The season rolls on for the Hi-A Lancaster JetHawks but is over for the Lo-A
South Bend Silverhawks. As the only two Diamondback teams at any level to
make the postseason much was hoped for, especially with the slew of promotions
designed to prepare the teams for the playoffs, but only Lancaster remains in
the hunt after winning game two of their Best-of-Five series against the Inland
Empire 66ers to even the series. For the Silver Hawks the pitching, which
had been so good in their first round sweep in the Midwest League playoffs,
finally broke under the weight of the West Michigan Whitecaps.
In Lancaster the JetHawks gave the ball to the recently promoted (from short
season Yakima) AJ Shappi. Shappi, who's calling card has been pin point
control (just eight walks in 67 innings this season), got off to a rocky start,
giving up a lead off homer to Inland Empire's Gary Harris and surrendering two
more runs in the second, but settled down pitching into the sixth inning and
earning the win. The offense responded as they have all season, led by Dan Uggla who got the start at second base and went 2-4 with a home run, two RBI,
and two runs scored. Jonathan Zeringue started the game as the DH, and
responded with a run scored, an RBI and a 2/4 performance that included a
The bullpen came on and looked strong, allowing only one run in 3.1 innings
and was anchored by the spectacular showing of Justin Wechsler who faced seven
hitters and struck out four of them earning his first save of the
playoffs. With the series now tied at one the teams move to hitter
friendly Arrowhead Credit Union Park as Inland Empire will host games three and
four of the California League Divisional Series.
There will be no more changes in scenery for the South Bend Silver
Hawks. As happened in Lancaster, the Whitecaps led the game off with a
home run from Juan Francia, but unlike their Cal League Counterparts, the Silver
Hawks never recovered. Jared Liebeck lasted only three innings, giving up
seven hits and three runs, all earned, but it was the South Bend bullpen and
lineup that really disappointed. Whitecaps starter Daniel Zell gave up
only four hits and one run in five innings and the bullpen was lights out
allowing only two hits and striking out three over the final four innings.
The only Silver Hawk to reach base more than once was Alex Frazier who also
scored the only run on an Allen Mottram single.
The big blow for the Whitecaps was dealt by Danilo Sanchez in the fifth
inning when his bases loaded double off Alex Cremidan cleared the bases and put
the game out of reach. As a whole the Silver Hawks bullpen gave up 12 hits
and 10 runs in just six innings of work.