Medford, OR--The magic finally ran out for the Portland Pickles on Wednesday night at Harry & David Field, as the Pickles were eliminated from the playoffs after dropping the decisive third game of the first round series. The Rogues scored six runs in the first inning, and went on to win 12-6.
The Rogues' six run first inning featured a bases-clearing double from Dante Gutierrez, an RBI single from Connor Lowrie and a two-run homer from Braden Stutzman. Jake Hellweg gave the Rogues an RBI double in the second inning and a fourth inning solo home run. Lowrie drove in two runs in the second inning on another single and Gutierrez also drove in two runs in the seventh inning on a single.
For the Pickles, Tate Budnick drove in three runs, including his first home run of the season in the eighth inning. Budnick also pitched the final 1.1 innings. Colin Rubino hit a two-run single in the fourth inning and Matt Starcovic hit an RBI double in the fifth inning. Matt Hardy finished with two hits and two runs scored for Portland. Daniel Lopez also had two hits.
Zach Johnson took the loss for Portland, recording two outs to start the game and allowing six runs, though none of them were earned due to a costly first inning error on a likely double play ball. Dustin Redish went 2.2 innings and struck out seven Rogues batters.
Payton Fuller finished with a no-decision in a start for the Rogues, going 3.2 innings and allowing three earned runs, walking three and striking out five. Malik Evans earned the win, allowing two runs in 1.1 innings.
The Rogues will face the Chico Heat on Friday at Nettleton Stadium in Chico for the first game of the best-of-three game championship series. It will be a rematch of last year's championship series, which the Heat won in three games.