BECKLEY, WVa. – The Johnstown Mill Rats swept a doubleheader against the West Virginia Miners on Saturday, taking Game 1 by a 15-10 score and clinching a berth in the Prospect League playoffs, while winning 7-2 in Game 2.
Johnstown (29-31, 17-12) finishes in second place in the Ohio River Valley Division standings and will travel to face first half champion Chillicothe (38-22, 17-12) in a one-game playoff at 6:05 p.m. Sunday.
The Paints took the top spot in the second half as well, giving the Mill Rats the berth for finishing runner-up.
Justin Turcovski led the way offensively for the Mill Rats, going 3-for-3 with a double, six RBIs and three runs scored. Matt Santarelli also tallied three hits and three runs scored while driving in a run. Sam Mast had two hits and scored three times.
Johnstown jumped in front courtesy of a six-run third inning and a five-run fifth. Andrew Kribbs earned the win on the mound for the Mill Rats, who clinched their first-ever playoff berth in just the franchise’s second year. Johnstown finished one game short of a postseason appearance in its inaugural season in 2021.
In Game 2, after trailing 2-0 after two innings, Johnstown scored seven unanswered runs to claim the victory. The Mill Rats tallied two, two and three runs, respectively, in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
Eric Colaco hit a two-run triple for the Mill Rats. Pitcher Josh Cottrill was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Turcovski compiled two hits, an RBI and three runs scored.
Mast, normally a position player, earned the win on the mound after throwing five scoreless innings of relief. He allowed just two hits while walking one batter and striking out eight.