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Rays down on the farm September 3: Princeton to begin Appy League playoffs

The Princeton Rays start their best-of-three series against the Pulaski Yankees Thursday

David Olmedo-Barrera is a key part of Princeton's offense
David Olmedo-Barrera is a key part of Princeton's offense
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Later in the morning, I'll have a preview of the Appy League postseason.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (71-68)

Durham did its part to stay alive with a 7-5 win over Charlotte. Corey Brown's three-run homer in the sixth erased a 2-0 deficit, and after Nick Franklin singled, Cameron Seitzer's first Triple-A home run gave the Bulls a 5-2 lead. After the Knights answered with a pair of runs, Durham restored its five-run lead an inning later on Joey Rickard's two-run, pinch-hit double. Jared Mortensen struck out five and earned the win in his Triple-A debut despite allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings.

With Gwinnett's doubleheader sweep of Norfolk, the Bulls' elimination number remained at one.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (40-25)

Montgomery was off.

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (23-39)

Charlotte was off.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (30-34)

Bowling Green held off a late rally in its 9-6 win over Lake County. The Captains went up 1-0 in the first, but Cristian Toribio's three-run home run in the second gave the Hot Rods a two-run lead. After Lake County tallied again, Bowling Green posted another three-run frame in the fifth, started by Coty Blanchard's RBI single. Starter Chris Pike struck out seven and allowed two runs in six innings before Diego Castillo allowed four late runs to let Lake County back in the game.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (37-34)

A four-run first lifted Hudson Valley to a 6-2 win over Vermont in game one of their doubleheader. Already up a run, Taylor Hawkins doubled in a pair of two-out runs, and Garrett Whitley's single to score Hawkins capped the early scoring. Other than a second-inning run, Roel Ramirez handled the Lake Monsters, allowing just that run on six hits in five innings with three strikeouts and no walks.

The Renegades fell a half game behind Staten Island with a 3-2 loss to Vermont in game two. The Lake Monsters needed just four batters to jump out to a 3-0 lead in the first against spot-starter John Williams, who finished with the three runs allowed on three hits and a walk in four innings. Hudson Valley scored individual runs in the third and sixth and had the potential tying runner on base in the seventh, but Whitley struck out to end the game.

Rookie Princeton Rays (0-0)

Princeton was off.

CLICK HERE FOR ALL BOX SCORES

Notable performances

AAA UT Taylor Motter: 2-for-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 2 K
AAA 1B Cameron Seitzer: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
A IF Riley Unroe: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
A OF Hunter Lockwood: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB
A- IF Joseph Astacio: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB
A- C Taylor Hawkins: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
A RHP Chris Pike: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
A- RHP Roel Ramirez: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

AAA OF Jose Constanza: 0-for-5, 1 K
A OF Thomas Milone: 0-for-5
A- 1B Nic Wilson: 0-for-3, 3 K
A RHP Diego Castillo: 2 1/3 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K

Today's games (probables courtesy of milb.com)

Durham @ Charlotte 12:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Everett Teaford (5-9, 5.34) v. TBA

Montgomery v. Birmingham 8:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Jacob Faria (6-3, 2.69) v. TBA

Charlotte v. Fort Myers 7 PM (radio stream)
TBA v. TBA

Bowling Green v. Lake County 8:05 PM (radio stream)
Jose Mujica (1-4, 4.85) v. Justus Sheffield (9-4, 3.47)

Hudson Valley @ Vermont 7:05 PM (radio stream)
Roel Ramirez (5-2, 3.07) v. Bowdien Derby (1-0, 0.83)

Princeton v. Pulaski 7 PM
Blake Bivens (6-0, 2.78) v. Adonis Rosa* (7-2, 3.93)

Game one of a best-of-three series (tied 0-0)

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Charlotte Knights (White Sox) (updated through 8/31)
72-67 (3rd in IL South)
Offense: 588 R (2nd) .720 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 3.72 ERA (8th) 1.30 WHIP (7th)
Top 30 Prospects: 2B Micah Johnson (4), RHP Chris Beck (11), 3B Matt Davidson (14), C Kevan Smith (15), LHP Onelki Garcia (27)

Birmingham Barons (White Sox) (updated through 9/1)
34-31
Offense: 540 R (4th) .701 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 3.67 ERA (4th) 1.35 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Tim Anderson (2), RHP Tyler Danish (7), OF Courtney Hawkins (9), OF Jacob May (10)

Fort Myers Miracle (Minnesota) (updated through 9/1)
36-29 (3rd in FSL South)
Offense: 483 R (8th) .635 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 2.70 ERA (2nd) 1.20 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Kohl Stewart (4), LHP Stephen Gonsalves (14), SS Engelb Vielma (22), RHP Zach Jones (25), LHP Tyler Jay

Lake County Captains (Cleveland) (updated through 8/31)
33-32
Offense: 609 R (3rd) .698 OPS (4th)
Pitching: 3.63 ERA (12th) 1.31 WHIP (11th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Justus Sheffield (4), C Francisco Mejia (7), 1B Bobby Bradley (9), IF Yu-Cheng Chang (13), RHP Casey Shane (25)

Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland) (updated through 8/31)
30-40
Offense: 277 R (9th) .663 OPS (10th)
Pitching: 4.07 ERA (13th) 1.33 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: SS Trace Loehr (30), SS Richie Martin, OF Skye Bolt

Pulaski Yankees (updated through 9/1)
0-0
Offense: 393 R (1st) .793 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.08 ERA (1st) 1.24 WHIP (2nd)
Top 30 Prospects: None