Missions Claim Texas League Championship

San Antonio claimed their 13th Texas League Championship Sunday with their third shutout victory of the postseason. The 5-0 win over the Arkansas Travelers - the only postseason game the Missions won by more than two runs – clinched their second title in three years.

The Missions were powered by the indomitable Josh Geer on the mound and Johan Limonta at the plate. Geer, the 30 year old selected in the same class as Chase Headley, Nick Hundley and Will Venable, worked five scoreless innings, allowing only three hits with no walks. The cancer survivor won both Game Fives in the playoffs, yielding only two runs over 11 innings.

The Missions got on the board in the first with doubles by Cory Spangenberg and Robert Kral. After starting the playoffs 0-for-12, Kral had three hits in the finale.

For a while, it looked like San Antonio might be in for another nail-biter clinging to that one run, but that changed in the fourth inning. After singles by Kral and Yeison Asencio, who was the most effective hitter in the playoffs, Adam Buschini hit what could have been an inning-ending grounder. However the Travelers shortstop booted the ball, loading the bases. Limonta promptly made Arkansas pay, launching a grand slam to right-center field and giving the Missions a rare cushion to work with.

Spotted the big lead, the Missions turned to their best pitcher for the last three months, Matt Wisler. The 20-year-old righty, who starred in the first game of the series, worked three scoreless innings of relief, followed a stellar August in which he posted a 1.86 ERA by allowing only one run over 16 post-season innings. In all, he worked 152 innings on the year.

With the end of the series, Padres minor leaguers are done for the 2013 campaign. Instructional League will begin in the Dominican Republic in a week and a half and Arizona Fall League players will report October 8.

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