Wait Till Next Year For I-Cubs

Shawn Sedlacek pitches against Champion River Cats

On a night that featured stormy skies in Des Moines, Iowa, it was somewhat fitting that the Sacramento River Cats struck twice...

The Iowa Cubs' magical 2004 season came to an end on Friday night at Principal Park as the Sacramento River Cats won their second straight Pacific Coast League Championship with a 3-0 sweep of the I-Cubs.

Jon Weber's 3-run homer off Iowa starter Shawn Sedlacek erased an early 2-0 Cubs lead and set the scenery for the rest of the evening, as Sacramento edged the Cubs 4-3.

For his part, Sedlacek (10-9) fell to 0-2 in the post-season after allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks. He left after just 4 1/3 innings of work, only the third time all season that he failed to go at least five innings in a start.

The Iowa bullpen did its job, holding the Cats scoreless in the final 4 2/3 innings. Right-hander Chris Mabeus got the win in relief of Sacramento starter Britt Rheames. Rheames allowed three runs on six hits in only 4 2/3 innings. Mabeus (12-2) struck out four in 2 1/3 innings of perfect relief.

Right-hander Huston Street, who went from Class Mid A Kane County all the way to Triple-A this season, worked the ninth for his second post-season save and 10th overall this season. Russ Johnson singled with two away off Street to give the Cubs hope before Bill Selby struck out swinging for the final out of the Iowa season. Johnson doubled with nobody out in the first off Rheames to give the Cubs the early lead.

The River Cats players were classy in their post-game celebrations. They rejoiced only momentarily on the Principal Park field with the Cubs contingent looking on, and then moved their post-game party into the visitors clubhouse.

The game lasted 3 hours and 31 minutes officially, and was marred by heavy lightning in the Iowa capitol city.

Iowa officially closed out the 2004 season with a record of 82-69. Of the four PCL division winners, Sacramento ironically enough finished with the worst regular season record of the group at 79-65.

Russ Johnson finished second in batting average for the 2004 playoffs--minimum 22 plate appearances. (Photo/Larry Woolis)
Six Iowa players occupied spots in the Top 10 batting average leaders for the 2004 PCL Playoffs: Johnson (.368), OF Trenidad Hubbard (.324), INF Bill Selby (.310), INF Micah Hoffpauir (.296), INF Donny Leon (.281), INF Gookie Dawkins (.276).

Only league MVP Dan Johnson of Sacramento finished with a better post-season average than Iowa's Johnson.

Iowa Cub tickets for 2005 are already on sale. Visit the team's official website or phone 1-800-GO-ICUBS for information.

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