Marshall is hero in 10-inning MWL All-Star contest

The East All-Stars celebrate their win Tuesday.

The Midwest League All-Star Game lasted 10 innings, with Dayton Dragons first baseman Montrell Marshall driving in the winning run with two outs in the final frame.

It’s a good thing he did, too, because otherwise the game would’ve been declared a tie after 10 innings if the East All-Stars hadn’t plated a run. And regardless of which team you were rooting for, nobody really wants to see a baseball game end in a tie, right?

Lansing Lugnuts infielder Kevin Vicuna and Bowling Green Hot Rods outfielder Moises Gomez each had two hits. Peoria Chiefs first baseman Yariel Gonzalez scored both runs for the West All-Stars. Great Lakes Loons third baseman Jared Walker hit the game’s only homer.

Great Lakes Loons third baseman makes a throw to the first baseman.

There were plenty of home runs before the game. The Midwest League Home Run Derby was won by Hot Rods catcher Ronaldo Hernandez, who went deep 13 times in the final round and 27 times total during the two-round contest. Lake County Captains outfielder Will Benson finished second in the derby.

Bowling Green’s Ronaldo Hernandez bats during the first round of the Midwest League Home Run Derby.

The All-Star Game and related festivities drew 9,396 to Lansing’s Cooley Law School Stadium. A block party was held outside the ballpark for several hours leading up to the game, with a Ferris wheel and inflatables among the offerings.

You can see the game’s box score here. I’ll be posting more of my photos from All-Star Game day on my Patreon site in the near future.

Next year’s Midwest League All-Star Game will be played at Four Winds Field, home of the South Bend Cubs.

*All photos by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler

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Posted in 2018 All-Star Game, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Dayton Dragons, Great Lakes Loons, Lake County Captains, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs, South Bend Silver Hawks | Leave a comment

River Bandits, Chiefs claim West Division playoff berths

The Quad Cities River Bandits and the Peoria Chiefs claimed the two Western Division playoff spots from the first half of the season.

The River Bandits clinched the first-half division title Saturday when they beat the Burlington Bees 2-1 in a game that included a 26-minute delay prompted by fire alarms that led to evacuation of the ballpark. It turned out that a leak in the sprinkler system caused the alarms to sound.

Quad Cities followed that up by beating the Bees 5-2 on Sunday to take a six-game winning streak into the All-Star break. Meanwhile, the Western Division wild-card team was determined that day, with Peoria needing a win or a Clinton LumberKings loss to clinch the berth. Both teams ended up winning their games. First, Clinton came from behind to beat the Beloit Snappers 8-5, thanks to a grand slam by Ryan Costello with two outs in the top of the 9th inning. Costello also homered earlier in the game, giving him six RBI in the game.

Ryan Costello homered twice and drove in six runs for the Clinton LumberKings on Sunday. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

The Chiefs were leading the Cedar Rapids Kernels 4-2 in the 8th inning when the LumberKings game went final. Peoria then scored two runs in that inning, followed by six in the 9th inning, to beat the Kernels 12-3 and stake their playoff claim. Four Chiefs homered in the game: Irving Lopez, Elehuris Montero, Nick Plummer and J.R. Davis.

The Bowling Green Hot Rods (division title) and the Lansing Lugnuts (wild card) clinched the Eastern Division playoff berths last week. The Hot Rods beat the Lake County Captains 6-2 on Sunday, extending their winning streak to a franchise-record 11 games.

The Lugnuts will host the Midwest League All-Star Game on Tuesday.

Posted in 2018 All-Star Game, 2018 Playoffs, Beloit Snappers, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton LumberKings, Lake County Captains, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs, Quad Cities River Bandits | Leave a comment

Hot Rods clinch East Div. title; three-way tie atop West Div.

The Bowling Green Hot Rods beat the Fort Wayne TinCaps  7-2 Thursday to clinch the first-half Eastern Division title. The Lansing Lugnuts, who lost 4-3 to the Lake County Captains, will be the first-half Eastern Division wild-card team.

The race in the Western Division is super tight with three days left in the first half. On Thursday, the Quad Cities River Bandits beat the first-place Clinton LumberKings 5-2, moving them into a tie atop the standings. Later that night, the Peoria Chiefs grabbed a share of first place when they beat the Beloit Snappers 3-2 in 11 innings.

Clinton, Quad Cities and Peoria have identical records of 37-30. Their final series of the half (Friday-Sunday) are as follows: Peoria at Cedar Rapids Kernels (31-35); Burlington Bees (30-36) at Quad Cities; Clinton at Beloit (31-35). The LumberKings have lost their last four games, the River Bandits have won their last three games, and the Chiefs won their last game. All three teams are 5-5 in their last 10 games.

It’s very possible that a tiebreaker scenario will exist after Sunday’s games, as three teams with identical records are playing for two playoff spots, and none have head-to-head matchups with each other this weekend. The first tiebreaker is based on head-to-head record. If that’s a tie, then a second tiebreaker comes into effect, based on run differential between the teams. If that’s a tie, the winner is whoever won the last game between the teams.

Posted in 2018 Playoffs, Beloit Snappers, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton LumberKings, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Lake County Captains, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs, Quad Cities River Bandits | Leave a comment

Lugnuts clinch first-half playoff berth

The Lansing Lugnuts beat the Fort Wayne TinCaps 4-2 Monday to clinch a first-half playoff berth. Lansing will face Bowling Green in the first round of the playoffs in September, after the Hot Rods clinched a playoff berth Sunday. The home team will be determined by the Eastern Division’s final first-half standings; the Hot Rods currently lead the Lugnuts by two games, with six days left in the half.

In the Western Division, Clinton’s division lead was reduced to one game over Peoria after the LumberKings lost 7-3 to the Kane County Cougars, and the Chiefs beat the River Bandits 1-0. Quad Cities remains three games back in the standings. A three-game series between the LumberKings and the River Bandits begins tonight at Quad Cities.

Posted in 2018 Playoffs, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Clinton LumberKings, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Kane County Cougars, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs, Quad Cities River Bandits | Leave a comment

Midwest League Home Run Derby participants announced

Three players from each division will participate in the 2018 Midwest League Home Run Derby, which will be held Tuesday, June 19, before the start of this year’s MWL All-Star Game at Cooley Law School Stadium, home of the Lansing Lugnuts.

Lake County Captains outfielder Will Benson (11 HR), Dayton Dragons catcher Hendrik Clementina (9 HR) and Bowling Green Hot Rods catcher Ronaldo Hernandez (8 HR) will represent the Eastern Division.

Kane County Cougars shortstop Jasrado “Jazz” Chisholm (8 HR), Clinton LumberKings first baseman Ryan Costello (9 HR) and Cedar Rapids Kernels outfielder Alex Kirilloff (11 HR) will represent the Western Division.

Related reading:

Midwest League All-Star Game rosters announced

Posted in 2018 All-Star Game, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton LumberKings, Dayton Dragons, Kane County Cougars, Lake County Captains, Lansing Lugnuts | Leave a comment