September 3, 2018 Everywhere

We’re going to take a break from our usual format to bring you a kooky day back in 2018. As per usual, the minor league season ended the first week in September and this happened to be the last game of the year for most of the Indians affiliates. Incredibly, on this one particular date, the franchise managed a complete sweep of all levels. We’ll start at the bottom.

Raymond Burgos3
Burgos warms up in the outfield prior to 2019 Indians MiLB spring training practice. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 4 vs West Virginia Black Bears 1

Raymond Burgos started for the Scrappers and went 5.2 innings, striking out nine and didn’t allow a run. With a one run lead thanks to a fifth inning Michael Tinsley RBI double, Louis Araujo gave up two hits, a walk and a ground ball to tie the game in the eighth. The score remained tied until the 10th when Clark Scolameiro walked (Ronny Dominguez started at second) and Jose Fermin was intentionally walked. Connor Smith then brought home all three for the lead and Erick Algarin stayed on for the 10th after throwing a scoreless ninth and struck out two in a perfect inning for the win.

This allowed the Scrappers to finish 42-33, 1.5 games ahead of the Doubledays in the Pinckney Division. They were, however, swept in the semi-finals by the Tri City ValleyCats.

Lake County Captains 3 vs Lansing Lugnuts 2

In A ball, Gregori Vasquez started and allowed two runs in 5.1 innings, both on solo home runs. Down one at the time, in the fourth the Captains scored a pair to take the lead. Jesse Berardi singled and stole second before a Will Benson walk and Mitch Reeves RBI single. Miguel Eladio (pictured at top) brought home Benson with a second single. Former Indian farmhand Samad Taylor hit a solo shot in the sixth to give the Lugnuts back the lead, but in the seventh, Eladio doubled, stole third and scored on a ground out to give the Captains the lead. Dakody Clemmer and Jon Teaney combined for 3.2 innings of shut out relief, earning the win and save respectively.

The win pushed the Captains to 60-79 and the finished second to last in the Eastern division of the Midwest League.

Kirk McCarty6
McCarty makes a start for the 2019 AFL Mesa Solar Sox. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Lynchburg Hillcats 3 vs Salem Red Sox 2

Continuing up the ladder, we have another late inning comeback win. Kirk McCarty took the mound for the Hillcats and struck out six over five innings, but allowed two runs in the fourth. The Hillcats had scored first in the first as the first three batters reached via walk or HBP, then Dillon Persinger came home on a Trenton Brooks sac fly. They would stay at one run until the eighth when a similar situation occurred. Mitch Longo walked and was followed by two hit batters to load the bases with one out. Anthony Miller then doubled home two for the lead. Micah Miniard, Jared Robinson and Dalbert Siri combined for four scoreless innings to finish out the game, striking out three with no walks and three hits allowed.

The Hillcats wrapped their season up 71-66 and lost in the first round of the play-offs to the Potomac Nationals 2-3.

Preston Claiborne2
Claiborne makes a rehab appearance with the 2018 AZL Indians at Goodyear Ballpark. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Akron Rubberducks 7 vs Erie Seawolves 4

The two Indians upper level affiliates didn’t have to strain quite as hard for their wins. The Ducks went with a bullpen game as Cody Anderson, Preston Claiborne, James Karinchak, Argenis Angulo and Dominic DeMasi all went a scoreless inning (DeMasi went two). Davis Speer ended up earning a blown save after giving up three straight singles and two runs in the third, but Nick Pasquale earned the win despite giving up a run in the fourth (on a steal of home) and another in the fifth on a solo home run.

The offense scored individual runs in the first and the second, but really broke things open in the fifth with four runs thanks largely to doubles from Elvis Perez, Ernie Clement and Mark Mathias. They added one more in the seventh on a Nellie Rodriguez homer. This win pushed the Ducks to 78-62 and one game behind the Altoona Curve. They would go on to beat the Curve in the semi-finals 3-1, but were swept in the AA championship round to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Yu Chang
Chang warms up during 2020 MLB spring training practice in Goodyear, AZ. – Joseph Coblitz, IBI

Columbus Clippers 8 vs Toledo Mudhens 1

The highest level of minors for the Indians had the best day overall on this date in 2018. Ryan Merritt started and went six shut out innings with six K’s, no walks and five hits allowed. Bobby Bradley gave him some support with a solo shot in the third, the Josh Donaldson hit a grand slam in the fourth to give the Clippers a permanent lead. Yu Chang homered in the sixth for one more.

In the eighth, Miles Jaye allowed a double and single for the only Mudhens run of the night. Again, the Clip Show offense was there in support as Chang hit his second home run of the night to lead off the bottom half, then Rob Brantly hit a second solo shot to get to eight runs. Stephen Fife finished off Jaye’s inning and the ninth without score.

While the win was impressive, it was just a little too late as the Clippers finished the season 0.5 games out of first behind the Mudhens at 73-67.

A possibly funny aside to all this action is that the big league Indians couldn’t manage to complete the organizational sweep as they lost 1-5 against Kansas City. Keeping with the theme, however, they did win their final game of the season on September 30th, beating the Royals this time 2-1.

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