The Daytona Cubs Win the Florida State League Championship

C.J. Edwards set the tone on Monday night with five innings of one-hit shutout ball, Ryan Searle pitched four perfect innings in relief of Edwards, Dan Vogelbach drove in the first run and the D-Cubs beat the Charlotte Stone Crabs on Monday night in route to the D-Cubs second FSL Championship in three years. The D-Cubs won 16 of their last 18 games and finished the year with an 80-52 record.

Whether it was the star-driven line-up featuring Javier Baez and Jorge Soler, or the team approach used after their promotions, or the new stars Dan Vogelbach and Kris Bryant, or the “Gang of Four” pitching staff of Pierce Johnson, C.J. Edwards, Corey Black, and Ivan Pineyro, Daytona was able to use whatever means necessary to secure a second half championship and the second best record in the league. All which led to them becoming Florida State League Champions.

Daytona rode sterling pitching throughout the playoffs. Four starters combined for 33 scoreless innings in six starts in the playoffs and the D-Cubs’ staff allowed only four runs, three earned, in 54 post-season innings.

With game summaries for the final series, welcome your 2013 Florida State League Champions, the Daytona Cubs!

High Class-A – Daytona Cubs

(W) The Daytona Cubs opened the Florida State League Championship last Thursday with the same dominance that they showed in the divisional series and beat Charlotte 5-0. Pierce Johnson continued the trend established by starters Corey Black and C.J. Edwards and struck out six of the Stone Crabs in five innings. Jeffrey Lorick recorded a strikeout over his three scoreless innings of work. Zach Cates made the ninth inning a little interesting after he walked the bases loaded with two out before recording his second strikeout to end the ballgame.

Once again, the D-Cubs jumped out ahead early after Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-5 with three RBI) singled to lead off the game, moved to third on a double by Zeke DeVoss (2-for-2), and scored on a groundout. Anthony Giansanti started the second inning with a double. Wes Darvill (1-for-4) reached on a dropped third strike and Elliot Soto walked. Chen then laced a double to left that cleared the bases. Daytona added a run in the fourth when DeVoss walked and scored on a double from Dustin Geiger (2-for-4 with two RBI).

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(W) Daytona moved to within a game of clinching the Florida State League Championship on Saturday when they shut out Charlotte 2-0. Ivan Pineyro became the fourth straight Daytona starter to pitch five or more scoreless innings while striking out at least five batters. Pineyro struck out seven batters in seven innings. After a quick eighth inning, Frank Del Valle had some trouble setting down the side in the ninth. Del Valle allowed the tying runner to get in scoring position before working his way out of the jam for the save.

Saturday was a pitcher’s duel but the D-Cubs were able to scratch out a run in the first after Dustin Geiger (1-for-4) singled and scored on a double by Dan Vogelbach (1-for-3 with a RBI). Daytona added insurance in the seventh after Kris Bryant (1-for-4) led off with a double and scored on a double from Chadd Krist (2-for-3 with a RBI).

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(L) Daytona had a chance to wrap up the championship on Sunday but after a long rain delay in the eighth inning, the D-Cubs lost 3-2 on a walk-off single by Jonathan Quinonez off Zach Cates in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Charlotte Stone Crabs scored all three of their runs in the eighth and ninth innings after Corey Black tossed six-plus innings of shutout ball to start the game. Black allowed only one hit with two walks and two strikeouts. Jeffrey Lorick served up a solo homer to Jonathan Quinonez in the eighth, the first run allowed by D-Cubs’ pitching in 43 post-season innings.

Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4 with a RBI) and Chadd Krist (1-for-3 with a double and a RBI) drove in Daytona’s two runs and Kris Bryant (1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) scored the second run on Krist’s double in the seventh. Pin-Chieh Chen (3-for-4 with a run scored) and Zeke DeVoss (1-for-2 with a walk) set the table but the D-Cubs went 1-for-5 with RISP in the loss.

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(W) After a heartbreaking loss on Sunday, Daytona was able to put everything behind them and held Charlotte in check on Monday. The D-Cubs beat the Stone Crabs 4-0 to become Florida State League Champions! C.J. Edwards put together his second consecutive solid effort in the post-season. Edwards struck out three in five scoreless innings. The Stone Crab batters were not able to get any good swings at Ryan Searle either. Searle retired 12 straight batters that included one strikeout in four innings to pick up the save.

The D-Cubs continued their trend of jumping out ahead in the first inning. Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-5) singled to lead off. One out base hits by Dustin Geiger (1-for-4) and Dan Vogelbach (3-for-4 with a RBI) plated Chen with the first run. Anthony Giansanti (1-for-4) and Chadd Krist (2-for-4) began the second inning with singles. Giansanti scored on an error and a base hit by Wes Darvill (2-for-4 with a RBI) plated Krist with the third run. It would stay that way until the ninth when Krist singled, moved to second on a passed ball, and scored on a base hit from Elliot Soto (1-for-3 with a RBI).

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