Having clinched a playoff berth on Thursday, the Salt Lake Trappers began cleaning up the loose ends on their season, Friday night.
First item on the agenda included addressing the Idaho Falls Gems. Though a Trapper win and a Helena loss Thursday assured the Trappers of the Southern Division title, they showed little interest in letting up. J.D. Ramirez's two-run homer in the fifth inning led the Trappers to a comeback 4-3 win at Derks Field."We were just out there having fun," said Trappers' manager Nick Belmonte. "This is the first time all year - in 75 games - that there was no pressure."
Item Two was the matter of the Pioneer League batting title. Going into Friday's game, Salt Lake's Tim Clark and J.D. Ramirez were one-two in the league. While Clark didn't play - resting up for the playoffs - Ramirez was there in full force. He drove in a run in the first inning and homered with a man on in the fifth, going 2-for-3 on the night and driving in three runs.
Ramirez's strong night pulled him to within five percentage points of Clark (Ramirez is at .351 and Clark .356). Belmonte said Clark will return to the lineup in today's season finale.
The Gems took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, helped by a Trappers fielding error. But Salt Lake came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Ramirez singled in the first run and Bill Vosik's ground-out scored a run and gave the Trappers a lead.
Idaho Falls went back ahead with a two-run third on Ralph Garr's two-run homer.
Salt Lake starter George Kerfut improved his record to 10-2, and became the league's first 10-game winner this year.