Welcome to the Season 17 of the USMLB.

Friday, April 17, 2009

AL Division Series Recap - Jackson vs. Monterrey


Jackson BlaZers win the series, 4-3

Jackson, Mississippi (USMLB AP) - After posting the best record in the league, the Monterrey Stars were thought by many to breeze to their third championship in four seasons, but he Jackson BlaZers thought otherwise, upsetting the number one team in the league, three games to one.

"Though we didnt' meet during the regular season, our scouts did a fantastic job in helping us get ready for this series", commented BlaZers first year manager Marc Purcell. "Though we were the underdog, I think our guys used that as motivation to win this series."

"I'm really proud of our guys", BlaZers President and GM bodean remarked. "All of the hard work and 5-a-days during spring training really paid off."

Game 1 - Jackson-4 Monterrey-2
In Game 1, the BlaZers took the early lead and held on for the victory, posting a 4-2 score, thanks to a stellar pitching performance by Wilt Frank . Frank held the Stars to four hits in seven innings, giving up two earned runs and two walks while striking out four.

The scoring started in the top of the second inning when, while helping his own cause, Frank knocked in CF Sven Griffin on a ground single to center field. 2B Donatello Carpenter followed with a line drive single to right center field, plating Norman Richard.

In the top of the third inning, Jackson extended their lead another run on a fielder's choice by RF Phil Martin, plating SS Ken Lincoln.

Monterrey put two runs on the board in the third inning, thanks to a two-run homer to left center field by Stars CF Rondell Lowe, cutting the BlaZers lead to one run.

Griffin added an insurance run to Jackson's lead with a solo home run to right center field in the top of the eighth inning, sealing Jackson's victory and giving them the 1-0 series lead.

Game 2 - Jackson-4 Monterrey-7
Monterrey struck back in Game 2, winning the game, 7-4, in front of a sold out crowd in Monterrey.

The Stars, this time around, scored the first two runs in the game thanks to a two-run home run to centerfield by 3B Bobby Henry which brought in Stars second baseman Brian Turner.

Jackson struck back in the third inning, putting three runs up on the board. With 1B Tim Perry on second after a stolen base, CF Norman Richard smoked a line drive single to right center, bringing home Perry. After a walk to the next batter, C Red Sullivan, 3B Sven Griffin smacked a fly ball double to center, scoring Richard and Sullivan to give Jackson the one-run lead.

Monterrey added a run in the bottom of the inning off of a line-drive single from Star catcher Brooks Surtain, but Jackson would answer in the top of the inning with a sacrifice to center field by Richie Daniels, plating
2B Donatello Carpenter to maintain the one-run lead.

Monterrey blew the game open in the bottom of the fifth inning with a three-run home run by
LF Eric Flynn.

Brian Turner would add one more run in the bottom of the sixth to seal the victory and bring the series to a 1-1 tie.

Game 3 - Monterrey-3 Jackson-6
Jackson takes the 3-1 series lead by defeating the Stars, 6-3.

Monterrey started the scoring in the top of the second inning off of a two-run home run by Clem Barkley.

Jackson responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Red Sullivan hit a single to score Sven Griffin. Two batters later, Donatello Carpenter hit a fly ball single to left center field to even the score. LF Pep Chang popped a single through to right center field to plate Sullivan and give Jackson the 3-2 lead.

Monterrey evened up the score two innings later with a solo home run by Rondell Lowe.

Jackson took a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth when SS Ken Lincoln and Tim Perry scored off of a single to center field by Sven Griffin.

Lincoln would add one more run for the BlaZers in the bottom of the six to ensure the win for Jackson and give them the 3-1 series lead.

Game 4 - Monterrey-3 Jackson-8
Jackson takes it to Monterrey to clinch the series, 4-1.

In a must-win situation, Monterrey put the first run on the board in the top of the fourth when SS Clem Barkley hit a line drive to left center field to bring in 3B Bobby Henry, taking the 1-0 lead.

Jackson took a commanding lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. After a walk by Monterrey starter Wilson Fisher to Jackson CF Norman Richard, and a single by Red Sullivan, Jackson starting pitcher Bey Dillon helped his own cause by ripping a line drive to right field to bring both Rihard and Sillivan in, giving the BlaZers the 4-1 lead.

Monterrey cut the lead down to one run in the top of the seventh on a solo home run by Rondell Lowe and a double by lead-off hitter Benny James. Just like that, Monterrey was back in the game.

Unfortunately for Monterrey, Jackson answered Monterrey's two runs with three runs in the bottom of the seventh and one run in the bottom of the eighth.

Monterrey had a prime chance to make a miraculous comeback with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning after Jackson reliever Pepper Gunderson threw himself into a jam, giving up three hits to the first three batters he faced. After Gunderson struck out Stars pinch-hitter Ricardo Ramirez, BlaZers skipper Marc Purcell brought in his closer, Kane Hines, hoping to help Jackson get out of the jam. What a smart move it was to bring in his reliable closer as Hines got Benny James to fly out and 2B Brian Turner to strike out, ending the game and clinching the series.

With the win, Jackson was able to pull off the upset and ensure the BlaZers first appearance into the League Championship Series since the inaugural season of the league.