The 2021 Frontier League regular season is officially in the books! Read more about how the final night of action unfolded:
Équipe Québec secured the Atlantic Division title and the fourth and final playoff spot with an 11-7 win over the Sussex County Miners. The Miners went ahead early with three runs in the first inning. Kaleo Johnson hit a two-run single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Cito Culver. The next inning, Québec responded in a big way, with four runs to take the lead. Dustyn Macaluso hit a three-run home run to tie the game, and the fourth run came home on a balk by Trevin Esquerra. Jesse Hodges doubled home a run in the fourth, and three more came home in the fifth. Macaluso hit an RBI single, Jonathan Lacroix hit a sacrifice fly, and Hodges doubled home a run to make it 8-3 Québec. Later in the inning, Sussex County answered with three of their own. Nick Garland doubled home two and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Ramsey Romano brought home one more to make it 8-6. A couple more would come home for Québec in the seventh on a Lacroix RBI single. Ruben Castro also hit an RBI single in the ninth. Garland tacked on one more for Sussex County in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI double to bring the final score to 11-7.
The Evansville Otters closed out their 2021 season with a 3-1 win over the Lake Erie Crushers. The Crushers took the 1-0 lead in the top of the first, with Zach Racusin singling home the run. In the bottom of the first, Otters Bench Coach Boots Day took an at-bat against Lake Erie manager Dan Rohn, both of whom are retiring at season’s end. Day has spent 55 years in baseball. In the third inning, Evansville’s Josh Allen doubled home two runs to give the Otters the lead for good. In the sixth, Elijah MacNamee doubled home one more to make it 3-1. Tim Holdgrafer allowed just the one run over seven innings, striking out six batters in the win.
The New Jersey Jackals routed the New York Boulders 19-2 after a 23-hit effort. The first seven runs came in a big third inning for the Jackals. Dalton Combs opened the scoring with a three-run home run. Josh Rehwaldt followed with an RBI double and Alex Kachler also doubled home a run. Demetrius Moorer capped the scoring in the inning with a two-run triple to make it 7-0 Jackals. They followed their big third inning with a five-run fourth inning. Riley Mihalik singled home a run, Kachler doubled home two, and Combs singled home two more to make it 12-0. Tucker Nathans got the Boulders on the board with an RBI groundout in the sixth and Kevonte Mitchell hit an RBI single in the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, New Jersey continued their offensive domination. Stanley Espinal singled home a run, Kachler doubled home a run, and Nicco Toni sent him home with an RBI single to make it 15-2. Rehwaldt would add four more in the eighth, belting a grand slam to bring the final tally to 19-2.
The Schaumburg Boomers plated runs in all but one inning to beat the Florence Y’alls 13-7. The Boomers got things started with a homer from MVP Quincy Nieporte in the first inning. Braxton Davidson also homered in the second and a run scored on an error later in the inning. Dusty Stroup homered in the third, and Davidson added his second of the game to make it 5-0. Alberto Schmidt doubled home a run in the fourth, and Matt Bottcher belted a two-run home run in the fifth to extend the lead to 8-0. The Y’alls got their first runs of the game on a pair of RBI singles by Harrison DiNicola and Jordan Brower in the bottom half, but Schaumburg continued with three runs in the sixth. Stroup’s sacrifice fly brought a run home and Davidson singled home two more to make it 11-2. In the bottom of the sixth, Ronnie Allen, Jr. homered for the Y’alls and three more came in the seventh after a bases-loaded walk and a two-run single by Taylor Bryant to make it 11-6. The Boomers responded with a solo shot by Stroup, but a single by Andres Rios made it 11-7 in the bottom of the eighth. In the ninth, Schaumburg capped the score at 13-7 with Chase Dawson’s RBI single. The two teams will meet again in game one of the Divisional Round playoffs starting Tuesday.
The Washington Wild Things won their final meeting with the Tri-City ValleyCats by a score of 10-4. They got the scoring started in the first when Bralin Jackson singled to plate a run and later scored on a double by Grant Heyman. Tri-City responded when Zach Biermann hit a two-run home run in the second. The game stayed tied until the fifth inning, when Washington scored four more after a two-run homer by Tristan Peterson and a two-run double by Scotty Dubrule. The ValleyCats scored a run on a sacrifice fly by Biermann in the sixth to make it 6-3. A solo home run by Carson McCusker made it 6-4 in the seventh, but a fielder’s choice by Dubrule made it 7-4. The Wild Things would add three more in the eighth on a double by Peterson and singles by Andrew Czech and Nick Ward.
The Southern Illinois Miners swept the Gateway Grizzlies with a 7-3 victory. Nolan Earley opened the scoring for the Miners in the first with his two-run homer. In the third, Gateway’s Jose Rosario doubled home a run, and in the bottom of the inning, Bryant Flete homered to make it 3-1 Miners. Two innings later, Gateway got a run back with a Connor Owings home run, but Jared Mang matched the run in the bottom half with his RBI single. Flete would singled home a run in the sixth, and the Miners would add two more in the eighth with Jarrod Watkins homering and Earley hitting an RBI single that made it 7-2. Rosario’s RBI single in the ninth got one final run for the Grizzlies and brought it to 7-3.
Next up: the Divisional Round of the playoffs that begins Tuesday! The two matchups feature Équipe Québec vs the Washington Wild Things and the Florence Y’alls vs the Schaumburg Boomers.