Longoria blasts Biscuits into Finals

Walk-off homer completes first-round sweep of Suns

(Montgomery Biscuits)

September 9, 2006 7:28 PM

Evan Longoria's two-run, walk-off homer sent the Montgomery Biscuits into the Southern League Championship Series with a 2-0 blanking of the Jacksonville Suns on Saturday.

The blast gave Montgomery a sweep of the best-of-5 series and set up a Finals showdown with the Huntsville Stars. The Southern League Championship Series begins Tuesday in Huntsville.

Suns starter T.J. Nall allowed three hits and a walk with eight strikeouts over eight scoreless frames, but Mark Alexander (0-1) surrendered a one-out single to John Raburn in the ninth.

Raburn moved to second on a wild pitch and took third on catcher Brad Cresse's throwing error. Justin Ruggiano struck out before Longoria deposited a pitch over the left-field wall.

The home run was the latest highlight for Longoria, who was selected by Tampa Bay with the third overall pick in the June draft. He started his pro career by hitting .424 in eight games with Hudson Valley of the New York-Penn League, then batted .327 with eight homers and 28 RBIs in 28 games with Class A Advanced Visalia. He was promoted to Montgomery in early August and hit .267 with six homers and 19 RBIs in 26 games.

The dramatic blast made a winner of Mitch Talbot (1-0), who struck out 14 without issuing a walk in a complete-game five-hitter. Talbot, who posted a 1.90 ERA in 10 regular-season starts for the Biscuits, went the distance for the first time this year.

Jacksonville almost got on the board in the ninth as Jimmy Rohan and Tony Abreu singled to put runners at first and second with two outs. Tydus Meadows followed with a base hit to right field, but Ruggiano fired a strike to catcher Ryan Christianson to nail Rohan at the plate.

Meadows went 2-for-4 and Chin Lung Hu broke up Talbot's perfect game bid with a one-out single in the sixth.

Max Lance 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.

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