AA Harrisburg clinched their first playoff berth since 2002 in exhilarating fashion. Bowie lost before the finish of the Senators game, but Harrisburg managed a triumphant comeback to earn their way into the postseason. Tanner Roark battled through 5 2/3 innings, yielding four runs, only two of which were earned. After Cole Kimball gave up a solo HR in the bottom of the 8th, Harrisburg found themselves down 5-3, in the playoffs but wanting to end their season with an exclamation point. In the top of the ninth, Sunday's hero Brad Coon doubled to lead things off and with one out Stephen Lombardozzi walked. Josh Johnson then hit a three run homer to provided the decisive blow in a 6-5 Senators victory over Binghamton. The Senators finish their season with a 77-65 record.
Potomac's game didn't matter in the standings since they've already clinched a berth in the Mills Cup. But like Justin Maxwell's walkoff grand slam to end the Nationals 2009 season in DC, the kids showed that they would fight to the end regardless. After Marcos Frias pitched six innings of eight strikeout shutout ball to conclude his season in outstanding fashion, AJ Morris failed to close out the lead in the ninth. He had help. A throwing error from Sean Nicol helped lead to three of his five runs allowed being unearned. But down 6-5 with two outs in the ninth inning, Robert Jacobsen hit a two out two run single to send the P-Nats Faithful home happy in a 7-6 Potomac win over Kingston. After a day off to rest and recuperate, the P-Nats will start the playoffs on Wednesday against hated Orioles' affiliate in the bandbox of Frederick.
Syracuse summary, Hagerstown summary, links and prospect performances after the jump:
- Nationalsprospects.com has their complete organizational summary for Labor Day up with final records for all affiliates.
- Sue Dinem's gamer for Potomac focuses on the tactical moves that worked or backfired in Potomac's walk off win.
- Geoff Morrow's got a bunch of Harrisburg wrapup stories. Some interesting tidbits in his feature story. Tom Milone, staff ace, will pitch Wednesday to start the Senators playoff series at Altoona. Weird thing about the minors is that they can still have rehab assignments. Andy Pettite will be making a rehab start for Trenton. We will have reliever Ryan Mattheus making at least one rehab appearance at some point during the playoffs.
- Lindsay Kramer's Syracuse season wrapup highlights when the season literally went South and focuses on some of the reasons Syracuse was 2 1/2 games out of the wildcard including frequent roster changes, too many strikeouts, defensive instability, and struggles against the elite competition of the International League.
Erik Arnesen gave up a two run homer as part of a three run second inning and looked to be on the ropes. He settled down nicely, though and only gave up one run the rest of the way. The Chiefs and their fans must be looking at Harrisburg for hope and Washington with envy. Right now, veterans like Josh Whitesell have left for greener pastures, top prospects like Espinosa and Ramos have been called up, and future offensive hopes like Chris Marrero have yet to arrive. There offense was not up to the task and managed only solo homers by Pete Orr and Jamie Burke and three runs total in a 4-3 loss to Rochester. Syracuse finishes their season with a record of 76-67.
In West Virginia, Sammy Solis continued to show why he'll be high on Washington prospect lists, a potential early season ace for Hagerstown or Potomac, and a name to watch in the Arizona Fall League. He pitched two shutout innings for Hagerstown, yielding two hits but no runs and no walks while recording two strikeouts. Yet again, Hagerstown's regular starter and relief failed to build on the strong start. Paul Applebee yielded five runs in four innings (L, 6-6) and Wanel Vasquez gave up two runs in two innings for Matt LeCroy's Suns. The offensive prospects continue to show well. Eury Perez went 2-4 with a run, two stolen bases, but one caught stealing. Rick Hague hit a two run homer, and JP Ramirez continued his strong finish with a 2-4 afternoon in a 6-5 Hagerstown loss to West Virginia.
- Erik Arensen, RSP: 8IP, 7H, 4ER, 3BB, 3K, 2R HR
- Fan Fav Michael Martinez, SS: 1-3, BB, K
- Pete Orr, 3B: 2-4, R, RBI, HR
- Jamie Burke, C: 1-3, R, RBI, HR
- Tanner Roark, RSP: 5.2IP, 8H, 4R, 2ER, 1BB, 10K, HR, balk
- Hassan Pena, RRP: 1.1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
- Victor Garate, LRP: .2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
- Cole Kimball, RRP: (W, 5-1) 1.1IP, 2H, 1ER, BB, 3K, HR
- Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B: 0-4, R, BB, K, thorowing error (3)
- Josh Johnson, SS: 2-3, 2R, 3RBI, 2BB
- Chris Marrero, 1B: 0-3
- Michael Burgess, RF: 2-4, RBI, 2B, K, HBP
High A Potomac:
- Marcos Frias, RSP: 6.2IP, 6H, 0R, 0BB, 8K
- AJ Morris, RRP: (W, 5-3) 1IP, 5H, 5R, 2ER, 0BB, 0K
- Derek Norris, C: 0-4, BB, K
Bill Rhinehart, RF: 1-3, R, BB, HBP
- Tyler Moore, 1B: 2-4, 2R, RBI, HR, BB, 2K
- Sean Nicol, 3B: 1-4, R, RBI, K
- Nicholas Moresi, CF: 2-4, R, 2RBI, 2R HR, K
Low A Hagerstown:
- Sammy Solis, LSP: 2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
- Paul Applebee, LSP: (L, 6-6) 4IP, 11H, 5ER, BB, 3K, 2R HR
- Eury Perez, CF: 2-4, R, 2 SB (63, 64), 1 CS (13)
- Rick Hague, SS: 2-4, 2R, 2RBI, 3B, 2R HR
- JP Ramirez, LF: 2-4, R