First things first. Congratulations go out to the Louisville Bats who clinched the IL West on the final day of the season, winning their game paired with a Columbus loss. They'll start a 5-game series with the Durham Bulls on Wednesday night, with the first two games in Louisville and the rest in Durham as needed. Let's see how they got there.
- Louisville went 2-2 over the long weekend. They beat Indy 16-6 on Friday night, with Michael Griffin having a huge night by going 4-for-5 with 2 homers. Danny Dorn and Todd Frazier also had 3 hits and drove in 4 runs each. Tom Cochran, who was the best pitcher on the Reds' AA team this year, got the start, and he went 4 innings and gave up 3 runs while striking out 5. They weren't so lucky on Saturday, losing 4-1. Dave Sappelt was 3-for-4 and Kris Negron was 2-for-4. Matt Klinker started and gave up 4 runs in 5 1/3 innings. On Sunday, they lost 5-3 in a game where Jeremy Horst gave up 2 runs in 4 innings. Going into Monday's game, the Bats were down 1/2 game to the Clippers, and needed to win their game and needed help from the Clippers. Luckily, that's what they got, and they also beat Indy 6-3 to clinch the division. Dave Sappelt and Todd Frazier each had two hits and a homer, and the newly promoted Sean Henry had 2 hits as well. Ben Jukich started the game and gave up 3 runs in 6 2/3 innings, and Micah Owings and Jared Burton nailed down the victory. Up next: The Bats get an off day before taking on Durham at 7:05 on Wednesday. If they keep the rotation the way it is, they'll have Cochran, Klinker, Horst, and Jukich going for the first 4 days of the series, but an announcement hasn't been made yet.
How did the other affiliates close their seasons out? Find out after the jump...
- Carolina lost their series against Tennessee. They won the first game 5-4 in 10 innings before dropping the next three. Scott Carroll gave up 3 runs in 6 innings with 7 strikeouts, and much to my surprise, Brad Boxberger pitched a scoreless 2 innings, part of his run to close out the year with 6 scoreless relief innings in a row. After a rough go of it in AA, it's nice to see him make some progress toward the end of the year. Felix Perez was 3-for-5 with a homer, and Miguel Rojas and Jake Kahaulelio had 2 hits each. They lost Saturday night 10-5 in a rough bullpen game. Jordan Hotchkiss actually pitched well, giving up 2 runs in 6 innings, but Lee Tabor and Gilbert De La Vara combined for 7 runs in the last 2 innings to aid an epic Smokies comeback. Jake Kahaulelio was 3-for-5 with a homer. On Sunday, they lost 3-2. James Avery had a good start, giving up 2 runs in 6 innings with 6 strikeouts. They closed out their season with another 3-2 loss. Shane Carlson was 2-for-4 with a homer. The Mudcats finish their season at 28-40 in the second half, good for last place in their division, and were 58-79 overall.
Lynchburg also went 2-2 over the weekend. They lost 6-4 on Friday night. Neftali Soto was 3-for-4 with a homer and Henry Rodriguez had 3 hits as well. Josh Ravin gave up 6 runs in his start. On Saturday, the Hillcats won 4-3 behind a good start by Justin Walker. Walker went 6 innings of 2-run ball, with 4 strikeouts. Neftali Soto went 3-for-4 with 2 home runs, to raise his total to 21 for the year. On Sunday, they lost 8-3. Pedro Villarreal started and was not so good. The Hillcats closed their season with a 7-1 win over Myrtle Beach, on a great start by Curtis Partch. Partch went 5 shutout innings with 3 strikeouts and no walks. Cameron Satterwhite went 2-for-4 with a RBI and Josh Fellhauer drove two runs in. The Hillcats end their season at 32-36 in the second half, 3rd in their division, but 61-77 overall, which was last.
- Dayton went 2-2 over the weekend. They lost 7-1 on Friday, despite a decent start by Clayton Shunick. Shunick gave up 2 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings, but the Dayton offense could only muster up 3 hits for themselves. The Dragons bounced back to win 7-5 on Saturday. Frank Pfister had 3 hits, and Alex Oliveras and Mark Fleury had two hits and a homer each. Tim Crabbe had 7 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings, and only gave up 2 runs. They won on Sunday, too, 6-4. Ronald Torreyes was 3-for-4 and Mark Fleury hit his 11th homer of the year. Daniel Corcino gave up 1 ER in 5 innings with 5 strikeouts. They closed out the season with a 5-3 loss. Edinson Volquez made the start, and pitched 6+ innings. He gave up 3 runs (2 ER) on 6 hits, with 10 strikeouts and 3 walks. Justin Braun got the loss in relief, and Tzu-Kai Chiu pitched 2 hitless to close it out. The Dragons ended up 23-46 in the second half and 53-85 overall, both good for last in their division.
- Billings had a rough weekend, and their season isn't over. They lost 13-2 on Friday, where just about everyone got shelled. Donald Lutz and Jefry Sierra had 2 hits each, and the pitching was bad enough to not be mentioned. They lost 10-5 on Saturday, even though Daniel Tuttle had a good start. Tuttle went 4 shutout innings, before Kevin Arico faced 6 batters and allowed all 6 to score. Chris Berset was 2-for-4 with a homer and 2 RBI. They lost again on Sunday, this time 3-1. Tanner Robles got another loss, his 3rd of the year, as he gave up 2 runs in 6 innings pitched. They bounced back on Monday with a 4-1 win. Jonathan Correa was stunning as usual, going 6 innings and giving up 1 run with 11 strikeouts. Billy Hamilton was 3-for-4 with a homer. Up next: The Mustangs take on Missoula at 9:05, with Kyle Lotzkar taking the hill.