The Williamsport Crosscutters’ season came to an end Sunday when they were shut out by the West Virginia Black Bears. The Black Bears won the right to advance to the championship series against the Staten Island Yankees with a two games to one series win.
The Crosscutters had posted the best record in the New-York Penn League and drew the wild card Bears as their first round opponent. The Cutters had bested the second place Bears by 4.0 games in the Pinckney division. They faced each other in nine regular season contests with Williamsport winning six games. However, three wins came in June during the Cutters’ 10-0 start to the season, while the Bears won two of three in the last regular season series.
Williamsport (46-30) lost the deciding game of their three-game series against the West Virginia Black Bears 4-0. Mitch Gueller came out strong and retired the first nine batter he faced. The first chink in his armor came after a lead off single in the fourth when, with two out, he wild pitched a runner to third and walked his first batter. He escaped the inning, but issued another two-out walk in the fifth inning. Gueller hadn’t pitched passed the fifth inning in his last three starts, yet he was asked to come out for the sixth. He gave up a lead off single to start the inning. After a ground out moved the runner to second, Gueller issued back-to-back walks to push the runner to third with one out. Reliever Ismael Cabrera came in and gave up a sac fly to break the deadlock.
Cabrera pitched a 1-2-3 seventh and gave way to Anthony Sequeira to start the eighth. He got off to a shaky start with a lead off single and a walk, but retired the next two batters and seemed to have escaped the inning with a ground ball to second. But two fielding errors by Josh Tobias and a single allowed three unearned runs to score.
That was enough for the Bears. The Cutters could only manage three hits. They were also unable to sacrifice runners to second twice early in the game when Carlos Duran and William Cuicas forgot how to bunt (a tool that both of these guys will need if they expect to advance to the higher levels of the organization). Williamsport’s last gasp before the game got out of hand came in their half of the seventh when Jose Pujols ripped a lead off double to right field. But the Cutters couldn’t come up with the hit that would have tied the game.
The Crosscutters did get two batters on in the ninth with two out, but again couldn’t continue the rally.
- Gueller went 5.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K. But all the base runners came after the third.
- Cabrera retired all 4 batters he faced, but the first was a sac fly.
- Sequeira went 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB. The errors did him and the team in.
- Kenny Koplove went 1.1 IP, 2 K. The second error came on the first batter he faced.
- Mark Laird went 1-4 and stole two bases, one after Duran couldn’t bunt him over to second, the other after Cuicas couldn’t bunt Hernandez over to second and he took his (Hernandez) place on a fielder’s choice.
- Duran went 0-3 with 2 K.
- Tobias went 0-3 with a walk and 2 fielding errors.
- Jose Pujols went 1-4 with a double.
- Venn Biter went 0-3 with 3 K.
- Jan Hernandez went 1-3. He was picked off first but the fielder missed the tag.
- The Cutters were 0-9 with RISP.
Tough loss, the pitching was good enough. West Virginia’s was just better.
Reading (80-61) will face the Bowie Baysox in the Eastern League Championship Series. Reading posted the best record in the Eastern League, Bowie the second best. Each won their respective divisions.
Reading came out ahead in the season series winning five of seven games. The Phils won two of three at Bowie in June. Mark Leiter and Colton Murray won the first two games and Zach Eflin suffered the loss. Late in August in Reading, the Phils took three of four from the Sox. Ethan Martin and Reinier Roibal won the first two games. Zach Eflin won the fourth game after Nick Pivetta took the loss the third game.
Game One of the series will be on Tuesday at 7:05 PM at First Energy Stadium. Starters not yet announced. Game Two will be at First Energy Stadium on Wednesday at 7:05 PM..
The best of five series will conclude in Bowie, MD for games three, four, and five (if necessary) on Thursday (6:35 PM), Friday (7:05 PM), and Saturday (6:05 PM).
The Eastern League’s playoff format specifies where the championship series games will be played based on the year. In odd numbered years (like 2015), games one and two are hosted by the Eastern Division team, games three, four, and five are hosted by the Western Division team.
Lehigh Valley (63-81) Finished fifth in their division.
Clearwater (79-58) Finished first in their division both halves. Best overall league record. Eliminated in best-of-three divisional series 2-0 by Daytona Tortugas.
Lakewood (73-65) Finished in the second place in their division (2nd half). Third best overall record in their division, fourth best in the league.
GCL Phillies (36-24) Finished in second place, four games back.
DSL Phillies (40-32) Finished tied for second place, three games back.
VSL Phillies (30-40) Finished tied for third in a four team league.
Here’s the affiliated scoreboard from MiLB.
Extra Innings –
- No player transactions.