After an entertaining regular season featuring a playoff race going down to the final weekend of the regular season, the 2018 Can-Am League semifinals begin Wednesday evening with a pair of U.S.-based teams facing Canadian opponents.
(1) Sussex County Miners vs. (4) Trois-Rivières Aigles
Wednesday, September 5 at Trois-Rivières, 7:05 – Corey Jones (SC) vs. TBA (TR)
Thursday, September 6 at Trois-Rivières, 7:05 – TBA vs. TBA
Friday, September 7 at Sussex County, 7:05 – TBA vs. TBA
Saturday, September 8 (if necessary) at Sussex County, 6:05
Sunday, September 9 (if necessary) at Sussex County, 2:05
Sussex County will use the league’s top offense to try to win the first playoff series in Miners franchise history. The team’s lineup boasts three league all-stars: C Luis Alen, 1B Audy Ciriaco and 2B Mikey Reynolds, as well as Rookie of the Year 3B Martin Figueroa. The Miners’ attack is based around their speed game, with a league-record 239 stolen bases this season, 49 of which came against the Aigles.
Trois-Rivières, making its first playoff appearance since 2015, relies on an offense propelled by league Player of the Year Taylor Brennan, whose 32 home runs were second-most in league history, as well as all-star OF Javier Herrera. The team’s pitching is led by staff workhorses RHP Chris Murphy and RHP Kevin McNorton, with 11 and 8 victories on the season, respectively.
Sussex County set league records with 41 home victories and a .759 home winning percentage in 2018. However, the Aigles just finished taking 3 of 4 games in a season-ending series at Skylands Park August 31-September 2.
- Head-to-head in 2018: Sussex County won season series 11-10
- At Skylands Stadium: Sussex County won series 6-4
- At Stade Stéréo+: Trois-Rivières won series 6-5
- Miners in 2018 vs. Aigles: .277 BA, 104 runs scored, 4.42 ERA
- Aigles in 2018 vs. Miners: .260 BA, 94 runs scored, 4.26 ERA
- Previous playoff match-ups: None.
(2) Québec Capitales vs. (3) Rockland Boulders
Wednesday, September 5 at Rockland, 7:00 – Jay Johnson (QUE) vs. David Palladino (ROC)
Thursday, September 6 at Rockland, 7:00 – Brett Lee (QUE) vs. Brian Ernst (ROC)
Friday, September 7 at Québec, 7:05 – Nick Sarianides (ROC) vs. Karl Gélinas (QUE)
Saturday, September 8 (if necessary) at Québec, 6:05
Sunday, September 9 (if necessary) at Québec, 6:05
- Head-to-head in 2018: Québec won season series, 12-9
- At Stade Canac: Québec won series, 8-3
- At Palisades Credit Union Park: Rockland won series, 6-4
- Capitales in 2018 vs. Boulders: .285 BA, 104 runs scored, 3.65 ERA
- Boulders in 2018 vs. Capitales: .228 BA, 82 runs scored, 4.30 ERA
- Previous playoff match-ups:
- 2017 finals: Québec 3 games, Rockland 0
- 2016 semifinals: Rockland 3 games, Quebec 2
Quebec brings the league’s best pitching staff into its finals rematch against the Boulders, with three of the team’s starters among the league’s ERA leaders: LHP Jay Johnson (2.63), RHP Lazaro Blanco (3.36) and RHP Karl Gélinas (3.52). The Capitales’ offense is led by league batting champion and all-star SS Yordan Manduley as well as OF Kalian Sams, who finished seventh in the league with a .311 average.
The Boulders slugged their way into the record books with 145 homers, with C Marcus Nidiffer, OF Mike Montville and 2B/3B Cody Regis each belting 21 round-trippers. All-star OF Kevin Krause finished fourth in the league with a .329 average. Rockland features a strong bullpen led by RHP Kyle Hansen, who led the Can-Am with 18 saves, and RHP Nick Kennedy, who set a league record with 53 appearances.
Both teams play well at their home stadiums, with Québec registering a 36-17 mark at Stade Canac, and Rockland going 35-18 at Palisades Credit Union Park.
All playoff games will be available to watch live for free at CanAmLeague.tv.