Difficult start: Quebec blanks Wild Things in the first game | Wild things
If the Frontier League playoff opener is any indication of what’s to come, it could just be another cruel September for the Wild Things.
Starter Jared Mortensen and two relievers combined on a two-hit shutout and Team Quebec defeated the Wild Things 9-0 in Game 1 of the Can-Am Conference final on Tuesday night.
Game 2 will take place today (1:05 p.m.) with Ryan Hennen (11-3), Frontier League pitcher of the year, who will start for Washington against Quebecer Codie Paiva (7-5). The series travels to Canada on Friday.
Quebec, who were set to win Sunday’s regular season final in Sussex County to win the Atlantic Division title and advance to the playoffs, took over Washington scoring six times in the first four innings. vs. Washington starter Rob Whalen.
The game was like many Wild Things playoff games of the past. Timely punches against crafty pitchers were nearly impossible to produce.
Washington’s only hits came in the third inning, a single with a broken bat by first baseman Andrew Czech and a single with two strikeouts through the left side of the infield by second baseman Scotty Dubrule. The Wild Things loaded up goals with two strikeouts this set, but Bralin Jackson’s withdrawal ended Washington’s only threat.
Mortensen, a 33-year-old right-hander, and Marshall Shill combined to strike 16 straight Washington hitters after Dubrule’s single. The streak was broken when Andrew Sohn shot a first goal on reliever Nick Horvath to start the ninth inning.
Mortensen pitched seven white innings, two on goals and eight on catches.
The first former major league to play for the Wild Things, Whalen struggled with his control from the start. He stepped on two of Quebec’s top four hitters, but got rid of a jam with a goal-laden out in the first inning, as he threw 31 shots. Whalen wasn’t so lucky in the second set, and some mistake played a part in that.
Whalen walked with former Pittsburgh Pirates Gift Ngoepe shortstop to start the inning and Jonathan Lacroix followed a ground ball for shortstop Nick Ward, whose second base pitch was wide and rolled up. ‘at the Wild Things pen along the straight as Ngoepe ended up on third base. Roster No. 9 hitter Jesse Hodges then slapped a 0-2 pitch for a two-run double inside the sack of third base to open the scoring.
The lead fell to 3-0 in third when Connor Panas returned a high helicopter to Whalen, whose only play was on first base as Raphael Gladu made it home from third base.
If the Wild Things hadn’t thought it wouldn’t be their night in the first three innings, then the fourth did. Back-to-back singles from Lacroix and Jesse Hodges early in the set gave LP Pelletier some runs through a defensive player, and David Glaude followed with a two-run homer to right center field that gave a 6- lead. 0 in Quebec.
Whalen lasted just four innings, allowing seven hits and six runs (five earned), two walks and three strikeouts.
Quebec scored two runs in the seventh on a single in the infield and a subsequent pitch error. Designated hitter Jeffry Parra hit a two-out solo home run on a 0-2 pitch from reliever Dan Kubiuk in the eighth to end the scoring.
Game 2 time change
With rain forecast for today and Thursday as a day of travel – the teams will travel nearly 800 miles to Quebec for the final three games of the series – the start time of Game 2 today has passed at 1: 05 h
“It was a collective decision, the league and ourselves,” said Wild Things president and CEO Tony Buccilli. “After looking at the forecast (weather) and with the extended trip to Quebec, we didn’t want to find ourselves in a situation where we were here until 3 or 4 in the morning and then we were on our way to Quebec. This gives us some flexibility in finding a window.
Washington is 7-6 all-time in Game 1 of a playoff series. This does not include a victory over Evansville in a wildcard game in 2014.… Although he had a better regular season record than Quebec, Washington lost home ground advantage for the playoff series due to ‘a conflict with concerts scheduled at Wild Things Park on Fridays and Saturdays. Quebec will host Games 3, 4 and 5 instead of the first two. … Washington is 33-19 at home this year but only 6-7 against Quebec.