Deck McGuire put on a show last night in Pensacola. The right hander pitched the game of his life to open up the playoffs. He would throw 8.0 shutout innings, allowing just four hits in the game without walking anyone. The 28-year-old also struck out 13 batters.
The 13 strikeouts were the most ever as a professional for Deck McGuire. His previous career best was 11, which he had in 2016 and then in his last start of the regular season this year. In front of some of the Cincinnati Reds front office (owners Bob Castellini and Jeff Wyler, as well as Assistant GM Sam Grossman and Player Development Director Jeff Graupe) he led the Blue Wahoos to a victory in game one of the Southern League playoffs.
Zack Weiss is clutch and clutch is everything in life
Deck McGuire wasn’t the only pitcher to step up for Pensacola on the night. Zack Weiss entered the game in the top of the 9th inning with the bases loaded and no outs and holding onto a 2-0 lead. Weiss fell behind the first hitter with a ball, but fired three straight strikes to record the first out. Taking on former Reds minor leaguer David Vidal he recorded another strikeout, blowing a fastball by him for strike three. He jumped ahead of the final batter of the game 0-2 before inducing a ground ball to Blake Trahan who flipped to Shed Long at second base for the force out to end the game.
Southern League playoff to be cut short
With Hurricane Irma heading directly towards Florida, and two teams from Florida in the playoffs, the Southern League has decided to cancel the championship series and will award a co-championship to each of the first round playoff series winners.
It’s also made a change to the schedule in the Pensacola and Jacksonville series. Originally planned, Pensacola would host the first two games then travel to Jacksonville for the final three games (if necessary). Now the first three games will be played in Pensacola, with the third game having Jacksonville as the home team. If games four and five are necessary, the teams will play on Saturday and Sunday in Biloxi.
Hunter Greene rebounds for Billings
Hunter Greene had a start to forget the last time he took the mound. He allowed six earned runs and only recorded one out. Last night he put it behind him and pitched well over 3.0 innings. An unearned run on one hit and one walk was all that Helena could muster. He threw 35 pitches, 25 of which were strikes. That led to four strikeouts in the outing.
The start on Wednesday night could very well be the final one of the year for Hunter Greene. Billings has just three games remaining in the regular season. They are still in the race for the playoffs, though, where Greene would likely start again. Missoula currently leads the division, but they won the first half – meaning that the that if they continue to lead, that the team in second place would get the playoff spot. Great Falls currently has a 1-game lead over the Mustangs. Great Falls and Missoula finish the season against each other.