18 September 2010

Royals on the Farm 9/18 -- Northwest Arkansas brings it home

AA - NW Arkansas: Naturals 2, Midland 0 (Naturals win Texas League Championship Series, 3-1)

3B Seratelli 3-4, 3B, K, RS -- .455
1B Hosmer 1-4, RBI (12) -- .286
C Eigsti 0-3, RBI -- .143
CF D. Robinson 1-4, K, SB -- .216
2B Giavotella 1-4, RS -- .355
DH C. Robinson 1-4, 3B, K -- .286

W. Smith 6 2/3 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 6 K -- W, 1-0, 2.25 ERA, clutch
Barrera 1 1/3 IP, nothing -- 2.45 ERA
Keating IP, H, K -- SV, 4, 2.57 ERA

* A group of the same guys that won a Midwest League title in Burlington in 2008 actually got to finish off a title Saturday as they locked down the Texas League title. (I say that because, if you remember, the Bees took the first 2 games of the MWLCS in 2008 but then the rest were rained out.) I really have to say this is the best minors team I think the Royals have had in the six seasons I've been doing these reports. Clint Robinson, Johnny Giavotella, Ryan Eigsti, Danny Duffy, Nick Van Stratten, Brandon Sisk, and Alex Caldera can all say they were part of both the Burlington and NWA champions. It was Will Smith who held the RockHounds in check Saturday to give the offense the wiggle room to make 2 runs stand. NWA stranded 2 in the 2nd and left Derrick Robinson at third in the 3rd. The Naturals threw a runner out at the plate to end the Midland 3rd and Anthony Seratelli came through again with a leadoff triple in the 5th before scoring on a Ryan Eigsti groundout. The Nats wasted a Clint Robinson 2-out triple in the 6th and Smith seemed to tire in the 7th as he put 2 on with 0 out, then got 2 outs before Henry Barrera came in to strand 2 in scoring position. Giavotella hit a 2-out single in the 8th, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on an Eric Hosmer single to give the Naturals some insurance. Barrera pitched a perfect 8th and Patrick Keating worked around a leadoff double in the 9th for his 4th playoff save. They're probably still popping corks or pulling tabs or unscrewing tops, however they roll in AA, right now. Great season. I'll wrap it up tomorrow.

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