For six innings it looked like the Boise Hawks were on their way to a dominating game one victory which would have put them one win from a league championship. Two innings later the Hawks found themselves not only trailing in the game, but trailing in the series, and one game away from being eliminated.
The Hawks were clicking on all cylinders early, as Ian Dickson was dealing on the mound, and the Hawks brought their bats to Vancouver. Albert Almora got things started in the second inning with a one out single and advanced to second on a Rock Shoulders ground out. Wilson Contreras followed with a clutch two out single to drive in Almora and give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. The Canadians wasted no time getting back into this one as they plated the tying run in the bottom half of the second on a Carlos Ramirez RBI double. It looked like the Canadians took the lead on the play but Matt Newman was called out at the plate when it looks like he might have been safe. Boise jumped back in front in the third behind a Daniel Vogelbach one out run scoring double that also put men at second and third. The opportunity was wasted as both Jeimer Candelario and Almora struck out swinging, and Boise had to settle for one run and a 2-1 lead. Ian Dickson ended his night after the third inning, and it was a terrific outing for Ian, he went three innings giving up one run on two hits while walking three and striking out three.
Justin Amlung took over for Dickson in the fourth with Boise hanging on to a precarious one run lead. Right of the bat Amlung was in trouble and it looked like Vancouver was ready to finally break through. The Canadians loaded the bases with nobody out, that’s when Amlung took it to another level by striking out the next three Canadian hitters to get out of the jam with the lead in tact. The Hawks were clearly inspired by Amlung’s performance as they answered the Vancouver 4th in their half of the 5th by loading the bases with nobody out. Unlike Vancouver, the Hawks took advantage of their opportunity as Vogelbach walked with the bases loaded, Candelario singled, and Almora grounded out. The result was three more runs for Boise and a commanding 5-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 5th. The Hawks weren’t done there as they tacked on two more runs in the top of the 6th as Marco Hernandez laced a two-run single to give the Hawks a 7-1 lead, nothing could go wrong now.
Oh, how I wish that was true, as everyone should know by now, when the Boise Hawks are in Vancouver no lead is safe. The Canadians have come back two different times against Boise this year, they began their third comeback of the season in the bottom of the 6th. Jorge Flores greeted Jame Pugliese rather rudely as he ripped a two run double to bring the Canadians a little closer making the score 7-3. No big deal, a four run lead in the 7th inning should be easy enough to hang on to. The key word being should, as the Canadians made a huge statement, with some help from the Hawks in the 7th. Art Charles started the madness with a two-run homer to make it 7-5, and that was just the beginning. Hayden Simpson replaced Pugliese and made things worse as he walked the next guy then watched as Gioskar Amaya threw an inning ending ground out into left field to open the flood gates. When it was all said and done the Canadians scored seven times on four hits, two walks, two errors, and one wild pitch. A tired Hawks bunch was ambushed and had nothing left in them to make a comeback in this one, as they fell to the Canadians 10-7. The Hawks have to win the final two games of the series, and season or their 2012 will be over, the same situation they were in after game one of the East Division series against Yakima. Game two is tomorrow night in Boise, the Hawks have to forget this one and move on, I think they will.
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Boise beat Yakima on Wednesday night 3-2 in a thrilling winner take all game three. Felix Pena was the story in this one pitching seven scoreless innings allowing five hits and striking out two. The Hawks got the scoring started as they scored three in the third inning. Wilson Contreras started the inning with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Trey Martin followed with a single and runners were on at the corners with Gioskar Amaya at the plate. Contreras scored the first Boise run on a wild pitch and after an Amaya walk, Stephen Bruno flew out for the first out of the inning. Jeimer Candelario walked to load the bases for Dan Vogelbach who hit a towering fly ball to left. It appeared the left fielder Michael Lang was under it, but he lost it in the lights and the ball fell for a single driving in two more runs. Marco Hernandez grounded into a double play and the third inning ended with Boise up 3-0. Felix Pena continued throwing up zeros and the game went to the bottom of the eighth with the Hawks leading 3-0. Brian Smith relieved Pena and got in trouble right away giving up a single to the first batter and walking the second. The next batter hit a slow ground ball to Gioskar Amaya who attempted to get the force out at second base, but threw it away and the Bears now had one run in and runners on second and third. Yakima added a run and moved the tying run to third base after a ground out to Amaya. Eduardo Orozco relieved Smith and got a big strike out for the second out of the inning. With the tying run on third base Jacob House hit a ball up the middle that Gioskar Amaya made a diving stop on and threw House out from his knees for the third out of the eighth. Boise threatened in the ninth, but came up empty and it was onto the bottom half with Boise up 3-2. Orozco stayed in the game and quickly got the first out via the strikeout. The next batter grounded out to Amaya and Boise was now one out away from the series. The last chance for Yakima, the speedy Michael Lang hit a slow roller to shortstop Marco Hernandez who came up with a great play to give Boise the win and NWL East Division Championship. Orozco was great in relief recording the last five outs, notching his first save of the postseason and giving Felix Pena the win. Albert Almora had another hit on Wednesday, bringing his average to .417 in the three game series. Boise will travel to Vancouver to play game one on Thursday night, with game two and game three if necessary to be held in Boise on Saturday and Sunday.
Graphics by George and thanks for reading,
Things were not looking good for Boise as they were down to their final four outs, but they tied it in the eighth, then exploded for seven beating Yakima 11-5 to force a winner take all game three. After a quick first two innings, Boise got the scoring started in the third. With one out Darien Martin singled and was followed by a two-run homer by Gioskar Amaya, and just like that the Hawks took a 2-0 lead. Yakima came right back to tie it in the bottom of the third on starter Tayler Scott, who ended the night giving up two runs on five hits in four innings. The game stayed tied into the fifth when Boise struck again. Darien Martin doubled to lead the inning off and moved to third on a Gioskar Amaya sacrifice bunt. Stephen Bruno quickly plated the run as he singled to center giving the Hawks a short-lived 3-2 lead. Michael Heesch took over for Scott in the fifth and was greeted quite rudely as the first two hitters singled. After a ground out that moved the runners to second and third Mark Ginther gave the Bears their first lead of the night as he singled to right. Boise squandered chances in both the sixth and the seventh, but couldn’t get that elusive big hit to tie it. Heesch and Tyler Bremer did a great job and were able to keep this a one run game into the eighth. In the eighth the Hawks quickly made two outs, and up stepped Albert Almora who hit the right-center gap and slid into third with a triple. The next batter Marco Hernandez swung and missed on a pitch, but the catcher couldn’t keep it front of him and Almora scampered home to tie the game at four. After Bremer pitched a scoreless bottom half, the Hawks came to the plate in the ninth. Once again Boise had two outs and nobody on when Gioskar Amaya came to the plate, the madness was about to begin. Amaya drew a walk and moved to third on a Stephen Bruno single. That would bring to the plate the team leader in RBIs, Jeimer Candelario, who didn’t disappoint as he tripled to center driving in two. After a Dan Vogelbach walk, with Wilson Contreras batting pitcher Cody Wheeler was called for a balk, brining in a run. Contreras walked and was followed by a two-run double by Almora, who ended the night 3-for-5 with a double, triple, two runs scored, and two RBIs. Things didn’t end there as Rock Shoulders and Darien Martin each added RBI singles in the ninth. When it was all said and done Boise would score seven runs and bring 12 men to the plate in the ninth inning. Bremer went back out in the ninth and recorded the last three outs and got the win for the Hawks. He pitched the final three innings allowing one run on three hits, while striking out three. Some other offensive highlights on the night was Darien Martin and Stephen Bruno who each had three hits and combined to score three runs and knock in two.
What a way to end this one. It didn’t come easy, but Boise finally got things going and it just kep going, and going. Hopefully it continues into tomorrow night as this series has turned into a one game playoff where the winner will take all. Vancouver will be waiting for the winner as they beat Everett tonight and have advanced to the championship. Looking forward to reporting good news on Wednesday, Go Hawks!!
Another shout out to George for the graphics and thanks again for reading,
Boise dropped a tough one in the first game of the series losing to the Yakima Bears 5-4. Yakima got the scoring started in the first scoring an unearned run off of Hawks starter Pierce Johnson. Johnson pitched three strong innings allowing one unearned run on two hits, while walking one and striking out three. He left the game in line for the loss, but Boise rallied in the bottom of the fourth. Marco Hernadez who had a nice night offensively (2-for-4) led the inning off with a triple, but was followed by a Stephen Bruno strikeout. The next two hitters for the Hawks were Dan Vogelbach and Jeimer Candelario, who both walked to load the bases for Albert Almora who was ultra aggressive and struck out swinging. Up stepped Rock Shoulders who worked a full count and then unloaded on the 3-2 breaking ball hitting a grand slam and giving Boise a 4-1 lead after four. Jose Arias, who relieved Johnson was still on the hill in the sixth when Yakima tied things up. A lead off single was followed by a run scoring double for the Bears. After recording two outs Arias struggled with his command walking the next two, hitting a batter to force in a run, and throwing a passed ball, which appeared to be a cross up, and just like that the game was knotted at four. The final line for Arias was three innings pitched giving up three runs, two earned on four hits. Yakima would continue getting the leadoff hitter on and it wound up costing the Hawks in the ninth. With Nathan Dorris pitching, Daniel Poma led off with a very controversial infield single. After a sac bunt, Kevin Medrano doubled to drive in what proved to be the game-winning run. Boise threatened in the bottom half as Albert Almora started things off with an infield hit. Rock Shoulders struck out swinging, but Almora stole second. Almora took third on a wild pitch, but was stranded there when Wilson Contreras and Darien Martin each struck out swinging to end the game. Nathan Dorris took the loss giving up one run on two hits in his three innings of work.
Boise will have to be a lot better from here on out as offensively they only had five hits and struck out 15 times and defensively they committed four errors. With those numbers it is hard to believe the Hawks even had a chance to win the game, let alone be in control of the game as they were into the sixth. Boise will now travel to Yakima tomorrow and will have to win in order to keep the season alive.
Props to George who did an awesome job with the graphics and thanks for reading,
Compared to the AZL Cubs, the Boise Hawks have a little more room for error, but not much, as the NWL playoffs get started tonight. Each round of the playoffs is best of three instead of a one game playoff like the AZL Cubs had to deal with. Here is everything you need to know about the Boise Hawks in round one of the NWL playoffs, and a game one preview.
Yakima Bears (36-40, East Division first-half champions) vs. Boise Hawks (37-39, East Division second-half champions)
Yakima won the season series, 7-5
Game 1 at Boise, Sept. 3 at 8:45 p.m. ET
Game 2 at Yakima, Sept. 4 at 10:05 p.m. ET
Game 3 at Yakima (if necessary), Sept. 5 at 10:05 p.m. ET
Pierce Johnson gets the ball in game one for Boise, follow us on Twitter for live game updates tonight!
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In my opinion the Boise Hawks got jobbed. They are the hottest team in the NWL, and are tied with Yakima for the best record in the East League overall. That’s saying something considering how bad of a first half they had, so I was expecting more than one all-star. Oh well, guess Boise will just have to go out and win the whole thing instead. The man who did get elected to the all-star team is Gioskar Amaya, the second baseman regularly led off for Boise and was a big reason for the second half surge. I love the fact that Amaya gets on base (.373 OBP), he understands his role, and that’s not the easiest thing to do for a 19 year-old.
Congrats to Gioskar, and best of luck to him and his Boise teammates in the playoffs!
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Saturday’s minor league recap.
It was a game of big innings early, until the ninth when the AZL Cubs walked off with another win, this time 8-7. Paul Blackburn started, but wasn’t at his best giving up three runs on four hits in three innings of work. Rafael Dolis and Jasvir Rakkar each pitched an inning allowing two runs a piece. Ethan Elias did a great job keeping the Giants at seven runs as pitched the next three innings allowing no runs on no hits, while walking two and striking out four. The good luck charm Steve Perakslis improved his record to 4-0 as he got the win after pitching a scoreless ninth. The Cubs had a lot of nice days offensively. Carlos Penalver and Yasiel Balaguert each had two hits and drove in two a piece. Ben Carhart was 2-for-6 with a walk off single and Shawon Dunston had one hit, a double and three RBIs. Trevor Gretzky and David Bote both contributed with two hits and combined two score three runs for the Cubs. Daniel Lockhart and Garrett Schlecht each had a hit and an RBI in the Cubs victory. The victory clinched a spot in the playoffs for the Cubs.
Boise got out to a quick start and held on to beat Vancouver 8-6. After a recent struggle Jeimer Candelario appears to have broken out as he went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored, and three RBIs. Stephen Bruno stayed red-hot going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Dan Vogelbach also had two hits, including a double and an RBI. Wilson Contreras and Gioskar Amaya each had a hit with Contreras knocking in two and Amaya one. Albert Almora left the game early with an apparent injury, but I have no word yet as to what the problem was. Ian Dickson started, but did not factor in the decision as was only able to last 4.1 innings as he allowed four runs on seven hits. Hunter Ackerman did get the victory as he threw the next 2.2 innings giving up one run and striking out five. Eduardo Orozco got the ball to Nathan Dorris and Dorris closed out the win and the second half for Boise. With the victory Boise is the second half winners and are headed to the playoffs.
A three run fourth was enough for Joseph Zeller and the Cubs bullpen as they beat Wisconsin 3-2. Zeller pitched quite well giving up one run on seven hits in six innings. Sheldon McDonald pitched the next two innings allowing one run, but got the ball to Larry Suarez who notched his fifth save of the season striking out two in a scoreless ninth. Timothy Saunders had another nice night going 2-for-4 with a homer and a double. Chadd Krist also hit a home run, a two run shot in the fourth inning. Oliver Zapata had a hit, two walks, and two stolen bases and Zeke DeVoss also added a hit in the Chiefs win.
Daytona lost game one to Tampa 3-2. Although they only had three hits, they threatened late, but couldn’t finish. Ronald Torreyes, Elieser Bonne, and Vladimir Frias were the only Cubs to have hits on Saturday. Nelson Perez drove in the two Cubs runs in game one without the benefit of a hit. Eduardo Figueroa started, but took a no decision as didn’t give up a run in four inning, while striking out six. Matt Spencer took the loss as he really struggled with his command walking five and allowing all three of the Yankees runs to score in just 0.2 innings. Matt Iannazzo finished game one out throwing a scoreless 1.1 innings.
Daytona returned the favor in game two as Ryan Searle and staff only allowed three hits in a 4-1 win. Searle started and pitched pretty good going five innings allowing one run on three hits and striking out five. From there Jeff Lorick pitched a scoreless sixth and Scott Weismann notched his fourth save of the season throwing a perfect seventh. John Andreoli and Ronald Torreyes hit one-two in the order and set the table of the Cubs in this one. Torreyes was 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored, and an RBI. John Andreoli was also 2-for-4 with a double, triple, and two runs scored. Rebel Ridling had two hits of his own and drove in one run and Nelson Perez drove in another run, again not having a hit. Javier Baez broke through with a double in the victory.
Mobile scored one in the ninth to tie it and got one in the 10th to beat Tennessee 4-3. Nicholas Struck was in line for the win pitching seven innings, allowing two runs, one earned on six hits, while striking out six. Zach Rosscup did his job getting the ball to Frank Batista, but Batista couldn’t get the save in this one allowing the ninth inning run. Casey Harman took the loss allowing an unearned run in the 10th. Rubi Silva had a nice night at the plate going 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs. Jae-Hoon Ha had three hits and Junior Lake had two hits and a run scored. Logan Watkins was 1-for-5 with a home run for the Smokies in the tough loss on Saturday.
Things have been better for Iowa as of late and Saturday was no different as they beat Oklahoma City 4-1. Ty’Relle Harris started and got the win pitching six strong innings. He allowed one run on four hits while striking out six. Miguel Socolovich and Jeff Beliveau each pitched a perfect frame to get the ball to Jairo Asencio who struck out two and pitched a scoreless ninth to record his fifth save of the season. The Cubs had a few nice nights offensively on Saturday starting with Diory Hernandez who had a home run and three RBIs. Dave Sappelt was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Matt Tolbert also had two hits with a run scored. Greg Rohan and Jeff Frazier each had two hits a piece with Frazier having two doubles and Rohan having one. It is good to see Iowa finishing the season strong.
It was an exciting night, Congrats to Boise Hawks and the AZL Cubs in clinching a playoff birth.
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