'Pigs Take Early Lead In Governor's Cup

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs won their fourth straight post-season game, beating Columbus 5-2 in the opener of the Governor's Cup Finals. Once again, it was Brandon Moss who led the offensive attack.

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs have done a good job of scoring early this post-season. In two out of their three wins over Pawtucket, the IronPigs scored in the first inning and in the other game, waited until the second inning to score. With that in mind, the Columbus Clippers shouldn't have been too surprised when Lehigh Valley put up three first inning runs in game one of their International League Finals. Lehigh Valley went on to score a couple more runs and keep Columbus down just enough to finish the night with a 5-2 win to take a 1-0 lead in games in the best-of-five series. Scott Podsednik and Kevin Frandsen picked up first inning singles ahead of Brandon Moss, who has been an offensive juggernaut this post-season. Moss took an 0-1 pitch out to straight away center field and before most of the fans had settled into their seats, the visitors had a 3-0 lead. Columbus starter Zach McAllister (0-1) also gave up a double to Erik Kratz in the inning, but stranded Kratz at second to avoid any further damage. After his slow start, it didn't appear McAllister would be around too long, but he wound up pitching eight innings, giving up five earned runs on 11 hits and one walk. Meanwhile, IronPigs starter Scott Mathieson (1-0) never seemed comfortable on the mound, even with a three-run lead, but he made it through five innings, allowing two earned runs in the game and recorded the win. Lehigh Valley continued to hit McAllister hard in the second inning when Kratz again doubled and went to third on a base hit by Freddy Galvis. With Rich Thompson at the plate, Galvis stole second. Thompson struck out for the first out of the inning, but Podsednik grounded a ball to short to score Kratz from third and stretch the 'Pigs lead to 4-0. While Mathieson kept Columbus off the board for the first four innings, Columbus finally did damage in the fifth. A single and double put runners on second and third with nobody out for Columbus when Tim Fedroff singled to center to plate the Clippers' first run of the game. Juan Diaz then grounded a ball to short and Lehigh Valley took the sure out at first, allowing the second run to score, cutting the IronPigs lead to 4-2. Joe Savery threw two shutout innings for Lehigh Valley and Phillippe Aumont came on to pitch the eighth, giving up a lead-off walk to Jared Goedert to start the inning. Aumont has been shaky at times for Lehigh Valley this season, including last week at Coca-Cola Park when he allowed Pawtucket to tie game two of the wild card series and send the game to extra innings. Aumont came back to get Beau Mills to strikeout, but a wild pitch and ground ball put a runner on third with two outs. Jared Head then grounded out to end the threat without Columbus being able to push a run across. McAllister started the ninth, but gave up a lead-off home run to Cody Overbeck and a third double of the night to Kratz before he was lifted in favor of Kelvin De La Cruz, who would work out of the jam without any further damage. The IronPigs had to endure another nail-biter in the ninth. Closer Justin De Fratus came on and worked his way into trouble, giving up two, one-out walks. Fedroff flied out to center for the second out of the inning before Juan Cruz singled to load the bases. Goedert worked a 3-1 count against De Fratus, who then came back to strike out Goedert to end the game, preserving the 5-2 win for Lehigh Valley.

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