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Link Report Fri 9/8 - Stars up 2 games, Sounds on the brink

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Friday's Daily Menu:


All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: LHP Dana Eveland at home vs. Round Rock (Astros), 6:40 PM pre-game; 7:00 PM gametime; Sounds even in the best-of-five, 1-1


Audio link:



Huntsville: RHP Yovanni Gallardo at Chattanooga (Reds), 6:00 PM pre-game, 6:15 gametime; Stars lead best-of-five, 1-0


Audio link:



Brevard County: Season completed


West Virginia: Season completed


Helena: Season completed


Arizona: Season completed

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Follow Friday's action as it happens:

Here's what you do, right click on each of the links below and choose "Open in New Window". Open the Nashville Gameday. For the others, choose "Log". While you're listening to your minor league game of choice (or watching/listening to the big league Crew when they are playing), simply refresh your game log browsers every so often.








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This link will be included in each daily report when the Nashville Sounds and/or Huntsville Stars are scheduled to play. Normally it is updated an hour or two prior to gametime:


Nashville Media Notes (Adobe .pdf format):




Following Nashville's lead, Huntsville now makes its media notes available as well, nice:




NOTE: Huntsville notes haven't been updated as of this post since 8/24...

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The Stars are up 4-1 through 7 innings after some top o' the seventh magic. Yo Gallardo with a ho-hum, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K outing. Phelps first on in relief, more to follow.


The Sounds are down 4-0 in the bottom of the 5th, Eveland already pulled. Hate to say it, but I don't think the Sounds are going to win this series.

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Final: Huntsville 12, Chattanooga 3


Stars step it into overdrive the final three innings, overcoming a 1-0 defecit in the 7th inning to go on to score the next 12 runs of the game in the 7th, 8th and 9th. Acuna and Palmisano lead the way with two hits, with Palmisano and Chavez both getting on base three times. Four Stars had two runs scored. As mentioned earlier, Gallardo (in what could potentialy be his last outing of the year) dominate through six. Series goes to Huntsville with the Stars up 2-0.


Huntsville Box Score and Game Log



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Huntsville Site Game Review:

link, then text




Gallardo Dominant In Stars' Win in Game Two


Yovani Gallardo worked six strong innings and Brad Nelson?s monstrous home run punctuated a twelve-run comeback, as Huntsville pounded out a 12-3 win to claim game two of the North Division playoffs Friday night at BellSouth Park. The Stars return home to Joe Davis Stadium for game three on Saturday night having won the first two games on the road and outscoring the Lookouts 14-3 in so doing.


Lookouts? starter Josh Hall blanked the Stars on one hit, a Ryan Braun double in the first, through six innings before running into trouble in the seventh. Nelson started the winning rally with a leadoff walk, moved to second base on a single by Ron Acuna and scored the tying run on a Brendan Katin double down the left field line. Lou Palmisano walked to load the bases and chase Hall from the game. Carlos Alvarado came on and walked Ozzie Chavez to force in Acuna with the go-ahead run and hit pinch-hitter Jeff Eure to force in Katin to make it 3-1. Alvarado was taken out and replaced by Justin Mallett, who got Steve Moss to hit a ground ball to third basman Aaron Herr, who stepped on the bag to force Chavez for the first out and threw home to try to double up Palmisano, who slid in safely with the fourth run of the inning after not being tagged by catcher Ryan Hanigan.


Palmisano doubled home Travis Ezi with two outs in the eighth inning to push the visitors lead to 5-1. The Stars then tacked on seven runs in the ninth, highlighted by Nelson?s three-run clout off the display board that shows the radar gun readings above the two levels of signage in left-center field. Herr dropped a pop up with two outs that allowed the final two runs to score, as the Stars collected eight hits, drew nine walks and had two batters hit in their most lopsided playoff win since a 13-2 victory over the Barons in Birmingham on September 7, 2001.


Gallardo gave up back-to-back two-out doubles to Herr and Dickerson that pushed across the game?s first run in the home fourth. The right-hander then retired the last seven batters he faced to close out his performance, which resulted in a fifth straight winning decision. Gallardo struck out 10, including two in four innings and one in the other two frames, and did not walk a batter. Travis Phelps worked two scoreless innings and Gerrit Simpson allowed a two-out, two-run double to Dickerson before retiring Noochie Varner to end the game.


The series continues Saturday with Stars southpaw Manny Parra making the start against Lookouts? left-hander Tyler Pelland. Coverage begins at 6:50 pm central time and can be heard locally on ESPN Radio 1450 AM and via the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com.

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Disappointing finish in Round Rock. Beattie unable to put the ball in play with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs in the 10th. Then another Allan Simpson implosion puts the Sounds down 2-1.


I'd say things look rather bleak now. Two games that the Sounds should have won go to Round Rock.

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Final: Round Rock (Astros) 6, Nashville 5, ten innings


Nashville Site Game Summary:

Link for Chris Barnwell photo, text follows --




Express Sting Sounds In Last At-Bat Again


ROUND ROCK, Texas ? The Nashville Sounds dropped their second straight game to the Round Rock Express on Friday evening at The Dell Diamond, falling 6-5 in 10 innings in game three of the American Conference Finals.


The victory was the second last at-bat win in a row for the Express, which previously scored two late runs to even the series with a victory on Thursday night in game two at Greer Stadium.


With the loss, Nashville trails the best-of-five series by a 2-1 margin, a deficit that the Sounds have recovered from only once in six previous tries over the club?s postseason history.


However, that one comeback is fresh in the club?s memory as it came last season against Oklahoma in the American Conference Finals en route to Nashville?s PCL championship. The difference this season, though, will be that the Sounds have to piece together two straight wins in elimination games on the road. Last year?s comeback occurred at Greer Stadium.


After retiring the first two batters in the bottom of the tenth, Sounds reliever Allan Simpson (0-1) hit two consecutive batters before giving up a game-ending RBI single to left to Round Rock pinch-hitter Eric Munson.


The Sounds missed a golden opportunity to take the lead in the top of the tenth, leaving the bases loaded. After Tony Gwynn singled and Travis Driskill (1-0) issued consecutive walks to Drew Anderson and Graham Koonce, the right-hander recovered to fan Andrew Beattie and Dave Krynzel in succession to escape the jam unscathed.


Five of the six Round Rock runs in the game crossed the plate with two outs in an inning.


Nashville rallied in the latter portion of the game to recover from a 5-0 deficit and held the momentum heading into extra frames after rallying to tie the contest. However, Mother Nature stepped in with an hour-long rain delay that preceded the tenth inning.


The loss was Nashville's 33rd one-run loss of the year, the most in Triple-A baseball.


Express catcher Hector Gimenez carried the big stick for the home team, finishing 3-for-5 with a home run, a pair of doubles, and four RBIs on the evening.


Round Rock took a 2-0 lead against Dana Eveland in the bottom of the first inning when Gwynn, the Sounds? center fielder, lost Gimenez?s two-out fly ball in the lights combined with the twilight sky and the ball fell safely in front of him, resulting in a two-run double for the Express catcher. Mike Rodriguez (single) and J.R. House (walk) scored on the two-bagger.


The Sounds were aggressive on the basepaths, stealing three bases on the evening. However, Round Rock starter Matt Albers caught Gwynn being too aggressive in the top of the third, pitching out to catch the speedy outfielder attempting to steal home.


The Express tacked on another two-out run against Eveland in the bottom of the third in another instance where no runs should have scored. After Brooks Conrad reached on a one-out single, he broke for second during the next at-bat but Eveland threw behind him in what appeared to be a routine caught stealing. However, Nashville first baseman Graham Koonce was unable to get a solid grip on the slick baseball and his throw to second was well off the mark and sailed into the outfield.


After Eveland struck out House for the second out of the frame, Gimenez delivered his second run-scoring two-bagger of the evening, a shot off the wall in left-center.


Round Rock upped its lead to 4-0 in the fourth when Rodriguez?s sacrifice fly plated Cody Ransom.


Gimenez continued his solid night at the dish in the fifth when he slugged a two-out homer to right off knuckleballer Jared Fernandez, who had relieved Eveland to open the inning.


Following that blast, the Nashville bullpen held Round Rock off the board for the next 4 1/3 innings as the Sounds mounted their comeback.


Drew Anderson put the Sounds on the board in the top of the sixth when he belted an 0-2 Albers offering down the line in right for a solo homer, his first of the postseason and second of his Triple-A career.


Chad Moeller reduced the deficit to 5-2 in the seventh with a two-out RBI double to left-center off Express reliever Jailen Peguero that plated Beattie.


Koonce evened things in the eighth with one swing of the bat as Koonce belted an opposite-field three-run homer to left-center off Peguero that scored Chris Barnwell and Anderson. The one-out blast was Koonce?s first of the postseason.


AUDIO: Koonce's Game-Tying Homer --




After both teams went scoreless in the ninth and the rains continued to increase, the umpiring crew called for the tarp and the game was delayed by rain for approximately an hour.


The Sounds look to stave off elimination on Saturday afternoon when the teams hook up for game four of the best-of-five series in a 1:05 p.m. CT matinee at The Dell Diamond. Right-hander Justin Lehr (4-7, 3.94 in regular season) will man the bump for Nashville. Round Rock will counter with right-hander Ezequiel Astacio (8-4, 4.86 in regular season).


Nashville Box Score and Game Log Link:

Reading that game summary was painful -- the Sounds didn't get a break all night, nor did they "make" their own breaks; Allan Simpson has been shaky, really since his acquisition, with some exceptions, of course, but overall -- ugh...



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Additional quotes in this article from the Tennessean:


Sounds tumble in 10th

Round Rock can take series today


ROUND ROCK, Texas ? It stormed in Round Rock late Friday night and the Nashville Sounds' postseason hopes may very well have washed away in the process.


An hour-long rain delay held up the game between the ninth and 10th innings, then Nashville lost it 6-5 in 10 in Game 3 of the best-of-five PCL American Conference finals at The Dell Diamond.


Round Rock pinch-hitter Eric Munson's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 10th off Sounds reliever Allan Simpson (0-1) was the decisive blow, giving the Express a 2-1 series lead.


Now on the brink of elimination, the Sounds must win Game 4 today to force a deciding fifth game Sunday.


Game 4 today is at 1:05 p.m. Right-hander Justin Lehr (4-7, 3.94 ERA) is on the mound for the Sounds against left-hander Philip Barzilla (8-5, 3.85).


The Sounds have recovered only once in six previous tries when trailing a series 2-1 in its postseason history.


However, that one comeback occurred last season against Oklahoma in the conference finals en route to Nashville's PCL title.


The difference, though, is that the Sounds must win two straight elimination games on the road. Last year's comeback was at Greer Stadium.


"It's a different team this year, you can't really relate the two. For me, it's just another game (today) and we'll see what we're made of," Sounds Manager Frank Kremblas said.


Round Rock led 5-0 after five innings, but the Sounds never gave up hope.


"We've played them down to the final out all year," said Graham Koonce, whose three-run homer in the eighth helped Nashville storm back to a 5-5 tie.


"At that point in the game I was just looking for a good pitch to hit," Koonce said. "I liked the first pitch I saw and got a good part of the bat on it, but I knew we still had a long way to go in the game, especially with a team like Round Rock."


Then a thunderstorm hit after nine innings and the game was delayed for an hour.


When the game restarted, the Sounds loaded the bases with one out in the top of the 10th, but they could not push the go-ahead run across.


After Tony Gwynn singled and Round Rock's Travis Driskill (1-0) issued consecutive walks to Drew Anderson and Graham Koonce, the right-hander recovered to fan Andrew Beattie and Dave Krynzel in succession to escape the jam unscathed.


Then it was Round Rock's chance and the Express did what the Sounds could not, even though there was a bit of controversy.


"In the top of the 10th, we had a chance to score but didn't get it done. But at the same time, we had a situation that didn't go in out favor when it should have," Kremblas said.


Sounds reliever Simpson hit back-to-back Express batters and Kremblas felt the wrong call was made on Cody Ransom, who scored the eventual winning run. Ransom was hit on hand while swinging and was sent to first base on a judgment call from the umpire.

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Huntsville one win from taking series

Stars beat Lookouts with 12 runs in final three innings


Huntsville Times Sports Staff, markcolumn@aol.com


CHATTANOOGA - Above the right field fence at BellSouth Park, there is a small train that choo-choo's along, smoke belching as music blares, to celebrate Chattanooga home run.


For two nights, it's like an Amtrak strike. The train hasn't left the station.


The Huntsville Stars have all but derailed the Lookouts in the Southern League North playoffs, winning 12-3 Friday night to put the Stars within one game of their third division title in six years.


Yovani Gallardo struck out 10 to pick up the win for Huntsville, one half of a marvelous six-inning pitching duel that suddenly turned ugly for the hosts in the seventh. The Stars scored all their runs in the final three innings - highlighted by a three-run Brad Nelson homer - to earn their 14th win in 15 games.


The best-of-five series heads to Huntsville tonight, with Manny Parra (3-0, 2.87) pitching for the Stars against Tyler Pelland (9-5, 3.99). The ticket office opens at 10 a.m.


Chattanooga, which has won only one championship since 1961, must sweep three games in Huntsville to remain alive, but it's beginning to look more and more like an I-65 Series for the league title. Montgomery returns home tonight with a 2-0 edge over Jacksonville, having stopped the Suns 4-2 Friday.


"We have to come out and play (tonight) like it's the first game," manager Don Money said. "We can't sit around and say, 'All we have to do is win one of the three.' "


Though slugger Brendan Katin fairly noted, "We're in the driver's seat," the Stars are approaching things as if a caution light is blinking.


"We've just got to do the same things we've been doing," Callix Crabbe said.


"We've been getting good pitching, good hitting, good bullpen, but they could easily come back," Ryan Braun said. "They're a good team."


The Lookouts snatched a 1-0 lead against Gallardo when Aaron Herr and Chris Dickerson laced consecutive doubles in the fourth after Gallardo had just struck out league MVP Joey Votto, who is 1-for-7 in the series with five strikeouts.


On the other hand, Chattanooga starter Josh Hall was equally effective until the seventh. "He pitched an awesome game," Crabbe said. But he walked Nelson to begin the inning, then Ron Acuna drilled a single to right-center.


Katin smoked a double to score Nelson, then Hall walked Lou Palmisano to load the bases. That brought in reliever Carlos Alvarado, who walked Ozzie Chavez and hit Jeff Eure, giving Huntsville a 3-1 lead.


The next batter, Steve Moss, bounced sharply to third. Herr stepped on the base for a force, then threw home. But with the force play no longer in effect, catcher Ryan Hanigan neglected to tag a sliding Palmisano, making it 4-1. "They get that out, it stays 3-1 and it's a different game," Money said.


Palmisano had an RBI double in the eighth, scoring the blindingly fast pinch runner Travis Ezi all the way from first. Then it got really sick, with the Stars sending 11 to the plate in the ninth, where Nelson's homer was joined by two wild pitches, four Huntsville hits and a dropped pop-up for a run.


"It started snowballing," Money said. "That's what happens sometimes."


Snowballing badly. Sometimes the snowball rolls the other way - as in 14 wins out of 15, or 34 out of 42, the improbable story that has Huntsville on track toward the Southern League championship series.

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Weeds, wonderful memories sprout in an old ballpark

Contact Mark McCarter at markcolumn@aol.com

Huntsville Times


CHATTANOOGA - I am now visiting my beloved hometown, where the big story in local news is that goats are being imported to munch kudzu that explodes along the interstate.


It brings to mind the days of the old Kudzu Ball here, a popular parody of a stuffy, pretentious debutante ball. The height of my celebrity as a Chattanooga writer was the year I embarrassed my family as a member of the Kudzu Court.


Preparing for the festivities, I peeled a garland of greenery off a convenient power pole and wrapped it on my head in a laurel.


"Hey, that's cool," said one of the first people I saw at the Ball. "You're not allergic to poison oak, huh?"


But I digress ...


Which is much of what Friday afternoon was about, in the hours before the Stars met the Chattanooga Lookouts in the second game of the Southern League playoffs.


I made a pilgrimage to Historic Engel Stadium, a marvelous, quirky ballpark that was 450 feet or more to dead center, 350 or more to left, depending on the tape measure or somebody's wild guess.


It was built in 1910. Some of the original dust was there Friday on the back row of the bleachers. It was left behind when the Lookouts moved to BellSouth Park, on a bluff above the Tennessee River, in 2000.


It was 30 years ago when I first covered a Southern League playoff game there. Standing near the first base dugout Friday, I called Bruce Robinson, the catcher on that team.


"Detroit beat us. They had Dave Rozema. They had Steve Kemp and all those guys," Robinson said, referring to the Tigers' Montgomery farm club.


"Geez, that was 30 years ago," it hit him.


One thing hasn't changed.


I'm still not covering playoff games here that Chattanooga wins.


It was a bit heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once to see the stadium. To me, it's a treasure chest of cherished memories from childhood and the childhood of my writing days. But the hinges on the treasure chest are rusty, the metal tarnished, the case worn and ragged.


Its signature, a massive, fan-shaped scoreboard in left that towered over the field, has been torn down. As a kid, the scoreboard took me to Shreveport and Little Rock and Mobile and New Orleans, with inning-by-inning updates of the Pelicans and Travelers and others.


Used to, there were giant Coke bottles on each corner. They've long gone to the Great Recycler in the Sky, I guess.


Now, the outfield wall is painted institution-green all the way around. Scrape the paint away, layer by layer by layer, you could uncover the hieroglyphics of the city's history, from the ad for Uncle Herman's Shoes to TVA to the fast food joints.


When I got to Engel, Tennessee Temple, a local college, was holding an informal practice.


So informal that several of the players were being dispatched into the stands to pull the weeds that sprouted through cracks in the concrete. Where are the kudzu goats when you need them?


Temple's second baseman John Johnson is from Huntsville. Nice kid. We met by chance and gave each other a tour of the park. He tolerated the nostalgic meanderings of this old goat for a while.


Somewhere along the way, I had the sad thought.


I figure this will be Huntsville's strategy. Let it sit around long enough and wait until our park becomes Historic Joe Davis Stadium. Then we can simply be nostalgic, and not complain about how creaky it is.

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