Dust Devil Fans Set Records In Season Finale WinPosted: Updated:
The Tri-City Dust Devils set two team records in their final regular season game, but neither was accomplished on the field. They were set in the stands. The Dust Devils broke the team record for single game attendance, drawing a crowd of 3,811, who watched Tri-City beat the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, 3-1.
Tri-City (44-32, 22-16) also broke their single-season attendance record for the fifth straight year. A total of 85,953 fans watched the Dust Devils put together a Northwest League-best 28-10 home record.
The team sent the record-crowd home happy, finishing off a series in which they won four of five against the Volcanoes. With the series win, Tri-City tied their season series with Salem-Keizer and finished the season without losing a season series to any opponent, the first time they've accomplished that feat.
Tri-City was led by shortstop Taylor Featherston, who shined both at bat and on the field. Featherston had a RBI-groundout in the second inning for the game's first run and hit a RBI-triple in the fourth inning to put his team up 3-0. Featherston dazzled with the leather, turning a double play by laying out for a hard-hit groundball and then flipping it to the second baseman Sam Mende with his glove. Outfielder Juan Crousset finished the game 2-for-3 with one RBI.
Featherston's defense helped starting pitcher Chris Jensen (2-1) put together his best professional start. The sixth round pick from UC San Diego tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits while striking out a season-high eight Volcanoes batters.
The Dust Devils came just short of setting another record. Reliever Rafael Suarez allowed an RBI-infield hit to Volcanoes outfielder Jesus Galindo in the eighth inning to break the shutout. It would have been Tri-City's record-setting 11th shutout of the season. Nelson Gonzalez picked up his third save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.
Volcanoes starting pitcher Kendry Flores (4-3) picked up the loss, allowing three runs on four hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Tri-City will play the Boise Hawks in the Eastern Division Series starting on Monday at Memorial Stadium in Boise. The Hawks beat the Vancouver Canadians Saturday, 8-2, to clinch the wildcard berth. Despite the loss, Vancouver clinched the wildcard spot in the West Division after the Everett AquaSox lost in Spokane.
The first pitch of game one in Boise will be tossed at 5:45pm Pacific Standard Time and can be heard live on Newstalk 870 KFLD. Game two will be played at Gesa Stadium on Tuesday at 7:15pm and game three, if necessary, will be played Wednesday at Gesa Stadium at the same time. Christian Bergman (7-5, 2.59) will start on the mound in game one.