St. Charles Saints 85-77 vs.
Central Valley Heat 94-68

Game Location Results Win Loss Save
1 at Central Valley Saints 11, Heat 5 A.Manoah(1-0) M.Minor(0-1) M.Fulmer(1)
HR – T.d’Arnaud(1), A.Slater(1), J.Bell(1), V.Caratini(1)
2 at Central Valley Saints 11, Heat 7 B.Singer(1-0) F.Peralta(0-1) G.Crochet(1)
HR – O.Albies(1), J.Gallo(1), A.Riley(1), T.Anderson(1)
3 at St. Charles Heat 5, Saints 4 (10) W.Smith(1-0) A.Reyes(0-1) E.Clase(1)
HR – B.Phillips(1), J.Soto(1)
4 at St. Charles Heat 6, Saints 2 M.Wisler(1-0) Z.Eflin(0-1) None
HR – B.Phillips 2(3), M.Brantley(1)
5 at St. Charles Saints 12, Heat 3 A.Manoah(2-0) M.Minor(0-2) None
HR – B.Phillips(4), T.Anderson(2), J.Soto(2), H.Ramirez(1), T.Barrera(1), A.Rizzo(1)
6 at Central Valley Saints 9, Heat 6 B.Singer(2-0) F.Peralta(0-2) None
HR – J.Soto 2(4), O.Albies(2), A.Riley(2), V.Caratini(2), V.Guerrero(1)

(click game # for boxscore)

St. Charles wins series 4-2

Game 1 –  Travis d’Arnaud drew first blood with a 2-run home run in the top of the 3rd off Mike Minor. Austin Riley’s RBI double put St. Charles up 3-0. Tim Anderson and Anthony Rizzo had RBI singles in the 5th making it 5-zip. Josh Bell excited the Dodger Stadium crowd in the bottom of the 5th, smashing a 3-run shot 404 feet into the bleachers in right-center. Harold Castro’s seeing-eye single in the bottom of the 6th made it a one-run game. David Peralta ripped a triple in the top of the 8th that plated Rizzo and the Saints were up by two. Victor Caratini gave Michael Fulmer’s 2-2 offering a ride 381 feet down the RF line for a leadoff dinger in the bottom half. The Saints blew it wide open in the top of the 9th on a bases-loaded HBP to Rizzo and a grand slam by Austin Slater. SCS takes away home field advantage with the 11-5 win. Alex Manoah earns the win, Minor the loss and Fulmer got the save. Yonathan Daza was 3-4 with 2 doules to lead St. Charles. Rizzo and Peralta were both 2-3. Castro finished 3-4 to top Central Valley.

Game 2 – Josh Bell’s single plated Michael Brantley in the bottom of the first to give Central Valley their first lead of the Divisional Series. It was short-lived as Ozzie Albies hit a 2-run shot to RF in the top of the 2nd, giving St. Charles the 2-1 advantage. The Saints tacked on 3 more in the 3rd with Joey Gallo hitting a solo shot down the RF line and two batters later, Austin Riley giving a fan a souvenir down the LF line that plated Juan Soto, making it 5-1 SCS. Vladimir Guerrero had an RBI single and Bell got another RBI on a fielder’s choice in the bottom half to cut the lead to 5-3. St. Charles tacked on two more in the 4th on Yonathan Daza’s single and Soto’s sac-fly. In the top of the 6th, Tim Anderson made it a 9-3 game with a 2-run shot 352 feet down the LF line. Central Valley made a comeback with an RBI single from Danny Jansen in the 6th, Brantley scoring on a wild pitch in the 7th and a 2-RBI single by Luis Urias in the 8th. With the score 9-7 in the top of the 9th, Albies doubled off the wall in right-center scoring a pair of runs, making the score 11-7. After issuing a one-out walk in the bottom of the 9th, Garrett Crochet got the game-ending doubleplay to earn a save. Brady Singer got the win, Freddy Peralta the defeat. Albies finished 3-5 with a double, home run and 4 RBI. Anderson finished 3-5 with a dinger. Brantley was 3-5 with 3 doubles and 3 runs scored for CVH.

Game 3 – Returning home to US Cellular Field the Saints get off to a fast start plating 7 batters in the bottom of the 1st and taking an early lead 1 to 0 on a Jason Castro walk that scored Juan Soto. Triston McKenzie’s control was an issue from the get go with 4 walks in the 1st inning which translated to his early exit in the 2nd inning. Central Valley tied the game at 1 in the top of the 2nd on a RBI double by Freddy Galvis. The tie game was short lived as the Saints scored 3 in the bottom of the 2nd capped off by a two-run homer by Soto. The game remained 4 to 1 entering the top of the 5th when the Heat added a run on a sac fly from Michael Brantley. Brent Philips tied the game at 4 with a 2 run bomb in the top of the 8th off Carlos Hernandez. Saints manager Brandon Orlando was questioned why Hernandez was in for the 8th and not Garrett Crochet. “Not my best game as a manager” was Orlando’s answer. Extra innings were needed as the game remained tied at 4 through 9. With the infield at normal depth, the Heat plated a run in the 10th on a Michael Taylor grounder to 3rd. Saints couldn’t counter in the bottom half of the 10th. Final score: Heat 5 Saints 4. Will Smith gets the win in relief. Saints lead series 2 games to 1.

Game 4 – Outside of the scoring the first run, the Saints were never in Game 4. Central Valley showed why they were the higher seed and favorite to win this series with a 6 to 2 victory. Zach Eflin pitched great through the first four innings for the Saints giving up only 1 hit. However, the fifth inning was the turning point as the Heat scored three on the backs of Brent Phillips two-run homer and Michael Brantley’s eventual game winning RBI single. Heat added a run in the 7th, 8th and 9th to secure the win on the road. Wisler gets the win in relief. Series tied at 2 heading back to Central Valley.

Game 5 – The Saints finally took advantage of home cooking in Game 5 with a 12 to 3 victory over the Heat. A 5-run 2nd inning with homers from Tres Barrera, Tim Anderson and Anthony Rizzo was all Alex Manoah would end up needing as he pitched solidly over 6 innings, giving up only 2 earned runs and striking out 11 to get the win. The Saints pounded out 14 hits overall with 4 by way of the long ball. Statement game for sure as St. Charles takes the series lead 3 games to 2 heading back to Central Valley.

Game 6 – Game 6 at Dodger Stadium had it all including Saints starter Brady Singer bringing a no-hitter into the 6th inning. The Saints scored first, taking a one-nothing lead in the top of the 2nd with an RBI double from Ozzie Albies. They added another run in the 3rd with an absolute bomb by Juan Soto, plated two more runs in the 4th as Albies went yard, and after a 2 run single by Albies off Brad Boxberger in the 5th, the Saints led 6 to nothing. The Heat had several chances leaving the tying runs aboard in the 6th, 7th, and 9th. The 9th inning was wild as both teams scored 3 runs with the Heat getting a few chances to tie the game up after a costly error by Ozzie Albies, but Alex Reyes closed it out for the Saints, striking out Evan Longoria with two men on to win it 6 to 3. Freddy Peralta went 4-1/3 innings taking his second loss for the Heat and his 12.86 ERA in the ALDS proved to be a major factor in the outcome of the series. The Saints bats proved to be the winning formula in taking the series 4 games to 2 going yard 15 times and scoring 49 runs. Tough to keep up and win a series against a team scoring over 8 runs per game. Series MVP, Juan Soto. .421/.520/1.105/1.625 slash line with 4 HRs and 9 RBIs.