continued to inch their way back in the fifth, when J.R. Davis plated two with a single and Dakota Phillips plated a run on a double. The next inning, Joliet’s Scott Holzwasser homered, and in the seventh, Carson Maxwell also homered to make it 8-4. In the bottom half, the Otters got a run on a wild pitch before a sacrifice fly by Davis. The following inning, Riley Krane doubled home one more to make it 8-7.
The Florence Y’alls dominated the Southern Illinois Miners 9-0 to pass Evansville and take sole possession of first place in the West Division. The scoring started in the third, when Luis Pintor and Harrison DiNicola singled home runs to make it 3-0. Pintor doubled home a run in the fourth, and Chad Sedio followed by singling him home to make it 5-0. In the sixth, Sedio singled home a run, Trevor Craport drew a bases-loaded walk, and Jordan Brower drove in a pair of runs after reaching on a fielder’s choice. Frank Valentino surrendered just two hits and three walks in his five innings of work, and the Florence bullpen combined to give up just a hit and three walks over the final four frames.
The Gateway Grizzlies fought their way to a 5-3 home run derby victory to beat the Windy City ThunderBolts after being tied at 4-4 through ten innings. Gateway’s Connor Owings opened the scoring with an RBI triple in the second. Brian Parreira doubled home two more in the inning to make it 3-0. Windy City scored their first run in the fourth on an error, but the Grizzlies got one back in the sixth on a Jay Prather RBI single 4-1. The Bolts fought back again with another run scoring on an error in the eighth, and Rob Calabrese hitting a clutch game-tying home run in the ninth inning. After a scoreless tenth, the game went to a home run derby where Gateway was led by three home runs by Parreira in the 5-3 win.
The final weekend of the regular season is upon us! Catch the last few days and the battle for the final two playoff spots on FrontierLeagueTV.com!