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Silver Hawks dethrone Whitecaps09/07/2008 12:29 AM ET
By Alan Friedman / Special to MLB.com
The South Bend Silver Hawks made sure the West Michigan Whitecaps wouldn't three-peat.
Patrick McAnaney pitched five one-hit innings and the Silver Hawks scored twice in the seventh Saturday en route to a series-clinching 3-2 victory over the two-time defending Midwest League champions at Fifth Third Ballpark.
"With West Michigan and us, it's been a battle forever," said South Bend manager Mark Haley. "It's a nice rivalry. It's always a good game, a hard game, a clean game.
"Anytime you beat West Michigan, you're really doing something."
McAnaney held the Whitecaps hitless before surrendering a one-out single to Justin Henry in the fourth. The 22-year-old left-hander retired the next four batters and struck out four without issuing a walk before leaving the scoreless contest.
West Michigan's Oscar Robles matched McAnaney, scattering three hits and a walk with eight strikeouts over five shutout frames.
South Bend finally broke through on Collin Cowgill's solo homer in the sixth, but the Whitecaps took the lead in the bottom of the frame on Joseph Tucker's two-run single.
The Silver Hawks jumped in front for good in the seventh when Matthew Oxendine drew a bases-loaded walk and Winston Linton lifted a sacrifice fly.
Bryan Shaw (1-0) picked up the win, despite allowing two runs on three hits and a walk with four strikeouts in two innings. Daniel Schlereth pitched a perfect eighth and Clay Zavada worked around a single in the ninth for his second save of the series.
"McAnaney threw five solid innings and our bullpen was strong," Haley said.
South Bend won the Midwest League title in 2005 before West Michigan captured back-to-back crowns. The Silver Hawks will meet the Dayton Dragons on Sunday in the opener of their best-of-3 second-round series.
"These guys started off 0-9 in April, but they always believed," Haley said of his team. "We said that even though we're struggling in April, let's see where we are in August. The guys pecked away and stuck with it."
Wilton Garcia (0-1) took the loss after surrendering three runs -- one earned -- on two hits in 1 1/3 frames. Box score
In other Midwest League action:
Burlington Bees 4, Cedar Rapids Kernels 2
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.