September 2 Afternoon
Sioux Falls 4, Amarillo 3
An eighth-inning error turned out to be a major detriment to the Amarillo Sox. Sioux Falls beat Amarillo 4-3 after Jake Taylor scored on a two-out error to put the Canaries on top. The Canaries’ win helped out the Grand Prairie AirHogs, who clinched the South Division championship and the final American Association playoff spot on the last day of the season.
The Sox nearly kept their playoff dreams alive thanks to a pair of power surges. Joe Weik gave Amarillo the initial lead with a two-run home run in the top of the first. But, Sioux Falls answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning and took the lead in the fourth on a J.P. Ramirez solo homer. Once again, though, the Sox came up with a timely round-tripper. With nobody on and one out in the eighth, Kyle Nichols went deep to knot the score. Unfortunately for Amarillo, the error in the bottom half of the inning scored Taylor with the game-deciding run. Canaries closer Alan DeRatt worked a one-two-three ninth to finish the season with 22 saves.
El Paso 4, Gary SouthShore 1
Oscar Mesa had a hand in every El Paso run in a win over Gary SouthShore. The left fielder drove in two runs and scored a pair himself, as the Diablos defeated the RailCats, 4-1.
Mesa and the Diablos struck first in the third. With one on and one out, Mesa drilled a triple to open the scoring. He then scored on a Welington Dotel RBI ground out to give El Paso a 2-0 advantage. The RailCats answered with a run in the sixth inning on a Drew Martinez single, but Mesa helped increase the Diablos’ lead again in the eighth. This time, Mesa singled home Maikol Gonzalez to expand El Paso’s lead to two runs. Mesa stole third base later in the inning and came home on an RBI ground out by Anthony D’Alfonso.
Starting pitcher Reyes Dorado earned the victory for the Diablos. He tossed six innings and only allowed one run on six hits. The right-hander struck out three and walked two to finish his season with a 4-2 record. At the back end, Marshall Schuler notched his 13th and final save of the year.
Sioux City 4, St. Paul 3 (12 innings)
With a two-out RBI single in the top of the 12th, Luke Murton sent the Sioux City Explorers into the offseason with a 4-3 victory over St. Paul. Murton’s single scored Austin Gallagher with the go-ahead run and X’s reliever Jimmer Kennedy shut the door on the mini-marathon with a flawless bottom of the 12th that included two strikeouts.
Though they lost the game, the Saints made a valiant effort in the contest. St. Paul climbed back twice to tie the ballgame. Trailing 2-0 in the sixth, Dan Kaczrowski delivered a two-run homer to knot the score. Murton struck back for Sioux City in the top of the seventh with a run-scoring double, but the Saints again had an answer in the bottom of the inning. Trevor Hairgrove produced an RBI single to left that tied the score at 3-3.
The teams remained scoreless until the 12th when Murton came through again and this time the Saints had no response. Kennedy secured his seventh save of the year, while left-handed reliever Mike Jefferson picked up his first win in 2013.