With the Ospreys and Royals earning a first round bye, the Wahoos took on the Tarpons while theStorm took on the Buccaneers for the chance to advance to the semifinals and keep their championship hopes alive. Here is look at both games:
Semifinal Game #1 - 5. Wahoos vs. 4. Tarpons
From the start, it seemed as if these two evenly matched teams would go down to the wire. The Wahoos struck first in the top of the second when Dimitri Gridas singled and scored thanks to an RBI ground-out from Adam Little. However, the Tarpons would strike back in the bottom half of the inning, scoring 2 runs when Cortland Perry plated Nick Mulitz with an RBI-double before scoring, himself when McKinley Bell reached on an error.
After a scoreless 3rd inning, the Wahoos were back at it when Gridas and Geoff Beere walked and then proceeded to steal a combined 3 bases before they both scored on a costly Tarpons error to regain the 3-2 lead. An RBI-single from Mike Wilson would add another run for the Wahoos to make it a 4-2 contest. In the next half inning, the Tarpons would cut the lead in half thanks in large part to Sean Irick who doubled and scored to bring the game within a run.
After a quiet 5th frame, Geoff Beere sparked a hit parade for the Wahoos in the top of the 6th. A whopping 7 of the 9 hitters in the lineup singled off of Tarpons pitching with the first 6 batters of the innings crossing home plate. The Wahoos offense would prove to be too much for the Tarpons as they batted around in the 6th inning to take a commanding 10-3 lead. The Tarpons would add a run in the 6th before Brandon Hamlet came on to close the game and secure the 10-4 victory for the Wahoos.
Wahoos 10 10 2
Tarpons 4 6 1
WP -JT Patsons - 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 5 SO
Top Performer - Mike Wilson - 2-4, 2 1B, 2 RBI
Semifinal Game #2 - 6. Storm vs. 3. Buccaneers
With their playoff lives on the line, the Storm and Buccaneers sent their aces to the mound in the form of two of the most dominant pitchers in the league. The Storm's Jack Yamin and his 2-1 record took on the Buccaneers' Jordon Wegiles and his sparkling 2.03 ERA. With these two pitchers on the bump, the game was quiet early but it wouldn't be long before the Buccaneers scored the game's first two runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Sensing a "2" pattern? It gets worse. In the 2nd inning, with 2 runners on and 2 outs, John Spinell (twin brothers with Alex Spinell) smacked a 2-2 pitch to centerfield scoring 2 runs and giving the Buccaneers the 2-0 lead. Whew!
The Storm would chip away before eventually taking the lead scoring 3 runs in 3 innings (that's all we have for 3's). Scoring first was Ilan Luttway who singled and scored in the 3rd inning thanks to another single from Chris Shaw. A lead-off double from Liam as well as some "small ball" tied the game in the 4th when he scored on a a Juan Pablo Leon groundout to tie the game. The Storm would take the 3-2 lead just one inning later when Luttway scored again thanks to a Buccaneers throwing error.
This lead wouldn't last long however as the Buccaneers tied the game in their half of the 5th when Graham Core scored on a single from Doug Horn. After holding the Storm scoreless in the top of the 6th, the Buccaneers would take the lead back in the bottom of the 6th. Singles from Stpehen Arriz and Cole Hebble as well as a big double from Matt Lynch would give the Buccaneers the lead for good. Horn would notch the save in the 7th, giving the Buccaneers the '2' run victory.
Storm 3 6 2
Buccaneers 5 9 2
WP -Jordan Wergiles - 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 SO
Top Performer - John Spinell - 1-2, 1B, 2 RBI
Remaining Playoff Bracket
5. Wahoos vs. 1. Osprey (1:30pm) -and- 3. Buccaneers vs. 2. Royals (1:30pm)
Championship Game (11:30am)