Results tagged ‘ #Dash12 ’

Playoff Perspective – Game 4

It’s a day late, but here is our final analysis of the Dash’s Game 4 loss to Lynchburg last night.

PLAYOFF PERSPECTIVE:

  • First off, congratulations to the Lynchburg Hillcats. Over the last four days, Lynchburg was the better team after the Dash posted an incredible regular season. All the fans in attendance were treated to one heck of a championship-clinching victory.
  • Also, big time props must go out to the 50-plus Dash fans who made the trip to Lynchburg and added to the atmosphere. It was a great minor league baseball game yesterday, even if the result did not go the way of Winston-Salem.
  • There were so many twists and turns during last night’s game, and I’m not going to go through all of them. However, it is never easy to lose a game when your opposition loads the bases with an infield single, an error and a bunt single in the deciding inning. Winston would love to have the 11th inning back.
  • You have to feel for Taylor Thompson, who was the Carolina League’s best reliever during the second half of the season. He didn’t have his best stuff in the ninth inning, and Lynchburg took advantage to tie the game. That will likely be Thompson’s final High-A appearance because he is overdue for a trip to Double-A Birmingham.
  • If the Dash could have forced a Game 5, especially based on the way last night’s game played out, I would have felt really good about their chances. Alas, Lynchburg closed the deal with a dramatic win.
  • This is my fifth season of calling baseball, and this Dash team was, by far, my favorite team to deal with. It was such a privilege to get to know these guys as baseball players and human beings. The White Sox run their minor league system very well, and fans in Winston-Salem, Chicago and across the country should be proud of these players. This team accomplished so much, and it was an incredible journey.
  • Finally, Daniel Wagner summed it up perfectly last night on Twitter: “What a year. Proud to say I was apart of the 2012 @WSDashBaseball team. Great run boys. Got nothing to hang our heads about.”

Thanks for following along all season long. We will continue our coverage throughout the offseason. It has been an honor. Go Dash!

- Brian

Game 4 Starting Lineups And Intro

It’s simple for the Dash: win or go home. Check out tonight’s broadcast intro and starting lineups:

WINSTON-SALEM:

CF – Keenyn Walker
2B – Daniel Wagner
SS – Marcus Semien
1B – Dan Black
DH – Kevan Smith
RF – Michael Earley
DH – Mike Blanke
LF – Courtney Hawkins
3B – David Herbek
LHP – Scott Snodgress

LYNCHBURG:

LF – Dan Brewer
SS – Nick Ahmed
2B – Tommy La Stella
1B – Chris Garcia
3B – Edward Salcedo
DH – Michael Spina
C – Braeden Schlehuber
CF – Mycal Jones
RF – David Rohm
RHP – Aaron Northcraft

- Brian

Game 4 Preview – Winston-Salem at Lynchburg

Mills Cup Championship Series
Winston-Salem Dash at Lynchburg Hillcats
Wednesday, September 12 — 6:05 p.m.
Game 4 — Hillcats lead series 2-1

GAME 4 BACKGROUND:

After more than five months of baseball in the Carolina League, the Mills Cup could be awarded to Lynchburg tonight. However, the Dash are hoping to force a winner-take-all Game 5 Thursday after dropping Game 3 1-0 at Lynchburg City Stadium Tuesday night.

The Mills Cup Championship Series has not seen a Game 5 since 2005, when Frederick bested Kinston to claim the CL championship. The Hillcats last won it all in 2009, while Winston-Salem has not claimed the Cup since 2003.

STARTING PITCHERS:

Winston-Salem — LHP Scott Snodgress (4-0, 1.50 ERA): Snodgress takes to the mound for the second time this postseason, and he is in familiar territory. With the Dash trailing by a game in the best-of-three Southern Division Championship Series, Snodgress worked into the seventh inning for the first time in his Dash career and allowed three runs, only one of which was earned, on three hits. During the regular season, the former Stanford star surrendered just seven earned runs in eight starts. In his only effort against Lynchburg during the regular season, Snodgress blanked the ‘Cats over four innings August 21.

Lynchburg — RHP Aaron Northcraft (10-11, 3.98 ERA): With a chance at a championship, Lynchburg turns to Northcraft after he allowed just one run in six and two-thirds innings Friday in the NDCS-clinching win over Wilmington. Northcraft has twirled four straight quality starts dating back to August 22. The Tucson, Ariz., native has faced off with the Dash five times. He is 1-2 with a 3.77 ERA in those efforts.

DASH DOTS:

  • Winston-Salem has not played in a winner-take-all game in the championship set since 1973. Winston defeated Lynchburg in that series to claim the Mills Cup. Winston’s last MCCS win also came against Lynchburg back in 2003.
  • Lynchburg handed the Dash their sixth shutout of the season Tuesday, but it was the first since June 24 (7-0 v. Salem at home), a span of 70 games.
  • With last night’s shutout, the Dash have only mustered a run in 10 of their 51 offensive innings. Winston has been very dependent on the long ball, too. The Dash have needed the home run for 10 of their 21 postseason runs.
  • Terance Marin’s two scoreless innings in Game 3 lowered the bullpen’s ERA to 0.49 during the postseason. Winston-Salem relievers have only surrendered one earned run in 18.1 frames in the playoffs.
  • Lynchburg starters have befuddled the Dash thus far in the Mills Cup Finals. The trio of Michael Lee, Ryan Weber and Gus Schlosser combined to give up just two runs, one of which was earned, in 18.1 innings.
  • The Dash have scored only six runs over the last three games, which is the lowest number of tallies over a three-game span since May 16-18. This three-game offensive output is tied for the second-lowest this season for Winston-Salem.
  • Despite the loss, Chris Curley continued his hitting streak to begin his Dash career. Curley has hit safely in nine in a row (three regular season and six postseason games). While wearing the Dash purple, Curley is 14-for-29 (.483) with eight runs scored.

AN EYE ON THE WHITE SOX FARM:

The only other White Sox affiliate still alive lost last night, too. Triple-A Charlotte dropped Game 1 of the Governors’ Cup Finals at Pawtucket. Charlotte starter Charlie Leesman left in the first inning due to an undisclosed injury, and the PawSox took advantage by homering three times. Game 2 of this set is set for 7:05 p.m. from Rhode Island before shifting to Charlotte for the final three possible games.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

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 a look ahead to the biggest game of the season.

- Brian

Playoff Perspective – Game 3

Scott Snodgress will pitch with the Dash facing elimination again Wednesday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

In another tightly-contested playoff game, the Dash dropped a tough one to the Hillcats 1-0 Tuesday night in Lynchburg. As a result, Winston-Salem faces elimination Wednesday night in Game 4. Here is tonight’s analysis.

PLAYOFF PERSPECTIVE:

  • Let’s get this out of the way first. This series is not over.
  • OK, now that I said that, let’s also say this. Winston-Salem needs to find its offensive prowess from the regular season, or the series will be over. Obviously, Lynchburg’s pitching staff deserves plenty of credit to holding the Dash to seven runs on 17 hits in the first three games of this series. However, the Dash had spurts against every team during the regular season.
  • Lynchburg starter Gus Schlosser turned in 15 scoreless innings during his two playoff starts. Winston-Salem swingers were off balance all night, and that continued when Ryne Harper and Juan Jaime entered out of the bullpen. Only Marcus Semien had more than one hard-hit ball during Game 3.
  • Throw out their 9-0 win over Myrtle Beach in Game 3 of the Southern Division Championship Series, and the Dash have only mustered 12 runs in five playoff games. Pitching tends to be more valuable than hitting during the postseason, but this is still very surprising. Winston’s offense has been productive since the season opener more than five months ago.
  • The question moving into Game 4 is simple: does Carolina League Manager of the Year Tommy Thompson tweak the lineup? Outside of a shuffle between catchers Kevan Smith and Mike Blanke along with Smith and Cyle Hankerd’s switch in the order, Thompson has been consistent with his lineup decisions. It will be a fascinating decision for a man who has seemingly pushed all the right buttons during the 2012 campaign. This choice may ultimately define the season.
  • Even though the Dash face elimination Wednesday, fans have to feel good based on what Scott Snodgress and Chris Bassitt did in the SDCS. Those two starters held the Pelicans to three combined runs in the final two games of that set. They know exactly what this situation is like because they dealt with it less than a week ago.
  • Winston dropped to 4-7 following a scheduled off day this season. Fortunately, there are no more off days this season.
  • The Mills Cup Championship Series has not seen a winner-take-all Game 5 since 2005. This league is due for one, and the Dash are well-equipped to pull off the feat.

Keep the faith. Tomorrow is another day. Talk to you then.

- Brian

Game 3 Starting Lineups And Intro

We have hyped up this game here and here and here. It is a big one. Here is our final post in advance of the most important game of the season so far. First, take a listen to the pre-game open, featuring some of the biggest highlights of the playoffs.

Also, here are today’s starting lineups, with a familiar look from the Dash and some shuffling from Lynchburg.

WINSTON-SALEM:

CF – Keenyn Walker
2B – Daniel Wagner
SS – Marcus Semien
1B – Dan Black
C – Kevan Smith
RF – Michael Earley
DH – Cyle Hankerd
LF – Courtney Hawkins
3B – Chris Curley
RHP – Erik Johnson

LYNCHBURG:

LF – Dan Brewer
SS – Nick Ahmed
2B – Tommy La Stella
1B – Chris Garcia
DH – Adam Milligan
C – Braeden Schlehuber
RF – David Rohm
CF – Mycal Jones
3B – Emerson Landoni
RHP – Gus Schlosser

An extended version of the Pre-Game Dash begins at 5:45 p.m., with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. I hope you can join me here for Game 3. Talk to you then.

- Brian

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.

STARTING PITCHERS:

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.

DASH DOTS:

  • 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.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

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.

- Brian

A Second Wake Up Call?

Was this moment the turning point in the Mills Cup Finals? (Dan Barber/W-S Dash).

If something isn’t broken, why fix it?

Maybe that was the mentality for the Dash in the Mills Cup Championship Series after a strange but effective route to a Southern Division Championship Series triumph against Myrtle Beach.

Against the Pelicans, Winston-Salem mustered only two runs in the set’s first 14 innings. With nine outs remaining in Game 2, the Dash were down by one with their season on the line. Winston’s offense woke up to the tune of three runs in the seventh to even the series and a combined nine tallies in the second and third frames of the winner-take-all Game 3 clash.

The next night, the Dash turned in their second straight one-run performance in a playoff series opener. In Game 2, Lynchburg held a 3-1 lead entering the sixth inning. This time around, elimination wasn’t a possibility, but going down two games with three road games remaining is as close as you can get in a best-of-five set.

Once again, Winston-Salem’s bats woke up. Three runs in the sixth, capped off by Kevan Smith’s two-run bomb to give the Dash the lead, ultimately tilted the momentum in the way of the home team.

For the second time in four days, the Dash stormed back for a Game 2 victory they had to have. Sunday’s win doesn’t mean Winston-Salem will win the series, but it likely kept the club afloat. Now, it comes down to a best-of-three in Lynchburg for the Mills Cup.

Sure, Winston-Salem will have to overcome plenty of obstacles for a Carolina League crown. The Dash went just 4-6 in Lynchburg during the regular season. The Hillcats will send the circuit’s Pitcher of the Year, righty Gus Schlosser, to the mound tomorrow night. And, of course, Lynchburg is a really good team.

However, the Dash have plenty going in their favor:

  • Smith is hitting the ball as well as anyone has over a week-long stretch in the Carolina League this season.
  • Chris Curley is the best nine-hole hitter in the CL right now, and it isn’t close.
  • Keenyn Walker and Daniel Wagner (who is still working hard on this off day) are setting the table for the heart of Winston-Salem’s order.
  • Marcus Semien, with a go-ahead homer, a go-ahead two-run double and an insurance homer in this postseason, has been extremely clutch for the Dash.
  • Courtney Hawkins, with an RBI in four of the five postseason contests, hasn’t been too shabby on that front, either. This kid is for real.
  • Dan Black is oh so due for a big game.
  • So is Cyle Hankerd.
  • Tuesday’s starter Erik Johnson should have had a no-hit bid through six innings in Game 1 of the SDCS Wednesday against Myrtle Beach.
  • Winston’s final two starters–Scott Snodgress and Chris Bassitt–shined in round one with the Dash’s collective back against the wall.
  • Every member of the Dash’s bullpen, which has allowed just one earned run in 16.1 innings in the playoffs, will be available for Game 3.

The Hillcats are good, but so is Winston-Salem. At the beginning of the season, Dash fans would’ve loved the idea of needing two wins in three tries to win a Mills Cup. That’s what the assignment is for the Dash, and for the reasons above and many others, this club has a great chance to get it done.

- Brian

Playoff Perspective – Game 2

Winston-Salem rallied for a thrilling 5-4 victory over Lynchburg in Game 2 of the Mills Cup Championship Series Sunday afternoon at BB&T Ballpark. First off, hear from the man who gave the Dash their first lead in the series–catcher Kevan Smith.

Now, it’s time for our postgame analysis.

PLAYOFF PERSPECTIVE:

  • Wow. Once again, the Dash’s collective back was against the wall in a Game 2, and this offense found a way to battle back for a narrow win. After five frustrating innings of offense, Smith, Daniel Wagner and Keenyn Walker came up with huge hits in the sixth, and Marcus Semien’s solo shot in the eighth proved to be the difference in the game. This offense, despite struggling at times in the playoffs, is so good.
  • Everyone knew Dash skipper Tommy Thompson was going to be the Carolina League’s Manager of the Year, and he pushed the right button today when he submitted his lineup card. Winston’s catcher had hit in the seven hole in all four previous postseason contests, but Thompson switched Smith with Cyle Hankerd. Sure enough, Smith’s turn came around when the Dash needed a hit, and the former Pittsburgh star came through in a big way.
  • As for Semien’s homer, credit the former sixth-round pick for coming up with the first run scored against Lynchburg reliever John Cornely at the High-A level. Semien is only 3-for-18 in the playoffs, but those three hits have been huge: solo homer in the first inning of Game 2 of the SDCS, game-winning two-run double in that same game and this homer today. Semien is a clutch player.
  • How important has Chris Curley been to this playoff run? He is 8-for-16 with four runs scored, and the late-season acquisition made the defensive play of the game in the seventh. Curley, who was playing in on the grass, stabbed a Nick Ahmed liner and doubled off a runner at second to end the threat.
  • Starter Justin Collop and reliever Taylor Thompson turned in gritty efforts Sunday, and both Max Peterson and Kevin Vance continued to pitch well out of the bullpen. All in all, a solid day for Winston’s pitching staff.
  • Thank goodness Andrelton Simmons will be heading back to Atlanta tomorrow, according to multiple reports. It is incredible that this young man played in the CL last year. His ninth-inning double was one of the hardest-hit balls I’ve seen this year.
  • Series tied at one game apiece. Momentum-shifting Game 3 on the horizon. Erik Johnson versus Gus Schlosser. It doesn’t get much better than that, and it’s 47 hours away.

The Dash and Hillcats have tomorrow off, but the Dash Board blog will be packed with more #Dash12 coverage in advance of Game 3 Tuesday. Talk to you then.

- Brian

Game 2 Starting Lineups

The Dash wrap up their home slate with Game 2 of the best-of-five Mills Cup Championship Series this afternoon at 2 against Lynchburg. Winston-Salem aims to even the set at one game apiece. Here are today’s starting lineups:

LYNCHBURG:

DH – Andrelton Simmons
SS – Nick Ahmed
2B – Tommy La Stella
1B – Chris Garcia
RF – Adam Milligan
3B – Edward Salcedo
LF – Dan Brewer
CF – Mycal Jones
C – Braeden Schlehuber
RHP – Ryan Weber

WINSTON-SALEM:

CF – Keenyn Walker
2B – Daniel Wagner
SS – Marcus Semien
1B – Dan Black
C – Kevan Smith
RF – Michael Earley
DH – Cyle Hankerd
LF – Courtney Hawkins
3B – Chris Curley
RHP – Justin Collop

Join me at 1:40 for the Pre-Game Dash here. Talk to you then.

- Brian

Game 2 Preview – Lynchburg v. Winston-Salem

Mills Cup Championship Series
Lynchburg Hillcats at Winston-Salem Dash
Sunday, September 9 — 2:00 p.m.
Game 2 — Hillcats lead series 1-0

GAME 2 BACKGROUND:

The Dash could not parlay their momentum from consecutive wins to claim the Southern Division Championship Series. Winston-Salem dropped Game 1 of the best-of-five Mills Cup Championship Series to Lynchburg 3-1 Saturday night at BB&T Ballpark. Winston only managed three base runners against Hillcats hurler Michael Lee, who spun six and a third scoreless innings for the victory.

As a result, the Dash will aim to even the series in the final game at BB&T Ballpark this season. Winston boasted the best home regular season record in full-season minor league baseball (48-23), but the Dash are just 2-2 in the Triad in the playoffs.

STARTING PITCHERS:

Winston-Salem — RHP Justin Collop (9-4, 4.17 ERA): In his playoff debut, Collop will face the Hillcats for the fifth time in 2012 today. The righty owns a 5.56 earned run average over 22 and a third innings against Lynchburg. His best outing against the Northern Division champs came July 3 when the former Toledo Rocket turned in six and two-thirds scoreless frames, but the Hillcats roughed up Collop five days later to the tune of eight runs on 12 hits.

Lynchburg — RHP Ryan Weber (2-4, 3.38 ERA): Weber spent much of the regular season in the bullpen, amassing 14 relief appearances and five starts. The former 17th round pick pitched out of the bullpen in Game 2 of the Northern Division Championship Series three days ago. Weber surrendered three runs on six hits over three innings during the Hillcats’ lone loss thus far in the postseason.

DASH DOTS:

  • Over the last seven seasons, the team to win Game 1 of the Mills Cup Championship Series has gone on to win the Carolina League crown five times. However, in each of the last two seasons, the winner of the series opener has lost the next three and, thus, the series. Frederick overtook Kinston last year after the K-Tribe won Game 1, while Winston bested Potomac in the opener of the 2010 title set before the P-Nats won three straight.
  • Winston-Salem’s bullpen has yet to allow an earned run in the 2012 playoffs. The Dash have tossed 11 and two-thirds of scoreless relief, and every reliever has thrown at least one inning except for Kevin Vance, who boasts the bullpen’s lone win of the playoffs after working two-thirds of an inning Thursday night in Game 2 of the SDCS.
  • Dash outfielder Courtney Hawkins has driven in a run in each of the first four playoff games. Hawkins hit a solo shot in the fifth inning Wednesday and the seventh frame Thursday before an RBI fielder’s choice in the SDCS-clinching win Friday. Last night, the White Sox top pick in this year’s draft plated a run with a single. In his nine games with Winston-Salem, the Corpus Christi, Texas, native is 9-for-32 (.281) with three homers, six RBI and six runs scored.
  • Since moving into BB&T Ballpark facility prior to the 2010 campaign, Winston is a CL-best 134-77 (.635) inside the gem of the Carolina League. With a win today, the Dash would claim their 51st home win overall, which would surpass the 2010 squad. That team went 50-23 at home in the regular season and playoffs combined.
  • For what it’s worth, Winston-Salem is 13-6 on Sundays and 15-12 in day games this season. This will be the final Sunday contest and afternoon affair this season.
  • Keep in mind that the Dash and Hillcats have played six extra-inning games this season, which is more than Winston-Salem played against the rest of the circuit combined. Seven of the other 21 games between the division champions have been decided by one or two runs, so these two teams play some great games. This one is more important than all of them.

AN EYE ON THE WHITE SOX FARM:

Outside Winston-Salem, it was a great day for Chicago’s minor league system. Triple-A Charlotte punched its ticket to the International League Finals with a 6-4 win over Indianapolis Saturday night. The Knights will play the Pawtucket Red Sox in Game 1 Tuesday night in Rhode Island. Also, rookie-level Great Falls sneaked past Missoula 5-4 thanks to Adam Heisler’s two-run, walk-off home run to force a deciding Game 3 in the Pioneer League semifinals.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

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 1:40 p.m. and features a chat with manager Tommy Thompson and a look back at the Dash’s thrilling home season.

- Brian

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