Robert Brender, @robertbrender on TwitterLas Vegas 51s 3, @ Salt Lake Bees (LAA) 4
The 51s got on the board first thanks to a two-run single from Dustin Lawley with two out in the opening inning. Lawley has been outstanding at the 3A level since being promoted from St Lucie August 28. In his six regular season games for the 51s, the 24-year-old was 6-20 (.300) with a pair of doubles, a homer and four driven in. Wednesday, he finished 1-3. Lawley, an Alabama native, spent the past two seasons primarily in Savannah and St Lucie, launching 40 combined homeruns, while striking out 235 times and walking 86 times. In 2011, his first season in the Mets chain, he smacked 10 homers in just 60 at-bats.
Vegas took a 3-0 lead in the 3rd inning when Mike Baxter led off the frame with a triple followed by a run-scoring single from Eric Campbell. With all the fantastic offensive numbers put up by Wilmer Flores, Josh Satin, Andrew Brown and other notable prospects, Campbell flew under the radar posting one of the top offensive seasons in the PCL in 2013. His .435 OBP and .910 OPS led the league, while his .314 BA was 7th, just seven points behind Flores.
RHP Matt Fox got the start for the 51s and was very good for 5 2/3 innings. His only difficulty came in the 4th when he suddenly lost command of the strike zone, walking three batters, one of which came with the bases loaded to force in a run. The second Salt Lake run scored on a single Efran Navarro, also as part of that difficult bottom of the 4th. The final pitching line for Fox: 5.2IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 2K.
Salt Lake tied the game 3-3 in the 8th on a two-strike, two-out single from former big leaguer Scott Cousins off reliever Robert Carson. The run was charged to Sean Henn who gave up a single and a walk earlier in the inning. Carson remained on the mound to pitch the 9th and surrendered a game-ending homerun to Matt Long.
Notes: The winner of this series will play the winner of the Oklahoma City vs. Omaha series in the PCL Championship round beginning September 10. That will also be a best-of five format with the Pacific Division winner playing on the road the first two games….Vegas was 10-6 during the regular season against Salt Lake…The 51s were winners of the PCL Pacific Southern Division and had the 2nd best record in the league (81-63).