Minor League Roundup: Potomac Wins The Carolina League

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.

International League • AAA

Championship Series: Durham (Rays) 4, Pawtucket (Red Sox) 3; Series tied, 1-1

Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson (Photo by Mike Janes)

Pawtucket sent lefthander Brian Johnson, and his Eastern League-best 1.75 ERA, to the hill looking to take a commanding series lead in Game 2. In his Triple-A debut, Johnson, a former first-round pick out of Florida, did not disappoint. He went six innings, allowed two runs on four hits and three walks and struck out seven before yielding to Miguel Celestino before the seventh. He left his bullpen with a one-run edge, which proved to be to slim a margin. With one out in the ninth, Pawtucket closer Heath Hembree allowed a game-tying blast to Durham first baseman Vince Belnome. From there, the Bulls, the reigning IL champs, did what they do best: Win. Belnome led off the 11th with a walk and moved to second on Ryan Lavarnway‘s catcher’s interference. Veteran Mike Fontenot followed with the go-ahead single, and Adam Liberatore closed things out in the ninth. Durham outfielder Mikie Mahtook reached Johnson for a two-run homer, and trade acquisition Nick Franklin collected two hits. Cuban import Rusney Castillo went 1-for-4 with a run and a walk for Pawtucket.

Pacific Coast League • AAA

Championship Series: Reno (Diamondbacks) 4, Omaha (Royals) 2;  Series tied, 1-1

Omaha leadoff man Whit Merrifield went 4-for-4 with a double and a run, but that wasn’t enough to propel the Storm Chasers to a two-game series lead. Instead, Bradin Hagens locked down the rest of the Omaha lineup, and Reno evened the championship series. Hagens tossed six innings of five-hit, one-run ball with three strikeouts and two walks in the win. Leadoff man and shortstop extraordinaire Nick Ahmed doubled and drove home two runs, and nine-hole hitter Mike Freeman drove in the other two Reno runs. Omaha reliever Christian Binford pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings in the loss.

Eastern League • AA

Brandon Nimmo (Photo by Mike Janes).

Brandon Nimmo (Photo by Mike Janes).

Championship Series: Binghamton (Mets) 5, Richmond (Giants) 2; Binghamton leads, 2-0

Tyler Pill threw six solid innings, and four relievers in back of him allowed just one hit over the final three innings to give the B-Mets a two-game series lead heading back to NYSEG Stadium. Leadoff man Brandon Nimmo went 2-for-5 with two RBIs in the win. Dustin Lawley and Kyle Johnson each doubled for the B-Mets, and Darrell Ceciliani and Xorge Carrillo each drove in runs in the win. For Richmond, Cuban free agent Daniel Carbonell collected two more hits, including a triple, and Clayton Blackburn pitched five innings of three-run ball. Righthander Kyle Crick was touched for two runs in an inning of work.

Southern League • AA

Championship Series: Jacksonville (Marlins) 5, Chattanooga (Dodgers) 3; Jacksonville leads, 1-0

Shortstop Corey Seager, one of the best prospects in the game, swatted a two-run homer, but that wasn’t enough to give Chattanooga an edge over Jacksonville. Catcher J.T. Realmuto went 2-for-3, scored twice, walked twice and drove home a run, and journeyman outfielder Joe Benson doubled and drove in a run as well. First baseman Viosergy Rosa also doubled, walked and drove in a run. Jose Urena gave Jacksonville 5 1/3 innings of three-run ball with seven strikeouts, and a quartet of relievers held the Lookouts to one hit the rest of the way.

Texas League • AA

Championship Series: Tulsa (Rockies) 5, Midland (Athletics) 2; Series tied, 1-1

Max Muncy

Max Muncy (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

Chris O’Dowd‘s two hits led a balanced Tulsa attack with a pair of hits, and that was enough to help the Drillers even their set with the Rockhounds. Shortstop prospect Trevor Story walked and scored in the win, and third baseman Cristhian Adames went 1-for-4 with an RBI as well. Midland’s two runs came via solo home runs from prospects Daniel Robertson and Max Muncy. Starter Tyler Anderson went three innings before handing off to reliever Richard Castillo for three more innings of one-hit relief.

Carolina League • Hi A

Championship Series: Potomac (Nationals) 12, Myrtle Beach (Rangers) 7; Potomac wins series, 3-1

Hector Silverstre and two relievers held the Pelicans to five hits, and Potomac claimed the Carolina League crown. The Nos. 2-6 hitters in the Potomac lineup—Tony Renda, Shawn Pleffner, John Wooten and Randolph Oduber—went a combined 7-for-14 in the win. Renda slapped a triple and scored twice, and Oduber clubbed a three-run in the first inning off of Myrtle Beach starter Luis Parra, who exited after allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings. After Silverstre exited, Manny Rodriguez and Gilberto Mendez threw three perfect innings with four strikeouts to seal the championship.

California League • Hi A

Scheduled off-day

South Atlantic League • Lo A

Scheduled off-day

Midwest League • Lo A

Championship Series: Kane County (Cubs) 4, Lake County (Indians) 3; Kane County leads, 1-0

Jen-Ho Tseng (Photo by Bill Mitchell).

Jen-Ho Tseng (Photo by Bill Mitchell).

Righthander Jen-Ho Tseng gave the Cougars five innings of three-run ball with eight punchouts against just one walk, and the Cougars nipped the Captains in Game 1 of their set. Leadoff man Shawon Dunston singled three times, scored twice and drove in a run, and catcher Mark Zagunis slammed a two-run homer to immediately erase Lake County’s opening salvo. Jeimer Candelario also singled twice in the win. Lake County’s Bradley Zimmer, Cleveland’s first-rounder from this June’s draft, was 2-for-2 with a double, a run and a walk.

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