Kansas City 4, Mayne 2
Prospect Park 4, Inwood 3
Inwood 4, Brussels 2
Mayne 4, Virginia 2
Kansas City vs. Prospect Park
Before the start of the series, however, all Posse fans were not feeling as wonderful about their chances. Because the Inwood Landfills pushed the Posse to the brink of elimination in the semifinals, the Posse rotation was tired and disorganized, and staring directly at a tough opponent, the Kansas City Tornados. Ace starter Kevin Brown, 29-0 during the regular season, would not be available to start until game 3, and could only start two games in the Championship Series. Number two starter Mark Portugal was also unavailable, forcing Posse manager Lance Parrish to make some tough decisions about his rotation. He settled on Russ Springer, who split the season between Prospect Park and AAA Rockaway and did not appear at all in the semifinals, as his game one starter against the Tornados' ace, Charles Nagy.
The Posse got the scoring underway quickly in game one, as RBI singles by Barry Larkin, Juan Gonzalez and Jeff Cirillo helped stake the Posse to a 4-0 lead after 2. The Tornados fought back, as Eric Davis took Springer deep for a two run blast, to cut the lead to 4-2. An RBI double by Royce Clayton trimmed the lead to 4-3 in the fourth. Springer was lifted for Ugueth Urbina in the fifth, and the youngster was magnificent, holding the Tornados at bay for two and a third innings. RBI singles by Cirillo and Harold Baines added to the Posse lead, and Mariano Rivera emerged from the pen to seal the 7-4 Posse victory. Posse fans and management realized that they had dodged a major bullet and were lucky to win this game.
Game 2 pitted Posse starter Dave Burba, who had been hammered by the Landfills in the semifinals, against Tornado starter Mark Clark. Again, the Posse started quickly, as a Barry Larkin grounder scored Ray Lankford, who had tripled, to give the Posse a 1-0 lead after one. The game remained that way until the sixth, when the Posse offense exploded against Clark. With two outs, Gonzalez tripled, Jay Buhner walked, Benito Santiago single home a run, Cirillo single home a run, and Ray Lankford smashed a three run homer to chase Clark from the game. Reliever Chan Ho Park emerged, and walked Larkin and Mark McGwire, before surrendering a three run homer to Baines. After the 8 run sixth, the Posse never looked back, as Burba cruised through the rest of the game, and Lankford and McGwire homered in the 8th to top off the 14-1 Posse rout.
With the Posse somewhat unexpectedly leading 2 games to none, the scene shifted to Kansas City, to the the spacious Tornadome. Suddenly, the Posse were supremely confident, as ace Kevin Brown was taking to the hill against Alex Fernandez of the Tornados. The Posse again struck first, as a homer by John Jaha staked the Posse to a 1-0 lead after two. However, the first two innings were costly for the Posse, as left fielder Jim Eisenreich was lost for all three games in Kansas City with a knee injury, and catcher Benito Santiago was forced to leave the game with a minor groin pull in the second. Fernandez then buckled down and prevented further scoring, and in the sixth, a grounder by Jose Canseco scored Tony Batista, to knot the game at one. Disaster then struck the Posse in the seventh, when Larkin pulled a hamstring running to first base. The medical staff prescribed rest, and announced that Larkin would not be ready until at least game six. The shortstop load fell to journeyman Damion Easley, who had played sparingly during the season. However, Brown hung tough and the score remained knotted at 1 after 10 innings. In the 11th, against Tornado reliever Billy Taylor, it was Easley who got the rally started for the Posse with a single to center. McGwire followed with a double, putting men on second and third with no outs. Taylor hung tough and struck out Jaha, but Lankford then smashed a deep fly to the warning track in right field, scoring Easley to give the Posse the lead. Tim Crabtree set down the side in order in the 11th and earned the victory, giving the Posse a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead.
Game 4 was a battle between Nagy and Mark Portugal. With elimination staring them directly in the face, the Tornados hung tough. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead after 4, thanks to an RBI double by Eric Davis and an RBI triple by Royce Clayton. The Posse offense looked lost without Larkin and Eisenreich, and Nagy was able to hold them to 3 hits. Despite decent pitching from Portugal, the Tornados won 2-0 to send the series to a fifth game.
Game 5 was a duel between Mark Clark and Posse lefthander Rheal Cormier. An error by Jeff Cirillo led to a Tornado run, to give KC an early 1-0 lead. The score remained that way until the 6th, when a McGwire RBI single tied the game. Kansas City answered right back, as a sac fly by Clayton and a double by Kenny Lofton chased Cormier and gave the Tornados a 3-1 lead. However, the Poose had an answer in the bottom of the inning, as former-Tornado Sean Berry homered to cut the lead in half. Clark was removed after allowing back to back singles to Buhner and Santiago, but reliever Mike Bielecki was unable to get the job done, as he walked Cirillo to load the bases and Lankford to tie the game. The score remained knotted at 3 until the ninth, when a Cirillo home run scraped the back of the left field fence to give the Posse a 4-3 lead heading to the bottom of the ninth. Mariano Rivera quickly retired the first two batters in the ninth, and the Tornados last hope was star left fielder Ellis Burks. Burks jacked a high fastball to deep left, but it was appeared that left fielder Rondell White would have enough room to make the catch and seal the Posse title (ballpark HR to 2). However, that ball carried over the left field fence to tie the game and shock the Posse. In the tenth, against Bill Taylor, Rondell White singled with one out, and an error on a Buhner grounder by Mark Lemke put men on first and second with one out. Darryl Strawberry emerged to bat for the first time in the series, and smoked a low line drive to Ellis Burks in left field. Burks appeared to have a bead on the ball, but the ball glanced off his glove and rolled to the fence, scoring White. Damion Easley, yes Damion Easley, then smacked a deep fly to center to score Buhner to give the Posse a 2 run lead and another shot at the title. Hal Morris led off the bottom of the inning against Rivera with a single, but Julio Franco flied to right, and Javy Lopez bounced into a 4-6-3 double play to seal the championship. The Posse poured out of the dugout and embraced to celebrate this long awaited title. There was a touching moment as Juan Gonzalez and Chris Hoiles, the only members of the Posse remaining from their last Championship Series berth six years ago, embraced and were met by Posse minor leaguers Terry Mathews and Gregg Olson, and manager Lance Parrish, all members of that Cal 'n the Gang team in the league's initial season. Said Gonzalez, "There is absolutely no greater feeling than this."
Inwood vs. Prospect Park
Sometimes you have to believe in the unexpected.
In one of the more improbable comebacks in NASA history, the Prospect Park Posse came back from down 3 games to 1 to defeat the Inwood Landfills and earn their second ever berth in the NASA Championship Series. Game 7 featured the third matchup between Posse ace Kevin Brown and Landfill ace Tim Belcher. The Posse opened the scoring in the first, when Ray Lankford hit a two run homer to stake the Posse to an early lead. Harold Baines hit a sacrifice fly in the third to make the score 3-0 Posse. The Landfills gamely fought back in the fourth, as Mike Piazza and Rafael Palmiero hit back to back homers, and a Carlos Delgado fly ball scored Ken Griffey to tie the game. The Posse took the lead for good in the fifth, when, against reliever Rick Honeycutt, a Sean Berry double scored Mark McGwire to give the Posse a 4-3 lead. Brown held the Landfills under wraps until the ninth, when he walked Griffey to open the inning. Mariano Rivera emerged and quickly struck out Derek Jeter and Delgado. Gary Gaetti was the last hope for the Landfills, and he hit a screamer to left. It was a ball that regular left fielders Jim Eisenreich or Juan Gonzalez would not have caught, but in this situation, camped in left field, was defensive sub Rondell White, who made a diving grab to end the series. The Posse players exploded out of the dugout, and embraced, celebrating this moment they truly did not believe would come. Although Mark McGwire and Mike Piazza both enjoyed great series, the MVP trophy was awarded to Posse second sacker Jeff Cirillo, who batted .384 with a .466 OBP in the series, and reached base 9 consecutive times between games 5,6 and 7, when the Posse made their comeback.
While Posse ownership was moaning about their awful luck, Posse manager Lance Parrish was hard at work to change it. In game 5, noting that Landfill slugger Carlos Delgado had injured himself, Parrish replaced scheduled starter Russ Springer with young reliever Ugueth Urbina. He also moved struggled star SS Barry Larkin down to the 3rd hole in the order, to make sure he saw some fastballs ahead of Mark McGwire.
The results? In Game 5, Urbina hurled six shutout innings against the Fills, without ever being in serious trouble. Ramon Martinez was effective early for the Fills, but a home run by, yes, Barry Larkin, gave the Posse a 1-0 lead. Not to be outdone, Mark McGwire hit his 4th and 5th homers of the season to stake the Posse to a 5-0 lead. Well-rested relievers Tim Crabtree and Mike Jackson closed out the Fills to seal the 7-0 win and secure the return home to Prospect Park.
Game 6 saw Mark Portugal face off against Tim Worrell. Inwood jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead on a Mike Piazza home run, but both pitchers settled in to keep the score at 1-0. In the fourth, a 2-run homer by Sean Berry and a solo shot by Jay Buhner staked the Posse to a 3-1 lead, and later homers by Larkin and Juan Gonzalez secured the Posse lead. Mariano Rivera emerged to close out the 7-2 victory.
The Prospect Park Posse and Inwood Landfills played two nail-biters in front of a raucous Posse crowd, and when it was over, the teams had split the first two games of their semifinal series.
Before the series, Inwood manager Joe Sheehan was quoted as saying, "We're just happy to be here. Parrish's club is the class of the league, and we're simply hoping not to be embarassed." The Posse came in as the #1 playoff seed, and are a heavy favorite to win their first NASA crown. Inwood, on the other hand, needed to win their last game to force a playoff with division rival Virginia, then win that playoff to advance.
Game One matched undefeated Kevin Brown against 24-game winner Tim Belcher. The Posse had chanced to break the game open early, but a double play groundball by Ray Lankford and a baserunning blunder by Juan Gonzalez limited them to just one run. Inwood got on the board in the fourth with a two-run blast by Mike Piazza.
But it was in the sixth that things got interesting. Brown had been pitching well until with two outs, he surrendered a single to Ken Griffey and a double to Rafael Palmeiro. Reggie Sanders then squeaked a single past Sean Berry at third base to give the Landfills a 3-1 lead. With runners at the corners, Carlos Delgado--the long-awaited one-- blasted a three-run homer, putting the 'fills up 6-1 and stunning the crowd.
Of course, the Posse offense would not be denied. Mark McGwire crushed a Belcher fastball in the sixth to make it 6-2. In the eighth, despite Belcher's effectiveness, Sheehan brought in Rick Honeycutt to pitch. Four batters later, he left with the bases loaded and one out. Singles by Harold Baines and Sean Berry brought the Posse to 6-5, but Scott Sandesr snuffed the rally by striking out Chris Hoiles. He then retired the side in order in the ninth to clinch the game, and Kevin Brown's first loss.
Game Two pitted veterans Mark Portugal and Ramon Martinez. The teams traded two-run rallies in the first, the Landfills scoring on RBI singles by Griffey and Palmeiro, and the Posse getting back-to-back HR from Barry Larkin and Ray Lankford.
The 'fills pecked away, taking a 4-2 lead on solo blasts by Derek Jeter and Piazza. Meanwhile, the Landfill bullpen was pitching well, with Huck Flener and Sanders shutting down the Posse into the eighth. McGwire ended that stretch with a towering two-out blast to make it 4-3.
In the bottom of the ninth, still down 4-3, the Posse made their move. Jay Buhner blooped a single to right field, and Sean Berry was able to advance him with a groundball to second base. John Jaha pinch-hit, and blooped a single to left field to tie the game. Jeff Cirillo followed with a single just past Gary Gaetti at third base, and Barry Larkin did just the same to Derek Jeter to load the bases for Ray Lankford.
Who did nothing but stand there and take four balls, forcing in the winning run.
Mayne vs. Kansas City Game 1
Mayne Island, B.C._(CP) Kenny Lofton hit Roger Pavlik's first pitch for a base hit.
That was it. Pavlik gave up one walk the rest of the way - pitching to just 28 batters and completing a 7-0 one hit shutout to give the hometown Islanders their first win of the NASA semi-finals.
Game 2 saw Chuck Nagy and Mike Mussina go at it. Mayne once again started out hot, getting a Klesko double in the first [double 1-13, out the rest] to score two runs, then another homerun with Mondesi in the fourth, followed by a Durham triple and Sheffield single. KC only had two hits to this point, but luckily one was a two-run homer by Jose Canseco, so the Mayne lead was only 5-2. By the top of the seventh, Brant Brown's pinch-hit, three run homer made the score 9-2 Mayne. KC started a feeble comeback in the seventh, helped a bit by a good amount of gasoline poured on the fire by Islanders' reliever Todd Stottlemyre. The big blow was a three-run homer from Jose Canseco, his second of the game.
After Paul O'Neill's solo homer (the only other diamond hit in the two games) in the eighth inning, the Tornadoes were only down 9-7, and fans were screaming for action from the home team in the ninth. Eric Davis provided the wrong kind of action by whiffing off Roberto Hernandez to lead off the inning. Ellis Burks hit a cue shot [single 1-3] and somehow managed to beat it out. Canseco, trying to hit a third ball 500 feet, missed three times and sat down. Robin Ventura drew a walk, and Julio Franco hit a short liner to right field that dropped in to load the bases. With Roberto clearly tiring, Islanders manager Warren Cromartie went back to game 1 goat Ken Ryan to nail down the win. Once again, Ryan failed to find the plate. Tom Pagnozzi took four straight to force in a run. Cromartie had to be physically restrained by his coaching staff, and when Hal Morris was announced as a pinch-hitter, Cromartie exploded to the mound to get Ryan out of there, bringing in Canadian Paul Spoljaric for the lefty-lefty matchup. Except Paul couldn't find the plate either. Four pitches later, Ventura was trotting in with the tying run, and fans were nearly convulsing in jubilation. Kenny Lofton was next for the Tornadoes, and well, he's a leadoff man, right? All he's got to do is get on base, and that's it right? The sound was deafening as Spoljaric flung in a 1-1 fastball, only to see Lofton's famous inside-out swing produce...a fly ball. A lousy, lazy fly to left. Dave Martinez, a [2e5] good glove, circled the play, and the crowd went to a hush. Martinez reached up, felt the ball hit his glove, and...
And dropped it. Julio Franco was already standing on the plate, so Martinez just dropped to his knees as the tumultuous roar overtook him. The Tornadoes had come back from seven runs down to pull it out, 10-9.
Game Three started out as a great pitcher's duel. KC's Mark Clark retired the first nine men he faced. But in the fourth, Steve Finley led off with a single, and Gary Sheffield hammered one into the "Active Pass" (the Pacific Ocean waterway between Mayne Island and Vancouver).
"Gary's shot meant a lot to us," beamed Frank Thomas after Game Three. "We can read. We knew what was written about what happened last game. And it was sure easy to hear what was said after the first two in Kansas City. Sheff got us charged and Roger...well he was the Roger he's been since he got here. Super."
Alex Rodriguez ripped a three-run homer in the fifth, and Terry Steinbach blasted a two run shot in the sixth. Pavlik did the rest, 7-0 Mayne in Game Three.
Game Four started the same for KC. Lofton singled, but was stranded. However Jose Canseco got KC a run on Mayne with a long solo homerun in the second inning. But the Islanders responded with a run without a hit in the bottom half. Four walks from KC starter Chan Ho Park. That total gave Park five in two innings - the same number that KC hurlers had for the first three games COMBINED ! Ray Durham's two-out single in the fourth which drove home Dave Magadan proved to be the game winner. But Mayne added five in the seventh and two more in the eighth to seal it convincingly.
KC and Mayne resumed their semi-final series Thursday night on marauders. Thanks to all who came out.
Game Five was a rematch of Game Two, with Chuck Nagy up against Mike Mussina. The fireworks started early, as Ellis Burks cranked a two-run homer in the first. Mayne got one back in the first on a double-play ball by Alex Rodriguez, but KC added a four-spot in the third on a three-run homer by Eric Davis, followed immediately by a homer from Jose Canseco. Robin Ventura and Terry Steinbach traded shots later in the game, but KC ended up on top 8-3.
Everybody packed up and headed back to KC for some ribs, and then Game Six. Roger Pavlik, who one-hit the Tornadoes in Game Three, was a late scratch, replaced by Todd Stottlemyre. KC countered with Alex Fernandez.
Mayne started up in the first, with back-to-back singles by Ray Durham and Dave Martinez putting runners at the corners with one out, only to see Alex Rodriguez hit a double play ball to end the inning. Singles by Frank Thomas and Steve Finley in the second inning put runners at first and third with nobody out in the second, and managed a run on a double play ball by Terry Steinbach. Thinking he was out of the inning, Fernandez relaxed a bit, and Raul Mondesi ripped a flat slider into the corner for a double. Fernandez then proceeded to walk Dave Magadan and Gary Sheffield, loading the bases for Ray Durham. Luckily for the hometown folks, Durham flied meekly to center field to end the threat.
Eric Davis answered Mayne's advantage in the bottom of the second by ripping a Stottlmyre fastball into the fountains to tie the game at 1-1, however that and a scratch single by Lofton in the third were KC's only hits in the first five innings.
Mayne loaded the bases with one out in the fourth on a double by Steinbach, a hit-by-pitch to Mondesi, and a walk to Magadan, but Sheffield hit a one-hop bullet to Robin Ventura, who started a 5-2-3 double play to end yet another threat.
In the top of the seventh, Sheffield redeemed himself with an amazing, one-handed homerun down the left-field line [1-11 HR 1, DO 2-20, he got the 1] to give Mayne a 2-1 lead, only to see Davis tie it again in the bottom of the seventh with another bomb into the fountains, this time off reliever Turk Wendell. At this point, Mayne had out-hit KC 9-4, but the game was deadlocked, 2-2.
KC had a chance to take the lead in the eighth, but Ellis Burks grounded meekly to Frank Thomas with two on and two out. As Jose Canseco's big swing in the bottom of the ninth produced only a popout, the teams were headed to extra innings, reminiscent of Game One.
The tenth proceeded uneventfully, but the home team sparked a rally in the eleventh that brought the fans to their feet. Ellis Burks led off with a double, but was stranded there as Robin Ventura, Davis, and Javy Lopez could make no headway against Mayne reliever Ken Ryan. The twelfth went quietly, but KC again threatened in the thirteenth as Ventura doubled with two outs. Roberto Hernandez then bore down and got Davis to ground to third to push the game into yet another inning.
In the top of the fourteenth, it was Mayne's turn to rally. Having burned most of his bullpen getting out of jams earlier in the game, the Tornadoes turned to Danny Jackson to face the heart of the Mayne lineup. Thomas and Finley once again singled to start the inning, and Terry Steinbach stuck his elbow into a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. With little relief available in the bullpen, Jackson was told to just do the best he could. Mondesi, 7 for 8 in the first two games in KC, was lifted for Jerome Walton, positively drooling over the prospect of facing a lefty with the bases loaded. Clearly anxious, he reached out for the first pitch and hit a lazy fly ball to shallow center field, not nearly deep enough to score Thomas. Magadan was the next contestant, but amazingly, also hit the first pitch, a one-hopper to Ventura. Robin got the out at home, but Lopez was unable to complete the double play. Bases still loaded, now two outs. Mayne manager Warren Cromartie was faced with a tough decision: either send up scheduled hitter Ryan Klesko, very uncomfortable against lefties, but facing a pitcher who gives up a lot of hits to lefties, or pinch-hit Jermaine Dye - a better hitter against lefties, but a bit weaker in the clutch, and, being right-handed, not as menacing to Jackson. After careful contemplation, Klesko was sent up to swing. Weakness vs. weakness, as they say, each hoping for each other's card. Luck was again on the Tornadoes' side, as Klesko grounded out to shortstop [2-7], allowing Jackson to miraculously escape the jam unscathed.
KC could do nothing with Hernandez in the bottom of the fourteenth, allowing Mayne another shot at Jackson in the fifteenth. Jackson managed to get the first two outs in the fifteenth, but walked ARod on five pitches, bringing lefty-killer Thomas to the plate. Thomas delivered, sending a rifle-shot into the corner. ARod, racing from the crack of the bat, scored easily on the double, and Mayne had a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the fifteenth.
Kauffman Stadium gave the home team an ovation between the top and bottom of the fifteenth, and urged their heroes to rally. Lofton led off the fifteenth with a solid single to left field, and took advantage of Hernandez' slow delivery to steal second on the first pitch to runt second baseman Mark Lemke. As ARod hedged closer to second to keep Lofton from thinking about third, new KC manager Joel Veeneman flashed the hit-and-run sign to Lemke. As Dean Palmer broke to third to cover the bag, Lemke looped a fastball over his head and down the line for a double, allowing Lofton to score easily [3-2 roll on the hit&run]. The fans exploded, and Paul O'Neill walked up with a chance at destiny - a runner at second and nobody out. Hernandez wiped the sweat from his brow and challenged O'Neill three times with fastballs. O'Neill missed all three.
With Burks coming up to the plate, Cromartie went to the hill. As blazing as he was against O'Neill, he had now gone three full innings, and was clearly spent. The call went out to the bullpen, and on came Pavlik, the Game Three hero. Burks stood in, anxious for a pitch to drive, but Pavlik missed with four straight pitches, none particularly close. Ventura was next, but Pavlik still couldn't find the plate. Four pitches later, Robin was trotting down to first, and the bases were loaded. Up came Eric Davis. The same guy who had homered twice in this game, and three times in the last two games. Mayne's infield and outfield came in, hoping to be able to make a play on Lemke. Pavlik, yet to throw a strike in the game, was clearly nervous at having the series rest on his shoulders. The count stretched to 2-0 before Davis fouled a pitch off. Pavlik seemed calmed at having thrown a strike, but missed badly with the next pitch to go to 3-1. Davis geared up for a fat fastball, but it was not to be. Pavlik threw a slider that broke low and away. Ball four. [3-6 on Davis' card, all three walks were on the hitter's cards].
Mayne vs. Virginia In the seventh, Gwynn doubled home Tom Goodwin, but the inning ended as Paul Spoljaric relieved Ismael Valdez to get the last out. Mayne retaliated with a Durham double, driving in Frank Thomas, to make it 6-2 Virginia.
Rusty Greer, however, launched a three-run shot off Matt Karchner in the eighth to seal the deal. Another run in the ninth, and a meaningless tally by the Islanders in the last half-inning, finished game one at 10-3 Squires, with Brad Radke notching the complete-game victory, and allowing 55 fewer home runs than he had in the regular season.
VA 0 1 0 0 4 0 1 3 1 10 18 0 Mayne 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 8 0 WP Radke LP Valdes HRs Brosius 1, Sosa 1, Greer 1Mayne trotted 13 men to the plate in the bottom of the third, and a three-run homer by Steve Finley and a two-run shot by Terry Steinbach padded a nine-run outburst. Mayne added another run in the seventh, as Finley scored on a Kent Bottenfield wild pitch. Greer doubled (3-8, 2 2B, HR, 5 BI, BB on the series) to lead off the eighth, and scored on a pair of outs, but Mayne avenged that run with a pair in the bottom half, on doubles by Dave Magadan, Dean Palmer, and Steinbach.
VA 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 8 0 Mayne 0 2 9 0 0 1 0 2 x 14 17 1 WP Mussina LP Olivares HRs Slaught (2) 2, Finley 1, Palmer 1Virginia starter Pedro Martinez was down 4-0 in the first inning before registering an out. Then Mayne went wild in the third inning - scoring eight times.
(In game two, Mayne rang up nine on the board in the third inning). When Martinez rode his mule off the mound after seven innings, he'd been dinged for five long homeruns. Roger Pavlik was the starter and winner for the Islanders.
Mayne 4 0 8 0 1 0 0 0 0 13 15 1 VA 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 2 6 10 0 WP Pavlik LP Martinez HRs Rodriguez 1, Sheffield 1, Mondesi 1, Palmer 2, Thomas 1, Brosius 3, Perez 1Game Four, saw Squires Tom Glavine get his only series start. It was a beauty. The smooth lefty threw eight shutout innings before leaving after Frank Thomas' leadoff single in the ninth. Virginia took a 3-0 lead into the final frame - built mostly on Scott Brosius' two-out, two-run shot of Ismael Valdes in the fifth. Brosius would hit four homeruns in the series. Squires super saviour Troy Percival overcame another Islander hit and a Virginia error by shortstop Kevin Elster to eventually nail down a 3-1 win and series tie at two games apiece.
Mayne 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 2 VA 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 x 3 8 1 WP Glavine LP Valdes SV Percival HRs Brosius 4Mayne roared out of the gate in Game Five. Homers from Alex Rodriguez, Frank Thomas and Dave Martinez put Virginia starter Jaime Navarro down 6-0 by the second inning. Mayne starter Todd Stottlemyre cruised to an easy 11-4 win and the Islanders flew home one win away from the team's third straight appearance in the NASA semi-finals.
Mayne 3 3 0 0 3 2 0 0 0 11 12 0 VA 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 0 4 11 1 WP Stottlemyre LP Navarro HRs Rodriguez (2) 3, Thomas 2, Martinez 1The "third inning" was the story of this series. Mayne had scored nine in the third in Game Two, and eight in Game Three - ran up seven in Game Six. But the Islanders 7-2 lead was shaved to 9-7 by the ninth. Mayne stopper Roberto Hernandez, who had been watching re-runs of L.A. Law in the clubhouse during the first five games - finally made an appearance. Hernandez gave up a Tony Gwynn double and erased Rusty Greer on a line drive to nail down a save in his only 1/3 innings pitched of the playoffs thus far.
VA 1 0 1 0 2 3 0 0 0 7 9 1 Mayne 0 0 7 1 0 1 0 0 x 9 13 1 WP Mussina LP Radke SV Hernandez HRs Gwynn 1, Greer 2, Elster 1, Klesko 1, Palmer 3Inwood vs. Brussels Game 1
Both teams played longball, combining for six home runs, but it was Derek Jeter's 7th-inning sacrifice fly that was the winning run in Inwood's 8-6 victory. Albert Belle hit two two-run HRs for the Brussels, while Inwood got four longballs from four different players.
Brussels 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 - 6 10 0 Inwood 3 0 0 1 2 0 1 1 x - 8 10 1Gooden, Wickman (6), Shaw (6), Castillo (7), Worrell To. (8) and Alomar. Belcher, Cook (7), Campbell (7), Honeycutt (8), Sanders S. (9) and Piazza, Valle (9). W-Belcher (1-0), L-Gooden (0-1), Sv-Sanders S. (1). HR: Belle 2 (2), Griffey (1), Gaetti (1), Sanders R. (1), Piazza (1)
Errors by Albert Belle and Mike Lansing keyed a 7th-inning rally that tied thegame, and a solo HR in the eighth by Gary Gaetti won it for Inwood, 6-5. Brussels had come back from a 4-0 second inning deficit behind Tim Naehring's three-run HR and Belle's third two-run blast of the series. Reggie Sanders left the game in the third with a slightly strained groin and is listed as day-to-day.
Brussels 0 0 0 0 3 0 2 0 0 - 5 10 2 Inwood 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 x - 6 8 2Leiter A., Worrell To. (7), Plunk (8) and Myers. Martinez R., Flener (6), Honeycutt (8), Sanders S. (9) and Valle. W-Honeycutt (1-0), L-Worrell To. (0-1), Sv-Sanders S. (2). HR: Naehring (1), Belle (3), Griffey (2), Valle (1), Gaetti (2)
Tim Naehring couldn't handle Derek Jeter's hot smash in the 8th inning, allowing Rex Hudler to score with the winning run in a 4-3 Inwood victory. The win allowed the Landfills to move within one game of advancing to the NASA semifinals. The miscue erased a three-run comeback by the Sprouts, who tied the game on back-to-back two-out home runs by Dante Bichette and Naehring. Scott Sanders earned the win with 2 2/3 innings of shutout relief.
Inwood 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 - 4 10 0 Brussels 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 - 3 8 1Worrell Ti., Flener (6), Sanders (7) and Piazza, Valle (9). Martinez D., Plunk (7), Castillo (9), Shaw (9) and Myers. W-Sanders S. (1-0), L-Plunk (0-1). HR: Griffey (3), Bichette (1), Naehring (2)
Sandy Alomar's one-out home run in the bottom of the ninth helped Brussels stave off elimination, 6-5, in a very sloppy game. Brussels had taken a 4-2 lead in the 6th on a three-run home run by Albert Belle, his fourth of the series. The home run followed consecutive errors by Rafael Palmeiro and Huck Flener. But in the top of the ninth, Inwood took advantage of Mike Lansing's inability to reach a ground ball to set up a two-run rally, and nearly took the lead when Tony Phillips' made a two-base error to give the 'fills second and third with one out. Game 4 loser Eric Plunk came in and redeemed himself by retiring Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey, setting up Alomar's heroics.
Inwood 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 2 - 5 10 2 Brussels 0 0 1 0 0 3 1 0 1 - 6 7 1Belcher, Flener (6), Mills (6), Honeycutt (9) and Piazza. Cone, Worrell To. (8), Castillo (9), Plunk (9) and Alomar. W-Plunk (1-1), L-Honeycutt (0-1). HR: Belle (4), Alomar (1).
Brussels blasted three home runs and Dwight Gooden threw eight strong innings as Brussels forced a Game Six, 6-3. Kevin Seitzer's pinch-hit, two-out RBI single in the 7th was the winning hit for the Sprouts, and Reggie Jefferson added two home runs.
Inwood 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 3 6 0 Brussels 2 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 x - 6 8 1Martinez R., Honeycutt (7), Mills (7) and Piazza. Gooden, Patterson (9), Worrell To. (9) and Myers, Alomar (8). W-Gooden (1-0), L- Martinez R. (0-1), Sv-Worrell Ti. (1). HR: Jefferson 2 (2), Belle (5)
Tired of playing baseball, the teams got together for some Wiffleball back in The 'Fill. Brussels jumped out to a 5-0 lead after an inning and a half, but Al Leiter couldn't hold it. A Ken Griffey home run cut the lead to 5-3 in the third, and an eight-run fourth--keyed by five walks-- gave Inwood an 11-6 lead in a game they would win 16-11. Dennis Cook tossed three shutout innings for the win.
Brussels 3 2 0 1 0 0 1 4 0 - 11 10 0 Inwood 0 1 2 8 1 4 0 0 x - 16 12 1Leiter, Plunk (4), Wickman (6), Patterson (7), Worrell To. (8) and Myers, Alomar (8). Worrell Ti., Cook (4), Mills (7), Honeycutt (8), Sanders S. (9) and Piazza. W-Cook (1-0), L-Leiter (0-1). HR: Lansing (1), Bichette (2), Phillips (1), Belle (6), Griffey (4), Piazza (2), Hudler (1), Sanders R. (2).