The SWB Yankees clinched the International League North Division title with a 5-0 win Thursday night over Lehigh Valley. This is the 5th IL North title in the last 6 years for the franchise.
The Yankees got things going quickly in the bottom of the first inning in Allentown (another home game on the road) when Kevin Russo tripled to the deepest park of the park. From there Eduardo Nunez picked up the slack. Hitting in the three hole Nunez-delivered a big blow-a two run home run deep into the grassy fan area at Coca-Cola Park for the 2-0 lead. The lead would hold on this night unlike it did on Wednesday.
In the second inning for the Yankees more of the same. Power! And lots of it from the 6th hole. This time courtesy Cole Garner. His solo shot put the advantage at three runs for starting pitcher John Maine. The tall righty was terrific-going 7 very strong innings only giving up 3 hits and zero runs while striking out 5 and allowing one walk.
Those three runs and back-to-back home runs from Ronnier Mustelier and Austin Romine in the 6th put this one away for the 5-0 win. The celebration was on!!!!
Joining Newswatch 16 sports in the winning clubhouse deep inside the park in Allentown winning pitcher John Maine and Eduardo Nunez who had the game winning hit on Thursday night . It was a night to reflect on all the success and take credit for an 82 win season-one where they played away from their home stadium the entire summer.
In the post game report manager Dave Miley gave credit to his staff and his team-and to all the guys that made it thru this tough season together.
The IL playoffs await the SWB Yankees starting next week against Indianapolis (Pirates), Charlotte (White Sox) or Pawtucket (Red Sox) and Lehigh Valley (Phillies). The Pawsox had a doubleheader sweep against Gwinnett and hold a three game lead on the IronPigs minus many of their regulars who are currently with the Phillies.
Mario Hollands the tall lefty took the loss for Lehigh Valley. The former Williamsport Crosscutter went 5 2/3 innings allowing 9 hits and 5 runs.