TAMPA BAY SPORTS WEEK IN REVIEW – OCTOBER 18
By Leo Haggerty

OCTOBER 12 TO OCTOBER 18

So the Lightning win the Stanley Cup and the Tampa Bay area goes wild. Well, if you think the craziness has subsided, I suggest you think again.

Buckle your seat belt because the ride is going to get wilder.  The Rays are going to the World Series to play the Los Angeles Dodgers starting Tuesday.  The Rowdies advanced to the USL Eastern Conference finals on Saturday.  The Bucs are legitimate playoff contenders after pummeling the Packers.  If you’re a fan of the teams in West-Central Florida, life right now is good.

Here’s what occurred in the Tampa Bay sports universe this week.  Enjoy.

RAYS

MONDAY W 4-2
Tampa Bay goes up 2-zip.  Rays score a trifecta in the 1st and Charlie Morton and Company hold Houston to only two runs.
ONE BIG THING – TB OF Manuel Margot.  Does if with the bat going yard for three runs and glove with the catch of the playoffs.

TUESDAY W 5-2
Rays take a 3-0 series lead.  After falling behind in the 1st TB explodes for five in the 6th to salt it away.  
ONE BIG THING – Tampa Bay bullpen.  Four innings of shutout relief closes the door on the Astros.

WEDNESDAY L 4-3
Astros stave off elimination.  Three Houston hurlers make big pitches when it counts.
ONE BIG THING – Stros 2B Jose Altuve.  Scores two and drives in two with a homer and a double.

THURSDAY L 4-3
Houston cuts the lead to 3-2.  Rays come back to tie it in the 8th but Stros win it in the 9th.
ONE BIG THING – Houston SS Carlos Correa.  Walk off blast keeps the Astors alive.

FRIDAY L 7-4
Astros force a Game 7 with the victory.  Put up four in the 5th and a deuce in the 7th to extend the series after going down 3-0.
ONE BIG THING – Houston SP Framber Valdez.  Lefty mesmerized Rays hitters with a tantalizing curve that allowed a single run on three hits and striking out 9.

SATURDAY W 4-2
Tampa Bay advanced to the World Series.  Score two in the 1st and a singleton in the 2nd and pitchers take it from there
ONE BIG THING  – Rays SP Charlie Morton.  Came up big with 5.2 innings of shutout baseball when TB needed it.

NEXT GAME – TUESDAY AT LOS ANGELES DODGERS

BUCS 

SUNDAY W 38-10
Pewter Pirates move to 4-2 staying on top of the NFC South.  After spotting Green Bay a 10-0 early lead the Bucs roar back with 38 unanswered points for the victory.
ONE BIG THING – Tampa Bay defense.  Buccaneers blitzes had Rodgers befuddled all afternoon causing two interceptions and four sacks of #12.

NEXT GAME – SUNDAY AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS 

ROWDIES

SATURDAY W 1-0
Tampa Bay advances to USL Eastern Conference Finals with a win over Charleston. Zimbabwean S Luck Mkosana cards the only goal.
ONE BIG THING – G Evan Louro.  TB netminder puts up a clean sheet for the Rowdies to survive and advance.

NEXT GAME – SATURDAY AT LOUISVILLE CITY

BULLS 

SATURDAY L 39-37
USF loses a heartbreaker in Philly to Temple.  Have a shot to tie the contest but 2-point play fails.
ONE BIG THING – Bulls settling for field goal.  Up 28-20, and with a chance to run away and hide after an interception, South Florida has to settle for 3 that will haunt them later.

NEXT GAME – FRIDAY VS TULSA

LIGHTNING

NO GAMES SCHEDULED

NEXT GAME – DECEMBER

TORNADOES

NO GAMES SCHEDULED

NEXT GAME – APRIL