Fresno Wins Title

The Fresno Grizzlies won the first PCL Championship in franchise history on Sunday afternoon, defeating Round Rock 7-3 to win the best-of-five series, three games to two.

Fresno was down in the series 2-1 but won the final two games: a 2-1 nail biter on Saturday, and then Sunday’s final.

Mark Appel starred for Fresno on Sunday, tying his career high with ten strikeouts over 5.2 innings pitched.

Fresno had a two-run homer from Tyler White, three hits by Tony Kemp, and two hits and two RBI from Robbie Grossman.

Kemp was named MVP of the playoffs, hitting .405 with nine RBI during Fresno’s nine postseason games.

It was the fourth PCL Championship for Fresno manager Tony DeFrancesco, who guided Sacramento to the title in 2003, 2004 and 2007.

There is one game left: the final game of the minor league season is the Triple-A National Championship Game, pitting Fresno against International League champion Columbus. This one-off game plays at rotating sites; this year El Paso is the host. The game is Tuesday night.

Congratulations to the fans in Fresno – they had to wait 18 years to get their first PCL title.

In the big picture, I think Fresno’s win falls under the category of “Good For The PCL.” Fresno lost its affiliation with the SF Giants after the 2014 season – and that was a really natural fit for them, marketing wise. They kind of got stuck with Houston in the affiliation shuffle, and then the Astros provided Fresno with its first-ever championship club – and the fans got into it down the stretch in Fresno. This definitely helped the overall future outlook in Fresno.

Links:

  • The Fresno Bee story includes lots of reaction and embedded photos and videos of the celebration. PCL people: don’t miss the photo of Fresno team president Chris Cummings getting a beer shower.
  • Fresno columnist Marek W. was on hand and filed this report.
  • Here’s the PCL Championship recap from MiLB.com.
  • The Mariners pounded Texas on Sunday, 9-2, and remain hot right now: the M’s are 12-6 over the last 18 games, and are only four games under .500.
  • After the game, the Mariners had their annual “rookie dress-up day” and Ryan Divish provides us with amusing commentary.
  • Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook catches us up on Stefen Romero‘s first-ever start in center field, and the never-ending fun of Felix Hernandez facing Adrian Beltre.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the Triple-A National Championship Game.

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