Steve McQuail hit three home runs in Visalia's opening game playoff win to give them a 1-0 lead in their best of three series. McQuail hit 17 homers on the season so it didn't come out of nowhere but that's a pretty special night for a playoff game.
In other playoff games Reno lost Game 1 5-4 to Las Vegas and South Bend lost their opening game to Lake County 6-2. Hillsboro on the other hand closed out their best-of-three series with a game 2 victory that sends them to the championship series this weekend.
3 Stars: Steve McQuail, Visalia 4 for 5, 3 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI
2 Stars: Rudy Flores, Visalia 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 DBL, 1 HR, 4 RBI
1 Star: Markus Solbach, Hillsboro 7 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 2 ER, W (1-0)
0 Stars: Tyler Bolton, Missoula 1.2 IP, 9 H, 1 BB, 0 K, 5 ER
AAA: Reno 4 @ Las Vegas 5. The Aces dropped the opening game of their best-of-five series when the bullpen continued to let Las Vegas scrape runs across in the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th innings. Clayton Richard got the start and was doing fine until the 5th when both runners he let on came around to score against Jess Todd. Zeke Spruill took the loss when he surrendered solo runs in the 7th and 8th innings. Roger Kieschnick had a good night going 3 for 4 with a triple and an RBI. Nick Ahmed had 2 hits with a triple, Mike Jacobs went 2 for 5 and Garrett Webber hit a solo home run.
A+: Visalia 13 Stockton 3. The Rawhide pounded the Ports with a barrage of home runs by Steve McQuail who had 3 in all and another by Rudy Flores. McQuail and Flores had 5 and 4 RBI respectively to make this one a walkover. Visalia leads their series 1-0 with game 2 on Thursday. Brandon Sinnery started and was solid throwing 6 innings allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and a walk while striking out 5. Socrates Brito had 3 hits with a triple, Breland Almadova had 2 hits with a double and a stolen base, and Ryan Gebhardt had 2 hits.
A: South Bend 2 @ Lake County 6. The Silver Hawks were battling and trailed just 3-2 heading into the bottom of the 7th when Bud Jetter and Jose Jose got hit hard for 3 runs that blew the game open. Anthony Banda started and wasn't as sharp as he's been recently allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks over 5 innings. The offense came up with just 5 hits. Joe Munoz and Justin Williams each doubled and Jamie Westbrook drove in both runs. South Bend trails the series 1-0 as they head to South Bend for games 2 and 3.
A-: Hillsboro 5 Boise 1. The Hops closed out their best-of-three series with a sweep of Boise that was a complete team effort. All 9 starters had one hit with Kevin Cron getting 2 including a double and 2 RBI. Markus Solbach started and did his job going 7 innings and allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. Mason McCullough pitched a scoreless 8th with 3 strikeouts and 2 walks. Zac Curtis saved the game in the 9th with 2 strikeouts for consecutive games saved.
R: Missoula 3 @ Great falls 11. Missoula wasn't very good in their next-to-last game as Touki Toussaint continued to struggle with Pioneer League hitters. He didn't get out of the 4th before allowing 5 runs (2 earned) though the error that led to the unearned runs was his. He has a 12.51 ERA in his 5 starts for Missoula. Tyler Bolton wasn't very good either giving up 9 hits and 5 runs. Gerard Hernandez, Taylor Ard and Jose Herrera (just called up from the AZL) each had 2 hits with a double.