Double-A Tulsa - L 3-8 (0-1)
The Drillers dropped the first game of the Texas League playoffs with a loss to Arkansas, the Angels Double-A affiliate, on Wednesday. Tulsa found itself in an early hole when Christian Bergman walked Taylor Lindsey and then saw Cyle Hankerd reach on a throwing error from Jayson Langfels. That's when Future's Game participant C.J. Cron imposed his will and belted a three-run home run to put the Travelers up by three. A rattled Bergman gave up another homer to the following batter Robbie Widlansky and finished the inning with a four-run deficit.
The Drillers pulled within two after scoring runs in the third and fourth inning, but a second home run by C.J. Cron in the sixth put the game out of reach. Selected as a Texas League All-Star, starter Christian Bergman allowed just five hits in the game-- four of them for home runs. Bergman finished with a line of six runs allowed, five earned on five hits, one walk and four strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched. Kyle Parker played left field and went 1-for-4 with a RBI and a strikeout. Second baseman Angelys Nina was the only Driller with a multiple-hit game against starter Michael Roth; who had pitched in 15 games for the Angels this season.
The Drillers will play the next two games of a five-game-series in Tulsa's ONEOK Field. Lefty Tyler Matzek (8-9, 3.79 ERA) will take the mound for Tulsa in tonight's matchup.
High-A Modesto - L 2-4 (0-1)
Starter Tyler Anderson opened the three-game playoff series for the Nuts and soon found himself in trouble against the Diamondbacks High-A affiliate. In the second inning. Tyler had the bases loaded with one out, walking two and being charged with an error after dropping an exchange from second baseman Taylor Featherston on a play at first base. The left hander limited the damage by getting out of the inning with a double play.
Visalia plated another run in the fifth before Modesto rallied for two in the eighth inning to make it a 3-2 game. The Nuts countered in the eighth with a single by Tyler Massey, followed by a drive to center by Taylor Featherston. Massey was rounding second, going for third when the throw went into the dugout allowing Massey to score on the error and putting Taylor at third. A sacrifice fly by Brian Humphries plated Featherston and closed the gap to 3-2. Visalia added another run in the eighth off reliever Bruce Kern, who was pulled without earning an out.
Tyler Anderson finished with a line of three runs allowed, two earned off five hits, two walks and three strikeouts in seven innings pitched. Taylor Featherston led the Nuts with two hits and a run scored, while Jared Simon added two more hits. The Nuts were held to just six hits as Brian Humphries and Tyler Massey were the only other Nuts to hit in the game. Game two will be in Modesto tonight with Chris Jensen (5-8, 4.55 ERA) taking the mound for the Nuts. Modesto is facing elimination unless they can hold off Visalia and force a game three for Friday.
Rookie Grand Junction - W 12-11 in 11 innings (33-39)
It was a wild game in Grand Junction Wednesday night, which saw eight lead changes and the game go extra innings before the Rockies won in the bottom of the 11th with a bases loaded walk by Raimel Tapia. Zach Jemiola started the game and had an impressive five strikeouts in just 4.2 innings pitched. However, the right hander was dismantled by Ogden, allowing seven runs of which four were earned. The most damage was caused by first baseman Jesus Valdez, who belted his ninth homer of the year on a three-run jack in the fifth inning. The home run was a part of a five run fifth for the Dodgers Short-Season affiliate.
The Rockies had scored three in the third, capped by a Ryan McMahon home run, his 10th of the season. Raimel Tapia launched his seventh home run of the season with a solo shot in the fourth. The game went into extras after Terry McClure had come in to pinch-run for Jairo Rosario at second base. A bouncing ball single by Cesar Galvez to right field scored McClure and tied the game at 11-11. Ogden threatened in the top of the 11th when they put two men on base with a hit and walk against reliever Carlos Estevez. Catcher Jose Briceno erased the threat by picking off Zach Babitt on a throw to first base.
Grand Junction mounted a rally in the 11th when singles by Robbie Perkins and Zach Osborne put men on second and third. Cesar Galvez was intentionally walked with one out to face the right handed Raimel Tapia-- who is batting .353 on the season. Showing patience with ducks on the pond, Tapia drew a walk and earned the game winning RBI.