The big news of the evening was the Bats’ division title, but that wasn’t the only baseball in the Bluegrass last night. Check out the division title recap and more stories in some Sunday hot links:
The Louisville Bats clinched the International League’s West Division Saturday with an Indianapolis 12-0 win over Toledo. The Bats lost Saturday, but needed only a win or a Toledo loss to clinch the division. Louisville will play the winner of the South division in the first round of the International League playoffs. Tickets for the opening series are on sale now for games three through five that would be played in Louisville. Durham is currently one game ahead of Gwinnett for the South division lead.
Reds prospect Chris Heisey was 3-4 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI in leading Louisville to a near division clinching victory. Check out how far the Bats are from sealing their playoff ticket and other storylines in Saturday’s hot links:
The Legends’ 11-game losing streak has all but eliminated them from playoff contention, but Louisville and Bowling Green remain firmly in the postseason picture. With that in mind we’ll break down the remaining minor league playoff races.
- Louisville Bats — 1st place INT West — The Bats are currently 8.5 games ahead of Toledo in the West Division of the International League. Louisville’s magic number to clinch the division is 11. The Bats are currently selling playoff tickets for games three through five (if needed) of the first round of the International League playoffs. If Louisville wins the West Division, the Bats will matchup with the winner of the South Division (currently Gwinnett).
- Bowling Green Hot Rods — 3rd Place SAL Southern — The Hot Rods’ playoff chances aren’t as rosy as the Bats’ chances, but Bowling Green is still alive. The Hot Rods currently sit in third place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division, five games behind first-place Asheville. Augusta is in second place, .5 games behind Asheville and 4.5 games in front of Bowling Green. Bowling Green’s elimination number is 14. The Hot Rods have three games remaining against Asheville between Aug. 29-31.
Chris Bisson; Photo: UK Athletics
Wednesday was a losing night for Bluegrass Baseball teams, and Kentucky connections. Check out the Cape Cod League finals and other storylines in Thursday morning’s hot links.
- UK infielder Chris Bisson and the Cotuit Kettleers lost in game two of the Cape Cod League finals, giving the title to the Bourne Braves. Bisson was 0-3 with a walk in the 5-1 loss.
- Phillies top prospect Michael Taylor hit for the cycle to lead the Lehigh Valley IronPigs to their first win in seven games against Louisville this season with a 10-9 victory Wednesday.
- Pirates first round pick Tony Sanchez and the West Virginia Power defeated Lexington 9-2 in the series opener.
- “Cat Scratches” reports on Braden Kapteyn’s NYCBL MVP, which was first reported here and on the BluGrass Baseball twitter.
- Baseball America named Louisville outfielder Drew Stubbs best baserunner, best defensive outfielder and best outfield arm in the International League in a survey of IL managers. (Subscriber only)
- EKU Alum Christian Friedrich and Lexington Legend Jordan Lyles both received votes in the South Atlantic League best pitcher poll conducted by Baseball America to SAL managers.
- Will Graves (Former Kernelite) at the Associated Press reports on UK Athletics 15x15x15 plan.
- Jason Stella profiles Louisville Bat Kevin Barker at Examiner.com.
The playoff races are heating up in the Bluegrass. With just under a month left in the minor league season each of the state’s three minor league teams has a chance at postseason play.
- Louisville: The Bats have all but wrapped up the International League western division title with a nine game lead over Indianapolis and 29 games left to play. The Bats have already started selling playoff tickets. Louisville stands to play the winner of the south division (Durham and Gwinnett are currently tied for the lead) in the first round of the playoffs. Games three through five of the series would be in Louisville. The Bats have the most wins in the league.
- Bowling Green: The Hot Rods currently sit 3.5 games behind Asheville for the southern division lead in the South Atlantic League. Augusta is in second place in the division, 1.5 games ahead of Bowling Green and two games behind Asheville. The Hot Rods get one more crack at Asheville with two games to close out August against the Tourists in Bowling Green. The Hot Rods do not play Augusta again this season.
- Lexington: The Legends playoff hopes are dwindling with a 20-22 record in the second half, but Lexington is 6.5 games out of first place in the southern division with 28 games remaining. The Legends will have to jump Bowling Green, Augusta and Asheville to make the playoffs. Lexington can cut the gap between it and first place Asheville with a win in the series finale in Lexington tonight. The Legends also face the Tourists for three games in September and the Hot Rods for four games to close the season. Lexington has a four-game set remaining with last-place Greensboro but has to play northern division leading Kannapolis for four games as well.