What a week it’s been for the Tri-City Dust Devils.
First, they qualified for the Northwest League playoffs, not by winning either the second- or first-half division title, but by coming in as the next best overall won-loss record after the Spokane Indians won both halves of the regular season that ended on Labor Day.
What the Dust Devils did was win the best-of-3 North Division series 2 games to 1.
In the opener last Wednesday, they won it in the top of the 12th when Logan Driscoll drove in the winning run for a 4-3 win.
After dropping Game 2 at Gesa Stadium on Thursday night, 5-1, that forced a third and deciding game on Friday night in Pasco.
Of course, a series like that, you’d expect it to go to extra innings. And it did.
Tied 2-2, the Dust Devils loaded the bases in the bottom of the 10th when Sean Guilbe walked, forcing in the winning run.
Luke Becker went 2-for-3 for the Dust Devils in that deciding game. But it was the relief pitching for the Devils that was key.
Wen-Hua Sung had 2 innings of shutout relief, striking out four. Angel Acevedo picked up the win by throwing a shutout 10th inning.
They celebrated for a few hours, then traveled to Hillsboro on Saturday to open the best-of-5 championship series.
In Game 1 on Saturday, the Dust Devils led most of the game, carrying a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the ninth.
Tri-City starter Ignacio Feliz had a great outing, going 6 innings and striking out seven while surrendering no runs.
But Hillsboro bounced back in that bottom of the ninth, getting a sacrifice fly for a run and cutting the Tri-City lead to 3-2.
Two more runners got on base, and then Andy Yerzy ended it by blasting a line drive over the right field fence for a 3-run homer to end it with a 5-3 Hops victory.
If that devastated the Dust Devils, it didn’t show on Sunday.
Jonny Homza hit a grand slam to highlight a 6-run first inning, helping the Dust Devils go on to a 9-1 victory to even the series at 1-1.
Relievers Jason Reynolds and Sam Keating were especially impressive, combining to throw the final seven innings of shutout ball.
Now everything has moved to Pasco.
Game 3 was Monday night, while Game 4 is Tuesday.
If a Game 5 is necessary, that contest will be played on Wednesday.
All games begin at 7:15 p.m.
Tickets are available online at dustdevilsbaseball.com or at the Dust Devils front office.
Moore gets kudos after Cowboys win
It’s just Week 1 of the NFL season, but Prosser High graduate Kellen Moore is already considered the hottest NFL assistant coach around.
That’s based on the Dallas Cowboys’ 35-17 win over the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon.
Moore, who was the Cowboys’ quarterbacks coach last season, was promoted this past off-season to offensive coordinator.
Dallas rolled up 494 yards of total offense in Sunday’s game.
Every media outlet, and every other person — including Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, to current Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott — praised Moore for his play calling.
Prescott fired four touchdown passes in the win, each one to a different receiver.
And the 494 yards was one of the better Cowboys offensive outputs in years.
But Prescott — who called Moore a genius — said it was the way Moore presented the play each time. Whether putting a receiver in motion, or making some shifts, the plays seemed to confuse the Giants defense.
Prescott said the plays have always been in the team’s playbook, but Moore called a great game, and he made the right calls at the right time.
Moore, for his part, downplayed everything after the game, saying he was just happy Jerry Jones pronounced his first name correctly this time, and not how he used to do it: Kee-len.
Big day for Chiawana grad Dorton
Dre’Sonte Dorton had a huge Saturday for Eastern Washington University’s football team Saturday, as the Eagles rolled past NCAA Division II team Lindenwood 59-31 in Cheney.
Dorton, a Chiawana grad, caught 15 passes for 289 yards, including three TD catches for 78, 19 and 59 yards. The 289 receiving yards set a school record for the Eagles.
In addition, Dorton was named the STATS National FCS Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
Teammate Darreon Moore, a Kamiakin grad playing defensive back, had six tackles in that game, including a quarterback sack, and a pass breakup.
DB Joe Lang (Royal) added five tackles.
Tri-City Americans go 2-1
The Tri-City Americans went 2-1 over the weekend at their own preseason tournament, the 2019 Red Lion Preseason Tournament, at the Toyota Center.
On Thursday, the Americans beat Portland 5-3, as Connor Bouchard scored two goals and goalie Talyn Boyko had 33 saves.
On Friday, the Ams fell 6-1 to the Seattle Thunderbirds. David Homola scored Tri-City’s lone goal.
And on Saturday, Tri-City beat Spokane 4-1, as Samuel Huo scored two goals, and goalies Mason Dunsford and Boyko combined for 43 saves.
The game was played 4-on-4 because the Spokane Chiefs couldn’t field a full roster. The Chiefs have too many players at NHL preseason camps, and too many others are injured. So the Western Hockey League gave the OK for the 4-on-4 waiver.
Tri-City has one more preseason game, Saturday at 7:05 p.m., at the Toyota Center, against Spokane.
The Ams open the regular season on Sept. 20 at Everett. They will play their first five regular-season games on the road before coming home for their Oct. 5 opener against Spokane.