August 15, 2009 starts what could be the most important series of the year, if you're in the AL West.
A three-game set begins in Albuquerque, where the Dukes host the San Francisco Seals. Both teams are deadlocked with 72-73 records. So depending on how this one ends up, we could very well see one of these teams take a huge leap over the other, en route to an AL West Title.
Antone Hoover (7-7, 4.02 ERA) v Barry Thompson (4-6, 4.87 ERA)
The game starts out slow for the first two innings. Both teams trying to get a feel for the other. In the third inning, San Francisco gets on the board. Vince Payton gets the Seals on the board with a 2-RBI double, followed by an RBI single by George Forrest. The Seals manage to add 2 more runs to the score, and the Seals take the early lead.
Bottom 3rd - SAN FRANCISCO 5, ALBUQUERQUE 0
Hoover is on cruise control, as he continues to have his way with Duke hitters. The bottom of the 5th arrives, and he finds himself in some trouble. An RBI double by Pasqual Astacio puts the Dukes on the board. Billy Meyers gets into the act with a 2-run HR. The Dukes find themselves back in the game.
Top 6th - SAN FRANCISCO 5, ALBUQUERQUE 3
San Francisco manages to add a run to their total, as Nolan Lowery's RBI single puts the score at 6-3. But Albuquerque gets back into the swing of things in the bottom of the 7th. RBI singles by Jeff Berry, Quinn Street, and Elvis Brooks evens things up.
Bottom 8th - SAN FRANCISCO 6, ALBUQUERQUE 6
Sonny Howry makes a huge impact in the game by drilling an RBI triple, scoring Chad Mahaffey, giving the Dukes the first lead of the game. Jeff Berry bloops a single in, scoring Howry. The Dukes might be finally pulling away.
Top 9th - ALBUQUERQUE 8, SAN FRANCISCO 6
With two men on and one out, Nolan Lowery hits into a fielder's choice, scoring a run. Then, Jude Keats steps to the plate. Down by a run, one swing of Keats' bat gives the Seals a 2 run lead. A gigantic 2-run HR by Jude Keats, and that's your ball game.
FINAL - SAN FRANCISCO 10, ALBUQUERQUE 8
The win gives the Seals a one-game advantage in the AL West over Albuquerque. Game two of the series is tonight.