Game 3 Preview – Winston-Salem at Lynchburg
Mills Cup Championship Series
Winston-Salem Dash at Lynchburg Hillcats
Tuesday, September 11 — 6:05 p.m.
Game 3 — Series tied 1-1
GAME 3 BACKGROUND:
For the first time this postseason, the Dash will play away from BB&T Ballpark. During the regular season, Winston-Salem went 4-6 against the Hillcats inside Lynchburg City Stadium, which is one of two places (Salem’s LewisGale Field the other) where the Dash had a record below .500 this season. Because of the split at BB&T Ballpark, Winston and Lynchburg are down to a best-of-three for the Mills Cup Championship. The Dash led the circuit with 16 three-game series victories.
Winston-Salem — RHP Erik Johnson (4-3, 2.74 ERA): The Dash send Johnson to the mound after he lost Game 1 of the SDCS. Johnson was one strike away from six no-hit innings before surrendering four runs and exiting the contest before the sixth came to an end. During the regular season, the former California Golden Bear recorded a quality start in all but one of his High-A appearances. That start came against Lynchburg August 23 (5IP, 6R).
Lynchburg — RHP Gus Schlosser (13-7, 3.38 ERA): Schlosser claimed the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year award after finishing first in the league in wins (13) and innings (165.1), tied for first in starts (27), second in strikeouts (139), and third in earned run average (3.38) and WHIP (1.14). Winston held its own against the righty, mustering five runs on 11 hits in 13 innings of work. He did whiff 18 Dash swingers in those two efforts.
- Since 2005, the MCCS has been tied at one game apiece four times, and the road team for the final three games has won the series twice. In all four instances, the winner of Game 3 went on to take the series in four games.
- Frederick won back-to-back games in Kinston last year, while the Keys also won consecutive games at Salem in 2007 for the crown. The Dash lost two straight at Potomac two years ago, while the P-Nats claimed the title with two wins at home over Myrtle in 2008.
- The Dash’s bullpen has allowed only one earned run in 16.1 innings this postseason. Lynchburg’s only earned tally against a Dash reliever came in the ninth inning Sunday during Taylor Thompson’s six-out save. Thompson had not surrendered an earned run since July 8, a span of 18 appearances.
- Winston-Salem third baseman Chris Curley has hit safely in eight games with the Dash since a promotion from Low-A Kannapolis August 31. The former Florence Freedom star is a combined 13-for-28 (.464) with eight runs between the regular season and playoffs.
- In its first five playoffs games, Winston-Salem has only scored in 10 of a possible 42 innings. However, four of those 10 frames have brought about three or more runs.
- Winston has hit six homers in the playoffs, while the rest of the league has combined for the same number of long balls. Three Dash swingers–Courtney Hawkins, Marcus Semien and Kevan Smith–each have two apiece.
- The Dash’s 4-6 regular season mark in Lynchburg included a pair of two-out-of-three series losses and a four-game split. Despite owning a two-game gap in the 10 meetings, the Hillcats only outscored Winston-Salem 49-44 at home.
AN EYE ON THE WHITE SOX FARM:
Since the Dash last played Sunday afternoon, one White Sox affiliate advanced to a championship series, while another fell two runs short. Triple-A Charlotte took down Indianapolis three games to one to clinch a spot in the Governors’ Cup Finals against the Pawtucket Red Sox. Game 1 of this best-of-five series is tonight at 7:05 in Rhode Island. On the flip side, rookie-level Great Falls fell short in its bid to repeat as Pioneer League champions. The Voyagers lost a deciding Game 3 of a PL semifinal to Missoula 4-2 Sunday.
Dash fans can catch the club’s quest for a 12th Mills Cup by tuning in here. Fans are encouraged to tweet @WSDashBaseball and use the Dash’s official playoff hashtag: #Dash12. The Pre-Game Dash begins at 5:45 p.m. and features a chat with manager Tommy Thompson and an audio look into the Dash’s offensive bounce back Sunday afternoon.