Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 09/08/14

Trey Nielsen’s excellent start led State College to a win in the opener of the New York-Penn League Championship series.

Results from the game played Sunday, September 7th

State College 2 vs Tri-City 0

The old adage ‘Timing is Everything’ proved prescient in State College’s 2-0 victory over Tri-City in game one of the New York-Penn League Championship series.

In a game featuring five total hits by the two contestants, the timing of two walks was key. Jake Stone and Nick Thompson each drew a base-on-balls succeeded by an extra-base hit that drove them in. Catcher Luis Cruz tripled home Stone in the second while Alex De Leon’s sixth-inning double brought Thompson across.

A quartet of Spikes’ pitchers was absolutely nails, joining forces on a two-hit, four-walk shutout. Trey Nielsen, our Player of the Day, was masterful in his first postseason start, giving up just one hit and two free passes while striking out four over six frames. Nielsen recorded four ground- and eight fly- ball outs.

Brandon Lee, Josh Lucas and Kyle Grana each took an inning although each allowed a base runner. Lee pitched around a one-out walk in the seventh but Lucas faced the biggest challenge.

The righty faced a runner-on-second-and-none-out situation when the ValleyCats’ catcher managed a bunt single that triggered an errant throw by Cruz, resulting in a runner at second. A 6-3 groundout advanced the runner to third but Lucas fanned the top of the order, ending the threat. Kyle Grana dealt with a lead-off free pass by recording three straight outs, one by strikeout, for his second save of the playoffs.

Monday’s game: at Tri-City (0-1) (HOU), 7:00 pm ET, Austin Gomber (2-2, 2.30)

Spotlight on – Austin Gomber. The southpaw was the Cardinals’ fourth-round selection from Florida Atlantic in June and will not turn 21 until November. Gomber finished the season with two outstanding starts against Williamsport (PHI), blanking the Crosscutters over seven innings twice and allowing nine hits cumulatively. Monday will be his first effort versus Tri-City, whose offense ranked third in the league with a .262 average. (State College’s .269 average was first.)

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