Top draft pick Aaron Blair stepped up under the bright playoff lights with 6 innings of shutout ball as South Bend took the opening game of their playoff against Great Lakes 3-0. Blair surrendered 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5. In Visalia's playoff opener Eddie McKiernan was just as good going 6+ innings without allowing a run as the Rawhide won 4-2.
3 Stars: Eddie McKiernan, Visalia 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 ER
2 Stars: Aaron Blair, South Bend 6 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K, 0 ER
1 Star: Ronnie Freeman, Visalia 2 for 3, 2 RBI
0 Stars: Jency Solis, Missoula 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 K, 5 R, 4 ER
High A: Visalia 4 Modesto 2. In Game One of the California League divisional playoffs the Rawhide scratched out a 4-2 win behind 6+ shutout innings from starter Eddie McKiernan. Kaleb Fleck made it interesting in the 8th when he allowed a pair of runs to score to cut the lead to one. Visalia got an insurance in the bottom of the 8th on a Tom Belza sacrifice fly. RJ HIvely closed it out in the 9th by striking out the side. Ronnie Freeman drove in 2 runs on a pair of singles.
Low A: South Bend 3 @ Great Lakes 0. Aaron Blair was terrific with 6 shutout innings and the offense scraped together 2 runs late to win 3-0 and take a 1-0 lead in their best of 3 series. Four relievers covered the final 3 frames to complete the shutout. Daniel Gibson got wild in the 8th with a couple of walks but Geordy Parra came on and fanned both hitters he faced to bail him out. Jimmy Sherfy got the save with a perfect 9th. Breland Almadova drove in the 8th inning runs with a double. Michael Perez went 2 for 4 with a double, Fidel Pena went 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI, and Brandon Drury went 2 for 4.
Rookie: Missoula 6 Great Falls 9. Justin Van Grouw had a fine start allowing 1 run on 7 hits over 6 innings and left the game with a 5-1 lead. But Jency Solis couldn't get anyone out in the 7th and surrendered a 5-spot. Missoula tied it in the 8th but Eric Meyerchick gave up 3 runs in the 10th to take the loss. The bottom of the order did most of the damage with Justin Bianco going 3 for 4 with a double and now has 7 hits in his last 8 at bats. Colin Bray hit a 2-run homer and Stryker Trahan a solo shot, his 10th.