Archive for June, 2006


Knights nearing their first title

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

STEVE SNEDDON
RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
PICTURE: TIM DUNN
Posted: 6/27/2006

The Reno Knights have been the ultimate good hosts in the Josh Anderson Memorial Baseball Tournament.

They’ve never won the tournament — which is in its 18th year — but they’re working on changing things. The American Legion team moved a step closer to it in a 12-4 win over the Santa Rosa, Calif., Connie Mack team in a game shortened to five runs by Reno Knightsthe eight-run rule at Peccole Park on Monday afternoon.

The Knights scored eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to move into a semifinal game against Chaffey, Wash., at 5 p.m. today with the winner advancing to the championship game at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The Knights have only reached the title a couple of times, but Reno coach Pete Savage didn’t want to look past the semifinal. His players, though, are aware of the team’s history and savor a shot at winning the Knights’ first championship.

“It would be a good experience. It would probably bring the team close together to have the home team win it,” said left fielder Trever Zaldain, who drove in three runs and had a two-run single to cap the eight-run explosion.

The tournament has teams from five states, including three from Washington — Chaffey, Lakeside and Yakima Valley. There’s also Cherry Creek from Colorado, Santa Rosa and Danville from California and the Midwest Wolverines from Kansas. Today will be the fifth day of the six-day tournament.

Santa Rosa assistant coach Michael Paul, who was a high school coach for 23 years, said a six-day tournament is a good educational experience for young players.

“Some kids don’t travel well. They don’t know how to travel,” Paul said. “They don’t know what it’s like to live in a hotel. You get to that third, fourth day, you may have a great team, but if they don’t get sleep, they’re not used to being away from home. That also plays into whether you win or lose.

“You have to have a routine about you. You have to know what off-the-field activities you should have. That really makes a difference for a big leaguer, too, whether he can stay in the big leagues based on what he does off the field as well as on it.”

This is the 14th year that the tournament has carried the name Anderson. The 1981 Reno High graduate died of Sudden Death Syndrome shortly after pitching in the then-named Sierra Nevada Classic in 1992.

Ten players who played in the tournament, including Lyle Overbay, Todd Hollandsworth and Randy Wolf, have reached the majors. The tournament has been a good source of players for the Wolf Pack. Coach Gary Powers estimated that 15 to 20 players who appeared in the tournament have played for the Pack. Six of the eight teams in the tournament have had players who went on to play for Nevada. Only the Midwest Wolverines, who are playing in their first Reno tournament, and Santa Rosa haven’t had a player who played for the Pack.

Powers organized the event until the NCAA eliminated the role of college coaches in this kind of tournament. Savage has organized it since 1994.

“This is a good tournament. Pete does a good job of organizing it,” Powers said. “Teams want to come in. The word gets around.”

But some teams not accustomed to losing very often in their areas could be tagged with a lot of unexpected losses in six days.

“It’s like anything else. You put eight teams together and four are going to lose every day,” Powers said. “It’s like the College World Series, four teams play every day and two lose.”

Most of the teams in the tournament are perennial powerhouses like the Yakima Valley Pepsi Pak, which has lost its first four games in the tournament.

Pepsi Pak fans Joe Heffron and Rick Brugnone made the 11-hour drive from Yakima to watch the tournament. It’s Heffron’s first trip to the tournament and Brugnone’s 10th consecutive, although he doesn’t have a son on the team. They both looked worn out by the sweltering heat on a day the temperature hit 99 degrees.

“The ballpark’s nice,” Heffron said. “If you got air conditioning down here (in the ballpark) it would be nicer.”

What keeps Brugnone coming back year after year?

“I like baseball and it’s a good time of the year,” Brugnone said.

“He’s a nut. He’s a baseball nut.” Heffron said.

The crowds are small in the tournament, generally between 100 and 400 fans, but Savage knows what brings teams back.

“It’s a great competition,” Savage said. “That is absolutely the best thing about the tournament. It’s the atmosphere you’re playing in with this quality of players.”

 

2006 Reno Knights B Roster

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006
Reno Knights B Roster
Player Year Position Bats Throws
Justin Agliolo 2010 P-OF L L
Cy Armstrong 2009 C L R
Brian Bus 2008 OF R R
Hank Davis 2008 OF R R
Leo Fuentes 2008 P R R
Patrick Gallagher 2010 P-INF L R
Tom Jameson 2009 P-INF R R
David Jamieson 2009 P-INF R R
Skyler Kachurak 2008 OF R R
Adam Kovac 2009 INF R R
Brad Lundy 2009 P-UTL R R
Mitch Meranda 2009 P-UTL R R
Zach Sanford 2009 P-OF R R
Mike Savage 2009 INF R R
LJ Savage 2010 P-INF R R
Tyler Shanks 2009 OF R R
Dylan Smith 2010 C R R
Sam Soliday 2009 P R R
Bryan Sperry 2009 INF R R
Louis Valencia 2009 C-1B R R
Shawn Walters 2009 C R R
Trent Winkel 2008 INF R R

Head Coach: Scott Sass
Assistant Coach: Rich Jameson

 

Reno Knights 2006 4th of July Tournament

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

The 2006 4th of July Tournament will be held from Saturday, July 1st through Tuesday, July 4. All games will be played at either Reno High School, Wooster High School, or Damonte Ranch High School. There will be three brackets with a round robin which will determine seeding. After round robin play, teams will be seeded according to their win-loss record into the championship rounds on Monday and Tuesday. The top 6 teams will then compete in a double elimination tournament. The bottom 8 teams will then compete in a double elimination style bracket.

Red Pool White Pool Blue Pool
Damonte Rebels Reno Knights Sierra Sun Devils
Napa Riverdogs Santa Clara Red Sox Carson Cardinals
Roseville Legion Red Bluff Bulls Millbrae PAL
N. Humboldt Giants Boise Barons Merced Volunteers
Petaluma Leghorns Seattle (NWBA)

Schedule
Saturday, July 1
At Damonte At Reno At Wooster
11:00 Damonte vs Roseville

10:00
Reno vs Tehama 10:00 Sun Devils vs Carson
1:30 Carson vs Seattle 12:30 Reno vs Santa Clara 12:30 Sun Devils vs Millbrae
4:00 Napa vs N. Humboldt 3:00 Petaluma vs Santa Clara 3:00 Merced vs Millbrae
5:30 Petaluma vs Boise 5:30 Merced vs Seattle
8:00 Tehama vs Boise
Sunday, July 2
At Damonte At Reno At Wooster
9:00 Damonte vs N. Humboldt

9:00
Reno vs Petaluma 9:00 Millbrae vs Carson
11:30 Napa vs Damonte 11:30 Reno vs Boise 11:30 Carson vs Merced
2:00 Napa vs Roseville 2:00 Tehama vs Petaluma 2:00 Sun Devils vs Merced
4:30 N. Humboldt vs Roseville 4:30 Santa Clara vs Tehama 4:30 Sun Devils vs Seattle
6:30 Santa Clara vs Boise
8:30 Millbrae vs Seattle
Monday, July 3
At Damonte At Reno At Wooster
9:00 G#12 R4 vs B4

9:00
G#1 R1 vs B2 9:00 G#19 W3 vs R3
11:30 G#13 W5 vs B5 11:30 G#2 W2 vs R2 11:30 G#20 B3 vs W4
2:00 G#14 L G#19 vs L G#20 2:00 G #3 W G#1 vs W1 2:00 G#21 WG#19 vs W G#20
4:30 G#15 L G#12 vs L G#13 4:30 G#4 W G#2 vs B1 4:30 G#22 W G#12 vs W G#13
6:30 G#5 Loser G#4 vs Loser G#1
8:30 G#6 Loser G#2 vs Loser G#3
Tuesday, July 4
At Damonte At Reno At Wooster
9:00 G #16 Loser G#22 vs Loser G #21 9:00 G#7 Loser G#5 vs Loser G#6 9:00 G#23 Winner G#21 vs Winner G#22
11:30 G#17 Loser G#14 vs Winner L#15 11:30 G#8 Winner G#5 vs Winner G#6 11:30 G#24 Winner G#14 vsWinner G#15
2:00 G#9 Winner G#3 vs Winner G#4

Tournament Rules

* All games will be seven innings
* Time Limit: 2 hours 15 minutes
* Clear all dugouts immediately following completion of game
* An All-Tournament team will be named
* Trophy awarded to championship team of tournament
* 8 Run rule after 5 innings
* Each team required to bring 1 dozen game balls
* Tie-breaker in standings
o Head to Head
o Least total runs given up
o Total hits by your team if #1 and #2 is still tied

 

18th Annual Sierra Nevada Classic (Josh Anderson Memorial)

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

Josh Anderson Memorial
June 23-June 28, 2006

Welcome to the 18th Annual Josh Anderson Memorial Tournament. This year’s tournament will once again be filled with excitement and quality, competitive baseball. The tournament will take on an entire new look for the 2006 competition. We have added two new teams (the Midwest Wolverines and Santa Rosa Connie Mack), which should help improve the field of teams. Coach Powers and the baseball program at the University of Nevada have completed their stadium improvements. They have installed field turf and lights which makes Peccole Park one of the best baseball stadiums in the United States. With the addition of lights, all the games of the Josh Anderson Tournament will be played at Peccole Park.

The tournament is without a doubt one of the most prestigious tournaments on the west coast. With teams from California, Nevada, Washington, Colorado and Kansas, many of the best players in the country have been highlighted throughout the tournament’s history. Many of the tournament alumni are now playing either in the major leagues, the minor leagues, or collegiate baseball.

In last year’s championship game, Chaffey Baseball Club recaptured the tournament title from the always strong, Danville Hoots. The entry fee for this year will be $450 per team. This tournament fee will help defer umpire costs, baseballs, programs, and other miscellaneous costs that it takes to run the tournament. Please make the check out to RENO KNIGHTS BASEBALL CLUB. There are a couple of different options for hotel rooms if you choose to use them. Please contact Peggi Gold at Rope Marketing. This year there is a choice between the Reno Hilton or the El Dorado Hotel-Casino. Many teams like staying at the Reno Hilton because of the many activities/restaurants for the players to do. The El Dorado Hotel Casino is a family owned hotel that have been huge supporters of our baseball programs throughout the years. See the flyer attached. Please understand you don’t have to use either option, you can obviously stay at whatever accommodations you like. We are just providing you with an option for your convenience. Some teams choose to use it, others do not.

We really appreciate all the teams that continue to come back to Reno and play in this fine tournament. Some of your organizations have been coming since the tournament started and that is greatly appreciated.

Thank You,

Pete Savage

Silver Division Blue Division
Lakeside Recovery Chaffey Baseball Club
Yakima Valley Legion Reno Knights
Danville Hoots Midwest Wolverines
Santa Rosa Connie Mack Cherry Creek

Schedule
Home team listed first
Friday, June 23
12:00 Yakima vs Danville
2:30 Chaffey vs Cherry Creek
5:00 Lakeside vs Santa Rosa
7:30 Reno vs Midwest
Saturday, June 24
12:00 Santa Rosa vs Yakima
2:30 Cherry Creek vs Reno
5:00 Midwest vs Chaffey
7:30 Danville vs Lakeside
Sunday, June 25
12:00 Danville vs Santa Rosa
2:30 Reno vs Chaffey
5:00 Cherry Creek vs Midwest
7:30 Yakima vs Lakeside
Monday, June 26
12:00 B1 vs S4
2:30 B2 vs S3
5:00 B3 vs S2
7:30 B4 vs S1
Tuesday, June 27
12:00 Loser G #1 vs Loser G #2
2:30 Loser G #3 vs Loser G #4
5:00 Winner G #1 vs Winner G #2
7:30 Winner G #3 vs Winner G #4
Wendesday, June 28
12:00 Winner G #5 vs Winner G #6 (5th Place)
2:30 Loser G #7 vs Loser G #8 (3rd Place)
5:00 Winner G #7 vs Winner G #8 (Championship)

TOURNAMENT RULES

* All games will be seven inning games
* Time Limit: 2 hours 15 minutes
* Clear all dugouts immediately following completion of game (all post game meetings will be held in bullpen areas only)
* 8-run rule in effect after 5 innings
* No tobacco (Smoking or chewing) will be allowed inside the playing field or indoor hitting facilities
* All pre-game warm-up must be done in the outfield areas beyond the infield dirt areas. No catch or pepper played in front of dugout area. NO SOFT TOSS INTO ANY FENCES. Infield/Outfield available if time possible.
* Protests will be handled immediately by the tournament committee
* Home team has 3rd base dugout
* Seeding determined by: a. Best Record b. Head to Head c. Fewest Runs Allowed

 

Beavers’ return to CWS a first for former Husky

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

CHAD HARTLEY
RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
Posted: 6/17/2006

John Wallace is ready to help his Oregon State teammates take care of unfinished business.

Last year at this time, Wallace was taking part in graduation ceremonies at Reno High School, and Oregon State was just happy to be at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb., for the first time. The Beavers quickly lost two games and went home.

Now, Oregon State is back in Omaha with a new focus, and Wallace played a part in the Beavers’ 44-14 season and return trip to the College World Series. Oregon State will take on Miami (41-22) today at 4 p.m.

“The guys who were on the team last year, they are ready to go,” Wallace said Friday in a telephone interview. “They want to stay longer. I want to help this team go as far as we can. But at the same time, I am trying to take everything in. Getting to Omaha, this is a dream for me.”

Wallace got thrown into the fire as a freshman this year when Beavers star center fielder Tyler Graham went down with an injury. He played in 40 of the Beavers’ 58 games and is third in hitting at .337. He scored 22 runs, drove in 17 and stole four bases this season.

“I didn’t know what to expect this year but I got a chance to start when Tyler got hurt and I did a pretty good job with that opportunity,” Wallace said. “Making the adjustment to this level is tough because the game is faster and the competition is better. But it is still the same game. I’m pretty happy with my first year.”

Now, Wallace and Oregon State will see how long that year will last. Today against the Hurricanes, the left-handed hitting Wallace isn’t expecting to start because Miami is starting a left-hander on the mound. But he could get a pinch-hitting opportunity and expects to start as the team’s designated hitter later in the tournament.

With Graham back in the lineup for the Beavers, Wallace has seen a lot of time at DH, which has been a positive and a negative.

“Being a freshman and making the adjustment to this level, it has been nice because I only have to focus on one thing during a game,” he said. “But it can hurt you, too. If you are having a bad day at the plate, you don’t have the chance to go out there and make up for it on defense. You just spend all your time in the dugout stewing about your last at-bat.”

Wallace said he’s been fielding congratulatory calls from old high school teammates and friends all week. Reno High coach Pete Savage called Friday morning to wish him good luck.

“All of those calls have been great,” Wallace said. “Coach Savage, he just told me to stay focused and enjoy myself.”

Wallace admitted that the experience has been “overwhelming” so far. The Beavers hosted an NCAA Regional and Super Regional before going to Omaha this week.

“(Thursday night), they had opening ceremonies at the ballpark and we are out there on the field with 20,000 people screaming in the stands and it was just the opening ceremonies,” he said. “That was just awesome. I can’t really describe the feeling. This is just the thrill of a lifetime.”

He said his parents, grandparents, an aunt and uncle and some family friends made the trip to Omaha.

“I have a lot of support here, and the guys on the team who were here last year, they have told me what to expect,” Wallace said. “This experience, this is why I came here.

“I think we have really good chance. We have great pitching and we play solid defense. If our bats get fired up like they did during Regionals, I think we have a good shot.”

 

Reno, McQueen rewarded for stellar play this season

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

JOE SANTORO
RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
Posted: 6/11/2006

The Reno Huskies and McQueen Lancers baseball teams led the Northern 4A Region in the regular season and have done the same on the Reno Gazette-Journal/Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Class 4A All-State Baseball Team.

McQueen, which won the High Desert League regular season title, and Reno, which won the Sierra League, combined to place 14 players (seven each) on this year’s 60-member All-State team.

The two second-place teams — Galena in the High Desert and Carson in the Sierra — each placed three players on the All-State teams. Galena won the Northern Regional tournament and won a game in the state tournament, and Carson was the only team in the North to beat either McQueen or Reno in a league game, beating Reno twice on the final weekend of the regular season.

Both McQueen and Reno put two players on the All-State First Team — McQueen infielders Brian Barnett and Luke Feiler and Reno infielder Davis Banks and pitcher Garrett Luippold.

Barnett was the most feared hitter in the Northern 4A this year with 19 homers, 66 RBIs and 69 runs. The shortstop also hit .471.

“The thing about Brian is he just kept pushing himself to improve all year,” McQueen coach Brian Nelson said. “He is never satisfied.”

Nelson said Arizona State is one of the schools that is already interested in the McQueen junior.

“The kid deserves all the attention he is getting,” Nelson said.

Feiler, another McQueen junior, hit .465 with six homers, 48 RBIs and 47 runs while playing mainly third base.

“He is really the jack of all trades,” Nelson said. “He’s played third, first, second and he’s pitched and caught for us. He hit cleanup behind Barney (Barnett) and did an outstanding job. A lot of times teams would walk (Barnett) to get to Luke, and Luke accepted the challenge and took advantage of it. Luke is a great kid who just loves the game of baseball.”

Banks, a senior, played shortstop and pitched for the Huskies. He led the Huskies with a .417 average and 12 home runs. He was second on the team with 39 RBIs. On the mound, he was 4-2 with a 4.25 ERA, striking out 28 in 28 innings.

Luippold was nearly unhittable this season. The junior was 10-0 with a 0.62 ERA. He fanned 82 in 562/3 innings (13 appearances) and allowed just 32 hits, 25 of them singles.

“He is obviously the best pitcher in the North this year,” Reed coach Jon Foss said last month. “He’s a Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine type. He spots the ball in and out and can locate all of his pitches.”

Luippold threw a shutout in four of his nine starts. He did not allow a single earned run in Sierra League play over 41 innings (66 strikeouts).

“When you do that, you have to be mentally and physically tough,” Reno coach Pete Savage said. “He always got the big out when he needed it.”

Reno put three players on the Second Team (infielder Alex Gardner, outfielder Trever Zaldain and utility player John Rice) and McQueen had two (outfielder Eric Chaump and pitcher Will Honjas).

Gardner, who played third base, was second on the Huskies with a .412 average. His 13 doubles were second and his 31 RBIs and 35 runs were third. Gardner led the team with 11 stolen bases.

Zaldain hit .398 and led the team with 41 runs. He also had 11 doubles and drove in 25 runs and stole 10 bases. Rice was one of the better hitters and pitchers in the Northern Region. The senior hit .367 with 13 doubles and a team-high 41 RBIs. He also was 7-1 on the mound with a 1.43 ERA, striking out 53 in 44 innings.

Chaump hit .357 for the Lancers with 33 RBIs and 35 runs. Honjas, who also hit .390 playing outfield when he wasn’t pitching, was 5-2 with a 3.19 ERA. He struck out 82 in just 57 innings and walked just 17.

“Will throws four pitches for strikes and really kept up that tradition of solid pitching at McQueen,” Nelson said.

The Third Team finds three McQueen players (catcher Jared Murphy, infielder Travis Reynolds and designated hitter Kyle Stewart) and two from Reno (infielder Tim Moore and utility player Mike Brown).

Murphy hit .375 with 46 RBIs and 32 runs, Reynolds hit .341 with 55 runs and 32 RBIs and Stewart hit .350 with 28 RBIs and 29 runs.

“This was (Murphy’s) first year as a catcher,” Nelson said. “The work ethic he put forth, making himself into a solid catcher, was phenomenal.”

Moore hit .384 for the Huskies with 27 runs and 27 RBIs while Brown hit .365 with 38 runs, 31 RBIs and a team-best 14 doubles.

Both Galena and Carson placed one player each on the First, Second and Third Team.

Carson’s All-State players are outfielder Tony Fagan (First Team), infielder Logan Parsley (Second Team) and outfielder Royal Good (Third Team). Fagan hit .412 and drove in 35 runs. He hit .433 in Sierra League play. Parsley hit .458 with five homers and Good hit .338 with 12 stolen bases.

Galena’s Tony Thompson (utility) was placed on the First Team, Jacob Anderson (pitcher) on the Second Team and Basim Azzam (catcher) on the Third Team.

Thompson was one of the best all-around players in the state. The third baseman hit .468 with 16 homers, 18 doubles and 53 RBIs. On the mound he was 7-3 with a 2.19 ERA, striking out 56 and walking just five.

“He was everything for us, both offensively and defensively,” Galena coach Gary McNamara said. “He was our No. 1 guy on the mound and our best hitter. And, what people don’t realize, is how good of a defensive third baseman he is.”

The 6-foot-4 Thompson saved his best for the regional tournament, hitting .526 (10-for-19) with five homers, 15 RBIs and 10 runs in just five games.

“It was the Tony Thompson talent display,” McNamara said.

Anderson, just a sophomore, was 9-0 this season with a 2.06 ERA, striking out 61 and walking just 17. Azzam hit .457 with 31 RBIs and 14 doubles.

“Basim had knee surgery last summer so we weren’t sure how much we were going to catch him,” McNamara said. “But he was great for us.”

Anderson also doubles as the Grizzlies starting quarterback in the fall. “He brings all of those qualities he has as a quarterback to the mound,” McNamara said. “He is very competitive and never quits out there.”

Reed put two players on the All-State team. Garrett Silva (utility) was named to the Second Team and Chris Garcia (Third Team) was picked on the Third Team. Silva hit .414 with 25 RBIs while Garcia was 5-3 with a 3.04 ERA. He struck out 53 in 35 innings.

North Valleys catcher Van Love was named to the First Team. The junior hit .414 (.462 in Sierra League play) with six homers, nine doubles and 23 RBIs. Love also stole seven bases, scored 21 runs and was hit by seven pitches. He also threw out 14-of-28 runners attempting to steal.

Douglas’ Ryan Laing, another junior, was also named to the First Team as a designated hitter. Laing, a former Spanish Springs player, hit .403 with 12 doubles, 11 homers and 41 RBIs.

Bishop Manogue’s Joe Wieland was named as one of the five First Team pitchers. Wieland, a sophomore, was 5-3 for the Miners with a 1.12 ERA. He struck out 43 in 56 2/3 innings and completed five games.

Damonte Ranch’s Matt Gardner, a shortstop and pitcher, was named to the Second Team as an infielder. Gardner led the Mustangs with a .411 average, 24 RBIs, 34 runs and 18 stolen bases.

Wooster infielder David Kuhfuss and Spanish Springs pitcher Kyle Smit were named to the Third Team. Kuhfuss hit .463 with eight stolen bases and 26 RBIs while Smit won three games and struck out 61 in 501/3 innings. The senior also had a 2.09 ERA.

 

Marc Kaiser pitches a gem in Double-A

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

DRILLERS ARE CHAMPS!
TulsaDrillers.com
Posted: 6/18/2006

June 18, 2006 – The Tulsa Drillers are the first-half champions of the Texas League’s North Division. A dramatic winner-take-all game with the Springfield Cardinals Sunday afternoon turned anti-climatic when the Drillers scored five times in the top of the third inning. After the big inning, Tulsa starting pitcher Marc Kaiser turned in a brilliant performance, retiring 21 straight hitters at one point, as the Drillers won the first-half finale 8-1.

The win allowed the Drillers to finish one game in front of the Cardinals in the standings. Tulsa finished with a record of 41-29, while Springfield finished at 39-29.

After losing the resumption of Saturday night’s game earlier in the afternoon, the Drillers took an early lead in Sunday’s regularly scheduled contest. Ian Stewart lined the first pitch of the second inning over the wall in right field to give Tulsa a 1-0 lead. After the homer, Chris Iannetta singled and Joe Gaetti doubled. A groundout by Jordan Czarniecki plated Iannetta to make it 2-0.

The Cardinals got a run back in the bottom of the second when Terry Evans led off with his sixth homer of year to cut the lead in half.

Springfield then provided Tulsa plenty of help in the pivotal third, as all five runs that scored were unearned . Troy Tulowitzki led off with a fly ball that left fielder Nick Stavinoha dropped for a three base error. A passed ball by catcher Gabe Johnson allowed Tulowitzki to come home with the Drillers third run. After Seth Smith popped out, Joe Koshanksy was hit by a pitch. Ian Stewart singled and Iannetta was hit by another pitch to load the bases. Joe Gaetti then hit a pop up just behind first base that the Cardinals failed to catch. Koshansky scored to make it 4-1, but Iannetta was forced at second base on the play. Czarniecki followed, and with runners at first and third, he hit a drive down the left field line that cleared the wall just inside the foul pole for his 8th home run of the year. The homer increased Tulsa’s lead to 7-1.

From there, Kaiser dominated. From the third through the eighth inning, the Cardinals did not have a single base runner. Mike McCoy finally broke the streak of 21 straight outs with a one-out single in the ninth. Kaiser quickly ended any comeback hopes when he got pinch-hitter Cody Haerther to ground into a game-ending double play.

The performance by Kaiser improved his record to 6-5 and lowered his ERA to 4.03. It was only the second 9-inning, complete game for a Tulsa hurler this season. Ubaldo Jimenez pitched a 9-inning shutout earlier this month.

Stewart, Iannetta, Gaetti and Czarniecki all had two hits each to lead a 10-hit Tulsa attack. Czarniecki finished with four runs batted in.

The first-half title guarantees the Drillers a spot in the first round of the Texas League playoffs in September. Tulsa will play the North Division’s second-hlaf winner in a best-of-five series with games one and two at Drillers Stadium.

The Drillers will now enjoy three off days as the Texas League takes its All-Star break. The All-Star Game will be played Tuesday night in Little Rock with eight Tulsa players participating.

Tulsa will begin the second-half of the season Thursday night at Drillers Stadium against the Midland RockHounds. It will be the beginning of a 7-game homestand for the Drillers. Steven Register will be the starting pitcher in Thursday’s opener with first pitch scheduled for 7:05PM.

 

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