Audio: DeVries goes the distance
Audio: Santiesteban breaks it open
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Cole DeVries tossed a four-hitter and Danny Santiesteban homered and drove in three runs Saturday as the Beloit Snappers cruised past the Clinton LumberKings, 6-1, in Game 1 of the Midwest League Western Division Finals.
DeVries (1-0), who went 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two regular-season appearances against Clinton, fell one out shy of a complete game shutout. He took a three-hitter into the ninth inning and retired the first two batters before surrendering a home run to Chad Tracy.
The 22-year-old right-hander quickly recovered and retired Mauro Gomez on a groundout to finish off his first career complete game and he was certainly enjoying the moment.
"It was pretty exciting and a lot of fun to go the whole game like that," DeVries said. "I feel ecstatic right now."
Making his first career playoff appearance, DeVries yielded four hits and struck out five without a walk. He retired the side in order four times and allowed just two runners to reach second before Tracy's homer and despite the hiccup in the ninth, the young righty said everything felt good on the mound.
"To be honest, everything was working," DeVries said. "I felt like I could locate any of my pitches at any time."
The University of Minnesota product, who was signed by the Twins as an non-drafted free agent in August 2006, went 9-5 with a 3.41 ERA in 27 games, including 25 starts, in his first professional season. He called Saturday's outing one of his two best this season, despite the pressure situation.
"I wasn't totally nervous at the start of the game, but in the ninth inning I started to feel some nerves and felt the adrenaline kick in," DeVries said. "I really had to calm myself down."
He did not think that led to Tracy's homer, adding there was no way he wasn't going to finish the game.
"I was frustrated to lose [the shutout], but I had to get rid of the disappointment quickly and get the next batter, which I was able to do," he said. "I wasn't sure if I was coming out [after the home run], but I didn't want to and would have yelled out the coaches if they tried to pull me. I really wanted to finish the game."
Santiesteban, who had two hits, drove in a run with a groundout in the fourth and another when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in a three-run fifth. He capped his night with a solo homer, his first of the postseason, in the seventh.
Rene Tosoni was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI and Steven Singleton chipped in a run scoring single in the sixth for the Snappers.
With one win in the books, the Scrappers are feeling confident heading into Game 2 on Sunday back in Beloit.
"We were all extremely happy tonight. We had a good performance on the mound and in the batter's box. We really played a complete game," DeVries said. "If we play anything like we did tonight, get another solid outing and the bats produce like they did today, I think we should win tomorrow."
Clinton starter Jared Hyatt (0-1) allowed one run on four hits and one walk with four strikeouts over four innings.
Chris Kemp and David Paisano doubled for the LumberKings.
Chip Haunss is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.