Southern League Playoffs Begin Thursday

Smokies Vs. Barons And BayBears Vs. M-Braves

Thursday, September 5, 2013
Archie Bradley pitching at AT&T Field.
Archie Bradley pitching at AT&T Field.
- photo by Tim Evearitt
Entering the Southern League's 50th season this year, only one franchise had ever won three consecutive championships. Can Mobile make it two this milestone season?

Mobile BayBears (79-60, South Division champion) vs.
Mississippi Braves (76-63, South Division Wild Card)

Mobile had the best overall record in the league thanks to an impressive pitching staff and will have the advantage of a potential four home games as it faces Wild Card entrant Mississippi in their best-of-5 series beginning Thursday.

The North series will match second-half winner Tennessee, the league's most potent offensive team, against first-half champ Birmingham.

Pitching ruled in the Southern League this season, and no pitcher was more dominant than Mobile's Archie Bradley, who ranked seventh on MLB.com's list of Top 100 Prospects.

The 21-year-old right-hander led the Double-A circuit with 12 victories, despite starting the season in the Class A Advanced California League, and posted a 1.97 ERA with 119 strikeout in 123 1/3 innings.

 Bradley will try to get the BayBears off to a quick start in their quest for a third straight Southern League title, facing Mississippi on Thursday night in the opener of their semifinal series.

Bradley, 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA in two games against Mississippi, won his last six regular-season starts, including a combined no-hitter against Huntsville on Aug. 14. He posted a 1.24 ERA during the closing stretch and allowed just 23 hits in 36 1/3 innings.

It should be a pitching-dominated series as Mississippi was just behind Mobile with a 3.07 ERA and had a 2.73 ERA to Mobile's 2.82 in their 20 head-to-head meetings.

Gus Schlosser is the ace for Mississippi but won't be available to start until the third game as the Braves didn't secure a playoff spot until the final day of the regular season. His ERA of 2.39 ranked third in the league, and he was 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA in four starts against Mobile.

Birmingham Barons (77-63, North Division first-half champion) vs.
Tennessee Smokies (76-62, North Division second-half champion)

The Smokies ran away with the SL North's second-half with a 9.0 game lead over second place Jackson. The Lookouts finished last, 18 games back

The Tennessee Smokies are led by the Chicago Cubs top prospect Javier Baez. In the Lookouts' season series final, Baez hit two gigantic home runs. He drove in 54 runs in 54 games with Tennessee, and his 20 homers ranked fourth in the league despite his late arrival. His OPS was .983 thanks to a .638 slugging mark and he had a .294 batting average.

Those numbers over two months were impossible to ignore, which was why Baez was named to the season-ending All-Star Team in the Southern League, duplicating the honor he won in the Florida State League for his work the first three months of the season.

The Smokies already had the second-half lead in the North Division when Baez arrived, but he made sure they stayed there. Now he'll try to help lead Tennessee to its first Southern League title since being declared co-champion with Mississippi in 2004.

First-half North winner Birmingham certainly knows what Baez can do. He had five homers and 11 RBIs while batting .310 as the Smokies went 6-4 against the Barons in the second half.

Baez is ranked No. 9 among MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects.

---- Source: MiLB.com


Javier Baez
Javier Baez
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt


PREP SCHEDULE

(Please notify us of any schedule changes and times as well as game and match scores at news@chattanoogan.com) Softball: TUESDAY, APRIL 24 Tyner at Brainerd Sequatchie Co. at Notre Dame Howard at Hixson Red Bank at East Ridge Riverdale at Baylor Sale Creek at Meigs Co. Walker Valley at McMinn Co. Soddy Daisy at Bradley Copper Basin at CSAS ... (click for more)

Boseman Fires One-Hitter, Fans 16 In Ooltewah's 6-1 Win Vs. Soddy-Daisy

Ooltewah’s Kayla Boseman threw a one-hitter and struck out 16 Wednesday as the Lady Owls celebrated senior night with a 6-1 victory over Soddy-Daisy at Jim Lovell Field. With the win Ooltewah improved to 25-5 overall and 10-1 in District 5-3A. The Lady Owls have won 11 of their last 12 games, the only loss a 2-0 decision at Walker Valley. Now the Lady Owls turn their attention ... (click for more)

McCallie Coach From 90s Who Is Now Deceased Is Accused Of Abusing Students

A McCallie School coach from the 1990s who is now deceased is being accused of abusing students at the private prep school. Two former students said Steven Lee "Steve" Carpenter sexually abused them. Carpenter was the basketball coach at McCallie for 11 seasons - through 1999. He was boys basketball coach at Ridgeland High School beginning in 2000. Carpenter was ... (click for more)

Famed Radio Broadcaster Tommy Jett Dies At 77 At His Flintstone Home

Legendary radio broadcaster Tommy Jett (Thomas Wayne Reynolds) died Wednesday in his sleep at his residence in Flintstone, Ga.   He was 77. The native of Smithville, Tn., first was heard on Chattanooga radio in 1961 when he joined WFLI. He was known for his gaudy rings and his "Hey Now" greeting. He switched to country on WDOD in the 1980s and later was on "The Legend" ... (click for more)

Pluses And Minuses Of Tennessee's New Opioid Law

It was clear when Governor Haslam announced his TN Together plan in January that lawmakers were going to do something to try to address the state’s opioid abuse epidemic. With the passage of SB 2257/HB 1831, Tennessee now has one of the most comprehensive and restrictive laws of any state.   The Tennessee Medical Association was actively engaged in the process and appreciates ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A True Tennessean

“Last week I told some Republican friends who have held high office, traditional and true Republicans, who like you are both conservative and compassionate, Christians in their personal faith and public service,” the email began. “These are Tennessee Republicans that I have known for decades, and whom I'd trust with my life and my wife … I told them that my views and values make ... (click for more)