• Beloit Season Comes to an End


    Hopes were high late on Friday night when the Beloit Snappers beat the Clinton LumberKings in Game 1 of the Midwest League playoffs. They would be coming home with two chances to beat the top team in the league. The Snappers lost Game 2 on Thursday night in extra innings. On Friday night, in the decisive Game 3, the Snappers again lost in extra innings to end the series and their 2012 season. Would it also be the final time the Beloit Snappers would be affiliated with the Twins?
    In the top of the 1st inning, the LumberKings got on the board first thanks to an error by Tyler Grimes and later a wild pitch by starter David Hurlbut.

    In the bottom of the second, Eddie Rosario got on with a two-out single. Miguel Sano hit a double off the wall in right center to score Rosario and tie the game.

    After the two teams combined for 26 runs scored in the first two game, and each team scored in the first inning, a fair assumption would be that this would be another hitter's dual. Instead, it was quite the opposite.

    Snappers starter, lefty David Hurlbut, went the first six innings and gave up only that unearned first inning run. He gave up just two hits and walked just one while striking out five.

    LumberKings starter Mayckol Guaipe gave up the first inning run and that was it as well. He went seven innings and gave up just two hits (both in the 1st inning). He walked two and struck out five.

    Mason Melotakis came in to start the seventh inning. He gave up just two hits and no runs while striking out five in 2.1 innings. DJ Baxendale got the final two outs of the top of the 9th.

    Stephen Landazuri came in to the 8th inning. He pitched a scoreless inning. In the bottom of the 9th frame, he got Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano out and two batters later got out of that inning.

    That brings us to the top of the 10th. Baxendale remained on the mound for the Snappers. Guillermo Pimentel led off with a long home run over the fence in dead center field, just beyond the reach of a leaping Eddie Rosario. Later in the inning, Dan Paolini came through with a solid two-run single up the middle to stretch the score to 4-1.

    That's what the score was as the Snappers entered the bottom of the 10th. Three batters later, the game and the Snappers season was over.

    But what a season it was for the Snappers. Knowing they had top prospects Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario, expectations were high. The Snappers played very consistent baseball all year long. They won 38 games in the first half and 39 games in the second half of the season. Sano was every bit as good as expected. So was Rosario even though he missed over a month with a broken, well, face. The starting pitchers were solid all year, especially the three left-handers, Jason Wheeler, David Hurlbut and Matt Tomshaw. The bullpen was strong in the first half because of the likes of AJ Achter and Michael Tonkin, but they were just as good after those guys were promoted because they were replaced by hard-throwers like Mason Melotakis, Zack Jones, DJ Baxendale, Taylor Rogers and Tyler Duffey for the playoffs.

    Of course, that open-ended question remains; will the Twins and the Snappers be able to agree to extend their player development agreement? We won't know for about 10 days. what will happen.

    But I, for one, think that the Beloit Snappers front office is terrific. Having been there four times in the past three seasons, I have seen first-hand how hard their front office of six works. They deserve a ton of credit.

    And, I know that the Snappers don't draw very many fans, but there are some very loyal fans who are at every game at home and even some on the road. Those people have loved the Snappers affiliation with the Twins, touting the good people that the Twins bring in.

    It will be an interesting next ten days to two weeks. For now, I think it important just to think about a very good 2012 Beloit Snappers season that ended with a very good three-game series against the Clinton LumberKings, a team that has now won 19 of their last 21 games.
    This article was originally published in blog: Beloit Season Comes to an End started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. 60ft6in's Avatar
      60ft6in -
      Yes, reported 260 loyal fans for a playoff game #3, of best of 3 series.....and I am sure that is counting sold tickets not attendance!
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      woulda drawn more than 260 in St Paul, thats for sure
    1. nowheresville's Avatar
      nowheresville -
      There are no season/promotional tickets to the playoffs so the sold tickets and the attendance really were the same. Certainly a small crowd, but on a HS Friday Football night, with no advance ticket sales, and almost no local media attention, it is what it is. I'll give a lot of credit to the Clinton fans, as a quite a few of them made the trip.

      I've been to a whole lot of season ending/playoff losses, both for the Snappers and the Twins, and i have to say that this was quite possibly the most disappointing. Losing back to back games in extras, both which were very winnable games, was tough, but knowing that the Twins will almost certainly be elsewhere next year made the loss that much more difficult.

      Thanks to Nelson, Gary, Tommy, and all the other Snappers players and staff who've been in Beloit for the past 8 years. You were all great ambassadors for the Twins, and next season just won't be the same.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      I was surprised by how sparse the crowd was in Clinton Wednesday night, too, but I think minor league playoff attendance is generally low. I believe it just demonstrates how hard MiLB front offices have to work to get decent crowds all season long. The fans who are just there for the baseball show up for the playoffs, but the fans who go for the promotions and other "extras" that minor league teams have to add to the game experience to get casual fans aren't going to be there.

      Congratulations to the Snappers on a very good season, despite the disappointing end.
    1. 60ft6in's Avatar
      60ft6in -
      If I remember correctly, a couple of the other Midwest playoff games that night had attendance of 3000 and 4000.
    1. nowheresville's Avatar
      nowheresville -
      No MWL playoff game has even cracked the 2000 mark this year.

      Fort Wayne, which averages nearly 6000 fans a night, only drew 1700 to their playoff game Wednesday.

      Appleton was the only other site of a game 3, and they saw their attendance drop from 1700 on Thursday to 700 on Friday.
    1. 60ft6in's Avatar
      60ft6in -
      Quote Originally Posted by nowheresville View Post
      No MWL playoff game has even cracked the 2000 mark this year.

      Fort Wayne, which averages nearly 6000 fans a night, only drew 1700 to their playoff game Wednesday.

      Appleton was the only other site of a game 3, and they saw their attendance drop from 1700 on Thursday to 700 on Friday.
      You are correct! I stand corrected! My bad!

      I was looking at the South Atlantic League for that night......where they probably dont have Friday Night Football to compete with!
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Good article. Too bad someone doesn't tape these games and put them on youtube.
    1. jtrinaldi's Avatar
      jtrinaldi -
      This loss was more than a loss to end the season like every other year. This loss ends a relationship between the Twins and the Snappers. Great relationships were formed during the time that the Twins have been here. This was the first game that I have shed a tear at a baseball game. This group of Snappers was a great group. I hope that the Twins end up in Cedar Rapids so that it is only a 4 hour drive to go visit some of the boys that will likely be returning back to A ball next year. The only way to describe the group of Snappers this year is "United". Through the good and the bad they were still great with everyone in the ballpark. There was no separation between the Latinos and the Americans like their was in the Years passed, everyone got along together. The Boys were amazing this year. It will honestly be hard to move on to which ever team comes back to Beloit next year, because the Twins have set the bar high with their players and conduct. I am really going to miss this team. I remember at the end of last year I looked back on the year and asked myself "What Could I do to get better results (photo wise ) next year, and why do I fell like I didn't do enough this year?" Well it is safe to say that I know that I could not have done better to produce any better results given my limited budget. This year I accomplished all the Goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year. I want to try and look forward to next year, but it is so hard to look ahead into the unknown with so much still uncertain. I wish that we could be able to say The Twins are coming back, and that next year is going to be another helluva run with High Class boys, but I be so sure of that with all the changes coming in the offseason. The Group that the Twins gave us this year in Beloit was an exceptional group, and I am honored that I was able to get to know them so well.
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