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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 11:50 am 
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Most people would credit the dual arms of Enrique Gomez and Arthur Dempster for the Rockville Pikemen being in the Doubleday Series. The two starters did, after all, combine for 27.1 innings and just nine earned runs. But the offense was led by Valeri Kharlamov's .333 batting average - and two teenagers. A pair of 19 year olds, Larry Blake and Francisco Flores, combined for 15 hits in 32 at bats and doubtless are a big reason the Pikemen find themselves in the next round.

"This is like a dream come true," said Blake, who won the starting 3B job in September after a .895 OPS in September. "I never even dreamed I would be in the majors this year much less in any way responsible for the team winning a playoff series."

Blake went 10 for 20, driving in five of the Pikemen's 16 runs in the series and hitting four doubles. Flores, in more limited action, went 5 for 12, also with four doubles.

"You gotta give it up for Larry," said Flores. "He and I were former top first rounders and we're doing a heckuva job lighting it up right now, and we're really excited."

Flores' contributions were expected; the star catcher finished second in the BBA in batting average this season. Blake, on the other hand, rose through three minor league levels this year. After crushing high-A Eau Claire and AA Winston Salem, the third baseman got a callup in September and showed how ready he was.

"This is such a great young ballclub, and we didn't even mention Chuckie Puckett," said Kharlamov. "I'm excited to be a part of this organization."


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 11:57 am 
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Flores' bat isn't surprising, but his defense has been much better than I would have expected.

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 12:17 pm 
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Flores is such a wonderful young player.


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