It wasn’t an easy win, but the offense was just good enough to back the pitching, and the pitching, as it has been so many times this season, was excellent. The bullpen made a one run lead hold up, and Eugene wins the first title for the Cubs organization in 2016.

Meanwhile, down in Myrtle Beach, the Pelicans’ pitching was completely dominant as the Cubs’ High A affiliate cruised to a Game Three win. The Pelicans can clinch their second consecutive Carolina League title tonight.





High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 7, Lynchburg 0
This was the last start of the season for Clifton, and he definitely went out on a high note.

Best of Five Championship Series: Myrtle Beach leads 2-1
Next Game: Tonight at 6:30 PM ET in Lynchburg
Matchup: Preston Morrison (MB) against Matt Esparza

Myrtle Beach can win the Carolina League Championship (also known as the Mills Cup) tonight, and in Morrison they have a starter who is very likely to give them an excellent chance to claim that win. Morrison was very good in seventeen games with South Bend (2.24 ERA, 1.74 GO/AO), but he has been even better in six starts with Myrtle Beach (1.77 ERA, 2.75 GO/AO). In High A he has been striking out better than a batter an inning, and in the regular season he has allowed just three home runs. That said, he did give up two long balls as part of a five-run rough game in his last playoff start. I don’t expect a repeat of that performance tonight. Morrison has been consistently good pretty much all season long. Look for him to be getting ground balls and strike outs again tonight.

Matt Esparza followed a similar path to Morrison this season. He also started in the Midwest League for 20 games before moving to the Carolina League for seven. In High A he has an ERA of 3.92, a strikeout rate of 7.38 K/9, and a walk rate of 3.23 BB/9. He faced the Pelicans twice late in the season, and in the second of those games the Pelicans single handedly added a run on to his ERA. On August 20 he allowed 2 runs over 6 innings, and on September 1 he gave up 6 runs over 5 innings. The Pelicans will come into this game knowing what to expect, and having had success against him in the past. That is probably a good sign.



Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Eugene 2, Everett 1
It doesn’t matter what the level is, winning championships is awesome.

Other Notes

  • Behold the power of defense. Eugene turned three double plays in their win, and Kevonte Mitchell gunned down a runner at the plate. The glovework was definitely a factor in Eugene clinching the title.


  • Speaking of the Emeralds…




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