Before turning his attention to first-round opponent Akron, whom he has never faced, Richmond's Ty Blach went out and dominated against Binghamton one last time.
The Giants' sixth-ranked prospect tossed seven two-hit innings Sunday before the Flying Squirrels blanked the Mets, 1-0, in a battle of Eastern League playoff teams.
"Great way to kind of end the regular season, build some momentum heading into the playoffs," Blach said. "You always want to end on a high note in the regular season. Perfect way to do that for me."
In 25 starts this year, the 23-year-old left-hander went 8-8 with a 3.13 ERA that ranks fifth in the league and 91 strikeouts against 39 walks over 141 innings. In three starts against Binghamton, he yielded one run over 19 innings. He hopes to enjoy similar success against Akron when he takes the mound Friday in Game 3 of the Western Division finals.
Blach did not pitch in any of the seven meetings between the Flying Squirrels and RubberDucks, a series Richmond won, 4-3.
"It'll be a good challenge playing those guys," said the 2012 fifth-round pick, who was 0-1 with a 2.19 ERA in two postseason starts with Class A Advanced San Jose last year. "They've had a good team all year and we're looking forward to it. We're going to come out there and just do what we've done and throw the ball well and hopefully get some timely hitting and win a few more ballgames."
In his final regular-season start, Blach issued one walk apiece in the first, second and fourth innings. He gave up his first hit when Xorge Carrillo singled leading off the fifth but followed that by getting Wilfredo Tovar to ground into a double play.
Brian Burgamy doubled with two outs in the sixth for Binghamton's second hit, but Blach stranded him at second by getting Jayce Boyd to fly out.
"I think the big thing was that I was able to get ahead of a lot of guys today," the Creighton product said. "It was a hot day, kind of a muggy day out there, so just being able to get ahead and work ahead to kind of keep the hitters down a little bit, I think that was key for me."
Blach threw 59 of 80 pitches for strikes, inducing 10 groundouts and six flyouts. For the fourth time this season, he did not allow a run while going at least six innings.
"It helps getting into a rhythm like that and being able to just throw a lot of strikes and execute a lot of pitches," he said. "Whenever you can do that as a pitcher, it makes it easier to kind of build on that next outing, being able to kind of get in that same rhythm. So hopefully, this carries over."
Richmond didn't scratch a run across until its starter had departed. Myles Schroeder led off the eighth with a single off reliever Jon Velasquez, stole second and came home on Elliott Blair's two-out single up the middle.
Velasquez (4-4) was charged with a run on two hits in one inning. Edwin Quirarte (11-7) pitched a 1-2-3 eighth for the win and Steven Okert worked around a hit with two strikeouts in the ninth for his fifth save.
Binghamton starter Gabriel Ynoa -- the Mets' No. 12 prospect -- allowed three hits over seven innings, fanning six and walking one.