Minor League Roundup: Championship Series Set

With the minor league season done, it's time to turn the attention to playoffs. We'll round up the action, with a focus on teams' Top 30 Prospects as well. There were just a few games on Sunday, but championship series are set in five leagues.

International League • AAA

Championship Series (Durham (Rays) vs. Pawtucket (Red Sox)) begins Tuesday in Pawtucket.

Pacific Coast League • AAA

Championship Series (Omaha (Royals) vs. Reno (Diamondbacks)) begins Tuesday in Reno.

Eastern League • AA

Championship Series (Richmond (Giants) vs. Binghamton (Mets)) begins Tuesday in Richmond.

Southern League • AA

Tyler Wagner
Tyler Wagner (Photo by Cliff Welch)

Huntsville (Brewers) 3, Chattanooga (Dodgers) 0; Series tied, 2-2

The Brewers’ breakout prospect, Tyler Wagner, continued the strong run he had this season with high Class A Brevard County, this time in the playoffs for the Stars. The righthander, who worked to a league-best 1.86 ERA in the Florida State League, fired six, two-hit, shutout innings at the Lookouts with a walk and four strikeouts. David Goforth allowed one hit over the final three innings to seal the win. Robinzon Diaz had two hits and an RBI to back his pitchers, and Nick Shaw, Orlando Arcia and Tyrone Taylor drove in the other three runs.

Texas League • AA

Championship Series (Midland (Athletics) vs. Tulsa (Rockies)) begins Tuesday in Tulsa.

Carolina League • Hi A

Championship Series: Potomac (Nationals) 3, Myrtle Beach (Rangers) 0; Series tied, 1-1

Dakota Bacus, Manny Rodriguez and Gilberto Mendez combined to surrender only five hits in a series-tying shutout of the Pelicans on Sunday night. The trio struck out seven and walked three (all from the starter Bacus). Designated hitter John Wooten gave the P-Nats all the offense they needed when he clubbed a three-run homer off of Pelicans reliever Cody Kendall in the sixth inning. Wooten was 2-for-3 on the afternoon. Game three is scheduled for Tuesday after a travel day on Monday.

Florida State League • Hi A

Billy McKinney
Billy McKinney (Photo by Mike Janes)

Championship Series: Daytona (Cubs) 8, Fort Myers (Twins) 7; Fort Myers leads, 2-1

On Saturday, Willson Contreras‘ three-run homer in the eighth inning gave the D-Cubs the edge they needed to overcome a late deficit and get them on the board in the best-of-five Florida State League Championship Series. Contreras was 3-for-3 on the afternoon with two runs and four RBIs and came a triple from the cycle. Ben Carhart and Billy McKinney added two hits apiece in the win, and No. 9 hitter Marco Hernandez drove in two runs. After Nathan Dorris and Yao-Lin Wang were shelled for the first six innings, a trio of relievers came in and held the fort while their offense rallied. Fort Myers’ Stuart Turner and Dalton Hicks combined for seven of their team’s 13 hits and drove in five of their seven runs.

California League • Hi A

Division Series: Lancaster (Astros) 5, Inland Empire (Angels) 2; Lancaster leads series, 2-0

Kent Emanuel stifled the 66ers for six innings, and the bullpen threw blanks the rest of the way to put Lancaster on the brink of the championship round. Emanuel fanned one during his outing while surrendering two runs on four hits and a pair of walks. The bottom of the Jethawks’ order—Danry Vasquez, Roberto Pena and Jack Mayfield—did most of the damage, combining for six hits and three RBIs. Vasquez swatted a solo homer in the second inning, and leadoff man Brett Phillips was 1-for-5 with an RBI.

Division Series: Visalia (Diamondbacks) 7, Bakersfield (Reds) 5; Visalia leads series, 2-0

Using a 13-hit attack that featured multi-hit efforts from four players, the Rawhide topped the Blaze to put themselves a game away from the championship round. Leadoff man Kevin Medrano was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Alex Glenn and Socrates Brito had two hits apiece, and Breland Almadova collected three knocks. Marquez Smith and Juan Perez had two hits each for Bakersfield, and Sebastian Elizalde homered in the loss. Flamethrower Enrique Burgos got the final four outs.

South Atlantic League • Lo A

Championship Series (Asheville vs. Hagerstown) begins Monday in Asheville.

Midwest League • Lo A

Semifinals: Kane County (Cubs) 4, Cedar Rapids (Twins) 2; Kane County wins series, 2-0

Bradley Zimmer (Photo by Mike Janes).
Bradley Zimmer (Photo by Mike Janes).

Paul Blackburn spun five one-hit innings with seven punchouts, and the bullpen did the rest as the Cougars topped the Kernels and moved into the championship, where they’ll play Lake County for the crown. Shortstop Carlos Penalver had three hits, including the decisive two-run homer in the seventh inning. Jacob Rogers‘ solo blast got the Cougars on the board in the sixth. Cedar Rapids’ John Curtiss matched Blackburn with five one-hit frames of his own before his bullpen blinked in the late innings.

Semifinals: Lake County (Indians) 5, Fort Wayne (Padres) 4; Lake County wins series, 2-0

Nellie Rodriguez‘s three-run blast got the Captains on the board in the fourth inning, and Bradley Zimmer added two hits and two runs in the win. Dorssys Paulino had a sac fly to give Lake County its fourth run before Fort Wayne first baseman Jake Bauers failed to scoop Trea Turner’s low throw in the eighth, allowing the winning score to come home. Trevor Frank fanned two in the ninth to finish the game and set up a date with Kane County for a championship.

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