Rangers Minor League Roundup – 9/7

The Double-A Frisco RoughRiders finished off a three-game sweep of Corpus Christi on Friday, advancing to the Texas League Championship Series. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock – Season Over
69-75, 11.0 GB

Although the Express played their best baseball of the season in August, the club finished with a 69-75 mark, 11 games behind Pacific Coast League American Southern Division champion Albuquerque.

AA: Frisco 5 – (@) Corpus Christi 0
W - Tepesch (1-0)
SV - Wolf (1)
Frisco wins 3-0 (best of five)

With Friday's victory in Corpus Christi, the RoughRiders finished off a three-game series sweep of the Hooks and advanced to the Texas League Championship Series.

Frisco will make its first Texas League Championship Series appearance since 2008, when the club faced the Arkansas Travelers. The ‘Riders won their only Texas League title in 2004 by besting the then-Double-A Round Rock Express.

Frisco will now play either the Tulsa Drillers or Springfield Cardinals in a best-of-five set. Springfield currently has a 2-1 lead on the Drillers in their divisional series.

The star for the ‘Riders in Friday's series clincher was starting pitcher Nick Tepesch, who hurled seven innings of one-hit shutout ball. Tepesch needed only 83 pitches––throwing 51 strikes––to complete the seven frames. He struck out four, walked three, and induced nine groundouts to four flyouts.

The 23-year-old prospect retired the game's first 14 batters and took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. The Hooks' offense didn't lift a ball out of the infield until making the second out of the fifth.

Tepesch was particularly successful against rehabbing Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie, who whiffed in all three of his plate appearances against the starter. Lowrie went 0-for-4 with four swinging punchouts on the night.

The RoughRiders' offense plated two runs in the sixth inning before adding three insurance runs in the top of the ninth.

Centerfielder Engel Beltre, who was 2-for-5, broke the game open with his two-run double in the ninth inning. Second baseman Leury Garcia (2/5, 2B) and right fielder Jared Hoying (1/4, 2B) also had a two-bagger apiece.

Chris McGuiness (2/3, BB) and Guilder Rodriguez (2/4) both singled twice.

While Frisco's offense produced timely hitting in the series' three games, the pitching staff was often dominant. After permitting two runs on Thursday, three ‘Riders hurlers combined for Friday's two-hit shutout.

Fireballing righty Wilmer Font yielded a hit but not a run in two-thirds of an inning after Tepesch exited. Veteran closer Ross Wolf then retired the game's final four hitters, getting two groundouts and two strikeouts.

Player of the Game: RHP Nick Tepesch
7.0 1 0 0 3 4 0 0.00

A+: Myrtle Beach 0 – (@) Winston-Salem 9
L - McBride (0-1)
Winston-Salem wins 2-1 (best of three)

Although Myrtle Beach won Wednesday's series opener in the best-of-three set, Winston-Salem came storming back to claim the final two games and clinch the series victory.

The Dash move on to the Carolina League's Championship Series while the Pelicans' 2012 season comes to a close.

Winston-Salem put Friday's contest out of reach in a hurry, racing out to a 9-0 lead through the first three innings.

After Pelicans starter Nick McBride tossed a 1-2-3 first inning, the Dash plated four runs in the second before putting up a five-spot in the third. Winston-Salem centerfielder Keenyn Walker delivered a bases-clearing three-run triple off McBride in the second inning.

McBride was pulled from the game after loading the bases with one out in the third. But reliever Francisco Mendoza coughed up a grand slam to the first hitter he faced––Kevan Smith––to give the Dash an 8-0 advantage.

When the dust had settled, McBride was tagged for a season-high seven runs in 2.1 innings. He yielded four hits, walked three, and plunked a batter while striking out one.

Mendoza, meanwhile, allowed two runs of his own in 1.2 innings.

Although relievers Josh McElwee and Greg Williams finished the game with two shutout frames apiece, the damage had already been done.

The Pelicans' offense managed only five hits––including four singles––during the game. Leadoff man Teodoro Martinez (1/4, 2B) belted his second double in as many nights. Hanser Alberto (2/4), Brett Nicholas (1/3, BB) and Chris Grayson (1/2, BB) had the club's other knocks.

Player of the Game: RHP Josh McElwee
2.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00

A: Hickory – Season Over
38-32, 3.0 GB

The Crawdads didn't qualify for the South Atlantic League postseason after finishing the first half in third place (36-33) and the second half tied for second (38-32).

SSA: Spokane – Season Over
16-22, 8.0 GB

With a 28-48 overall record this summer, the Spokane Indians didn't qualify for the Northwest League playoffs. The club went 12-26 in the first half before finishing with a 16-22 second-half mark.

RK: Surprise Rangers – Season Over
34-22, 3.0 GU

The rookie-level Surprise Rangers claimed the 2012 Arizona League crown. The Rangers' AZL club won the circuit's West Division with a 34-22 regular-season mark. They defeated the Glendale Dodgers in the playoff semifinals before topping the Phoenix Athletics in the championship game.

DSL: DSL Rangers – Season Over
42-28, 2.0 GB

The Dominican Rangers finished their season in third place with a 42-28 record, two games out of a Dominican Summer League playoff berth.

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