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Link Report for Sun. 9/2 -- Manatees Wrap Up Frustrating Season


Mass Haas

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Sunday's Daily Menu:

 

All times are Central

 

Nashville: RHP Tyler Thornburg at home vs. Memphis (Cardinals), 6:20 PM pre-game, 6:35 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link

 

Jeff Hem is the new play-by-play voice of the Sounds; follow him on Twitter @jeffhempbp; we'll link to his blog updates at On the Air…and Off

 

MiLB.TV -- for subscribers; all Nashville games, home and away, will be available to watch via MiLB.TV's $39.99 season-long package ($9.99 to pay for a single month). The audio feed is from the home team. All MiLB.TV details available at the link.

 

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Huntsville: RHP Evan Anundsen at Montgomery (Rays), 6:50 PM pre-game, 7:05 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link -- Select the Huntsville feed from the MiLB main audio page

 

Alex Cohen is the new play-by-play voice of the Stars; follow him on Twitter @alexmcohen. It's fantastic that Huntsville is returning to what will be a traditional broadcast format this year. All games, home and away, are scheduled to be broadcast

 

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Brevard County: RHP Nick Bucci at Daytona (Cubs), 4:35 PM gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link -- Select the Daytona feed from the MiLB main audio page

 

Once again this season, Brevard does not have its own audio coverage. It appears two teams in the Manatees North Division (within which the majority of games are played) have audio, and all six teams in the South Division have audio (at least for their home games), so there will be opportunities to listen to approx. 70% or Brevard's games this season, just all from the opponent's perspective

 

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Wisconsin: TBD at Burlington (Athletics), 1:40 PM pre-game, 2:00 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link - 1280 AM WNAM

 

Chris Mehring is back to do his customary fantastic work as the Voice of the Rattlers. Follow him on Twitter @CMehring; we'll link to Chris' infamous blog often -- Rattler Radio.

 

MiLB.TV -- for subscribers; Wisconsin is one of only two (Great Lakes) Midwest League clubs that have all their home games available via MiLB.TV; Chris' call provides the audio. So for the $39.95 season-long package, fans in Brewer Nation can watch all Sounds games, all Timber Rattlers home games, and Stars' road games from four Southern League locales.

 

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Helena: RHP Preston Gainey at Great Falls (White Sox), 1:45 PM pre-game, 2:00 gametime

 

Free Live Audio Link -- Select the Helena feed from the MiLB main audio page

 

We're lucky to have Steve Wendt back on board for another H-Crew season.

 

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Arizona Rookie (Maryvale): Season complete; final stats here

 

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DSL Brewers: Season complete; final stats and analysis here

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RHP Chad Pierce was set to start for the Rattlers Saturday before the rainout. RHP David Goforth would follow Pierce in the rotation normally.

 

Placed TBD on Sunday AM's menu as we'll have to see if the Rattlers are juggling to set up their playoff rotation.

 

Surely Wisconsin would like to avoid playing two Labor Day games instead of one (due to Burlington's playoff quest status). Ironically, the best way to assure that would be to lose today's game, which isn't ideal, is it?

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STANDINGS:

 

AAA - Pacific Coast League American Northern Division

 

AA - Southern League North Division

 

High-A - Florida State League North Division

 

A - Midwest League Western Division

 

Rookie Advanced - Pioneer League North Division

 

Rookie - Arizona Summer League (FINAL)

 

DSL - Dominican Summer League San Pedro de Macoris Division (FINAL)

 

***

 

NOTE: AAA Nashville, Rookie Maryvale and the DSL do not play a split schedule. When you click on a standings link for Huntsville, Brevard County, Wisconsin, and/or Helena, you'll then be able to choose 1st half and/or overall standings in addition to the current 2nd half standings.

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Look for Nashville and Wisconsin media notes at the links just prior to their game times.

 

Huntsville is posting theirs more consistently (and did so for their most recent game). Rest your pointer under the "Roster" banner on the Stars' home page shortly before game time to see the link.

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Thornburg with 7K's through 3 innings. And it looks like Bucci is back on track after the injury. Nice to see.
"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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Daytona (Cubs) 3, Brevard County 2

 

Box Score

 

A walk-off win for the last place club in the last game of the season. And so was the 2012 Brevard County season. On a positive note, Nick Bucci has finished full season ball very strong. In 42.2 IP over two levels, Bucci struck out 44, walked 15 and posted a 1.90 ERA.

 

Jason Rogers left the game for a pinch hitter mid game. Kind of odd, but we may never know. I'd rather see him in the AFL than Kjeldgaard. Mike Walker had the best game at the plate with a H and a BB. Walker also nabbed his 9th and 10th bags of the year.

 

I will do a comprehensive recap for BC within the next few days. Still no internet at home, so time is somewhat limited right now.

 

Game Log

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Great Falls (White Sox) 7 Helena 4

 

Box Score

 

A 3-run 9th was not nearly enough for Helena to come back as the they took a bad loss to Great Falls 7-4. Preston Gainey and Michael Schaub spilt up the innings and each were not all that fantastic. Neither guy has really earned a promotion to full season but I have to imagine Gainey will have a shot.

 

Adam Giacalone had a nice night with two hits. No walks, again, for the Helena Brewers. This is a problem system wide, but trust me, the Brewers are not the only system struggling.

 

Game Log

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Unfortunately yes he's a high pitch count guy, even though he's on that 85 pitch limit.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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I started my post as soon as the game was over, dropping the game story in but not going back to edit.

Final: Memphis 10, Nashville 1

 

Sounds Lose Third Straight To Memphis, 10-1

Nashville Pitching Combines To Strike Out Season-High Fifteen

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Brock Peterson hit a pair of two-run homers to power the cross-state rival Memphis Redbirds to a 10-1 rout of the Nashville Sounds in the penultimate game of the season on Sunday evening at Greer Stadium.

 

After sweeping the Iowa Cubs to begin the eight-game homestand, Nashville (67-76) has dropped the first three contests of the four-game series to Memphis.

 

Outfielder Logan Schafer went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. Jordan Brown added two hits for his team-leading 34th multi-hit game of the season.

 

Nick Greenwood (4-3) gave up one run on three hits and two walks in five innings for the win. Jess Todd pick up a three-inning save, his second of the season.

 

Nashville starter Tyler Thornburg (2-3) recorded his worst Triple-A start for the loss, allowing five runs on six hits and a pair of walks in 3 2/3 innings. The 23-year had a run of seven consecutive strikeouts, but also let seven hitters reach with two outs.

 

Both teams traded runs in the third inning, beginning with three consecutive two-out singles from the Redbirds in the top of the frame. The Sounds tied it up with their only run of the contest on a pair of doubles from catcher Humberto Quintero and Schafer.

 

The Memphis offense exploded for six runs in the visiting half of the fourth inning for a 7-1 lead. Nick Derba and Lou Montanez each drove in runs with RBI doubles to remove Thornburg from the game before Peterson hit his first two-run homer over the left field wall.

 

Nashville had a chance to do damage in the bottom of the sixth, but failed to score any runs. With the bases loaded thanks to three straight no-out singles, the Sounds stranded all three batters with two strikeouts and an infield pop out.

 

Peterson's second homer of the game in the top of the seventh extended the Redbirds lead to 9-1 with a two-run shot. Eugenio Velez later doubled and scored the final run on a Jose Garcia single.

 

Nashville pitching combined to fan a season-high 15 Memphis Redbirds. Donovan Hand gave up a season-high five runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings. Jesus Sanchez struck out a season-best six batters over three scoreless frames.

 

The Sounds look to avoid a sweep to the Redbirds as the two clubs wrap up the 2012 season with a 12:05 pm CT Labor Day finale on Monday afternoon at Greer Stadium. Right-hander Hiram Burgos (2-2, 3.35) will take the mound against Memphis southpaw John Gast (8-5, 5.36).

 

Nashville Box Score

So I'd like to post something different about Tyler Thornburg, but it's the same ole record just going round and round. I really like his athleticism, but I'd change Tyler's arm slot and finish/follow through. Tyler was going really well until the 4th, then it all fell apart.

 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

- Albert Einstein

 

Memphis Top of the 4th

  • Jose Garcia grounds out, second baseman Taylor Green to first baseman Sean Halton.
    Vance Albitz flies out to center fielder Logan Schafer.
    Nick Derba walks.
    Nick Greenwood doubles (1) on a line drive to center fielder Logan Schafer. Nick Derba scores.
    Adron Chambers walks.
    Lou Montanez doubles (9) on a fly ball to left fielder Jordan Brown. Nick Greenwood scores. Adron Chambers scores.
    Pitching Change: Donovan Hand replaces Tyler Thornburg, batting 9th.

 

Walks & XBHs... again.

 

Of course Donovan Hand promptly gave up a single and HR to allow all of Tyler's inherited runners to score but I'm not going to have much sympathy when walks come around and cross the plate.

 

Jesus Sanchez is my new favorite MiLB relief pitcher with Henderson in Milwaukee, and hopefully he follows soon. Sanchez went 3 scoreless innings with 6 strike outs, what a performance.

 

Logan Schafer (2-4,2B,BB) and Jordan Brown (2-4,2B) were most of the offense. Humberto Quintero (1-3,2B) added an XBH.

 

Hiram Burgos to close out the season tomorrow, does he get summoned to Milwaukee after the game?

 

Nashville Play By Play

 

Memphis got 6 in the 4th highlighted above and 3 more in the 7th, but Sanchez came on to swat the Redbirds back into the dugout.

 

Memphis Top of the 7th

  • Matt Young singles on a ground ball to center fielder Logan Schafer.
    Brock Peterson homers (5) on a line drive to left field. Matt Young scores.
    Eugenio Velez doubles (34) on a line drive to left fielder Jordan Brown.
    Jose Garcia singles on a line drive to center fielder Logan Schafer. Eugenio Velez scores.
    Pitching Change: Jesus Sanchez replaces Donovan Hand, batting 9th.
    Vance Albitz strikes out swinging.
    Nick Derba strikes out swinging.
    John Gaub grounds into a force out, shortstop Edwin Maysonet to second baseman Taylor Green. Jose Garcia out at 2nd.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Final Huntsville 8, Montgomery 2

 

Huntsville Box Score

Montgomery got 1 in the 1st and 1 in the 9th, but nothing in-between, as the Stars turned a relatively close 4 to 1 game into a rout with a 4 run 8th. Evan Anundsen started and had one of his better outings going 4 innings allowing 1 unearned run on 3 hits, 2 wild pitches, and 3 walks while striking out 4. R.J. Seidel and Brian Garman were sharp in relief pitching 3.2 scoreless innings between them. Darren Byrd allowed the run in the 9th.

 

5 Stars had multiple hits, this was quite the offensive showcase. Lee Haydel (2-4), Josh Prince (3-5,2B) playing 3rd base, Hunter Morris (2-4,HR,BB), Brock Kjeldgaard (2-4,HR,BB), and Kentrail Davis (2-4) did all of the damage, the other 4 hitters in the line-up went hitless though all 4 did get on base tallying a single BB each.

 

It would appear that Prince is being groomed for a utility role which is a solid plan given his skill set.

 

Not a banner day on the base paths even though Huntsville enjoyed an 8 run outburst.

BASERUNNING

CS: Haydel (6, 2nd base by Thompson/Albernaz), Davis, Ke (11, 2nd base by Thompson/Albernaz), Gennett (5, 2nd base by Shuman/Albernaz).

 

Huntsville Play By Play

 

The Stars took the lead with 4 in the 5th and as I mentioned above put the game away with 4 in the 8th.

 

Huntsville Top of the 5th

  • Adam Weisenburger walks.
    Lee Haydel grounds out to first baseman Michael Sheridan. Adam Weisenburger to 2nd.
    Josh Prince singles on a bunt ground ball to pitcher Jacob Thompson. Adam Weisenburger to 3rd.
    Scooter Gennett reaches on a fielder's choice out, third baseman Greg Sexton to catcher Craig Albernaz. Adam Weisenburger out at home. Josh Prince to 2nd.
    Hunter Morris homers (28) on a fly ball to center field. Josh Prince scores. Scooter Gennett scores.
    Brock Kjeldgaard homers (8) on a fly ball to center field.
    Kentrail Davis singles on a ground ball to left fielder Omar Luna.
    Pitching Change: C. J. Riefenhauser replaces Jacob Thompson.
    T. J. Mittelstaedt pops out to second baseman Derek Dietrich in foul territory.

 

Huntsville Top of the 8th

  • Pitching Change: Shane Dyer replaces Scott Shuman.
    T. J. Mittelstaedt strikes out swinging.
    Domnit Bolivar walks.
    Adam Weisenburger reaches on a fielder's choice, fielded by shortstop Shawn O'Malley. Domnit Bolivar to 2nd.
    Lee Haydel grounds into a force out, second baseman Derek Dietrich to shortstop Shawn O'Malley. Domnit Bolivar to 3rd. Adam Weisenburger out at 2nd. Lee Haydel to 1st.
    With Josh Prince batting, wild pitch by Shane Dyer, Domnit Bolivar scores. Lee Haydel to 2nd.
    Josh Prince doubles (28) on a line drive to right fielder Mikie Mahtook. Lee Haydel scores.
    Scooter Gennett strikes out swinging. Wild pitch by pitcher Shane Dyer. Josh Prince to 3rd. Scooter Gennett to 1st.
    Hunter Morris singles on a line drive to left fielder Omar Luna. Josh Prince scores. Scooter Gennett to 2nd.
    Brock Kjeldgaard singles on a line drive to center fielder Ty Morrison. Scooter Gennett scores. Hunter Morris to 2nd.
    Kentrail Davis grounds out, second baseman Derek Dietrich to first baseman Michael Sheridan.

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

- Plato

"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something."

- Plato

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Final: Wisconsin 4, Burlington 2

 

Fast start helps Rattlers beat Bees

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

 

BURLINGTON, IA - The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers scored three runs in the top of the first inning at Community Field on Sunday afternoon. The Rattlers held on for a 4-2 win over the Burlington Bees. Wisconsin's victory prevented Burlington from clinching a playoff spot on their home field.

 

Wisconsin (76-61 overall, 32-36 second half) grabbed a 3-0 lead with three runs in the top of the first inning. Brandon Macias started the game with his 35th double of the season. Ben McMahan followed with a single to put runners on the corners. A one-out single by Cameron Garfield drove in Macias for a 1-0 lead. Yadiel Rivera followed with a single that scored McMahan from second and sent Garfield to third base. Mike Garza capped the scoring in the inning with a sacrifice fly.

 

Burlington (67-70, 35-33) got two runs on a two-out single by Addison Russell in the bottom of the third to cut the Rattlers lead to a single run.

 

Nick Ramirez doubled with two outs in the top of the fifth inning and Garfield drove him home with a single and the Rattlers were up 4-2.

 

Rattlers starting pitcher David Goforth worked a 1-2-3 fifth inning and put himself in line for his tenth win of the season.

 

Bees starter Drew Granier struck out twelve Rattlers in six innings to set a professional career high for strikeouts in a single game, but he left with his team down 4-2. Granier leads the Midwest League in strikeouts with 167 this season.

 

Rattlers reliever Kevin Shackelford allowed the leadoff batter to reach in the sixth and seventh innings, but stranded that runner each time. In the eighth, Burlington's first two batters reached on singles and were sacrificed to second and third. Shackelford struck out the final two batters of the inning to leave the tying runs in scoring position.

 

Michael Strong entered the game in the bottom of the ninth and retired the Bees in order for his third save of the season.

 

The Timber Rattlers and Bees will play a doubleheader against the Bees on Monday to make up for the game that was rained out on Saturday night. The first seven inning game will start at 2:00pm. Wisconsin will send Chad Thompson (4-2, 4.48) to hill as their starting pitcher. Burlington has Blake Hassebrock (2-1, 3.27) as their scheduled starter. Neither team has announced a game two starter.

 

Burlington could clinch a playoff spot on Sunday if Kane County loses to Peoria on Sunday night. But, the doubleheader will still be needed to decide if the Rattlers or the Beloit Snappers would have home field advantage in a potential second round playoff matchup between the two Wisconsin-based Midwest League teams.

 

Wisconsin currently has a one game lead on the Snappers (76-63) for the best overall record in the Western Division. If Wisconsin wins one of the two games in the doubleheader, they will finish with a better overall record than Beloit. The Rattlers would host games two and three in the Western Division Finals against Beloit, if both teams make it through the first round of the playoffs.

 

Tune in for Monday's doubleheader on AM1280, WNAM or timberrattlers.com starting with the Miller Lite Pregame Show at 1:40pm.

 

WP: David Goforth (10-8)

LP: Drew Granier (11-10)

SAVE: Michael Strong (3)

 

TIME: 2:36

ATTN: 677

 

Wisconsin Box Score

 

Wisconsin shook up their lineup a little bit on the second to last day of the season. Yadiel Rivera led the Rattlers offensively with a big day out of the fifth spot. He went 3-4 with a double and an RBI. Cameron Garfield contributed two hits and two RBI. Leadoff hitter Brandon Macias went 2-5 with a double. Nick Ramirez doubled for the T-Rats and Max Walla and Ben McMahan each singled. David Goforth picked up his 10th win, giving up just two runs over five innings. Kevin Shackelford relieved Goforth and pitched three scoreless innings and Mike Strong worked a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.

 

Wisconsin Play By Play

 

Wisconsin Top of the 1st

Brandon Macias doubles (35) on a line drive to left fielder Bobby Crocker.

Ben McMahan singles on a line drive to left fielder Bobby Crocker. Brandon Macias to 3rd.

Nick Ramirez strikes out swinging.

Cameron Garfield singles on a line drive to center fielder Aaron Shipman. Brandon Macias scores. Ben McMahan to 2nd.

Yadiel Rivera singles on a ground ball to right fielder John Wooten. Ben McMahan scores. Cameron Garfield to 3rd.

Mike Garza out on a sacrifice fly to right fielder John Wooten. Cameron Garfield scores.

Carlos George strikes out swinging.

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'Tees lose 2012 finale on walk-off

Brevard falls 3-2 to Cubs, finishes season 63-72

By Frank Longobardo / Brevard County Manatees

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Brevard County Manatees' 2012 season came to a close in dramatic fashion but on the losing end as they fell 3-2 to the Daytona Cubs on Sunday evening at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach.

 

The Manatees were the first to get on the scoreboard and took a 2-0 lead after the fourth inning thanks to RBI singles from Franklin Romero Jr. and Cody Hawn in the third and fourth innings respectfully. Brevard mustered just four hits and struck out eight times on the evening.

 

Brevard starting pitcher Nick Bucci was cruising until Javier Baez hit a solo homer to lead off the fifth and cut the 'Tees lead to 2-1. Baez would get to Bucci again in the seventh with another solo homer to tie the game.

 

Bucci would go eight innings and scattered six hits, fanned six and walked just one.

 

Alan Williams relieved Bucci in the ninth and allowed the winning run to reach base as Nelson Perez hit a one-out triple to center. Williams then intentionally walked Baez to get to Taylor Davis.

 

While Brevard wouldn't let Baez beat them; it was Davis that would end the game on a single to the left field wall to plate the winning run.

 

With the loss, the Manatees end the season with a three-game losing streak and finish 9-11 against the rival Cubs. However, Brevard County's .467 overall winning percentage was the team's best mark since the 2009 season when the 'Tees finished with a .622 winning percentage.

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Baez's 2 bombs let Cubs end with bang

By Sean Kernan, Daytona News-Journal Staff Writer

 

DAYTONA BEACH -- Taylor Davis and the Daytona Cubs walked off Jackie Robinson Ballpark's field a winner in the final game of the 2012 Florida State League season.

 

Davis drove a walk-off single off the left-field fence to plate pinch runner Anthony Giansanti from third base with the winning run Sunday in a 3-2 triumph over the Brevard County Manatees.

 

"That was pretty cool," Davis, a 49th-round draft pick three years ago, said after he was congratulated by teammates. "It's a great way to end the season."

 

With the win, the Cubs get to keep the I-95 Trophy that goes to the season-series winner between Daytona and Brevard County. The Cubs won the series 11-9.

 

Neither the Manatees (34-33 second half, 63-72 overall) nor the Cubs (29-36, 59-74) qualified for the FSL playoffs.

 

Cubs manager Brian Harper spoke to the team briefly after the game.

 

"As a manager, you ask them to play hard, and they played hard all year," said Harper, who will next serve as hitting coach for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League. "These are good kids, good young men."

 

Javier Baez, the youngest of those men, showed why the Chicago Cubs drafted him with their first-round pick last year. The 19-year-old shortstop belted two long home runs to supply the first two runs for Daytona.

 

Though he entered the game with a .169 batting average in his 23-game Daytona stint, Baez practically golfed the first homer out of the park. He crushed a down-and-away curveball over the batting cage beyond left field in the fifth inning.

 

Two innings later, Baez redirected a fastball over the center-field fence -- an estimated 420 feet.

 

"That was the farthest one I hit this year," said a smiling Baez, who hit 15 home runs in 290 at-bats between low Class-A Peoria and Daytona.

 

The Cubs' winning run was set up by Nelson Perez's one-out triple to left-center field. Harper called for Giansanti to run for Perez, and the Manatees intentionally walked Baez before Davis became a season-ending hero.

 

Eduardo Figueroa (4-5), the last of three Cubs relievers who combined for three no-hit innings, got the win.

 

OF NOTE: Baez will be the Cubs' lone Class A player assigned to the Arizona Fall League. He will be joined by three others who played for Daytona this year but finished the season with Double-A Tennessee: outfielders Rubi Silva and Matt Szczur and relief pitcher Tony Zych. The AFL is an offseason league owned by Major League Baseball. Many teams send their top prospects to this developmental league.

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Voyagers Drain Brewers

Great Falls Voyagers

 

GREAT FALLS - The Great Falls Voyagers (37-33, 14-20) used the similar formula of pitching and defense to take down the Helena Brewers (23-49, 10-24) Sunday afternoon at Centene Stadium. The win finished the series to the Voyagers 3 games of 4 and gives the Voyagers a dozen wins in fourteen games against Helena this season.

 

Chris Beck (4-3) started for the Voyagers and was almost totally untouchable. Allowing only a wind-pushed triple and sacrifice fly in the fourth, Beck finished five innings on only 58 pitches while striking out four. Beck also had perfect 1-2-3 innings in four of his five innings. Beck received good support from the Voyagers' offense as they scored first for the first time in the series with a trio of third inning runs helped by triples by Michael Johnson and Brent Tanner.

 

Ryan Bollinger relieved Beck in the sixth and allowed four hits in two innings but also racked up six strikeouts to keep Helena off the board. After a scoreless eighth for Brandon Hardin, the Voyagers grabbed three more runs for a 7-1 lead to the ninth. The Brewers got three in the ninth after Hardin left the game after being struck by a comebacker, but the Voyagers still held on for a 7-4 win.

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Montgomery Advertiser:

 

Biscuits reliever Scott Shuman, after taking the field Sunday to the Auburn fight song, took down a college teammate.

 

Huntsville Stars slugger Hunter Morris, who tied a season high with four RBIs and hit his 28th home run in an 8-2 win over Montgomery, struck out vs. Shuman in the seventh inning.

 

“He made some great pitches,” Morris said. “It was a well executed by him.”

 

Morris and Shuman played together for two seasons at Auburn and now have faced each other twice this year. Morris has struck out both times.

 

On Sunday, Shuman fell behind in the count and recognizing Morris’ league MVP-worthy numbers, made a strategic decision.

 

“I wasn’t going to throw him anything without some kind of break,” Shuman said. “It was all breaking balls. I would rather walk him than give up a bomb, especially as well as he’s hitting the ball right now.”

 

***

 

NUMBERS GAME

 

113: RBIs this season for Morris after he tied a season high with four in Sunday’s 8-2 win over the Biscuits.

 

1999: The last year the Southern League featured a 100-RBI guy. This year, the league has two: Morris and Tennessee’s Justin Bour. Bour has 110.

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Chris Mehring wrote:

 

The Timber Rattlers and Bees will play a doubleheader against the Bees on Monday to make up for the game that was rained out on Saturday night. The first seven inning game will start at 2:00pm. Wisconsin will send Chad Thompson (4-2, 4.48) to hill as their starting pitcher. Burlington has Blake Hassebrock (2-1, 3.27) as their scheduled starter. Neither team has announced a game two starter.

 

Burlington could clinch a playoff spot on Sunday if Kane County loses to Peoria on Sunday night. But, the doubleheader will still be needed to decide if the Rattlers or the Beloit Snappers would have home field advantage in a potential second round playoff matchup between the two Wisconsin-based Midwest League teams.

 

Wisconsin currently has a one game lead on the Snappers (76-63) for the best overall record in the Western Division. If Wisconsin wins one of the two games in the doubleheader, they will finish with a better overall record than Beloit. The Rattlers would host games two and three in the Western Division Finals against Beloit, if both teams make it through the first round of the playoffs.

 

***

 

Kane County walked off with an extra-inning win to keep their playoff hopes alive. If Wisconsin sweeps the doubleheader Monday, and Kane County wins again, then the Rattlers' Monday opponent, Burlington, will be out of luck. So Wisconsin will have plenty to say about who their first round playoff opponent will be (Burlington or Kane County).

 

Beloit lost at home, 2-1, on Sunday, to Quad Cities. So all the Rattlers need only to take one game in the doubleheader or hope for a Beloit loss to clinch the 2nd round home field advantage discussed above.

 

All that being said, surely Matt Erickson and gang would have loved to avoid the last day twinbill with the playoffs beginning Wednesday. If either seven-inning game goes extras, that would really be a problem...

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Rattlers looking forward to playing playoff baseball

by Mike Woods, Post-Crescent staff writer

 

GRAND CHUTE — Usually guys going through a 140-game season — many for the first time — can’t wait until the end is in sight.

 

They look forward to going home, seeing family and resting.

 

Then there are the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

 

“I haven’t had this much fun in a long time, basically since high school,” said Rattlers center fielder Chadwin Stang. “The team is just incredible, how we click, how we mesh.

 

“Every guy that has ever come in here and has left, whether it’s big leaguers to guys just coming through here, they absolutely love this clubhouse and how we are together.”

 

The end of the season is inevitable, but the Rattlers have the opportunity to make the fun last a little longer when they open the Midwest League playoffs Wednesday on the road in a best-of-three series. It will be Wisconsin’s first appearance in the Midwest League playoffs since 2005.

 

The Rattlers’ opponent won’t be determined until after today’s final regular-season games.

 

Wisconsin will host a playoff game on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., and again on Friday if a third game is necessary.

 

This was a team without a lot of prospects or expectations when the season began back in April. But over the course of the season – and especially in the first half when they easily won the Western Division – the Rattlers have developed into a consistent winner, to the surprise of many.

 

“That might be the reason,” said infielder Brandon Macias of the team’s unexpected success. “People might have chalked us up as an underdog team that was going to have to scrap, and that’s exactly what we did. We played as a team, and when we play as a team we do pretty well.”

 

Playing team ball, especially in the minors where each individual is looking to stand out, can be a tricky proposition. But the Rattlers have bought into the team concept set forth by manager Matt Erickson and his coaching staff.

 

“Everyone is playing for the team and not themselves, especially at important times in the game,” said Stang. “That makes it that much more fun to play.”

 

The Rattlers have struggled some in the second half, as 10 players have been promoted due in large part to their first-half success. But that’s minor league baseball.

 

“It’s definitely a different team,” said starting pitcher Mark Williams.

 

“But I think we’re all excited because not a lot of guys get a chance to play in the playoffs. Who knows if any of us will make it to the big leagues? But this opportunity comes along once in a lifetime, so I think we’re all excited about that.”

 

Erickson said in a short series, talent can only take you so far.

 

“Basically in a three-game series it comes down to fundamentals and execution and pitch-to-pitch,” he said. “But I don’t know if this team has played their best baseball yet. We’re still looking to play our best baseball and if that can happen in the next week and we get on a little bit of a roll, we’re the kind of team that can beat anybody in this league.

 

“And we can lose to anybody in this league. So we have to do the little things right that win games. That’s what we’re stressing.”

 

Undoubtedly this will be the last hurrah for some of the Timber Rattlers, so going out on top would provide a lasting memory.

 

“This group as a whole is looking forward to the postseason,” said Erickson. “To be very honest, I played for 12 years and played in three postseasons. Some of these guys will never get another opportunity to play for a championship. Some of them will be out of the game. So that’s another obvious motivational deal you can hang your hat on.”

 

Chadwin Stang of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers belts a home run against the Cedar Rapids Kernels at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium in a game last month. / Ron Page - The Post-Crescent

 

http://cmsimg.postcrescent.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=U0&Date=20120903&Category=APC020602&ArtNo=309030142&Ref=AR&MaxW=640&Border=0&Rattlers-looking-forward-playing-playoff-baseball

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