Congratulations to our division rival the Reno Aces on winning the 2022 Pacific Coast League Championship on Friday night at Las Vegas Ballpark.
In the opening game of the first-ever Triple-A National Championship Weekend, Reno held off El Paso by a score of 6-2 to win the PCL ring. Reno scored four runs in the second inning to take control of the game, with Jake Hager blasting a three-run homer. Reno starter Brandon Pfaadt earned the win, scattering ten hits and somehow allowing only two runs over five innings.
The Aces had a big celebration on the diamond at Las Vegas Ballpark, with several players racing out to the swimming pool in right-center and diving in in full uniform. It was Reno’s second PCL championship, with the other coming in 2012.
Saturday saw the International League division winners square off, and it was… not a good game. The Durham Bulls trounced Nashville, 13-0, for yet another International League title. The Governors’ Cup has gone to the Durham Bulls in four of the last five seasons, reminiscent of Sacramento’s run in the Pacific Coast League during the mid-2000s.
That set up the Triple-A National Championship Game on Sunday, which is somewhat anti-climactic after the hard-fought, season-long league championships. But once the players take the field they want to win it, and we had a good one this year, a back-and-forth game that saw Reno blow a one-run lead in the ninth as Durham scored five times and took it down, 10-6.
There was one tie to the 2021 Tacoma Rainiers PCL champions and this year’s Durham club: reliever Jimmy Yacabonis spent most of the 2021 campaign with Tacoma, and he joined Durham later in the 2022 season and pitched two scoreless innings on Saturday. That’s back-to-back Triple-A rings for Yacabonis, who was called up by Tampa Bay today and is eligible for the Rays postseason roster.
Congratulations to both league champions. The Rainiers will look to regain their PCL crown in 2023.
The 2022 Pacific Coast League awards should be announced soon, and our next post will recap those. Really hoping that Mason McCoy gets recognized for his fielding and takes a Gold Glove. We’ll know soon.
- Recaps from the Reno newspaper on the Aces PCL title, and the loss to Durham in the crossover game.
- Congratulations to Rainiers catcher Brian O’Keefe, who got called up by the Mariners and had his first major league hit on Saturday. Ryan Divish has a good story on O’Keefe.
- The Mariners clinched their first playoff spot since 2001 a few days ago, and they will play the three-game wild card round entirely on the road at either Toronto or Cleveland.
- Seattle Mariners President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto‘s top lieutenant Justin Hollander has been promoted to General Manager.
- The M’s announced their 2022 Minor League Awards, but the Rainiers got shut out. Mostly. Cade Marlowe shared the Edgar Martinez Dominate the Zone Hitter Award, and he did spend the last two weeks with us, so maybe we can count that.
- Baseball America released its Triple-A All-Star Team. Oklahoma City’s Miguel Vargas won Player of the Year, and Sugar Land’s Hunter Brown took the pitcher’s award.