As the Miami Marlins continue on their unexpected playoff run, their minor league affiliates have mostly wrapped up their seasons. Most teams were done over a week ago but two of them found their way into the postseason. The Greensboro Grasshoppers and Jacksonville Suns would attempt to bring home a championship to the Marlins organization. Will either of them be successful? Let's take a look.
Unfortunately the Grasshoppers playoff adventure would be short lived as they were swept 2-0 by the Hagerstown Suns. Game one was particularly heartbreaking. Greensboro got seven shutout innings from prospect Domingo German, and would score two fifth inning runs on a wild pitch and an Austin Dean single. With a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning, Tyler Bremer would allow three runs. The final run being a walk-off single that gave Hagerstown a 3-2 victory.
Game two would be at home in Greensboro with the Grasshoppers hoping to rebound from the devastating game one defeat. Chris Sadberry would allow two runs, only one earned, in four and one third innings of work before handing the game over to the bullpen. Greensboro would get those runs back in the bottom of the seventh on a Mason Davis two RBI double that would score Avery Romero and Brian Anderson. Hagerstown would retake the lead in the top of the eighth then put the game away in the top of the ninth by scoring three runs to secure the 6-2 victory. That would end the season for this promising Grasshoppers team, though they had a fantastic season.
The tale of the Jacksonville Suns is a much happier one. The Suns continued their winning ways by taking this five game series against the Mobile BayBears three games to one. They got off on the right foot winning game one. Jose Urena provided six tough innings allowing four runs, but his effort kept the Suns in the game. Austin Barnes would have a nice day, going 3-4 with three RBI, and one run scored. Heading into the top of ninth the Suns were down 4-3. Barnes would hit a two-run homer to give Jacksonville a 5-4 lead and eventually a 5-4 win.
After losing a close in game two the Suns would return home to Jacksonville for game three. Justin Nicolino would set the tone by pitching seven innings, allowing only three runs, and striking out three. The Suns offense did their part scoring three runs in the second and four in the fourth. The game included four Suns homeruns including back to back to back homers to begin the second inning from Viosergy Rosa, Brady Shoemaker, and Joe Benson. Mobile would grab two runs in the ninth inning to attempt a comeback but Jacksonville would hold on for the 7-5 win.
The final, and series winning, Suns victory would take a little bit longer. The game started Sunday September seventh but due to rain would be resumed and finished Monday the eighth at noon. After the fourth inning, this game was never in doubt. The Suns would score four in the fourth, two in the seventh, and three in the eighth to win 9-1. Jay Rogers would provide five innings of work allowing one run, followed by scoreless relief outings from Reid Redman, Nick Wittgren, and Jheyson Manzueta. Viosergy Rosa had a pair of hits and two RBI, and Joe Benson added two hits and an RBI. The win gave the Suns the 3-1 series win.
Though the Grasshoppers are done Jacksonville begins the championship series tonight against the Chattanooga Lookouts. They will send Jose Urena to the mound hoping to start things off right.