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Friday Pebble Report: Modesto Wins First Playoff Series 2-0

There were only two games on tap last night, one of them a playoff bout for the Rockies' only postseason participant, the High A Modesto Nuts. From here on we'll be covering Modesto as they make their way through the playoffs, but by and large our focus will turn more towards the big club as everybody else's season is over.

Over the next few days, I'll be unveiling your Fall 2010 PuRPs list. Look for the first installment later this morning on Monday (I promise).

Modesto 6, Stockton 2

After needing to win six games in a row to end the regular season just to reach the playoffs, the Nuts are on fire and into the next round after extending their win streak to eight games with a 6-2 win. The Nuts jumped out to an early four run lead in the second inning on four consecutive two out run-scoring singles and never looked back. Modesto tacked on two more runs in the fifth on a two run shot by Ryan Peisel.

Staff ace Juan Nicasio pitched very well (six innings, one run on six hits, struck out eight) to get the win. Offensively, the Nuts had 12 hits with two players (Ben Paulsen and Mike Zuanich) recording three-hit ballgames.

The Modesto Bee's Brian VanderBeek has the full story on the Nuts' playoff run. The Nuts will now take on the first half champion San Jose Giants in a best of five North Division Championship Series.


Idaho Falls 9, Casper 5

The Ghosts lost their final game of the season, dropping their second-half record to 20-18. Rafael Ortega, who will feature prominently on the upcoming PuRPs list, finished his season on a high note, belting his seventh homer (a three run shot) to finish with a .358/.416/.510 line in over 300 PAs. The 19 year old also stole his 23rd base of the year. Does that combination of power and speed remind you of anyone (except with better patience)? It's safe to say that I'm very excited about Ortega's potential and will be tracking him closely next year.