A postponed game between the visiting New York Dragons and the home team Rimouski Fighting Moose has decided the final Lake League wild card spot, and the Dragons will not be going to the postseason.
The final regular season game went ahead after the official end of the regular season schedule, with the Dragon’s William Febres facing off against Nick Seer for the Moose, resulting in a tight 2-1 extra-innings rain-delayed win for Rimouski, who finished the season 54-46 (.540) while the Dragons fell to 53-47 (.530).
The Moose were on the board early, when lead-off batter Hugo Gonzales was issued a free pass, one of just 3 walks given up by Febres, before advancing on a wild pitch and then scoring on an Alan Isimo single to short.
It was a rare scoring play given up by Febres, who struck out 13 and only allowed 3 hits over 5.2 IP. Febres refocused and struck out 9 straight batters from the second inning into the fourth, not breaking his pace for a 32 minute rain delay in the third inning. He gave up a single in the 5th to Ellis Bendel, who advanced on a textbook sac bunt by Juan Medina. Israel Paez then drove a ball to center field moving Bendel to third, but Febres pitched his way out of the 1-out, 2-on jam, inducing a fly out then another strikeout.
He got the hook in the 6th after two more strikeouts and his third walk, given to Joe Street. Miguel Lebron ended the threat and gave two more solid innings. In the top of the 9th, the Dragons pulled even when Chris Chrism singled to right with Victor Jimenez on second. Jimenez had reached on a throwing error by Rimouski third baseman Alan Isimo, taking an extra base on the play. Jimenez beat a path for home on the Chrism single, and was safe on the throw.
The game went into extras, and in the top of the 10th it looked like the Dragons were going to draw first blood in overtime. With Marc Garland pitching for Rimouski, Tony Cruz led off with a double to left, hitting the wall as Rimouski’s Hugo Gonzales chased it down. Then Jose Espinoza singled to right field, and Cruz was sent home on the play, but was thrown out on a missile from Ellis Bendel. Espinoza ended up on second on the throw, and Setsuo Kimura was walked intentionally to bring up Pedro Rosario with 1-out and 2-on. The New York first baseman patiently stared down 4 straight balls and walked to load the bases. Garland was unfazed by the bases loaded, 1-out situation and struck out Victor Jimenez before inducing a Jake Jett grounder to end the threat.
New York put closer Manny Meza on the mound in the ninth and kept him on for the 10th. He walked lead-off batter Juan Medina, after working the count ahead to 0-2. Not closing the door on Medina proved to be his undoing, as Jorge Duran drove a hard line drive to left, an easy stand-up double that Medina was given a green light on, freezing Chris Chrism who did not even offer a throw to home to try for the out. The Moose won in walk-off fashion, clinching the second wild card and sending the slain Dragons back to Manhattan.
Catch the game broadcast below: