The minor league season is over. The Down East Wood Ducks are Carolina League co-champions.
Rangers Farm Report: Games of Friday 8 September Box Scores High-A: Down East 2, at Buies Creek (HOU) 1 (7)
Down East wins Carolina League semifinals 2-0
SP Brett Martin : 2.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 0 SO
RP Emerson Martinez: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB
RP Jeffrey Springs: 0.1 IP, 0 R, 1 BB
RP Scott Williams: 2 IP, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO
CF Matt Lipka: 1-3, HR, walk
RF Preston Scott: 1-3, double
DH Evan Van Hoosier: 2-3, SB
On August 17, the Wood Ducks were 7.5 games behind Buies Creek in the second-half division race and 50-73 overall. Now, they're co-champions of the Carolina League, sharing the title with the winner of today's deciding game between Frederick and Lynchburg.
Brett Martin, uniquely dominant in Game 1 of last year's finals for High Desert, didn't have it yesterday. The control was lacking, the contact was hard, and he retired only five of 12 batters. Two double plays and an out on the bases prevented serious damage, and Myrtle Beach would rue the lost opportunities. Emerson Martinez replaced Martin with two out and runners at the corners in the 3rd and got the final out.
A 1st-inning run put Down East behind, but in the 2nd, Preston Scott hit a one-out double, advanced to third on an Evan Van Hoosier single, and scored on a throwing error when Van Hoosier broke for second. In the 3rd, Matt Lipka homered for the second time in the series.
Martinez was in form, dealing a nice slider, but his leash was short. With two outs and a runner on third in the 5th, acting manager Steve Mintz intentionally walked rehabbing catcher Wilson Contreras and called for lefty Jeffrey Springs to face the lefty Vimael Machin. Pitching for the second day in a row, Springs didn't look his best and walked Machin, but the righty Jesse Hodges lined hard directly to Scott in right field to leave the bases loaded.
Scott Williams dealt the last two innings, retiring six straight after walking his first batter. None other than Contreras strode to the plate with two out in the 7th. Williams induced a popup to second baseman Luis La O, and the Woodies celebrated.
Williams extended his scoreless streak to 30 innings, during which he's allowed 15 baserunners and struck out 30. Springs completed the season with 27.1 scoreless innings of his own, consisting of his last three innings as a starter and the entirely of his relief work. Five Years Ago Yesterday
Nothing. Frisco, having swept Corpus Christi, awaited the winner of Springfield and Tulsa. The Riders would lose the finals to Springfield 3-1. Frisco and Round Rock extended their player development contracts with the Rangers through 2018.