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Twins Minor League Report (9/10): Southern League Champs!

Both the Lookouts and the Kernels found themselves in a do-or-die situation on Sunday. The Lookouts were attempting to become the co-champions of the Southern League after failing to clinch in Game 4 on Saturday. The Kernels lost Game 1 of their three game semifinal series on Saturday which lead to an all-important Game 2 on Sunday.

With everything on the line, which players would shine? Could both teams find a way to win?
Image courtesy of Kelly McGlohon-27OUTSBASEBALL.COM
CHATTANOOGA CHATTER
Chattanooga 3, Montgomery 2
Box Score
It didn't take long for the Lookouts to find themselves in a hole. Dietrich Enns allowed a solo home run to lead off the game and Chattanooga was down 1-0. The lead wouldn't last long as Andy Wilkins smashed a game-tying home run to lead off the second. Enns ran into some more trouble in the fourth. With two outs in the frame, he allowed three consecutive hits before Nick Gordon gunned down a man at the plate.

The Lookouts bullpen was outstanding in relief. Randy LeBlanc, Todd Van Steensel, and Anthony McIver combined for five shutout frames to keep Chattanooga in the game. McIver didn't allow a base runner in the final two innings while striking out one.

As the bottom of the ninth began, LaMonte Wade stepped to the plate with the Lookouts trailing by one. He had singled to start the frame and put the tying run on base. Jonathan Rodriguez stepped to the plate with a chance to cap off his tremendous season. He cracked a walk-off home run and Chattanooga was crowned co-champions of the Southern League.

KERNELS NUGGETS
Cedar Rapids 7, Quad Cities 4
Box Score
The Kernels took a tough luck loss on Saturday as they fell 5-4 in extra innings to the River Bandits. Since the Midwest League semifinals are a best-of-three series, the Kernels found themselves with their backs against the wall on Sunday afternoon. It was win or go home.

After a scoreless first frame, Lewin Diaz led off the second inning with a double. He moved to third on a Caleb Hamilton ground out and came in to score on a Jimmy Kerrigan sacrifice fly. Shane Kennedy kept the inning going with a two-out walk but the biggest hit of the frame came on a Shane Carrier two-run blast to put the Kernels up 3-0.

Travis Blankenhorn kept things going in the third inning as he started the frame with a solo shot to right field. With the Kernels up 4-0, Blankenhorn led off the fifth inning with a walk. Aaron Whitefield and Diaz both singled to move Blankenhorn around the bases. Caleb Hamilton doubled to score Whitefield and Kerrington drove in Lewis with a ground out for a 7-0 advantage.

Charles Barnes started for Cedar Rapids and pitched five shutout frames. He scattered five hits while striking out three and walking three. The bullpen ran into a little trouble in the sixth inning. Partrick McGuff and Randy Dobnak combined to allow four earned runs with each only collecting one out. Colton Davis picked up the bullpen as he went 2.1 frames and allowed only one hit. Hector Lujan earned his first save this postseason as he struck out one and allowed one hit in the ninth.

TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Pitcher of the Day – Charles Barnes, Cedar Rapids Kernels
Hitter of the Day – Jonathan Rodriguez, Chattanooga Lookouts
MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS
Cedar Rapids vs. Quad Cities (5:35 CST) - RHP Tyler Wells (5-3, 3.11 ERA)

Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.

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4 Comments

It's not great video, but I was sent the below video of Rodriguez's walk-off home run. 

 

 

 

    • Steve Lein, glunn, Kevin and 2 others like this
Photo
Tommygun921
Sep 11 2017 05:29 AM
Wow! Isn't that what we all played through in our backyard​as kids? Bottom of the 9th and hitting a walk off homer?
    • Seth Stohs, Yoke, clutterheart and 1 other like this
Two championships in the books and a chance for three. Great year down on the farm.

When was the last time the system had two champs?
Photo
clutterheart
Sep 11 2017 10:29 AM

Such a cool video you posted in the comments.  As soon as it left his bat he knew it was gone.

Nice season!


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