The Lowell Spinners' 2009 season, and their quest for a New-York Penn League Championship, ended Saturday night in Staten Island, NY, as the Yankees used a five-run second inning to coast to a 5-1 victory, winning the rubber game of a three-game playoff series and sending the Spinners home for the offseason.
The loss ended a record-setting season for Lowell, the Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The team won the most games in the franchise's 14-year history and several players broke individual franchise records in the process.
Game Three had been postponed after weather prognosticators predicted inclement weather in Staten Island Thursday night. The Spinners, coming off a 3-2 extra innings victory, were riding high and the Yankees would likely have been without their top two relievers.
The game, however, was postponed, while the rain itself did not appear until Friday morning.
After a day of observance for Sept. 11 Friday, the Spinners were noticeably rusty out of the gates Saturday night. In the second inning, Staten Island sent 10 men to the plate and scored five runs on five hits.
The Yankees put runners on second and third with one out against Lowell starter Yeiper Castillo (0-1, 27.00) and then pushed the first run across on a groundball to second base.
After Castillo walked the next batter to put runners on the corners, three straight singles and a double by first baseman Luke Murton plated four more runs for the Baby Bombers.
The Spinners threatened in the fourth inning, as with one out, Chris McGuiness walked and Michael Almanzar lined an opposite field single to right field. However, Drew Hedman lined out to first and Ronald Bermudez went down swinging to end the Lowell opportunity.
Lowell finally got on the board in the seventh inning, as Hedman laced a one-out single and then scored when Dan Butler's double rolled all the way to the wall. However, after Ken Roque reached on a throwing error, Wilfred Pichardo struck out, ending the threat.
Spinner starter Castillo, who had not pitched in a week, was noticeably rusty as he failed to get out of the second inning. Pedro Perez patched together three innings of long relief, striking out three and he was able to keep the game from getting out of hand early.
Jeremiah Bayer and Chez Angeloni combined for over three scoreless innings of relief, as the Lowell bullpen combined to toss six and a third scoreless innings after Staten Island's second inning outburst.
The Lowell offense could not put much together against a rested Yankee pitching staff, who struck out 12 Spinner hitters.
Almanzar had the team's lone multi-hit night.
Lowell will look to build upon two consecutive postseason appearances in 2010, as the team's 15th New York-Penn League season will open about nine months from now in mid to late June.
The Yankees will go on to face the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, who have been idly waiting since sweeping the Brooklyn Cyclones Wednesday night.
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