Results tagged ‘ Gus Schlosser ’

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 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 Preview – Myrtle Beach at Winston-Salem

Southern Division Championship Series
Myrtle Beach Pelicans at Winston-Salem Dash
Thursday, September 6  — 7:00 p.m.
Game 2 — Pelicans lead series 1-0

GAME 1 BACKGROUND:

The Dash face elimination tonight at BB&T Ballpark in Game 2 of the SDCS against Myrtle Beach. The Pelicans plated four runs in the top of the sixth and held Winston-Salem to just one run, a Courtney Hawkins solo shot in the fifth, on five base hits. As a result, Winston must win to avoid its sixth playoff series loss in its last eight tries, while Myrtle Beach is a win away from the franchise’s first Mills Cup Championship Series appearance since 2008.

STARTING PITCHERS:

Winston-Salem — LHP Scott Snodgress (4-0, 1.50 ERA): Winston-Salem turns to Snodgress with its season on the line. Snodgress has turned in five quality starts in his eight outings with the Dash, and he has not allowed an earned run in five of his games. In two starts against the Pelicans, Snodgress has given up just one unearned run on seven hits over 12 innings. A fifth-round pick in 2011, Snodgress whiffed 14 batters in those two outings.

Myrtle Beach — RHP Joe Van Meter (4-5, 2.06 ERA): A reliever for the season’s first four months, Van Meter has made eight starts and is 3-2 with a 2.41 ERA in those efforts. Van Meter, who had a brief stint in Double-A Frisco during the regular season, strikes out about one batter per inning. In his penultimate outing of the regular season and his only start against Winston-Salem, the Glen Allen, Va., native surrendered two runs on six hits in six innings August 26.

DASH DOTS:

  • Winston-Salem dished out nine sweeps in the regular season, but no Carolina League club was able to accomplish the feat when squaring off with the Dash. Winston faced a possible sweep five times during the season, but the squad went 5-0 in those games and outscored its opposition 37-16, which is an average score of 7.4-3.2 in such situations. The Dash face a possible playoff sweep tonight.
  • Wednesday’s starter Erik Johnson twirled a no-hitter until the final out of the sixth inning, which matched the longest no-hit bid by a Winston-Salem starter this season.
  • Since Winston-Salem won the 2003 Carolina League crown, the franchise has played in four elimination games. Winston is 0-4 in those games, with the combined score sitting at 22-11. This is the first elimination game in Winston-Salem since September 6, 2008, when Myrtle ended the Warthogs season with an 11-5 victory.
  • Outside of Daniel Wagner’s 2-for-2, two-walk night, no Winston whacker reached base more than once Wednesday night. Excepting Hawkins’ home run, the Dash did not get a runner to third base. Myrtle Beach’s pitching quartet whiffed 10 men during the contest, while the Dash stranded seven runners, four of which were in scoring position.
  • Dash outfielder Courtney Hawkins hit his second High-A home run in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game. Including his regular season work, Chicago’s top pick in June is 6-for-21 (.286) with a pair of long balls and three RBI in Winston-Salem. Hawkins is the youngest player to compete in the CL this season (18 years, nine months, 25 days).
  • Myrtle Beach plated four runs in the sixth inning in Game 1 after the Pelicans only scored more than four runs in five regular season games against the Dash this season. In these two squads previous two meetings (August 26 and last night), the Pelicans have surged past the Dash thanks to a four-run frame late in the contest.

AN EYE ON THE NDCS:

Lynchburg seized a 1-0 lead in the Northern Division Championship Series with an 8-0 win in Wilmington Wednesday. Carolina League Pitcher of the Year Gus Schlosser blanked the Blue Rocks over eight innings, while the Hillcats plated two in the eighth and four more in the ninth to pull away. Tommy La Stella drove in three runs, while fellow midseason All-Star Nick Ahmed plated a pair.

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 6:40 p.m. and features a chat with Dash skipper Tommy Thompson and a look back at Game 1.

- Brian

Game 1 Preview – Myrtle Beach at Winston-Salem

Southern Division Championship Series
Myrtle Beach Pelicans at Winston-Salem Dash
Wednesday, September 5  — 7:00 p.m.
Game 1 — Best-of-three series

GAME 1 BACKGROUND:

For the 26th time, Winston-Salem competes in the Carolina League’s postseason, and the Dash kick off their playoff run tonight against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The Dash enter with the franchise’s second-best regular season record since joining the CL as a charter member in 1945. Winston also posted the best overall record (87-50-1) and home mark (48-23) in full-season minor league baseball.

During the regular season, the Dash won the season series 11-9, which included a 9-4 mark against the Pelicans in the second half. Myrtle Beach qualified for the playoffs by finishing the second half with the second-best record in the Southern Division. The Pelicans finished 74-65, which was the circuit’s second-best mark.

STARTING PITCHERS:

Winston-Salem — RHP Erik Johnson (4-3, 2.74 ERA): Johnson thrived for the Dash in his eight Carolina League starts following his promotion from Low-A Kannapolis July 21, which earned him the Game 1 nod. Johnson twirled a quality start in seven of his eight outings in purple, and the righty has struck out 48 batters in 49.1 innings. This will be Johnson’s first appearance against Myrtle in his career.

Myrtle Beach — RHP Luke Jackson (5-2, 4.39 ERA): Jackson has had an up-and-down second half after recording an ERA near five with Low-A Hickory to begin the season. The righty has not worked through six innings since August 2. He has faced the Dash four times this season, going 1-2 with a 5.32 ERA in 22 innings.

DASH DOTS:

  • During the season series, Winston-Salem not only boasted more wins against Myrtle Beach, but the Dash held the edge in most statistical categories. The Dash had a better batting average (.270 to .211), scored more runs (89 to 65), and posted a much better earned run average (2.45 to 4.17).
  • The Dash have not lost a series since July 21-23 at home against Frederick, a span of 12 sets.
  • Winston-Salem has only played the Pelicans one other time in the Carolina League postseason. Myrtle Beach took down the Warthogs 3-1 in a best-of-five SDCS in 2008.
  • Entering this season, Winston-Salem’s record in the playoffs sits at 54-53 (.505) over 107 all-time games. In 34 playoff series, Winston has an 18-16 mark.
  • Dash slugger Cyle Hankerd is heating up down the stretch. In his previous nine games, Hankerd is hitting .481 (13-for-27) with six RBI and seven runs scored. In his final two games of the season, Hankerd was 5-for-6.
  • Since 2005, the top team in full-season minor league baseball has won its league title three of the seven years, with all three of those titles coming over the last four years (Double-A San Antonio in 2011, Low-A Fort Wayne in 2009 and Low-A Augusta in 2008). All but two of these seven teams reached their league’s championship series. In total, these teams went 28-14 (.667) in postseason action.

AN EYE ON THE NDCS:

While the Dash and Pelicans fight for the Southern Division’s crown, Lynchburg takes on Wilmington in the Northern Division Championship Series. The Blue Rocks host the opener of the best-of-three set tonight at 6:35 in Delaware. CL Pitcher of the Year Gus Schlosser (13-7, 3.38 ERA) toes the rubber for the Hillcats against fellow right-hander Brooks Pounders (6-4, 4.32 ERA). The Blue Rocks won the regular season series 11-9 over the Hillcats.

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 6:40 p.m. and features a chat with Dash skipper Tommy Thompson along with this broadcast open recapping the season.

- Brian

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