Saturday Farm Report: Lancaster, Grand Junction In Control of Post-Season Opportunity
The late Al Davis put it as plain and simple as could be.
"Just win baby."
For the Rockies High-A affiliate at Lancaster (Ca.) and Rookie Grand Junction that is all they have to do in the final days of the minor-league regular season to claim a post-season berth.
On Friday, Low-A Asheville and Short-Season A Boise suffered losses that officially eliminated them from playoff contention. The Rockies Dominican Summer League Northeast affiliate, which had the best regular-season record of the 36 teams in the DSL, was swept in the first round of the DSL Playoffs this week.
Lancaster, however, has three games remaining, and needs either one win or or an Inland Empire loss to earn the second playoff berth in the California League South Division. Lancaster closes out its regular season at last-place Lake Elsinore. Inland Empire is at first-place Rancho Cucamonga.
Grand Junction, meanwhile, is in first place in the second half of the Pioneer League South with five games to play. Its magic number is four against both Idaho Falls and Odgen, which are tied for second place.
Grand Junction finishes up a series with Ogden on Saturday, and then finishes the regular season with a home-and-home with last-place Orem, playing two games in Grand Junction and two in Orem. Idaho Falls plays Orem on Saturday, and then Idaho Falls and Ogden finish the regular-season with a four-game series in Idaho Falls.
In Friday's Games
AAA Albuquerque (63-74) won 14-4 at Reno. Every player in the Isotopes starting lineup had an RBI, including Josh Fuentes (.322), who was 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and three runs scored, and Garrett Hampson (.317), who was 3-for-4 with three RBI and two walks. Brett Oberholtzer (7-10, 5.77) allowed two runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out five, in seven innings.
AA Hartford (63-71) won 3-1 at New Hampsire. Evan Grills (4-5, 3.90) pitched six shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk, striking out six. Matt Pierpont (1.98) earnred save No. 31. Roberto Ramos (.219) and Drew Weeks (.216) were both 1-for-4 with an RBI.
High A Lancaster (37-30 2nd half; 70-67) lost 3-2 at Lake Elsinore. Alexander Guillen (3-3 4.22) retired two batters, but gave up the game-ending run in the bottom of the ninth. Logan Longwith (6.52) started and allowed two runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out three, in six innings. Brian Serven (.272) with was 2-for-3, doubling home one run and tripling and scoring the other.
Low A Asheville (35-30 2nd half; 62-72) loss 11-7 vs. Rome. Kenny Oakley (0-1, 12.00) came on in relief and allowed four runs on five hits in one inning to surfer the loss. Luca Gilbreath (5.04) was charged with five runs on eight hits and a walk, striking out seven. Casey Golden (.283) was 1-for-3 with his 34th home run and three RBI.
Short-Season A Boise (12-23 2nd half; 33-40) lost 6-3 against Hillsboro. Pearson McMahan (3-5, 6.03) allowed three runs on six hits and four walks, striking out nine, in five innings. LJ Hatch (.241) was 2-for-4 with a triple and RBI, and Willie MacIver (.288) was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Rookie Grand Junction (20-13 2nd half; 40-31) won 11-4 against Ogden. Aljeandro Mejia (3-5, 7.83) allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits and a walk, striking out three, in five innings. Hunter Stovall (.307) drove in five runs with a single in the third, three-run home run in the fourth, and single in the eighth. It was his fourth home run.