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Will Benson bashes two home runs to send Mahoning Valley to the playoffs

Cleveland Indians minor league recap for September 5, 2017.

The minor league regular season ended yesterday, so don’t be surprised to see some more players added to the Indians roster like Tyler Naquin. Adam Plutko was optioned to High-A Lynchburg to help the Hillcats out of the bullpen for their playoff run (he wasn’t going to get much playing time with the Indians right now anyways) and he’ll likely rejoin the Indians once Lynchburg’s playoff push is over.

Columbus Clippers 6, Louisville 2

Box Score · Clippers improve to 71-71

The Columbus Clippers will not make the International League playoffs this year, but they will at least not finish with a losing record, finishing things out at exactly .500 after a victory yesterday.

Erik Stamets led the way offensively, going 2-4 with a double, a run scored and a run batted in. Tyler Naquin also clubbed a three-run home run for the Clippers, going 1-3 on the day with a walk to finish his season with a solid .298 batting average.

Veteran starter Jarrett Grube finished the season strong, tossing five innings while giving up just one run on three hits. He struck out four and walked zero.

Akron RubberDucks 2, Erie SeaWolves 3

Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 69-71

Shane Bieber was sensational yet again, but didn’t get anything to show for it.

The Indians 2016 fourth round pick finished his season by allowing one earned run in six innings on six hits while striking out five and walking zero (of course). Spread across three levels in 2017, he led all Indians pitchers with 173.2 innings pitched while walking just 10 batters in total.

Shorstop prospect Yu-Cheng Chang finished his season by clubbing his 24th home run. Joe Sever had a multi-hit game while Dorssys Paulino went 3-3 at the dish with two walks and a double.

Jacob Lee would give up the go-ahead run in the seventh and Akron’s offense failed to answer.

Lynchburg Hillcats 4, Wilmington Blue Rocks 3

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 87-52

Sean Brady was flat out dominant in his final start of the regular season for Lynchburg. The southpaw missed most of the regular season with an injury but he’s making up for lost time.

Brady tossed seven innings yesterday, giving up just one run on six hits while striking out four and walking zero.

Brady was backed by serious luck as the Hillcats were outhit 12-4 on the day but they managed to score three unearned runs off the Wilmington starter.

Jodd Carter went 2-3 with a two-run triple while Claudio Bautista belted a solo home run as Lynchburg finished the regular season a whopping 35 games above .500.

Lake County Captains 10, Great Lakes Loons 8

Box Score · Captains improve to 54-85

The Lake County Captains had a pretty forgettable season, but at least they went out with a bang yesterday thanks in large part to some serious offensive fireworks.

A whopping six players for the Captains had multi-hit games. Emmanuel Tapia went 2-5 with his 29th home run of the season, Li-Jen Chu went 2-3 with a walk and a HBP, Alexis Pantoja went 2-5, Conner Capel finished the season going 2-4 with a walk to raise his average to .246, Trenton Brooks went 2-5 and speedster Gabriel Mejia went 2-4 with a double and his 12th stolen base of the season.

Starter Zach Plesac gave up two earned runs in 4.1 innings and he gave way to Justin Garza, who had a very poor outing, giving up four runs in just 1.1 innings of work.

Thankfully Alsis Herrera put out the fire and gave the Captains an opportunity to come back and win the game as they scored four runs in the final three innings.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 4, Batavia MuckDogs 3 (Game 1)
Mahoning Valley Scrappers 6, Batavia MuckDogs 2 (Game 2)

Game 1 Box Score · Game 2 Box Score · Scrappers improve to 42-29

Mahoning Valley punched their ticket to the New York Penn League playoffs by sweeping a double-header at Batavia yesterday.

In game one, Nolan Jones, Oscar Gonzalez and Jesse Berardi were the offensive heroes. Jones went 3-4 with a double while Gonzalez went 2-4 with a double, a home run and three runs batted in while Berardi went 2-4 with a double, a run batted in and a run scored.

Starting pitcher Gregori Vasquez earned a quality start by giving up three runs in six innings on seven hits while striking out six and walking one. Jean Carlos Mejia locked the game down with a scoreless inning of relief.

In game two, it was the Will Benson and Nolan Jones show. Jones went 3-4 at the plate again, this time picking up a double and scoring two runs. He finished the regular season with a rock solid .313 batting average, good for second in the New York Penn League batting race.

Benson went 2-4 with two home runs and four runs batted in. He finished the half season with 10 home runs, which was the most of all New York Penn League players.

The future is bright!

Starting pitcher Kirk McCarty was brilliant, tossing three scoreless innings while striking out five, walking zero and giving up just one hit. Four pitchers out of the bullpen would combine to strike out 10 more batters in the final four innings to preserve the sweep.

All regular season minor league games are now complete. The High-A Lynchburg Hillcats and Low-A Mahoning Valley Scrappers were the only Tribe affiliate teams to qualify for the playoffs.