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Rays down on the farm September 7: Princeton strikes first in championship

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The Princeton Rays need one more win to claim the Appalachian League championship

While Princeton was hammering Greeneville pitching, Spencer Moran was cruising on the mound
While Princeton was hammering Greeneville pitching, Spencer Moran was cruising on the mound
Jim Donten

Durham, Bowling Green and Hudson Valley finish their 2015 seasons today. Montgomery's regular season is also over, but the Biscuits will take on Chattanooga in the Southern League playoffs starting Thursday.

Triple-A Durham Bulls (73-70)

A seven-run first inning was not helpful in Durham's 8-4 loss to Norfolk. The Tides sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning, six of them had hits, and a walk with the bases-loaded walk also hurt Scott Diamond. He would settle in, though, and finished with eight runs -- four earned -- allowed on eight hits in six innings. Cameron Seitzer's two-run single in the third completed a set of back-to-back two-run innings for the Bulls, but they were held off the board the rest of the way. Steven Souza was 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts.

Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (42-27)

Taylor Guerrieri wrapped up his regular season with three strong innings in Montgomery's 5-3 loss to Birmingham. He was only asked to throw three innings, but he threw them well,facing the minimum and striking out three. Home runs by Juniel Querecuto and Dayron Varona accounted for all three Biscuits runs, and the game went out of reach when the Barons broke a 1-1 tie with four runs in the seventh off Kyle McPherson.

Class A-Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (24-41)

Charlotte finished its regular season with a 5-1 win over Fort Myers. Johnny Wholestaff got the start for the Stone Crabs with Buddy Borden allowing the Miracle's only run in the first inning. Isaac Gil pitched the most innings with three and ended up with the win. Mike Marjama gave Charlotte the lead with a two-run double in the fifth, and he scored an insurance run in the eighth on Maxx Tissenbaum's double.

The Stone Crabs open up the postseason on Tuesday against Palm Beach.

Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods (32-35)

Bowling Green scored three unanswered runs in its 5-2 win over Fort Wayne. Tied at two, the Hot Rods went ahead in the seventh when Grant Kay led off with a double, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly. An inning later, another leadoff double, this time from Carter Burgess, led to two insurance runs. Starter Yonny Chirinos was very good, allowing both TinCaps runs on nine hits in seven innings with six strikeouts and no walks.

Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (38-37)

Hudson Valley's playoff chase came to an abrupt end with a 4-0 loss to Aberdeen. Combined with Staten Island's win, the Renegades' elimination number fell to zero. Hudson Valley outhit the IronBirds 10-9, but it was Aberdeen taking advantage of four hits in the fifth inning to score the first three runs of the game. Starter Benton Moss allowed four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Rookie Princeton Rays (3-1)

Princeton moved one game away from an Appalachian League championship with a 12-2 win over Greeneville. The outcome was hardly in doubt when Princeton scored all of its runs in the first six innings. Peter Maris led the game off with a walk and scored after a pair of singles, and his sacrifice fly aided a three-run second inning. Greeneville held Princeton scoreless in the third, but it continued to bludgeon Greeneville with eight runs over the next three innings.

Spencer Moran had no problems dealing with Greeneville and never letting it back in the game. He allowed both of its runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings with five strikeouts and no walks.

CLICK HERE FOR ALL BOX SCORES

Notable performances

AAA OF Jose Constanza: 3-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
A+ IF Hector Guevara: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB
A+ OF Justin Williams: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
A OF Thomas Milone: 3-for-5, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K
A OF Bralin Jackson: 2-for-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB
A- OF Jose Paez: 2-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
R+ OF Zacrey Law: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
R+ 1B Kewby Meyer: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
R+ C David Rodriguez: 3-for-6, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K
R+ OF Landon Cray: 3-for-6, 1 R, 1 RBI
R+ IF Jonathan Popadics: 1-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K
A RHP Yonny Chirinos: 7 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
A- RHP Brandon Koch: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
R+ RHP Spencer Moran: 5 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K

AAA C Mayo Acosta: 0-for-3, 3 K
AA 2B Tommy Coyle: 0-for-4, 2 K
A+ 2B Kean Wong: 0-for-5, 4 K
A- OF Joe McCarthy: 0-for-5
AA RHP Kyle McPherson: 2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
A- RHP Benton Moss: 5 1/3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K

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

Durham v. Norfolk 1:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Jared Mortensen (1-0, 6.75) v. Elih VIllanueva (4-4, 4.82)

Montgomery v. Birmingham 1:05 PM (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Chris Kirsch (2-4, 6.20) v. TBA

Charlotte is off

Bowling Green @ Fort Wayne 1:05 PM (radio stream)
Brad Wallace (2-5, 4.60) v. TBA

Hudson Valley v. Aberdeen 6:35 PM (radio stream)
Cameron Varga (3-6, 2.97) v. TBA

Princeton v. Greeneville 7 PM
Blake Bivens (6-0, 2.78) v. Salvador Montano (2-3, 5.20)

Game two of a best-of-three championship (Princeton leads, 1-0)

*Listed as TBA on milb.com

Scouting the opposition

Norfolk Tides (Baltimore) (updated through 9/3)
78-65
Offense: 521 R (11th) .671 OPS (11th)
Pitching: 3.17 ERA (2nd) 1.25 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: 1B Christian Walker (3), RHP Mike Wright (8), RHP Tyler Wilson (12), OF Henry Urrutia (14)

Birmingham Barons (White Sox) (updated through 9/1)
36-33
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 Wayne TinCaps (San Diego) (updated through 9/3)
44-25 (1st in MWL East)
Offense: 542 R (10th) .680 OPS (8th)
Pitching: 3.39 ERA (6th) 1.29 WHIP (6th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Michael Gettys (13), SS Franchy Cordero (19)

Aberdeen IronBirds (Baltimore) (updated through 9/3)
40-35 (2nd in McNamara)
Offense: 262 R (13th) .625 OPS (13th)
Pitching: 3.60 ERA (9th) 1.26 WHIP (5th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Travis Seabrooke (31), OF D.J. Stewart

Greeneville Astros
2-2
Offense: 308 R (6th) .684 OPS (9th)
Pitching: 3.18 ERA (2nd) 1.23 WHIP (1st)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Kyle Tucker, OF Daz Cameron