Edmonton, AB – The Edmonton Capitals captured the North Division Championship Series and advanced to the North American League final on Sunday with a 9-2 series-clinching victory over the provincial rival Calgary Vipers in front of a packed ballpark of 3,395 fans.
After dropping two of the first three games of the NDCS, the Caps rattled off three straight victories Friday through Sunday to capture the division championship, following up on their North Division regular season title.
The Caps now host the entire NAL championship series against the South Division champion Rio Grande Valley WhiteWings, with Game 1 of the best-of-seven affair scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. The best-of-seven series continues Friday through Sunday, with games if necessary the following Tuesday through Thursday.
NAL championship tickets will be available Tuesday at noon at all Ticketmaster outlets, at the Capitals Box Office (10233 – 96 Ave) during regular business hours Monday through Friday, online at capsbaseball.ca or via phone at 780-414-GOAL (4625).
Catcher J.D. Closser was a one-man wrecking crew for the Caps on Sunday, going 4-for-5 at the plate with a home run, a double, three RBI and one run scored, in addition to making an outstanding run-saving tag at home on Vipers outfielder Drew Miller. First baseman Brent Metheny also had a big game, going 3-for-5 with a double and three runs scored, while centre fielder Steve Brown went 3-for-5 with a double, one RBI and one run scored.
On the mound, the Caps got a great start from Dallas Buck, who tossed seven innings and gave up just one run on six hits with four strikeouts. Jorge Vasquez came on in relief in the eighth and tossed a perfect inning, while Tom Boleska came in for the ninth and gave up one run before closing out the momentous win.