Bryce Denton (Brian Walton / The Cardinal Nation)

Highlights of Wednesday’s games across the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system and a look ahead to Thursday’s action.

The Cardinals minor league system was 3-2 on Wednesday. The GCL Cardinals won their first-ever league championship and Johnson City picked up the Appalachian League title. Springfield and Peoria lost their openers but State College won theirs. Our Player of the Day is Johnson City third baseman Bryce Denton, who hit a two-run double and a three-run home run in his club’s clincher.

Results for games played Wednesday, September 7th.

Springfield Cardinals 6, NW Arkansas Naturals 9

The best-of-five Texas League semifinals began on Wednesday with Springfield (0-1) losing to Northwest Arkansas in a slugfest. The Cards tied the game in the fifth but the pen could not hold on.

Center fielder Harrison Bader went 2-for-5 while slugger Luke Voit doubled and hit a pair of singles. Bruce Caldwell hit a fourth inning solo home run and walked. Allen Staton went 2-for-4 including a double. Vaughn Bryan tripled, scored and plated two. Rehabbing St. Louis shortstop Aledmys Diaz went 0-for-4 with a sacrifice fly while playing shortstop for all nine innings.

Daniel Poncedeleon struggled, as the Springfield starter went two innings and gave up four runs on four hits and three walks. Trey Nielsen followed with three innings of one-run ball. Robby Rowland allowed a run in the sixth. Dakota Hudson provided a one-two-three seventh inning, striking out one. Ronnie Shaban was called on for the eighth and put the game out of reach as he gave up three more runs. Josh Lucas finished with a scoreless ninth.

Thursday’s game:  vs. Northwest Arkansas (1-0), 7:10 PM CT, J.C. Sulbaran (0-0, ---)

Peoria Chiefs 0 at Clinton LumberKings 4

In the Midwest League’s West Division best-of-three semifinals opener, Peoria (0-1) was shut out Wednesday by the LumberKings, managing just three hits.

Jake Woodford started and lasted five innings, striking out five and walking one while giving up two runs. Davis Ward gave up three straight singles before getting yanked for Tyler Bray, who finished the sixth inning unscathed. Bray was not as lucky in the seventh as he yielded two runs, one earned, as Peoria’s composure wilted with a couple of errors, a wild pitch, and a balk. Harley Holt retired the side in the eighth.

The Chiefs offense was a no-show. Chris Chinea, Leobaldo Pina, and Carlos Torres all went 1-for-3.

Thursday’s game:  vs. Clinton (1-0), 6:30 PM CT, Ryan Helsley (10-2, 1.61)

State College Spikes 3 at Staten Island Yankees 0

In their New York-Penn League best-of-three semifinals opener, State College (1-0) shut out the baby bombers of Staten Island, playing on the north-eastern shore of the island at Richmond County Bank ballpark.

Andy Young provided all the thump the Spikes pitching staff would need as he launched a two-run home run. Vince Jackson went 2-for-4 and Tommy Edman went 1-for-4 with a double. Mick Fennell was 1-for-2, scored a run and was hit by a pitch.

Bryan Dobzanski got the start and pitched six shutout innings, scattering four hits and four walks plus two strikeouts. Jordan DeLorenzo picked up the save with three innings of excellent relief striking out six.

Thursday’s game:  vs. Staten Island (0-1), 7:05 PM ET, Jordan Hicks (0-0, ---)

Johnson City Cardinals 11, Burlington Royals 6

Johnson City (2-0) captured its fourth Appalachian League Championship in seven years by beating the Royals of Burlington Wednesday.

The game was broken open with a five-run seventh inning. It began with a Shane Billings drawing a walk before J.R. Davis brought him home with a double. Davis advanced to third on an error. Allen Cordoba plated Davis with a sacrifice fly. A pair of singles from Matt Fiedler and Andrew Knizner led to Bryce Denton stepping to the plate and hitting a three-run home run.

Davis finished the game 3-for-5 with a double. Fielder and Knizner also went 3-for-5. Shane Billings singled and drew two walks. Player of the day Denton went 2-for-4 with a double, the aforementioned home run, five RBI, and two runs scored. Denton did make two errors while playing third base.

Starter David Oca lasted just three innings as he gave up three runs, only one earned, and struck out two against two walks. Yeison Medina picked up the win with four innings of one-run ball. Medina struck out two and gave up just one hit. Keaton Siomkin pitched a one-two-three eighth and Estarlin Arias finished the game with a two-run ninth inning.

GCL Cardinals 4, GCL Phillies 2

The Gulf Coast League Cardinals (2-1) won their first-ever GCL championship Wednesday beating the Phillies in the final game of the best-of-three championship series.

Juan Alvarez picked up with win with 5 1/3 innings of work. Alvarez allowed two runs, one earned, while striking out five against no walks. Colton Thomson pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to pick up the save, striking out three in the process.

The Cardinals scored four runs on just four hits and five walks. They made a comeback in the sixth innings picking up three runs, in a wild inning that included the Phillies giving up a hit-by-pitch, a wild pitch, two singles, and two stolen bases.

Edwin Figuera singled and scored a run. Dylan Carlson went 0-for-3 with a walk, but scored twice. Wadye Ynfante singled, scored and drove in one, while Starlin Balbuena singled and had an RBI.

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