There was just one game on the slate, with a playoff spot on the line…
The Voyagers had to win this game and have Missoula lose, in order to make the playoffs. Neither happened, thus ending Great Falls’ impressive run of eight straight seasons with a playoff appearance. Things looked encouraging early as the Voyagers scored first on Frank Califano‘s RBI 2B in the second, and starter Brannon Easterling cruised through his first four innings. But he allowed the tying run in the 4th and things went downhill from there. An error by Johan Cruz (who has had a very impressive season) in the 7th opened the flood gates as three unearned runs came across against Alex Katz. Danny Dopico allowed another pair in the 8th, and Great Falls couldn’t muster any more runs. Corey Zangari had a double and two walks in the loss.
While their season may have been a disappointment for a fan base used to annual playoff runs, the team was in contention all the way to the end and there were some impressive individual performances. 19-year old Johan Cruz broke out with a .312/.338/.442 line including six home runs, and the offense as a unit was younger than we’ve typically seen at the Pioneer League affiliate – starters Cruz, Califano, Jake Jarvis, Antonio Rodriguez, Victor Velazquez and late addition Zangari are all no older than 21. We’ll have more on the Voyagers’ season in a full season recap, coming soon.
***There is still one White Sox affiliate with games left to play – Winston-Salem begins their playoff run tonight, with Carson Fulmer on the mound.
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