Sep 052012
 

With a pair of two-run rallies in the 8th and 9th innings, the Auburn Doubledays defeated the Williamsport Crosscutters, 9-7 to clinch the Pinckney Division title for the second straight year. They will the No. 3 seed in the New York-Penn League playoffs, awaiting their travel plans to their first-round opponent pending the results of tonight’s games in Batavia and Brooklyn.

Auburn had leads of 2-0 and 5-3 before the bullpen coughed up four runs in the bottom of the 7th to put the Doubledays in a 7-5 deficit. Brandon Miller led off the 8th with a double and Craig Manuel drew a walk to put the tying runs. After pinch-hitting and pinch-running change, the former (Carlos Alvarez) tapping out to third to move up Miller and the latter, Narciso Mesa. Spencer Kieboom delivered the clutch hit with a two-run single to tie it at 7-7.

Tony Renda and Estarlin Martinez both singled to center to set up the go-ahead and insurance runs in the 9th, with a pair of infield singles scoring Renda and pushing Martinez to third. Mesa, who scored the tying run, sent in the final run with a sacrifice fly.

Travis Henke, who had let in two inherited runners in the four-run 7th, finished the game for the dreaded blown-save-win. He was charged with one run of his own on two hits and a walk and struck out two. Blake Monar, who had come off the DL to make start (LHP Jack McGeary was placed back on the DL), was lifted in 4th after suffering an unspecified injury. The Hoosier southpaw gave up three runs on four hits and two walks and struck out three.

Renda and Martinez led the 12-hit attack by going 3-for-5, with Renda scoring three runs and Martinez driving in two.

Auburn finishes out the regular season with another game in Williamsport. Batavia was rained out and will play a doubleheader against Jamestown. The Muckdogs, who trail the Doubledays by 1½ games, must win both games while Brooklyn, which lost to Lowell last night, lose again as the Cyclones hold the tiebreaker in the event of a tie.

Auburn hosts the loser of tonight’s contest between Tri-City and Hudson Valley (the winner will play the wild card) in Game One, then hits the road for Games Two and Three (if necessary).

  9 Responses to “Auburn Doubledays Clinch Playoff Spot”

  1. How has Renda’s campaign progressed in general? I seem to recall he was our second round pick?

    • Renda has basically salvaged his season by getting hot the last two weeks of the season.

      After going 0-5 on 8/20 against Batavia, he was hitting .233, which given that he has no power (no HRs or 3Bs this season), isn’t very productive. But, he’s hit in 13 of the 14 games since then, going 24-for 63 (.380) with 3 doubles (he had 6 2Bs thru 57 games) and 7 walks.

      The last two weeks have seen him raise his average 31 points and his OBP to .341, which is still low for a contact hitter with little power but much better than it was for most of the season at Auburn.

      He does seem to have decent wheels, stealing 15 bases in 18 tries.

  2. Relative to expectations, he’s probably been a disappointment, “only” hitting .264/.341/.295. Relative to the initial scouting reports, he’s made some strides in the past few weeks, particularly in terms of taking a walk. His 5-10/170 listing is one of the primary reasons he draws the Dustin Pedroia comp, which from what I saw in Aberdeen, only applies in terms of size (inflated by about 2″, 15lbs), not power or defense.

  3. The “unspecified injury” seemed to be hand related…which is obviously much better than arm related. I’m guessing perhaps a cut or blister….

  4. What do we make of Estarlin Martinez at this point? Where does he slot on the lists next season?

    • Still as an outfielder, I’m guessing ;-)

      The next watchlist is going to be the toughest to date to compile. Who gets invited to instrux may have to be given more weight than in years past because it’s at least a clue as to who the brass likes vs. we like — as we’ve seen already, there’s discontent at the upper three levels.

      That written, I don’t anticipate dropping a 20-y.o. with numbers that have been steadily improving.

      • He’s easily top 20, no? Maybe 10-15? Or has my mancrush spiraled completely out of control too fast too soon? If he adds some more power….oh boy.

        • I’m not much for doing a “mixed” Top XX list — I’ve done Top 10 Arms, Top 10 Bats – but when the time comes (after the season reviews are done, the AFL is over), I’ll revisit it, especially after last year’s crowdsourcing experiment went fairly well.

  5. A few names to note on Instruxs roster: Pitchers- Dixon Anderson, Leonard Hollins, Deion Williams, Pedro Encarnacion, Taylor Jordan, Nick Lee, Robbie Ray, Blake Schwartz. Infielders- Wilmer Difo, Stephen Perez, Cutter Dykstra, Kevin Keyes, Matthew Skole, Tony Renda.

    Outfielders- Billy Burns, Hayden Jennings, Estarlin Martinez, Brandon Miller, Micheal Taylor.

    Many more names just a few ………………………………….

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