Just three wins separate the York Revolution from the third Atlantic League championship in franchise history.
The Revs secured a berth in the Atlantic League Championship Series with a 5-1 victory over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in Game 4 of the Freedom Division Series on Saturday night, Sept. 23, in front of 3,479 fans at Regency Furniture Stadium. York won the best-of-five division series, 3-1.
The Revs won the division title for the third time in franchise history and first since 2011, and will meet the Long Island Ducks in the best-of-five league title series beginning in Central Islip, New York, on Wednesday evening, Sept. 27. Game 2 in the title series is Thursday evening, Sept. 28, again in Long Island, before shifting to York for Game 3 on Friday evening, Sept. 29. Game 4, if needed, will be Saturday evening, Sept. 30, with Game 5, if needed, on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 1. Game 4 and Game 5 are also slated for York's PeoplesBank Park. The first four games of the series have 6:30 p.m. starts, while Game 5 is slated for a 1 p.m. start.
The championship series match-up is a rematch of the 2011 series, won by York, 3-1. That was the second of two straight Atlantic League championships for York, which is 2-0 in its only two appearances in the league title series.
The clincher: In Saturday's series clincher, the Blue Crabs struck first on a two-out RBI single to left by Devon Rodriguez for a 1-0 lead in the first inning, plating a first-inning run for the third consecutive game.
York answered right away in the second. Luis Cruz led off the inning with a double down the left-field line and moved to third on a Travis Witherspoon groundout. With two outs, Chase Simpson lined a clutch RBI single to right-center, tying the game at 1-1.
The Revs came up empty in a bases-loaded opportunity in the third when Crabs starter Drew Hayes rolled an inning-ending double play, and also missed an opportunity in the fourth when Witherspoon led off with a double but was picked off at second base.
York did cash in with three runs in the fifth, taking control of the game. Jared Mitchell led off with a single to right field. Rubi Silva was denied on a deep drive to center field when Corey Vaughn crashed into the fence and held on for the first out. With one away, however, Mitchell stole second and took third on a throwing error by catcher Luis Alen, setting him up to score on a wild pitch on a strikeout of Telvin Nash to give York a 2-1 lead. Nash reached first on the play and Michael Burgess followed by slamming a two-run homer to right, increasing the lead to 4-1.
Williamson, relievers shine for Revs: Revs starter Logan Williamson was outstanding in earning the win, and did not allow a hit after the first. The lefty surrendered just one run on two hits in five innings, before turning it over to the bullpen.
Joe Van Meter, Grant Sides and Ricardo Gomez each worked scoreless innings to push the game to the ninth.
York added an insurance run in the ninth when Silva led off with a double off the left-field fence and scored when Burgess drilled a one-out RBI double to right, providing the final margin.
Chase Huchingson allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth, but retired Vaughn on a double play and Edwin Garcia on a groundout to short, securing the Revs’ third division title in franchise history.