Columbus Clippers 4, Gwinnett Braves 5
Box Score · Clippers lose series 1-3
The Clippers got off to a great start, jumping out to a 3-0 lead after two innings thanks in part to RBI singles from Giovanny Urshela, Yandy Diaz and Yhoxian Medina but starting pitcher Toru Murata couldn't hold the lead.
Murata danced in and out of trouble all night and it finally caught up to him in the third and fourth innings, giving up four runs in total on 10 hits over 4.2 frames.
The score would remain the same until the top of the eighth inning when Columbus tied it with a pair of doubles from Urshela and Michael Choice.
Unfortunately, Gwinnett scored in the bottom of the eighth with a run off Jeff Johnson and Columbus wasn't able to respond in the ninth.
The Clippers lost despite heroic efforts from Yandy Diaz and Giovanny Urshela, who both had multi-hit games with a double. Diaz in particular batted over .500 in the series over the four games.
With Columbus' season being over, pitchers Ryan Merritt and Shawn Morimando can lend some help for the Indians now. My guess is Merritt will get a spot start in place of Danny Salazar this week.
Lynchburg Hillcats 4, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 3 (F/12)
Box Score · Hillcats lead series 1-0
Lynchburg jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to RBI singles from Yonathan Mendoza and Dorssys Paulino and it stayed that way until the sixth inning.
Starting pitcher Thomas Pannone was brilliant over the first five frames but ran into trouble and was chased in the sixth after giving up two runs.
The score would remain tied all the way into extra innings until the Hillcats took the lead on a solo home run from Anthony Santander. The lead didn't last long, however, as Jon Fitzsimmons gave up a run in the bottom of the 11th to keep the extra innings rolling.
Lynchburg would score again in the top of the 12th on an error during a sacrifice bunt attempt from Mendoza and the coaching staff trusted Fitzsimmons to try and hold the lead a second time and he rewarded them by holding Myrtle Beach scoreless for the win.
Francisco Mejia led the way for the Hillcats with a three-hit game and even stole a base. Yu-Cheng Chang's batting average stated ridiculously high at .500 after another multi-hit game, going 2-5.
With the victory, Lynchburg takes a 1-0 lead in the Carolina League finals — they battle Myrtle Beach tonight beginning at 6:05 p.m. ET. The starting pitcher will be former long reliever Brock Hartson.
Akron's playoff game was postponed due to rain.