Result: Mississippi 9, Pensacola 2
Starting Pitcher: Sal Romano, RHP – 5 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Top Hitter: Zach Vincej, SS – 4-for-5, 3B, RBI
Other Notable Performers:
Sebastian Elizalde, RF – 2-for-5
Taylor Sparks, 3B – 1-for-3, 2B, BB
Game Notes: A night after season stalwart Jackson Stephens was roughed up in the Pensacola playoff series, fellow dominant starter Sal Romano felt the same fate.
While it was the third inning that Stephens ran into trouble the night before, Mississippi jumped on Romano in the first. In the frame, Romano started it with a walk and then allowed three straight one-out singles. Romano finished it off with two straight outs, but had already allowed a pair of runs.
He allowed a pair more in the second to dig a larger hole. In that inning, Romano allowed a single, a two-out double, and then an inside-the-park, two-run home run.
Following a caught stealing in the third and a double play in the fourth, Romano faced the minimum in the two frames. A lead off triple and a one-out sacrifice fly plated another run in the fifth inning, and Romano’s night was over after 75 pitches.
Zach Vincej picked up four more hits for Pensacola in the loss, including a triple. In his last eight games, he has hit .486 with three extra base hits in the playoff series alone.
Sebastian Elizalde added two more hits of his own and has seven multi-hit games in his last 10 contests. Over that stretch, he is hitting .404.
Result: Billings 7, Great Falls 3
Starting Pitcher: Ian Kahaloa, RHP – 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K
Top Hitter: T.J. Friedl, CF – 3-for-5, HR, 3 R, RBI
Other Notable Performers:
Taylor Trammell, LF – 3-for-5, R, 2 RBI
Jose Siri, CF – 3-for-5, 3B, R, RBI, BB
Game Notes: To say that Ian Kahaloa was in the zone on Friday night would be an understatement.
Kahaloa worked seven dominant innings and struck out 10 during the opening game of the Pioneer League playoffs for Billings.
He started by striking out the side in the first and then one each in the second and the third, as he was just one over the minimum at that time.
Kahaloa struck out the first two in the fourth before a walk. He picked up another strikeout in the fifth and was just over two over the minimum through that point.
Back-to-back one-out singles in the sixth gave Kahaloa his first trouble of the night, but he retired the next two to get out of the jam. Kahaloa allowed a lead off single in the seventh, but wrapped up the frame with 93 pitches and his extraordinary playoff debut ended.
T.J. Friedl had three more hits each in the contest. Friedl is hitting .390 over his last 10 games with seven multi-hit games. In fact, he has at least two hits in five of his last six games.
Taylor Trammell chipped in three hits of his own and is 11-for-25 over his last six games. Jose Siri also added three hits and is hitting .308 in his last 10 games.