|Big Cat: Brandon Belt strikes again & again.|
SOUTH SHORE @ SWATARA
The South Shore Fighting Imps travel to to face the Swatara Eliminators -- who the Eliminators are trying avoided just that, being eliminated.
Game 3 The Fighting Imps chase Eliminator starter Jose Quintana after only 2 2/3 innings. Quintana was pounded for 9 hits and 5 runs. The Imps would pound out 16 hits with 6 different players having multi hit games. John Lackey allowed 5 hits over 8 innings. His only blemish was a Jayson Werth two-run homer in the 7th. South Shore sweeps Swatara, and wins the game 3-2.
HANNIBAL CAVEMEN @ TRAVERSE CITY PANTHERS
The Hannibal Cavemen travel to Traverse City, Michigan to play the Traverse City Panthers. The Panthers find themselves at a 2-0 series advantage (in a best-of-five series), we'll see if Hannibal can force a Game 4 & 5.
Top of 2nd -- After two-out double by James Loney, Omar Infante's RBI single to right gives Hannibal the lead.
Bottom of the 6th -- Two-out solo HR by Hunter Pence off of Homer Bailey, ties game 1-1.
Sean Doolittle comes into top of 7th with Loney, Infante & Span coming up, to face lefties Loney & Span. Walks Loney, allows a single to Infante, gets Span to pop-up for out #1. T.C. goes to bullpen again, calls on Luke Gregerson -- Gregerson gives up three-run blast to Troy Tulowitzki, Hannibal leads 4-1.
Top of the 8th -- Leadoff single to Dominic Brown. Two-run HR by Manny Machado off of new reliever Tyler Clippard; Hannibal leads 6-1.
The Panthers get a few men on in, both innings, but couldn't overcome the HR blasts by Hannibal; Hannibal wins Game 3.
No runs through the first four innings, in a battle between T.C.'s Game 1 starter Matt Harvey, facing lefty Jon Lester.
Top of the 5th -- Two-out double by Pablo Sandoval, James Loney follows with RBI double. Omar Infante smacks a single to right, Loney rounds third, decides to test Hunter Pence's arm in right, and he's thrown out at home.
Bottom of the 5th -- Solo HR by Giancarlo Stanton to lead-off the inning. Two-out double by Matt Carpenter, Single by Yasiel Puig -- Hannibal gets out of jam, striking out Brandon Belt, leaving runners on the corners.
Bottom of the 6th -- Lester issues his 5th walk to Pence, with two outs. Plunks the next batter Giancarlo Stanton, injuring him for 7 days.
Bottom of the 7th -- Brandon Belt makes his presence known once more, with two-run HR (Is he this season's Freddie Freeman?) scoring in Puig (Puig had two-out single).
Matt Harvey leaves the game with 7 IP of work, 2 ER & 7 K's/2 BB's, has a 1.98 ERA in this series in 13.1 innings.
Top of the 8th -- RBI double for Troy Tulowitzki with one out, scoring in Infante (who led off the inning with a single). Game is tied, 3-3.
Bottom of the 9th -- Brandon Belt sends one deep to right, for Justin Upton to catch it at the track.
Bottom of the 11th -- Craig Breslow for Hannibal walks Jason Castro, Carpenter grounds out to first for second out, moves Castro to second. Breslow & Hannibal intentionally walks Puig to face the lefty Brandon Belt, lefty vs lefty. Belt hits ball into right field corner, Upton is after it, Castro rounds third, it's over. Walk-off single by Belt!
Traverse City, one year removed from 46-win season, is heading to the National League Championship Series -- they are the only playoff newbies that remain; the other three teams are in their second consecutive post-season. South Shore won it all last season, Fairgrove had an early exit against Boston, while Portland represented the National League last season & are the favorites to do so once again.