Minors Madness: Play-In Round, the Suffolk Goobers Region
The march through Minors Madness continues.
The Play-In Round for our first region, the Minot Why Nots Region, closed Tuesday night, sending mostly favorites to the Round of 64. Moving on comfortably: the Blue Claws, Dust-Devils, TinCaps, IronPigs, AquaSox, Hops, Storm Chasers, Nuts, Shuckers, GreenJackets and 66ers. The Hops scored the biggest rout of the round, earning 96.9 percent of the vote against the St. Lucie Mets. The IronPigs (over the Springfield Cardinals) and Shuckers (over the Indianapolis Indians) were the other two teams to crest 90 percent of the vote.
But we weren’t upset-free! The No. 19 Tarpons bested the No. 14 Hillcats and the No. 18 Express beat the No. 15 Drillers, both by less than 5 percentage points. And in the tightest showdown of the round, the No. 21 Grasshoppers edged out the No. 12 Woodpeckers by just 17 votes. To put that in perspective, more than 1,200 were cast.
Here are your next round match-ups for the Why Nots Region:
Now we turn your attention to the Suffolk Goobers region, named for the Class D team that played in the Virginia League from 1948 to 1951. The area was known for its peanut farms, and darn if goobers just isn’t the perfect funny word for peanuts. The team played in Peanut Park, which still exists in Suffolk as a public ballpark.
Two teams earned first-round byes. The top-seeded Montgomery Biscuits await the winner of the Arkansas Travelers and the perhaps-underrated Beloit Sky Carp. On the other end of the region, the No. 2 Binghamton Rumble Ponies are poised to take on whichever team survives Corpus Christi Hooks vs. Buffalo Bisons.
A few other region notables. There are three teams in this region named for mountains — the Rainiers, the Lookouts and the Smokies. There are two that feature squirrels as their mascots. Looking for an upset candidate? Don’t discount the No. 27 Worcester Red Sox — or, as they’re usually called, the WooSox. It’s just so fun to say.
As always, the background information for each matchup is included in the poll below, which will remain open until midnight eastern. Check back tomorrow for the results, and the start of the Orange Hoo-Hoos region. (On mobile, use two fingers to scroll down the poll. If you have trouble with the embedded poll, click here to vote. If you’re running into frequent redirect notices when opening links in the poll on mobile, try opening the poll in a separate window.)
(Photo illustration by Eamonn Dalton / The Athletic; Photos: Chris Keane, Michael Chang, Daniel Kucin Jr, Cliff Welch / Getty Images)
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