Friday, January 7, 2011

Series 17: Homestead takes two of three from Crawfords

Crawfords 24-17, Homestead 22-19

Pitcher use update: Paige and B. Foster need three games, Manning and Brewer two, R. Brown and Rogan one. Day and Matlock worked one inning each in finale, Wickware two.

Game One: Homestead 10, Crawfords 9 (13 innings)
WP: Bell (3-1)
LP: Day (2-3)
HR: Rogan (1), Suttles (10), Scales (10)

Game Two: Homestead 13, Crawfords 9
WP: Manning (3-3)
LP: Brewer (3-6)
HR: Gibson (15), Smith (10)

Game Three: Crawfords 13, Homestead 8
WP: B. Foster (8-2)
LP: Paige (6-3)
HR: Suttles (11), Gibson (16), OH Johnson (5), Rogan (2), Charleston (11), Wright (8)


Sixty-two runs were scored in the three-game series, and the outcome kept Homestead barely alive in the Divison B race. The Crawfords magic number is two, with three games to play.

The opener was a bizarrely close game -- tied at three after three innings, tied at four after five innings, with both teams erupting for four runs in the ninth (lefties Leroy Matlock for Homestead and Sam Streeter for the Crawfords being each unable to stop the rallies). The Crawfords dented William Bell for a run the 13th -- Bell's third inning of work -- but Leon Day, in his third inning, only got one out in the bottom half of the frame. Chino Smith doubled in Hurley McNair and and Jimmy Lyons for the win.

Homestead assaulted Chet Brewer from the get-go of Game Two -- triple, homer, double, walk, double in the first five batters. The Crawfords had a four run inning of their own in the third to pull within 6-4, but Homestead added two in the fourth and four in the sixth and were never seriously challenged.

Josh Gibson hit for the cycle in his first four at-bats, then added a walk: 4-for-4 with four runs and three RBIs.

A Homestead sweep would have evened the race, and they had Satchel Paige on tap for the finale. But the Crawfords had their ace,Big Bill Foster, and Foster was better in Game Three.

Paige gave up five runs in the first, the biggest blow being a two-run double by Sammy T. Hughes. Homestead tied it at 5 in the fifth, when Heavy Johnson took advantage of an Alejandro Oms error in left to hit a three-run, two-out homer. But Oms hit a two-run double of his own in the sixth.

The Crawfords led 8-7 going into the ninth, at which point they ripped Matlock for five runs, including solo shots from Oscar Charleston and Big Bill Wright and concluding with a pinch-hit three-run bomb from Bullet Joe Rogan. Gibson's leadoff home off Day did little to help Homestead.

For the series, Gibson was 8-for-12 with two homers, a triple, two doubles, four walks, eight runs and six RBIs. Tubby Scales was 6-for-13 with six runs and four walks. Mule Suttles drove in five runs, as did Rogan.

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