Mobile moved to within one game of the Southern League title with a 4-2 extra-inning win over Jackson due to a 10th-inning 2-run walk-off homer from Matt Davidson. Mobile leads the series two games to one with the final two games scheduled in Mobile. Davidson's home run came with no outs, after Matt Mangini walked ahead of him, on a 10-pitch at-bat in which he fouled off four consecutive pitches before clubbing the home run to left field. Bradin Hagens was terrific on the mound for 7 innings allowing just 2 runs (1 earned) and the bullpen was even better behind him. Michael Bolsinger takes the mound tonight to try and wrap up the championship.
Missoula was also in action to try and capture the Pioneer League Championship leading their series 1-0 but it didn't work out as they were clobbered by Ogden 13-7. I take some responsibility for failing to insert the reverse jinx for Missoula starter Ross Gerdeman who got pummeled for 8 runs in 2+ innings. To be honest I was awfully surprised they even went with Gerdeman with Karl Triana available and Yoimer Camacho set up for Game 3. The offense was good enough that any kind of decent pitching performance would have won them the title, and Gerdeman has had a bunch of stinkers this year and was obviously their 5th best starter. At least both Triana and Camacho are now available tonight in the series finale.
3 Stars: Matt Davidson, Mobile 2 for 5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, GWRBI
2 Stars: Bradin Hagens, Mobile, 7 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 R, 1 ER
1 Star: Jake Lamb, Missoula 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 DBL, 1 HR, 2 RBI
0 Stars: Ross Gerdeman, Missoula, 2.2 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 3 K, 8 ER, L
Game summaries after the jump.
Double A: Mobile 4 Jackson 2. Matt Davidson's heroics aside, the pitching was outstanding as the series digs deeper into each team's pitching depth to determine the Southern League Champion. Bradin Hagens was very good for 7 innings allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits and 2 walks. Eric Smith (who is headed to the AFL) came on and pitched a scoreless 8th and Bo Schultz added a scoreless 9th. Schultz started the 10th and surrendered a lead off single and a sacrifice bunt before giving way to Eury De La Rosa, who induced a fly ball to right followed by an inning-ending strikeout. Jackson countered with top Seattle prospect Taijuan Walker who shut out the Bay Bears on 5 hits with 9 strikeouts through 5.1 innings. The game was getting dire in the 8th when Chris Owings, Matt Mangini and Matt Davidson each singled leading off the inning. Unfortunately a base-running gaffe led to an out when Owings changed his mind on trying to score on Davidson's single and when he retreated to third base Mangini was already there. One out. Jonathan Griffin struck out for the second out and Alfredo Marte grounded to shortstop in what appeared to be the 3rd out, but fellow top prospect Brad Miller booted it allowing Owings and Davidson to score tying the game at 2-2. That set up Davidson's heroics in the bottom of the 10th to move Mobile to the brink of their second consecutive Southern League title.
Rookie: Missoula 7 @ Ogden 13. The wild Osprey season really shouldn't end any other way. Not to beat a dead horse, but Missoula Manager Andy Green made the very questionable decision to go with their 5th best starter Ross Gerdeman for this huge game when both their number 2 and 4 starters were available. Gerdeman was nowhere near up to the task as he got hammered early and often allowing 3 runs in the 1st inning followed by a whole bunch more in the 3rd as he and fellow bottom-of-the-rotation starter Chris Pack combined to let in 7 runs in the monster inning. Rather than give the game up right then and there, Missoula offense decided to try and make a game of it anyway and scored 5 runs in the 4th to cut the lead to 10-6. Pack however allowed 2 more runs in the bottom of the 4th and that proved to be a bridge too far. Alex Glenn delivered the big blow for Missoula in the 4th with a 3-run homer. Jake Lamb added a double and a home run and Andrew Velazquez contributed a pair of singles. The Osprey go for the brass ring again tonight with both their number 2 and 3 starters available in Yoimer Camacho and Karl Triana. Both pitched well in their starts during the first round of the playoffs so either would make a solid choice for tonight's game.