An Akron win. A Harrisburg loss.
Either scenario was all the Aeros needed to clinch a spot for the fourth consecutive season in the Eastern League playoffs that begin next week.
But as anyone who has followed the team through the second half of the season can attest, even the added help of a double header in which to garner a win Thursday night wasn't guaranteed to be enough for the struggling squad.
But starter Ryan Edell put up a solid 5 2/3 innings that included seven strikeouts.
Catcher Wyatt Toregas put the Aeros on the board with a solo home run in the fifth inning.
And finally, a timely two-run triple off the bat of Matt Whitney supplied a pair of insurance runs as the Aeros rode a 3-0 victory over visiting Altoona into the post season despite being shut out in the nightcap 1-0.
"It's always awesome to be able to come up with a big hit in a game, especially one in which you can clinch," Whitney said as the team celebrated with bottles of champagne and countless cans of Miller Lite. "And now we're finally in the playoffs. Now, anything can happen.''
With the wild card secured, the Southern Division Playoff Series kicks off Wednesday in Bowie with a pair of games. It then switches to Canal Park Friday for Games Three and Four (if necessary). If a Game Five is needed, the teams will play the pivotal game Sunday in Bowie.
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