The Jays were 1-2 in the regular season versus Victoria with the 1 win being a rainout that Victoria struggled to find players for ultimately taking the forfeit 7/23. In the 2 losses, the 11-10 11 inning loss 6/28 was a collapse by the Jays from a 9-1 7th inning lead and a 6-4 loss at Victoria 7/20 that had the Jays stranding 14 baserunners. The Jays dropped Game 1 5-1 in their best of 3 stranding 8 baserunners behind pitchers Lawson Zenner (6) and Jason Peter (2).
In the Jays elimination Game 2 at the Vet in PL 8/2 the Jays sent Austin Truso to the mound on Casey Corn Night. Truso went 4 innings, departing with a 5-1 Victoria lead. The Jays lone run on a Jeff Butler sacrifice bunt that was an error. Butler would score on Tom Keating 2 out fielders choice and the early threat ended there with bases left loaded with Jays (who stranded 15 in the game). TJ Larson came in relief and went to work on a day that saw him yield 1 run, 4 hits and strike out 9 while walking just 1 Vic. The Jays got back in it in the 7th on a Butler 1 out single followed by a Sam Kortes 2 run blast to left field off Vics starter Alex Sommer narrowing the score to 5-3 Victoria. In the 9th with Larson on cruise control, the Jays got leadoff singles from Jonesy Buescher and Butler and scored on a Vic error before Keating ripped a sacrifice fly to right to tie the game at 5. The Vics plated a run in the 10th on 3 straight singles, the 3rd by veteran infielder Greg Winegarden that scored Adam Dittrich. The Jays answered in the 10th on 2 singles by Bryan Sanchez and Chris Kelly followed by a 1 out sac fly to left by Butler that plated Kelly. After a scoreless top of 11 with Larsons puma reflexes fielding 2 1-3 outs and a 2 out double by Sam Rothstein, Hunter Even struck out to end the frame. Keating led the 11th with a single followed by Adam Cress getting drilled by a 2-2 pitch to have no outs and 2 on for the home Jays. Manager Scott Goose Geisler stepped to the box and the veteran Jays 1st baseman/DH ripped a 1-1 count ball to the outfield down the left field line to end the game and extend the series to game 3 in Victoria with a 7-6 win in 11 innings.
For Game 3, Jays Rookie Jason Peter got the call to pitch. Peter, a 2016 PL Laker graduate, had not pitched on varsity but had many effective outings including tossing 7 1/3 relief in the Jays 11-10 win over Shakopee 7/24 which saw the Jays spot the Indians a 6-0 inning after the 1st. As expected the filth littered firstbase dugout and unpaid Vic fans down the lines would greet the Jays. After a scoreless 1st that the Jays left the bases loaded on Vics starter Josh Rehwaldt, 2016 Vics All Star rep Carter Schmidt knocked a leadoff homerun to left at Victoria Poppitz Field at Lions Park. Peter settled throwing a scoreless 2nd and 3rd innings. The Jays took a brief lead in the top of the 4th with Geisler reaching by getting hit, then a 2 out walk to Adam Cress. Both scored on Dan Schroeders 2 RBI double to right center. With a 2-1 lead the Vics answered with a walk, flyout, then 5 straight singles before a RBI walk to Erik Winegarden ended Peters stint on the hill. Brandt Broderick, who yielded 1 run in 2 innings at the 7/29 regular season finale at Chaska, drew a sac fly out then a flyout to right to end the 5 run 4th and a 6-2 Victoria lead. Broderick threw a scoreless 5th, allowed 1 in the 6th on a 1 out double that plated a walked Vic and a scoreless 7th. As the vuevuzela sounding hum of the Victoria lighting kicked in at dusk, so too did the Jays offense hoping to duplicate the late game heroics of the previous night. The Jays scratched back in the game with Butlers leadoff single in the 7th advancing to 3rd on a wild pitch following Peter getting hit by pitch to reach and a RBI fielder choice groundout by Tom Keating. The Jays scored 2 in the 8th on a 1 out double by Dan Schroeder and the speedy Pat Galvin pinch running to score on a wild pitch from Vics reliever Hunter Even. Buescher, who singled to reach base and followed by Butlers single, scored on a RBI single by Peter to make the score 7-5 after 7. Broderick threw a scoreless 7th then had 2 on with 2 out in the 8th when Lawson Zenner recorded the last out. DH Geisler, the hero at the plate in game 2, delivered a 1 out single and Zenner inserted to run in the 9th inning. After a hit batter on pinch hitter Bryan Sanchez Dan Schroeder lifted a ball to shallow right that bounced from the field but out recorded after error when pinch runner Corey Goodwin was hung up between 1st and 2nd for the 2nd out in the 9th. Zenner scored on Chris Kellys fielders choice and leadoff batter Jonsey Buescher walked to load the bases with the Jays down 1 run. Jeff Butler stepped to the plate batting 3-5 and scoring a run on the day but ended the game, and season striking out as the Victoria faithful exhaled that the Jays 2nd rally in 2 nights was ended with bases loaded. Broderick was hung with the loss in relief of Peter while Zenner threw the last Victoria out in the 8th.
With the series win 2-1, the Victoria Vics advance to face #1 regular season seeded Chaska Cubs in the Section 3B Final 4. The other Final 4 Series features #2 Shakopee Indians VS #3 Chanhassen Redbirds.
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NEXT WEEK: 2016 PL Jays Season Wrap