For the second straight year, the Texas Collegiate League Championship Series will go the three-game distance.
The McKinney Marshals forced that deciding game with a 2-1 victory over the Denton Outlaws on Saturday night at The Ballpark on Bonnie Brae.
Game 3 will be played on Sunday at 7:35 p.m. at McKinney's Gabe Nesbitt Field. Denton's Corey Kluber will face the 2005 TCL pitcher of the year, Austin Creps.
Jose Salazar's single scored pinch-runner Greg Erickson with one out in the top of the 9th to snap a 1-1 tie. The Marshals Bryce Cox, who blew the save and took the loss in Game 1 on Friday, then recorded the final 3 outs, 2 on strikeouts, to send the Series back to McKinney.
Saturday's game featured two outstanding pitching performances. McKinney righthander Kenn Kasparek and Denton righty Eddie Degerman each took shutouts into the 8th inning. The Marshals finally broke through in the 8th, when Matt Cavagnaro's homer to right made it 1-0. But the Outlaws tied the game in the bottom of that frame on a bases loaded sacrifice fly by TCL Player of the Year Andrew Brown.
Kasparek issued 5 hits and one run in 7.1 innings. The sophomore righty left after allowing a one-out single to Kyle Jones in the 8th. Scott Gaffney then walked the 1st 2 batters he faced before allowing Brown's game-tying sac fly.
Degerman permitted just 4 hits and one run in his 8 innings with 3 walks and 11 strikeouts. He has now fanned 23 in 2 playoff starts this summer. Juston Street came on in the 9th and walked C.J. Ebarb to lead off the inning. Kurt Pessa replaced Street and allowed the game-winning single to Salazar.
Cox, who permitted 2 runs and hit 4 batters in the loss on Friday night, came on after Gaffney allowed a leadoff walk in the 9th. The Rice senior fanned Elvis Herrera and Brett Lewis before walking Kern Watts with 2 out. He then retired Jones on a grounder for his 9th save overall of the summer.
Cavagnaro continued his torrid playoff hitting, going 2-4 with a double and a home
run. Marshals centerfielder Brandon Glover made 2 huge throws, nailing Brett Lewis at the plate in the 3rd and Kris Jenkins at 3rd base in the 7th. helping keep the game scoreless.
Jones was the only Outlaw with more than one hit, going 2-4.
2005 TEXAS COLLEGIATE LEAGUE PLAYOFF RESULTS
Rogers Hornsby Division Series
August 1at Denton 3, Weatherford 1
August 2Denton 4, at Weatherford 1
Denton wins series, 2-0
Tris Speaker Division Series
August 1McKinney 6, at Coppell 3
August 2at McKinney 3, Coppell 1
McKinney wins series, 2-0
August 5Denton 5, at McKinney 4 (10 innings)
August 6McKinney 2, at Denton 1
Series tied, 1-1
Upcoming Schedule and Probables
August 7Denton (Corey Kluber) at McKinney (Austin Creps) 7:35 p.m.
CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES NOTES
ROAD TEAM PREVAILS: With McKinneys victory on Saturday night at Denton, the visiting team has won all five lifetime games in the TCL Championship Series play. In 2004, Coppell won Games 1 and 3 at Graham, and the Roughnecks prevailed in Game 2 at the Snake Pit.
STARTING PITCHERS: RHP Corey Kluber makes his second start of the playoffs for Denton Sunday night. The Stetson University sophomore had no decision in his first playoff start on Tuesday at Weatherford in the Hornsby Division Series. He worked 4.2 innings, allowing 5 hits and a one run with 5 walks and 3 strikeouts. Kluber left in a 1-1 tie in a game won by Denton, 4-1. He was 3-0, 2.81 in 10 games/7 starts for the Outlaws in the regular season.
RHP Austin Creps is also making his second appearance of the playoffs. The junior from Texas A&M University won the 2nd and deciding game of the Speaker Division Series on Tuesday for McKinney with a 3-1 victory over Coppell. He went 6.2 innings, permitting 5 hits and one run with no walks and 3 strikeouts. Kenn Kasparek worked the final 2.1 innings for the save. Creps is the D-Bat 2005 Texas Collegiate League Pitcher of the Year, posting a 5-1 record with a 1.72 era in 10 games/9 starts in the regular season. He tied for 2nd in the TCL in wins, had the 3rd lowest era among pitchers with at least 30 innings, and ranked 4th with 54 strikeouts. Creps was also the TCL July Pitcher of the Month. In his last 5 starts, including playoffs, the righthander is 4-0, 1.38 (5 er/32.2 ip). His only loss of the summer came on July 1 vs. Weatherford.
OUTSTANDING PLAYER AWARD: Following Sundays game, the Championship
Series Most Outstanding Player Award will be presented. University of New Mexico OF Matt Young of Coppell was the 2004 recipient. Young signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves organization last August at the conclusion of the playoffs.
SERIES NOTES: McKinneys Matt Cavagnaro, 5-9 in the 2 games of this series, is batting .588 (10-17) with 3 doubles, a homer, and 5 rbi in the Marshals 4 playoff games
He is the only Marshal to hit safely in all 4 playoff games
Kyle Jones has hit safely in all 4 of Dentons playoff contests at .400 (6-15)
In his 2 starts in the playoffs, Dentons Eddie Degerman allowed 6 hits and 3 runs in 15 innings with 23 strikeouts
The righthander from Rice fanned 61 batters in 40.1 total innings (including playoffs) this summer...Of the 8 meetings between the teams in 2005, 5 have been decided by one run...An Outlaws season high crowd of 874 attended Saturday's game in Denton.