09/05/07 — K-Tribe opens playoffs at home tonight

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K-Tribe opens playoffs at home tonight

Published in Sports on September 5, 2007 3:00 PM

KINSTON -- A playoff qualifier for seven consecutive seasons in the Single A Carolina League, Kinston begins defense of its Southern Division championship at home today against Salem.

Game time is 7 p.m. at historic Grainger Stadium.

The K-Tribe (87-52 overall) ended the season on a six-game win streak. They recorded the third-highest, single-season win total in the minor leagues behind San Francisco affiliate Low A Augusta (89-51) and Milwaukee's Triple A affiliate Nashville (89-55).

Salem has equally impressive credentials.

The Avalanche logged the second-best overall record (79-60) among Carolina League teams, including an 8-12 worksheet against Kinston. They lost seven of 10 contests played at Grainger Stadium.

Salem brings CL batting champion Billy Hart (.305 average) to town along with league MVP Mitch Einertson, who mashed 11 home runs and collected 87 RBI. He ranked first in the league with 40 doubles, third in extra-base hits (54), fourth in total hits (136) and fifth in slugging percentage (.482).

The K-Tribe and Avalanche shared the league's top batting average (.271).

Kinston hurler Jim Deters (12-4, 2.24 ERA) is expected to start game one tonight. A mid-season all-star who spent numerous nights in the bullpen, Deters posted the league's lowest ERA and the fourth-most wins. He earned a starting spot on July 24 and made eight consecutive starts from that point.

Deters has seven wins as a starter and five in relief. He's 3-0 with a 1.76 ERA in four outings against Salem this season.

Salem will counter with left hander Sergio Perez (7-10, 4.00), who is 0-3 against the K-Tribe this season.

An affiliate of the Cleveland Indians for 21 seasons, the K-Tribe is making their 11th trip in the last 13 years and 16th overall. Kinston has claimed five Mills Cup titles in 11 tries and is bidding to become just the fifth team to repeat as the Carolina League champion.