Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 09/04/14

Juan Perez and Kender Villegas were outstanding for Johnson City, which got the only playoff win on Wednesday. Memphis and State College were shut out in their semifinal matchups.

Results from games played Wednesday, September 3rd.

Memphis 0 at Omaha 7

Memphis was blanked at Omaha 7-0 in the opener of the best-of-five Semifinals.

Six of the seven tallies yielded by Redbirds’ hurlers were the result of three home runs, the first given up by Tim Cooney. The lefty allowed four runs on six hits and two walks in 4 1/3, including a solo shot in the fourth that made the score 2-0.

Heath Wyatt permitted Cooney’s final two runners to come home as part of a three-run fifth that essentially put the game out of reach. All three crossed the plate when Wyatt served up a long ball, his only hit given up in 1 2/3. Wyatt fanned three.

David Aardsma issued a base-on-balls and home run to his first two batters faced in the seventh. Justin Wright tossed a one-two-three eighth.

Memphis’ offense was held to just five hits, with Scott Moore and Luis Mateo each garnering two. Moore, the number three batter, doubled once but the next Redbird in the order to get a hit was Mateo, the eighth place batter.

Thursday’s game: at Omaha (KC), 6:05 pm CT, Zach Petrick (7-6, 4.62)

Spotlight on – Zach Petrick. Petrick has been shaky of late, with two of his most recent three starts not reaching five innings. Sacramento torched the Illinois native for five runs without a batter being retired on August 20th, which he followed with a one-hit shutout over five versus Fresno on August 25th. Petrick went four innings at New Orleans last time out, yielding three runs, two earned. His home-road splits are nearly identical so nothing can be gleaned there.

Title hunt – Both road teams lost on Wednesday, Reno falling at Las Vegas 5-4. The Aces outhit the 51s 11 to eight and blew a 3-0 lead midway through five.

State College 0 at Hudson Valley 3

The Spikes’ offense sputtered, leading to a 3-0 loss at Hudson Valley in the first of the best-of-three Semifinals.

State College was held to six hits, no two of them in the same frame. Six Spikes had one hit, none worked a free pass and the team collectively struck out 10 times.

Daniel Poncedeleon was charged with the loss, surrendering three runs, one earned, on six hits and two bases-on-balls over five. He struck out six and threw two wild pitches, including one that allowed the first run to come home in his final inning. Brandon Lee tossed the next two, issuing two free passes. Joe Scanio gave up a hit in the eighth.

Thursday’s game: vs. Hudson Valley, 7:05 pm ET, Will Anderson (6-2, 2.43)

Spotlight on - Will Anderson. Heading home and needing to win both games, State College goes with their All-Star ace, Anderson. He has been a tad better on the road than at home, holding the opposition to a .243 average elsewhere and .267 at home but his WHIP is nearly identical – 1.16 versus 1.19. Anderson did not face Hudson Valley this season.

Title hunt – Number one seed Tri-City grabbed a road win, downing Connecticut 3-2 in 11. The home team outhit their guests 10 to six but a whopping five errors led to an unearned tally which prevented the Tigers from winning in regulation.

Johnson City 2 at Danville 1

Juan Perez and Kender Villegas combined on a one-hitter as Johnson City slipped past Danville 2-1, capturing the opener in the best-of-three League Finals.

Perez struck out 10 in six innings, giving up a hit and three walks. The only run charged to him crossed in the fifth on a base-on-balls, hit batsman and the mother of all wild pitches that allowed the runner to score from second. Kender Villegas retired all nine batters faced, fanning five. Perez and Villegas are our co-Players of the Day.

The Appy Birds pounced for two runs in the first, grouping together three of their seven hits on the game. Casey Turgeon and Oscar Mercado opened with consecutive singles, both advancing on Blake Drake’s fly out to center and scoring on a double by Casey Grayson, the League’s RBI leader. Turgeon and Mercado both went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Mercado swiped his third bag of the postseason.

Thursday’s game: vs. Danville (ATL), 7:00 pm ET, Steven Farinaro (3-4, 4.31)

Spotlight on – Steven Farinaro. Johnson City will try to clinch the title with the 19-year-old righty on the mound. Farinaro has been much better at home than on the road, a .258 Batting Average Against and 1.32 WHIP at Howard Johnson Field versus a .328 average and 1.63 WHIP away. Farinaro opposed the Braves in an away game on August 23rd, receiving a no decision despite holding them to a run on four hits and two walks through five.

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