Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Holes, Warriors Advance To World Series

Jackson won a climactic 7th game with Hartford to get to the WS for the 2nd straight year, while Syracuse swept away Oakland to claim its first WS berth.

American League
The Holes took control of the LCS by winning the first 2 games on the road. In Game 1, all the scoring was done in the first 4 innings. Wilson Costello came alive for Jackson with 2 shots, and Jacque Fitzgerald stayed hot for the Katanas with a homer. Jackson prevailed 6-4. Game 2 wasn't as close as it looked, as Jackson pounded 7 homers to forge a 12-2 lead. Hartford staged an impressive rally with 6 in the 9th, but fell short, 12-8.

The teams traded wins at Jackson to give the Holes a seemingly insurmountable 3-1 lead, but then momentum shifted to the Comeback Katanas.

Aaron Torres took the hill for the Katanas in Game 5, with the team needing a strong effort. They got it, as Torres allowed only 3 hits and 1 run over 6, and the bullpen held Jackson scoreless for the last 3. Priest and Guerrero homered in a 5-1 win.

Billy Brocail was even better in Game 6, throwing 8 shutout innings. Langston and Fitzgerald drove in 2 each, and the Katanas beat Jackson's ace Johnny Collier to even the series.

Game 7 started well for the Holes when Billy Ray Hernandez led off with a homer; Jackson added a second run in the inning and a third in the 2nd on a Maranon solo shot, but Hartford roared back with 5 in their half of the third. The Katanas led 5-4 going into the 6th when Jackson broke it open - 4 homers in the 6th and 7th highlighted 8 runs and a 12-5 lead. Hartford tried to rally in the 9th but fell short, 12-7.

Jackson and Hartford have now duked it out in the last 4 ALCS's, with Hartford winning in Seasons 10 and 11, and Jackson taking Seasons 12 and 13.

National League
The Syracuse pitching staff was the story of the NLCS, holding the high-powered Oakland offense to 8 runs in a 4-game sweep.

Brian Nakajima was the star of Game 1, going 6 innings and allowing 1 run. Pinzon and Montero homered in a 13-2 shellacking.

Ruben James was almost as effective in Game 2, going 6 and allowing 2 runs. The Surenos scored twice off closer P.T. Lincoln in the 9th, but Lincoln recovered to get the last 2 outs and close out a 5-4 win.

It was Felix Woodward's turn in Game 3. The 33 year-old righty continued the trend, giving up just 1 run over 8 innings. Marte and Daal homered to hang a 3-1 loss on Surenos ace and playoff star Gary Ramsay.

Clark Jensen completed the sweep with a 6-inning, 1-run outing. Daal, Brogna and Montero homers paced the offense in a 7-1 win.

Syracuse now moves on to its first Belle World Series ever, and it's back to the drawing board for Oakland, who many Belle pundits had picked to win it all this year.

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