The biggest story of the White Sox system Wednesday was it’s lowest affiliate as the rookie level AZL White Sox won the Arizona League Championship! After winning their first half division title and defeating the Dodgers and the Royals in the quarterfinals and semi-finals, the AZL Sox faced off against the Mariners for the Championship. 2015 15th round draft pick Christopher Comito started the game and pitched brilliantly, only allowing one run on two hits over five innings. The AZL Sox found some offensive support from a mid-season acquisition, as DSL product Maiker Feliz tripled and drove in two runs in the 2nd inning. Pitcher Brandon Quintero, who actually was the starter for the quarterfinal game, came on in relief and threw two shutout innings. After the Sox and Mariners traded late runs, reliever Richard McWilliams got the last out with the bases loaded and sealed the championship.
The championship run was fueled by the best offense in the Arizona League, as the Sox lead the league in batting average, hits, and doubles and were second in the categories of runs scored, on base percentage, homers, slugging, and runs batted in. The “Killer Z’s,” Corey Zangari and Seby Zavala, led the way by combining to hit 30 doubles, 10 home runs, and 75 RBI’s over 83 games played.
Monster games from Jason Coats and Matt Davidson could not make up for the struggles of starter Brad Penny as the Knights fell to the Durham Bulls. Jason Coats went 3-4 with two doubles and Matt Davidson launched his 21st and 22nd home runs of the season. Micah Johnson went 0-3 with two strikeouts and committed a field error that allowed two unearned runs to score which proved to be the difference. Johnson has been in a funk since returning from the DL, batting just 1 for 21 over his last five games. Reliever J.B. Wendelken pitched two perfect frames to finish the game off.
Adam Engel delivered the game winning single in the 11th as the Dash stay red hot with a win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Spencer Adams delievered a gem of a start as he went seven strong innings, allowing just one run on five hits. The bullpen took over from there as Euclides Leyer pitched three perfect innings with five strikeouts and Brad Goldberg earned his 10th save with a scoreless inning. Trey Michalczewski collected three hits and Eddy Alvarez went 2-5 with a triple and a walk.
The Intimidators dropped a wild game to the Hagerstown Suns on Wednesday. Kannapolis took the lead in the top of the 9th with two runs only to see the Suns walk-off with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Second baseman The offense was led by John Ziznewski who went 3-4 and tripled twice while Mason Robbins went 2-4 with a triple of his own. It was not a great day for the Intimidators pitchers, as Thad Lowry, Johnathan Frebis, and David Trexler had forgettable outings.
Starter Matt Ball was lit up for seven runs over 1.2 innings and the Great Falls offense couldn’t get much going. However, Landon Lassiter had a perfect day at the plate by going 2-2 with a triple. Recently promoted Taylore Cherry (and massive human being) tossed two scoreless innings in his Voyager debut. Cherry, who is listed at 6’9” and 260 pounds, was a 2015 32nd round pick but was projected by some to go much higher than that. So far the stats agree as Cherry as only allowed one earned run over his first 23.1 professional innings and has 26 strikeouts.
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