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Saturday, September 11, 2004

Due to Hurricane Ivan, Daytona's season came to an end before last night's start of the championship series. Daytona and Tampa were named co-champions by the FSL! Congrats to the D-Cubs on a very tough rollercoaster season. DAYTONA CUBS 2004 CO-CHAMPIONS OF THE FSL!

Speaking of champions, the 2003 MWL champions were knocked off last night, ending their quest for a repeat. Lansing lost 3-2, eliminating them from the MWL playoffs. Kevin Collins hit a 2-run HR in the 1st, for the Lugnuts only scoring. Collins was 1-3, with a walk and his 1st playoff HR. Brian Dopirak went 1-4, with a double and a run scored. He reached on an error before Collins went deep. A Jake Fox double and a Carlos Rojas single were the only other hits after the 1st. The Lugnuts had their chances, though. Alberto Garcia grounded into an inning ending doubleplay, with the bases loaded in the 4th to end one rally. Dopirak's leadoff double in the 9th was stranded, even after pinch runner, Robby Chirinos reached 3B with just 1 out. Randy Wells took the loss for Lansing. He allowed just 4 hits, while striking out 7 in 5 2/3, but 2 of those hits were solo HRs, and one other was a RBI double. Adalberto Mendez tossed 1 1/3 scoreless, followed by Juan Mateo with 2 scoreless innings, to keep the Lugs in the game, but it wasn't enough.

This loss marks a sad conclusion for yours truly, as the Cubs have ended their affiliation with Lansing. The Cubs will return their single-A team to Peoria, Ill. I will miss the Lugnuts. They have been the team I followed most closely in the minor league system, and I was also able to receive "inside" information from Lansing. The fans in Lansing, MI are so loyal, the announcers are so passionate. Here's to wishing the new affiliate good luck in Lansing, a city that deserves a winner. (*note-wish of good luck is rescended if the Cards move there!)

Iowa lost 10-4 last night to move down 2-1, in the best of 5 series. Trenidad Hubbard was a bright spot, going 3-5, with a double and 2 runs scored. Donny Leon was 2-4, with a double, run, and RBI. Gookie Dawkins was 1-4, with a RBI single. Bill Selby went 0-4, with a RBI groundout. David Kelton and Micah Hoffpauir each went 1-4, with doubles in the loss. Shawn Sedlacek was bombed for 7 ERs on 9 hits in 5 innings. Eric Eckenstahler allowed 2 more in just 2/3 of an inning. Jae Kuk Ryu did well, pitching a perfect inning of relief.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Boise finished off Vancouver for the 3-game sweep, to become NWL CHAMPIONS! Ryan Harvey played like a superstar all series, carrying his team to all 3 victories! In the clincher, Harvey went 1-3, with a walk, and blasted his 4th HR in the 3 games, a 2-run shot, to give him 6 RBIs in the series. Kyle Boyer went 1-4, with a 2-run single in the 7th to break a 3-3 tie. Bobby Deeb went 2-5, in the leadoff spot, with a run and RBI. Jasha Balcom went 1-4, with a walk and a pair of runs scored. Tony Richie had his 1st 2 hits of the playoffs, going 2-3, with a walk and a run. Luis Montanez went 2-5, in the win. Matt Weber got the victory. He pitched well allowing 3 ERs on 7 hits, while striking out 6 in 6 innings. Will Fenton and Jerry Blevins dominated to close out the game. Fenton struck out 5 in 2 perfect innings. Blevins struck out 2 more in the 9th to complete the save in every game of the series. Congratulations to the Boise Hawks, 2004 NWL Champions!

Iowa lost 4-2 last night. Russ Johnson provided all the offense, as he went 1-4, with a 2-run HR in the 1st inning. Denny Hocking went 2-3, with a walk and a run scored. Donny Leon and Bill Selby each had singles for the only other Cubs hits. Renyel Pinto didn't pitch badly, but still took the loss. He went 5 1/3, giving up 3 ERs on 6 hits, with 7 strikeouts. Will Ohman allowed 1 more ER in 2/3 of an inning. Iowa is now tied 1-1 in the best of 5 series. Shawn Sedlacek gets the start tonight in Oklahoma.

Daytona completed the 2-game sweep with a 6-2 win yesterday! Ryan Theriot went 2-4, with a double and 2 RBIs. Francisco Salas went 2-4, with a solo HR. Brandon Sing went 1-3, also with a solo HR. Matt Murton went 2-3, with a walk, steal, and a run scored. Casey McGehee went 2-4, with a run scored. Buck Coats went 1-4, and also scored. Anderson Tavares pitched a gem. He allowed just 1 ER on 6 hits, while striking out 6 men in 7 strong innings. Andrew Shipman pitched a scoreless 9th to pick up the save. The Cubs advance to play in the FSL Championship series, starting tonight at Tampa against the Yankees.

Lansing won 3-1 last night to draw even at 1-1 in the best of 3 series. Alberto Garcia and Drew Larsen were the surprise standouts on offense. Larsen went 2-3, with a walk, a run, and a RBI. Garcia went 3-4, with a RBI single. Jake Fox went 1-3, with a single and a RBI walk. Brian Dopirak went 1-3, with a walk, and a run scored. Chris Walker went 1-5, with a leadoff double and a run scored. Kevin Collins and Robby Chirinos each went 0-2, with a pair of walks in the win. Billy Petrick picked up the win. Petrick allowed 1 ER on 6 hits in 6 innings. Clay Rapada tossed 2 perfect innings of relief to setup Juan Mateo. Mateo was perfect in the 9th, picking up the save. The final game of the series is tonight, with Randy Wells taking the mound for the Lugnuts.


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Iowa won 2-1 last night to take a 1-0 lead in the best of 5 series. Jimmy Anderson pitched a gem. Anderson allowed just 4 hits and 1 ER over 7 strong innings to lead the Cubs to victory. Jason Szuminski picked up the hold with 2/3 scoreless. Jermaine Van Buren walked 2, but tossed 1 1/3 hitless innings to pick up the save. The offense put together 2 runs on just 3 singles in the 5th inning, with the help of some bad defense. Denny Hocking went 1-4, with a single. He advanced to 2B on a throwing error and scored the tying run. Russ Johnson also went 1-4. His RBI single drove home the tying run, he advanced to 2B on the throw to the plate, and scored what would be the game-winner. Donny Leon went 2-3, with that game-winning RBI. Bill Selby went 2-3, with a walk in the win. Micah Hoffpauir went 1-3, also with a walk. Renyel Pinto gets the game 2 nod for the Cubbies.

Daytona won their playoff opener, 10-8 last night. It was the ultimate balanced attack, as all Cubs players either scored or drove in at least 1 run. Jose Reyes had a big game, going 2-3, with a 2-run double and another RBI on a bases loaded walk. Matt Murton went 2-6, with a double, 2 runs scored, a steal, and a RBI. Issmael Salas also went 2-6, with a double, run, and RBI. Ryan Theriot was 1-4, with a double, walk, run, and 2 RBIs. Buck Coats went 2-4, with a walk and 2 runs scored. Felix Pie went 2-5, with a triple and a RBI. JJ Johnson went 1-3, with a walk and 2 runs scored. Brandon Sing went 1-4, with a walk, run, and RBI. Casey McGehee was the only Cub not to get a hit, but went 0-4, with a walk and a run. Jon Connolly allowed 4 runs (3 ER) on 6 hits in 5 2/3, but got the no decision. Thomas Atlee picked up the win, despite giving up a grandslam HR to cut the Cubs lead to 2. Jordan Gerk with 1 1/3 scoreless, and Andrew Shipman with a perfect 9th closed out the game. Daytona leads the best of 5 series, 1-0.

Lansing was shutout in Game 1, 5-0. The Lugnuts were held to just 2 hits in the loss. A Jake Fox single was the only hit thru the first 8 innings. Chris Walker added a double in the 9th. Uriak Marquez was the only other Lugnut to reach base. He was 0-1, with a walk and a HBP. Brian Dopirak went 0-4, with 2 Ks in the loss. Kevin Collins was 0-3. Carlos Marmol kept his team in the game, with a no-hitter thru 4 and a 2-hitter thru 6. But he wore down in the 7th, giving up 3 ERs. In total, Marmol allowed those 3 ERs on 4 hits and 5 BBs in 6 2/3 innings. Weston Obrien allowed 2 more ERs in the 8th to put the game out of reach. Lansing is at home for games 2 and 3 (if necessary), facing elimination with a loss. Billy Petrick goes to the mound for Lansing.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Boise won 9-7 last night, to take a 2-0 lead in the NWL Championship Series. Ryan Harvey led the way again, going 2-3, with his 3rd HR in 2 games, a triple, walk, 2 RBIs, and 2 runs scored. Kyle Boyer also did more than his share in a balanced attack. Boyer went 1-2, also with a HR, a RBI, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored. Ryan Norwood went 1-4, with his 2nd 2-RBI game of the series. Jose Rios also went 1-4, with a 2-run double. Luis Montanez went 1-4, with a triple, run, and RBI. Bobby Deeb went 2-4, with a walk and a run scored in the leadoff spot. Jasha Balcom went 1-5, with a run and RBI. Alfredo Francisco went 1-4, with a run at the back of the order. Darin Downs pitched well to get the win. Downs allowed 2 ERs on 4 hits, while striking out 8 in 5 2/3 innings. Reid Willett allowed a grandslam in the 7th to shrink the Hawks lead to one, before Harvey and Boyer went back-to-back to get the lead back up to 3. Will Fenton tossed 1 2/3 scoreless for the hold. Jerry Blevins allowed an unearned run in the 9th, but picked up his 2nd save in as many games. The Hawks are off today to travel to Vancouver for the final 3 games (if necessary) of the series. Matt Weber gets the start in the potential clincher.

Iowa begins its title run tonight at home vs. Oklahoma.

Daytona will finally get back on the field to start its playoffs tonight in Clearwater, Fla vs. Vero Beach; as Jackie Robinson Field in Daytona is unplayable. Jon Connolly gets the opening nod for the Cubs.

Lansing starts their title defense tonight at West Michigan. Carlos Marmol gets the Game 1 start.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Boise won game 1 of their championship series, 7-4! Ryan Harvey had a monster game, going 2-3, with 2 solo HRs, and a HBP. Not to be outdone, Ryan Norwood went 1-3, also with a solo HR and a bases loaded walk. The light-hitting duo at the bottom of the order, Jose Rios and Alfredo Francisco, each went 2-4. Rios doubled and scored twice. Francisco had a RBI double. Bobby Deeb went 1-5, with a RBI and a run scored atop the order. Jasha Balcom went 2-5, also with a run and RBI. JR Mathes pitched well, going 6 innings and allowing just 2 ERs on 5 hits to pick up the win. Jerry Blevins struck out 2, and allowed just a walk over the final 1 1/3 to pick up the save. Game 2 is tomorrow night, also in Boise. Darin Downs gets the start in the final home game of the season for the Hawks.

Iowa closed out its regular season with a 7-3 loss. Gookie Dawkins led the offense, going 2-4, with a double and a pair of runs scored. Russ Johnson went 1-3, with a double, walk, and a run scored. Micah Hoffpauir made his AAA debut, and went 1-3, with a walk and a RBI double in the loss. Adam Greenberg also was promoted to AAA for the playoff run and went 0-4. Kevin McGlinchy took the loss, giving up 5 hits and 2 ERs in 4 innings. Also making his Iowa debut, JK Ryu was roughed up for 2 hits and 4 runs (3 ER) in just 2/3 of an inning. Kevin Tolar and Will Ohman each struck out the side in an inning of work. Quietly, Will Ohman has put up a resurgent season, striking out a system-best 12.9 men per 9 innings! The I-Cubs will open the 1st round of the PCL playoffs vs. Oklahoma on Wednesday. The Cubs will have to win without Jason Dubois, Mike Wuertz, Sergio Mitre, and Calvin Murray who were all promoted to Chicago before the game. Greenberg, Hoffpauir, and Ryu take their places.

West Tenn's season came to an end with a 3-0 loss yesterday. The depleted Jaxx roster mustered just 3 hits. Josh Arteaga went 1-4, with the lone double. Mike Mallory and Ronny Cedeno each went 1-3. Ryan O'Malley took the loss. He went 6 innings, allowing 4 hits and 3 ERs. Evan Fahrner ended his solid season with 2 perfect innings of relief.

Lansing lost a wild finale, 11-10. Chris Walker went 3-5, with 3 runs scored in the leadoff spot. Walker also added to his Lugnuts record with his 60th steal, tying Dwaine Bacon for most in the system. Speaking of records, Brian Dopirak added to his franchise HR and RBI record, by tying Ryan Gripp's record with his 166th hit of the season. Dope was 1-5, with a run scored in the loss. Alberto Garcia went 1-3, with a solo HR, his 7th, a HBP and 2 runs scored. Ryan Fitzgerald went 2-4, with a run and RBI bringing up the rear of the order. Tony Granato went 1-4, with a double and 2 RBIs. Robby Chirinos went 1-5, with a run and 2 RBIs. Jake Fox was 1-5, with a RBI double. Uriak Marquez went 1-2, with a run and RBI. Walt Nolen got the spot start in the meaningless game. Nolen went 4 innings, giving up 3 hits, 3 BBs, and 2 ERs. But the bullpen blew a 9-2 lead after 4 1/2. Sam Fischer allowed 4 ERs in just 1/3 of an inning. Clay Rapada, in his franchise record 58th appearance, was touched for 4 ERs in 1 2/3 to take the loss. Lansing opens the first round of the MWL playoffs against West Michigan on Wednesday. Carlos Marmol gets the starting nod.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Iowa won 8-4 yesterday, to clinch the PCL Central division title! Russ Johnson had a huge game, going 2-4, with 2 HRs, 2 runs scored, and 3 RBIs. Gookie Dawkins did his share, going 3-4, with a pair of doubles, a run, and 3 RBIs. Bill Selby went 3-5, with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored. Trenidad Hubbard went 2-4, with a walk, double, and a run in the leadoff spot. Casey Kopitzke went 1-4, with a RBI single in the clincher. Richard Lewis went 0-3, but chipped in a sac fly RBI. Jason Dubois was 0-5, but scored a run. John Koronka allowed 3 ERs on 6 hits in 6 solid innings to pick up his 12th win for the I-Cubs. Joe Borowski tossed a perfect inning. Jermaine Van Buren allowed just a solo HR in 2 innings of relief. Iowa is the 4th Cubs affiliate to make the playoffs this season. They will join Daytona, Lansing, and Boise who all have a chance to become their league's champions!

West Tenn lost 5-1 last night. The Jaxx were held to just 3 singles in the loss. Matt Craig went 1-4. Adam Greenberg was 1-3. Ronny Cedeno was 1-2, with a walk. Dwaine Bacon went 0-2, but walked twice and scored a run after stealing his 60th base of the season! Micah Hoffpauir went 0-3, but drove hom Bacon with a sac fly RBI. Ricky Nolasco allowed 4 ERs on 5 hits to take the loss. However, he did strike out a season-high 12 men in 7 innings in his final start of the season. The season ends for the D-Jaxx tomorrow night.

Lansing won 5-1 last night. Drew Larsen went 2-5, with 3 RBIs to lead the offense. Brian Dopirak went 1-4, with a double, walk, run, and a RBI. Chris Walker went 1-4, with a walk and 2 runs scored in the leadoff spot. Robby Chirinos went 1-4, with a run. Tony McQuade went 1-5, and also scored. Kevin Collins went 0-2, but walked 3 times in the win. Bear Bay pitched a playoff preparation game. He threw just 2 innings, allowing 4 hits and an ER. Kris Gross earned the win in relief with 4 scoreless innings. Weston O'Brien tossed 2 scoreless and Adalberto Mendez added a perfect 9th to close it out.

Boise lost 7-5 last night to end their regular season. Kyle Boyer went 2-4, with his 7th HR, and 2 RBIs to lead the offense. Jasha Balcom went 1-4, with a pair of runs scored. Ryan Norwood went 2-4, with a RBI. Luis Montanez went 1-3, with a walk and a run scored. Alfredo Francisco went 1-4, with a double and a run. Luis Brito got the no decision. He went 5 innings, giving up 3 ERs on 8 hits. Andy Mejia was tagged for 3 ERs in an inning of relief to take the loss. Boise takes on Vancouver in a best of 5 NWL championship series starting tonight! JR Mathes gets the Game 1 nod for the Hawks.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Iowa won 4-1 last night. Sergio Mitre put his teammates on his back and willed them to victory. Not only did Mitre allow just 1 run over 6 2/3 innings, but he also hit a big 2-run double to break the 1-1 tie in the 5th inning. Mitre only had 1 perfect inning, but continually got out of jams, as he scattered 11 hits. Jason Dubois did his part, going 2-4, with the first and last run driven in. He hit a solo HR in the 1st, his 29th, and a RBI single in the 8th. Calvin Murray went 1-4, with a triple and a run scored. Russ Johnson went 1-3, with a double, walk, and a run. Gookie Dawkins was 0-2, with a walk and a run. Nate Bland tossed a scoreless 8th for the hold. Jermaine Van Buren struck out 2 in the 9th for his 1st Iowa save.

West Tenn swept a doubleheader last night! The Jaxx won game 1, 6-2. Mike Dzurilla went 1-3, with a 2-out, 3-run HR (6) in the 6th to break the 2-2 tie. Paul O'toole went 2-3, with a 2-run HR , his 4th, and 2 runs scored. Josh Arteaga went 2-2, with a walk and a RBI double as insurance. Matt Craig went 1-2, with a HBP and a pair of runs scored. Micah Hoffpauir was 0-2, but walked and scored a run. Carmen Pignatiello picked up the win to quietly move to 9-7 on the year. He allowed 2 ERs on 6 hits, with 5 strikeouts in 6 innings. Jae Kuk Ryu struck out 2 in a perfect 7th to close it.

The Jaxx won game 2, 7-1. Jon Connolly, promoted from Daytona, made a stellar AA debut. He went 6 strong innings, allowing just 4 hits and an ER, while striking out 8 men to get the victory. He also recorded his 1st professional RBI with a groundout. Josh Arteaga went 2-4, with a double and 4 RBIs. Micah Hoffpauir went 1-4, with a 2-run double. Adam Greenberg, Geovany Soto, and Matt Creighton all went 1-2, with a walk and a pair of runs scored each. Aron Weston went 1-4, with a double and a run scored in the win.

Lansing won 5-4 last night. Brian Dopirak continued his MVP season, going 2-4, with his 38th HR and 2 RBIs. It was his 46th multi-hit game of the season. Alan Rick went 2-4, with his 9th HR, 2 runs, and 2 RBIs. Kevin Collins went 1-4, with a double and a run scored. Robby Chirinos went 1-4, with a RBI double. Tony McQuade went 1-4, with a single and a run. Drew Larsen was 2-4, with a double in the win. Randy Wells picked up the win for the Lugnuts. He allowed 4 ERs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings. Clay Rapada turned in 1 2/3 more scoreless innings to get his ERA below 2. Juan Mateo picked up the 2-inning save, his 9th of the season. With the win, the Lugnuts tied a franchise record with its 74th victory of the season!

Boise lost 12-3 last night, and saw their division lead shrink to just 1 game with 3 to play. Alfredo Francisco went 1-2, with a walk and a 2-run HR, his 3rd of the season. Ryan Harvey had a RBI groundout to start the scoring, but went 0-4, ending his hit streak at 16 games. Jasha Balcom went 1-4, with a run scored. Jose Rios went 1-2, with a walk and a run. Ryan Norwood went 1-4, with a double. Leonel Perez made his Boise debut, and hit a pinch-hit double. Darin Downs and the pitching staff struggled for a change. Downs allowed 4 runs, 4 hits and 4 walks over 3 1/3 innings to take the loss. Andy Mejia also walked 4 and allowed 4 ERs in 1 1/3. Will Fenton allowed just 1 in 2 1/3, but Jason Kosow allowed 3 over the final 2 innings to complete the blowout.

Daytona's end of the year leaders. League MVP, Brandon Sing led the league by 10 with 32 HRs. He also led with 94 RBIs, a .571 SLG, .399 OBP, 86 runs scored, and 84 walks. Felix Pie finished tied for 5th with a .297 BA. He finished 3rd in runs (79), 6th in hits, 3rd in triples (10), and 5th in steals (32). Matt Murton finished 4th w/ a .301 avg and 10th with a .372 OBP. Adam Greenberg finished 1st with 12 triples and 6th with a .381 OBP. Casey McGehee was 6th with 30 doubles. Jon Connolly took home the ERA title w/ a 2.40 ERA. His 1.12 WHIP was 3rd, he tied for 2nd with 3 complete games. Rich Hill and Andy Sisco finished 4th and 5th in strikeouts with 136 and 134 respectively. Hill also led the league with 72 BBs and 19 hit batsmen.

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