Going deep is one of my favorite phrases in baseball. I don’t care what anyone says, that’s how you win ball games. Especially along with great pitching and defense in big games. Phillies prospects, third baseman Maikel Franco in San Juan, Puerto Rico and left fielder Brian Pointer in Adelaide, South Australia did that in Friday and Saturday games around the globe in post season play.
Franco lined a shot into the left field bleachers at Hiram Bithorn Stadium for the Dominican Republic in the final game of the round robin portion of the Caribbean Series. Maikel would go on to drive in a second run on a single to center in the Dominican’s 3-2 lost to host Puerto Rico. The Dominican team already clinched the second seed in the semi-final games. They will play at noon E.T., Saturday, against Mexico. The game will be televised on ESPN Deportes. If they win, they will play Sunday night against the winner of the Venezuelan/Cuba game later Saturday night.
Franco who had a difficult first three games in the Series going one for 15, broke out with a frozen rope home run and a looping single to center to drive in both of the DR’s runs. But what was just as impressive was Franco’s play at third in the game. He was a vacuum cleaner there gloving hard hit ground ball shot after shot. He handled five, 5-3 ground out assists and a pop up putout in the game effortlessly. Just for good measure he stole second in the top of the ninth where he was stranded before Puerto Rico scored the winning run in the bottom of the inning.
Clearly, Franco is playing major league caliber third base in the field and is now the top young power hitter in all of the Caribbean.
Pointer came up big for the Perth Heat in an elimination game in the best of three Series Saturday for the Australian Baseball League Championship. Coming into the game after losing game one Perth needed a win to save their season. Brian dropped the barrelhead of his bat on a down and in pitch and drove it over the right field fence in the third inning to give Perth a 2-0 lead. He homered just after Matt Kennelly had homered to get the Heat on the board. Perth would comeback in 10 innings to win the game 5-3 to tie up the Series 1-1 going into the now rubber match Sunday night from South Australia. The game will be televised in the U.S.A. on the MLB network on Sunday morning at 3:30 a.m. ET.
Nothing is more impressive for young talent in sports than coming up big when it counts. Franco and Pointer are doing just that in postseason baseball at different venues around the globe. Let’s see if they can do it one or two more times this weekend to finally bring down the curtain on the 2014 baseball season!