Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 09/06/14

It was Fun Friday at Johnson City as the Cards won their third league title in the past five years. State College rallied its way into the New York-Penn League championship series but Memphis sits within one loss of elimination.

Results from games played Friday, September 5th.

Omaha 2 at Memphis 0

A two-run long ball off Boone Whiting proved insurmountable as Memphis (1-2) fell to Omaha 2-0, falling behind one-game-to-two in the best-of-five series.

Whiting (L, 0-1) surrendered seven hits and a base-on-balls through five, striking out six. His long ball was generated in the first. Mitch Harris worked around two walks and a wild pitch for a scoreless sixth, handing the ball off to Dean Kiekhefer. Kiekhefer tossed the next two innings, giving up a hit while fanning two. Sam Tuivailala allowed two hits with two strikeouts in his inning on the bump.

Memphis’ bats were limited to just five hits, all singles, and are hitting a collective .168 in the series. No Redbird had more than one.

Saturday’s game: vs. Omaha (2-1) (KC), 7:05 pm CT, Mike Mayers (0-0, 7.20)

Spotlight on – Mike Mayers. Mayers will be making only his second Triple-A start of his career on Saturday. The Cardinals’ third-round selection in the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft, Mayers split his 2014 season between Palm Beach and Springfield before being knocked around by New Orleans for five runs, four earned, in five innings in the Redbirds’ regular season finale.

The Storm Chasers send to the mound 26-year-old lefty Buddy Baumann (2-4, 3.19), who made 11 starts in 40 game appearances covering 90 1/3 total frames. Right-handed bats hit .264 off him in 61 1/3 innings and lefties went .226 in 29 frames.

Title hunt – Host Reno (ARI) battled back from a 5-2 hole, downing Las Vegas (NYM) 7-5 for a 2-1 lead in the other Pacific Coast League semifinal match-up.

State College 2 vs. Hudson Valley 1

Down to their last six outs, the Spikes scored two runs to slip past the Renegades 2-1 in the decisive third game of their Semifinal series.

Held to three hits through seven innings, State College’s first three eighth-inning batters matched that, evening the score at one all. Darren Seferina, Danny Diekroeger and Nick Thompson each singled, although neither Diekroeger nor Thompson’s hits left the infield. Seferina ended up on third after Diekroeger’s bunt towards third base resulted in an error, Thompson’s hit to short driving in Seferina.

Robelys Reyes’ groundout scored Thompson after Diekroeger was forced at home for the inning’s first out. Thompson went 2-for-4 with a double, the only Spike with more than one of the team’s six hits.

Although he did not figure in the decision, starter Fernando Baez pitched a heck of a game. The Dominican native fanned a season-high 10 batters in 5 1/3, surrendering just an unearned tally in the first and issuing just one base-on-balls to go with four hits. Those 10 K’s tied State College’s single-game record in that category.

Josh Lucas inherited two in scoring position and one out in the sixth, thanks in no small part to a fielding error on what should have been the second out of the frame. Lucas escaped on a fielder’s choice and swinging K then erased a one-out single in the seventh by coaxing a 6-4-3 double play.

Nick Lomascolo (W, 1-0) rectified his only hit allowed in his inning of work by picking the batter off, one-three-six-three. Kyle Grana fanned two of three in the ninth, earning the save.

Saturday’s game: Off.

Spotlight on – Kyle Grana. Grana successfully completed eight of 10 save opportunities, tossing 40 1/3 frames in 27 appearances. The husky right-hander, a non-drafted free agent signee in June 2013, gave up 25 hits and 14 walks, two intentional, for an 0.96 WHIP and .181 Batting Average Against. The NYPL all-star was much better against righties than lefties, with a .111 batting average against right-handed bats over 25 1/3 frames versus .281 against the southpaw side in 15 1/3.

Title hunt – After taking Saturday off to recoup from their hard-fought series’ win, State College hosts Tri-City (HOU) on Sunday at 6:05 pm ET in a re-match of last year’s New York-Penn League Championship series won by the ValleyCats in three games. The finals are a best-of-three format.

Johnson City 4 vs. Danville 2

Appy Bird hurlers made a three-run second stand up as Johnson City won over Danville 4-2, clinching the 2014 Appalachian League title. The 2014 Appalachian League champions are our Players of the Day.

Dailyn Martinez led the trio of hurlers, scattering five hits and a hit batsman over six innings, resulting in one run. Martinez struck out four with nine ground- and two fly- ball outs.

Anderson Gerdel walked his first batter faced before retiring six straight. Back-to-back doubles off the righty brought across a tally in the ninth, with Gerdel exiting after striking out his third batter of the night. Ismael Brito retired both batters faced, fanning one, for the save.

Casey Turgeon and Oscar Mercado each had one of four team hits, both driving in two. Turgeon’s solo shot in the seventh gave Johnson City a 4-1 cushion while Mercado ran wild on Danville’s battery, swiping three bases. Magneuris Sierra singled in his only at bat after taking over in center in the visitor half of the seventh, stealing a base as well.

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