Results tagged ‘ Tommy La Stella ’
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
PLEASE NOTE: These selections do NOT represent the award winners in the Carolina League. This is merely my opinion on the end-of-season awards.
The Carolina League’s end-of-season All-Star Team should be announced sometime this week, and it is a vote involving media members, general managers and skippers. Here are my best guesses, along with a few others who deserve mention (in alphabetical order).
CATCHER: Braeden Schlehuber (Lynchburg)
The All-Star reserve earns this spot, but it was one of the toughest ones to pick. Winston-Salem’s Mike Blanke made a late surge and certainly could get this spot.
Close calls: Mike Blanke (Winston-Salem), David Freitas (Potomac), Evan Gattis (Lynchburg)
FIRST BASE: Dan Black (Winston-Salem)
He won’t win the triple crown in the CL, but he will come closer than anyone else. The Big Black Bear has been one of the circuit’s most consistent hitters all season long.
Close calls: Chris Garcia (Lynchburg), Travis Shaw (Salem)
SECOND BASE: Carlos Sanchez (Winston-Salem)
It was embarrassing that Sanchez did not make the All-Star team, but this should be a nice consolation. That, and being in Triple-A Charlotte now.
Close call: Tommy La Stella (Lynchburg)
SHORTSTOP: Xander Bogaerts (Salem)
Boston’s second-best prospect is now a Portland SeaDog, but he was a force offensively in the Carolina League.
Close calls: Nick Ahmed (Lynchburg), Marcus Semien (Winston-Salem)
THIRD BASE: Michael Almanzar (Salem)
Almanzar needed a second season in High-A ball, but he improved greatly from year one.
Close calls: Giovanni Urshela (Carolina), Christian Villanueva (Myrtle Beach)
OUTFIELDERS: Jackie Bradley, Jr. (Salem), Brady Shoemaker (Winston-Salem) and Trayce Thompson (Winston-Salem)
Bradley, Jr., and Shoemaker were the CL’s two best players in the first half, and Thompson boasted the most gaudy numbers on the circuit.
Close calls: Michael Earley (Winston-Salem), Jeremy Nowak (Frederick)
UTILITY INFIELDER: Travis Shaw (Salem)
It was tough to pick among many great players for this final spot, but Shaw was a key cog in Salem’s huge first half.
Close calls: Jesus Aguilar (Carolina), Ronny Rodriguez (Carolina), Semien
UTILITY OUTFIELDER: Michael Earley (Winston-Salem)
Earley had a career year, and he definitely belongs somewhere on this list. He fits in well here.
Close calls: Kevin Keyes (Potomac), Nowak
DESIGNATED HITTER: Aaron Baker (Frederick)
With all of the great first basemen in the CL, Baker had to fight to get on this roster despite his big power numbers.
Close call: Jeremie Tice (Carolina)
STARTING PITCHER: Cody Buckel (Myrtle Beach)
Buckel’s 1.31 ERA in 13 starts was ridiculous, and he still places 14th in the CL in strikeouts despite playing in Double-A Frisco for much of the second half.
Close calls: Matt Barnes (Salem), Dylan Bundy (Frederick), J.R. Graham (Lynchburg), Gus Schlosser (Lynchburg)
RELIEF PITCHER: Ben Rowen (Myrtle Beach)
This was one of the tougher selections, but Rowen has been electric as a submarine specialist.
Close calls: Juan Jaime (Lynchburg), Mike Olmsted (Salem), Taylor Thompson (Winston-Salem)
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Brady Shoemaker (Winston-Salem)
Shoemaker carried the Dash past a loaded Salem squad in the first half. If he had been in the CL throughout the season, the Indiana State product could have posted some ridiculous numbers.
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Cody Buckel (Myrtle Beach)
The numbers were just too good.
MANAGER OF THE YEAR: Tommy Thompson (Winston-Salem)
This isn’t even a conversation. If he isn’t the unanimous choice, voters don’t know what they are doing. Thompson has taken the Dash to the brink of minor league baseball’s best record despite significant turnover.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know.
But you have to like the fact that Winston-Salem paces the All-Star team with five representatives, plus the MVP and Manager of the Year.