Mark Mason’s gang got to Sugar Land last Tuesday (September 16) to begin a season-ending six-game series against the Skeeters, and now the Revolution are there for the first two games of the best-of-five Freedom Division playoff series starting one week later (Tuesday, September 23). Playing long series in Sugar Land is one of the quirks in the Atlantic League schedule until it can add more teams in that region.
Sugar Land confidence should be running high since the Skeeters won four of six from York (four of the last five, actually) to capture the second half divisional title. For anyone scratching their head to figure out how Sugar Land won the half-season championship when it actually finished tied with Lancaster, PA, the answer is that the Skeeters won five of nine second-half games from the Barnstormers. The two teams split 20 decisions over the entire campaign.
Lancaster’s prize for becoming the wild-card entry in the four-team playoffs is to open with Games 1 and 2 against Somerset, NJ for the Liberty Division title at home. Somerset, which won both halves, will have the remaining games in the five-game set back in New Jersey.
RUCINSKI GETS LENGTHY STINT FOR ANGELS
New major leaguer Drew Rucinski, who spent all of 2012 plus parts of ’11 and ’13 in the Frontier League (Rockford, IL), got an extended outing from the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend. The 25-year-old out of Ohio State hurled four innings at home against Texas, allowing three hits and a walk plus two earned runs. The right-hander struck out five.
Rucinski, 10-6, 3.15 in 26 starts for Class AA Arkansas this summer, also faced Texas in his only other major league appearance so far, giving up two runs in an inning of work back on July 10.
GREAT POWER SEASON FOR MATT FIELDS
Matt Fields, a onetime Independent Baseball player at Southern Illinois (Marion) of the Frontier League, has pounded 59 home runs the last two seasons in the Kansas City farm system without getting any time with the parent Royals. A first baseman-designated hitter, the 6-foot-5, 235 pounder, hit 28 homers and drove in 81 runs for Omaha this season, then helped the Storm Chasers all the way to the Triple-A championship. He was 1-for-4 in the 4-2 win over Pawtucket, RI (Red Sox) in the title game between the two AAA league winners. The 29-year-old Fields improved his average by 40 points to .262 at Omaha after a 31-homer output when he hit .222 for Double-A Northwest Arkansas one year ago.
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