There is good news on the farm tonight as two teams each took a step closer to a league championship.
The Tennessee Smokies smoked the Chattanooga Lookouts (Dodgers), 7-2. The Smokies swept the best-of-five series three games to none and will make their third straight trip to the Southern League Championship Series.
Starter Trey McNutt got the win. He got a three-run head start in the top of the first and then allowed a solo home run to the first batter he faced in the bottom of the inning. After that he settled down for five innings and allowed only two runs on seven hits. McNutt walked two and struck out three.
Left fielder Rebel Ridling was 2 for 4 with a two-run triple in the top of the first inning. He also walked once and scored once. Ridling had four total RBI.
Right fielder James Adduci and second baseman Jonathan Mota were both 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. They both scored once. Center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha was only 1 for 5, but he scored twice and made two spectacular catches in center field.
The Smokies are now off until the Southern League Championship Series starts on Wednesday. They will take on the winner of the Mobile BayBears/Montgomery Biscuits series. That series is currently tied at a game a piece and the third game is tied at one in the eighth inning as I write this.
The Daytona Cubs are one win away from their fifth Florida State League Championship as they crushed the St. Lucie Mets, 10-4. They now lead the best-of-five Florida State League Championship Series 2 games to none.
The story for the Daytona Cubs the whole post-season has been starting pitching and tonight Frank Del Valle threw another gem. He pitched six shutout innings and allowed only two hits. Del Valle walked one and struck out eight.
The D-Cubs broke out to a 4-0 lead by the third inning and never looked back. Center fielder Matt Szczur was 3 for 4 with a double and two stolen bases. He had two RBI. Second baseman Logan Watkins was 2 for 5 and scored a run. Right fielder Michael Burgess went 2 for 3 with a double. He scored once and batted two in.
First baseman Justin Bour and DH Jake Opitz put the game away in the seventh inning with a pair of home runs. Bour hit a three-run towering blast in the seventh and Opitz followed him two batters later with a two-run shot. Bour was 2 for 4 and Opitz was 2 for 4 with a double in addition to the home run. Opitz scored twice.
The Daytona Cubs will try to close out the series tomorrow in Port St. Lucie. The game starts at 5:30 Central time. You can listen to the game at daytonacubs.com