Asheville wins the SAL championship behind Wade, Tapia
For the second time in three years, Colorado's Low A affiliate in Asheville, the Tourists, have won the South Atlantic League championship with a 4-1 victory over the Hagerstown Suns yesterday. The Tourists paced the league with a 89-49 record in the regular season and they survived the crucible of the playoffs, taking the league championship series in five games, to bring home the title.
In the winner-take-all fifth game of the championship series, the Tourists sent Konner Wade (Colorado's 7th round pick in 2013) to the mound. Wade did not disappoint, hurling seven shutout innings for Asheville when they needed them the most. Wade allowed five hits and struck out six in the outing to earn his second win of the championship series. Troy Neiman and Trent Daniel, as they have in so many games this year for the Tourists, closed out the win for Asheville.
Raimel Tapia (PuRP 5) led the Tourists offensively with a 2-5 day, including a solo homer in the third inning. Correlle Prime (PuRP 23) and Jordan Patterson (PuRP 29) each added two hits for Asheville, who jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the middle of the fourth inning and never looked back.
Congratulations to the Asheville Tourists, South Atlantic League champions! At least some people in the Rockies organization will have had a successful season this year.
Tulsa to play Game 5 Sunday
The AA Tulsa Drillers had their opportunity yesterday to make it a double championship celebration, but the Midland RockHounds had a different idea, winning 9-4 to force a winner-take-all game five this afternoon. The Drillers, who have several players on their squad that won the 2012 SAL championship as the Asheville Tourists, will try to make it two minor league championships for Rockies affiliates today. Eddie Butler (PuRP 3) is the presumed starter.
In the game yesterday, the Drillers fell behind 6-0 early and were unable to make the comeback. Jayson Aquino (PuRP 21), making only his third start at the AA level, got shelled for six runs on nine hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings of work. Tulsa managed just six hits in this one, including a RBI double from Will Swanner in the four run sixth inning that briefly brought the Drillers within striking distance.
Good luck to the Drillers today!