New York Yankees Triple-A affiliate the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders won their first International League Championship since 2008 on Friday night with a 3-1 series win over the Atlanta Braves Triple-A affiliate, the Gwinnett Braves. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lost the first game of the series to Gwinnett before taking three straight to win the series.
The man who made the final out, outfielder Jake Cave, was named Most Valuable Player of the series. Throughout the series, Cave went 4 for 13 from the plate. He scored two runs and had three RBI on four hits including a double and home-run.
The team boasted a few players with Major League experience in addition to Cave. First baseman Chris Parmelee and right-hander Johnny Barbato, who have seen time in the Bronx this year were in the lineup, along with Pete Kozma and Donovan Solano helped fill the void left by a number of players who were no longer in Scranton.
That void is what’s most impressive with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s championship victory. The fact that they have made it to the Triple-A National Championship game without players who brought them to that level all season speaks volumes about the talent and coaching on this club. They were missing players such as Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, and Tyler Austin who were called up to help the Yankees in August, top prospect Clint Frazier who hit the disabled list with a hamstring strain for a portion of the playoff run, and league MVP Ben Gamel who was dealt to the Seattle Mariners.
The RailRiders will take on the winners of the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A National Championship for the title. Currently, the El Paso Chihuahuas lead the Oklahoma City Dodgers two games to one in the best-of-five PCL finals.
The winner-take-all Triple-A National Championship game will take place on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 8:05 PM EST. The teams will play at AutoZone Park in Memphis, Tennessee and the game will air on NBC Sports Network.