The Jamestown Jammers were extended to the final night of the regular-season before nailing down the wild-card berth in the New York-Pennsylvania League before 1,616 spectators at Diethrick Park.
Jamestown, now 43-32 for second place in the Pinckney Division, led all the way in defeating division champion State College for the first time in nine games by a 9-4 decision. The Spikes (48-27) finished five games ahead of Jammers.
After a day of rest, the teams get together for a best-of-three playoff series, starting Friday night at Diethrick Park. Games are scheduled for State College on Saturday and if-needed on Sunday.
The Post-Journal presented its most valuable player and most valuable pitcher awards before Wednesday night's Jamestown Jammers game at Diethrick Park. At left is most valuable player Adam Frazier, who came into last night's game with a .327 batting average which leads the Jammers and is second in the New York-Penn League. At right is most valuable pitcher Chad Kuhl, who came into last night's game with 2-4 record and he led the starting pitchers with a 1.97 ERA.
P-J photo by Jim Riggs
The Jammers, playing the most critical game of the season, came up with three runs in the first inning against loser Willy Paulino (2-3). Elvis Escobar and Harold Ramirez singled and, with one out, Austin Meadows drew the first of three walks to fill the bases. A sacrifice fly by Edwin Espinal drove in the first run - his 41st RBI of the year - followed by walks to Reese McGuire and Jin-De Jhang, the latter plating the second run. The third run came thanks to a passed ball by catcher Dante Rosenberg.
Meadows accounted for the fourth run with his second home run to right center field off Paulino with one out in the third to give the Jammers a 4-0 lead.
State College sliced the deficit to 4-2 in the fourth when Cesar Valera was hit by a Chad Kuhl pitch and Luke Voit doubled him home for the first run.
David Washington walked and then the Jammers turned one of three double plays in the game on a ball hit by Carson Kelly. Voit took third and scored on Mike Schulze's single.
The Jammers put the game away with a four-run sixth inning to increase the lead to 8-4.
Michael Aldrete, whose father Mike played in the majors with several teams, including the San Francisco Giants and the New York Yankees, was on the State College mound when the seventh inning started. Meadows walked and singles by Espinal and McGuire loaded the bases followed by a walk to Jhang, which forced in the fifth run for the Jammers. At that point, Jeff Rauch relieved Aldrete and walked Michael Fransoso to force home the sixth run.
Escobar kept the Jammers rolling with a sacrifice fly for the seventh run and Harold Ramirez singled in the eighth run for his 40th RBI of the season.
Then fireworks started in the seventh as Henry Hirsch of the Jammers hit Kelly with a pitch that resulted in his ejection by plate umpire Erich Bacchus. Bacchus also tossed Jamestown manager Dave Turgeon along with State College manager Oliver Marmol and hitting coach Ramon Ortiz.
When action resumed, Andy Otamendi was pitching for the Jammers and set the side down in order with two strikeouts.
The Jammers got an unearned run in the seventh when Jhang singled in McGuire, who was safe on an error by left fielder Vaughn Bryan. For Jhang, his three RBIs gave him 34 for the season.
State College got two run in the eighth off Otamendi to slice the deficit to 9-4 as Voit doubled in Dante Rosenberg and Cesar Valera, who both singled.
Brett McKinney pitched a scoreless ninth for the Jammers.
The winning pitcher was Kuhl, who allowed just two runs in five innings, to improve his record to 3-4.