Tonight was an interesting mix of beginnings and endings. While the Bulls, Stone Crabs and Hot Rods found themselves starting their postseason, while the Renegades played their final game of 2013. Jake Odorizzi and Dylan Floro did their part for the Bulls and Stone Crabs respectively, firing a combined fifteen shutout innings as their teams took their opening games.
Durham Bulls 2, Indianapolis Indians (Pirates) 0 – Game One, Governor’s Cup Semi-Finals
Bulls starter Jake Odorizzi and Indians starter Brandon Cumpton were engaged in a pitcher’s duel throughout the first game of this playoff series, matching scoreless frames through the first seven innings. Odorizzi was almost untouchable, allowing only a second inning single to Brett Carroll as the only hit he permitted through his seven innings, and worked out of a bases loaded jam with one out in the seventh. Cumpton was almost as good for the Indians, keeping the Bulls off the board while giving Indianapolis a chance to break through. However, the Bulls finally got to Cumpton in the eighth, as Kevin Kiermaier doubled with one out. After a walk, Tim Beckham broke the scoreless tie with a base hit. Another base hit loaded the bases, and after a force out, Vince Belnome singled to drive in the second run of the game. Kirby Yates made it interesting, loading the bases with two outs, but was able to get Lucas May to fly out to end the game. Odorizzi got a tough no decision, allowing the single base hit and three walks over seven innings, striking out nine. Jeff Beliveau earned the win, striking out two in his scoreless inning of relief. Beckham was 3-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored.
Charlotte Stone Crabs 2, Fort Myers Miracle (Twins) 1 (Ten Innings) – Game Two, South Division Championship Series
Much like the Bulls and Indians above, the Stone Crabs and the Miracle found themselves engaged in a pitcher’s duel in their opening matchup in their playoff series. Charlotte starter Dylan Floro and Fort Myers starter Taylor Rogers each shut down the opposition, with Floro only giving up five hits and a walk over his eight innings. Neither team put together much of a scoring threat during the first nine innings, and the game headed to extras. In the top of the tenth, the Stone Crabs broke through. With runners on second and third and one out, Fort Myers reliever Zach Jones uncorked a wild pitch, giving Charlotte the lead. Another wild pitch scored another run for the Stone Crabs, after they loaded the bases with two outs. Fort Myers got a run back on an RBI groundout in the bottom of the inning, but it was not enough as the Stone Crabs held on to take the second game of the three game series, and advance to the Florida State League Championship Series. Jacob Partridge walked one and struck out a batter in a scoreless inning of relief to earn the victory.
Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres) 6, Bowling Green Hot Rods 1 – Game One, First Round of the Midwest League Playoffs
Jeff Ames had put together an excellent season for the Hot Rods, going 9-4 with a 2.98 ERA during the regular season. However, the playoffs are a different entity altogether, and that regular season success did not matter. The TinCaps jumped out with a two run third, added a run in the fifth and put the game away with a three run sixth inning. The Hot Rods finally got on the board in the ninth courtesy of a two out bases loaded walk, but that was the extent of their offense. Ames took the loss, giving up five runs, four earned, on six hits in five plus innings. Marty Gantt had Bowling Green’s only hit, an infield single in the second.
Hudson Valley Renegades 4, Connecticut Tigers 1
The Renegades season may be over, but they managed to send their fans off with one last home victory. Ben Kline put the Renegades on the board with a two out, two run bases loaded single in the second. Hudson Valley threatened to add to that lead in the fourth, before plating another run on a base hit by Thomas Milone. Meanwhile, Renegades starter Chris Kirsch had cruised through the Tigers lineup, working out of a second and third, two out jam in the third to keep Connecticut off the board. The Tigers made it interesting in the top of the eighth, loading the bases with one out. Brett Harrison hit a sacrifice fly to put Connecticut on the board, but Rick Teasley escaped further damage. The Renegades put another run on the board in the bottom of the inning, and ended their season with the 4-1 victory. Kirsch picked up the win, giving up three hits and a walk while striking out three in five innings. Milone and Kline each had three hits in the win.