Round Rock Express 10, Chihuahuas 4
Prospect Watch: An early 4-1 El Paso lead vanished to the sands of time as the Express steamrolled the Chihuahuas in the middle innings. The Round Rock momentum was briefly halted by Carlos Belen, who tossed an inning and two-thirds of scoreless ball. Belen, a converted infielder who has been a member of the Padres organization since 2012, owns a 2.77 ERA in 13 innings since being promoted to El Paso. Despite only six strikeouts, he’s held PCL opponents to a .188 average and issued just one walk. … That 4-1 lead came about thanks to Brandon Dixon, who hit his ninth home run in 17 games (67 at-bats) since joining the Chihuahuas. Dixon, who has played the corners in the infield and the outfield this season, has hit 19 home runs in only 168 at-bats between San Antonio and El Paso. … Michael Cantu erased a 1-0 deficit and gave El Paso the lead in the bottom of the 2nd, driving in two runs with a double. It was Cantu’s third double of the season, and he’s now up to seven RBIs as the veteran of the Padres organization has played sparingly in the 2022 season. … C.J. Hinojosa smacked his 30th double of the season as the former Giants, Brewers, and Astros farmhand continues to be a steady contributor in his first season with the Chihuahuas, slashing .285/.353/.472 in 424 at-bats. … Lefty Tom Cosgrove breezed through the seventh on nine pitches, delivering eight of them for strikes and striking out two batters. Cosgrove has a 38:11 K: BB and 3.46 ERA in 24 appearances for El Paso since being promoted from San Antonio.
Amarillo Sod Poodles 6, Missions 2
Prospect Watch: The San Antonio bullpen faltered late, washing away an excellent start by Thomas Eshelman, who pitched five innings of two-hit ball to get things going for the Missions. Eshelman, who hails from Carlsbad, has split his 2022 season nearly evenly in appearances between San Antonio and El Paso, with a 3-5 record and 4.58 ERA in 14 starts for the Missions, along with 41 strikeouts and 11 walks in 74.2 innings. … Nick Thwaits made his Double-A debut, allowing an unearned run on two hits while getting four outs in relief of Eshelman. The 23-year-old Thwaits, a 15th-round selection in 2018, posted a 3.19 ERA while striking out 53 batters and walking 19 in 62 innings for High-A Fort Wayne. He’s gotten much better results out of the bullpen this year after going back to his cutter as his primary fastball. … Yorman Rodriguez got the start behind the plate and continued to impress with the bat, slugging a pair of doubles and driving in a run to continue a September in which the catcher/first baseman is slashing .292/.358/.542 in 48 at-bats. … With a three-hit effort including a double Thursday, Connor Hollis is now batting .338 on the season, giving him a 14 point lead in the race for the Texas League batting title.
Storm 10, Inland Empire 66ers 8 (Sweep best-of-three series)
Key Statistics: SS Jackson Merrill 3-4, 2B, SB, 2 RBI; 3B Marcos Castanon 2-5, HR, 4 RBI, SB; 2B Nerwillian Cedeno 1-4, 3 RBI, SB; DH Griffin Doersching 2-3, BB; LF Tyler Robertson 2-3; RHP Duncan Snider 4.2 IP, 6 H, ER, 3 BB, 7 K; LHP Ben Miller (W, 1-0) 0.1 IP; RHP Manuel Castrol (S,1) 1.1 IP, H, 3 K
The Storm clinched a spot in the Cal League Championship series with John Conniff on the scene for the action.