Wednesday, September 14, 2011

IronPigs Win IL Championship Series Opener

A three-run homerun by Brandon Moss in the opening frame was more than enough offense for the IronPigs pitching staff, as four pitchers combined to hold the Columbus Clippers to 2 runs on 7 hits earning Lehigh Valley a victory in game 1 of the Triple-A International League Championship Series.

The long ball by Moss, his 3rd of the postseason, came off of Columbus All-Star Zach McAllister, who spent some time with the parent club, Cleveland, this year. The right-handed McAllister lasted 8 innings, but took the loss.

The lefty batting Moss, who has seen Major League action as a member of the Red Sox, had the table set for his big blast in the top of the 1st inning by 1-out singles from Scott Podsednik and Kevin Frandsen. Moss, the IronPigs' clean up hitter who turns 28-years-old later this week, then mashed a deep drive to straight away center that put Lehigh Valley ahead for good.

Lehigh Valley added another run an inning later. An RBI ground out by the left fielder Podsednik brought home catcher Erik Kratz to put the IronPigs up 4-0.

Lehigh Valley starter Scott Mathieson, who has also pitched in the big leagues this year with the Phillies, earned the win with 5 innings of work in which he surrendered 5 hits and 2 runs, while walking 2 and striking out 2.

Left-hander Joe Savery tossed 2 scoreless innings and righty Phillippe Aumont added a scoreless frame to hold the Clippers to just 2 runs through 8 innings of play.

First baseman Cody Overbeck smacked a solo homerun to lead off the 9th. Kratz then doubled to chase McAllister from the game. Lefty Kelvin De La Cruz came on in relief and thwarted the rally.

Righty hurler Justin De Fratus had a shaky bottom of the 9th inning, as he had difficulty locating throwing strikes. The Phillies' 11th round draft pick from 2007, who is well regarded for his accuracy, struggled with his command, issuing a pair of free passes with 1 down before retiring Clippers center fielder Tim Fedroff on a fly out. Things got more interesting when short stop Juan Diaz stroked a single which loaded the bases. However, De Fratus bounced back and struck out first baseman Jared Goedert slider to earn his 2nd save of the postseason.

Outfielder Domonic Brown, another occasional Phillie, went 1-for-4 in the contest to raise his dismal postseason batting average to .091.

Columbus, the defending IL champs, will host game 2 on Wednesday. The series then moves to Lehigh Valley's Coca Cola Park for the remaining games in the best-of-five title series.

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