Houston 2, Lincoln 0 – Box Score
The Houston Apollos finished the 2021 season with a two-game winning streak and split their final series with the Lincoln Saltdogs with a 2-0 win on Labor Day. The win for the Apollos kept the Saltdogs from advancing the postseason and granted the Sioux City Explorers the final Wild Card spot in the South Division.
A two-RBI double from RF Gabe Wurtz in the top of the sixth inning provided all the runs the Apollos needed to seal the win. The pitching staff took care of the rest.
Starting pitcher Tucker Smith earned the win as he went five innings and allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out two batters. Reliever Keisy Portorreal struck out three in the sixth and seventh innings, Reliever Pierce Smith worked the eighth and Reliever Derrick Sylve earned the save by striking out two in the ninth.
Sioux Falls 3, Sioux City 2 – Box Score
The Sioux Falls Canaries edged the Sioux City Explorers 3-2 on the final day of the regular season, but the loss would not keep the Explorers from the playoffs thanks to a Houston win against Lincoln.
The Explorers will face Cleburne on Wednesday in the Wildcard Round.
In the bottom of the second inning, 1B Trey Michalczewski (2-for-4) hit a solo home run to put the Canaries in front 1-0. RF Michael Lang doubled home SS Errol Robinson in the top of the third to level the score, but CF Cade Gotta doubled to score RF Wyatt Ulrich in the home half of the inning to take the lead back. In the fourth, DH Jabari Henry (2-for-4) scored on a sac fly from LF Mike Hart to take the 3-1 lead.
2B Blake Tiberi (2-for-3) hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth for the Explorers but that proved to be the final run of the day.
Milwaukee 2, Gary SouthShore 1 – Box Score
The Milwaukee Milkmen (59-41) finished off the regular season with a 2-1 win against the Gary SouthShore RailCats. The defending champs will see Fargo-Moorhead in the Wild Card Round on Wednesday.
Starting pitcher Robbie Gordon picked up the win as he went seven scoreless innings and allowed just four hits and one walk while striking out nine batters. Reliever Takoda Metoxen earned the six out save by closing things out in the eighth and ninth. Offensively, LF Adam Brett Walker II hit his 33rd home run of the year, giving him two more than Winnipeg’s Kyle Martin for the league lead.
That two-run shot was just enough support for the Milkmen pitching staff. The RailCats scored their run in the bottom of the ninth as pinch hitter Alec Olund singled home DH M.J. Rookard but a lineout in the next at-bat stranded the potential winning run on base.
Kansas City 4, Cleburne 1 – Box Score
The Kansas City Monarchs finished off their South Division Championship campaign with a 4-1 win against the Cleburne Railroaders.
The Monarchs will await the winner of the play-in game between the Railroaders and the Sioux City Explorers, held on Wednesday.
2B Kevin Santa (2-for-3) doubled home SS Morgan McCullough (2-for-5) in the top of the first to give the Monarchs the early lead. Kansas City added three more runs in the fifth as LF Colin Willis hit a solo home run and CF Charcer Burks (2-for-4) doubled home DH Ibandel Isabel and then scored when McCullough singled. The Railroaders lone run came in the bottom of the fifth when RF Hunter Clanin scored on a double steal.
Chicago 8, Kane County 4 – Box Score
The Chicago Dogs (63-37) capped off their North Division Championship with an 8-4 win against the Kane County Cougars in the regular season finale.
The Dogs took the lead in the top of the first inning as LF Brennan Metzger scored on a single from RF Danny Mars (3-for-6). The Dogs took control of the contest in the fifth as 2B Joey Terdoslavich (3-for-6) doubled home Metzger and then scored when Mars singled in the next at-bat. 3B T.J. Bennett (3-for-5) belted a three-run home run later in the frame to take a 6-0 lead.
DH K.C. Hobson (2-for-6) added a solo home run in the seventh and SS Harrison Smith tacked on an RBI single in the eighth.
The Cougars scored all of their runs in the seventh as they loaded up the bases and C Tony Garcia III drew a bases loaded walk and then CF Anfernee Seymour (2-for-4) hit a two-RBI double. Garcia scored on a sac fly from SS Tyler Friis.
Fargo-Moorhead 9, Winnipeg 3 – Box Score
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks (61-38) used a six-run fourth to claim a 9-3 win against the Winnipeg Goldeyes.
The RedHawks were trailing 2-1 going into the top of the fourth but turned things around as they sent 10 batters to the plate and scored six runs on five hits. 1B Carson McCurdy (2-for-4) hit an RBI double to start the rally and he scored when CF Mitch Piatnik singled to right. In the next at-bat, SS Sam Troyer drew a bases-loaded walk to score C Cole Warken and DH Marshall Rich scored on a wild pitch three pitches later. 2B Nick Novak singled home Piatnik and Troyer scored when LF Jacob Bockelie reached on a fielder’s choice.
The Goldeyes had 11 hits in the game and saw two-hit performances from four different batters including 1B Kyle Martin who also added an RBI.
The RedHawks will meet the defending champion Milwaukee Milkmen in the Wild Card Round of the Playoffs on Wednesday.